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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Messages on International Women's Day
  • [02] Foreign national arrested for smuggling Illegal migrants into Greece
  • [03] Droutsas at EU FMs' informal meeting in Spain

  • [01] Messages on International Women's Day

    Deputy Justice Minister for transparency and human rights Apostolos Katsifaras and Equality Secretary General Maria Stratigaki on Sunday issued messages for International Women's Day, which is observed on March 8 this year.

    Katsifaras said that March 8 is a day dedicated to women and their struggles to consolidate their rights in the family, economic, social and political life, "a day on which we are given the opportunity to honor all women for their multi-faceted and precious contribution to supporting society, to assess the efforts that have been made to promote women's rights all over the world, and to send a strong message on every woman's right to equality".

    The woman's place and role in the socio-economic life of the globalised society, but also in Greece, has been steadily improving in recent years. However, the significant successes that have been achieved to date in the area of gender equality should not create complacency, Katsifaras added.

    He said that in cooperation with the Equality General Secretariat a national program is being drafted for substantive equality of the genders and ensuring the rights of women, utilising the accumulated international experience and good practices in the sector of gender equality, while at the same time joint actions and collaborations are being developed with other sectoral policies.

    The goal, he added, is to reinforce the actions on gender equality in the direction of boosting the woman's position in the social and public sectors through improvement of the quality and efficiency of equality policies.

    Stratigaki, in her own message, said that March 8 is an anniversary marking the women's struggle for better working conditions.

    This year's anniversary finds the working women in Greece in more adverse conditions, due to the economic crisis that limits their incomes and consequently increases the burden for caring for their children and dependents, Stratigaki said, adding that unemployment and financial difficulties intensify the exertion of violence against women in all its forms (spousal abuse, sexual harassment at work, forcing women into prostitution).

    She stressed that "we must not allow the women to disproportionately suffer the burdens of the crisis".

    Stratigaki said that achieving substantive gender equality promotes democracy, employment and prosperity and ensures the human rights of women.

    [02] Foreign national arrested for smuggling Illegal migrants into Greece

    A 51-year-old Romanian truck driver was arrested at the Promachonas border station in Serres on Saturday night after 26 illegal migrants, among them 12 children, were found hidden in cardboard boxes in his Romania-registered TIR truck, police said on Sunday.

    The border guards also seized the truck, a cell phone and 710 euros in cash found in the driver's possession.

    The driver is due to appear before a public prosecutor, while the Serres prosecutor stated that the migrants will not be prosecuted.

    [03] Droutsas at EU FMs' informal meeting in Spain

    Cordoba (ANA-MPA/D. Constantakopoulos) -- EU foreign ministers discussed the institutional changes required for the exercise of a European foreign policy, as well as international issues and EU enlargement matters at an informal meeting in Cordoba, Spain on Friday and Saturday, with alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas representing Greece.

    On the sidelines of the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers ('Gymnich' meeting), Droutsas had a private meeting with EU candidate country Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who had been invited to the ministers' meeting together with the foreign ministers of two other candidate countries, Croatia and FYROM.

    Droutsas also had a brief discussion with FYROM foreign minister Antonio Milososki, as well as a meeting with EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule.

    Speaking to reporters, Droutsas said that the informal FM meetings provide a more relaxed atmosphere for the discussion of timely issues of concern to the EU, adding that at the Cordoba meeting the EU foreign ministers backed the Israeli-Palestinian indirect negotiations, while they also discussed the European course of the Western Balkan countries.

    Greece's "2014 Agenda" initiative was at the center of the discussions, Droutsas noted, adding that the proposal has created the required political impetus for advancement of the accession of the Western Balkan countries to the EU.

    Droutsas said he briefed his EU colleagues on the Greek government's confrontation of the economic crisis and the struggle being given by the Greek people, who found themselves in the vortex of the crisis due to the faulty practices and choices of the preceding period, as well as their struggle against market speculation.

    Droutsas' meeting with Davutoglu was held in the context of an agreement between the two ministers to meet whenever both are present at international fora, and the discussion focused on a review of the work accomplished by the bilateral Steering Committee and the planning for the committee's next meeting, which is slated for March 9. The Steering Committee is due, at its upcoming meeting, to prepare Droutsas' planned meeting to Ankara, possibly sometime in March, which will be a prelude for a visit by Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Athens.

    The Steering Committee was formed to monitor the implementation of existing bilateral agreements between Greece and Turkey and to investigate new areas for cooperation.

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