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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-03-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM supports step-by-step approach in Greek-Turkish relations
  • [02] Karamanlis promises clash with vested interests; gov't reacts
  • [03] Olympiakos Piraeus retains soccer division's top position
  • [04] Monday weather - Showers
  • [05] Patriarch officiates at 'Ground Zero' memorial service

  • [01] FM supports step-by-step approach in Greek-Turkish relations

    10/03/2002 22:01:03

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou, in an interview with the state-run ET-l television station's programme ''50 minutes'' on Saturday night, expressed support for a step-by-step approach in Greek-Turkish relations.

    On the question of whether the domestic political climate can affect the Greek-Turkish rapprochement, Papandreou said ''I would say that this does not directly affect whatever Greek-Turkish rapprochements and I would say that here we neither have one step speeding up nor a step which is causing delay. We want to go ahead in a stable way, as we have said, step-by-step with carefully examined steps in a way safeguarding our interests and enabling us to assess and probe possible paths leading us to the final target which is a solution to the continental shelf issue.''

    Referring to whether the real causes of problems with Turkey are insurmountable, Papandreou said as an example that many say that Turkey wants half of the Aegean and added that if indeed Turkey wants half of the Aegean dialogue will not proceed.

    ''We shall not lose half of the Aegean from the dialogue. We shall lose nothing from the dialogue. This is my conviction and the conviction of the government because this is the logic of the framework in which we are moving. We only have to gain,'' he said.

    Papandreou also said dialogue will not go ahead and whatever negotiation on the continental shelf will not proceed if, for example, the issue of some islands or some territory lies behind it.

    ''For this reason we simply say that there is no sovereign rights issue to discuss. If, however, there are some other issues which can be handled logically, such as whether Turkey feels it is suffocating and should have a corridor. I have told this to Turkey in public concerning its navy in the Aegean which does not harm our sovereign rights. If we can settle it we can discuss it,'' he said.

    [02] Karamanlis promises clash with vested interests; gov't reacts

    10/03/2002 21:59:55

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis on Saturday sternly criticised the government during a speech at a party rally in Kilkis prefecture, northern Greece.

    ''This government was born tired and is crawling tired, unable to make decisions. Its image is reflected clearly in the public sector, which is paralysed, under the weight of minor and major interests, the lack of action by its members and the inability of the premier to implement a cohesive policy,'' Karamanlis charged.

    The ND leader focused his address over what he called ''an effort by the premier to disorient public opinion from the impasses it has created.''

    The ND leader also referred his intention to clash with ?vested interests?, as he noted, saying:

    ?We know that when these vested interests begin to collapse we will face an attack by groups that are used to infesting the public sector,? he said.

    On Sunday, Karamanlis spoke at an event focusing on the problems and issues related to ethnic Greeks from the Black Sea region (Pontians) that repatriated to Greece over the past decade or so from the former Soviet Union.

    ?Your return to the land of your ancestors can and must translate into something better for you, for all Greeks, for our country. Your repatriation may not heal the wounds of the past, but it surely ensures a greater dynamic for the Greece of the future; however, this dynamic depends on the prospects being shaped today for the both the personal and collective progress of all Greeks,? he told an audience of Pontian groups gathered in Thessaloniki.

    Karamanlis also stressed that the New Democracy government of 1990-93 first inaugurated efforts to return the thousands of ethnic Greeks populating the one-time Soviet Unions Black Sea republics, and that his party is categorically against efforts to ?entrap free citizens into political parties aspirations?.

    Govt reaction

    In statements a day later vis-a-vis Karamanlis charges from Kilkis, government spokesman Christos Protopapas referred to what he called the ND leaders return to a ?brash and high-handed? style. He also claimed Karamanlis is employing a strategy of ?invective, discord and tension in order to try and flatten out everything?.

    On his part, ND spokesman Theodoris Roussopoulos merely countered that it is the PASOK government that retains a ?regime-like arrogance, one that has lost all contact with the citizenry and is now searching for a safety net in (encouraging) division.?

    [03] Olympiakos Piraeus retains soccer division's top position

    10/03/2002 21:58:37

    Olympiakos Piraeus beat ambitious Xanthi 2-1 away in a Greek first division soccer match played on Sunday and retained its position at the top of the table.

    The other matches played over the weekend had the following results: Aris Thessaloniki-Panathinaikos Athens 0-0, Panionios Athens-Ionikos Piraeus 2-2, Aegaleo Athens-PAOK Thessaloniki 2-1, AEK Athens OFI Crete 3-0, Ethnikos Asteras Athens-Iraklis Thessaloniki 1-2 and Panachaiki Patras-Akratitos Athens 1-1.

    Standings after 19 matches played:Olympiakos Piraeus 41 points, AEK Athens 40, Panathinaikos Athens 38, PAOK Thessaloniki 35, Xanthi 33, Iraklis Thessaloniki 28, OFI Crete 26, Panionios Athens 25, Aris Thessaloniki 25, Aegaleo Athens 18, Ionikos Piraeus 15, Ethnikos Asteras Athens 14, Akratitos Athens 13 and Panachaiki Patras 11.

    [04] Monday weather - Showers

    10/03/2002 19:08:40

    Thunderstorms are forecast for throughout Greece on Monday, with snow in the mountains expected as well. Strong to gale force-strength north to northeasterly winds. Temperatures between 4C to 11C in the north, 8C to 16C in the rest of the mainland and 11C to 18C on the islands.

    Rain in Athens, 12C to 16C. Severe showers in Thessaloniki, 8C to 11C.

    [05] Patriarch officiates at 'Ground Zero' memorial service

    10/03/2002 18:29:21

    NEW YORK (ANA) Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on Sunday officiated at a memorial service here at the ?Ground Zero? site in downtown Manhattan, the spot where the WTC Towers once stood.

    The Patriarch also toured the ruins of the nearby Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Aghios (St.) Nikolaos, which was severely damaged in the wake of the terrorists attacks on the World Trade Centre towers.

    During the service, Vartholomeos prayed for the thousands of victims of the dastardly Sept. 11 ?air terror? attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, while calling for such abominable acts to never be repeated.

    ?We understand, through these terrible events, how much we need mutual understanding and mutual respect for the variety of religious beliefs and national descent of each of us, so we can work, live and co-exist peacefully on this planet called Earth. On this planet, which was created by God, there is room for all,? he stressed.

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