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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-10-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

Tuesday, 6 October 2009 Issue No: 3315

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou receives mandate to form government
  • [02] PASOK wins elections, succeeds to create self sufficient government
  • [03] ND loses 37 constituencies to PASOK in Oct. 4 elections
  • [04] Russian president congratulates Papandreou
  • [05] Russian Embassy addresses letter to Papandreou
  • [06] Barroso, Party of European Socialists congratulate Papandreou
  • [07] US State Department on Papandreou election victory
  • [08] Austrian Chancellor congratulates Papandreou
  • [09] Papandreou interview with Corriere della Sera
  • [10] Outgoing PM Karamanlis hands in resignation to President Papoulias
  • [11] President formally briefed on election outcome by parliament chief
  • [12] Liapis on the election results
  • [13] Souflias retires from politics
  • [14] Alogoskoufis announces retirement from politics
  • [15] Athens chamber head calls on new gov't to proceed with structural reforms
  • [16] Car registrations down 20.5% in Jan-Sep
  • [17] Greek bond yields mixed in Sept.
  • [18] Stocks end slightly lower
  • [19] Greek bond market closing report
  • [20] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday
  • [21] Military helicopter engine stolen from guarded facility, Kea commander suspended
  • [22] Athens mayor in Damascus
  • [23] Local representatives of political parties arrested for attempted ballot tampering
  • [24] Man killed during celebrations for elections outcome
  • [25] Super League results
  • [26] Fair on Tuesday
  • [27] The Monday edition of Athens dailies at a glance
  • [28] Cyprus certain cooperation to continue with new Greek government
  • [29] Spokesman: Cyprus implements a multidimensional and targeted foreign policy Politics

  • [01] Papandreou receives mandate to form government

    Prime minister-elect George Papandreou, leader of the main opposition PASOK party that won a landslide victory in Sunday's general elections in Greece, was given a mandate to form a government by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Monday.

    Papoulias wished Papandreou strength for the work ahead of him.

    Papandreou, in turn, thanked Papoulias, adding that the times are difficult, and noted that the magnitude of his party's victory was indicative of the people's hope and desire for substantial, deep-rooted changes.

    [02] PASOK wins elections, succeeds to create self sufficient government

    Main opposition PASOK party and its leader George Papandreou posted a landslide election victory on Sunday in Greece's snap general election, garnering 43.94 percent of the vote with the results from 99 percent of the precincts tallied nationwide.

    PASOK was leading ruling New Democracy party by more than 9 percentile points, with the latter receiving 33.49 percent at the same 50-percent mark, with PASOK eying 160 projected MPs in Parliament, easily over the 150 minimum(out of a 300-deputy legislature) needed to form a self-sufficient government, while ND's tally, will be in the mid 90s.

    In terms of smaller Parliament-represented parties, the Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) stood at 7.53 percent; 4.59 percent for the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance; 5.62 percent for the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) and 2.52 percent for the newly formed Ecologists-Greens party, which appears unable to exceed the 3-percent threshhold needed to enter Parliament.

    [03] ND loses 37 constituencies to PASOK in Oct. 4 elections

    The October 4 elections cost New Democracy (ND) first place in 37 constituencies that it had won in 2007 and which have now gone to the PASOK party based on the vote count on Monday.

    PASOK, which posted a landslide victory during the Sunday general elections, recorded impressive gains in votes relative to 2007 in several constituencies, which were as high as 14.09 percent in Rethymno, 9.84 percent in Xanthi, 8.16 percent in the Dodecanese islands, 8.11 percent in Iraklio, 8.10 percent in Ileia, 8.09 percent in Chios, 7.79 percent in Arcadia, 7.20 percent in Fthiotida, 7.19 percent in Grevena, 7.17 percent in Rodopi and 7.04 percent in the Cyclades island group.

    ND, by contrast, posted even more spectacular collapses in its percentage of the vote relative to 2007, which was greater than 9 percent in 17 constituencies. The greatest drop was in Rethymno, where it lost 19.10 percent relative to the last elections, followed by Xanthi (-13.72 percent), Rodopi (-11.23 percent), Dodecanese (-10.87 percent), Arcadia (-10.11 percent), Viotia (-9.9 percent), Chios (-9.88 percent), Iraklio (-9.85 percent), Attica (-9.79 percent), Evia (-9.52 percent), Cyclades (-9.48 percent), Ilia (-9.32 percent), Piraeus 1st (-9.32 percent), Thesprotia (-9.26 percent), Fthiotida (-9.17 percent), Lasithi (-9.19 percent) and Messinia (-9.01 percent).

