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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-10-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Second round of local gov't elections on Sunday
  • [02] PM on results of informal EU summit
  • [03] Papandreou: 'No discounts' in Turkey's EU talks
  • [04] Teachers strike to continue for 6th week

  • [01] Second round of local gov't elections on Sunday

    A second round of local government elections is scheduled for this Sunday in seven prefectures and 247 municipalities throught the country. The interest in this second round is centred on the municipalities of Thessaloniki, Macedonia, and Patra, Peloponnese. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos expressed his conviction that last week's successfull electoral procedure will be repeated this Sunday.

    In Thessaloniki, outgoing mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, backed by the ruling New Democracy (ND), appears to be the undisputed "favourite" for re-election, having garnered 41.43 per cent in last Sunday's first round, against main oppositiion Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) candidate Chrysa Arapoglou who gathered 21.6 per cent of the votes. In Patra, candidate and former deputy minister of PASOK, Andreas Fouras has a slight advantage against former mayor Evangelos Floratos, who is backed by the ND party, because PASOK "rebel" Yiannis Dimaras garnered 18.5 per cent. Fouras had received 34.7 per cent of the votes and Floratos 34.06 per cent.

    On a level of prefects, elections will be held in seven remaining prefectures. The ND has already elected 28 prefects, PASOK 17, while in two municipalities, prefects were elected following cooperation between PASOK and the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos).

    Meanwile, the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Ministry has already taken all the necessary measures in preparation for the second round of the local government elections.

    Pavlopoulos appealed to the citizens to vote in force.

    [02] PM on results of informal EU summit

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Friday told reporters here that the first day of an informal EU summit focused on energy policy and innovation in the 25-nation bloc.

    "It's obvious that ensuring the EU's energy supplies is a necessary precondition for its development, while investment in innovation is a one-way street for the EU," he said just prior to a dinner hosted for EU leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Karamanlis added that discussions at the informal summit focused on the uninterrupted supply of energy as well as combating climate change via the use of renewable energy sources.

    "Greece backs the development of a multi-dimensional energy policy, one harmonised with the national policies of member-states. We believe that the current junction is well-suited for the promotion of an internal energy market through a treaty for a European energy community, which was recently signed in Athens. The latter comprises, in our opinion, the best platform for the development of a foreign energy policy," he said.

    Moreover, the Greek premier again stressed that Russia is a "preferential" partner of the EU, with cooperation in the energy sector as well as in investments entailing a strategic significance. Along these lines, he cited the progress to finalise plans for an oil pipeline connecting the Black Sea with the Aegean (Burgas-Alexandroupolis).

    Regarding the issue of innovation, Karamanlis said EU leaders exchanged views on how to allow for the more effective investment in knowledge, "and the creation of a comprehensive strategy for copyright and the strengthening of cooperation between businesses and research institutes".

    He also said Athens supports the Commission's proposal for the creation of a European technological institute.

    In other developments, the Greek premier briefed EU counterparts on the problem of illegal immigration faced by Greece, while at the same time re-tabling Athens' proposal for the future creation of a European coast guard force to seal the Union's borders from illegal immigration, an idea he said can first be promoted by holding joint patrols.

    "This (issue) remains one of Greece's priorities, and is constantly upgraded within the EU as well..." he said.

    Finally, asked about earlier comments by main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, who is also in Helsinki, merely noted that "my standing position is that issues of foreign policy and the national issue are above political parties."

    [03] Papandreou: 'No discounts' in Turkey's EU talks

    HELSINKI (ANA-MPA - V. Patouchas) The accession negotiations now underway with Turkey should on no account lead to "discounts" in European values and standards, Greece's main opposition leader George Papandreou stressed during statements made in Finland on Friday.

    Emerging from talks with the Finnish presidency of the EU, the head of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) said his message was directed equally to all sides, including the Greek government. The Finnish EU presidency is currently preparing to present a proposal that it hopes will overcome the EU-Turkey deadlock over the Ankara Agreement, which is blocking Turkey's accession progress, and persuade Ankara to open its ports and airports to Cyprus.

    Papandreou is continuing contacts in Helsinki, which will also take in the Cypriot and Turkish sides, in what he says is a bid to protect the interests of Cyprus and Greece in view of the Finnish proposals.

    PASOK's leader had a meeting with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos on Friday morning, while a week earlier he held talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    "I will continue these efforts with the aim of making Turkey respect its obligations toward a member-state of the European Union, the Cyprus Republic," Papandreou told reporters after his meeting with Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.

    [04] Teachers strike to continue for 6th week

    Primary school teachers on Friday night decided to continue their strike next week, thus entering a sixth consecutive week of strike action.

    As announced by the teachers after a lengthy session, the board of the Federation of Primary School Teachers of Greece (DOE) decided to continue the strike for the week from October 23 to 27.

    On Thursday night, a decision to continue strike action was also taken by the country's secondary school teachers.

    The secondary school teachers' representatives, who held a general assembly at a central Athens hotel, decided by 70-71 per cent to strike on October 24, 25 and 26, while on October 25 a new rally will take place in the Greek capital.

    Archbishop urges 'cool heads' in education dispute

    In a sermon delivered on Saturday, Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece urged all sides in the dispute over education to "keep a cool head" so that schools might open once again.

    The head of Greece's Orthodox Church said the Church placed a high value on families as an institution and wanted to contribute to a way out of the deadlock, so as to ensure that mutual trust and cooperation between teachers, parents and children was not disturbed.

    "I would like to make an appeal to all sides to bank on and promote cool-headed dialogue and not the phenomena of violence within and outside schools or the contention that demonstrably acts at the expense of all involved," he said.

    The archbishop's statements come in the midst of a month-long strike by primary school teachers over pay and other issues that looks set to stretch into a sixth straight week from Monday, joined in recent weeks by teachers in high schools and complicated by take-overs of high schools by students with a different but related set of demands.

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