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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Reformist strategy demanded by citizens, PM says in interview
  • [02] President Karolos Papoulias issues New Year's message
  • [03] New Year's carols sang for country's leaders
  • [04] KKE leader to visit Palestinian territory

  • [01] Reformist strategy demanded by citizens, PM says in interview

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, speaking in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Typos tis Kyriakis", said that the strategy of reforms is a demand made by the citizens and ruled out the possibility of a change in the election law (elections are normally due in the country in March 2008). "It is an essential precondition for the country to stand worthily in a rapidly developing and competitive environment," he said. The prime minister stressed that he "will not negotiate the strategy of reforms" and noted that the results of his policy, "the first steady steps of progress", are not being disputed. He mentioned, as examples, the decrease in unemployment to 8.3 percent, the increase in pensions of the Farmers Pensions Fund (OGA) and in unemployment benefits, as well as tax reform.

    Karamanlis reiterated that "to a policy that is temporarily and deceitfully pleasant, I prefer one which is useful and really beneficial for the country", adding that "yesterday's policies" were proved in practice to be deadlocked ones.

    Referring to criticism by the main opposition PASOK party that "the Rightwing image of the ND party has been revealed", the prime minister said that the citizens are aware of "who is what" and attributed this attitude to the lack of arguments and of serious and persuasive political speech.

    "The citizens are well aware that those who resort historically to yesterday, to tension and division are those who have nothing to propose for tomorrow," he said.

    Karamanlis also criticised PASOK's leader George Papandreou, saying that "I am really saddened because a man from my generation, having an education and personal politeness, in the face of petty-partisan interest as he sees it, adopts mentalities and resorts to practices that he himself knows do not respond to any problem of today."

    Lastly, Karamanlis said there was no question of a change in the election law, or of early elections and underlined that the work, consistency, reponsibility and economic and social effectiveness of the new governance will be placed before Greek men and women when the time comes, in 2008.

    [02] President Karolos Papoulias issues New Year's message

    President Karolos Papoulias issued a New Year's message over the weekend, expressing the wish that 2007 will be a year of progress and one of peace and justice for Greeks all over the world. "Today, in some homes, I hope in most, joy prevails for the change of year. However, my thoughts turn primarily to those homes where scepticism is dominant because problems leave no space for celebrations," he said.

    President Papoulias went on to say that "I believe that for our country, that has succeeded in consolidating a stable democracy following many difficult periods, every year will be and should be better than the previous one."

    Referring to people in distress, President Papoulias said "the focus of our efforts must be people in need, those who are deprived, those who hear us politicians speaking of prosperity and wonder what is going on. On such days, loneliness and physical or financial weakness, when they exist, become really intolerable."

    Lastly, President Papoulias stressed that "we are all in need of hope, because if we believe that there is no hope there will be none."

    [03] New Year's carols sang for country's leaders

    Members of societies and children's groups sang New Year's carols for Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and party leaders on Sunday. The prime minister was visited for this purpose by members of the Pampontian Federation of Greece and the Federation of Pontian Societies of Southern Greece and the Islands, as well as by children's groups.

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou was visited at the party's offices by children's groups, including the Northern Epirus Forum and the Organisation of Women from Africa.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga was visited at the party's offices by members of the Epirus Confederation of Greece, while Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) party leader Alekos Alavanos visited the Children's Rehabilitation Centre where children sang New Year's carols for him.

    [04] KKE leader to visit Palestinian territory

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga will head a party delegation that will visit Palestinian territory between January 3-5, at the invitation of the Party of the People of Palestine. During its visit, KKE's delegation will have meetings with representatives of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Parliament.

    It will also hold talks with parties and organisations covering the entire spectrum of Palestinian political and social life.

    The delegation will once again express the solidarity and support of the communists of Greece, and of the Greek people in general, for the struggle of the Palestinian people and of the peoples of the entire region against imperialist plans for a "new Middle East."

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