    ND managed to retain its leading position in only six constituencies: those of Laconia, Kastoria, Argolida, Messinia, Pieria and Serres.

    Another "winner" was abstention, the rate of which increased 3.23 percent relative to the 2007 general elections and accounted for 29.08 percent of the electorate, up from 25.85 in 2007.

    [04] Russian president congratulates Papandreou

    MOSCOW (ANA-MPA - Th. Avgerinos)

    Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev on Monday sent a message congratulating PASOK President George Papandreou on his party's landslide victory in the Greek general elections on Sunday.

    In the message, Medvedev described Greece as a "strategic partner" of Russia and praised the role played by Papandreou personally in promoting bilateral relations between Russia and Greece.

    "We have a high regard for your personal contribution to consolidating the traditionally friendly relations between Russia and Greece, which in recent years are developing dynamically in all the directions of our cooperation," the message released by the Kremlin said.

    "Greece is our strategic partner, we are united by long historic and cultural ties," the Russian president added, expressing confidence that "with joint efforts we will be able to effectively ensure the further deepening of multi-faceted Greek-Russia cooperation, both on a bilateral level and on an international level.

    The Russian president also noted that extending political and economic cooperation between Russia and Greece would "unquestionably contribute to enhancing stability and security in Europe and the world as a whole."

    [05] Russian Embassy addresses letter to Papandreou

    The Russian Embassy in Athens addressed a letter to PASOK leader George Papandreou on his party's success in Sunday's general elections, stressing that "we greatly appreciate your personal contribution to the consolidation of the traditional relations of friendship between Russia and Greece which have been developing dynamically in the sectors of cooperation in recent years."

    The letter also expressed certainty "that with joint efforts we shall be able to successfully secure the further deepening of multifaceted Russian-Greek cooperation both at bilateral level and on international issues."

    It also stressed that the widening of political and economic cooperation between Russia and Greece will undoubtedly contribute to the consolidation of stability and security in Europe and all over the world.

    [06] Barroso, Party of European Socialists congratulate Papandreou

    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the Party of European Socialists (PES) congratulated PASOK leader George Papandreou on his landslide victory in Sunday's general elections in Greece.

    In his congratulatory letter, European Commission President Barroso underlined the challenges with which Europe is faced, stressing that everybody should display courage, cooperate and build a secure future for all Europeans so that Europe can exit the economic crisis much stronger.

    On his part, PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen stated that "George Papandreou's election victory is the change that Greece needed."

    "The 3-billion-euro 'green development' and employment plan is ambitious and at the same time realistic considering the tough decisions that need to be made to tackle tax evasion, corruption and ineffectiveness," Rasmussen underlined.

    "Voters rejected the conservative, austere measures that would have been disastrous for development in Greece. This victory proves that the current, society-based democracy is essential for the future of Europe," Rasmussen stressed.

    [07] US State Department on Papandreou election victory

    WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/T. Ellis)

    US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly applied the same spirit used by the White House's announcement on Sunday in congratulations by President Barack Obama to PASOK leader George Papandreou for his victory in Sunday's general elections, stressing that "we congratulate George Papandreou and PASOK for their victory. We look forward to cooperation with the new Greek government in many bilateral and multipartite issues that our countries are facing and that the NATO Alliance is facing."

    Asked whether President Obama, during his telephone conversation with Papandreou, invited him to the US, Kelly referred the issue to the White House, saying that "on this issue I must refer you to the White House. I saw that there was a brief announcement by the White House concerning the telephone call, but I have no further details apart from this."

    [08] Austrian Chancellor congratulates Papandreou

    VIENNA (ANA-MPA / D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Federal Chancellor of Austria Werner Faymann congratulated PASOK on its victory in Sunday's elections, expressing joy that he will "cooperate with the new Prime Minister George Papandreou".

