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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-10-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM meets with Qatar Emir as major investment accord signed
  • [02] FinMin: 6th tranche secured if gov't, people, shoulder responsibilities
  • [03] President Sarkozy pledges support to Greece after talks with PM

  • [01] PM meets with Qatar Emir as major investment accord signed

    (AMNA) -- Greek prime minister George Papandreou met on Saturday afternoon with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, and the emirate's prime minister and foreign minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir Al Thani, for talks that were also attended by environment minister George Papaconstantinou.

    After the meeting, both Papandreou and the Emir of Qatar underlined the relations of confidence between the two countries, as well as the prospects opening up for Qatari investments in Greece.

    The meeting took place in light of the signing of a 1.2 billion euros agreement that provides for the inflow of Qatari capital into the "Hellenic Gold" Halkidiki Mining Company, and which is expected to create 1,500 new jobs.

    The agreement comes one year after the signing of the Memorandum of Economic Cooperation signed by Papandreou and the Emir last September in New York.

    Papandreou said that this decision by Qatar sends a message to the international community and reflects the confidence in the developmental opportunities arising in Greece form the reforms being advanced by the government.

    Investment of capital in Greece means investment in Greece itself, Papandreou said, adding that the Qatari investment agreement "indicates the confidence of the international community in Greece".

    The Emir reaffirmed to Papandreou Qatar's interest for investments in Greece, especially in the denationalisatoins in the sectors of energy and tourism, and for the development of the tract of land of the old Athens international airport at Ellinikon.

    [02] FinMin: 6th tranche secured if gov't, people, shoulder responsibilities

    (AMNA) -- Greek finance minister and government vice president Evangelos Venizelos said that the 8 billion euros sixth tranche of the EU-IMF bailout loan to Greece is secured, given that the Greek government is taking such tough decisions and the Greek people are shouldering such great burdens, in an interview appearing in a Sunday newspaper.

    Venizelos, in an interview with "To Vima" newspaper, Venizelos said it is necessary to send a clear message abroad that Greece can and wants to exit the crisis.

    Acknowledging that the measures being taken by the Greek government, in agreement with the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) troika, are many and tough, he made it clear, however, that from the moment that the government is taking such tough decisions and the Greek people are shouldering such great responsibilities, the sixth tranche is secured.

    He added that he is prepared to put up with humiliation and accept the obvious political cost, provided that the country is saved.

    "Personally, it is my obligation to accept humiliation, if it benefits the country. What is important is that my country is not humiliated," Venizelos said,

    [03] President Sarkozy pledges support to Greece after talks with PM

    PARIS (AMNA/O.Tsipira) - Prime Minister George Papandreou pledged that Greece will fulfill its commitments, speaking to reporters after holding lengthy talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Friday. The French president on his part promised European Union support to Greece.

    The Greek premier stressed that he and the French president "had a very good discussion on the developments in the eurozone."

    Papandreou added that "I stressed and I am stressing that Greece will fulfill its commitments and will proceed with all the necessary reforms, as it is also doing with whatever price and cost because precisely we ourselves want to change our country, to change Greece, to be a competitive and socially fair and developmental country. To become a country which gets out from the crisis and is securing confidence and security for its citizens. We are, therefore, determined absolutely. We are also determined absolutely for there to be transparency in everything."

    Papandreou further said that he requested from Sarkozy to send French experts to observe and have a full picture of what Greece is doing. He also added that is also invited any other European country, which will express the wish to send its own experts to acquire a full picture of what is happening in Greece. "There shall be absolute transparency in this way of what Greece is doing," the prime minister said.

    "We have a moral obligation, being countries of the eurozone and members of the European Union to support Greece. Europe is a culture it is a family and it is a solidarity. When a member of the family has difficulties the other members must activate themselves to help it. The failure of Greece will be a failure of all of Europe. There is no other alternative and effective solution. We have a moral obligation of solidarity and we have an economic obligation of solidarity," President Sarkozy said on his part.

    Sending a message to the Greek people, the French president added that "I know that the Greek people have been inconvenienced a great deal in these past months and weeks. However, the reforms had been postponed for many years and bad habits were born. The Greek prime minister gave me all the assurances on the determination of the Greek government to implement with care and precision all the commitments to which Greece has committed itself. Indeed he also indicated to me the concern and interest being shown by the Greek authorities for transparency, and for this reason they called on the European partners from other countries of Europe as well to ascertain the developments step by step."

    "It is not possible for us to abandon Greece for moral and economic reasons," he added.

    President Sarkozy also added that he intends to go to Germany in the coming days to continue together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel "the cooperation and coordination between France and Germany which allowed (them) to secure the protection of Europe."

    There is between France and Germany today, as he said, "an absolute identity of views for us to resist profiteering, failure and to protect Europe."

    "With Mrs. Merkel we are talking about the paths and the means that will help us speed up economic convgergence in Europe and to implement as soon as possible the measures decided on July 21," President Sarkozy concluded.

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