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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-08-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Loverdos on prospect of PASOK-SYN cooperation
  • [02] Int'l Olympic Truce exhibition
  • [03] Minister on electoral cooperations

  • [01] Loverdos on prospect of PASOK-SYN cooperation

    The issue of who would head a prospective electoral cooperation between main opposition PASOK and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance was put forward by PASOK officer for external affairs Andreas Loverdos, in an interview with the Sunday edition of Eleftherotypia newspaper, in which he reiterated his opposition to a PASOK collaboration with the ruling New Democracy (ND) party.

    "I know that the prospect of a PASOK-SYRIZA cooperation is popular, but I am reserved as regards the percentage of popularity, because I believe that it is impossible to measure (the popularity of) a coalition of parties without a leader," Loverdos said.

    In a prime minister-centered type of government, the leader plays a catalytical role, he explained.

    "It is silly to measnure ND headed by (prime minister Costas) Karamanlis against a PASOK-SYN vehicle without a leader for that vehicle. Who will be at the helm?", Loverdos said, leaving open the prospect that neither PASOK leader George Papandreou nor SYRIZA parliamentary group leader Alekos Alavanos would be at the helm in the event of a PASOK-SYRIZA electoral alliance.

    CAPTION: File photo of PASOK officer for external affairs Andreas Loverdos.

    [02] Int'l Olympic Truce exhibition

    Greek Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis on Sunday inaugurated the International Olympic Truce exhibition at Beijingās Greek Home in the presence of former International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch and IOC members.

    In his address, Liapis said ?the Olympic Truce is at the nucleus of the Olympic Ideal which wants people, even the greatest enemies, for at least 16 days every four years, to put aside their differences so as to serve fair play.?

    He noted that ?for this reason I view as important the exhibition we are inaugurating today within the framework of the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Beijing and of the Cultural Year of Greece in China.?

    The exhibition includes works by Greek and Chinese artists whose inspiration comes from peace, truce and sport. The purpose is to show the course followed from Greece, which gave birth to the Olympic Games and hosted the 2004 Games in Athens, to China, of the 2008 Olympic Games.

    ?Two ancient and great civilizations speak together about sport, truce and peace through the works of modern painters who make aware some human values,? Liapis said.

    ?Our main target is the promotion of the ideals of peace and truce and their implementation in practice. A world which is characterised by balance, stability, peace and acceptance of the identity of the other does not need any more to be simply a dream. It can be put into practice. Let us all work together for this,? the Greek culture minister stressed.

    CAPTION:Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis (L) and former International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch (R) at the International Olympic Truce exhibition in Beijing on Sunday. (ANA-MPA)

    [03] Minister on electoral cooperations

    Tourism development minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said that the ruling New Democracy (ND), as a "party of responsibility", will exhaust every possibility, as the top party, to form a government on its own, stressing that this would be done "through procedures that respect ourselves, first of all".

    In an interview with the Sunday edition of Eleftherotypia newspaper, to a question on the eventuality that a self-sufficient majority government does not emerge from the next general elections, Spiliotopoulos said: "The goal is self-sufficiency. From there on, it is not of importance whether the solution is called PASOK, LAOS, or SYRIZA or something else. It is not a matter of personal preference. It is a matter of which political power will come closer to the positions, the targets, the program of ND".

    "What is of importance is that we handle the issue with responsibility and maturity, without being lead astray by the prospective pressure of the moment and without resorting to compromises that will stigmatize our intentions," Spiliotopoulos explained.

    He opined that the political dividing line in Greece today is not between Right and Left, but between populism and development, adding that this dividing line was horizontal, in all sectors across the board.

    Spiliotopoulos said he considered as the country's biggest problem today the delays that were caused to the executiion of projects due to recourses against the projects submitted to the Council of State, and called on the political forces to reach understanding among themselves so as to put a deadline on recourse against whatever projects decided by the state or the local communities.

    Regarding the Siemens slush funds, Spiliotopulos was adamant that, while he himself was the ND party's representative, not money from the company had entered the ND coffers, "not because I was there, but because (prime minister and ND leader) Costas Karamanlis would never have accepted it".

    Asked whether Karamanlis should step down from the party leadership in the event that it did not win the next general elections with a self-sufficient parliamentary majority, Spiliotopoulos noted that "no one can dispute the fact that, with his presence (at the party's helm), it is ND that has the lead over the other political forces".

    "Consequently, why should he step down? He has more battles to win," the minister concluded.

    CAPTION: File photo of tourism development minister Aris Spiliotopoulos addressing reporters (ANA-MPA)

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