    Faymann, who is also the chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPO), underlined that the election results in Greece "constitute notable success for the European Social-Democrats and strengthen the forces that place the 'social dimension' at the center of their political action."

    [09] Papandreou interview with Corriere della Sera

    In his first interview following his party's landslide victory on Sunday, to the Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera", PASOK President and soon-to-be Greek prime minister George Papandreou pledged to clash head on with "the graft that has prevented the development of my country".

    "The client relations that many consider a self-evident privilege have to be dismantled, beginning with the public sector," he underlined.

    Asked about his government's top priorities, Papandreou said that these would be the fight against corruption "which clouds transparency and subverts the rules", creating jobs for young people and the unemployed, fighting the black economy, introducing a fairer tax system and "placing our bets on green development".

    He stressed that one of his main goals would be to "break the climate that threatens to deprive our democracy of oxygen" while noting that the alliance between the state and big capital had greatly benefited the rich at the expense of all others, and that this had to change.

    On relations with Turkey, the former foreign minister and one-time architect of the "earthquake diplomacy" that had marked a period of rapprochement between the two sides of the Aegean repeated that Turkey's road to European accession was open, provided that Ankara respected the terms that been set, including those concerning the Cyprus issue.

    "Our will is unequivocal but it depends on the positions taken by the other side," he added.

    Replying to questions about U.S. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, Papandreou expressed the opinion that President Obama had "very many positive points," including the courage to turn words into actions and the determination to support changes in all areas.

    "If you deprive people of home and let them slide toward fear, then they begin to be drawn by conservatism. President Obama disseminates an unmistakable hope and this is important, not just for the United States but for the entire planet," PASOK's president remarked.

    [10] Outgoing PM Karamanlis hands in resignation to President Papoulias

    Outgoing Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis called on President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and handed in his government's resignation on Monday, following ints defeat in Sunday's general elections.

    Karamanlis visited the Presidential Mansion at 13:45 and departed at 13:57 without making any statements.

    PASOK party leader and Prime Minister-elect George Papandreou will visit the President shortly and receive a mandate to form a government.

    [11] President formally briefed on election outcome by parliament chief

    Parliament president Dimitris Sioufas on Monday called on President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, whom he formally briefed on the results of Sunday's general elections in Greece, in which the main opposition PASOK party won a landslide victory.

    Papoulias is scheduled to next receive outgoing prime minister Costas Karamanlis, who will hand in his resignation.

    Afterwards, Papoulias will receive PASOK leader George Papandreou, to whom he will give a mandate to form a government.

    Karamanlis also resigned from the presidency of his up to now ruling New Democracy (ND) party, in a statement in which he personally assumed the responsibility for the party's electoral defeat late Sunday night.

    [12] Liapis on the election results

    New Democracy (ND) former government minister and former MP Michalis Liapis underlined on Monday, following Sunday's crushing defeat suffered by his party, that "certain individuals led ND to disaster and humiliation, ignored the majority of the party supporters and common sense and scorned the mandate that had been given by the Greek people to ND to govern the country."

    "The people have punished us," Liapis said, reminding that he had disagreed with the decision to hold early elections and chose not to be a candidate.

    Liapis wondered if those who recommended holding early elections, thus "humiliating" the party, will do the same.

    "They are the two 'guardians of the crown'," Liapis responded when asked by reporters to be more specific.

    Michalis Liapis announced on Sept. 3 that he would not be a candidate in the snap general elections called by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    In a statement, the ruling party MP said that he could not take part in these elections and assist with decisions that he radically disagreed with for reasons of ethical and political order, adding that it was an issue of political consistency and personal integrity.

    According to Liapis, the decision to call early elections at this time was a historic mistake for the country and a misstep for the ruling party:

    "I cannot participate in this madness. With what arguments will we once again seek the people's vote when yesterday we appeared to admit that we failed in the years that we were in power? With what moral standing will we ask our voters to do battle when we did not honour their trust by using up our entire four-year term?"

    Liapis continued to say that he would remain faithful to ND and was at the side of the "pure fighters" of the party, taking part in the "current great sorrow and disappointment".

