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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-12

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM receives merchant marine minister, latter cites major investments in sector
  • [02] Papoulias begins visit to Bulgaria, Romania

  • [01] PM receives merchant marine minister, latter cites major investments in sector

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday received Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis, who briefed the premier on matters falling under the competency of his ministry.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kefaloyiannis said reforms in the sector were heading for completion, while major investments in the country's port facilities were also progressing.

    "We are opening up a new page in ocean-going shipping," Kefaloyiannis said in reference to the massive Greek-owned merchant fleet plying the world's seaways.

    The minister further announced that five new draft bills would be tabled by his ministry in the coming period, bills that concern the transfer of the maritime shipping services division in the wider Piraeus region, which hosts Greece's largest commercial, container and passenger ports.

    "We are optimistic also about new plans being advanced by the ministry," Kefaloyiannis added.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of PM Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] Papoulias begins visit to Bulgaria, Romania

    With the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union, along with veteran member-state Greece, a "nucleus" of Balkan states has suddenly emerged in the Union that may influence the Community‚s decision-making, along the lines of the three Baltic states, Greek Republic Karolos Papoulias said in an interview with Bulgarian media in Sofia on Sunday.

    Papoulias began an official visit to Bulgaria on Monday.

    The Greek president said Greece, Bulgaria and Romania could work together on various plans and European programmes, jointly promoting development projects in the energy sector and other areas. He also predicted that the area's "special political weight" would increase with the addition of other Balkan states into the Community.

    Regarding the controversial accession prospects of Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Kosovo, Papoulias underlined that Athens wanted to see Turkey and FYROM eventually join the EU, while regarding Kosovo, he stressed that a solution must be found that guarantees the rights of all the residents and minorities that live in the province.

    "We want to some day see Turkey as a member of the EU. Both we and you have common borders and we want those borders to be European, so that we do not have problems with our neighbours," he said.

    Regarding FYROM, however, he said that certain problems had to be resolved before hand, while he noted that the interim agreement signed by Skopje and Athens provides that the final agreement will satisfy both FYROM and Greece.

    He also stressed that a solution found in Kosovo had to be just, so as to avoid new tensions and a new flare-up of violence in southeastern Europe, which cost all sides so much and benefited no one.

    According to Papoulias, the financial damage incurred by Greece as a result of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia are estimated to be somewhere in the region of three billion euros.

    Caption: Greek President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, left, and Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, right, stand side-by-side during an official welcoming ceremony for the former in Sofia, Bulgaria on Monday,12 February 2007. Greece's president arrived here on a three-day official visit. ANA-MPA / M. Kiaou.


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