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12 October, 2000
The Greek government on Wednesday reviewed recent developments in the Balkans, focusing especially on the situation in Yugoslavia and economic activity by Greece-based companies in the greater region.
According to reports, the Inner Cabinet discussed Greece's national action plan for the region, which includes the healthcare, housing, telecommunications and trade sectors and will be funded by the Greek state to the tune of 180 billion drachmas, plus investments funds by the Greek private sector.
Following the meeting, Foreign Minister George Papandreou said Athens is applying a Balkan policy based on the principles of international law and the protection of human rights.
Commenting on Yugoslavia, he said Greece's policy toward that country was vindicated, calling developments in Belgrade 'historic' and as forging the way for the region's accession to Euro-Atlantic alliances.
Papandreou also said the Inner Cabinet decided to immediately grant financial aid to Yugoslavia, adding that National Economy Minister Yannos Papantoniou was planning to visit Belgrade next month at the head of a delegation of Greek entrepreneurs.
He added that National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis would also visit Belgrade to discuss issues relating to their ministries.
Sources also said that Yugoslavia would be granted import credits, while other proposals for aid to Belgrade, Sofia and Skopje already submitted would be reviewed and supplemented during Papantoniou's tour of those capitals.
Speaking on conditions in neighboring Albania, Papandreou said that the cabinet discussed the recent instances of anti-Greek sentiment reported in the impoverished neighboring country, stressing that Athens' relations with Tirana are also based on the principles of international law and the protection of human and minority rights.
Source: Athens News Agency