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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK leader holds talks with Portuguese PM

  • [01] PASOK leader holds talks with Portuguese PM

    Main opposition PASOK party leader and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou held hour-long talks with Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates in Lisbon on Friday afternoon, focusing on the new European Treaty, Kosovo, the problem with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Turkey's course towards the European Union.

    Speaking after the meeting, Papandreou said that both of them maintained that the new European Treaty is necessary for the appropriate and democratic functioning of the EU but, as the PASOK leader said, it is also in the interest of Greece.

    The EU Portuguese Presidency and the Socialist International have set the environment and the promotion of the green economy as a top priority and for which there will be close cooperation.

    It was agreed that the Socialist International's environment committee, that was created during the recent meeting of the International's Council in Geneva and which is presided over by former Swedish prime minister Goran Persson and former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, will have close cooperation with the European Commission.

    Papandreou briefed Socrates on the situation in Turkey and his visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and urged him to take an initiative on the restoration of the Patriarchate's rights which, in any case, is also an obligation of Turkey in the framework of its European course.

    PASOK's leader said that an initiative in this direction by the Portuguese Presidency could produce positive results, not only for the Patriarchate but for Turkey's European course as well.

    The two socialist leaders discussed the situation in the Balkans and the problem of Kosovo in particular. Papandreou referred to the course of the Western Balkans towards the EU since, as he said, the aim is for the door to Europe to open and, through this course, some problems to be resolved, such as human rights problems, good neighbourliness, etc. Socrates requested Papandreou's view on how the situation in the region stands, as well as his contribution to the effort of finding a solution.

    Papandreou also raised the issue of FYROM's intransigence and the need to solve the problem of the name through a mutually acceptable and satisfactory solution in the framework of dialogue taking place under the auspices of the UN, while the PASOK leader pointed out that intransigence does not help a solution to the problem.

    The two men also discussed the issue of Cyprus, for which Papandreou said it was a problem of Turkish invasion and occupation. Also discussed was the issue of the reactivation of the EU on the question of Cyprus, "an initiative that is always timely and necessary."

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