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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-02-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] FM Avramopoulos holds talks with Canadian counterpart Baird
  • [02] SYRIZA leader blasts ‘Athena' education restructuring plan
  • [03] PM Samaras addresses 'Re-think Athens' event
  • [04] Greece to participate in 'CeBIT 2013' exhibition
  • [05] Troika demands full liberalisation of coastal shipping services
  • [06] Peloponnesos promoted as tourism destination in Norway

  • [01] FM Avramopoulos holds talks with Canadian counterpart Baird

    AMNA--Issues pertaining to bilateral relations, economic challenges facing Greece and Europe, Greece's role as a stabilising force in the region of the Mediterranean and the potential for Canadian investments in Greece were on the agenda of a meeting between Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and his Canadian counterpart John Baird here on Wednesday.

    The Canadian minister underlined the common values linking the two countries, noting that Greece is an ally of Canada playing a considerable role in securing stability in the Mediterranean.

    Baird referred to the potential of Canadian investments in Greece and the importance of the new Canada-EU free trade agreement that is in its final stage, and stressed that Greece must soon enter a growing phase after its fiscal consolidation. amna

    Avramopoulos underlined the good bilateral relations existing between Greece and Canada, expressing his thanks for Canada's support for Greece.

    The Greek Foreign minister briefed his Canadian counterpart on the deep changes that are taking place in Greece and which shall place the country in the path to recovery. Discussion between the two men also touched upon the new possibilities in Canadian-Greek business relations in the sector of energy, mineral wealth, trade and tourism.

    [02] SYRIZA leader blasts ‘Athena' education restructuring plan

    AMNA--The "Athena" education restructuring plan "will shrink and distort academic characteristics of higher education", Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) president Alexis Tsipras said late Wednesday while speaking at a party event on education in Thessaloniki. He added "Athena" was a "cheap accounting plan."

    Tsipras said that "nothing can stand in this sensitive sector of education, if it is not set up following exhausting dialogue, consensus through a constructive process of composition with the academic sector." amna

    "Therefore no "‘Athena' can go ahead unless the university community, students and employees express their views first," he remarked.

    [03] PM Samaras addresses 'Re-think Athens' event

    AMNA--Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday underlined the symbolic nature of the plan to revamp downtown Athens in his address at an event to present the results of the architectural design competition "Re-Think Athens" organised by the Onassis Foundation.

    The competition "shows that there are live forces in our society that can envision a different Greece and a different Athens through the darkness of the crisis," he said.

    "The revamping of Panepistimiou Street, the intervention at the bay of Faliro and the real estate development at Ellinikon, where a large metropolitan park will be created, constitute the triangle of this rebirth," he said, stressing that "the coastal front stretching from Faliro to Sounio" will also be developed soon.amna

    The Dutch architectural firm OKRA won the competition with a proposal described by Onassis Foundation president Antonis Papademetriou as "simple but not simplistic, absolutely applicable, functional and true to the spirit of Athens, taking under consideration the city's prospects and potential while focusing on its citizens and their needs."

    The architectural, bio-climatic and technical studies of the competition were funded by the Onassis Foundation.

    The presentation of the winner was also attended by PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, Democratic Left (DIMAR) president Fotis Kouvelis, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, SYRIZA spokesman MP Dimitris Papadimoulis, Communist Party (KKE) Political Bureau member Nikos Sofianos and Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis, among others.

    [04] Greece to participate in 'CeBIT 2013' exhibition

    AMNA--Greece is to renew its participation in the world's biggest information technology and telecommunications exhibition, CeBIT 2013, following many years of absence, with a national pavilion arranged by the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) - Helexpo.

    CeBIT 2013 is being held in Hannover, Germany on March 5-9 and 20 businesses and associations, as well as 10 state organisations will be participating in the Greek mission.

    According to data provided, the sector of IT and communications technologies is the most dynamic in Greece, with some 4,500 companies and more than 270,000 employees.

    It is estimated that should tax services were properly computerised, Greece could secure collection of revenues of up to 20 billion euros annually from tax evasion, given that the paraeconomy's turnover is estimated at 60 billion euros a year.amna

    Hannover's international CeBIT exhibition appeals to users of the IT and communications technologies industry, wholesale and retail trade, the services sector, government organisations and scientific agencies, as well as to the fanatics of new technology. It is regarded a springboard for the exchange of experience and expertise on modern trends.

    [05] Troika demands full liberalisation of coastal shipping services

    AMNA--Troika experts reiterated their demand for a full liberalisation of coastal shipping services, abolishing all obligatory sea routes and deregulating maritime labour, during a meeting with Shipping Secretary General Athanasios Bousios and other ministry officials.

    Ministry officials told troika experts, in Greece to prepare the way for meetings with the troika heads expected in Athens Monday, that the geographical complexity of Aegean Sea did not allow full liberalisation of coastal shipping services and stressed that a new draft legislation – promoted by the ministry - would result in significant improvements for the competitiveness of the sector, which already operates under strict financial criteria. Talks between the two sides are expected to continue.amna

    Meanwhile, a round of negotiations between coastal shipowners and trade unions over signing a new collective labor agreement remained deadlocked after workers' unions rejected shipowners' proposals. A new round of negotiations is scheduled for next week.

    [06] Peloponnesos promoted as tourism destination in Norway

    AMNA--Peloponnese Regional Governor Petros Tatoulis outlined the comparative advantages of the southern Greek region as an international tourism destination in a special event in Oslo, Norway, to promote that region of Greece.

    "Peloponnese has become easily accessible and recognisable in the international tourism market," Tatoulis stressed, adding that the region had to offer guaranteed quality services and products at competitive prices. He also mentioned that under a regional quality pact, the region would also promote local food specialities in its tourism. amna

    Greek Ambassador to Norway Antonis Vlavianos said in his address that the region provides an ideal link between mythology and history, as it gave birth to modern Greece.


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