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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-07-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] SI meeting on Samos to discuss Middle East
  • [02] Development minister tours Achaia

  • [01] SI meeting on Samos to discuss Middle East

    The new eruption of violence in the Middle East and the issue of Iran's nuclear programme will be among topics discussed by the presidency of the Socialist International, which convenes on the Aegean island of Samos on Saturday and Sunday, in a meeting chaired by main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou.

    After the presidency concludes its meeting on Sunday, Papandreou and Socialist International Secretary Luis Ayala will hold a press conference.

    On Friday, Papandreou had separate telephone conversations with European Union High Commissioner for Foreign Policy, Security and Defence Javier Solana, the Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi on the Middle East crisis, a PASOK press release said, adding that the contacts fall within the framework of the initiative undertaken by Papandreou and the SI for the Middle East and Iran's nuclear programme.

    Papandreou's telephone conversation with the Italian prime minister was made in light of the latter's participation in the G8 Summit in Saint Petersburg. Prodi briefed the SI president on his own telephone conversation with the prime minister of Lebanon, while a contact between Prodi and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was also deemed useful, the PASOK announcement concluded.

    Papandreou will open the proceedings of the 9th Symi Symposium on Sunday. The symposium is organized by the Andreas G. Papandreou Foundation and will take place on July 16-22 on the east Aegean island of Samos.

    The principle theme of this year's Symposium is 'Creative Cities in the 21st Century: How to Nurture Change, Growth and Sustainable Development.'

    Participants will explore issues such as encouraging citizens to participate in civic governance; creating pluralistic communities; the impact of technology and migration on urban environment; and how urban planning affects development, the environment, and quality of life on both a local and global level.

    The Symi Symposium, named after the island of Symi, brings together progressive politicians, academics, activists, and entrepreneurs to exchange views on some of the most important issues on the global agenda.

    The symposium proceedings will be completed on Friday, July 21 with the presentation of its conclusions by the president of PASOK.

    Among this year‚s participants are, Socialist International Secretary Luis Ayala, UNDP administrator Kemal Dervis, Sweden‚s Education Minister Leif Pagrotsky, 1998 Economics Nobel Prize winner professor Amartya K. Sen, Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev.

    [02] Development minister tours Achaia

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Saturday toured the prefecture of Achaia in the northwest Peloponnese, accompanied by Deputy Development Minister Anastassios Nerantzis, development ministry officials, the heads of Greek scientific institutes and local officials.

    Their first stop was at the new, ultra-modern telescope 'Aristarchos' built on the summit of Mount Helmos by the National Observatory in Athens, where he was shown around the interior and the surrounding facilities and grounds.

    In statements after the visit, Sioufas stressed that the telescope was an important acquisition for Greece, since it gave the Greek and international scientific community a vantage point from which it could observe two thirds of the visible universe.

    "The government supports and will support excellence in this science and with the help of the local authorities and society will attempt to make the region of Kalavryta into a point of reference for the international scientific community," he said.

    Work to complete the facilities will be ready by November 2006, including the construction of the road that should be ready soon, the minister added.

    Sioufas next attended the official inauguration of a 35 MW wind park on the mountain range near Patras, which will generate roughly 90,000 MW electricity a year, enough to cover the needs of more than half the households in Patras.

    The minister stressed that alternative energy sources were a basic tool in reducing dependence on oil.

    "All the countries that have adopted this stance have not only economic but also environmental benefits," he added, declaring the government's support for business initiatives for the operation of alternative energy sources.

    Sioufas' next port of call was the Patras Science Park, where he attended a ceremony for the signature of a charter for the union of the seven science and technology parks in the country. These are in Patras, Thessaloniki, Thessaly, Crete, Lavrio, Epirus and Attica.

    Addressing the presidents of the science parks, the minister noted that collective action and pooling of forces generated results that were placed in the service of citizens.

    Sioufas stressed that the government's goal was to encourage development everywhere, development for all and social cohesion:

    "We must break free of this view that there are 'two' Greeces. Greece is not just Athens. We are here for deeds, not words," he said.

    After a tour of the businesses based in the park, the minister addressed a two-day seminar on "Innovation and Enterprise: Business requires virtue and boldness" organised by the Patras science park and the Western Greece Region Regional Development Fund.

    In this, he underlined the government's emphasis on development for the regions through research into innovations and new technologies, cooperation and boosting enterprise.

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