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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karamanlis in Sweden for official visit
  • [02] Communist parties' declaration
  • [03] Greek stocks end 0.38% higher

  • [01] Karamanlis in Sweden for official visit

    STOCKHOLM (ANA-MPA / M. Spinthourakis) -- Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis arrived here on Monday for talks with his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt, especially on the Swedish EU presidency's priorities in light of the Scandinavian country's assumption of the Union's rotating presidency in the second half of 2009.

    Dealing with the ongoing international economic crisis, EU enlargement, combating climate change and implementation of the Lisbon Treaty were the main subjects of discussion between the two leaders.

    Afterwards, Karamanlis said he briefed the Swedish side over Greece's positions on several issues, specifically on the long-standing Cyprus issue as well as Greece's interest in Balkan development and region's Euro-Atlantic prospects.

    Referring specifically to neighbouring Turkey's accession prospects, the Greek prime minister reiterated that Athens remains in favour of the country's prospects as long as Turkey completely and effectively fulfils the commitments it has undertaken vis-à-vis the European Union.

    "Our position is clear and can be summed up in the following proposal: complete compliance means complete accession," Karamanlis told reporters, adding: "We know, however, that there are different views on this issue within the EU."

    On his part, Reinfeldt said he recently spoke with Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stressing to the latter that Turkey must proceed decisively with courageous reforms in order to be able to join the Union in the future, something that Sweden desires.

    Regarding the economic crisis, Karamanlis said developments are constant, with economic forecasts revised downward on numerous occasions of late, "therefore, constant coordination between EU member-states is particularly significant."

    Citing the his government's goals, Karamanlis said the first target is fiscal balance, followed by a promotion of continued growth, and thirdly, support towards the economically weaker segments of society as much as possible.

    Moreover, the Greek premier referred to an increasingly thorny problem affecting the east Mediterranean country on Europe's periphery, namely, illegal immigration, stating that "there is a need to strengthen cooperation at the European level and to boost our commons means and efforts in order to deal with this issue effectively."

    Finally, Karamanlis underlined the significance of a planned global summit at the end of the year in Copenhagen to consider climate change, expressing a hope that a new international agreement will be hammered out at the summit.

    [02] Communist parties' declaration

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) general Secretary Aleka Papariga on Monday presented a joint declaration signed by 21 communist and labor parties in European Union member-states, following a relevant meeting here.

    In a press conference in Athens, Papariga stated that this is the first time that a joint declaration is signed by communist and labor parties ahead of European Parliament elections, adding that these parties expressed their common position as regards the character of the EU.

    Papariga also described the withdrawal of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (MSZMP) from the European Left Party as very important development.

    She underlined that the main points of the declaration highlight the EU capitalist role, clarify the parties' stance as regards the Maastricht Treaty, and refer to the socialization of production means and the peoples' right to decide on their own model of development. Papariga also stated that abstention from the European Parliament elections will "in essence operate in favor of the existing policy."

    MSZMP President Gyula Th?rmer speaking in the press conference stated that his party's withdrawal from the European Left Party was a major decision considering that it was one of its founders. "We want to fight against capitalism whereas they want to reconcile with capitalism," he said.

    Carmelo Su?rez, general secretary of the Communist Party of the People's of Spain, stated that the declaration signed is very important adding that his party's proposal is disengagement and withdrawal from the EU.

    In an unrelated development, Papariga referred to the importance of university student elections and European Parliament elections, speaking before a rally at the University of Athens earlier in the day

    [03] Greek stocks end 0.38% higher

    Greek stocks edged higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday. The composite index ended 0.38 pct up at 2,159.61 points, off the day's highs, with turnover shrinking to 187.1 million euros, of which 4.5 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved upwards, with the Food/Beverage (5.40 pct), Financial Services (1.65 pct) and Personal/Home Products (1.57 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Health (3.03 pct), Utilities (2.14 pct) and Media (1.23 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 0.28 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.66 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index eased 0.69 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 118 to 103 with another 43 issues unchanged.

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