    [13] Souflias retires from politics

    Outgoing environment, town planning and public works minister George Souflias on Monday announced that he would not assume the state deputy's seat he is entitled to, as the head of New Democracy's relevant state deputies list, a day after the up-until-Sunday ruling party suffered a crushing electoral defeat.

    "My political course is ended," a lengthy letter by the veteran Larissa-district politician stated on Monday afternoon, adding that he will not be sworn-in as a deputy in the new Parliament.

    "Let me also clarify that I am not interested in any political position, either within ND or beyond. What I am interested in is to breathe beyond (the sphere of) politics," he stressed, while referring to his 35-year-old course in politics.

    [14] Alogoskoufis announces retirement from politics

    Former economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis on Monday announced his retirement from politics and a return to a career as a university professor.

    Alogoskoufis, who failed to garner enough votes in Sunday's election to be elected to Parliament from Athens' first election district on New Democracy's ballot, thanked his constituents and emphasised that Sunday's election outcome is a cause for concern for the party.

    Financial News

    [15] Athens chamber head calls on new gov't to proceed with structural reforms

    Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) president Constantine Mihalos called on the new government to "display determination and strong will in promoting all necessary structural reforms and without considering the political cost, even if it means that it will have to confront sector interests."

    Mihalos congratulated Prime Minister-elect George Papandreou, underlining that its "policy statements regarding the economic crisis, fiscal reform, social security and labor issues and measures in support of SMEs, are expected anxiously and with great interest."

    [16] Car registrations down 20.5% in Jan-Sep

    Car registrations fell by 20.5 pct in the January-September period to 232,067 units (new or used vehicles), compared with the corresponding perid last year, the National Statistical Service announced on Monday.

    The statistics agency said new motorcycle registration dropped 30.6 pct in the same period to 60.803 units, from 87,670 units in the same period in 2008.

    [17] Greek bond yields mixed in Sept.

    Bond yields were mixed in the Greek electronic secondary bond market in September, with the five- and 10-year benchmark bonds' returns rising slightly, while the three-, 15- and 30-year bonds' returns eased slightly in the month, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.

    The central bank, in its monthly report, said the three-year benchmark bond yield fell by 26 basis points to 2.20 pct at the end of September, while the 15- and 30-year bond yields fell by 6.0 and 5.0 basis points to 4.83 pct and 5.18 pct, respectively. The yield curve grew in September, with the spread between the 30-year and three-year benchmark bonds rising to 298 bps, from 276 bps a month earlier. The monthly average yield spread between the Greek and German 10-year benchmark bonds widened to 127 bps in September, from 118 bps in August.

    Bond prices were also mixed, with the three-year bond price rising to 104.98 pct at the end of September, from 104.47 a month earlier, while the 10-year bond price fell to 111.52 from 111.78 points, over the same period, respectively.

    Turnover in September jumped to 51.79 billion euros, from 30.76 billion euros on August and 26.30 billion euros in September 2008. Daily average turnover was 2.35 billion euros in September, from 1.46 billion in August. The seven- and 10-year benchmark bonds were the most heavily traded securities, accounting for 72 pct of total turnover.

    [18] Stocks end slightly lower

    Greek stocks ended moderately lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, reversing an early rally of prices, as a mixed appearance by other European markets left the Greek market without direction. The composite index fell 0.48 pct to end at 2,581.07 points, with turnover a moderate 225.8 million euros, of which 26.4 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved down, with the Food/Beverage (2.37 pct), Technology (1.38 pct) and Banks (0.86 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Utilities (1.89 pct), Industrial Products (1.41 pct) and Chemicals (1.0 pct) scored gains.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 0.60 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.32 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index eased 0.14 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 102 to 89 with another 55 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -0.60%

    Industrials: +1.41%

    Commercial: -0.62%

    Construction: +0.70%

    Media: -0.27%

    Oil & Gas: +0.85%

    Personal & Household: -0.53%

    Raw Materials: -0.29%

    Travel & Leisure: -0.51%

    Technology: -1.38%

    Telecoms: +0.52%

    Banks: -0.86%

    Food & Beverages: -2.37%

    Health: +0.25%

    Utilities: +1.89%

    Chemicals: +1.00%

    Financial Services: -0.69%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OTE, Alpha Bank and OPAP.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 11.97

