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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-09-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papariga: KKE will continue the same policies
  • [02] SYRIZA presents 10-point proposal in Parliament
  • [03] Karatzaferis criticises 'barren foreign policy'

  • [01] Papariga: KKE will continue the same policies

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) will continue to conduct politics in the same way as before, with policies guided by the interests of the workers and ranged against big capital, KKE General Secretary Aleka Papariga stressed on Saturday, during the three-day debate on the government's policy statement in Parliament.

    KKE's leader underlined that her party's policies were not swayed by the results of ballot boxes and elections and that it would therefore not change its stance toward either the ruling party New Democracy, whose policies it diametrically opposed, nor to any of the other parties in Parliament.

    "We do not agree with artificial additions," she added, noting that her party was not interested in making impressions but only in contributing "so that the majority of the Greek people are not in the condition that they find themselves in today."

    Replying to an announcement by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis about planned changes to election law, Papariga expressed her opposition and repeated her party's positions in favour of simple proportional representation.

    She predicted there would be even harsher measures for lower income strata and the working class and criticised the government's foreign policy, saying it would make Greece the weak link in southeastern Europe, where each of the major powers were trying to promote their own interests.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph showing Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga addressing the Greek Parliament.

    [02] SYRIZA presents 10-point proposal in Parliament

    Addressing Parliament on Saturday during the three-day debate leading up to a vote of confidence in the government, Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alekos Alavanos presented a 10-point proposal toward all the political parties.

    He criticised the policy statement presented by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and said the ruling New Democracy government was a "minority government" that "lacked democratic legitimacy" since it did not reflect the absolute majority of the Greek people.

    Alavanos was also scathing about what he called ND's attempts to re-establish client politics and "buy votes during the fires" and said it had started out as a "government of cooperation between the right and far-right" whose first act was to give in over the 6th-year history text book.

    SYRIZA's leader repeated his party's position in favour of adopting an election system of simple proportional representation and said that the days of two-party dominance were numbered.

    He particularly emphasised what he called "the attack on the younger generation of 300-euro salaries with the trimming of their rights, the shrinking of the public sector, the dismantling of the social state and the inability to appreciate environmental changes".

    The proposals listed by Alavanos included greater independence for Justice, spending 5 percent of GDP on education, paying base salaries of 1,400 euros a month to school teachers, supporting young people with jobs without cutting back their social insurance rights, a stop to racism with equal pay for equal work, popular referendums in Greece, support for the national health system, support for the social state, increase in unemployment benefits, granting Greek nationality to all people born in Greece, recognition of life-partnership contracts between homosexuals and withdrawal of Greek troops from Afghanistan and the Middle East.

    Caption: Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alekos Alavanos addressing Parliament on Saturday, 29 September 2007, mid-way through a three-day debate on the government's policy statement that will culminate in a vote of confidence in the government on Sunday at midnight. ANA-MPA/ Maria Marogianni

    [03] Karatzaferis criticises 'barren foreign policy'

    With criticism centred mainly on failures to defend Greece's interests abroad, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis on Saturday accused both the government and main opposition PASOK of exercising a "barren foreign policy" during his address in the three-day debate on the government's policy statements in Parliament.

    His comments took in the Cyprus issue, where he stressed his opposition to the Annan Plan and claimed that, had it been adopted by Cyprus at that time, there would now be no Cyprus Republic.

    "You supported the re-election of [Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, but did you go to support [Cyprus President] Tassos Papadopoulos," he asked.

    Regarding developments with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Karatzaferis urged the government to terminate the interim agreement in order to achieve credibility.

    "Because the veto has not been believed, neither in Greece nor there," he added.

    He denied that the government's decision to withdraw the controversial history text book for Greek primary schools had been an overture to his party, saying that it had been a response to the wishes of Greek voters, while he claimed that the moves to privatise Olympic Airways were actually designed to support the private airline Aegean.

    Caption: Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis addressing Parliament on Saturday, 29 September 2007, mid-way through a three-day debate on the government's policy statement that will culminate in a vote of confidence in the government on Sunday at midnight. ANA-MPA/ Maria Marogianni


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