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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Simitis replies to Papandreou
  • [02] Bakoyannis on Lisbon Treaty
  • [03] Meimarakis at NATO conf'
  • [04] Measures against high prices

  • [01] Simitis replies to Papandreou

    Former prime minister and deputy Costas Simitis, replying in a letter on Thursday to main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou, who earlier in the day placed him outside the party's parliamentary bloc, stressed that he maintains "the right to express his views and act according to his conscience and judge what is good for the country."

    "I do not intend to deny the freedoms and to express my opinion and be able to point out to my party when things go well and when not," Simitis said.

    Simitis further noted to Papandreou that PASOK under the latter's leadership lost all the electoral confrontations after 2004, "while the percentage and his appeal to the voters have been reduced drastically."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of former prime minister Costas Simitis

    [02] Bakoyannis on Lisbon Treaty

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis addressed the "Glafkos Clerides" Eurodemocracy Institute in Nicosia on Thursday, in the presence of the former Cyprus president, referring to prospects being created by the Lisbon Treaty for the European Union countries and for Cyprus and Greece in particular.

    Referring to the security and prosperity framework being promoted by the Lisbon Treaty, she said that "it is appearing at the most suitable time in relation to the new efforts for a solution to the issue of Cyprus."

    She reiterated Greece's support for President Demetris Christofias and for all the political forces in Cyprus and stressed that "what is necessary today is, without pressures and tight timetables, the strengthening of the momentum of talks to pave the way for the preparation of a solution, based on the resolutions of the Security Council and the European principles and values, that will be acceptable."

    Bakoyannis said that "it is our vision that European Union accession will become the catalyst for the finding of a solution which will allow all the people of Cyprus to enjoy the benefits of accession."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis

    [03] Meimarakis at NATO conf'

    The spring conference of NATO defence ministers began in Brussels on Thursday with the participation of National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis.

    Issues discussed on the first day were the course of NATO operations in the Balkans and Afghanistan. On the question of NATO's presence in Kosovo (KFOR) and the security situation in the wider Balkan region, the Greek defence minister once again stressed in his address Greece's position, according to which NATO's involvement in it must be maintained at the present high level of operational readiness.

    As regards the presence of KFOR in the region, Meimarakis pointed out that it guarantees security and stability in the region, the population's freedom of movement and the protection of historic and religious monuments.

    Also focusing on the course of NATO's operations in Afghanistan, the defence minister stressed during the Council of member-states and non-member-states of the Atlantic Alliance which contribute to the ISAF force, the need for the continuation of coordinated efforts to enable the authorities in Afghanistan to be helped in consolidating a stable, safe and democratic country, which will be rid of destabilisation threats.

    Meimarakis met on the sidelines of the conference with Armenia's new Defence Minister Seyran Ohanyan, at the request of the Armenian side, with whom he discussed issues of bilateral interest.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis

    [04] Measures against high prices

    The development ministry is planning the modernisation of the legislative framework on the operation of super markets as part of measures it is promoting to crack down on high prices.

    The four new measures announced on Thursday, out of the development ministry's total of 41, include one on the creation of a law processing committee, with members who are officials from jointly responsible ministries and super market representatives, that will be preparing a relevant proposal.

    The aim is to create an integrated law that will be regulating the way with which super markets will operate so that "phenomena will not be observed that affect the market negatively and which are due either to the non-existence of arrangements or to arrangements that do not meet modern conditions," according to an announcement by the ministry.

    The other three measures concern the reconsideration of all licences provided for merchants in Central Markets, the guiding of services of the Trade General Secretariat and of the managements of Central Market Organisations to ascertain observance of legislation and the intensification of the systematic checking of sale invoices.

    It is noted that 27 out of the 41 measures have already been implemented and four more were announced on Thursday.


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