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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece, Bulgaria to expand cooperation
  • [02] Stolen icon returned

  • [01] Greece, Bulgaria to expand cooperation

    Athens and Sofia on Friday declared their common determination for expansion and further strengthening of cooperation between the two governments in the strategic sector of energy, in a joint statement issued by Greek development minister Christos Folias and Bulgarian economy and energy minister Petar Dimitrov after talks in Sofia on Friday.

    "I deeply believe that this signature (on the joint statement) but also the others that will follow, lwill lead our two countries to a common future of energy security, multiple energy sources and close energy cooperation. And, of course, this comprises the basis for a neighborhood of peace and cooperation," Folias said in statements to the press after the meeting with Dimitrov.

    The joint statement came after discussions between the two ministers on all issues, in the framework of a visit by Folias to the Bulgarian capital.

    Dimitrov, in turn, expressed satisfaction with the energy cooperation with Greece, which he said was constantly increasing, despite the global financial crisis.

    Dimitrov noted that Greece and Bulgaria are partners in major natural gas and oil transport plans of strategic importance to Europe, citing the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline and the South Stream natural gas pipeline.

    Meanwhile, an announcement by the Bulgarian economy and energy ministry on the Folias-Dimitrov meeting noted, inter alia, that the construction of a second line lking the electricity grids of Bulgaria and Greece (from Maritza, Bulgaria, to Nea Santa, Greece) could begin in 2009, with the prospect of completion in 2011.

    According to the ministry announcement, it was made known during the meeting between the two ministers that Greek investments in Bulgaria doubled in the first half of 2008 in relation to the corresponding period of 2007.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Development Minister Christos Folias

    [02] Stolen icon returned

    A valuable icon stolen back in 1978 from the St John the Baptist Monastery in Serres, northern Greece, has been handed over to the Greek embassy education attaché in London. The "Deposition of Christ from the Holy Cross" Byzantine-era icon, with an estimated value of one million pounds, was returned to the Greek authorities by Scotland Yard. After it was stolen, the icon was cut in half to fit in a suitcase and at some point it ended up in the possession of a Greek shipowner and collector of contemporary Greek art who died a year ago in London. The Greek culture ministry was informed that the icon was in his possession when months before his death he had offered it up for sale to the Benaki Museum in Athens. The British authorities, after being notified by the Greek embassy that Greece intended to bring the case to justice, seized the icon and released it when the court ruling came out in favor of the Greek side. Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of a 16th century Byzantine icon depicting the Madonna and child that was found in a residence on Schinoussa island on April 16, 2006.
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