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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] President Papoulias, PM Karamanlis receive Cyprus' Christofias
  • [02] SI to launch big environment campaign
  • [03] Greece tables proposals on western Balkans
  • [04] President to tour Messinia on Tues.

  • [01] President Papoulias, PM Karamanlis receive Cyprus' Christofias

    The Cyprus issue, Turkey‚s European course and the situation on the island republic in view of presidential elections in February were discussed in the agenda of separate meetings held in Athens between President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Costas Karamanis and visiting Cypriot House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias. Referring to the meeting with Papoulias, Christofias -- a presidential contender in the Cypriot election -- stressed that he had the opportunity to thank the Greek president for his support for Cyprus' struggle and his current stance towards the long-standing problem. Christofias said he briefed Papoulias on the course of the presidential election campaign in Cyprus and the outcome of opinion polls.

    Referring to the meeting he had with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, he said he congratulated him for a natural gas pipeline inaugurated Sunday and pointed out that ?everything depends on us too?, responding to a question on the effect the Greek-Turkish relations have on the Cyprus issue.

    "The development of relations with Turkey on behalf of Greece is not annoying to us. On the contrary, I believe ... these relations, if used correctly by the Greek government, and I believe they are, can help to change Turkey‚s stance on Cyprus, considering Turkey‚s wish to join the EU."

    On whether elections in Cyprus affect Greek-Turkish relations, Christofias said no, adding that a constant exchange of views and coordination between the governments of Cyprus and Greece is necessary on issues concerning Turkey‚s course to the EU and the overall moves on the Cyprus problem.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] SI to launch big environment campaign

    The Socialist International (SI) has decided to launch a big campaign on the environment, according to a statement made by its President and PASOK party leader George Papandreou at the end of the SI's relevant Committee session in Downing Street in London on Monday, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown as host. The Committee sought progressive policies and the assumption of initiatives on the environment since, as it assessed, it is an issue threatening mankind, according to a phrase used during the session and conveyed to the press by Papandreou.

    Issues of Greek interest were also raised during the session, such as the re-election of Papandreou as PASOK leader, for which he was congratulated by his interlocutors and by Brown in particular, who also congratulated him for the good work he is carrying out at the Socialist International and promised to support all its initiatives.

    Papandreou also referred to the destructive wildfires that took place in the summer, and in the Peloponnese in particular, while his interlocutors listened with great interest to PASOK's proposal for the reconstruction of the wildfire-ravaged regions.

    The PASOK leader said in a statement that the environment is an issue of primary importance for Greece, that has a great opportunity of tackling it positively, but added that it will not have this opportunity and capability forever. He further said that Greece can play a leading role in handling environmental problems and have a comparative advantage on this issue. Papandreou also requested that every party that is a member of the SI assume specific initiatives in its country that will be evaluated and the best will be chosen and proposed for implementation in the other countries as well.

    The Socialist International's Environment Committee ascertained that adequate technology exists at present to handle problems and that the resources that must be provided also exist. What is lacking, as it was stressed, is political will on the part of governments.

    The Committee will be continuing its sessions in various parts of the planet in an effort to achieve greater sensitisation by citizens in countries where the sessions will be taking place. Sessions are scheduled to take place over the next two years in Chile, India, China, the United States, South Africa, Sweden and Greece.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of PASOK leader and Socialist International president George Papandreou.

    [03] Greece tables proposals on western Balkans

    Greece tabled a package with five specific proposals on giving a new impetus to the European course of western Balkan countries, during the European Union's General Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday. Referring to the Greek proposal, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said that Greece had the opportunity of tabling a very specific new initiative on the European prospects of the western Balkans.

    She said that the time is very difficult for the western Balkans and the peoples of these countries need a specific vision, a specific goal than can be none other than the European vision.

    The foreign minister further said that the governments of EU member-states, as well as the European Commission, have the possibility, based on the Greek proposals, to proceed with specific moves that will reliably convey this message to all the peoples of the western Balkans.

    "We believe that we will be having the possibility of discussing this proposal in more detail in December at the EU summit," she said.

    Bakoyannis added that the initial response by her European counterparts, and by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, was very positive.

    "We all realise that it is a difficult period that requires a substantive, aggressive and effective European policy on this issue," she said.

    A discussion was also held at the General Affairs Council on the situation in Kosovo and as Bakoyannis said "the general impression that prevailed was not very optimistic."

    Lastly, Bakoyannis held bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Council with her counterparts from Ireland, Denmark and Belgium, whom she briefed on Greece's positions regarding the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    [04] President to tour Messinia on Tues.

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias will visit Messinia prefecture on Tuesday. On Tuesday morning, he will unveil the bust of the 1821 Greek Revolution hero Theodoros Kolokotronis in the hero's birthtown of Ramovouni, in Mila, Meligala, while at noon he will be declared an Official Citizen of Kalamata, at a special ceremony at the Town Hall, during which Papoulias will also be presented with the Gold Key of the City.

    The government will be represented at the unveiling ceremony by education deputy minister Andreas Lykourentzos.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.

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