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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-03-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papoulias receives Tsipras
  • [02] FM: Greece determined
  • [03] Economy grows 3.6% in Q4 '07

  • [01] Papoulias receives Tsipras

    Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday received the newly-elected leader of the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) party Alexis Tsipras at the presidential mansion.

    After the meeting, Tsipras expressed his concerns over international and regional political developments, referring to Kosovo and the FYROM "name issue", while he stressed that Greece must attempt to resolve the "name issue" via a mutually acceptable solution that will employ a name with a geographic designation.

    Caption:Greek President Karolos Papoulias (R) receives the leader of the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) Alexis Tsipras (L) on Tuesday 4 March 2008 at the presidential mansion.ANA-MPA/MARGARITA KIAOU

    [02] FM: Greece determined

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis briefed President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday on the ongoing UN-mediated negotiations on the FYROM name issue, a negotiation she said was "of substance", and which she predicted "will be a long one".

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bakoyannis said Greece was taking part in the negotiations with "absolutely clear positions" and that it desired a solution.

    The foreign minister called on Skopje to "put aside its intransigence and rise to the circumstances", for the benefit of its people and also for stability in the wider region.

    She noted that she will have "another opportunity to clarify Greek views" at Wednesday's meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

    Asked how long the negotiations could go on, Bakoyannis noted that "there is a very specific horizon, and that is the NATO Summit in Bucharest" in early April.

    Greece, she added, was absolutely clear: "Without a mutually acceptable solution (to the name issue), there can be no invitation to Skopje (for NATO membership) with Greece's consent".

    Bakoyannis added that efforts for finding a solution can continue after the Bucharest summit.

    Asked to comment on a meeting planned in Skopje on Wednesday between the UN secretary general's special mediator on the FYROM name issue, Matthew Nimetz, with the FYROM negotiator, Ambassador Nikolai Dimitrov, Bakoyannis confirmed that such a meeting would take place with the FYROM side, as well as with the Greek side.

    "The negotiation is continuing," she stressed.

    Asked whether she was satisfied with statements made in Athens on Monday by NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Bakoyannis said the NATO chief had clearly stated that Greece was one of the oldest NATO member countries and decides, as do all the Alliance member states, the candidacies of the countries wishing to join NATO.

    "Scheffer said what is widely known, that the Alliance operates on unanimity," Bakoyannis added.

    Before going into the meeting Bakoyannis told reporters that she is ready to defend the country's interests in ongoing negotiations over the nagging FYROM "name issue". "Greek diplomacy is well-prepared, with many arguments in tow and, at the same time, determined," she said, adding: "I think that the message has been received by the other side." Bakoyannis also characterised her recent trip to North Africa as extremely interesting.

    Caption: Greek President Karolos Papoulias(R) receives Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis at the presidential mansion on Tuesday 4 March 2008 .ANA-MPA/Margarita Kiaou

    [03] Economy grows 3.6% in Q4 '07

    The Greek economy grew by 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared with the same period in 2006, the National Statistical Service (NSS) announced on Tuesday.

    NSS, in a report, attributed the growth to a 2.7-pct increase in final demand of the economy in the October-December period, while noting that investments fell by 3.5 pct during the same period.

    Exports grew by 8.9 pct in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period in 2006, while imports fell by 0.1 pct. Spending on final consumption rose 3.1 pct, contributing two percentage points to the growth of final demand of the economy.


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