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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-11-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Premier briefed on Development Minister's Moscow-Sofia visit
  • [02] Papandreou chairs SI Council in Chile

  • [01] Premier briefed on Development Minister's Moscow-Sofia visit

    Development minister Dimitris Sioufas on Monday briefed prime minister Costas Karamanlis on the outcome of his recent visits to Moscow and Sofia, and explained to journalists after the meeting that the trip was an Athens initiative to advance the interstate agreement on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

    The pipeline, Sioufas explained, is of strategic importance for conveying oil in the region and on to the markets of Europe and the US.

    He said that, during his visit, the volition of the three countries was reaffirmed, while the steps for materialisation of the accord were also agreed.

    Sioufas further said that he briefed the premier on the world conference of SMEs taking place in the seaside town of Vouliagmeni, near Athens, adding that he will convey Karamanlis' greeting to the 500 delegates from 62 countries and 15 organisations taking part in the conference.

    He said the conference was an effort aimed at strengthening SMEs, eliminating obstacles and their incorporation into the international markets.

    Backing the SMEs was the volition of the government, given that they provide 7 in 10 jobs, Sioufas stressed.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of prime minister Costas Karamanlis (R) conferring with development minister Dimitris Sioufas (L) during a parliamentary debate. (ANA-MPA/M. Marogianni)

    [02] Papandreou chairs SI Council in Chile

    Santiago (ANA-MPA/V. Mourtis) -- Greece's main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International president George Papandreou on Monday will chair a meeting of the SI Council in Santiago Chile. Shortly aftter his arrival in Santiago, he visited the site used by the former regime of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

    Papandreou toured the facilities where more than 5,000 Chileans were tortured in the 1973-1978 period, many of whom died either in the camp itself or elsewhere, while very few survived, among them current Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who had been imprisoned in the facility together with her mother.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Papandreou noted that Greece had also undergone a dictatorship, adding that both countries had struggled and were struggling for democracy and human rights. The site, he said, "reminds us of our debt to fight against such practices, against such barbarity, that of tortures", which he said still existed today.

    Commenting on a recent statement by US vice-president Dick Cheney, Papandreou stressed that "unfortunately, even today we see, in many parts of the world, the barbarity of tortures continuing, but even more so and even worse, we see it being condoned by politicians and democratic countries".

    Papandreou expressed the complete opposition of the Socliaists to such practices, and their dedication to the struggles for human rights "in every corner of the world".

    The tortures facility, which used to be a villa belonging to the Italian family Grimaldi and is called Villa Grimaldi, has today been converted into a park called Peace Park and is visited daily by pupils learning the country's contemporary history.

    Bachelet hosted a dinner in honour of Papandreou and the other members of the SI presidency on Sunday night.

    The SI Council meeting was taking place Monday, chaired by Papandreou, after which he was scheduled to have a private meeting with the President of Chile, which would be followed by a reception by Bachelet for all the SI members. He was also due to have other bilateral contacts on the sidelines of the SI Council meeting.

    Caption: PASOK leader and Socialist International visits the Peace Park in Santiago, Chile. (ANA-MPA/V. Filis)

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