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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM briefs Papoulias on illegal migration
  • [02] FM on 'name issue'
  • [03] Unemployment at 9.3pct
  • [04] Measures on pleasure boats

  • [01] PM briefs Papoulias on illegal migration

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday briefed President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on the outcome of the European Union summit in Brussels late last week where, Karamanlis said, at Greece's initiative, an in-depth discussion was held and important decisions were taken on the problem of illegal migration.

    The premier noted that the EU leaders decided to step up checks along Europe's external borders, as well as active solidarity and just distribution of the burdens, and also the signing of agreements by the EU for the readmission of illegal immigrants to the countries from where they originate or the countries from where they crossed into the EU.

    Until those agreements are signed, Karamanlis continued, it was decided that the agreements and protocols already existing between countries of origin and transit of illegal migrants -- such as Libya and Turkey -- and countries where illegal migrants arrive, such as Greece, must be applied.

    The major issue of illegal migration has now been upgraded to a major EU and European issue, Karamanlis added.

    Caption: President of Republic Karolos Papoulias (R) welcomes Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (L)at the presidential mansion on Monday 22 June 2009. ANA-MPA/ Goulielmos Antoniou

    [02] FM on 'name issue'

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Monday called on the leadership of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) to enter the latest round of UN-sponsored talks on the nagging "name issue" with a different approach than in the recent past.

    Bakoyannis made the statement on the occasion of the same-day re-commencement of talks in Geneva between Athens' and Skopje's representatives, Amb. Adamantios Vassilakis and Amb. Zoran Jolevski, respectively.

    UN special envoy Matthew Nimetz will again mediate the talks.

    "They (the Skopje government's leadership) have received the message from all European and NATO (member-states') governments. I trust that they will arrive with a different political rationale in this current negotiation than in the past, so that they, also, will seek out a mutually acceptable name," the Greek foreign minister said after a meeting in Athens with her visiting Vietnamese counterpart Pham Gia Khiem.

    Asked about the possibility of a meeting with her counterpart from fYRoM, Antonio Milososki, on the sidelines of an upcoming informal OSCE foreign ministers' meeting on the Ionian island of Corfu, Bakoyannis said Milososki's office has requested such a meeting.

    "I will try to meet with him," Bakoyannis said, adding that confirmed one-on-one meetings so far are with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu.

    The talks between the two south Balkan neighbours will resume in the Swiss city in the early afternoon on Monday, following a four-month suspension due to presidential elections in the one-time Yugoslav republic and European Parliament elections in Greece earlier this month.

    Nimetz is expected to arrive in Skopje on July 6, coming to Athens two days later.

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

    [03] Unemployment at 9.3pct

    Greek unemployment jumped to 9.3 pct in the first quarter of 2009, from 8.3 pct in the same period last year, the National Statistical Service said on Monday.

    The statistics agency said the number of unemployed people totaled 462,343 in the first three months of 2009, from 406,547 last year. The unemployment rate among women totaled 13 pct, while among men the unemployment rate was 6.8 pct. The 15-29 age group recorded the highest unemployment rate (18.5 pct), followed by the 30-44 age group (8.5 pct). The percentage of new unemployed totaled 29.2 pct in the January-March, while long-term unemployement rate was 41.3 pct.

    Southern Aegean (16.9 pct), Western Macedonia (14.4 pct) and Ionian Islands (14.1 pct) recorded the highest unemployment rates. The statistics agency said the number of employed people in the country totaled 4,485,758 in the first quarter of 2009.

    [04] Measures on pleasure boats

    Economy and Finance Minister Yannis Papathanassiou announced on Monday that his ministry will take measures to combat the widespread tax evasion in the pleasure boats sector.

    "It's a sector that that is malfunctioning and the current provisions are not being followed" said Papathanassiou. The measures will include a new corporate legal status to encourage the owners to sail under the Greek flag.

    The measures will not affect sailboats up to 12 meters and pleasure boats up to 10 meters in length.

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