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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM briefed on restoration of fire-stricken areas
  • [02] Greek, Slovak presidents meet

  • [01] PM briefed on restoration of fire-stricken areas

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the Inner Cabinet, which discussed the developmental plan for the areas that were devastated by wildfires in the summer of 2007.

    Economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis, who briefed the Inner Cabinet, told reporters after the meeting that the plan provides for more than one billion euros, while another one billion euros has been already withdrawn for short-term measures already carried out.

    Alogoskoufis said that the target was to improve infrastructures and generate growth in those areas on the basis of their comparative advantages.

    The minister further said that the local residents' standard of living would also improve, adding that materialisation of the program will have been completed by end-2009 or early 2010.

    Interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, in turn, stressed that the government was consistent with its announcements, and that the plan for the restoration of the above areas would be completed before the end of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF covering the period 2007-2013), aimed at the areas' development on the basis of the conditions that have been formulated due to the natural disasters.

    Pavlopoulos also said that the plan would be put to deliberation at decentralized level, in other words at the side of the citizens and the societies and with the participation of the local governments.

    This, he added, was the substantial difference with the measures announced by main opposition PASOK, which he accused of creating additional bureaucratic structures with the plan it presented, which could cause hindrances, while they also did not have a budget.

    The plan that the New Democracy government was advancing was specific up to the very last detail and the very last euro, Pavlopoulos concluded.

    [02] Greek, Slovak presidents meet

    Greek President Karolos Papoulias received his Slovak counterpart Ivan Gasparovic at the presidential mansion on Tuesday, as the latter is on a three-day visit to Greece. After the meeting, Papoulias stated that they discussed bilateral and European issues, underlining that the EU has an obligation to its principles and history to contribute to the creation of a new global economic system that will guarantee transparency and development. Papoulias also stated that he briefed his Slovak counterpart on the latest developments on the Cyprus issue, pointing out that it is time for the wall dividing Nicosia, the last dividing wall in Europe, to fall. He also said that he accepted an invitation to visit Slovakia. On his part, Slovak President Gasparovic pointed out that they share the same views on a number of issues, stressing that bilateral contacts should become more frequent. He added that there is still room for cooperation in the sectors of economy, commerce, culture and education, noting that Greece is gradually becoming the most popular vacation destination for Slovak tourists. Gasparovic also said that they discussed the potential for more Greek investments in Slovakia, mainly in the sector of services and the exploitation of his country's mineral springs, while pointing out that they shared the same views on EU enlargement issues. On Turkey and Kosovo, he commented that "these are issues that have to be resolved."

    Cooperation with Russia, both at bilateral and EU level, was also discussed and they agreed that it should be further strengthened. Present in the meeting were Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis and his Slovak counterpart Jaroslav Baska. The two ministers signed Memoranda of Understanding for Cooperation in the sectors of armaments and defence industries, as well as for cooperation with the Athens Multinational Sealift Coordination Centre (AMSCC). Caption: Greek President Karolos Papoulias (L) and Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic inspect an honor guard on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008, in Athens, Greece. ANA-MPA / MARIA MAROGIANNI


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