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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM at Economist conference
  • [02] Lake Yliki waters conserved

  • [01] FM at Economist conference

    Greece's foreign policy was one of self-confidence and open horizons, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said on Monday while addressing an Economist conference in Athens.

    "We have an opportunity in the framework of re-ordering the international environment to replace outdated policies and views. But in order to exercise such a policy one needs political courage and political will by all governments. We call friends, partners and allies to act in this direction," she said.

    She was speaking at a round-table discussion on "Transatlantic ties, EU, US, Russia and stabilisation in the Balkans" that also included Serb Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, U.S. Ambassador to Athens Daniel Speckhard, the Russian envoy to the EU Vladimir Chisov and Lord Howell of Guildford, head of the opposition in the House of Lords in Britain.

    Bakoyannis repeated Greece's positions regarding the EuroAtlantic prospects of Balkan countries, saying that Athens was a steadfast supporter of her neighbours' accession prospects and backed them with specific steps, "such as in the liberalisation of visa requirements for the EU".

    She also emphasised the Greek position in favour of "full compliance, full accession" in terms of the accession prospects for both the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and of Turkey, adding that the Greek government supported Cyprus' leadership in seeking a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    Bakoyannis called for a restructuring of the UN Security Council, noting that this should now include Germany, India and Brazil, the emerging powers that had changed the powers of the planet from a G8 to a G20 overnight.

    "This is not a numerical increase but an important turning point in world history," she stressed.

    On the EU, she said that the Greek government wanted Europe to be more participatory, more democratic, more social, with a single voice in foreign policy that was able to ensure employment, prosperity and security for its citizens.

    Regarding the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in which Greece currently holds the rotating chair, Bakoyannis referred to the higher profile it acquired during the crisis in Georgia last August and reminded that the big players Washington and Moscow but also the others of the 56 OSCE member-states, would have an opportunity for further discussion during the informal meeting of OSCE foreign ministers' taking place on Corfu on June 27-28.

    In his own address to the discussion, the U.S. ambassador said that pragmatism, dialogue and international cooperation were the key words in the new approach adopted by U.S. President Barack Obama for international problems, within organisations like the OSCE and NATO.

    He also repeated Obama's position that relations between the U.S. and Russia should "begin again from scratch", adding that Washington's policy priorities were the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and a new and a new stance toward the Muslim world.

    The new direction in U.S. policy was one of no nuclear weapons in the world, Speckhard added.

    Chisov expressed support for trilateral cooperation on energy security between the U.S., Russia and the EU, focusing also on the role of NATO.

    He noted that NATO's goal to include energy security in its agenda would only be viable if it included Russia, otherwise it would be against Russia.

    The envoy also noted the need to renew trust and avoid dividing lines: "We must get rid of the residues of the Cold War and focus on the joint efforts to deal with international and regional crises," he said.

    Serbia's Jeremic said that his country, under President Boris Tadic, was steadfastly and peacefully oriented toward the EU. On the subject of Kosovo, he said that his country's Constitution precluded recognition of Kosovo's independence and that Serbia had therefore referred the matter to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, adding that the court's decision should not be judged in advance.

    Lord Howell referred to restructuring weakened international organisations and seeking new platforms for cooperation against a background of revolutionary Internet communication, a world in which the U.S. was no longer the undisputed leader and where even the hegemony of the U.S. dollar was in question.

    [02] Lake Yliki waters conserved

    The Athens-Piraeus water and sewerage utility, EYDAP, on Monday announced that it would stop pumping water from Lake Yliki, to the north of the Greek capital, in order to protect dwindling reserves and to conserve electricity ahead of the summer season, which traditionally sees record-breaking power consumption in Greece.

    EYDAP said the greater Athens area will be supplied exclusively from the reservoirs at Mornos and Evinos, both of which hold satisfactory reserves.

    The utility noted that the company would also post significant savings in its power bills, since pumping waters from Yliki requires vast amounts of energy, making it the Public Power Corp.'s (PPC) second-largest customer. It added that, should the need arise, EYDAP would be able to resume pumping water from Lake Yliki at a moment's notice.

    Caption: A file photo dated Nov. 4, 2008 shows a view of Lake Yliki, in Viotia prefecture, north of the greater Athens area. ANA-MPA / P. PRAGIANNIS

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