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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-04-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece sends condolences to Vatican over Pope's death
  • [02] Finmin sees economic policy pay-off in 2007
  • [03] Greece holds talks with UN mediator on FYROM name dispute
  • [04] Cathedral service to mark anniversary of Greek-Cypriot freedom fighters

  • [01] Greece sends condolences to Vatican over Pope's death

    The President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias, on Sunday sent condolences to the Vatican following the death of Pope John Paul II.

    "I wish to convey the grief felt by the Greek people, and myself personally, on announcement of the Pontiff's demise. This is a day of mourning for the Christian world and the international community," Papoulias said in a telegram.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis praised the late Pope as "great among the great" for his devotion to the defence of freedom, and for his sense of sacrifice, apparent even in his final stretch of illness and pain.

    In Istanbul, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stated that the Pope's death was a loss for the whole of Christianity, and for moves to attain peace and justice around the world.

    In Athens, Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece described the late Pope as a major figure in Roman Catholicism, a flag bearer for freedom and human rights.

    The leader of the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement, George Papandreou, said that the pontiff had been an enlightened leader and proponent of human rights, also working to modernise the Catholic Church and attain rapprochement with Orthodox Christianity.

    The Catholic Church of Greece announced that it would open a public book of condolences on Monday.

    [02] Finmin sees economic policy pay-off in 2007

    The country will begin to reap the benefit of economic policy in 2007, Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Sunday.

    "The government's plan for reshaping the economy is concrete and clear-cut. The result will be visible from 2007. Effort by the public will bring returns," Alogoskoufis told a conference in the northern town of Komotini.

    "Our objective is a different model of growth. Greece can move more effectively and more rapidly in today's environment," the minister said during a tour of the northeast.

    He also reported that the north's lesser developed eastern Macedonia and Thrace regions were at the centre of government planning.

    "These areas have the right to embark on a new track of poweful returns, growth and progress and become a hub of for economic activity for the wider region, the eastern Balkan peninsula - and they will accomplish this," the minister said.

    "For many years, the Greek regions, especially Thrace, were kept out of government priorities, as the growth model pursued at that time was distorted and Athens-centred," he noted.

    But a new development law and many provisions in recent tax legislation were designed to spur rapid and balanced growth in the regions.

    [03] Greece holds talks with UN mediator on FYROM name dispute

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valynakis held talks at the weekend with Matthew Nimetz, a UN special mediator, on finding a name for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) that is acceptable to both sides.

    The two officials made no statement after the one-and-a-half hour meeting on Saturday at the Greek ambassador's residence in Manhattan, New York.

    According to diplomatic sources, Valynakis repeated the government's position that Greece is ready for a compromise solution that would aid ties with the neighbouring country, contribute to peace in the region, and have a favourable impact on FYROM's endeavour to join the European Union and NATO.

    Valynakis told Nimetz that Athens was seeking a solution as soon as possible, although FYROM's position of adopting two names was not open to discussion, UN sources said.

    [04] Cathedral service to mark anniversary of Greek-Cypriot freedom fighters

    A service was held in Athens Cathedral on Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Greek-Cypriot National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA) liberation organisation. Wreaths were also laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square.

    EOKA fought a four-year war of liberation against the British occupation of Cyprus in 1955-1959, which resulted in independence for the island republic in 1960.

    Among the congregation were Cyprus' undersecretary to the president, Christodoulos Pasiardis, and representatives of Greece's political parties and armed forces.

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