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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] KKE leader on reforestation
  • [02] Greek forces in French military parade

  • [01] KKE leader on reforestation

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga said during the weekend that it was correct that attention was focusing on the reforestation of Mt. Parnitha and other mountain areas that were devastated in the recent forest fires, "but the issue is that the reforestation should be carried out by state services and not be assigned to private concerns".

    Speaking at a press conference just after her arrival at noon Saturday at Ioannina airport, the KKE leader added: "And the main issue is what is being done with all the mountains, in other words with those that have not burned and we hope will stay that way. There is a serious issue of ownership which is not being touched on at all, and a census must be made must be made, even under the current status quo, on what belongs to the construction cooperatives, the Church and other agencies, because what is coming over the next years is the cementisation of the mountains, but also the concession of land use to them, to private concerns, tolarge hotel complexes and other activities...".

    "Without 100 percent of the proprietorship passing to the state, even if we have no fires, over the next 20 years we will lose the mountains," she concluded.

    As the pre-electoral confrontation was climaxing with clashes, sword-crossing, rhetorical schemes and one-liners taken from books and the words of great personalities, "there are issues of which mention is not made and which have expiration dates," she said.

    For example, she said, what was the political parties' position on the imminent second Kapodistrias plan (Kapodistrias-2, the legal framework surrounding local government organisation)? She said it entailed a serious change to the administrative structure of the country, and what was of mjor importance was that it would lethally harm such sectors as health, education and welfare, and more generally whatever social infrastructure the country had.

    The political parties must take a stand on this, she said, adding that the KKE was opposed to the plan "not only with respect to the organisational scheme, but chiefly with respect to the target and role the change in the country's administrative structure will serve".

    "We cannot go to elections discussing issues of the day, no matter how tragic they are there are other issues which, on their side, are equally tragic and will have serious consequences for the Greek people and the situation in the region," Papariga said, citing as an example the Aegean, and putting forward the question on whether the Madrid and Helsinki agreements were still in force, while she also wondered hat the parties' and government's positions were on Kosovo.

    [02] Greek forces in French military parade

    The armed forces of all European Union member-states participated in the great military parade held on Saturday for France's National Holiday, commemorating the French Revolution, at the invitation of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Greece participated with a company of commandos, while Greek Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis participated in the events, to which he had been invited together with his European counterparts.

    Following the "garden party" held at the Elysee Palace, the Greek minister said in a statement to reporters that the invitation by President Sarkozy for armed forces companies from all European countries to participate in the parade was an "excellent initiative."

    Meimarakis said that "it was an invitation that we all accepted and for this reason all the defence ministers of European countries are present. I believe that we are sending a message to the European citizen in this way that indeed Europe, step-by-step, can develop even more its relations in security and defence policy, to enable the European citizen to feel even safer."

    The defence minister further said that "it was an honour and I felt pride when I saw the Greek flag and the companies of the armed forces with their stature, with the very good pace and the overall presence they had, parading in this great military parade, coming down from the Arch of Triumph."

    Lastly, Meimarakis confirmed that Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, accompanied by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, will be visiting France on July 30, where they will be holding talks with President Sarkozy.

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