    ATEbank: 1.59

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 15.20

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.05

    Hellenic Petroleum: 7.90

    National Bank of Greece: 23.02

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 10.12

    Intralot: 4.55

    OPAP: 17.31

    OTE: 11.50

    Bank of Piraeus: 11.83

    Titan: 23.28

    [19] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market jumped to 2.851 billion euros on Monday, of which 1.189 billion euros were block trades and the remaining 880 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 19, 2019) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover 1.458 billion euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased slightly to 130 basis points, with the Greek bond yielding 4.42 pct and the German Bund 3.12 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month Euribor rate was 1.23 pct, the six-month rate 1.02 pct, the three-month rate 0.74 pct and the one-month rate 0.43 pct.

    [20] Foreign Exchange rates - Tuesday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.473

    Pound sterling 0.924

    Danish kroner 7.503

    Swedish kroner 10.385

    Japanese yen 132.46

    Swiss franc 1.522

    Norwegian kroner 8.513

    Canadian dollar 1.581

    Australian dollar 1.684

    General News

    [21] Military helicopter engine stolen from guarded facility, Kea commander suspended

    The engine of a military Super Puma all-weather helicopter was on Monday reported as stolen from the former Elliniko national airport.

    The theft, from the Air Force's State Aircraft Factory (KEA) guarded repair and storage unit in the former airport's premises, is believed to have taken place between Friday and Monday morning, when the theft was realised.

    The Air Force is investigating the theft, in collaboration with police, while a sworn administrative inquiry (EDE) has been ordered into the case.

    Later, Air Force General Staff (GEA) chief Lt. Gen. Vassilios Klokozas relieved the commander of the KEA until completion of the investigation.

    [22] Athens mayor in Damascus

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis heads a city of Athens delegation undertaking an official visit to Damascus beginning on Monday and lasting until Friday, following an invitation by the Syrian capital's governor, Bisher Al-Sabban.

    [23] Local representatives of political parties arrested for attempted ballot tampering

    A man and woman were being held in the Municipality of Halastra, greater Thessaloniki, since Sunday night, on ballot tampering charges.

    The two, both local representatives of political parties designated to monitor the vote counting process, were allegedly spotted attempting to add crosses of preference on ballot papers by the lawyer appointed to presideover the voting process at the 440th polling station in Anatoliko, Halastra.

    An investigation is underway by the presiding lawyer in compliance with the election law.

    [24] Man killed during celebrations for elections outcome

    A 59-year-old man, the father of two children, was fatally injured late Sunday night in the village of Barda, Ileia prefecture, western Peloponesse, while attempting to set fire to a homemade fireworks device, comprising dynamite, during celebrations for PASOK's victory in the general election.

    The man died in the ambulance on the way to a local hospital.

    Soccer

    [25] Super League results

    Panathinaikos Athens beat Larissa 4-0 at home on Monday to remain atop the Greek Super League standings, while reigning champion Olympiakos Piraeus won a comfortable 3-0 victory away over Levadiakos Livadia and AEK Athens lost 1-0 away to Xanthi.

    In other action:

    Panthrakikos Komotini-Aris Thessaloniki 1-1

    PAS Yiannina-Kavala 2-1

    Asteras Tripoli-Ergotelis Crete 2-4

    Panionios Athens-Atromitos Athens 2-1

    PAOK Thessaloniki-Iraklis Thessaloniki 1-0

    Standings after six weeks of play:

    1. Panathinaikos 18 points

    2. Olympiakos 16

    3. Ergotelis 11

    4. Asteras 11

    5. Aris 11

    6. Kavala 10

    7. PAS Yiannina 9

    8. PAOK 9

    9. AEK 7

    10. Iraklis 7

    11. Xanthi 7

    12. Panionios 5

    13. Levadiakos 4

    14. Larissa 3

    15. Atromitos 2

    16. Panthrakikos 1

    Weather Forecast

    [26] Fair on Tuesday

    Fair weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday, with wind velocity reaching 2-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 10C and 27C. Slightly cloudy in Athens, with northerly 3-5 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 16C to 26C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 15C to 24C.

    [27] The Monday edition of Athens dailies at a glance

    PASOK's landslide victory over up to now ruling New Democracy (ND) in Sunday's general elections and Costas Karamanlis' resignation from ND's helm, dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Keep your heads high, liberal citizens - Let PASOK celebrate".

