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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Group assumes responsibility for bomb attack
  • [02] Katseli: Support real economy
  • [03] Greece, Austria's letter to EU
  • [04] 5.1R jolts Nafpaktos

  • [01] Group assumes responsibility for bomb attack

    A proclamation assuming responsibility for the bomb attack at the General Press Secretariat on Friday, January 15, 2010, has appeared in a website in the Internet.

    Responsibility is assumed by the "Revolutionary Organisation 6 December", that also assumes responsibility for the bullets sent on December 2008 after the killing of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, to lawyer Alexis Kouyias and journalist Yiannis Pretenteris.

    According to a senior Police officer, they believe that the proclamation is genuine and it is being examined with great seriousness.

    [02] Katseli: Support real economy

    Greek banks entered the crisis from an advantageous position, enjoying high capital adequacy and liquidity ratios while they have been supported by the Greek state during the crisis, Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Luca Katseli told a Financial Times' conference in Athens.

    The Greek minister stressed it was time that the government and the banking system work in coordination to support the real economy and together to develop new funding models, opening new markets and expanding their presence in Southeastern Europe.

    The key to Greek banks' competitiveness is upgrading internal banking supervision systems, control and risk management, Katseli said, while she referred to the creation of a Refinancing Fund, currently under formation, to ensure liquidity in the country's real economy.

    Commenting on the government's growth program, the minister said it was a road map for the reconstruction of the country. The Public Investments Program totals 10.3 billion euros for the year, or 4.2 pct of GDP, with the aim to gradually rise to 5.0 pct of GDP in 2013, she said. Katseli said the government was changing a regulatory framework to contain the high cost of investments in the country, by simplifying set up, licensing and operation procedures of enterprises.

    [03] Greece, Austria's letter to EU

    Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger stressed in a joint letter addressed to the European Union's Foreign minister Catherine Ashton and all their European counterparts that "Greece and Austria, neighbouring countries from the north and south to the countries of the Western Balkans, are observing the developments with special interest and note the progress achieved in past years, since these countries have adopted the European agenda. However, the political, economic and social problems remain and many doubts are being expressed about the European perspective of the Western Balkans."

    The two ministers pointed out that a "new momentum is required now to make more effective the political messages that will be sent."

    Greece and Austria, with their joint letter, welcomed the Spanish Presidency's intention to convene a high-level conference on the Western Balkans on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Zagreb Summit, while mentioning 2014 as the symbolic milestone for the path to the EU.

    The text signed by the two ministers expresses the hope that 2010 will welcome specifically:

    -The conclusion of negotiations with Croatia.

    -A mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the name of FYROM, something that remains substantive, as well as the beginning of accession negotiations with FYROM.

    -Progress by Serbia regarding its European expectations, including the defreezing of the ratification of the Association and Stabilisation Agreement.

    -Specific progress for Kosovo.

    -An enhanced role for the EU in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the ultimate aim of European integration and a sincere commitment on the part of all leaders to establish workable state institutions in the country.

    -Increased efforts by Albania and Montenegro in cooperation with the Commission, in the frameweork of the evaluation of their application for accession to the EU.

    -The fulfillment of the remaining targets in the road maps in the direction of the gradual abolition of the entry visa by Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    Droutsas and Spindelegger emphasised that the European Integration of the countries of the Western Balkans constitutes a priority and a guarantee for stability and for this reason the EU must encourage these countries to align themselves with the European principles and values.

    Caption: Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas (R) and Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger(L) in the Foreign Ministry in Athens on Thursday 20 January 2010. ANA-MPA/ALEXANDROS BELTES

    [04] 5.1R jolts Nafpaktos

    A moderate earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale jolted several regions of Western Greece in the early hours of Friday..

    According to the Athens National Observatory's Geodynamics Institute, the quake was recorded at 3:00 a.m with its epicenter near Efpalio, east of the city of Nafpaktos.

    No injury or damage was immediately reported.


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