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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-08-26
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 FM on FYROM standsThe target and only substance of the negotiation with FYROM was the finding of a mutually acceptable solution of the name issue, and a utile one at that, in order to put an end to the "hide-and-seek" taking place with its temporary name, foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said on Tuesday, during an interview on a private TV station.
In reply to questions on a morning TV program on private Mega channel, Bakoyannis said that FYROM prime minister Nikola Gruevski was trying to find a way out by putting other issues on the negotiation table, warning that, with such an attitude, a solution cannot be found, "and the exclusive blame for non-advancement of that country's European and Euro-Atlantic course lies with Gruevski, and not Greece".
Asked whether Greece was mulling a veto on the commencement of EU accession negotiations with FYROM in October, Bakoyannis replied that "of course -- as we have said, and as they (FYROM) know -- there can be no European or Euro-Atlantic course without prior resolution of the name issue, which is the basis of good neighborhood".
She reaffirmed that Greece will not change its policy, stressing that the country "has a firm policy, which has been agreed with all the political parties".
Bakoyannis declined to make predictions on the outcome of the current effort by UN mediator on the FYROM name issue, Matthew Nimetz, saying only that "Greece is here, and is negotiating seriously and responsibly, with steadfastness and consistency".
Questioned on the name 'North Macedonia' that the latest Nimetz proposals were rumored to put forward, Bakoyannis reminded the fundamental Greek position for a name with a geographical determinant for use internationally, adding that 'North Macedonia' constitutes a geographical determinant.
On Greece's relations with Russia, and the formulation of the Greek position regarding the crisis in the Caucasus, Bakoyannis reminded that the Greek government has in recent years developed good economic and political relations with Russia, "but at the same time is true to its alliances, as a member of the EU and of NATO, the decisions of which we co-formulate".
Greece, she added, was making every effort so that there would be full abidance to French EU President Nicolas Sarkozy's six-point plan, "which is the foundation". Beyond that, Greece is in favor of keeping open the West's channels with Russia, and in the framework of the policy of principles if follows, endorses the territorial integrity of each and every country, Bakoyannis said, adding that Russia is a partner of Europe, and must find a new equilibrium with it.
To questions on the upcoming US presidential elections, and to the impact of a victory of one or the other parties on Greek issues, Bakoyannis said that the foreign policy of a country sets out at serving its own interests, "and the assessments of its link with our own issues are excessive or erroneous".
"What the US needs is a relationship of equal and sincere cooperation with Europe," Bakoyannis said.
Turning to domestic affairs, Bakoyannis said in reply to questions that she was not satisfied with the general picture of politics in the country, noting that policy has a role and a goal and that "this is not yielding to the degree it should".
The government "is governing in difficult times, but it needs improvement," she added.
On matters of transparency, Bakoyannis said that "impunity in the event of guilt is out of the question", adding that "this will be judged by justice, and we cannot condemn someone for the sake of viewership of the television news programs".
The rationale of «I condemn because of rumors" cannot prevail in a just state, she added.
To a question on whether ND deputy and former merchant marine minister Aristotelis Pavlidis-- whose name has been implicated in a bribery case involving a prominent shipowner -- could 'facilitate' the ruling party with a different stance (that of temporarily declaring himself an Independent MP until the judicial investigation into the alleged graft incident was completed), Bakoyannis replied that the party "is not a restaurant to which people come and go".
"We are a party that must be absolute on matters of transparency, but when an issue exists, because in society today rumors and mudslinging are rampant," the minister stressed.
"We need to re-earn the lost honor of politics, and in this endeavor we need as our ally the party itself, parliament and, of course, Greek justice," she added.
Asked whether she believed that prime minister Costas Karamanlis felt pressed by the government's slim parliamentary majority (of 152 MPs in the 300-member parliament), Bakoyannis said that "knowing the prime minister, I believe that he wont' feel that way for even one minute".
Karamanlis, she continued, "is exercising a difficult and unpopular policy, amid an international crisis", stressing that "in such times, political stability is very important".
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis
 Wildfire on CreteA wildfire that broke out Monday night in a remote area of Inahori municipality in Crete continued to burn on Tuesday morning. The blaze, burning forest and brush land in its wake, was heading towards the Kountouriana settlement and approaching the first residences. Firefighters dug buffer trenches around the settlement and managed to contain the flames.
Firefighters and fire engines from several parts of Crete, assisted by a firefighting helicopter, are combatting the blaze.
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesThe Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
The anticipated clash between government and large unions after prime minister Costas Karamanlis' announcement of benefits for the financially weaker strata at the Thessaloniki International Fair next week, the tension in US- Russia relations over the Caucasus region, and UN mediator Matthew Nimetz' ultimatum to FYROM's president Nikola Gruevski that he intends to 'freeze' the FYROM name negotiations for six months dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Prime Minister to General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE umbrella union): Don't expect any benefits".
APOGEVMATINI: "Prime minister reassures social partners: Our priority is the working people".
AVGHI: "Clash between government and labor unions on the horizon - Karamanlis empty-handed for the workers".
AVRIANI: "US Justice Department examiners interrogate former US ambassador in Athens Thomas Miller on the Siemens scandal".
CHORA: "Moscow-Washington play terror poker - The diplomatic war harshens after the ceasefire".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "Karamanlis covered FinMin George Alogoskoufis and made clear to social partners that he will not give them what they demand".
ELEFTHEROS : "Seven new measures to reinforce low incomes will be announced by Karamanlis at Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF)".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "We are paying for milk 40 percent more than the rest of Europe".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Message for a heavy winter in economy - Karamanlis backed FinMin's policy".
ESTIA: "The imposition of taxes is a lethal recipe - It hinders growth of the economy".
ETHNOS "Workers', employers' outrage against government over taxes and austerity".
KATHIMERINI: "Nimetz's ultimatum to Gruevski:"If you continue the provocations, I will freeze the negotiations".
LOGOS: "Head-on collision... in view of TIF - Karamanlis began new round of meetings with social partners".
NIKI: "All against Karamanlis - Society sends a resounding 'no' to the economic policy".
RIZOSPASTIS: KKE' political bureau announcement:"Peoples in every country must form an oppositive front ".
TA NEA: "High cost of living 'storm' awaits the holidaymakers' return".
TO VIMA: "Scenery of a clash- The unions preparing a hot autumn- The meeting with the prime minister without result".
VRADYNI: "5,072 hirings in public education via ASEP (public sector hiring examinations board) in the next two years were signed by Education Minister Evripidis Stylianidis".
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