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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis to meet Moldovan counterpart Monday
  • [02] Papandreou: Five proposals for the environment
  • [03] Deputy FM Doukas in Moscow
  • [04] Museum of Marble Craft on Tinos
  • [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM Karamanlis to meet Moldovan counterpart Monday

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis will be meeting with his visiting Moldovan counterpart Zinaida Greceanii at noon on Monday, it was announced on Sunday. Talks will focus on bilateral issues and regional developments.

    In a heated exchange in Parliament on Friday, Prime Minister Karamanlis was strongly critical of statements made by the leadership of the left-wing parties, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), concerning the crisis in universities.

    "The government initiated the educational reform by placing priority on improving tertiary state education, culminating in the framework law [for education], with the clear goal of making universities truly self-regulating, to connect them with the social and professional success of their graduates and allow them to play a leading role on an equal footing within the European sphere," he stressed.

    The opposition, by contrast, had made no proposals, suggested no measures and taken no action to improve state universities, the premier stressed.

    Replying to questions tabled during the premier's hour by the head of SYRIZA Alekos Alavanos and KKE General Secretary Aleka Papariga, Karamanlis accused both but particularly Alavanos of inaccuracies, distorting the truth and inflammatory statements that fuelled the few extremists that were causing the upheaval within state universities.

    While critical of KKE's opposition to the introduction of assessment for universities, he singled out SYRIZA and its leader for much tougher criticism, intimating that the party's statements had given a green light to phenomena of violence on Greek campuses.

    He also blasted SYRIZA for distorting events, and its "indirect advance announcement of inflammatory situations in universities and the attempt to attribute these, in advance, to government statements".

    [02] Papandreou: Five proposals for the environment

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou issued a "lasting and constant" appeal to the country's social and political forces for "broad alliances" so that "tomorrow's PASOK government", whose focus would be "green development", could change the country, addressing an event on Saturday night organised by his party's Europarliamentarians, together with the PASOK sector for the environment, at Syntagma Square in central Athens to mark the UNEP-designated World Environment Day, which is observed on June 5 each year.

    Papandreou also unveiled five proposals for environmental protection, with the focus on the establishment of an autonomous ministry for the Environment.

    He stressed the need for a new strategic plan for the country based on Greek Development, while accusing the New Democracy government of 'promoting the perception of individualism and lawlessness.

    Papandreou further invited the social and political forces to a "program dialogue and collaborations", and on the leaders of the parties of the "other Left" to assume their responsibilities, warning that "those who rule out, rule themselves out".

    In addition to an autonomous Environment Ministry, Papandreou also proposed energy conservation in buildings and vehicles through the establishment of appropriate incentives and conditions; support of businesses turning 'green' with specific incentives; support of all forms of renewable energy sources throughout the entire country; and bold policies and legilsation, with volition and principles, that would give new incentives for environment-friendly technologies and proper training for the youth.

    Elaborating on his proposals, Papandreou spoke of "quality tourism" through highlighting the uniquenesses of every destination. Citing the island of Zakynthos as an example, he said that the Caretta caretta loggerhead sea turtle (one of the last remaining natural habitats of the Caretta caretta in the Mediterranean) could become an attraction theme, with proper events, while in Ioannina health tourism could be highlighted.

    Papandreou said that social justice was necessary because the downgrading of the environment was a politicial tactic that hurt the small and medium income earners and the poor citizens, such as in the Assopos River region, where pollution of the waters forces local residents to leave.

    On the quality of life and democracy that needs to be safeguarded, Papandreou said that possible introduction of nuclear energy would limit the independence of the country and the citizens, since it would intensify the police state in order to ensure the public health during the transport and storage of toxic wastes.

    The PASOK leader said that Greece has two options, to be either the tail or a pioneer, adding that Greece must be a leader in this global necessity for quality of life and move ahead to productive investments with security and certainty.

    The theme of the open event was the environment, energy and climate change, with other speakers including PASOK Eurodeputies Anny Podimata, Katerina Batzeli and Evangelia Tzambazi, the party's secretary for environmental issues Spyros Kouvelis, and representatives of Greenpeace and the WWF, and live links with local television networks of the periphery for presentation of the local environmental problems.

    Also in attendance was the prefect of fire-ragaged Ileia, K. Kafiras, to whom the president of the European Parliament's European Socialist Party (PES) group Martin Schulz symbolically gave 218 olive trees, representing the number of the group's Eurodeputies.

    [03] Deputy FM Doukas in Moscow

    Deputy Foreign Minister Petros Doukas arrived in Moscow on Sunday heading a large delegation of businessmen for a two-day visit. He will also attend the Greek-Russian business conference.

