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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-08-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't moving forward according to plan, PM tells ND's Central Committee
  • [02] Papandreou refers to PASOK's plan for offering alternative to gov't policy
  • [03] Premier Karamanlis receives letter from Germany's Merkel on Turkey

  • [01] Gov't moving forward according to plan, PM tells ND's Central Committee

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said that the government is moving forward according to plan and that Greece will not turn back, in comments he made during New Democracy's Central Committee meeting on Friday.

    Karamanlis emphasised that while the government will not adopt a strategy of polarisation and extremes it will also not allow issues to remain unaddressed.

    He underscored the government's determination to continue with its planned reforms, saying that "the plan for reforms will not be abandoned; It is a non-negotiable choice aimed at growth, it is a choice that serves the majority's needs and is being developed within the arena of the contemporary, political Centre."

    The premier added that "reforms constitute a promise to re-establish the state, to restructure the economy, to ensure sustainable development and to increase social dividends.

    We cannot burden future generations with the mistakes, omissions and timidity of the past; we cannot rally for change and at the same time make excuses to avoid it. Lies and a negative attitude towards everything do not constitute criticism, they are a rejection of progress," he said.

    Referring to the main opposition party, Karamanlis predicted that PASOK will step up its attacks against the government in order to make its presence felt.

    He accused PASOK of distorting the truth, of promoting inaccuracies and of continuously resisting innovation.

    He said that PASOK is trying to pin problems, such as the high cost of living and unemployment, on New Democracy, problems "that were created by their [PASOK's] governments."

    Regarding Greek-Turkish relations, Karamanlis said that "We are pursuing complete normalisation in relations with Turkey," adding that his government has and continues to support Turkey's EU prospects.

    By becoming an EU member state, Turkey could function better for everyone concerned, he said.

    However, Karamanlis reiterated that Turkey's EU accession depends on Turkey itself, referring to the country's performance regarding respect of human and minority rights, its behaviour towards Cyprus and its foreign policy.

    "If Turkey really wants to join the EU it is obligated to respect international law, international treaties and European principles and values," the premier added.

    Regarding Greece's stance ahead of the meeting of the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives and the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers later in the month, Karamanlis said: "We are continuously taking into consideration information and developments and we are preparing a course of action responsibly and with vision."

    [02] Papandreou refers to PASOK's plan for offering alternative to gov't policy

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou continued his criticism of the government on Friday during the second day of his party's political council conference in the port town of Lavrio, southeast of Athens.

    Turning to his positions, Papandreou told delegates that "... we have a plan, we have a plan at PASOK ... we will unfurl our alternative proposals on specific sectors during the course towards the Greek people."

    In again focusing his criticism on ruling ND, he said the Karamanlis government has been unable to tackle problems such as inflation and unemployment. Additionally, the former foreign minister said the government is proceeding with spasmodic decisions for the economy that "do not help a productive Greece, but (help) a parasitic Greece..."

    He also charged that the government is "reducing the country's prestige" on the international scene.

    [03] Premier Karamanlis receives letter from Germany's Merkel on Turkey

    Government sources said on Friday that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has received a letter from Angela Merkel, the centre-right leader with the best chances of becoming German Chancellor at next month's election, in which the German party leader proposes to all premiers-members of the European People's Party to jointly hinder an offer of full European Union membership to Turkey.

    Instead, Merkel said, Ankara should be offered the "privileged partnership" proposed by her CDU/CSU alliance.

    Sources close to the prime minister's office said that "Merkel's remarks are being seriously considered within Greece's foreign policy framework and parametres".

    The EU is set to open talks with Turkey on October 3. The EU Commission's proposals at the talks only mention membership, not the privileged partnership concept.

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