Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou expressed concern Saturday over developments in Bosnia. "I cannot be optimistic because, of course, there are conflicting positions. The West is divided and the mistakes which they're (western leaders) making are accumulating, while they're proceeding to make new mistakes," Mr. Papandreou told reporters on arrival in Heraklion, Crete, before heading to a seaside resort in Elounda, where he'll vacation until Aug. 20.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias said Saturday that concerted efforts were being made by the five-nation "Contact Group," the United States and UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to prevent a spread of the conflict and potential intervention of Croatian forces in Bosnia. Mr. Papoulias made the statement to reporters shortly before leaving Athens airport for Crete with the premier.
Asked whether he held talks with NATO Secretary General Willy Claes last week during the latter's Athens visit to conduct an orchestra performance, Mr. Papoulias said Mr. Claes was not in Greece in his capacity as the alliance's chief. "Of course, during the dinner which I hosted in his honour we exchanged views on the problems. He (Mr. Claes) too, is very concerned about developments. During the evening which he spent in Athens he was in continuous contact with (US Secretary of State) Warren Christopher," Mr. Papoulias added.
Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou on Saturday said he was familiar with the contents of a memo reportedly signed by 25 PASOK deputies urging internal party changes, saying it was well-intentioned.
"I consider it a well-meaning document. I see no problem," Mr. Papandreou told reporters upon his arrival in Heraklion, Crete. Mr. Papandreou, on vacation in Crete until Aug. 20, was accompanied by his wife, Dimitra Liani-Papandreou, Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias and Sports Under-Secretary George Lianis.
Press reports have the premier planning government and internal PASOK changes during his vacation. Speaking to reporters at Athens airport shortly before his departure, Mr. Papoulias declined to comment on the memorandum of the "25" that followed Mr. Papandreou's recent statement of support in the likelihood his wife decided to run for Parliament. "There's nothing to it (memo)," Mr. Papoulias said.
Meanwhile, in Heraklion, former minister and PASOK deputy Dimitris Tsovolas strongly criticised PASOK's "modernisers" for what he termed their "neo-conservative stance." Addressing members of the Heraklion PASOK branch, Mr. Tsovolas also made an indirect attack on the party's leadership. "PASOK, and this should be understood by everyone, is nobody's property. It's the property of the entire party, of all democratic people," he said.
"The unity of PASOK is now more necessary than ever before and it cannot be achieved by agreements between members of the party leadership. It can be achieved through internal democratic procedures and rules of meritocracy. Mr. Papandreou must be PASOK's leader and must operate politically, he must rule based on the party's ideology and political programme as well as government policies and the course of the movement, " Mr. Tsovolas added.
In vigorously criticising the so-called modernisers, Mr. Tsovolas said their "alleged choices of modernisation aim to divert Greek public opinion." ANA
Greece requested sole international rights to the Star of Vergina, symbol of the ancient Macedonian royal dynasty, slapped on the flag of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) three years ago, the Sunday edition of "Eleftherotypia" reported yesterday.
In early July, Greece placed its request before the United Nation's World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), calling for exclusive rights to the Hellenic symbol now used by the Skopje government, the paper stated. The 16-point star was found in the northern Greek province of Macedonia near Vergina, in the tomb of Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great.
In February 1994 Athens imposed trade sanctions as retortion measures against the landlocked, multi-ethnic former Yugoslav republic in an effort to force Skopje to stop using the Vergina Star on its flag and the name of Greece's northern province of Macedonia as well as delete expansionist language in the preamble of its constitution.
Bulgarian Parliament Speaker Blagovest Sendov is due in Greece today as the head of a parliamentary delegation on a week-long official visit. During his stay, Mr. Sendov will meet with President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis as well as political party leaders. On Wednesday, Mr. Sendov will fly to Crete where he'll visit archaeological sites and museums before departing for Thessaloniki Saturday.