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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM chairs Inner Cabinet session on economy, EU FMs' meeting

  • [01] PM chairs Inner Cabinet session on economy, EU FMs' meeting

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday met with Environment, Town Planning and Public Works minister George Souflias to discuss a planned amendment concerning the part privatisation of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and ministry issues. The meeting was followed by an Inner Cabinet meeting that mainly focused on Monday's EU Council of Foreign Ministers' discussion of Turkey's EU accession course and on national economy and finance ministry issues.

    Souflias told reporters later that the ruling New Democracy party's (ND) programme was absoutely precise and specific with respect to OTE, noting that the programme was clear in regard to the denationalisation of physical monopolies as well as non-physical monopolies.

    Soulfias stressed that the programme stated that a strategic alliance may be set up with the State, and naturally with the proper management, in the sense that the State will not lose control of the management.

    The strategic alliance, namely the State and the investor that will partner up with the State, will together hold 34 percent of the organisation's share package, and the management will not exit the control of the State, he explained.

    Replying to questions, Soulfias said that he had learned on Tuesday of the amendment, adding that it required clarifications and explanations in order to be in line with the programme. He also said that the programme proviced the concession of the management, but added that the State in turn would continue to have control of the management.

    Souflias further said that the OTE issue was not discussed during the Inner Cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Karamanlis.

    Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis told reporters after the Inner Cabinet meeting that the OTE issue had not been discussed, but added that she endorsed the reforms carried out by the government, stressing that they were absolutely necesssary.

    Bakoyannis said she briefed the Inner Cabinet on the decisions taken on Monday by the Council of EU Foreign Ministers -- which focussed on Turkey's EU accession course and decided to 'freeze' eight negotiation chapters -- and expressed her satisfaction over the fact that three goals that had been set out were achieved.

    She said there was a clear-cut message that Turkey is obliged to fulfill its obligations to the EU if it deisred a smooth European course.

    "The door is open to Turkey, but on condition that it accepts and honours (abides by) the European acquis," Bakoyannis underlined.

    Replying to a press question, Bakoyannis said that with Monday's decision by the EU foreign ministers, a rift at the EU Summit later this month had been averted, given that the issue would not be discussed there. She also added that Monday had been a difficult day, with deliberations among the foreign ministers lasting for 10 hours, "but we finally achieved what we wanted".

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