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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-17

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papoulias formally addresses European Parliament
  • [02] Gov't on diesel cars in Athens

  • [01] Papoulias formally addresses European Parliament

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias addressed a formal session of the European Parliament on Wednesday, to mark the 25th anniversary since Greece joined the European Union.

    The Greek president's address appealed for a return to the founding principles of freedom, equality and social justice that had inspired the early steps of the Community, with policies centred on people, and included references to international terrorism, Turkey's bid to join the EU, enlargement, the continued division of Cyprus and European integration.

    The last Greek president to formally address the European Parliament was Constantine Karamanlis in 1983, when Greece took over the rotating presidency of the EEC for the first time since the country joined the Community on January 1, 1981.

    On his arrival, Papoulias met with a warm reception from European Parliament President Josep Borell Fontelles, who greeted him and introduced him to the packed assembly, stressing his political credentials as a dedicated pro-European, his efforts for peace and even his role as a resistance fighter against fascism in WWII.

    In his speech, Papoulias stressed that EU development strategies were doomed to fail unless they were centred on people, particularly against the scourge of unemployment. Conditions in many parts of Europe were difficult and small victories in the struggle against unemployment were not enough to make an impact on this major problem, he added.

    "Instead of an increase in the number of jobs, in many countries there is an increase in the indicators for unemployment and the underemployed. Instead of vulnerable groups acquiring greater social protection, the regiments of the excluded are constantly swelling," he said.

    He called for development strategies based on the principle of protecting the weaker members of society, that did not consider market forces the sole regulating factor in the global arena and emphasised quality of education, research and new technologies.

    At the same time, Papoulias underlined that this was not political 'romanticism' but respect for the principles on which the EU had been founded, principles of equality and solidarity, as well as political realism, since inequality and exclusion had more than once been shown to have extreme and unpredictable social repercussions.

    Caption: Papoulias, left, arrives at the European Parliament's podium on Wednesday, May 17, 2006, in Strasbourg, European Parliament President Josep Borell Fontelles. ANA-MPA photo / V. Vardoulakis.

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    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] Gov't on diesel cars in Athens

    Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros on Wednesday reminded that a ban on diesel-powered cars in Athens and Thessaloniki existed for environmental reasons.

    "It is well known that levels of particles in the atmosphere of the two cities is well above internationally accepted limits. For diesel-powered motors to be allowed, these environmental reasons must cease to apply and responsibility with these matters lies with the environment ministry," he said.

    He noted that the environment ministry was now looking into the matter and would make a proposal to the cabinet.

    ANA-MPA file photo.

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    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.


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