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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-06-19

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece - Britain - Saunders' funeral
  • [02] Greece - EMU - Clinton
  • [03] EU-Exclusive Interview by Simitis to ANA-EMU-Euro
  • [04] Portugal-EU-European Council

  • [01] Greece - Britain - Saunders' funeral

    19/06/2000 21:06:02

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou will represent Greece at the funeral of British military attache Stephen Saunders who was murdered in Athens on June 8 by the elusive 'November 17' terrorist group.

    The funeral will take place on Tuesday at Salisbury, England.

    [02] Greece - EMU - Clinton

    19/06/2000 20:23:40

    WASHINGTON (ANA-T.Ellis) - US President Bill Clinton on Monday congratulated Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the country on its successful entry into EMU, according to a White House press release.

    The EU Summit's decision to bring Greece into the eurozone on January 1, 2001, one full year before the currency is introduced, said Clinton, "demonstrates Greece's remarkable economic progress in recent years. This economic success complements Greece's increasingly active political role within the EU."

    "Through determination and hard work, Greece succeeded in meeting all the Maastricht Treaty economic criteria," Clinton continued, saying that entry into EMU is "not the end of the race, but the start of a challenging new phase of economic reform."

    He expressed the hope that this would "usher in a new era of increased trade and investment between our two nations."

    [03] EU-Exclusive Interview by Simitis to ANA-EMU-Euro

    19/06/2000 19:55:10

    FEIRA, Portugal (ANA - D. Stamboglis) - Greece lives a historic moment as officially became on Monday the 12th member of the EU's Economic and Monetray Union (EMU), Prime Minister Costas Simitis said here.

    A European Union summit endorsed earlier Greece's long awaited entry into the euro-zone.

    In an exclusive interview to the Athens News Agency (ANA), Simitis said:

    "Our country is living a historic moment. The country's accession to the Economic and Monetary Union marks a new historic cycle for Greece. It opens up a new era of security and stability, development and prosperity. The image of a small and introverted Greece is finally leaving from our horizon. A country which was at the margin of major international developments.

    "Today, Greece is a strong and modern country, with a rebust economy and international recognition. We deservedly entered EMU. The first decade of the 21st Century finds our country an equal partner in the large European family which was shaped. This conquest was the result of a policy which was followed with consquence. It is due to the efforts and sacrifices of the Greek people.

    "Greece answered successfully to the greatest challenge it has faced in a period of peace, that is to achieve a position, as a strong country, in the group of the most developed countries of the world. We have proved in practice that we are a country and a people who, when they fix targets and have a strategy, can achieve what they aspire. Greece's participation into the euro-zone has never been a purpose in itself. It constituted a national target of strategic importance.

    "Within EMU, we have a protective shield against shocks arising from globalisation. In parallel, our participation in EMU reinforces the competitiveness of the Greek economy and offers new possibilities of development and prosperity. Structural measures which are being taken such as the liberalisation of energy and telecommunication markets, the restructuring and modernisation of the public administration and the measures towards a rational public spending, renew the Greek economy's potential and contribute towards a faster rate of economic growth.

    "For the first time in Greek history, the Greek economy has before it the perspective of a long-term stability...the dangers of parity fluctuations are minimised as well as the price paid for real high interest rates. The high growth rates in the new environment create the healthy surplus for extending social policies of cohesion and solidarity.

    "The country's great success should not allow us to be complacent. We are now in a new economic and political reality which creates new needs and demands. We are now before a great challenge to utilise all the potentials which are opening. We are at the start of an optimistic and hopeful course for our country, society and the citizens.

    "Our aim now is to achieve real convergence, to secure social cohesion and stability, care for the improvement of the citizen's quality of life. It is our duty and commitment to increase employment, to fight against social inequalities, underdevelopment and poverty, to create a society of meritocracy and transparency which will offer equal chances to all citizens, to improve the standard of living and to offer education which will correspond to the new realities of the society of informatics and knowledge.

    "We are based in this effort on the strong foundations we have created in past years. We are based on possibilities we have for a further increase of growth rates higher than those of our partners.

    "Achieving our aims entails reinforcement of our efforts. Today we are aware of our strength. Greece has got rid of the passiveness of the past. It is a Greece which opens a new page, leaving behind it a past of underdevelopment, introversion and fear.

    "Greece of EMU is a creative and open Greece. It is a Greece which opens new horizons for the present and the future of its society and citizens. It for this Greece that we are working for. We must all rally for this Greece. This is what our history, the present and the future of Hellenism command."

    [04] Portugal-EU-European Council

    19/06/2000 15:44:59

    FEIRA, Portugal (ANA - M. Spinthourakis) - The European Council on Monday approved Greece's entry into the euro-zone, according to well informed presidency sources here.

    The political decision was taken on a level of heads of state and government, and from the legislative side, it will be ratified later in the afternoon during a special ECOFIN meeting.


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