Ties with Britain set for a boost

Greece wants to take its economic relations with Britain into a «new era,» Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis told Greek and British businessmen in central Athens yesterday. Trade between the two countries was worth more than 2.6 billion euros in 2005 but Bakoyannis said that there were «possibilities» for this to improve. «These possibilities have been created by the new international environment, developments in Southeastern Europe and the Middle East, and the dynamism of our two economies,» Bakoyannis told members of the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. She pointed to Greece’s increasing involvement in the energy sector through the construction of oil and gas pipelines and the prospect of Bulgaria and Romania joining the European Union next year as vital factors in increasing Greece’s importance in the region. Bakoyannis also said that Greece had to diversify its tourism industry to attract more British visitors. Currently, some 3 million British tourists come to Greece each year.