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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-02-23

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] EU PROSPECT FOR THE BALKANS
  • [02] CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT DEMARCHES TO THE EU
  • [03] GARGANAS CALLS FOR STRUCTURAL SOLUTIONS
  • [04] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY ON IRAQ
  • [05] THE SEAMEN STRIKE ENDS
  • [06] THEODOROS BEHRAKIS IS THE NEW MAYOR OF ATHENS
  • [07] ALOGOSKOUFIS ADDRESSED THE SEECP MINISTERS
  • [08] GREEK REPRESENTATION IN THE EUROPEAN WEEK OF REGIONS AND CITIES

  • [01] EU PROSPECT FOR THE BALKANS

    Athens, 23 February 2006 (13:37 UTC+2)

    Greece as a member of the European Union and the Euro-zone works for the European prospect of the neighboring countries, pointed out Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressing the SE European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Ministers of Finance and Economy Summit taking place in Athens within the framework of the Greek SEECP presidency.

    In the summit participate the Ministers of Economy from the 10 countries in the region (Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Romania, Turkey, FYROM, Serbia-Montenegro, Croatia, Moldova) as well as representatives of the Austrian EU Presidency and the Stability Pact in SE Europe Special Coordinator Office.

    Mr. Karamanlis stated that the wider SE European region meets all the requirements for an economic development leap forward and pointed out that Greece wants further cooperation in the economic, scientific, cultural and education sector. He said that Greece's presence is significant in the wider Balkan region with 3,500 Greek companies and 800 Greek bank branches. Also, Mr. Karamanlis said that Greece is one of the major investors in the region with an 8-billion euro capital. The Greek investments occupy the top place in Albania, FYROM, Serbia-Montenegro, the second place in Bulgaria and the third place in Romania, said Mr. Karamanlis, pointing out that Greece can function as an entry gate for businesses in SE Europe.

    Referring to the Greek economy, the prime minister stressed that fiscal adjustment is gradually speeding up and significant results are being produced mentioning the steps made in 15 sectors of the economy among them, tax reform, developmental law, the new generation of privatizations, the new framework of operation for the state companies and organizations, the deregulation of energy and natural gas markets and the strengthening of economic diplomatic relations.

    The prime minister put an emphasis on the reforms taking place in countries of the wider SE European region pointing out that it is the only responsible and insightful choice for the region's development. He also added that the pace of reforms is not always satisfactory and solutions will be given by the region's countries themselves.

    [02] CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT DEMARCHES TO THE EU

    Nicosia, 23 February 2006 (13:59 UTC+2)

    The Cyprus Republic will make demarches to the European Union protesting against a decision by the Turkish authorities according to which, a ship under Cyprus flag was denied access to the port of Mersina, stated Cypriot Foreign Minister Giorgos Iakovou.

    Yesterday, in statements he made from Thessaloniki Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos had reminded that a report on Turkey and to what extent it meets its obligations will be prepared by the Commission before the end of the year.

    [03] GARGANAS CALLS FOR STRUCTURAL SOLUTIONS

    Athens, 23 February 2006 (14:13 UTC+2)

    Bank of Greece Governor Nikos Garganas called for dialogue for the solution of the structural problems faced by the Greek economy without bias or fear.

    Mr. Garganas presenting the Annual Report on Monetary Policy 2005-06 appeared optimistic in principle regarding the course of the economy in 2006 and predicted that the growth rate will remain high at 3.5% while inflation will drop to 3.2%.

    However, he expressed strong concern regarding the structural problems tormenting the Greek economy including the noticeable uneven distribution of wealth both between social groups and geographic regions in the country.

    [04] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY ON IRAQ

    Athens, 23 February 2006 (17:47 UTC+2)

    The Greek Foreign Ministry condemned the attack recorded yesterday on the Great Mosque of Samarra and other religious sites in Iraq.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos stated that this is an attack that constitutes a crime against world cultural heritage adding that such criminal acts rekindle ethnic tensions and undermine the prospect for peace and stability in the country and the region.

    He reiterated Greece's support to a fully representative government that will labor to build a peaceful, prosperous and united Iraq.

    [05] THE SEAMEN STRIKE ENDS

    Athens, 23 February 2006 (17:21 UTC+2)

    The members of the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) Executive Committee unanimously decided today to end the strike mobilization in all ships under Greek flag. The strike was launched on February 16 and was scheduled to end tomorrow at dawn.

    After the decision to end the strike, all ferries that remained immobilized in the ports of Piraeus and Patras will set sail at 6pm this afternoon.

    The PNO is likely to request Minister of Merchant Marine Manolis Kefaloyiannis to lift the back-to-work order issued for the striking seamen at dawn yesterday.

    [06] THEODOROS BEHRAKIS IS THE NEW MAYOR OF ATHENS

    Athens, 23 February 2006 (17:07 UTC+2)

    City councilor Theodoros Behrakis is the new mayor of Athens after receiving 14 of the 25 City Council votes.

    Angelos Moschonas, who was also a candidate for the post, received 10 votes, while there was also a blank ballot paper.

    The third candidate, Ira Valsamaki withdrew her candidacy just before the vote began.

    The Athens mayor post remained vacant after former mayor Dora Bakoyiannis was appointed Foreign Minister in the recent government reshuffle.

    [07] ALOGOSKOUFIS ADDRESSED THE SEECP MINISTERS

    Athens, 23 February 2006 (16:50 UTC+2)

    An economic miracle can be performed in the region of SE Europe, said Minister of Finance and Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis addressing the SE European Cooperation Process, SEECP, Ministers of Economy meeting held in Athens today.

    Mr. Alogoskoufis stated that in order to make the economic miracle happen there should be closer cooperation and better coordination among the countries participating in the meeting while the region's EU convergence should be sped up.

    The Greek government can facilitate every effort by the countries that wish to participate more actively in the European economy or become members of the European Union.

    Mr. Alogoskoufis also stated that the economic prospects in the region should be promoted through specific policies concerning the free movement of capital, extraversion, and infrastructures in transportation, telecommunications and energy. Also, a climate of confidence between companies and state authorities should be created and the investment climate should improve. In addition, the private sector should be developed, local businesses should be encouraged to cross their national borders and acquire access to international capital markets and tax evasion and black market should be limited.

    Mr. Alogoskoufis also said that closer cooperation of the SE European countries must be promoted in cross-border commerce, facilitation of trade, capital markets, regional banking markets, investment environment and the joint ventures of public and private sectors.

    [08] GREEK REPRESENTATION IN THE EUROPEAN WEEK OF REGIONS AND CITIES

    Thessaloniki, 23 February 2006 (15:10 UTC+2)

    Greece will have a three-way representation in the Open Days 2006 European Week of Regions and Cities promoting cooperation among European cities and regions for economic growth and more jobs.

    Athens, Thessaloniki and the Region of Western Greece are among the 134 partners participating in the program divided into 14 groups according to their common features. More specifically, Athens and Thessaloniki participate in the Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas and the Region of Western Greece participates in the group of sustainable development regions.

    The partners of the European Week of Regions and Cities will meet in Brussels on October 9-12, 2006 to exchange views and experiences in the sectors of investments, fostering of innovation, management of structural funds resources, environmental technologies and activation of social organizations and civil organizations.


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