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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't unveils proposal for election law revision
  • [02] Greek leadership meets with Christofias

  • [01] Gov't unveils proposal for election law revision

    A proposal by Interior and Public Administration Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos to revise the existing election law was unanimously approved during an Inner Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, a session chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    "The goal of the new election law is to bolster government stability without hurting proportionality in the parliamentary representation of smaller parties," Pavlopoulos again said in citing the government's leitmotif over the issue.

    He said that based on envisioned new election law, a 50-seat bonus in the 300-MP Parliament will be reserved for the party garnering the most votes, compared to 40 seats allocated with the present election law. Pavlopoulos clarified that this bonus will be reserved only for individual political parties and not for post-election coalitions.

    He also referred to the adoption of a gender quota system for party ballots in general elections, eying a one-third quota for female candidates.

    The new election law will be tabled in Parliament before the Christmas holidays, he added.

    After the Inner Cabinet meeting PM Karamanlis conferred with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    A subsequent meeting on Tuesday will focus on the 2008 state budget before it is tabled in Parliament, followed by a press conference by Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis.

    Caption: A file photo shows PM Costas Karamanlis (right, seated) in Parliament, with FinMin George Alogoskoufis (centre, standing) and Interior Minister Propokis Pavlopoulos (L). ANA-MPA.

    [02] Greek leadership meets with Christofias

    <!--Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met Tuesday with visiting Cypriot House Speaker Demetris Christofias, the leader of the leftist AKEL party and a presidential candidate in the island republic's upcoming election, with whom she exchanged views over the long-standing Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Christofias said each side outlined its assessments "on developments, or lack of developments, regarding the Cyprus issue, and, naturally, on what must be done," he said, adding that discussion had been "very friendly and cordial".

    "Everyone's reservation is to more deeply investigate Turkey's intentions regarding the Cyprus issue at this time ... and I think that after the elections (in Cyprus), there will be a real need for the two governments (Greece and Cyprus) and political forces (of the two countries) to sit at the table, after the Cypriots (political forces) sit at the table, and reach a unanimous decision on the future handling," he said.

    Obviously, initiatives will be undertaken, he said, adding that "we must prepare ourselves as best we can".

    "We must seek a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation, which, this time, will be functional and viable," Christofias said, adding that Greece and Cyprus must decide together and work methodically in that direction.

    Meeting with Sioufas

    Christofias also met on Tuesday with his Greek counterpart, Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas, who assured him of Parliament's steadfastness in its support of the Cypriot people's struggle for a solution based on the relevant UN resolutions.

    Sioufas also presented proposals to the speaker of Cyprus' House of Representatives for strengthening cooperation between the two legislatures, including a twinning of their respective libraries, giving broadcast time on the Greek Parliament's television station, and the joint organisation a programme on the Greek Cypriot radio station of London, focusing on the Greek language and culture.

    Christofias thanked Sioufas and reaffirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations, while he also agreed to Sioufas' proposals for further strengthening the ties between the two parliaments.SYRIZA leader voices support for Christofias candidacy

    Finally, Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Alekos Alavanos on Tuesday backed Christofias' presidential candidacy.

    Speaking after a meeting with Christofias, Alavanos said the latter "is a personality who expresses a policy that manages to combine resistance to the aspirations of major 'imperialistic forces' on the Republic of Cyprus with the ability of substantive intervention in international developments, for the advancement of the interests of the Cypriot people -- Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike -- as well as the need for resolving the problem on the basis of the UN resolutions".

    Christofias, in turn, thanked Alavanos, and stressed that the solidarity and support forthcoming from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and SYRIZA was "balm" for him, as it "gives me the strength to wage -- together with my comrades, and not only them, but also with the many people who support my candidacy -- the battle of the presidential elections with significant prospects of winning this battle".

    "The goal is one: To serve as effectively as possible the entire Cypriot people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, focusing on ridding the occupation, reunifying our country and, of course, the materialisation of a pro-popular and progressive programme," Christofias said.Caption: Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis (R) welcomes Cypriot House Speaker Demetris Christofias at the foreign ministry in Athens on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007. ANA-MPA / ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU.


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