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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece, China sign three bilateral agreements
  • [02] Competition authority slaps fines worth 50mln euros on BP Hellas, Shell Hellas
  • [03] Piraeus Bank completes 1.75-mln-euro securitisation issue
  • [04] Ôrade deficit down 2.9% in Jan-Sep

  • [01] Greece, China sign three bilateral agreements

    Further strengthening economic cooperation between Greece and China was the focus of a meeting on Tuesday between Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao. This followed the signature of three bilateral agreements granting a concession for the management of the Piraeus port container terminal to COSCO Pacific Ltd, one for cooperation between the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and the Chinese telecoms company Huawei, and a third for cooperation between the Greek state broadcaster ERT and China Central Television (CCTV).

    In statements afterwards, Karamanlis praised the level of economic relations between the two countries, and described them as "strategic", stressing that substantial progress has been made in that sector.

    Greece, he added, placed particular emphasis on its cooperation with China, and was determined to further enhance the already impressive results of the last few years.

    Karamanlis further said that the shipping sector was a "strategic field of cooperation" between the two countries, and noted the significant presence of Greek ship-owners in the transport of goods from China, as well as their collaboration with Chinese shipyards.

    The Greek premier also said that China played an important role in global economic developments, particularly in light of the current credit crisis, and placed emphasis on the agreement for the concession of the container terminal at the port of Piraeus that was signed earlier in the day between the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) and COSCO. He noted that, through that agreement, Greece was evolving into a transit hub for southern Europe.

    Karamanlis said that the tourism sector offered prospects for further development in terms of bilateral cooperation, stressing that the joint statement of strategic relations that was signed during his visit to Beijing in 2006 has produced tangible results, and adding that the agreements of mutual interest would contribute to further development of relations between the two countries.

    He also praised the excellent organization of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and congratulated Hu Jintao on their success, stressing that the ages-long cultural heritage of China and Greece comprised the foundation for further development of their bilateral economic and cultural relations.

    Karamanlis briefed Hu Jintao on the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the Cyprus problem and Greece's political rapprochement with Turkey.

    Hu Jintao's visit to Greece, he said, reflected the strong political volition for consolidation of the strategic relationship between the two countries.

    President Hu Jintao, in turn, described his meeting and talks with Karamanlis as cordial and constructive, noting that they focused on matters of mutual interest, and added that the two countries had many views and perceptions in common.

    He assessed that, since 2006, there has been immense progress in cooperation between the two countries in all aspects, adding that China was satisfied with the outcome of its cooperation with Greece.

    Hu Jintao further said that he appreciated Greece's understanding for China's problems and concerns, stressing that his country attached great importance to their bilateral relations, at the heart of which were political and economic cooperation.

    The Chinese President stressed that priority must now be turned to the following areas:

    1. Broadening economic cooperation, on which he said the Chinese side backs Chinese investments in Greece, and called on Greek entrepreneurs to invest in China's competitive market, while noting that all the necessary measures would be taken to balance bilateral trade.

    2. Intensification of cooperation in the shipping sector through investments and infrastructures.

    3. Intensification of humanistic exchanges, cooperation in the sector of culture with the teaching of the two countries' languages in the other country, and the promotion of academic exchanges.

    "We are willing to make a common effort in the new world order in order to consolidate the strategic relations between Greece and China," President Hu Jintao concluded.

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (right) and visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao (left) held talks in Athens on Tuesday, following the signature of three major bilateral agreements earlier the same day. ANA-MPA - Symela Pantzartzi.

    [02] Competition authority slaps fines worth 50mln euros on BP Hellas, Shell Hellas

    Greece's competition watchdog authority on Tuesday imposed a total fine of around 50 million euros on BP Hellas and Shell Hellas for breaching competition rules and operating a price fixing policy.

    The Competition Commission fined BP Hellas with 30.06 million euros and Shell Hellas with 19.66 million euros and urged them to change their discount policy towards retail distribution enterprises in the unleaded petrol market.

    The competition watchdog accepted recommendations of its directorate-general, acknowledging that the two companies used their strong brand names to converge their net wholesale prices.

    [03] Piraeus Bank completes 1.75-mln-euro securitisation issue

    Piraeus Bank on Tuesday announced the successful completion of a securitisation issue worth 1.75 million euros. The securitisation of Piraeus Bank's business loans was made by Axia Finance Plc, a UK-based company. Deutsche Bank AG (London branch) was the coordinator of the issue.

    [04] Ôrade deficit down 2.9% in Jan-Sep

    Greece's trade deficit rose 8.8 pct in September to 3.135 billion euros, from 2.881 billion euros in the same month last year, the National Statistics Service announced on Tuesday.

    The statistical service, in a report, said the overall trade deficit, excluding fuel products, grew by 3.1 pct or 80.2 million euros, compared with September 2007, while the trade deficit in the nine-month period from January to September fell by 2.9 pct to 25.753 billion euros, down from 26.524 billion in the corresponding period of 2007. Excluding oil, the trade deficit rose by 964 million euros, or 4.4 pct in the nine-month period.

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