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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] State Department on Clinton-Bakoyannis talks
  • [02] FM Bakoyannis statements at UN
  • [03] Role of tourism within EU

  • [01] State Department on Clinton-Bakoyannis talks

    WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/T.Ellis) - The U.S. State Department commented here Friday on Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis's talks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last Wedmesday, saying that Clinton "was glad meeting her Greek counterpart and there will certainly be further talks between them."

    Responding to a question, spokesman for the State Department Robert Wood said: "They (Clinton and Bakoyannis) had a very good and friendly discussion. They talked on a number of issues. They focused particularly on the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Greek-Turkish relations and the Balkans. It was a very good discussion. The Secretary was glad meeting her Greek counterpart and there will certainly be further talks between them. It was a very good meeting and we look forward to cooperation with Greece on a series of foreign policy issues."

    Greece is the 2009 chair of the OSCE.

    [02] FM Bakoyannis statements at UN

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) - The Greek Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 2009 presidency occurs in "a difficult year" and it will actively work for handling crises as "an honest neogotiator", Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said on Friday.

    In stetements after her address to the UN Security Council on Greece's priorities as the 2009 chair of the OSCE, the foreign minister reiterated that there was "a progress, even not very big" at the Geneva talks on Georgia. "We have agreed on the mechanisms for preventing escalation and this is an important step of progress. We will continue trying to reach a consensus for the presence of the OSCE mission in Georgia. It is an important mission, necessary in the region. There are some proposals by the Greek presidency and I hope that we will succeed in having an agreement on that," she added.

    On the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, Bakoyannis noted that "discussions are underway", and expressed hope "reaching an agreement before the end of 2009".

    [03] Role of tourism within EU

    Tourism Minister Costas Markopoulos on Friday addressed an event on "Greece and Britain facing the challenges" organised by the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in London. Referring to the economic crisis, he underlined the importance of tourism within the European Union as a means of promoting the Community's unification and boosting the EU economy as a whole, urging action to support tourist traffic.

    On the crisis now affecting tourism on a global scale, Markopoulos said there was a high chance that the trend for a reduction of tourist traffic seen in the first quarter of 2009 would be fully reversed in the second.

    He added that this trend was a clear message regarding the need to modify economic planning and give greater price reductions for all services provided, both by the state and the market, in order to satisfy tourists.

    "The final tourist product must be cheaper and more attractive in relation to previous tourist seasons," he stressed.

    Markopoulos also underlined that Greece was a much more competitive tourist destination than last year, with better prices for all services, while the state was also setting up a four-digit tourist helpline in four different languages.


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