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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Sarkozy pledges to stand by Greece
  • [02] Greece, Qatar in natgas investment talks
  • [03] Dodecanese union with Greece anniversary celebrated
  • [04] SAE call to Greek ex-pats to help Greece reduce its debt
  • [05] Droutsas at EU FMs' meeting
  • [06] KKE on citizenship bill
  • [07] ASE opening: Rise
  • [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Sarkozy pledges to stand by Greece

    PARIS (ANA-MPA - V. Mourtis) A meeting here between Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday ended with the French president's pledge for solidarity toward Greece and Sarkozy's call to Greece's European partners to show their support, stressing that this solidarity was precisely the reason why the Eurozone and the euro had been established in the first place.

    The French president stressed that France's support for Greece would not be political only and he agreed with the need to combat financial speculators, noting that they were now targeting Greece but could potentially target any other country in the future.

    Papandreou said he had found active support from France, which recognised and supported the efforts of the Greek people. Noting that resort to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was not Greece's preferred choice, Papandreou again stressed that Greece was not asking for financial assistance, only the opportunity to borrow at a similar rate as that available to other Eurozone countries.

    On his part, the French president made it clear that the Euro area countries would rise to the occasion. "There must be no doubt on this point," Sarkozy underlined after his one-hour meeting with the Greek premier, also attended on the French side by Economy Minister Christine Lagarde and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

    [02] Greece, Qatar in natgas investment talks

    ANA-MPA/Greece and Qatar are in the process of negotiations for the development of natural gas projects in the Astakos Naval Industrial Zone (NAVIPE).

    Minister of State Haris Pamboukis had a telephone discussion with Qatar deputy prime minister and energy and industry minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah on the materialisation of a substantial investment in the Astakos industrial zone, as a follow-up to a visit to Qatar by Greece's deputy foreign minister Spyros Kouvelis, according to an announcement on Sunday by the Information General Secretariat.

    [03] Dodecanese union with Greece anniversary celebrated

    ANA-MPA/The 62nd anniversary of the Dodecanese Islands' union with Greece was celebrated on Sunday with parades and other events throughout the island complex.

    The main event took place on the island of Rhodes, at which the government was represented by government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos, while MPs from main opposition New Democracy (ND) and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party, MPs from the Dodecanese and local and regional officials also attended.

    [04] SAE call to Greek ex-pats to help Greece reduce its debt

    ALEXANDRIA (ANA-MPA - N. Katsikas) The World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) on Sunday issued to call to all Greek expatriates, asking them to donate to its campaign 'Support Fund for Greece' that seeks to raise money to lower the country's high public debt.

    Stressing that the head of the campaign in President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, SAE said it was confident in the "immediate and positive response of all to this initiative, so that Greeks everywhere will stand at the side of Greece, proving that united we are stronger and proud to be Greek".

    The SAE has created a special bank account at the central branch of the Bank of Greece in which funds can be donated with the account number 24/26132462 "Solidarity Account for Paying the Public Debt", which has been accepting deposits since Friday at the central branch and other branches of the Bank of Greece, and the entire network of highstreet banks.

    [05] Droutsas at EU FMs' meeting

    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.

    [06] KKE on citizenship bill

    In a lengthy announcement issued on Sunday, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) criticised the final form of a bill for granting foreign migrants Greek nationality and the right to vote in municipal elections, saying it was a way "to better manipulate and incorporate migrants in the bourgeois political system".

    The party's Political Bureau emphasised that the right to become a Greek citizen was made conditional on financial status - with ownership of property an indication of being integrated into Greek society - and political agreement with the "specific economic-social system of exploitation and capitalist barbarity".

    "We are returning to the times when political rights were dependent on property," it noted.

    The political rights given to migrants would also be used to create divisions between "old" and "new" migrants, "privileged" and "unprivileged" and "legal" versus "illegal", it said.

    The party disagreed with making the acquisition of nationality by the children of migrants dependent on their parents having five years legal and continuous residence in Greece that had to be proven via final residence permits, noting that thousands of migrants were currently unable to obtain or renew residence permits in spite of living and working in Greece for years.

    It also disagreed with the addition of having a clean criminal record for those seeking Greek citizenship as adults, noting that among offences that would bar a migrant from acquiring Greek nationality were included those of resisting authority, slander and active support of migrants lacking papers.

    KKE said its central position was the legalisation of migrants and refugees that live and work in Greece, giving them equal rights and facilitating their movement to other member-states of the EU, counter to the regulations and directives of the EU.

    It added that the children of migrants should be recorded in municipal registers and enjoy the same rights as other children, obtaining Greek nationality upon coming of age, if they desired.

    [07] ASE opening: Rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Monday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.93 percent, standing at 2,1015.49 points at 11:00 a.m., and turnover at 19.427 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving upward nearly across the board with the biggest gains in Public Utilities, up 1.68 percent; and Banks, up 1.71 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Construction, down 0.67 percent; and Telecoms, down 0.32 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 1.02 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.77 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.60 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 48 were up, 14 were down, and 20 were unchanged.

    [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Prime Minister George Papandreou's talks in Paris on Sunday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who expressed support for the Greek government, and the support plan for the euro together with Germany's and France's solidarity to Greece, dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Government in confusion! Thousands of unemployed youth deprived of the possibility to work in the public sector".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Sarkozy wholeheartedly supports Greece .....turmoil prevails in ruling PASOK party - Paris remains faithful to the policy of Greece-France-Alliance".

    AVRIANI: "Sarkozy rescues Greece from the IMF and from US bank speculators - The slogan Greece-France-Alliance is revived".

    ELEFTHEROS: "PASOK MP and former Minister Costas Skandalidis sets fire to PASOK - Papandreou livid - Scenario of expulsion, as exemplary punishment".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "PASOK rebels' criticism target Papandreou".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Sarkozy makes clear statement on Germany and France's solidarity: Allons enfants de l'euro".

    ESTIA: "PASOK torpedoes the measures - We are imposing them but they do not reflect us!".

    ETHNOS: "Support plan with Sarkozy's seal - French initiative to alter Germany's hesitance".

    IMERISSIA: "Financial crimes squad (SDOE) in role of traffic police".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Europe's support a step closer - Papandreou satisfied over the fact that he is not facing the prospect of having to resort to the IMF (International Monetary Fund)".

    TA NEA: "Sarkozy's, Merkel's support to Greece sealed - The European aid plan for Greece".

    VRADYNI: "PASOK against George Papandreou".


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