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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Beglitis visits Greek KFOR troops in Kosovo
  • [02] State services to work full day on New Year's Eve
  • [03] PPC investment program

  • [01] Beglitis visits Greek KFOR troops in Kosovo

    Alternate Defence Minister Panos Beglitis on Tuesday visited the Greek force stationed in Kosovo, accompanied by Hellenic Army General Staff chief Lieutenant General Fragkoulis Fragkos, in order to convey the government's best wishes for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

    Beglitis first visited the headquarters of the KFOR multinational force, where he was briefed on its activities and developments in the region.

    His next stop was the "Megas Alexandros" army base in Mitrovica, where the 646 Mechanised infantry battalion is stationed, and then the army base "Rigas Ferraios" in Urosevac, to visit the 501 Mechanised Infantry Battalion.

    In statements during the visits, Beglitis praised the contribution made by the Greek battalions in the international peacekeeping force in efforts to consolidate peace, security and stability in Kosovo and the western Balkans as a whole.

    "Greece has a dynamic presence in international peacekeeping operations, respecting both its international and allied obligations but, above all, with an interest in defending its national interests in a region that has suffered grievously in the recent past," he stressed.

    Beglitis went on to say that Greece intended to continue participating in the peacekeeping force in Kosovo, in the framework of the UN mandate, in support of the fundamental religious and political rights of all the communities that made up Kosovo. He stressed that Greece's aim was to continue to be involved in peacekeeping missions where these were needed around the world because the government believed that the country protected its own interests best when it help ensure peace, security and stability, especially in geostrategically sensitive regions like the western Balkans.

    "In the framework of strengthening Greece's role in the Balkans, we do not rule out the possibility of boosting our presence in the region," he added, noting that keeping to the schedule for the gradual reduction of KFOR would depend on assessments of whether the situation in the region was normalising.

    The Greek delegation was unable to fit in a planned visit to a local monastery in order to meet Kosovo's bishop Artemios, due to lack of time before its return flight to Athens.

    [02] State services to work full day on New Year's Eve

    State services are to work a full day on New Year's Eve, rather than treat the day as a half-holiday, according to a circular issued by the interior ministry on Tuesday.

    In the past, it was normal for public-sector services to work only until 13:00 on December 31 but this year they will be required to stay open until 15:00, as on every other day.

    The ministry said the decision was taken because several state services have made December 31 the final date for several transactions with the public, such as making payments, submitting applications and supplying supporting documentation.

    [03] PPC investment program

    Public Power Corporation, Greeceās electricity utility, plans to increase investments in new mines and production units and to hiring around 2,300 workers, Arthuros Zervos, PPCās chairman and chief executive said on Tuesday.

    Presenting the corporationās investment program, Zervos predicted intensified competition in the electricity energy market and lower energy consumption because of the economic crisis and said that CO2 emissions would burden the corporation with 1.3 billion euros annually in 2013 and urged for a widespread dialogue on the issue warning that this burden could force PPC into bankruptcy or lead to higher electricity prices.

    Zervos said PPC was completing procedures to hire 2,300 workers, mainly technicians and announced that a tender for the 5th lignite energy unit in Ptolemais would be launched soon after an environmental study was completed.

    He noted that nine-month record profits this year were seasonal and stressed there was no room for complacency. Zervos reiterated that PPCās prices were the lowest in the EU-15 and among the lowest in the EU-25.


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