    APOGEVMATINI: "New leader, dramatic and rapid developments in ND after the major defeat".

    AVGHI: "Mandate under conditions - PASOK's strong self sufficiency is the repercussion of ND's collapse".

    AVRIANI: "Karamanlis handed over (the government) to George and (the ND helm to) Dora (Bakoyannis) and hopes that in March they will nominate him for President of the Republic".

    CHORA: "Have a good rest, Mr Karamanlis! - The people condemned a tired and 'absent' prime minister".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "It is finished! Costas Karamanlis resigned from ND's presidency and paved the way for a new leader".

    ELEFTHEROS: "ND's major mistakes, incompetence and covering up of the scandals, handed over to PASOK the governance ".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "George's landslide victory - Karamanlis' crushing defeat".

    ETHNOS: "PASOK's historic victory ".

    KATHIMERINI: "Papandreou's clear victory - Karamanlis' brave decision to resign".

    ESTIA: "PASOK's landslide victory - ND committed suicide".

    LOGOS: "Clear victory - PASOK's landslide victory - Papandreou calls for unity on the country's new political path".

    NIKI: "Absolute master!".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party of Greece (KKE): The people must remain on alert to repel the attack against them".

    TA NEA: "George records historic victory - Call for unity after the victory".

    TO VIMA: "Radical changes from Papandreou's government - Triumph in the elections opens the road for the country's recovery".

    VRADYNI: "Karamanlis bravely assumed responsibility for the defeat - The largest in ND's history".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [28] Cyprus certain cooperation to continue with new Greek government

    NICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou expressed certainty on Monday that the close cooperation and full coordination between Cyprus and Greece would continue with the new Greek government of PASOK, which won Sunday's elections.

    Stephanou said President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias held a telephone conversation on Sunday evening with PASOK President and new Prime Minister George Papandreou.

    ''The President of the Republic, on the announcement of the results that showed that PASOK was winning the elections with autonomy, contacted the new Prime Minister of Greece, the leader of PASOK, whom he congratulated for his victory in the elections and wished him success in the new duties he is assuming in very difficult times for Greece and Cyprus,'' Stephanou said.

    He added that President Christofias and Papandreou exchanged views on issues concerning Cyprus and Greece, and especially the EU's progress report on Turkey in December.

    Stephanou noted that Papandreou ''expressed his support to the policy of the President of the Republic on the Cyprus problem and they agreed that very soon they will meet'' to discuss ''the full coordination and close cooperation between the two countries to first of all deal with the great challenge of finding a solution of the Cyprus problem.''

    Replying to questions, Stephanou said Cyprus enjoyed close cooperation and coordination with the government of outgoing Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    [29] Spokesman: Cyprus implements a multidimensional and targeted foreign policy

    NICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    Cyprus' foreign policy is multidimensional and targeted, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said here on Monday.

    Stephanou noted that ''the overall goal of the foreign policy is to strengthen the state entity of Cyprus internationally, by enhancing the presence and prestige of our country in the international political scene."

    He expressed the belief that everyone recognizes that state entity is an extremely important factor in the struggle to solve the Cyprus problem and to address Turkish efforts to upgrade the Turkish Cypriot pseudo state in Cyprus' northern part, occupied since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

    He said that the multifaceted and targeted foreign policy is developed both within the EU, with the active participation in European affairs, and the further development of bilateral relations with European countries but also with countries outside the EU.

    The spokesman also outlined the main objectives put forward by the government as regards the Cyprus problem.

    He said that that the first goal is to promote the EU role in the efforts to solve the Cyprus question, by building alliances, conducting partnerships and solving any pending problems.

    ''Such targets are set and implemented through the frequent visits both in the EU and the various European countries,'' he noted.

    Stephanou said that the second objective is the further development of relations with countries that play a role in the Cyprus question and especially the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

    As he noted, the third target is the development of relations with Arab countries and countries participating in the Islamic Conference ''in which, as everyone admits here in Cyprus, we address problems for a long time because of Turkey‘s activities in the Islamic Conference."

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: GEORGE TAMBAKOPOULOS


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