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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-05-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Parliament president in Chile
  • [02] Prof. Babioniotis to visit Australia

  • [01] Parliament president in Chile

    Valparaiso (ANA-MPA/P. Dimitropoulos) -- The excellent bilateral relations between Greece and Chile were reaffirmed during talks between Greece's visiting parliament president Anna Psarouda-Benaki and leaders and members of the bi-cameral Chilean National Congress (parliament) in Valparaiso, on the first-ever visit by a Greek parliament president to a Latin American country.

    Psarouda-Benaki, who arrived in Santiago on Saturday on an official visit at the invitation of her Chilean counterpart Patricio Walker Prieto, president of the National Congress' upper house, the Chamber of Deputies, visited the northern Chile city of Antofagasta on Sunday, on the first stop of her tour, where she met with local authorities and members of the Greek community, before beginning the official leg of her visit on Sunday.

    Psarouda-Benaki held talks with Walker, as well as the president of the National Congress' lower house, the Senate, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, and addressed a plenary session of the National Congress, during which Walker Prieto presented her with the Congress' highest distinction.

    Addressing the National Congress, Benaki noted the importance of Chile's Association Agreement with the EU for liberalisation of commercial transactions, and thanked the 120 deputies and 38 senators for being the first parliamentarians in Latin America to sign a resolution endorsing Greece's demand for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens from the British Museum.

    Benaki further praised Chile's "prudent stance" on the Cyprus issue, and made special reference to its participation in the UN Peacekeeping Force on Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    Speaking of the benefits arising for Greece from its EU accession, Benaki stressed that Athens backs the prospect of gradual enlargement of the European Union "on condition of fulfillment of the EU criteria". She said this was particularly so for the Balkan countries, and also for Turkey "which, we believe, its European orientation will render it a frank neighbour".

    Benaki also said that the threat of terrorism "obliges us to come together, and also indicates to us that the best way to confront the problem is the advancement of specific fundamental rules of coexistence, such as tolerance, mutual acceptance, mutual understanding, and ensuring the basic values for all people".

    During both his address to the plenary and his private meeting with Benaki, Walker said that tribute was due to the Greek civilisation, which created Democracy. He also spoke of the common experiences of Greece and Chile as democratic nations, which are active in the promotion of peace and security.

    Benaki, in turn, congratulated Frei on his contribution, as President of Chile (1994-2000), to the advancement of the EU-Chile Free Trade Agreement.

    The two sides also agreed that there were margins for economic cooperation between the two countries and the assumption of investment initiatives in Greece by Chilean businessmen.

    Benaki further invited the presidents of the two houses of the National Council to visit the parliament of Greece.

    The Greek parliament president's visit will culminate with meetings with Chilean President of the Republic Veronica Michelle Bachelet, foreign minister Alejandro Foxley, and Isabel Allende Bussi, a Chilean deputy and daughter of the late Chilean president Salvador Allende.

    [02] Prof. Babioniotis to visit Australia

    Athens University former rector, Professor George Babiniotis, begins a two-week visit Australia on Friday, as a Visiting Professor of the La Trobe University's National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research (NCHSR).

    Babiniotis arrives in Melbourne Friday, for a visit that runs through May 23.

    During his stay, Babiniotis will give three public lectures and hold two seminars, while he will also attend to seminars for educators, one organised by the Centre in cooperation with the Education Coordinator's Office for Greek-language teachers, and one organised by the Centre in cooperation with the government of Victoria State.

    He will further visit schools, give interviews, and meet with Australian academics.

    Caption: File photo of Prof. George Babiniotis (ANA-MPA)

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