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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] ND deliberations over party congress
  • [02] PM to issue video message to OSCE on Thurs.
  • [03] Gr-Bg trade down in H1

  • [01] ND deliberations over party congress

    Deliberations over the election of a new leader continued within main opposition New Democracy on Wednesday, with candidate Dimitris Avramopoulos insisting that the vote should be extended beyond the party's membership to those "ideologically close to its values".

    All four candidates for ND's leadership - Dora Bakoyannis, Antonis Samaras, Avramopoulos and Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis - were in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Wednesday to attend the annual military parade held for the Oct. 28 national holiday.

    Speaking afterwards, Avramopoulos also stressed that ND would emerge united from this transitional period, soon recovering its prospects of once again taking charge of the country.

    The move comes one day after the announcement on Tuesday by MP Dimitris Sioufas, chairman of the committee organising ND's extraordinary conference, that he had sent "a final draft" of the proposal originally agreed by all four candidates for ND's leadership - and which will have to be approved by the party's central committee - to ND President Costas Karamanlis and the four declared candidates.

    The original agreement called for the election of a new president by ND's grass-roots supporters that had officially joined the party or were willing to join on the day of the vote.

    Sioufas stressed that he had not included later suggestions made by Avramopoulos, citing a deadline and procedural obstacles regarding the necessary modifications to ND's charter.

    Meanwhile, Bakoyannis, the former foreign minister, said that her target is the widening of ND to the right and the centre to enable it to become an expanded centre-right party, speaking later in the evening to ND supporters and cadres in the northern prefecture of Halkidiki.

    "I decided to seek your confidence because I believe that we can build a big, reliable, democratic and well-organised party together again. To rebuild ND that we are dreaming of together, a New Democracy of the grand centre-right," she said.

    Referring to the PASOK government, Bakoyannis said "its first steps are anything but encouraging. The first steps show that they have no planning, strategy and targets. ND must be ready to wage its battles in Parliament and in society to protect the citizens and at the same time to prepare its new governance proposal."

    [02] PM to issue video message to OSCE on Thurs.

    VIENNA (ANA-MPA/D. Dimitrakoudis) - Greek Prime Minister and Foreign Minister George Papandreou, in his capacity as chairperson-in-office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), will address a message on Thursday to the organisation's 56 member-state delegations, via a tele-conference link at the Hofburg imperial palace here.

    Greece currently holds the 2009 OSCE chairmanship.

    [03] Gr-Bg trade down in H1

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greek exports and direct investments to Bulgaria recorded the biggest percentage decline in several years during the first half of 2009, while Bulgaria exports to Greece also fell significantly over the same period, according to figures released by the National Statistical Service.

    A report by the Economic and Commercial Affairs bureau of the Greek embassy in Sofia said that bilateral trade volume totaled 955.3 million euros in the first six months of the year, down 23.6 pct compared with the corresponding period in 2008. Greek exports to Bulgaria dropped 30.5 pct to 453 million euros, while Bulgarian exports to Greece fell 34 pct.

    This development led to a widening of Greece's trade surplus to 50.7 million euros in the first half of 2009, after a surplus of 33.1 million euros in 2008).

    Greek direct investments to Bulgaria totaled 69.6 million euros in the January-June period, down more than four times compared with 296.7 million euros in the same period in 2008. Greece is the third most significant foreign investor in Bulgaria, after Austria and Holland, with total investments of 2.0 billion euros.

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