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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-06-25

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Defence ministry considering compulsory military service at 19 years of age
  • [02] Health minister calls for hirings apart from Staff Selection Council processes
  • [03] Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou comments on reforms
  • [04] PASOK party leader George Papandreou to visit Iran and Israel

  • [01] Defence ministry considering compulsory military service at 19 years of age

    Defence Minister Vangelis Meimarakis, speaking in an interview with the Sunday edition of the newspaper "Adesmeftos Typos", said that the defence ministry is considering compulsory military service for young men at the age of 19, while at the same time it is proceeding with changes in the promotion system for armed forces officers.

    Meimarakis said that the issue of compulsory military service at the age of 19 has been examined for some time and that the ministry's aim is to address whatever problems of adequate manning are being faced by border units.

    As regards the issue of promotions, the minister said that what is being aimed at is "the creation of an even more objective system of promotions for officers in accordance with their abilities."

    Meimarakis also referred to subsidisation for housing loans for members of the armed forces, saying that a law legalising the subsidisation of loans by the National Defence Fund is already being prepared and the first subsidised loans are expected to be given this year.

    Lastly, asked to comment on Greek-Turkish relations, the minister said that support for Turkey's European prospects by Greece "is not a blank cheque", adding that this course "requires Turkey's full compliance with the criteria and principles set in the relevant negotiating framework."

    [02] Health minister calls for hirings apart from Staff Selection Council processes

    Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, speaking in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia", said he intends to promote the issue of hirings apart from processes anticipated by the Supreme Staff Selection Council (ASEP). Avramopoulos said that the problem concerning staff shortages at hospitals "is mature enough for a solution to be found."

    He added that he intends to take the initiative to have the issue brought before Parliament since, as he pointed out, according to the constitution if 200 Parliamentary deputies agree processes anticipated by ASEP can be sidestepped.

    The health minister intends to take another initiative and propose the carrying out of hirings by an all-party Parliamentary Committee.

    Avramopoulos was also asked about the possibility of problems between Greece and Turkey being brought before the International Court at The Hague, having diplomatic experience himself, and said that "such a decision cannot be taken under the pressure of conjunctures", adding that in such a case it cannot be ruled out that the International Court might address other issues as well, apart from that concerning the continental shelf, such as "territorial waters, air space and other issues that Turkey is invoking and which it will raise for its own reasons."

    [03] Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou comments on reforms

    Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou, commenting on educational reforms in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia", said she preferred adjustments that would be implemented in full istead of so-called revolutionary changes. "I prefer certain adjustments which, however, will be implemented in full and which will produce results instead of certain so-called revolutionary changes which will never be applied at all in the end," she said.

    The minister did not conceal the fact that she would like even greater changes in universities. However, she is obliged to adjust herself and her aim is that at least the changes that will be ratified will be implemented.

    Yiannakou further spoke of "some from among the professors' establishment who find the present situation suitable for themselves and who do not want any change or evaluation because they are afraid."

    The draft law on education is expected to be presented in Parliament in November at the earliest, while associates of the prime minister consider it likely that it might even be produced for ratification in January or February next year.

    [04] PASOK party leader George Papandreou to visit Iran and Israel

    Main opposition PASOK party leader and Socialist International President George Papandreou will visit Iran and Israel on Monday and Tuesday respectively. Papandreou will visit the two countries in the framework of an initiative by the Socialist International and himself personally regarding consultations on Iran's nuclear programme. The PASOK party leader had repeated contacts on this issue with International Atomic Energy Committee President Mohammed el Baradei recently.

    Papandreou, who will arrive in Tehran on Monday, is expected to meet the president and the foreign minister of Iran, as well as the Supreme Security Council secretary whom he had met in Athens recently.

    He will then be visiting the Middle East on Tuesday and will be having meetings with the new government of Israel.

    Papandreou's programme includes a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

    PASOK's leader will also be meeting Patriarch Theofylaktos during his stay in Jerusalem.


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