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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-10-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: We will succeed
  • [02] Recovery in 2011
  • [03] Inflation up in Sept.
  • [04] Turkish PM in Athens Oct. 22
  • [05] Letter on Astakos investment

  • [01] PM: We will succeed

    Prime minister George Papandreou stressed that Greece will succeed provided everyone has "faith in our abilities and self-confidence for our country", during a visit to the island of Limnos on Friday.

    In Limnos to attend celebrations marking the 98th anniversary of the island's liberation during the Balkan Wars in 1912-13, Papandreou said that every part of Greece has its beauty "but also a huge productive and human potential that has not been utilised and projected".

    This potential, he added, needs to be liberated from the mistakes of the past and focus on the timeless values and traditions of the Greek society for the country's development, founded on its comparative advantages.

    That, he said, is what his PASOK government is doing.

    Later Friday, Papandreou will attend the formal unveiling of the "digital aspect of the new school" by education and lifelong learning minister Anna Diamantopoulou.

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

    [02] Recovery in 2011

    New York (ANA-MPA) -- Finance minister George Papaconstantinou was upbeat on the Greek economy, stressing the progress that has been achieved in recent months and noting a "substantial increase" in investment interest, in interviews in New York on Thursday with the television station CNBC and the financial newspaper Wall Street Journal.

    Papaconstantinou spoke of "great interest" in investment in Greece by countries both inside and outside Europe, by China and Qatar, noting also that at least one major postal service in Europe has exhibited "explicit interest" in the Hellenic Posts (ELTA).

    He said that Greece is on a good track for achieving the targets, although the shortfall in revenues collection remains a "source of concern".

    Papaconstantinou also noted the support of the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), stressing that Greece needs to "rediscover itself" and build on its traditional forces, creating new comparative advantages such as in high technology and green energy.

    The finance minister expressed confidence that recovery will return in 2011, noting the "sweeping structural reforms" and fiscal streamlining, and the changes in the money and credit markets. He also said that the investments and changes taking place will create new jobs.

    Regarding investments and the facilitation being introduced for investors, Papaconstantinou referred specifically to the sectors of infrastructures, real estate, tourism and shipping.

    To a relevant question, Papaconstantinou said that "if you look at where we were three months ago, very few believed that we would be where we are today", adding: "We are a country that took control of its destiny into its own hands, going ahead with short-term and long-term changes, with positive consequences for its citizens".

    Papaconstantinou had meetings on Thursday with international investors, while on Friday he heads to Washington for similar talks and to attend the 2010 Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    While in the US, Papaconstantinou is scheduled to have meetings with his US and Russian counterparts, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and finance minister Alexei Kudrin respectively, and with China's vice minister of finance minister Zhu Guangyao.

    On Sunday, Papaconstantinou will meet with IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

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

    [03] Inflation up in Sept.

    Greek annnual inflation rate rose to 5.6 pct in September from 5.5 pct in August, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.) said on Thursday.

    The statistics agency attributed the increase in the consumer price index to higher prices in almost all goods and services markets, reflecting higher VAT and special fuel consumption tax. The September figure was the highest since August 1997.

    The consumer price index was up 0.7 pct in September 2009 compared with the same month in 2008, while the September figure was 1.9 pct higher from August 2010.

    The statistics agency attributed the 5.6 pct annual increase in the inflation rate to: a 2.1 pct increase in food and beverage prices, a 17.7 pct jump in alcohol and tobacco, a 2.4 pct rise in clothing and footwear, an 8.0 pct increase in housing prices and 1.6 pct rise in durable goods, a 0.8 pct increase in healthcare prices, a 17.7 pct jump in transport, a 3.0 pct rise in communications, an 1.1 pct rise in entertainment, a 0.2 pct rise in education and a 3.2 pct increase in hotel-coffee-restaurant prices.

    Greeceās harmonized inflation rate rose to 5.7 pct in September, from 5.6 pct in August, while it was up 1.9 pct in September from August 2010.

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

    [04] Turkish PM in Athens Oct. 22

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Athens on October 22 in order to take part in an international conference on climate change in the Mediterranean, the Greek foreign ministry said on Thursday.

    The event is called the Mediterranean Climate Change Initiative and will take place in the Astir Palace seaside resort of Vouliagmeni in Attica.

    Caption: File photo of Greek prime minister George Papandreou (L) and Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the latter's official visit to Athens in May 2010. (ANA-MPA/EPA/K. Mavrona)

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

    [05] Letter on Astakos investment

    Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis has sent a letter to Qatari Minister of state for Energy and Industry Affairs Dr. Mohamed Saleh Al-Sada regarding progress in the investment in Astakos, according to a foreign ministry statement.

    Specifically, Kouvelis noted the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) for strategic cooperation in the investments sector between the governments of Greece And Qatar that was signed in the presence of Prime Ministers Papandreou and Al Thani.

    The MOC, Kouvelis noted in his letter, came as a follow-up to the first Memorandum of Cooperation regarding the construction of the Astakos energy centre that was signed Kouvelis and Al-Sada in the presence of the Greek and Qatari Prime Ministers in May 2010, in Athens, during Al Thaniās visit, the statement said.

    Kouvelis also underscored his particular pleasure at Qatarās having become a strategic partner of Greece during the latterās efforts to promote a dynamic development process through activities that will give Greece an important regional role in Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean.

    Kouvelis stressed that for this cooperation to become a success story, both sides will have to comply with the Memoranda of Cooperation, following a specific timeframe for the meeting of their agreed obligations - as set down in the MoCs - with the aim of implementing the specific projects, according to the statement.

    In this spirit, Kouvelis noted to Dr. Al-Sada the steps taken by the Greek government following the signing of the MoC on the creation of the Astakos energy center to honor in a timely manner and effectively its commitment to the immediate promotion of its cooperation with the Qatari government, securing the basic requirements for the construction of the energy center. Specifically, Mr. Kouvelis set out the three basic requirements that the Greek government met immediately to ensure the fastest possible implementation of the project:

    a. A positive opinion from the Prefectural Council on the Environmental Impact Study

    b. Unanimous approval from the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) as of last May

    c. Signing of a joint ministerial decision by the Ministers of Energy, Environment and Climate Change; Transport, Infrastructure and Networks; Economy; Development; and Culture

    Noting the significant progress that has been made by the Greek side in the preparations for the Astakos project, Kouvelis requested corresponding information regarding the preparations of the Qatari government and Qatar Petroleum International for implementation of the project. He concluded by requesting a meeting with the Qatari Minister at the soonest possible time, for the purpose of discussing the aforementioned matters and moving ahead to the necessary steps for initiation of the construction phase of the project, the foriegn ministry statement concluded.

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

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