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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-29

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece cites FYROM extremism
  • [02] Athens to assume AII chair

  • [01] Greece cites FYROM extremism

    Athens on Thursday took a decidedly stricter stance vis-à-vis the recent crescendo of inflammatory campaign trail remarks in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) against Greece, with the foreign ministry spokesman referring to "an ultra-nationalist reasoning".

    Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos momentarily departed from official Athens' reserved stance to charge that the "overall messages repeatedly coming out of the neighbouring country point to the conclusion that this country is the only one in the Balkans and Europe appearing to adopt an ultra-nationalist reasoning as its (FYROM) official policy."

    Koumoutsakos made the statement during a regular briefing in Athens and following press questions referring to the latest cache of anti-Greek statements by FYROM government officials. The provocations come amid the ongoing pre-election campaign in the landlocked former Yugoslav republic, which holds a snap election on Sunday, called by the Gruevski government in the wake of FYROM's failed bid for a NATO invitation in early April.

    The spokesman emphasised that the government and the foreign ministry have steadfastly followed Greece's policy of not commenting or entering into a tit-for-tat exchange of statements during the pre-election period in FYROM, "something that we will continue to uphold, waiting for the results of Sunday's election", he added.

    "Of course, we are following with great interest, just as the international community and responsible international organisations are doing, the course and development of the election process (in FYROM); in fact, there are relevant interim reports, just as the recently published report by the OSCE Greece will comment when it assesses the conclusions of the international observers that are following the elections there, given that these elections, just as the previous ones, are being conducted under international supervision".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos.

    [02] Athens to assume AII chair

    Greece will take over the presidency of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative (AII) this coming Sunday on June 1, Greek foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos announced on Thursday. The Greek presidency will last for exactly one year, to be succeeded by a Croatian presidency on June 1, 2009.

    The priorities of the Greek presidency will be to set up a permanent secretariat for the AII and promote cooperation against wildfires, as well as promoting tourism through the support of small and medium-sized tourist enterprises, Koumoutsakos said.

    The AII is a consultation and cooperation framework for the eight countries participating, which include Greece, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia. It covers diverse areas, such as economic issues, transport, tourism, sustainable development, environmental protection, education and culture.

    It was established during the Conference on Development and Security in the Adriatic and Ionian that took place in Ancona in May 2000 and led to the adoption of the Ancona Declaration, which was the AII's founding charter.

    Caption: A general view of the Old Town quarter on the Ionian island of Corfu, dated 05 July 2007. The Old Town of Corfu has been included in UNESCO's World Heritage List. ANA-MPA/EPA/GIANNIS DIMITRAS


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