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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 <>


  • [01] President Papaoulias, political parties on Int'l Day against Drug abuse
  • [02] PM Costas Karamanlis in Helsinki, Stockholm

  • [01] President Papaoulias, political parties on Int'l Day against Drug abuse

    Messages to mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking were issued on Sunday by President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias and all the Greek political parties, with all sides emphasising the international scope of the problem and the need to focus on prevention and treatment, rather than punishment of drug users.

    President Papoulias' message noted that responsibility for "the deficiencies, inadequacies and pathogenies of society" was to some extent shared by all, since everyone participated in society's structure.

    He also stressed that the "scourge of drugs" was caused and interlinked with these negative sides of society, such as "unemployment, a lack of real values, the hard individualism and egocentricity that pervades all levels of the social fabric."

    Recognising and accepting one's share of the social responsibility was the most important thing, beyond the measures taken by the state, the president added.

    According to ruling New Democracy, prevention should begin in Greek primary and secondary schools and the fight against drug dealers should be expanded on an international and European level. The party also called for the contribution of social insurance funds in helping to treat drug users.

    The main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) called on the government to begin dialogue with social bodies and experts on formulating a strategy and policy for dealing with drugs, while criticising ND for "dragging its feet" on the issue of an action plan for fighting drug use.

    It also accused the government of "not implementing existing anti-drugs policies and of starving drug rehabilitation programmes and organisations of funds."

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), on its part, released an announcement pledging to "intensify the struggle to reverse the causes that produce addiction" and expressing warm support for the families of drug users, support for rehabilitation programmes and their staff.

    "Drugs are a hallmark of a society where capitalist profit is raised to be the supreme value and where individualism and 'riding roughshod over others' are an example to be followed. A society that instead of jobs, education, entertainment and rights, gives its young people unemployment, appalling working conditions, commercialisation, autocracy and cultural refuse," the announcement said.

    According to the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party, meanwhile, the problem of drug abuse could not be "wished" away but needed a modern approach with pluralistic treatment methods so as to reduce the damage done.

    It joined with PASOK in criticising the government for "not supporting drug rehabilitation programmes," which it said were short of staff and funds, and of "flirting" with a private-sector approach.

    SYN also accused ND of proceeding to draw up a new national action plan against drugs without consulting with the expert bodies.

    [02] PM Costas Karamanlis in Helsinki, Stockholm

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will be having talks in Helsinki on Monday with his Finnish counterpart Matti Vanhanen focusing mainly on European Union Issues. Finland assumes the Union's six-month rotating presidency as of July 1.

    The prime minister will then be visiting Stockholm for talks with Swedish premier Goran Persson.

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