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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-06-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Mitsotakis: US withdrawal from Paris Agreement an extremely unpleasant development
  • [02] The biggest thermal spa in the Balkans is located in Chalkidiki
  • [03] "Greece - a link in the developing Euro-Chinese relations," EU Parliament VP Papadimoulis says
  • [04] Train services linking Thessaloniki with Belgrade and Bucharest resume

  • [01] Mitsotakis: US withdrawal from Paris Agreement an extremely unpleasant development

    New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated on Friday that the climate change is a crucial international matter that affects everyone. He said that it is not a conspiracy theory and is not linked with the economic competition.

    The climate, he said, is changing rapidly as a result of the human intervention, something that nobody in the scientific community disputes.

    The main opposition leader added that the climate change demands international cooperation something that can't be achieved without the participation of the high developed economies and this is the reason why the Paris Agreement was such a huge success.

    "The US decision to withdraw from the agreement is an extremely unpleasant development. I hope in the near future the US reconsiders the decision. In any case Greece will remain focused on the targets provided by the agreement as well as the other European countries," noted Mitsotakis.

    [02] The biggest thermal spa in the Balkans is located in Chalkidiki

    It is the largest spa with thermal water in the Balkans and it is located in Chalkidiki. Can it be a strong card for attracting tourists beyond the summer season? "This is our goal," entrepreneur Andreas Ragatis, one of the three owners of "Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort", said speaking to ANA. "We have to move away from the sun and sea model and establish Chalkidiki as a tourist destination for the whole year. Each region must exploit all of the special features it has," he noted.

    The five-star hotel celebrated its first birthday a few days ago. It is located in Kanistros area on the first leg of Chalkidiki. When it was built in 2014, the owners had not imagined it would fall on a treasure: a hot natural source of iodized water rather than sulfur, as originally assumed, similar to that of the baths of Aghia Paraskevi, is within walking distance. Seeking to find where they came from, they saw that it was connected to Mount Olympus.

    "We have created a spa area of 3,000 sq.m. where everyone can enjoy the beneficial effects of the thermal baths combined with the services and facilities of the hotel," said Mr Ragatis.

    In addition to this, energy savings can be added as, as he explains, the hotel's geothermal system ensures an average temperature of 17 degrees Celsius in rooms. "We estimate that in the seven months of operation - from the end of March to the end of October - the economic benefit resulting from the energy savings reaches 30%, a fact that encourages us to operate the hotel for several months and why not, all year round" Ragatis said.

    The source of "Myrthia Thermal Spa", known as Canister Water, is recognized by the National Commission for the Protection of Water Resources as a hot natural source. Canister Water reaches the surface at a temperature of about 32° C passing through primitive rocks at a depth of 270 meters. Its metallic composition is formed during its course while its temperature decreases at the end of the upward movement due to its mixing with cooler surface waters.

    Ragatis said that the hotel's performance is encouraging. In August 2016 occupancy rate reached 95%. Tourists came from Russia, England, Germany, Greece and the Balkans. The tourist resort grows on an area of 330 acres, while the hotel is built amphitheatrically overlooking the gulf of Toroneos and Sithonia.

    It has 300 rooms of which 48 with private pool.

    This is an investment of 92 million euros, while the next goal is the project to build a settlement on an area of about 220 acres, according to Mr. Ragatis. He noted that the number of staff reaches 380.

    One of the advantages of the tourist resort is the marina which can welcome 81 yachts up to 40 meters long, all year round.

    [03] "Greece - a link in the developing Euro-Chinese relations," EU Parliament VP Papadimoulis says

    European Parliament Vice President Dimitris Papadimoulis and Chai Xiaolin, the head of economic and commercial counsellor's office of China's mission to the EU, praised on Friday during a conference on EU-China's relations, at the European Parliament, Greece's strategic role in the Euro-Chinese relations.

    "We consider today's event a very important one. And it is even more important because it is held at a period of intense geopolitical upheaval, at global level. From East Asia to Latin America, but also from the US to the Middle East, developments are rapid. And they require constant alertness and setting of new priorities and policy choices for the EU, the member states, and other important countries such as China. EU-China relations are of strategic importance for both sides. EU and China are two of the world's four largest economies - along with the US and India. Their bilateral trade and investment relations are steadily increasing, gradually and often impressively. The further strengthening of these relations is necessary and must be based on the mutual interest but also on the respect of both labour relations and environment," Papadimoulis underlined.

    Papadimoulis also referred to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, saying: "The EU and China have signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement. This is particularly important, as a letter was sent by the Trump administration a few hours ago excluding the US from the Paris accord. Both the EU and China have to seek common solutions to major global problems through dialogue. By deepening multilateral co-operation, with transparency, effectiveness, and open discussion on issues of disagreement."

    Papadimoulis praised the Chinese government's "One Belt, One Road" initiative which he described as particularly important as it can help to strengthen global growth and enhance regional security. "The global economy needs new development initiatives, not policies of isolation, protectionism and regression. China's investment plan should contribute to sustainable development, respecting international law, fairness, and building on a transparent system of rules for international trade and investment."

    Papadimoulis made an extensive reference to Greece saying that "due to its geographical position, it is a gate for developing Euro-Chinese relations as it is a crossroads and a connecting link to this new "One Belt-One Road" initiative. He also noted that "China's investment interest in Greece and in southern Europe is rather significant lately, it is steadily strengthening and is aimed at developing and linking ports, railways and transport, shipping and tourism, through large-scale investments in infrastructure, but also in the development of telecommunications and networks. "The port of Piraeus," the Greek MEP stressed, "has, with the contribution of Chinese investments, turned into a major link in the chain of the new silk road. A place where the belt and the road meet. It constitutes an important gate to Europe in the plan for the silk road, with significant mutual benefits for both trade and infrastructure."

    On her part, Xiaolin said at the beginning of her speech: "I agree on most Papadimoulis said and you will find many common points in my speech. A strong message I want to convey to you is that the OBOR initiative(One Belt, One Road) is an important lever for mutually beneficial cooperation with all participants. It will create new opportunities for both China and the EU to agree on a joint effort in the 21st century. China and the EU are at the two ends of the new silk road and are important links in the chain for the 21st century sea route. This is an important initiative, which is also an important platform for both sides, China and the EU, to develop cooperation among them. Today China is the world's largest developing country, while the EU is the largest developing economy. The fact that these two sides can cooperate despite their intense differences says a lot about the strategic importance one side has for the other."

    Talking about the geopolitical situation globally and this part of the region in particular, the Chinese Minister noted: "Everyone is aware that the global shipping industry has been shrinking lately. But the transfer of containers in Piraeus increased by a two-digit figure in 2016 and is expected to bring 2.6 billion euro revenue to Greece as well as a significant increase in job positions."

    Finally, she referred to the Chinese Prime Minister's visit to the EU: "Our Prime Minister will be in Brussels tomorrow. And he has already announced at the High-Level Forum on Silk Road that China continues its export trade efforts and we are talking about commodities of 2.3 trillion dollars. An amount of 150 billion dollars will be invested over the next few years in the countries where the silk road passes."

    [04] Train services linking Thessaloniki with Belgrade and Bucharest resume

    The restart of the international railway route Thessaloniki-Belgrade via Skopje and of another service, for the summer season, that will link Thessaloniki with Bucharest via Sofia, announced Trainose.

    The service for Belgrade resumed on Friday while on Sunday will start the service for Bucharest.

    The ticket fares will be competitive with multiple offers. Moreover, the Eurail and Interrail offers will be accepted as well as special offers from and to the other countries of southeastern Europe.

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