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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-27

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou chairs PASOK meeting on forest fires

  • [01] Papandreou chairs PASOK meeting on forest fires

    Main opposition PASOK's leader George Papandreou on Friday chaired a party meeting on the forest fires ravaging the country, again stressing that these were a "national, ecological crisis".

    In the meeting at the party's headquarters at Harilaou Trikoupi street in Athens, the discussion focused on what action PASOK can take to provide the greatest possible assistance to the forces for preventing and fighting fires and to help its victims.

    The party decided to set up two committees. The first will be headed by PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos and will be in charge of monitoring developments where fires are underway and proposing specific positions to be adopted by PASOK and specific initiatives that may be undertaken by PASOK's leader and the party in general.

    Also taking part in this committee will be Fofi Gennimata, Costas Skandalidis, Andreas Loverdos, Alekos Papadopoulos, Christos Polyzogopoulos and Nikos Salagiannis.

    The second committee will be headed by Andreas Loverdos and will propose ways of mobilising the party's organised forces to help state forces in their work. The proposals of the committee are expected very soon, since they will take the form of instructions that will be sent to PASOK organisations throughout the country.

    Both committees will operate under the higher supervision of PASOK Secretary Nikos Athanassakis.

    After the meeting, PASOK MP in charge of public order and justice issues for the party, Alekos Papadopoulos, commented on reports that the mobile phone-tapping case had been shelved and stressed that it had not closed, neither politically nor in essence.

    He said that those leaking this information had committed a serious disciplinary and legal offence, since they had violated a fundamental principle of democracy, which was the secrecy of an examining magistrate's acts.

    "The case will only close when it is sent to the competent judicial council, which will judge," he added.

    He accused the government of trying to cover up the issue from the start and said that it had found "willing state functionaries" to assist in this effort, so that vital evidence never came forward or disappeared. When PASOK was government, it would ensure that those who "through action or omission contributed to obstructing the revelation of the truth" were held responsible, he added.

    Papadopoulos also disparaged a move by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday to call Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to ask for additional fire-fighting aircraft, saying that when he was minister in 1998 an ordinary ministry employee had done the same thing without requiring the prime minister's intervention.

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