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

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek PM, Agricultural Minister discuss farm issues
  • [02] Leading musician Odysseas Dimitriadis dies in Tbilisi aged 97
  • [03] PM and interior minister discuss bureaucracy, draft bill for immigration

  • [01] Greek PM, Agricultural Minister discuss farm issues

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday met with Agricultural Development and Foods Minister Evangelos Basiakos and was briefed over farm policy issues.

    Speaking to reporters, after the meeting, Basiakos said he briefed the Prime Minister over developments in the farm sector after 2006, with the introduction of a new Common Agricultural Policy, and stressed the need to prepare Greek farmers to deal with a new competitive environment. "We should not given them fish for a year but to educate them to fish for themselves," the Greek minister said.

    Basiakos said Greek farmers were very pleased with the fact that they have received financial support for their cotton crop two weeks ago, not having to wait until September as they did in the past.

    [02] Leading musician Odysseas Dimitriadis dies in Tbilisi aged 97

    Leading musician Odysseas Dimitriadis died in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Tuesday aged 97.

    Born in Batumi, Dimitriadis was a leading musician in the Balshoi orchestra and in the Tbilisi opera. He was repatriated to Greece in 1993.

    He had also directed the Athens State Orchestra during a performance at the National Opera.

    The Athens Prefecture had awarded him the distinction of "Ambassador of Hellenism" in 1998.

    Prime Minister and Culture Minister Costas Karamanlis said in a statement that Odysseas Dimitriadis "had the unique privilege in his long life to speak with the inter-cultural language of music to the hearts of the peoples of the then Soviet Union, of Greece and Georgia."

    The prime minister added that for the friends of music from all over the world, Dimitriadis has already been included among the group of the great teachers of the past century and extended his condolences to his family.

    [03] PM and interior minister discuss bureaucracy, draft bill for immigration

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos had a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday and briefed him on the activities of his ministry at this time, including a draft bill for immigration policy due to be tabled in Parliament next week.

    Pavlopoulos said the discussion had also covered the implementation of laws against bureaucracy and issues related to the Information Society programme.

    Responding to questions about the government's "primary shareholder" law, to which the European Commission has formally expressed objections and demanded that it be changed, Pavlopoulos said that the government has initiated processes that will allow the Greek Constitution to be upheld without deviation and to find a "common ground" with the EU.

    He stressed that the "major goal" of transparency will prevail and that not one euro of Community funding will be lost.

    According to Pavlopoulos, meanwhile, the major question was why the country was being threatened with a freeze of payments and the return of funds for bad workmanship, irregularities and faulty assignment of projects co-funded by the Community in 2001-2003.

    The minister said the government will in the next few days send a reply to the Commission's 'reasoned opinion' expressing the Greek government's desire to begin 'negotiations' in order to carry out the necessary changes and find a "common ground" with respect to the "primary shareholder" law.

    The law passed by the government seeks to prevent the involvement of the media in the assignment of public contracts by making companies "interconnected" with Greek media interests ineligible to bid for them. Under the law, a primary shareholder is defined as someone owning up to 1 per cent of a media enterprise, while the ban also extends to their spouse and next of kin.

    The European Commission objects to the bill, saying that it contravenes EU directives and restricts basic freedoms provided in EU treaties, and has given Greece just three weeks to reply.


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