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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou-Lavrov talks
  • [02] Papoulias visit to Prague
  • [03] Stocks end moderately higher

  • [01] Papandreou-Lavrov talks

    The strategic nature of the Greek-Russian relations and their excellent level was reaffirmed during a meeting in Athens on Wednesday between Prime Minister George Papandreou and visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, held on the sidelines of the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council in Athens.

    According to reports, Papandreou also accepted a formal invitation to visit Moscow in early 2010.

    Papandreou, who also holds the foreign ministry portfolio, and Lavrov discussed priorities and initiatives aimed at the further development and consolidation of bilateral relations in all sectors, ranging from energy to culture and from regional cooperation to the relations with the EU and NATO.

    They also signed a 2010-2012 joint action plan to be renewed every two years, and expressed the intent to continue the significant Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project.

    [02] Papoulias visit to Prague

    PRAGUE (ANA-MPA / N. Megadoukas) -- President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, currently on a formal visit here, met on Wednesday with Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who provided his clear support to Athens' positions vis-a-vis Turkey's EU prospects.

    The meeting, which was held in the Prague Castle, focused on bilateral, EU, Balkan and international issues.

    The Czech president, asked to comment on the EU enlargement and Turkey's accession course, considering that the new European Commissioner for enlargement, Stefan Fule, is Czech, stated that "the candidate states for EU accession should meet all preconditions and terms set."

    He added that the Czech Republic, being amongst the newest EU members, believes that it should also be the last, stressing that "the EU doors should close for new members ... we are against a further EU enlargement and opening."

    Klaus pointed out that he fully agrees with the position of Papoulias that the candidate states for EU accession meet all preconditions and terms in advance, whereas the "premature" accession of a candidate state will rank as a major mistake.

    On his part, Papoulias pointed out that the position expressed by his Czech counterpart regarding fulfillment of preconditions was also Athens' position adding that all candidate states should meet terms and preconditions set by the EU, pointing out that there will be no "shortcuts".

    The two head of states characterised their talks as cordial and constructive, underlining the excellent level of bilateral relations and reaffirmed their common will for the further development of bilateral relations.

    Papoulias stated that they discussed developments in Western Balkans and pointed out that the Greek position is clear, namely, that the EU accession course of the SE European states is supported under the precondition that they meet all criteria and prerequisites set by the EU.

    Papoulias and Klaus expressed clearly different views on climate change, in view of an upcoming international summit in Copenhagen. "Reaching a specific consensus in Copenhagen will be a success for President Papoulias, whereas for me it will be a success if no agreement or consensus in reached," the Czech President stressed.

    The meeting was also attended Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis.

    Papoulias also met with Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer who hosted a working luncheon in his honor during which they discussed bilateral relations and European issues.

    Later in the evening, Papoulias will attend a formal reception hosted in his honor by his Czech counterpart.

    [03] Stocks end moderately higher

    Stocks ended cautiously higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, with the composite index of the market rising 0.34 pct to end at 2,433,24 points. Turnover was a moderate 244.1 million euros, of which 12.8 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved upwards, with the Technology (2.99 pct), Raw Materials (2.18 pct) and Industrial Products (1.22 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Food/Beverage (1.88 pct), Utilities (0.83 pct) and Health (0.60 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 0.59 pct, the FTSE 40 index rose 0.81 pct and the FTSE 80 index ended 0.55 pct higher. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 127 to 80 with another 48 issues unchanged.


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