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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Rain ushers in Clean Monday weekend
  • [02] Papoulias: Greece backs SE Europe's EU prospects

  • [01] Rain ushers in Clean Monday weekend

    Thick clouds and intermittent rain greeted motorists leaving Greek cities on Friday for the long weekend that marks the end of the Carnival and the start of Orthodox Lent on Clean Monday.

    According to the Greek weather service, wet weather is expected to continue during the weekend, with a slight improvement expected from Monday.

    Traffic police throughout the country were on standby to assist excursionists leaving urban centres for the countryside.

    Measures to assist the flow of cars and commuters have been taken at particularly busy spots in central Athens and the suburbs, such as shopping centres, ports, train stations, bus depots and airports.

    Police have been stationed at all the main junctions on national highways to direct traffic, backed up by frequent car and motorbike patrols on key roads in Attica to prevent road accidents.

    Teams of officers have been deployed round the clock to carry out traffic inspections and hand out tickets to motorists seen to commit dangerous traffic violations, such as speeding, drunk driving, dangerous driving, failure to observe traffic lights and not wearing seatbelts and helmets. The last offence is considered largely responsible for fatal accidents on Greek roads.

    Traffic police also have orders to be extraordinarily strict in dealing with trucks and lorries, in particular, and to order them off the road if they are seen driving dangerously or do not meet safety rules.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo showing the main national highway from Athens packed with cars heading out for a major holiday. A similarly busy 'exodus' from Greek cities is usual on the Clean Monday holiday, which Greeks traditionally celebrate outdoors with picnics and kite-flying.

    [02] Papoulias: Greece backs SE Europe's EU prospects

    Greece's aspiration is to create necessary conditions so that southeastern Europe comprises a region of stability, peace, economic cooperation and growth in tandem with its participation in the European Union, "as it deserves", Greek President Karolos Papoulias said Friday in Bucharest, winding up a three-day state visit to Romania.

    Papoulias delivered a greeting on Friday morning to the Greek-Romanian business forum, while earlier he met with Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, with whom he had a discussion on bilateral relations in all sectors, with an emphasis on investments and trade, as well as on the major problems of the region. The meeting was also attended by Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Kalantzis, Deputy Development Minister Tassos Nerantzis and Deputy Economy Minister Petros Doukas.

    Addressing the Forum, Papoulias recalled that Greece has drafted and was implementing programmes for development cooperation with the countries of SE Europe and was also "contributing to the progress and economic growth of the region through the Greek Plan for the Reconstruction of the Balkans".

    He also stressed that Greece-based entrepreneurs were amongst the first to start up activities in Romania some 15 years ago, because "they believed in the abilities of the Romanian people and sought opportunities".

    Papoulias also described as significant the fact that prominent Greek businesspeople have entered the Romanian market, stressing that "this constitutes the best example of the respect and immense confidence the Greek business world has in the Romanian economy".

    Romania today is one of Greece's most significant trade partners, and vice-versa, while bilateral trade ties are estimated at nearly one billion euros, which Papoulias said could be improved now that Romania is an EU member-state.

    Greece ranks among the three biggest foreign investors in Romania, with invested capital exceeding three billion euros, whereas those investments have resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.

    At present, seven Greek banks are active in Romania and, via a network of 270 branches, provide employment for 6,000 people, Papoulias continued. He also noted the equally significant presence of Greek construction companies that have undertaken major projects in Romania.

    Apart from his official talks with the Romanian prime minister and President Traian Basescu, Papoulias also paid courtesy visits to the 92-year-old Orthodox Patriarch of Romania, Theoktistos, and Bucharest Mayor Adrian Videanu.

    He was also due to meet with Romanian Senate president Nicolae Vacaroiu on Friday afternoon, before attending a concert by pianist Dora Bakopoulou and singer Elli Paspala, before departing on Friday evening for Athens.

    Caption: Papoulias, left, with his Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu during a joint press conference at the Presidential Mansion on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007. ANA-MPA / M. Kiaou.

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