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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-10-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 'Vote of confidence' in Greece
  • [02] Athens newspaper headlines

  • [01] 'Vote of confidence' in Greece

    Addressing the Greek Parliament on Sunday during the second day of an official visit to Greece, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao gave China's "vote of confidence" in Greece's future, saying that through closer cooperation China could help Greece quickly overcome its present difficulties.

    During a speech attended Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, the leaders of the Parliamentary groups, former Parliament presidents, MPs and representatives of Greek industry and business, Wen said the effort to deepen and develop Greek-Chinese cooperation should focus on boosting bilateral trade, shipping and transport, science and tourism.

    He called for a doubling in the volume of bilateral trade transactions to eight billion dollars in the next five years, adding that China was ready to double its imports of Greek products such as olive oil and wine.

    Noting that that the Chinese government was encouraging Chinese businesses to establish logistics services in Greece and encouraging Greek ship owners to boost transactions with China, he said the two sides should cooperate in the management of the container terminal in Piraeus, aiming to increase its turnover by 3.7 million containers a year by 2017.

    The Chinese premier repeated plans for a research centre that will investigate ways to save energy and promote investment in renewable energy sources and outlined plans for further cooperation in tourism through measures to facilitate the flow of tourists to and from Greece.

    Wen's speech particularly emphasised relations between the EU and China, saying that these were now entering a new phase of "mature and healthy development". He pointed out that China was now one of the chief suppliers of technology to Europe and also one of Europe's main trading partners.

    Describing the EU and China as "complementary", the Chinese premier pointed to figures showing that EU exports to China had increased 42 percent in the first half of 2010 and were expected to reach 500 billion dollars by the end of the year.

    He underlined that his country was steadfastly pursuing a "win-win" strategy in its dealings with the rest of the world, both on the level of cooperation in technology and in trade and development but also in dealing with global challenges.

    China supports a stable euro because "we are convinced that a united and strong Europe can play an irreplaceable role in the world's development," he added. Wen noted that China had experienced massive changes since 1978, that it was carrying out a policy of reforms with an open spirit and had much to learn from countries such as Greece.

    Among others, he referred at length to ancient Greek civilisation, how this had inspired him and earned his respect, as well as his certainty that the difficulties now facing the Greek people would be decisively overcome. Wen particularly highlighted the valuable assistance given to China by Greek shipowners in what he described as a "crucial turning point" in its history in 1972, adding that his country will always remember this.

    At the end of the Chinese premier's address, Parliament President Philippos Petsalnikos presented him with Parliament's gold medal.

    Meeting with President Papoulias, visit to Acropolis

    Prior to addressing Parliament, Wen was received by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias at the presidential mansion and paid a visit to the Athens Acropolis.

    Meeting the Chinese premier at the presidential mansion, Papoulias underlined the strategic importance of developing relations between China and Greece. In talks between them, Papoulias also noted that Greek bonds were a profitable investment and noted his satisfaction that ties between the two countries were advancing on all levels.

    Wen expressed satisfaction with the 13 bilateral agreements signed with Greece and said that Greece and China "are both two countries that are ancient and modern and have a friendly cooperation that is rare in international relations."

    "Because this cooperation is equal, it is viable," he added.

    Immediately after the meeting, also attended by Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, President Papoulias hosted a dinner for the Chinese premier, the Chinese delegation, several cabinet ministers and Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos.

    During his visit to the Athens Acropolis on Sunday morning, meanwhile, the Chinese premier proposed to Papandreou that Greece and China work together to campaign for the return of stolen antiquities and cultural treasures to their country of origin - including Greece's demand for the return of the Parthenon Marbles currently at the British Museum to the new Acropolis Museum.

    Wen Jiabao informed Papandreou about the looting and destruction in 1860 of the old summer palace Yuan Ming Yuan outside Beijing by British troops. The soldiers were acting on the orders of British High Commissioner to China Lord Elgin, the son of the Lord Elgin that had removed the sculptures from the Parthenon.

    The Chinese premier also agreed with Papandreou to continually expand Greek-Chinese cooperation in culture, with Greek Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos due to meet his Chinese counterpart in the near future to discuss joint cultural activities.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Athens newspaper headlines

    Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    New flexible labour laws and further austerity measures, Chinese investments, economic statistics and house auction scams were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Why are they slinging mud at me". [lawyer accused in house auction scam]

    APOGEVMATINI: "Four thousand-metre plots can be saved". (on new legislation concerning buildings not within the town plan)

    ARTHRO ON SUNDAY: "Return of [former premier Costas] Karamanlis"

    AVGHI: "Two million in the unemployment-undeclared labour vice."

    AVRIANI: "Chinese charge into Greek bonds, ports, banks, freight stations, shipping and shipyards".

    CHORA: "The stink of the economy is 'choking' all Greeks"

    EPOCHI: "New attack on labour-education".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "21 provocative political favors by 15 ministers".

    ETHNOS: "Surprise names in the 'auctions mafia'".

    KATHIMERINI: "Statistics once again under EU microscope".

    LOGOS: "[PM George] Papandreou's signal to [main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis] Samaras. 'Sacrificing' [former premier Costas] Simitis...asking for Karamanlis".

    NIKI: "An interminable year of PASOK".

    PARON: "George cooking up a coalition government". [claims plan by PM to set up 'Memorandum alliance government' with ousted ND cadre Dora Bakoyannis, the breakaway 'Democratic Left' of Fotis Kouvelis and the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS)

    PROTO THEMA: "The pimps of Mykonos" [about real estate corruption scandal on Mykonos]

    RealNews: "New 'Goudi' if we fail!". [refers to 1922 execution of six politicians found guilty of treason for Greece's disastrous Asia Minor campaign].

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Alert - no agreement to new framework law for universities-technical colleges".

    TO VIMA: "Wage cuts to stop businesses closing".

    VRADYNI: "New social 'blood-sucking'; 10+1 new austerity measures from January".

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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