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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cretan farmers arrive at Piraeus
  • [02] FM on EU Serbia ties
  • [03] ASE opening: Decline
  • [04] Greek Superleague results
  • [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Cretan farmers arrive at Piraeus

    Riot police blocked groups of protesting Cretan farmers from leaving the port of Piraeus, Greece's busiest, early Monday morning. The farmers, roughly 1,100 strong with scores of pick-up trucks and a few dozen tractors, disembarked from three ferry boats arriving from the large Aegean island in order to hold a protest in front of the agriculture ministry in downtown Athens.

    They had also demanded a meeting with Sotiris Hatzigakis to press their demands.

    Riot police used tear gas to prevent protesting farmers from leaving the port area, which is located in congested Piraeus. Tension continued for the following hours, while farmers claimed four of their colleagues were injured while several others were arrested.

    According to press reports, small groups of protesters exited the port's perimeter but without their vehicles.

    Meanwhile, protesting farmers in one Thessaly district decided to suspend their mobilisations near Larissa in central Greece.

    Caption: Farmers with tractors on Sunday 1 February 2009, at Heraklio port, Crete before ready to get on board for Piraeus. ANA-MPA/STEFANOS RAPANIS

    [02] FM on EU Serbia ties

    BELGRADE (ANA-MPA) -- Serbia's role in southeastern Europe is particularly important, Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis noted in an interview with the Serbian news agency Tanjug.

    Bakoyannis, as chairperson of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for 2009, embarked on Monday on a series of visits over the next two weeks to the western Balkan states, with Belgrade as the first stop, where she will have meetings with Serbian leadership, followed the following day by a visit to Pristina, Kosovo where the largest of the OSCE's 19 missions is headquartered and where she will hold talks with representatives of international organisations headquartered there.

    The following week, on Feb. 9, Bakoyannis is scheduled to visit Tirana, while on Feb. 11 she will visit Tbilisi, for talks with government officials in both countries.

    In her interview with Tanjug, Bakoyannis explained that the Greek OSCE chairmanship will focus on "settlement of the open conflicts, improvement of the cross-border cooperation among the (region's) countries, the migration problem, enhancing the just state, reinforcing the fight against trafficking of people, and more generally defending human rights".

    Regarding Serbia, Bakoyannis said the OSCE mission provided substantial help in the reform of the judicial sector, combating organized crime, building institutions for the protection of human rights, and other programs that render the Organization's work in Serbia of particular importance.

    The OSCE, she added, can help the countries of the region overcome the tribulations they are facing, and noted that the OSCE's fundamental principles are respect of international law and the use of multi-faceted diplomacy for the creation of a climate of compromise.

    Bakoyannis described as "impeccable" the cooperation between the OSCE mission and the Serbian government, and expressed hope that this will continue and be enhanced in the future.

    Asked about Serbia's European prospect, Bakoyannis said Athens is in favour of Serbia's European integration. Greece, she noted, will back Serbia's request for the dispatch of an EU committee to Belgrade to examine the Serbian authorities' cooperation with the International Court of Justice on the former Yugoslavia.

    "Greece's position on Serbia's European integration is guided by the conviction that Serbia's accession to the EU will contribute to peace and stability in our region and in Europe in general," the Greek foreign minister said.

    Regarding Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, Bakoyannis said Greece's stance has not changed: "Greece's foreign policy is determined on the basis of international law, taking into consideration our national interests, stability in the region, and European values," she stressed.

    Asked whether Greece will comply with a request by the Serbian foreign ministry that it attend and outline its views at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, when Serbia's recourse against Kosovo independence is heard, Bakoyannis said that "this request is being examined in a spirit of friendship and cooperation".

    In closing the interview, Bakoyannis further referred to bilateral relations between Greece and Serbia, which she described as "excellent, substantive and long-standing".

    She added that the friendly relations enjoyed historically between the two peoples were enhanced by cooperation at political and economic level, and expressed certainty that this cooperation will also help overcome the storm caused by the global financial crisis".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis

    [03] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Monday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 1.89 percent, standing at 1,745.86 points at 10:45 a.m., and turnover at 5.2 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the only gains in Food and Beverages, up 0.96 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Mass Media, down 4.19 percent; Banks, down 3.22 percent; Public Utilities, down 2.73 percent; and Financial Services, down 2.46 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 2.46 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 1.47 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.40 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 8 were up, 47 were down, and 28 were unchanged.

    [04] Greek Superleague results

    Olympiakos Piraeus retained its commanding lead in the Greek Super League after beating AEK Athens 1-0 at the Athens Olympic Stadium over the weekend.

    In other action:

    OFI Crete-Larissa 1-2

    Iraklis Thessaloniki-Aris Thessaloniki 0-1

    Panionios Athens-Panthrakikos Komotini 3-0

    Panseraikos Serres-Thrasyvoulos Athens 1-0

    Xanthi-Asteras Tripoli 0-0

    Standings after 20 weeks

    1. Olympiakos 51

    2. PAOK 40

    3. Panathinaikos 39

    4. AEK 34

    5. Larissa 30

    6. Panionios 28

    7. Aris 28

    8. Panthrakikos 25

    9. Xanthi 25

    10. Ergotelis 23

    11. Iraklis 22

    12. Levadiakos 22

    13. Asteras 21

    14. Panseraikos 15

    15. OFI 14

    16. Thrasyvoulos 13

    Caption: Striker Dimitris Salpingidis of Panathinaikos (L) and Tripotseris of Levadiakos in a highlight of the match Levadiakos - Panathinaikos at Livadia stadium on Sunday 1 February 2009. ANA-MPA/SPYROS PANTAZATOS

    [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Ongoing discussions about a revision to the stability and growth plan and measures for farmers as well as the ubiquitous press speculation over early elections dominated the headlines on Monday

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "No early elections - Government denials over early elections a routine".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Property Tax suspended - A new real estate tax is underway".

    AVRIANI: "Main opposition PASOK afraid of early elections".

    CHORA: "Government allocates 8 billion euros for defence to buy friends, customers - Attempts to upgrade relations with US, France and Germany".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "(Farm Minister Sotiris) Hatzigakis will dance Crete's folk dance - Cretan farmers arrive on Monday in Piraeus port".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Party leaders nervous - Final countdown for their political future begins".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Government throws down gauntlet to PASOK: Elections with new electoral law".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Government playing games with new monstrous electoral law - Attempts to disorientate people from financial crisis".

    ESTIA: "Government attempts to fool taxpayers with continuous changes in tax law".

    ETHNOS: "Struggle of life and death for a position in public education- 59,277 university graduates chasing the 1,000-euro salary dream".

    TA NEA: "Scene set for (EU) oversight of Greek public debt - French President Nicolas Sarkozy's intervention".

    VRADYNI: "Crash test for stability pact".

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