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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-09-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece condemns use of violence in Myanmar
  • [02] EU highlights Greece's role as energy hub

  • [01] Greece condemns use of violence in Myanmar

    The Greek foreign ministry on Friday roundly criticised the Myanmar government for its use of violence against protesters in the SE Asian country over the past week.

    ?The use of violence by the government abominable; we express our great concern over the deterioration of the situation in Myanmar/Burma,? spokesman George Koumoutsakos said, adding:

    ?The use of violence never solves problems. It must stop immediately. Conversely, an open dialogue is needed, without exclusions. A peaceful and open process for national reconciliation is also needed,? he noted.

    The Greek foreign ministry also praised a decision by the country‚s leaders to allow a visit by United Nations SG representative Ibrahim Gambari, noting that Athens wholly supports the latter‚s efforts.

    [02] EU highlights Greece's role as energy hub

    European Commissioner for energy Andris Piebalgs on Friday said that Greece could well play an important role as an energy hub for the Balkan area due to its geographical position and its greater experience as one of the older member-states of the European Union.

    The Commissioner was responding to questions at a press conference held after the first Energy Community Investment Conference that took place in Athens. The conference was organised by the Energy Community in collaboration with the European Commission's Energy and Transport directorate.

    The start of the conference included addresses by Piebalgs, Greek Development Minister Christos Folias and Serb Energy Minister Aleksandar Popovic, whose country currently holds the Energy Community's presidency.

    In response to other questions, the Commissioner noted that investments in the energy sector were very profitable and that the Commission therefore anticipated great interest on the part of private investors.

    At the same time, he noted that the European Commission was positively disposed toward examining the issue of strengthening inter-European energy networks if necessary, pointing out that there were several proposals for investments and that a list of investment plans was being drawn up.

    According to Piebalgs, the European Commission was prepared to provide financial assistance to investment plans concerning the Balkan region - given that the energy sector was one of great importance that also showed high profitability - and stated that this financial assistance could be extended further, if necessary.

    The Commissioner explained that only a limited number of investment plans currently received financial support but that the Commission had started to draw up a list of investment plans eligible for funding. Piebalgs also noted that he would not hesitate to ask his colleagues in the European Commission to support these plans with additional Community funds if this was judged necessary.

    He stressed the importance of the conference held in Athens - which was attended by investors from the Balkan region and representatives of international financial institutions - for the development of investments in the energy sector. Participating in the conference were European Union countries, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and other countries.

    Another issue discussed at the conference was the separation between production and supply of energy, as well as energy investment plans in the framework of the Energy Community until 2020.

    Folias stressed the importance of the first conference held by the Energy Community, which was created through a treaty signed in Athens in 2005 that came into effect as of 2006.

    The minister added that the Greek development ministry would continue the work began by his predecessor under the previous government, such as the implementation of all the bilateral and multilateral agreements that had been signed, so that Greece could achieve its strategic target of becoming an energy hub for SE Europe.

    Prior to his departure from Athens on Friday, Commissioner Piebalgs also had a meeting with all the ambassadors of EU member-states in the city, as well as those of EU candidate countries. The meeting was organised by the EU Commission's representation in Greece, in collaboration with the embassy of Portugal, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

    Piebalgs briefed the ambassadors on issues pertaining to his portfolio concerning energy policy.

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