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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM addresses CEPS discussion on Europe
  • [02] Parliament on Olympic Airlines employees

  • [01] PM addresses CEPS discussion on Europe

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, participating in the discussion on Europe organised on Tuesday by the Centre of European Political Studies (CEPS), in cooperation with the Constantine Karamanlis Foundation 10 years after the death of statesman Constantine Karamanlis, said that at the present economic conjuncture citizens, more than ever, are demanding from their leadership tangible proof and a socially responsible vision in tackling their problems.

    Also participating in the discussion were European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Parliament President Hans Pettering, the general director of the Constantine Karamanlis Foundation and academic Constantine Svolopoulos and the President of the Greek Defence and Foreign Policy Foundation (ELIAMEP), Loukas Tsoukalis.

    Focusing on the international economic crisis, Karamanlis said that the European Union must "dissolve with actions the citizens' insecurity over work, their concern over the survival of their business, their anxiety over their deposits and their loan commitments."

    He went on to say that the only reliable response is that of Europe, as well as international cooperation and coordinated action. The prime minister also stressed the need for better coordination between monetary and fiscal policy and monetary supervision.

    Karamanlis noted that the current international crisis could clearly show to Europeans the benefits of their participation in the European family and the consequences for isolated economies lying outside the security and perspective which is provided by the EU. Referring further to the benefits of countries participating in the eurozone, he said that the euro has provided protection and stability for the economies of these countries.

    The Greek prime minister said that Greece's accession to the EU is due, to a considerable degree, to the political vision and determination of Constantine Karamanlis who saw the then European Economic Community as a guarantee for stability, democracy and growth.

    He added that initially the majority of Greeks had viewed the EEC with great reservation, however, in very few years the Greek citizens, regardless of political positions, were among the most ardent supporters of the European idea because they experienced European solidarity in practice.

    Karamanlis mentioned two examples of tangible European solidarity. The first, as he said, is "the way with which the European partners shared the pride felt by Greece in the summer of 2004, when the Olympic Games returned to their birthplace" and the second is tangible and substantive solidarity during the ordeal experienced by Greece with wildfires in the summer of 2007.

    The Commission President said on his part that the European response to the economic crisis is an example of constructive cooperation between the European bodies: the Commission, the European Parliament, the Council and the European Central Bank.

    Lastly, replying to a question on the issue of the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (FYROM) name, Karamanlis said that Greece supports the effort of its neighbouring countries and of all the Balkan countries to join NATO and the EU. He further said that in the framework of negotiations that have been taking place over the past 16 years on FYROM's name issue, under the auspices of the UN, Greece believes that a mutually acceptable solution must be found. He clarified that this means that the name must be composite, for all uses and have a clear orientation to avoid the raising of nationalist and irredentist issues. The prime minister concluded by saying that a real solution necessitates both sides taking the necessary steps.

    [02] Parliament on Olympic Airlines employees

    Parliament ratified in principle on Tuesday with 150 votes in favour and 134 against (out of a total of 284 voting deputies), and following a rollcall vote called for by the main opposition PASOK party, the draft law prepared by the Transport and Communications ministry on "social arrangements for the employees at the Olympic Airlines companies."
    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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