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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Sioufas meets Putin
  • [02] Alogoskoufis-GSEE meeting
  • [03] Greek-French cooperation

  • [01] Sioufas meets Putin

    Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas held talks on Monday with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, State Duma President Boris Gryzlov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his official visit to Moscow.

    Talks with the Russian prime minister focused on the course of Greek-Russian relations, particularly progress in the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and the South Stream natural gas pipeline, the further strengthening of interparliamentary relations between the two countries and a series of international issues, including the state of the world economy.

    Vladimir Putin underlined the high level of Greek-Russian relations and the progress that has been achieved in past years, while calling on Sioufas to convey his warm greetings to President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Welcoming the Parliament president at the State Duma, Gryzlov termed Greece a "very important partner on the European continent," adding that the two countries are pursuing a strategic partnership relation, a fact that is also being strengthened by "common approaches between Greece and Russia during the discussing of fundamental problems in the framework of international Parliamentary Organisations."

    Sioufas stressed that "Russia can view Greece as a gateway to the Balkans," assessing that "our country has always supported and will support Russia's rapprochement with the European Union."

    The two Presidents discussed proposals on strengthening Parliamentary relations between the two countries, as well the possibilities of the two Parliaments assuming joint initiatives in the framework of their participation in a series of international Parliamentary Organisations, such as the Black Sea Countries Parliamentary Assembly.

    Sioufas thanked Foreign Minister Lavrov for his considerable contribution, particularly during the first phase of negotiating, to the signing of the inter-state agreement on the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and discussed with him possibilities of assuming joint initiatives to strengthen economic cooperation between the Black Sea countries. Special reference was made to relations between the EU and Russia and to international problems, such as the situation in the Balkans and the Cyprus issue.

    An announcement by the Russian foreign ministry termed Greek-Russian relations as "developing dynamically", a wide spectrum of which was discussed during the meeting between Sioufas and Lavrov, while also underlined are "the paths for promoting important joint plans in the energy sector, as well as matters of interparliamentary cooperation between Russia and Greece at the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the Interparliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy."

    CAPTION: Greek Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas (R) welcomed by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) in Moscow on Monday. (PHOTO: ANA-MPA/Parliament Press Office)

    [02] Alogoskoufis-GSEE meeting

    The high cost of living problem dominated the meeting between Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) held in Athens on Monday. The meeting will be repeated after Aug. 20 in view of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair (TIF).

    GSEE presented three proposals, namely, the adoption of income boosting measures for pensioners and the unemployed within the framework of the state budget, special measures on behalf of companies in support of the minimum wage earners, and an 800-euro heating allowance depending on wage and geography based criteria.

    Speaking after the meeting, GSEE President Yiannis Panagopoulos underlined that the state should adopt measures to combat market sector impunity and proceed with the freezing of public utility rates for the duration of the crisis.

    Panagopoulos also referred to the bank practice to pass on any interest rate increase to consumers and to the bankers' stance on the collective labor agreements, while requesting the immediate implementation of Supreme Court rulings calling for a ceiling on credit card interest rates.

    [03] Greek-French cooperation

    Transport and Communications Minister Kostis Hadzidakis and the French Deputy Minister reponsible for transport, Dominique Bussereau, signed a cooperation memorandum in the transprt sector on Monday.

    Talks between the two men focused on issues concerning transports, also in light of the European Union's French Presidency that will be starting on Tuesday.

    Hadzidakis focused on "green transport" in the framework of the EU which, as he said, constitutes a target priority for Greece. Also discussed were road safety issues, as well as the "Galileo" programme, that the French Presidency is promoting in particular.

    Bussereau termed the political and economic relations between the two countries "excellent", adding that "an identity of views exists between France and Greece regarding issues related to transport."

    He added that the French Presidency will be "a Presidency with determination and humility, because our aim is for all of us to cooperate and in no case to impose our own views."


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