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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Molyviatis warns of dangers in W. Balkans
  • [02] Gov't insists on legal action against Getty museum
  • [03] Deputy FM meets with British counterpart
  • [04] Public satisfied with Citizens Service Centres

  • [01] Molyviatis warns of dangers in W. Balkans

    Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis this week again outlined Athens' view of the situation in the western Balkans, telling the "Associated Press" that three "separate but interrelated events" taking place over the next few months could lead to an explosive mix in the region.

    Molyviatis was quoted as citing the final-status talks for UN-administered Kosovo province, an April referendum in Montenegro on the future of its union with Serbia and deliberations over a new Bosnian constitution aimed to advance unification as ingredients in such an "explosive mix".

    Conversely, he said a comparison of the region today and 10 years ago shows a dramatic improvement, although threats to security and peace have still not been eliminated.

    The interview comes before the Greek foreign minister's visit next week to Pristina and Belgrade.

    Athens currently chairs the South East Europe Co-operation Process (SEECP), an initiative that also includes Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Romania, Serbia-Montenegro and Turkey.

    [02] Gov't insists on legal action against Getty museum

    The Culture Ministry announced on Wednesday that it is set on taking legal action against Los Angeles-based J. Paul Getty Museum over four works of ancient Greek art that the ministry claims the museum possesses illegally.

    The antiquities in question are believed to have been smuggled out of Greece and bought by the Getty.

    The ministry had announced its intended course of action last week and insists on following it despite a letter from the museum's Director Designate Michael Brand, who promises to re-examine the issue once he becomes curator in January 2006.

    The ministry said it appreciates Brand's gesture but will only refrain from taking legal action once the antiquities have been returned.

    [03] Deputy FM meets with British counterpart

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valynakis held talks in London on Wednesday with his British counterpart Douglas Alexander on the agenda of the European Union's upcoming summit in December, with emphasis on fiscal prospects, and in light of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis's visit to London on December 9.

    Valynakis stressed that Greece's position regarding the EU's budget is that whatever agreement must be based on what had been discussed at the summit in June.

    "We discussed a series of issues with Mr. Alexander, primarily the European Union's budget for the period between 2007-2013. During the next few days we are expecting the proposals of the British presidency to be submitted so that we can all work together to achieve the best possible result at the summit in December. We want to believe that these proposals will be constructive so as to lead to a result that will be fair for all, a result for which Europe will feel proud and, of course, the British presidency as well," he said.

    Valynakis also said that "we discussed the particular aspects of the important problem but I must say that the situation is very difficult. Extremely big difficulties exist in the effort of the European Union's 25 countries to find a common denominator for an agreement."

    Lastly, the deputy minister said Greece wants an agreement to be reached in December, but it is not prepared to accept any kind of agreement.

    [04] Public satisfied with Citizens Service Centres

    Unprecedented degrees of citizens' satisfaction with Citizens Service Centres (KEP), as well as a change in climate for the best towards public services by the country's citizens, has been registered by a survey prepared by the VPRC company.

    The results of the survey were presented on Wednesday by Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and the relevant Deputy Minister Apostolos Adreoulakos.

    Minister of State and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos attended a press conference, at the invitation of Pavlopoulos, and expressed the government's satisfaction over work being accomplished at the interior ministry.

    He stressed that the government's commitment for an improvement in the citizen's day-to-day life is beginning to become visible and conveyed the prime minister's congratulations to the ministry's staff and leadership.

    It is characteristic that 95 percent of citizens visiting the KEP expressed satisfaction over the service they received, while their rate of recognition reached 85 percent and their visiting rate 60 percent.

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