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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-06

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Inner Cabinet considers defence issues
  • [02] Ieronymos to visit Patriarchate
  • [03] 3 KKE MPs to resign

  • [01] Inner Cabinet considers defence issues

    Defence ministry-related issues were on the agenda for Tuesday's Inner Cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, as Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis briefed the cabinet on a variety of issues, including defence contracts.

    The latter said afterwards that final decisions will be taken by the high-ranking foreign policy and defence council (KYSEA).

    In another development, Meimarakis noted that Greece is transforming its defence doctrine from a purely defensive model to one he characterised as "defensive, preventive", as he referred to diplomatic and military readiness and to acquiring necessary weapons systems to add to the country's preventive capability.

    In other matters, Meimarakis reiterated that the government was still reviewing possible changes in the mandatory conscription regime, namely, to begin service for all able-bodied males at the ages of 18 to 19. He again emphasised that no decision have been made.

    On this specific point, the minister said the emphasis was to upgrade conscripts' service, and to make military service productive.

    Additionally, Meimarakis referred to structural changes in the Greek armed forces, revising the officers' promotions systems and funding for base mergers and relocations.

    The DM conferred with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis prior to the Inner Cabinet meeting.

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

    [02] Ieronymos to visit Patriarchate

    Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece will pay an official to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul beginning on Friday, his first visit abroad since his enthronement in February following the death of Archbishop Christodoulos.

    According to a Holy Synod announcement, the official doxology for the reception of Ieronymos will be held on Monday morning at the Patriarchal church of St. George, followed by formal addresses.

    On Saturday morning, bilateral talks will take place among representatives of the two Churches, while in the afternoon vespers will be held at the church of St. George.

    The four-day visit will culminate with a liturgy jointly officiated by the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Archbishop on Sunday, while Ieronymos will return to Athens on Monday.

    Caption:ANA- MPA file photo of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos

    [03] 3 KKE MPs to resign

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Tuesday announced that three of its Parliament deputies and one Euro-MP were resigning in order to "assume other positions", while citing a decision by party's central committee.

    Elpida Pantelaki will resign her Parliament seat to fill a party organisational slot in the municipality of Piraeus, while her spot in Parliament will be taken by up-until-now Euro-deputy Diamanto Manolakou. Manolakou's spot in Brussels will be taken by Costas Droutsas, a Thessaloniki-area consumer activist.

    Another deputy, Takis Tsiogas, will step down in favor of Antonis Skyllakos, as the former was again re-elected as the president of the Larissa labour centre recently.

    Finally, labour organiser Dimos Koubouris will resign in favour of Yiannis Giokas.

    Caption: KKE leader Aleka Papariga.


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