    Doukas said in interviews with the Russian state-run ITAR-TASS and RIA-Novosti news agencies, as well as with the bimonthly periodical "Ellada" (Greece), which is published in Moscow and belongs to Greek interests, that Greek-Russian political and economic relations are at their best point and the possibilities of developing both trade and investments are very extensive.

    Heading the biggest ever business mission to date, with over 300 participants so far, Doukas arrived in Moscow on Sunday and on the sidelines of the Greek-Russian business conference he will be having contacts over the next two days with members of the Russian government, Parliament and the municipality of Moscow, as well as with business agencies.

    Referring to the Greek-Russian business forum, that he will be inaugurating on Monday with his counterpart, the co-chairman of the interministerial cooperation committee and Agriculture Minister of Russia Alexey Gordeev, Doukas reassured that "such initiatives encouraging and supporting business contacts will continue in the future as well" and hailed the fact that bilateral economic relations are being gradually extended to a wide range of sectors, from energy and tourism to cooperation in high technology.

    "Cooperation between capital and know-how from the two countries is a guarantee for effective cooperation, from which the business communities of both countries will benefit greatly," Doukas told RIA-Novosti, commenting on relations being developed by Greek technological parks, such as that in Patra, with Russian technological foundations and universities.

    Speaking to ITAR-TASS, Doukas said that Greece looks forward to the extension of the agreement on the procurement of natural gas with Russia even beyond the year 2040, terming as "undoubtable" Russia's role in securing Greece's energy safety, as well as that of Europe, and assessed that, as has been determined in consultations between the two countries' leaders Vladimir Putin and Constantine Karamanlis, both the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and the agreement on Greek participation in the South Stream natural gas pipeline are proceeding towards their implementation.

    [04] Museum of Marble Craft on Tinos

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias inaugurated the Museum of Marble Craft on the island of Tinos on Saturday.

    The Museum, built by the PiraeusBank Group's Cultural Foundation, contains exhibits presenting the technology of marble crafting.

    Marble is a material that holds a significant place in Greek architecture and art from antiquity to the present, while Tinos has, throughout the centuries, been known worldwide for its marble craftsmen.

    Addressing the event, tourism development minister Aris Spiliotopoulos that cultural expression is the strongest and most substantial projection of Greece outside its borders, as it highlights not only the country's identity but also its future potential and, in that light, the materialisation of initiatives such as that of the Marble Craft Museum in Tinos, they play an important role "in our efforts for the developmental prospect of our country, as the incentives are given for creation among the local society, and its unique cultural identity is projected".

    From within the history of marble, Greek and foreign visitors to the Museum will become acquainted with the architecture and art of Greece, and will understand that Greece is not only sun and sea, but a country with a rich cultural heritage that remains alive, and is a strong ally to the efforts for establishing Greece among the top tourism destinations, Spiliotopoulos added.

    Brief greetings were also addressed by merchant marine, Aegean and island policy minister George Voulgarakis and interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

    [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glance

    The high cost of living, and developments in the sector of higher education, were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TPOS: "Parental leaves and benefits in the public sector - The provisions contained in the interior ministry's circular".

    APOGEVMATINI: "466 million euros to 10,300 SMEs (for investments in the trade and tourism sectors) from the funds (earmarked for Greece) under the EU's 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF)" via the Regional Operational Programs.

    AVGHI: "SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left parliamentary alliance) is the only opposition - Government invests in the tension, with an eye on the opinion polls".

    AVRIANI: "How Andreas Vgenopoulos (MIG vice-president) 'floored' the slanderers in parliament, leaving speechless even those who attempted to create impressions".

    CHORA: "Opinion poll (RASS): Politicians are not above the law, 65 percent of the respondents believe".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Siemens needed Mitsotakis (then prime minister) intervention in 1993", adding that the Siemens scandal which intensely occupies the domestic and international scene did not come 'out of the blue' into Greek political life, but, since the late 1980s and up to a few years ago the multinational company was exerting pressure in order to promote its corporate interests.

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Karamanlis or SYRIZA - Interview with Pangalos (long-time and high profile main opposition PASOK MP and former minister) predicts third term in government for New Democracy, if dialogue does not begin immediately for PASOK-SYN cooperation".

    ETHNOS: "Desperate Households - Shocking survey reveals dramatic drop in consumption".

    KATHIMERINI: "The price rises in Greece are multiple those in other markets of the eurozone".

    LOGOS: "Advancement of education reforms at any cost - Prime minister determined on private AEI (institutions of higher education)".

    PARON: "Constantine (ex-king of Greece) replies on everything and...fingers Mitsotakis - Exclusive interview with (the newspaper's publisher) Makis Kouris".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Intensification of the action against privatisation of universities".

    TO VIMA: "World Environment Day (observed every year on June 5): Nature's revenge and the summer hazards".

    VRADYNI: "Nationwide university entrance exams: The first results submitted by the graders".

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