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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM to hold talks with Cyprus President
  • [02] Banquet in honor of Christofias
  • [03] ASE opening: Strong rise

  • [01] PM to hold talks with Cyprus President

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will meet at noon on Thursday with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, who arrived in Athens on Wednesday on a three-day official visit to Greece. Christofias met on Wednesday with Greek President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, who later hosted a banquet for his visiting Cyprus counterpart.

    On Wednesday, the Inner Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, convened to discuss matters falling under the authority of the Justice Ministry, focusing on the ministry's program for reform and decongestion of the country's prisons.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis said the Prime Minister and Inner Cabinet had approved a broad social program regarding the correctional system, the prisons, drug-related issues, and incorporation of the prison hospitals into the National Health System (ESY).

    He said one of the two related ministry draft laws was currently under discussion, while the second would be soon forthcoming.

    Hatzigakis added that if those bills were added to the other ministry bills, of a social nature, that have already been passed into law concerning protection of childen from sexual abuse and trafficking and introducing Cohabitation Agreements among heterosexual couples, it was clear that significant progressive steps were being taken in the social sector with respect to the justice system.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] Banquet in honor of Christofias

    President Karolos Papoulias hosted an official dinner in honour of visiting Cyprus President Demetris Christofias on Wednesday night, stressing that the fundamental position of Greek policy regarding the problem of Cyprus is respecting and defending the integrity, sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Cyprus.

    President Papoulias further said that "the end of Turkish occupation and the reunification of the island remains our steadfast common goal in the framework of a mutually acceptable, just, overall and permanent solution to the Cyprus problem. This solution must be in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council and with Cyprus's capacity as a full and equal member-state of the European Union."

    He also referred to the new phase of negotiating on the national issue and stressed that "the key to the solution of the issue of Cyprus is in Ankara and, unfortunately, its stance so far and its practices in the Eastern Mediterranean in general do not allow much ground for optimism."

    President Christofias referred on his part to the common course of the two peoples throughout the centuries and pointed out that it is a historical truth that the people of Cyprus were always prepared to offer sacrifices for the people of Greece in times of need and praised President Papoulias.

    President Christofias spoke of the further development of relations between Greece and Cyprus in the economic, commercial, tourist and cultural sectors, while also focusing on current developments concerning the Cyprus issue and talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

    Caption: Greek President Karolos Papoulias(R) and Cyprus President Demetris Christofias at the presidential mansion in Athens on Wednesday 26 November 2008./ANA-MPA/KATIA CHRISTODOULOU

    [03] ASE opening: Strong rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), influenced by the international money markets, with the basic share price index up 2.60 percent, standing at 1,922.38 points at 10:45 a.m., and turnover at 13.2 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Health, up 4.86 percent; Banks, up 3.79 percent; Public Utilities, up 3.39 percent; and Telecoms, up 3.23 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Travel & Recreation, down 1.99 percent; and Personal & Household Goods, down 0.51 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 2.72 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 1.80 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 1.23 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 79 were up, 4 were down, and 22 were unchanged.


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