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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-10-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Visiting Russian FM, Railways chief address symposium in Athens
  • [02] PM, Gov't Vice President meeting on Wednesday
  • [03] Overdue tax debt up by 809 mln euros in Sept.
  • [04] Aegean Airlines completes acquisition of Olympic Air

  • [01] Visiting Russian FM, Railways chief address symposium in Athens

    ANA-MPA - Greece and Russia are "steady partners and friends and support the respect of the principles of law and the resolution of problems through dialogue in this multicentred world we live in," visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Athens on Wednesday.

    Speaking at a two-day event in a central hotel honoring modern Greece's first governor Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776–1831), who had also served as a diplomat of the Russian Empire prior, Lavrov said that "Russia always wanted a strong and prosperous Greece." The deep historical roots of friendship between the two countries form the base on which political relations are being built today, and extend to economic and trade relations, which can be further expanded, he added.

    Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, who opened the symposium "Ioannis Kapodistrias and the modern-day relations between Greece-Russia," said the completion of Kapodistrias' work is "an unfufilled obligation" for Greece, involving a modern state of law that must present a hopeful narrative to the international community during these times of crisis. Kapodistrias was a cosmopolitan and strongly patriotic and devoted to defending Greek interests. His assassination, Venizelos said, showed that "great initiatives give rise to great clashes."

    Vladimir Yakunin, president of two Russian foundations who are co-organisers of the Kapodistrias events in Greece and of Russian Railways SA, emphasised the spiritual and religious ties of the two peoples and said there are myths and negative stereotypes that must be dissolved, like the myth of Russian aggression.

    During his stay, Foreign Minister Lavrov is scheduled to meet separately with Venizelos, President Karolos Papoulias, and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. The two foreign ministers will be signing bilateral agreements and making statements to the press following their private meeting later in the day.

    Prior to the symposium, Lavrov also met briefly with National Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, who spoke extensively at the event on Kapodistrias' contribution to the formulation of European diplomacy in the early 19th century and on his pioneering viewpoint of combining realism and moderation in facing his era's despotism.

    Further events to commemorate the 185th anniversary since Kapodistrias took office as Greece's first governor wrapped up on Tuesday night at the port town of Nafplio, eastern Peloponnese, modern Greece's first capital. The events were organised by the Centre of European Studies and Humanities "Ioannis Capodistrias," the interregional public foundation Centre of Russian National Glory (CRNG) and the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called (AFF), in collaboration with the Municipality of Nafplio.

    The Nafplio events were attended by a number of officials from both Greece and Russia, including Greece's Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Giannis Adrianos and Yakunin, who chairs both CRNG and AFF.

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    [Yakunin at speaker's podium, at symposium on Kapodistrias and Greek-Russian relations; (L-R), Venizelos, Lavrov, Avramopoulos. Photo by Pantelis Saitas, ANA-MPA]

    [02] PM, Gov't Vice President meeting on Wednesday

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet on Wednesday with Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos ahead of the troika of lenders' next scheduled trip to Athens.

    According to sources the meeting between the two leaders will be held at 6:00 pm at the government headquarters of Maximos Mansion.

    [03] Overdue tax debt up by 809 mln euros in Sept.

    Overdue tax debt to the state grew by 809 million euros in September, to a total of 6.188 billion euros, the Finance Ministry said in a report.

    The report said that total overdue tax debt to the state (old debt up to December 31, 2012 and new debt) totalled 59.66 billion euros. In the January-September period, the state collected a total of 985 million euros from overdue tax debt, while debt worth 91 million euros was written off.

    The report said that VAT statements totalled 3,018,332 in the nine-month period from January to September, down from a budget target of 3,850,018, while tax inspection agencies carried out a total of 204 regular controls in large enterprises (down from a target of 596), while tax controls on self-employed and wealthy taxpayers lagged far below targets set for the year.

    [04] Aegean Airlines completes acquisition of Olympic Air

    Aegean Airlines on Wendesday announced the completion of the acquisition of Olympic Air with the signing of a final agreement for the purchase of 100 pct of shares in Olympic Air with Marfin Investment Group.

    In a statement, Aegean Airlines said the value of the deal was 72 million euros. The Greek airline company has already paid 20 million euros during the signing of a pre-contract in October 22, while the remaining sum will be paid in five equal annual tranches of which the first was paid on Wednesday. Following completion of the acquisition, Olympic Air will become a subsidiary of Aegean Airlines. The acquisition will offer a series of advantages to passengers, creating increased possibilities for the country's tourism growth. Aegean Airlines recently announced a package of actions aimed at boosting its scheduled flight programe with foreign destinations and a new pricing policy for flights to the country's remote areas.

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