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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece and Montenegro sign protocol establishing diplomatic ties
  • [02] Finmin opens conference on Balkan markets
  • [03] Eurostat releases trade deficit figures for Greece
  • [04] 'Love Builds' charity fundraising drive launched

  • [01] Greece and Montenegro sign protocol establishing diplomatic ties

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and her Montenegro counterpart Milan Rocen on Monday signed a protocol opening diplomatic relations between Greece and Montenegro.

    "The opening of a Greek embassy in Podgorica is on the way and our goal is to complete the procedures by the beginning of the new year," Bakoyannis said after the signing ceremony held in Athens.

    She stressed that Athens desired the best possible relations with Montenegro, including in economic affairs.

    Rocen said that the opening of the embassies would mark a new chapter in the improvement and development of relations between the two countries, allowing the organisation of political contacts on all levels and boosting cooperation via the European Union and regional organisations.

    Bakoyannis noted that Montenegro's independence was achieved with democracy and transparency, while transitional relations with Serbia were based on mutual understanding, good neighbourly relations and cooperation.

    She also hailed Montenegro's entry into NATO's Partnership for Peace Programme as "an important step" to which Greece had contributed in the framework of Euro-Atlantic talks.

    Rocen thanked Greece for supporting and assisting Montenegro's Euro-Atlantic prospects and expressed satisfaction that Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia had also joined NATO's Partnership for Peace, noting that Montenegro wanted good relations with the neighbouring states.

    He underlined the special significance of his visit to Athens, pointing out that it was his first official visit as foreign minister after Montenegro became independent and was made at Bakoyannis' invitation, while expressing hope that the Greek minister would visit his own country soon.

    [02] Finmin opens conference on Balkan markets

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis welcomed the entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the European Union, during a brief address on Monday that opened a two-day conference focusing on the regulatory framework for Southeastern European markets.

    The conference, entitled "Creating a regulatory framework for creating dynamic and competitive markets in Southeastern Europe" began on Monday at a central Athens hotel. It is organised by the Greek Economy and Finance Ministry in collaboration with the World Bank.

    The Greek finance minister underlined the great importance of implementing reforms, noting that through them it was possible to boost growth rates in the economies of the region. He said that most countries in the Balkan area needed to make specific progress in reforming their regulatory framework, pointing out that Greece and Turkey were the only market economies in the region up until a few years ago, while now there were several.

    Alogoskoufis also noted attempts by the European Union to limit government intervention, with a series of Community regulations opening up the markets for telecommunications, power and natural gas, among others.

    The aim of the conference will be to launch constructive dialogue between regulatory authorities, public utility companies, the private sector, ministries and researchers in the Balkan region.

    [03] Eurostat releases trade deficit figures for Greece

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA - V. Demiris) - Greece's trade deficit reached 25.2 billion euros over the first nine months of 2006, increasing by 3.1 billion euros in relation to the corresponding period in 2005, Eurostat reported here on Monday.

    Specifically, the EU executive's statistical service said exports from the country totalled 12.3 billion euros, whereas imports reached 37.4 billion euros.

    On a more optimistic note, exports increased by 22 percent over the same period in comparison with Jan-Sep 2005, while imports increased by 16 percent.

    [04] 'Love Builds' charity fundraising drive launched

    The construction of a shelter for paraplegics in the Kipseli district in Athens is the goal of the ?Love Builds? nationwide campaign launched jointly on Monday by Solidarity, a non-governmental organization associated with the Church of Greece, and the Transport and Communications Ministry.

    Those wishing to assist in raising the necessary funds for the construction of the shelter can do so by sending an SMS message with the word "ΑΓΑΠΗ" (love in Greek) to 4578.

    The first SMSs were sent symbolically by Transport Minister Michalis Liapis and Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens, who attended a special event held at the Nerantziotissa metro station.

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