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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou speaks on crisis
  • [02] President Papoulias addresses dinner for People's Republic of China counterpart
  • [03] Papoulias and Hu Jintao talks

  • [01] Papandreou speaks on crisis

    PASOK party leader George Papandreou, addressing the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce on Monday night, said that his party "will confront the crisis aggressively and not with the concept of a fearful observer, as the current government is doing."

    Papandreou uderlined that "we are in a change of era with the entire planet living in the whirlpool of the global monetary crisis and seeking a way out" and stressed that "Greece resembles a ship that is entering the eye of the cyclone battered by the sea and out of control," while noting the need for Greece to enter a different orbit, regardless of the appearance of the international crisis.

    The PASOK leader reiterated his party's position for "green development" that is being completed with Greece's "emergence as an important player in regional and international developments".

    Referring to the causes of the international crisis, Papandreou invoked the view of Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugmann that "the basic reason for the crisis is the huge accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few" and criticised four policies of the Bush governments: The decrease in basic salaries and the purchasing power of the lower and medium-level incomes, the undermining of the working people's right for collective negotiations, the "blocking" of proposals for transparency in the monetary system, following the Enron scandal and the immediate redistribution of wealth for the benefit of the wealthy through the taxation system.

    Focusing in turn on the results of these policies, the PASOK leader said that "it was the uncontrolled expansion of unsupervised investments services by monetary foundations, the pursuit of speedy and easy profit under the veil of 'toxic bonds' and with the tolerance, if not complicity, of companies that had the obligation to assess the danger and to function, supposedly, for the benefit of public interest."

    As regards Europe, Papandreou said that "it must play its role at international level and protect its citizens from the upcoming crisis."

    Papandreou also expressed confidence in Greece's possibilities, stressing that "the country needs a New Agreement in which all will participate, with mutual commitments and all will gain: the working people, healthy and productive entrepreneurship and the state" and underlining that PASOK "has a vision, a plan and above all a political will."

    [02] President Papoulias addresses dinner for People's Republic of China counterpart

    President Karolos Papoulias, speaking during an official dinner that he hosted on Monday for People's Republic of China President Hu Jintao, who is currently on a three-day state visit to Greece, referred to the international economic crisis and stressed that "our primary duty now is to create global apparatuses that will be more effective both for the diagnosis of symptoms of economic imbalances and mainly for their prevention."

    President Papoulias went on to say that President Hu Jintao's visit "is taking place while the most serious economic crisis experienced by the world since 1929 is developing" and that the present crisis "is due to a great extent to unwise overoptimism."

    He said that this is due "to the creation of structures in the global monetary system that not only allowed the separation of responsibility from profits but that rewarded untrasparent attitudes as well. Very often common greed blinded logic."

    President Papoulias noted that "we must continue and make specific the positive initiative of international cooperation that began with the recent G-20 session in Washington. Cooperation that, unfortunately, did not exist in the '30s."

    He pointed out that "China has a great deal to offer in this course for a new global economic map. And I am certain that, as it should be, the importance of China and of developing countries in general will be all the more greater."

    President Papoulias stressed that the presence of President Hu Jintao in Greece "signals the mutual desire for us to widen even more Greek-Chinese relations that are already excellent. Relations among two ancient peoples that are continuing a long cultural tradition. Among other things they are also linked by the conscience of their historic depth, a fact that constitutes a privilege and a challenge at the same time. And for this reason, we have a common and special sensitivity in history, its respect and the dangers from its distortion."

    Lastly, President Papoulias said that in the person of President Hu Jintao "we are not only welcoming a country that constitutes a very important balancing factor for the international system. but a permanent member of the UN Security Council as well. The organisation whose principles constitute the most serious institutional guarantee for global peace. I believe that it is time that the principles governing the UN Charter should apply to Cyprus as well, a member of the European Union. So that the illegal military occupation will not continue. For Nicosia not to be the last divided city in Europe."

    [03] Papoulias and Hu Jintao talks

    President Karolos Papoulias and People's Republic of China President Hu Jintao, who is currently on a three-day state visit to Greece, accompanied by his wife and a large delegation, on Monday stressed the will for promoting the Strategic Greece-China Partnership Relation.

    "I would like to stress that the relation between the two countries is not only a relation of friendship and cooperation, it is a strategic relation," President Papoulias said during joint statements made after the talks, while his Chinese counterpart underlined in the same spirit that "since 2006 when the Strategic Partnership Relation was enacted, bilateral cooperation has achieved considerable progress" for which he expressed his "satisfaction."

    The two presidents held a 20-minute private conversation that was followed by an enlarged hour-long meeting with the participation on the part of Greece of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, Merchant Marine Minister Anastasios Papaligouras and Deputy Foreign Minister Petros Doukas.

    The two sides discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral, regional and international interest, focusing on the international economic crisis, the Middle East question, the Balkans and the European Union's international role, for which the Greek president expressed the wish that it will be extended and that emphasis be given to its human oriented character.

    "We hope that the change in leadership in the United States will contribute to a new policy, that will be more fruitful and will provide a new momentum for cooperation policies," President Papoulias said.

    The Greek President also had the opportunity of raising issues of Greek concern, underlining the "unacceptable fact of the continuing occupation of part of Cyprus by Turkey."

    President Hu Jintao stressed the great importance for his country of the development of bilateral relations with Greece and proposed that this should be achieved in the following ways:

    With meetings at the level of leaderships, Parliaments and parties, with the enlargement of economic cooperation, in particular to the sectors of shipping, energy, environmental protection and tourism, with the enlargement of cultural exchanges and the utilisation of cultural resources to enable "friendship to take roots in the hearts of people" and, lastly, with the intensification of cooperation at multipartite level through international or regional organisations, stressing that "there is a wide common conception" on a series of issues of international interest.

    The talks were followed by the signing of a "plant hygiene requirements" Protocol by Agricultural Development and Food Minister Alexandros Kontos and China's Alternate General Administration and Supervision general director Wei Zuan Zong.

    The protocol determines conditions of hygiene by which exports of Greek kiwi fruit will be made to China, constituting in essence the lifting of bureaucratic obstacles on the part of China for the access of Greek farm products to the Chinese market. It is the first of its kind, since the Chinese authorities demand the signing of a separate protocol for each product, while the signing of another is being prepared for citrus fruit.

    The Chinese President noted that his government desires the balancing of the trade balance which, as he said, has a hefty deficit for Greece.

    Another four agreements are expected to be signed on Tuesday after President Hu Jintao's talks with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

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