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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-04-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] War reparations issue with Germany still open
  • [02] Minister withdraws tanker truck amendment
  • [03] Greece seeks EU support for migrant camps
  • [04] Seamen's 48-hour strike April 10-11
  • [05] Belgian tourist agents on Spinalonga

  • [01] War reparations issue with Germany still open

    AMNA--The Greek government on Monday emphasised that it has never relinquished its rights to war reparations from Germany for damages and loss of life during the Second World War.

    "Greece's positions are unwavering, and what the (Greek) foreign minister said recently in (Greece's) Parliament applies in the fullest," spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras said a day after the eye-brow raising comment from Berlin.

    The spokesman referred to statements by FM Stavros Dimas in Parliament on March 28, made specifically in reference to the issue of war reparations and a "forced loan" taken by the Axis forces occupying Greece in 1941.amna

    Delavekouras said the twin issues remain absolutely open for Athens. He added that Dimas' statement was that "this issue must be again discussed with the necessary documentation that will bolster the strength of our arguments, and always within the framework of mutual respect and trust that should distinguish Greek-German relations."

    [02] Minister withdraws tanker truck amendment

    AMNA-- Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Makis Voridis late Monday night withdrew a controversial amendment concerning the fuel-tanker truck licences, which has divided the government and was strongly criticised as pandering to specific interests, as well as going counter to Greece's commitment to liberalise the profession.

    In statements to the radio station 'Ant1' earlier Monday, Voridis denied that the measure would keep the tanker-truck driver profession closed and stressed that anyone with 1,000 euro would be able to get a truckers' licence.

    "With the specific amendment, I just wanted to place restrictions on the conversion of older licences from general trucking licences to tanker-truck licences during their transfer," he added.amna

    The minister's statement came in the wake of a PASOK meeting that decided to ask Voridis to withdraw the specific amendment and threats from two former PASOK transport ministers that they and their party would not support the amendment when it came to Parliament.

    [03] Greece seeks EU support for migrant camps

    BRUSSELS (AMNA - M. Aroni) Citizen Protection Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis on Monday met European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom in Brussels and asked that the European Commission support Greece's efforts to set up centres to house migrants not eligible for asylum while they awaited deportation back to their own country.

    During a joint press conference with Chrysohoidis after the meeting, Malmstrom said the Commission would look into the options for supporting Greece in line with European rules and international standards. amna

    At the same time, she stressed the need for more efficient use of Community funds destined for use against illegal migration, saying there were problems with their absorption.

    According to the Greek minister, of the 250 million euro available to Greece from the External Borders Protection Fund and the Repatriation Fund, Greece has absorbed 40 million euro.

    [04] Seamen's 48-hour strike April 10-11

    AMNA--Ships will remain anchored in the ports throughout the country on Holy Tuesday and Holy Wednesday, after a decision on Monday the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) executive committee to call a 48-hour nationwide strike on April 10 and 11.

    [05] Belgian tourist agents on Spinalonga

    AMNA--Tourist agents from Belgium visiting Crete were given a tour of Spinalonga and briefed on the history of the island that hosted lepers and has been internationally known from the bestseller book "The Island" by Victoria Hislop. amna

    The periphery of Crete invited the Belgian tour operators aiming to boost the tourist wave and to contribute to the reversal of the existing negative climate, particularly in the western European countries, and to show that Crete is a tranquil and safe tourist destination.


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