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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-01-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Debate on Article 16 revision opens in Parliament, protests held
  • [02] Greece, Albania discuss power exports to latter

  • [01] Debate on Article 16 revision opens in Parliament, protests held

    A parliamentary ad hoc committee on revision of the Constitution opened debate on Wednesday regarding revision of Article 16 in order to allow the establishment of non-state, non-profit universities in the east Mediterranean country.

    Commencement of debate on the contentious issue sparked a demonstration through central Athens hours earlier, as most political party-affiliated college student groups, the professors' and educators' unions as well as the leftist opposition in Parliament sternly oppose any revision of the unique -- by western standards -- article. Conversely, the government and main opposition PASOK have expressed support for revising the article in order to recognise non-state universities in the country.

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday described education as a "national issue on which there must be a broad consensus", during separate meetings with Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou and with the leadership of the university professors' federation.

    At the same time, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis reiterated his determination for reforms in the education sector to proceed through consensus and dialogue, and without hasty moves, during a meeting on Wednesday with the chairman of parliament's standing committee on educational affairs, ruling New Democracy MP Tassos Spiliopoulos.

    Protest marches were held in other cities as well, while unions - including the civil servants' group -- called on members to strike and hold work stoppages.

    Caption: Protesters rally in downtown Athens, in front of Parliament, on Wednesday, Jan. 10. 2007. ANA-MPA / O. Panagiotou.

    [02] Greece, Albania discuss power exports to latter

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Wednesday met with visiting Albanian Minister of Economy, Commerce and Energy Genc Ruli for talks on expanding bilateral cooperation in development and energy matters, as well as the export of electricity from Greece to energy-strapped Albania.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Greek minister said his Albanian counterpart detailed the major electricity supply problems faced by Albania in the current period. Sioufas said the two countries are seeking ways to increase electricity exports from Greece to Albania within the framework of an agreement recently signed in Athens.

    The Albanian minister thanked Athens for its support towards relieving the country's problem, as he reminded that Albania relies heavily on power generated from hydroelectric plants, which of late have been hampered by low rainfall. "We would like to thank the Greek government for helping us with our energy needs," he added.

    The meeting was also attended by Nikos Stephanou, the secretary general of development ministry; professor Mihalis Karamanis, the president of the Energy Regulatory Authority; Dimitris Maniatakis, chief executive of the Public Power Corp. and Albanian officials, including Andi Beli, general manager of the Albanian utility KESH and Albanian ambassador to Greece Vili Shefki Minaroli.\

    Caption: Development Minister Sioufas, left, greets his Albanian counterpart Ruli in Athens on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007. ANA-MPA photo / G. Antoniou.


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