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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-06-21

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't optimistic over economy; ND ahead in latest poll
  • [02] Onassis Foundation donation for hospital
  • [03] Greek FM Bakoyannis meets Sarkozy in Paris
  • [04] Bank of Cyprus bid for Emporiki

  • [01] Gov't optimistic over economy; ND ahead in latest poll

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis received Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis here on Wednesday for talks focusing squarely on preparations to absorb 4th Community Support Framework (CSF) funds between 2007-2013.

    Greece is due to receive 20.1 billion euros in CSF support over the period, with Alogoskoufis reiterating on Wednesday that the emphasis will be placed on developing human resources and new technologies.

    "We'll be ready to exploit 4th CSF funds from the very first day," he told reporters, adding that whatever mistakes and delays recorded in absorbing previous CSF funding will be corrected in cooperation with the European Union.

    Afterwards, Alogoskoufis expressed his optimism over the country's economic prospects, stressing that over the previous two years the government has introduced significant reforms in taxation, development, privatisations, cooperation between the public and private sectors, reducing red tape, tax-evasion, promoting a "digital society" and reviewing the 3rd Community Support Framework programme.

    Addressing a meeting on a National Strategic Framework Benchmark for the period 2007-2013, the Greek minsiter said he expected a series of business programmes, certified agencies and the operation of five wider regional programmes to be agreed this summer.

    Meanwhile, the Karamanlis-Alogoskoufis meeting preceded the latest opinion poll results to be released recently, with ruling New Democracy (ND) continuing to lead main opposition PASOK in poll conducted by the Athens-based MRB firm, garnering 36.6 percent of respondents' preferences to PASOK's 34.1 percent -- a lead of 2.5 percentage points.

    Regarding the question of which party will win the next general elections, ND holds a sizable 34.9-percentage point lead over PASOK.

    In terms of other parties, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) is favored by 7.3 percent of respondents; 3.1 percent picked the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) and the out-of-Parliament LA.OS party garnered 3.9 percent.

    Favorable opinions of Karamanlis totaled 42.6 percent; 37.3 percent for rival PASOK leader and former foreign minister George Papandreou. Additionally, Karamanlis holds a 9.1-percentage point lead over Papandreou on the question of "who is better suited for the prime minister's post".

    ANA-MPA file photo of PM Karamanlis.

    [02] Onassis Foundation donation for hospital

    The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation on Wednesday announced that it will donate 1.5 million towards the construction of a new juvenile cancer treatment centre being promoted by the Athens-based "Elpida" charity.

    The announcement came during a press conference in Athens by the president of the Onassis Foundation, Antonis Papadimitriou and Elpida president Marianna Vardinoyannis.

    Caption: Elpida charity president Marianna Vardinoyannis. ANA-MPA photo.

    [03] Greek FM Bakoyannis meets Sarkozy in Paris

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Wednesday was received in Paris by French Minister of State Nicolas Sarkozy, who is also the president of France's conservative UMP party and an expected candidate for the 2007 presidential elections.

    The Greek minister said her talks with Sarkozy covered all current European affairs, such as enlargement, the European Constitution and EU-Turkish relations, but had concentrated mostly on that of immigration policy -- a high priority issue for all European countries, particularly those in the south.

    In an interview with the French newspaper "Le Figaro" that was published on Wednesday, meanwhile, Bakoyannis noted in comments on Turkey's European accession course that the journey toward accession was equally important to accession itself, citing the Greek experience.

    "In 1977, the Commission had approached Greece's application to join negatively and four years later, with the support of Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Greece became a full EU member," Bakoyannis pointed out.

    Regarding the European Constitutional Treaty, she said that the one-year extension of the "period of reflection" decided by the European Council was adequate, in her opinion.

    "Afterwards, we must make decisions and have the political strength to go on. Europe's future, in any case, largely depends on the courage that will be displayed by politicians," she added.

    Caption: A file photo of French Minister Sarkozy. EPA / Bernard Bisson

    [04] Bank of Cyprus bid for Emporiki

    The Bank of Cyprus intends to submit a bid for 100 percent acquisition of Emporiki Bank, it was announced on Wednesday.

    Cyprus Bank CEO Andreas Eliades said that the bid would be autonomous, competitive and comparative with that recently submitted by the Paris-based Credit Agricole bank.

    Eliades, speaking to reporters after a meeting with National Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, said the Bank of Cyprus' bid would be submitted to the Capital Market Committee as soon as possible.

    ANA-MPA file photo.


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