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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM on special EU conference in Brussels
  • [02] Yiannakou's message to school leavers

  • [01] FM on special EU conference in Brussels

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, speaking after the special conference of European Union foreign ministers on sending an international force to Lebanon held in Brussels on Friday, said that Europe responded successfully to the UN Secretary General's call for a peacekeeping force for Lebanon.

    "The Special Council of the European Union's Foreign Ministers has been concluded. Europe responded with success, I would say, to the call by the Secretary General of the UN for a strengthened peacekeeping force that will go to Lebanon. A request that was made by the government of Lebanon, as well as by the countries in the region that are involved. In all, the forces that are currently registered at European level are about 6,500 men and an additional 2,000 that are in place. Meaning, over 8,000 men and, of course, the naval and air forces that will go to the region as soon as possible," she said.

    "Greece had stressed from the beginning that the full implementation of resolution 1701 of the UN's Security Council is imperative. This implementation requires the presence of this strengthened force, it also requires, of course, the immediate lifting of the blockade of Lebanon by sea and air. I would like to hope that today's decision, that is a very important step in this peace effort, will have the results desired," Bakoyannis added.

    All EU member-states will participate in the peacekeeping force, with the exception of Lithuania and Latvia. Apart from Greece, Germany and Denmark will also be sending a naval force to Lebanon. According to diplomatic sources, the naval force will contribute to the lifting of Lebanon's blockade.

    Lastly, according to Bakoyannis, all the EU countries stressed the need for an initiative for a solution to the Palestinian issue, that will be discussed more extensively at the EU's informal Council of Foreign Ministers in Finland on September 1.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis)

    [02] Yiannakou's message to school leavers

    Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou on Friday congratulated school leavers who had successfully gained a place in a university or technical educational institute in the nationwide university entrance exams. "I am sure that with their continuing and systematic effort during their studies they will contribute to improving the quality of higher education institutes," she added.

    The minister also had words of encouragement for those who failed to get a place in their chosen schools:

    "For those who did not succeed this time, I would like to remind them that there will be other opportunities to achieve their goal and I call on them to work in this direction," she said.

    The results of the nationwide examinations were released throughout the country on Thursday. These showed a rise in the bottom marks of students accepted by universities, except in medical schools, while some 13,967 available places remained vacant as a result of the imposition by the government of an minimum pass mark of 10 for entry into tertiary education studies.

    Most of these places were in Technical Education Institutes (TEI) and in the language departments of universities. Education ministry general secretary Andreas Karamanos on Thursday said that the 29 TEI departments with less than 10 successful candidates and the four TEI departments with none would be filled by students from specialised TEE technical schools.

    Of a total of 99,782 candidates that applied for a place in university or TEI departments, 60,204 were accepted in 2006. In 2005 the total number of candidates had been slightly higher (104,668), while 76,135 had been accepted.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou)

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