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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece backs EU decision on Turkey; PM in Brussels Thursday
  • [02] Petralia notes new forms of tourism in U.S. talks

  • [01] Greece backs EU decision on Turkey; PM in Brussels Thursday

    The Greek foreign ministry on Wednesday stressed that the EU's criteria in making decisions was primarily that it should not wrong itself, one day before Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' scheduled departure for Brussels on Thursday to attend the European Union summit.

    Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos was responding to criticism voiced by Turkish officials, who said that EU foreign ministers had "wronged" Turkey on Monday by adopting the European Commission's recommendations to freeze accession negotiations with Turkey on eight of the 35 chapters, in response to Ankara's failure to implement a customs union agreement and open its ports and airports to Cyprus traffic.

    According to Koumoutsakos, the way that Turkey chose to meet its obligations to the EU was its own responsibility and it would adopt whatever policy it considered best served its priorities and interests. Similarly, the EU would adopt a policy in accordance with its own interests and objectives, he added.

    "The Union's primary interest is to preserve its credibility and effectiveness. This is a priority of strategic importance for the Union; ensuring a Union that functions smoothly, effectively, with prestige and credibility. All else comes after," the spokesman said.

    Announcing the prime minister's agenda during his trip to Brussels, meanwhile, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said that the premier was scheduled to participate in the European People's Party (EPP) meeting at 13:00 and a European Council session beginning at 17:45, as well as the official dinner hosted by the Finnish EU presidency at 20:00.

    The summit meeting was expected to end on Friday morning, after which Karamanlis will return to Athens.

    The issues to be discussed by European leaders will be that of establishing an area of freedom, security and justice, as well as immigration. During the dinner, there is to be a discussion on the results of deliberations for an EU Constitutional Treaty and EU enlargement. On Friday, the debate will be devoted to approving the conclusions of the European Council.

    Asked whether the debate on EU enlargement would also cover accession talks with Turkey and whether the government anticipated any change or modification to the decision taken by the EU General Affairs Council on Monday, Roussopoulos said that there was no other EU decision on this issue that he was aware of.

    [02] Petralia notes new forms of tourism in U.S. talks

    Washington (ANA-MPA/M. Tsivgeli) -- Greece's tourism development minister Fani Palli-Petralia on Tuesday discussed the new forms of tourism developing in Greece, such as conference tourism, sea tourism and spa tourism, with Democratic Senator from Hawaii Daniel Inouye, during the second day of her visit to Washington.

    Inouye is co-chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and founder and ex-officio chairman of the subcommittee on Trade, Tourism and Economic Development.

    It was noted during the meeting that arrivals of American tourists in Greece had increased impressively in 2006, a fact that creates optimism for both sides.

    Petralia also outlined the prospects for new tourism investments in Greece and the post-Olympics exploitation of the infrastructures that had been built for the 2004 Games hosted by Athens, while the Greek side also put forward the prospect of a tourism agreement between the two countries.

    Earlier, Petralia had an informal meeting with US president George Bush's wife, Laura, at the White House.

    Petralia told reporters after the meeting that Laura Bush was involved in human rights and women's issues, as well as issues concerning the trafficking in women, noting that she, too, has personally dealth with such issues in the past during her term as president of the European Union of Women but also in her present cpacity as president of the international Democratic Union of Women.

    Petralia and Bush exchanged views and positions on these issues, while the Greek minister also met with Washington Post publisher and CEO Boisfeuillet Jones Jr.

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