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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] UN envoy for Cyprus in Athens
  • [02] Bourse closes 0.39 pct down
  • [03] Rallies over Peristeri shooting

  • [01] UN envoy for Cyprus in Athens

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Friday held talks on the progress of negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem and their prospects in 2009 during a meeting with the UN Secretary-General's special envoy for the Cyprus issue Alexander Downer, who arrived in Athens after visiting Ankara.

    The minister underlined during the meeting that Greece and Cyprus wanted "to receive more substantial, constructive and positive messages" from the other side in the process, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos told reporters afterwards.

    He stressed that Greece "does not have this picture" at present, adding that Bakoyannis repeated Greece's position regarding the course and result of the process, which must be based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with a single international identity.

    In statements after the meeting, Downer said the important thing was to preserve the momentum of the process, adding that he had underlined this point during his meeting on Friday with Bakoyannis and during his talks in Ankara.

    The envoy opposed the idea of setting a final deadline for the talks, however.

    "I don't think it wise, at this point, for the two leaders to set a date when the negotiations will end," he told reporters.

    Referring to the role of the United Nations, he said that "what matters at the end is that the solution to the Cyprus issue must be a solution for the people of Cyprus" and underlined that "I am supporter of the idea of a Cypriot solution for the Cyprus problem".

    He declared himself cautiously optimistic that such a solution might be found, while at the same time pointing out the great difficulties involved in such a long-standing and complex problem as the Cyprus issue.

    Caption: Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis (Left) met the UN Secretary-General's special envoy for the Cyprus issue Alexander Downer (right) in Athens on Friday. ANA-MPA - Pantelis Saitas.

    [02] Bourse closes 0.39 pct down

    Greek stocks fell yet lower on the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, closing 0.39 pct down at the end of the week's trading. The composite index of the market ended at 1,731.63 points, with turnover a high 216.1 million euros, of which 36.3 million euros were block trades.

    Individual sector indices mostly moved downward, with Technology (2.42 pct), Oil & Gas (2.00 pct) and Raw Materials (1.36 pct) posting the biggest percentage gains of the day; the biggest losses were in Public Utilities (-4.65 pct), Media (-2.71 pct) and Insurance (-2.13 pct).

    The FTSE 20 index fell 0.60 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.51 pct up and the FTSE 80 index ended down 0.64 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 110 to 82, with another 59 issues unchanged.

    [03] Rallies over Peristeri shooting

    Students, teachers and parents rallied Friday in the western Athens suburb of Peristeri, in response to the shooting of a high-school student.

    The 17-year-old, son of a leading unionist, was shot late on Wed. under undefined circumstances while sitting in park talking with schoolmates. The assailant is unknown.

    The boy was released from hospital earlier on Friday, following surgery to his hand to remove the bullet, which was then handed over to police for forensics examination.

    The incident comes in the midst of a second week of daily protests in Athens and around the country following the Dec. 6 fatal shooting of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos.

    Teacher unions are considering a national demonstration on Jan. 9.

    Youth protests over Grigoropoulos' death continued in central Athens also, outside the gates of the Athens Polytechnic, where students organised a concert and rally.

    Caption: A statue 'embellished' with a red-and-black flag - the standard of the protestors - during the protest concert held on Friday at the Athens Polytechnic. ANA/MPA - Orestis Panagiotou

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