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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Political parties condemn Gaza violence
  • [02] Snow blankets north, central Greece
  • [03] Valinakis details position on Cyprus

  • [01] Political parties condemn Gaza violence

    Greece's opposition parties on Sunday issued stern condemnations over the devastating escalation in Gaza violence, following a massive and deadly Israeli retaliation against Hamas targets in answer to a wave of recent rocket attacks targetting southern Israel.

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, who is also the president of the Socialist International (SI), called for an immediate ceasefire in the region. "We condemn every act of violence in the most categorical manner," he said in a statement.

    "These actions, such as military operations, feed a vicious cycle of blind violence and bloodshed in the Middle East, erasing even the slim hopes for the finding a peaceful and viable solution based on UN resolutions and with the goal of a peaceful co-existence of two states," he said.

    "We condemn the deadly Israeli bombing of Gaza as well as rocket attacks against Israel, and demand an immediate ceasefire," the SI president added, noting that the international political grouping is ready to assume any necessary initiative towards this direction.

    KKE

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) issued a statement condemning what it called the "new and wholesale crime against the Palestinian people being carried out by the government of Israel. The bombing of public buildings in Gaza today (Saturday) has led to a new wholesale slaughter. The attack violates and annuls the ceasefire agreed to by the government of Israel with Hamas; it means an escalation in Israeli aggressiveness."

    KKE also criticised the US and EU for "tolerating and backing the Israeli barbarity", as it stated.

    SYRIZA

    On its part, the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) charged that the "continuing crime against the Palestinian people, which is being aided by the United States and the dominant circles in the European Union, climaxed today (Saturday) with a barbaric military air operation that resulted in hundreds of civilian victims, both dead and injured

    Finally, when asked about the dramatic escalation in Mideast violence, Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) president George Karatzaferis said that "someone must finally pull the ear of this overly spoiled child of the west, Israel..."

    [02] Snow blankets north, central Greece

    Light snowfall will continue in most mountainous regions of the country as well as in north and central Greece on Monday, with sleet forecast elsewhere, as snow already blankets much of northern Greece, extending from Epirus across western and central Macedonia. Temperatures between -2C to 7C in the north, including a low of -7C in the Florina region; 1C to 8C elsewhere on the mainland. North to northeasterly winds, 6 to 7 on the Beaufort scale.

    Sleet in Athens, 3C to 8C; partly cloudy in Thessaloniki, -2C to 5C.

    [03] Valinakis details position on Cyprus

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis emphasised here that Athens eagerly promotes "the position that Cyprus, as a European Union member-state, has no need of whatever guaranties by third parties regarding both its internal functioning and external security."

    In an interview with the Sunday edition of Cyprus' "Phileleftheros" newspaper, the Greek minister noted that Athens, in international meetings, within the EU and outside, as well as in bilateral contacts with other guarantor powers, always explains this position which, as he noted, is "gaining ground".

    Under the 1959-60 Zurich-London Agreements, three countries -- Britain, Greece and Turkey -- gained the status of "guarantor powers" of the independence of Cyprus.

    Valinakis also said that Greece's ambassador in Turkey had "successfully" supported this position in talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, during a meeting the latter convened with EU member-states' envoys in Ankara.

    Regarding Turkey's EU prospects, Valinakis reiterated Greece's positions, namely, that the neighbouring country should not "ask for time limits from the EU. Turkey must proceed quickly ahead in its tasks, by fulfilling, in an initial phase, the obligations it has already undertaken, by opening its ports and airports to Cypriot ships and air transport."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo.


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