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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM stresses FYROM dispute at SEECP summit
  • [02] PASOK leader addresses conference on town planning

  • [01] PM stresses FYROM dispute at SEECP summit

    SOFIA (ANA-MPA - S. Goutzanis) Greece seeks a realistic, functional solution to the dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the latterās name, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis told heads of state and government attending the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit in Pomorie, Bulgaria on Wednesday.

    This should take the form of a viable, comprehensive agreement that would be sealed by resolution of the United Nations Security Council, he added.

    Karamanlis said Greece was seeking a win-win solution that would take the sensitivities of both countries into account and benefit the entire region.

    Noting that NATO had reached a joint decision at Bucharest, Karamanlis added that the time has come to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue.

    The Greek premier stressed that it was now a pressing need to find a solution that was in line with UN resolutions on this issue, which had now been outstanding for 15 years. Establishing good neighbour relations and resolving the name issue were now a priority if Skopje intended to join NATO, he added.

    He also reiterated Greeceās steadfast support for incorporating all southeast European countries into Euro-Atlantic and European structures, stressing that this was a strategic choice for Athens with no ?discounts or exceptions?. At the same time, he noted that the terms agreed on by the EU partners and NATO allies applied to all candidate-countries, including FYROM.

    ?In all cases, this open doors policy followed by Greece implies that every country that chooses its European future is obliged to conform to fundamental principles; the European and Euro-Atlantic path has as its prerequisite an unswerving support and respect for good neighbour relations and the adoption of common principles that are applied equally to all candidate-countries,? Karamanlis stressed.

    He emphasized, meanwhile, that Athensā goal at NATO was not to isolate Skopje from NATO or the EU.

    In comments on the status of Kosovo, he stressed that this constituted a key challenge for both the Balkans but also Europe as a whole. He noted Greeceās emphasis on the need for a mutually agreed settlement in a solution for Kosovo, while underlining that the EU should take a leading role on the issue of Kosovo, since EU values would provide guarantees of stability for the region.

    On the results of the elections in Serbia, the Greek premier expressed hope that talks between Serb political parties will soon lead to the formation of a government, which would continue to strive for Serbiaās entry into the EU.

    On Bulgarian presidency, SEECP

    In statements after the summit meeting, Karamanlis congratulated the Bulgarian presidency of the SEECP on its work, especially as regards the effort to turn the SEECP into a Regional Cooperation Council for southeastern Europe, whose secretariat will be based in Sarajevo and housed in the Greek-Bosnian friendship building constructed using funds from the Greek Plan for the Reconstruction of the Balkans.

    According to Karamanlis, the new Council would mark a new era for regional cooperation that would mean greater responsibility for member-states on issues concerning the Balkans.

    The Greek premier also announced an initiative for establishing a regional developmental centre in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki and stressed that regional cooperation in the Balkans was an inseparable part of the European and Euro-Atlantic goal the countries of the region, which would assist in the European prospects of all the Balkan countries, so that in the long term they might become the southeastern axis of the EU.

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

    [02] PASOK leader addresses conference on town planning

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou addressed a conference of the ISTAME institute on town planning on Wednesday and accused the government of "favouring profiteering and lawlessness".

    "The government is treating the country through a model that reproduces the clientele state, favours easy profiteering and lawlessness. The government is reproducing the worse that characterises us and is viewing the country as a colony and the citizens as subjects and natives to whom it is offering bread and spectacles, sponge cake and Eurovision," the PASOK leader said.

    Papandreou further said that PASOK rejects town plan 1 that is being proposed by the government, "because it has been preceded by no consultations with society and because the plan treats sustainable development with contempt, it favours the concentration of growth in centres that are already congested, it does not regulate construction not included in plans, it ignores the particularities of Greece, and of the islands in particular, and constitutes an umbrella for the special town plan for tourism which is delivering the best regions of the country to major construction interests with all that this entails."

    The PASOK leader went on to say that the plan is part of the same policy axis being followed by the government, "by which special and short-term interests are being served and submission to middlemen is taking place, as well as arrangements for a few and powerful."

    Papandreou said that town planning constitutes for PASOK a conscious intervention by politics in the economy, adding that the town plan is an opportunity for the development of the country and for its reforming.

    He stressed that another path exists for the development of Greece, "since the country is in a crucial geopolitical position that allows it to emerge as a dynamic pole with sustainable development in the forefront and, at the same time, to benefit from the European division of labour."

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