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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-03-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Majority of public sees no need for cabinet reshuffle
  • [02] Greece to seek Kosovo reconciliation as Security Council president
  • [03] Gov't plans to form natgas trade group
  • [04] Papandreou winds up PASOK congress, citing unity

  • [01] Majority of public sees no need for cabinet reshuffle

    Forty two percent of the public sees no need for a cabinet reshuffle, with 38% in favour and 20% unable or unwilling to answer, according to an opinion poll conducted by Alco and published on Sunday by the Proto Thema newspaper, in its first issue.

    Asked whether Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had lived up to their expectations in his first year in office, 20% were very satisfied, 25% fairly satisfied, 36% slightly satisfied, and 22% not at all satisfied.

    Replying to the same question about George Papandreou, leader of the main opposition PASOK party, 20% were very satisfied, 23% fairly satisfied, 32% slightly satisfied, and 27% not at all satisfied.

    Concerning Papandreou's future, 50.5% believe that he will remain in opposition, and 31.6% that he will win the next general election.

    Asked whether the government had upheld its election pledges on the economy, 27.7% replied in the affirmative, and 64.4% in the negative.

    [02] Greece to seek Kosovo reconciliation as Security Council president

    Greece will seek to reconcile opposing factions in Kosovo when it assumes the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in July, Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valynakis said on Sunday.

    "As Greece, a country, and as president of the security council, we must be ready to bridge the gap that today divides the positions of the two sides, so that a solution may be found," Valynakis said in an interview to NET television.

    "But in order to proceed with this, criteria set by the UN would have to have been fully met and evaluated by summer," he added.

    Greece is serving as a non-permament member of the UN Security Council for the two-year term 2005-2006.

    [03] Gov't plans to form natgas trade group

    Deputy Development Minister George Salagoudis said on Sunday that the government planned to form an association of firms involved in natural gas, whose membership would be mandatory.

    The purpose of the association would be to create a post-graduate education centre for natural gas studies aimed at engineers; create a sector vocational training centre; arrange conferences; handle publicity drives; and provide quality certification services, the minister told a seminar in the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

    [04] Papandreou winds up PASOK congress, citing unity

    The leader of the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), George Papandreou, wound up the party's 7th national Congress on the weekend, which unanimously endorsed a manifesto and statutes geared to giving the party a new impetus.

    "The congress has taken the big step. I shall be presiding over a new model of power," Papandreou told delegates.

    Introducing a new slogan - "Change now, change everywhere, change always" - he said the gist carried the same weight as the party's founding concept of "Allaghi" (Change).

    Earlier, congress chairman Costas Laliotis said that the unanimous vote on key party documents showed that differing viewpoints could eventually be reconciled.

    "We are working to achieve the end of this conservative phase with the (ruling) New Democracy party in one, two, or three years at the most," Laliotis said.

    Papandreou also denounced the government in a blistering attack for damaging the country since it took office after general elections in March 2004.

    "The government is near to collapse. It is taking the country downhill. The Greek Right has brought nothing but suffering to the Greek public," he said.

    Among party resolutions adopted by the congress were backing for the European constitution and a call for broad-based talks on the separation of church and state.

    On Sunday, Congress delegates voted for the new members of the party's national council.


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