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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-03-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Dep. FM completes talks in Tirana
  • [02] Greek stocks jump 5.57% on Tues.

  • [01] Dep. FM completes talks in Tirana

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis on Tuesday completed his official visit to Tirana, where he met separately with Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lulzim Basha, Economy and Energy Minister Genc Ruli and Integration Minister Majlinda Bregu.

    The Greek official was also received by Tirana Mayor Edi Rama, as well as by Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios.

    Bilateral development and cooperation dominated talks during the meeting with Ruli, particularly on the materialisation of the new Sayiada-Konispol-Sarande highway that will connect the extreme northwest corner of Greece with the southwest quadrant of Albania.

    The project is part of the Greek foreign ministry's Balkan Reconstruction Plan (ESOAB).

    Varvitsiotis, who also met with representatives of Greek firms and banks active in the neighbouring country, dismissed any concerns emanating from the ongoing international economic crisis and its repercussions on banking in the specific region.

    "Any concerns regarding the presence of Greek banks in the Balkans, and especially Albania, are unjustified. I assured my interlocutors that Greek banks do not face any cashflow problems, therefore, there is no reason for concern on the part of Albanian investors and depositors," he said in reply to a press question.

    In other comments, Varvitsiotis said he relayed problems concerning red-tape and bureaucracy, sometimes faced by foreign companies in Albania, directly to government officials, while noting that the overall business climate in the country for Greek businesses and entrepreneurs remains very friendly.

    Finally, asked about the ethnic Greek minority in the country and the recurring issue of property rights, the Greek deputy FM said the issue was frankly discussed with Albanian leadership. He was referring to the picturesque Himara district and other coastal sites along the so-called "Albanian Riviera" in the southwest part of the country.

    "We asked for a quick resolution, because we consider that tourism development should not come at the expense of the Greek minority's interests. We consider the observation of rights that ethnic Greeks in the area retain as a matter of increased importance, and we will be by their side in their legal challenge," he said.

    Caption: Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis (L) is greeted by Albanian Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha in Tirana on Monday, March 9, 2009. ANA-MPA / STR

    [02] Greek stocks jump 5.57% on Tues.

    Greek stocks staged a spectacular rebound at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, as the return of buyers to international markets helped in halting a six-day decline in the domestic markets. The composite index jumped 5.57 pct to end at 1,551.28 points, with turnover an improved 131.6 million euros, of which 4.5 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved higher, with the Banks (11.45 pct), Health (9.22 pct), Food/Beverage (8.48 pct) and Financial Services (4.78 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Insurance (1.22 pct) and Utilities (0.01 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 6.78 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 3.56 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 1.96 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 168 to 48 with another 34 issues unchanged.

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