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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karamanlis discusses promotions in judiciary, confers with Siniora
  • [02] Papandreou visits Ecumenical Patriarch
  • [03] Int'l crisis management con'f opens in Athens

  • [01] Karamanlis discusses promotions in judiciary, confers with Siniora

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras met on Wednesday morning to discuss changes in the leadership of Greece's judiciary after several top judges went into retirement at the end of June.

    In statements to reporters, Papaligouras stressed that this was a difficult conjunction for the judicial body, since its new leadership would have to carry on the clean-up of justice and handle a number of crucial cases that were now before the courts.

    "I am certain that the new leadership of Justice will rise to its absolutely independent and impervious role in dealing with all these issues," he said.

    Replying to questions, he said the justices to be promoted to the top judicial posts would be approved by the Cabinet. Questioned regarding the objections raised by main opposition PASOK to the criteria used in this selection, meanwhile, he accused "centres" within the main opposition party of "attempting to corrode justice".

    PM confers with Lebanese counterpart on the phone

    Earlier on Wednesday, the prime minister spoke on the telephone with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, at the latter's request.

    Siniora briefed the Greek prime minister on developments in the Middle East, while Karamanlis outlined the briefing he had received from Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on her recent visit to Lebanon, as well as on Bakoyannis' talks there with Siniora and members of the Lebanese cabinet.

    Karamanlis reiterated Greece's determination to contribute, together with the EU, to strengthening the national sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Lebanon, and conveyed to Siniora Greece's sentiments of solidarity over the loss of soldiers in the attack against the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon.

    The Greek premier also underlined Greece's approval of the Lebanese government's efforts for the consolidation of security and stability in the country, and stressed that the national dialogue was of prime importance for defusing the tension and attaining political understanding.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] Papandreou visits Ecumenical Patriarch

    Greece's main opposition leader George Papandreou, head of the PASOK party and president of the Socialist International (SI), arrived at the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Fanar district of Istanbul on Wednesday and was received by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos (Bartholomew I).

    "The Ecumenical Patriarchate has inalienable rights and, of course, no one can dispute the Patriarchate's ecumenical nature," Papandreou said during his visit, a week after a Turkish appeals court issued an unprecendented decision disputing the Patriarch's ecumenical status, dubbing him instead as merely the leader of the predominately Muslim country's tiny Greek Orthodox community.

    Papandreou and the Patriarch had a lengthy discussion, followed by a dinner given in the Papandreou's honour by the former.

    [03] Int'l crisis management con'f opens in Athens

    An international conference on crisis management, entitled "Athena 2007", opened on Wednesday at a central Athens hotel under the auspices of Greece's national defence general staff (GEETHA).

    The three-day conference, which runs through Friday, was inaugurated by Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, who in a brief greeting noted that such initiatives advance information and exchanges of views on the successful prevention and management of crises.

    The Greek government, he said, was working for the "prevention of conflicts in the region in order to consolidate an environment of confidence, mutual understanding and cooperation, to the benefit of the prosperity of the peoples."

    GEETHA chief Adm. Panayotis Hinofitis, stressed that close international cooperation was the only way to confront threats.

    The objective of the conference is to acquire familiarity with a broad spectrum of crisis management issues, as well as to inform and exchange views on the methods, procedures and capabilities of the international community regarding crisis prevention and management.

    The conference will be attended by 219 political and military representatives from 44 countries and international organisations, as well as representatives from several Greek ministries.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Meimarakis.

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