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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-09-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK represents 'a new course of responsibility'
  • [02] Papariga appeals for abandoning main parties
  • [03] Alavanos notes support for youth mobilisation

  • [01] PASOK represents 'a new course of responsibility'

    In a televised debate of political party leaders of Thursday night, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou said that ?I have proven in the past that I stay by my commitments.?

    He called on Greeks ?to go along with PASOK to a new course of responsibility, hope and prospects,? adding that at the end of his tenure he wants to be able "to look at the citizens in the eyes, because together we will have rid ourselves of the past and changed Greece.?

    The PASOK leader called for an opportunity to be given to him, not to prove that he is the best, something which he himself views easy, ?but because we are different.?

    He criticised the New Democracy (ND) party of having received "Greece of the Olympic Games and instead of building on what it found or to correct the mistakes of the previous ones and instead of us speaking about new achievements, we are talking about the greatest catastrophe of the post-dictatorship period and the covering up of unprecedented scandals.?

    He also criticised the ND ?of not yet having presented a program? as well as that ?it did not accept to cooperate on any issue, despite the fact that the main opposition had offered to do so.?

    Papandreou accused Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis that ?he is the only Greek who is not aware of his great responsibilities and spoke as if he was speaking about another country."

    To a question on the measures PASOK will take on the social insurance system, in the event that PASOK wins the general elections, he accused the government that ?it undermined the social insurance system and left the social insurance funds deficient.?

    On foreign policy, Papandreou said that ?No one gives us favours, if we do not have a strong position and negotiating capability, prestige and strength on the international scene.? He accused the Karamanlis government of ?denigrating the country with the auditing and undermining its prestige over the so-called asymmetrical threats in the case of the wildfires.? He noted that ?I shall not make such mistakes,? adding that he will assume ?initiatives for strengthening Greeceās international presence.?

    Regarding Turkish claims concerning 180 islets, the PASOK leader stressed that that he never accepted and does not intend to accept the term ?grey zones.?

    [02] Papariga appeals for abandoning main parties

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga said Thursday night her party was addressing voters who "understand that they must abandon" the two mainstream parties, the ruling New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK, and that "are looking for security in an alternative solution which will stimulate and reinforce action."

    During a televised debate of political party leaders ahead of the September 16 general elections, Papariga also noted that the Greek people knows her party's positions and its positions for today and for the future, that is "the perspective of socialism, the people's power. We remain steadfast on our positions."

    The communist leader said that the policy of alliances her party supports is "a policy of open doors, and not a policy of temporarity."

    Responding to a question whether her party would observe a more pro-European stance in the future, Papariga said that she did not see any reason to do so.

    [03] Alavanos notes support for youth mobilisation

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party leader Alekos Alavanos, speaking during the televised debate between political party leaders on Thursday night, placed emphasis on defending the mobilisation of youth and the need for the recognition of its struggles for education, the environment and society in general.

    Alavanos expressed support for the poor and the marginalised and overindebted families, while dissociating his position from those who have participated in violent incidents.

    He reiterated that SYRIZA will not cooperate with the main opposition PASOK party at government level and pointed out that many differences exist with PASOK and mentioned characteristically privatisations, education and the European constitution.

    Alavanos also expressed satisfaction because the two mainstream parties are "concerned and afraid" about the outcome of the elections and this, as he said, can change the setting the day after the elections with the strengthening of SYRIZA.

    He also expressed support for negotiations on the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and the problem being resolved in the framework of the UN.

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