Browse through our Interesting Nodes about Foreign Delegations in Greece A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Monday, 30 November 2020
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou announces new environmental policy
  • [02] Alavanos on environment policy
  • [03] UN's Nimetz to visit Athens and Skopje

  • [01] Papandreou announces new environmental policy

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Thursday announced plans to mobilise the party in order to promote a new environmental policy, which he also linked to a goal for broader social alliances against the choices made by the government. He was speaking during an off-the-agenda debate on environmental issues held in Parliament.

    Among these initiatives would be the collection of signatures, starting next week, in support of creating a separate and autonomous environment ministry, while PASOK would also submit a proposed draft bill on the same issue by November 20, Papandreou said.

    The main opposition leader underlined his objections to proposed revisions of article 24 - which affords protection to forests and "forest land" - and stressed that even discussion on revising the specific article was the "litmus test" for environmental protection. He criticised the government for refusing to withdraw what he called the "forest-murdering" proposed revision of article 24, "even though it knows that the Constitutional revision is already dead after PASOK's decision to withdraw from the process".

    He stressed that PASOK would not accept the legalisation of unauthorised buildings or any attempt to undermine the country's forests and the quality of its built environments.

    "Our goal is to abolish the model of building outside the town plan. The NATURA areas need funding and scientific support. The first priority must be energy conservation and reducing energy intensity, with immediate provision of incentives to save energy in existing and new buildings, specifications and incentives for a new generation of homes that utilise Greece's bioclimate, combined transport and low-consumption private cars, reduction in the volume of wastes, composting of domestic waste on a domestic level and connecting policies to restructure agriculture with water policy," Papandreou said.

    He accused the government of essentially moving in the opposite direction to the above and said that several environmental initiatives were essentially stalled, while the government was in charge of and failing to clean up Greece's top polluter, the state-run Public Power Corporation (PPC).

    [02] Alavanos on environment policy

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alekos Alavanos on Thursday accused the government of fielding a non-existent environmental policy, calling for a "head-on collision" with major private interests to put a stop to what he called arbitrary practices around the country.

    Alavanos, who initiated the off-the-agenda debate in Parliament, called on the government to withdraw an Article 24 amendment regarding the definition of forestland, as well as ending the practice of using Ottoman-era ownership titles to exploit public land.

    The SYRIZA president also pointed out that in spite of the major problems and non-existent environmental policy he is optimistic because society has been awakened and that younger people have become more active.

    Commenting on the prime ministerÔs speech, Alavanos stressed that he was probably referring to some other country and not to Greece, which is plagued by enormous environmental problems.

    Alavanos also referred to the ecological and environmental problems on Crete, using as an example the Kandanos Gorge, a historical region of exceptional natural beauty, which will soon be turned into a quarry, as he claimed

    He stated that there is a need for the adoption of a new perspective and called for a response by the prime minister on whether a 100-million-euro project on drawing up high precision environmental maps was removed from the Community Support Framework funding.

    Alavanos also referred to huge environmental problems in Lake Koronia, northern Greece, and to the Asopos River, north of Athens, accusing the state and local government of total indifference.

    [03] UN's Nimetz to visit Athens and Skopje

    Special United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz said in New York on Thursday that he intends to visit Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in the "near future".

    Nimetz was speaking to reporters after meeting Greek UN ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis and his FYROM counterpart Nikola Dimitrov, in a new round of talks between Greece and FYROM to settle their dispute over the use of the name 'Macedonia' by FYROM.

    Nimetz said that he handed over to the two envoys suggestions for criteria on the name issue to be studied by the two sides.

    The new round of negotiations began at 15:30 Greek time and lasted two and a half hours. Nimetz, as well as Vassilakis and Dimitrov, said that the meeting was held in "a very good climate" and was, as the Greek envoy added, "honest".

    Vassilakis said that "each one presented his proposals as you know them and the meeting will be useful to both to think over the future."

    Responding to a question whether Thursday's meeting showed anything different from the previous ones, Vassilakis said that "it presented some improvements", underlining that "both want to find a solution."

    Nimetz made the following statement at the end of the meeting:

    "At our meeting Ambassador Vassilakis presented the position of his government and Ambassador Dimitrov presented the position of his Government, in both cases with respect to the difference with respect to the 'name' and related issues.

    "For my part I urged the Parties to consider all possibilities so that a solution to this dispute can be found within a reasonable time frame. I believe a solution to an issue that divides two neighbouring countries is very much in the interests of both Parties and would also greatly contribute to regional peace and security.

    "In an effort to assist the Parties in this process I respectfully made some suggestions in the form of a draft framework for their consideration as a basis for an honorable and fair resolution. I have urged Ambassadors Dimitrov and Vassilakis to bring these suggestions to their Governments for study.

    "These discussions under the Secretary-General's auspices will continue in an effort to reach a resolution. I have indicated a willingness to go to Athens and Skopje in the near future to consult with the two Governments more intensively. Both Ambassador Dimitrov and Ambassador Vassilakis will discuss such a mission with their Governments."

    Shortly before the new round of negotiations began, Greece's Vassilakis said in a statement:

    "Greece has a positive approach to today's talks. We will try, as in the past, to find a solution that is mutually acceptable".

    Greece objects to the use of the name "Republic of Macedonia" by FYROM, saying this may give rise to irredentist claims against a northern Greek province of the same name that shares a border with tiny and landlocked FYROM. It has also objected to FYROM's adoption of symbols associated with the ancient Macedonian king and general Alexander the Great as historically inaccurate.

    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    ana2html v2.01 run on Thursday, 1 November 2007 - 19:30:28 UTC