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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-03-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] National anniversary messages by president and parties
  • [02] DM meets NATO secretary general and EU high commissioner

  • [01] National anniversary messages by president and parties

    24/03/2002 16:22:26

    President Kostis Stephanopoulos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, in messages on the March 25 national anniversary commemorating the 1821 revolution against Ottoman rule, underlined both the bravery of fighters and the dangers currently facing the country.

    ''The fighters of '21, with their patriotism, self-sacrifice and bravery, freed the Homeland and paved the way for the creation of the first Greek state and the position it currently holds in Europe and the world,'' President Stephanopoulos said in his message.

    President Stephanopoulos also said problems, challenges and dangers exist for the country, adding that international conjunctures necessitate vigilance, determination and, above all, unity among Greeks.

    Archbishop Christodoulos said ''we are living in an era in which the social system, which is managed by the rulers of this world, wants to undermine our spiritualism and, in general, our culture'', but emphasised that they shall not succeed.

    Simitis said the country should derive lessons from the glorious moments of the past and adjust them to the modern-day conjuncture.

    He further said that Greece's course in Europe is difficult and laborious but extremely exciting and interesting, adding that Greece's future is identified with the future of Europe more than ever.

    Karamanlis said it is up to all the Greeks to join forces to achieve a strong Greece which will provide more freedoms and guarantees for personal prosperity for all citizens.

    ''Greece in the 21st century, participating actively in the future of Europe, should inspire its citizens with pride, security and optimism,'' he added.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said in its message that popular unity and the struggle against modern-day exploiters and oppressors have much to derive from the militant uplift of the past and pointed out that peoples, as well as the people of Greece, are faced with imperialism's new and better organised aggressiveness.

    [02] DM meets NATO secretary general and EU high commissioner

    24/03/2002 15:02:13

    Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, speaking at a press conference on the European army issue on Saturday, said Greece will not recognise the results of bilateral negotiations unless they have been brought to the attention of Athens for approval.

    Papantoniou, who had met earlier with NATO secretary general Lord George Robertson and European Union High Commissioner Javier Solana, added that ''whatever is the outcome in the form of a cooperation text between unified Europe and NATO must result from strictly institutional processes, as is the case for whatever other issue concerning unified Europe.''

    On the question of when the decision on the European army issue will be taken, Papantoniou said a commitment exists regarding the time schedule, adding that ''negotiations will last for as long as it is necessary to enable a text to be agreed on which should be consistent with the principles with which we have agreed. Of course, we hope we shall produce results soon.''

    Outlining the framework in which negotiations will he held, he said they concern the issue of relations between the EU and NATO and that ''it is not a bilateral issue. It is an institutional issue and it should be resolved in an institutional framework.''

    Papantoniou further said that ''bilateral consultations, such as those that have already taken place, are arbitrary and cannot produce results. This is a basic point which I underlined in my address at the Council.''

    He also stressed the need for the rule of the EU's autonomy to be included in whatever text is agreed on and conditions of cooperation to be set out between unified Europe and NATO on defence issues.

    ''It is vital for Greece and it is vital for Europe. This is a European position and not a Greek position,'' Papantoniou added.

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