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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-03-17

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] New Greece-FYROM talks in Vienna Monday
  • [02] Alavanos meets with GSEE, ADEDY

  • [01] New Greece-FYROM talks in Vienna Monday

    A new round of UN-sponsored talks between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the latter's "name issue" begins in Vienna on Monday. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has reiterated Greece's position regarding the issue saying that a composite name for the land-locked republic containing a geographic qualifier could put an end to a nagging problem that has had a negative impact on regional stability and cooperation.

    Karamanlis was speaking during a press conference in Brussels following earlier meetings to discuss the FYROM name issue with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Cyprus President Demetris Christofias on the sidelines of the European Union Summit taking place in the Belgian capital.

    The Greek prime minister reiterated that Athens was participating constructively in the UN-sponsored process for finding a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue, pointing out that this was an issue concerning good neighbour relations.

    In calling for a composite name containing a geographic qualifier, Karamanlis said such a solution would be "clear and practical", while noting UN Security Council resolutions referring to the negative impact of perpetuating the problem.

    He also stressed that the issue affected FYROM's otherwise excellent bilateral relations with Greece, as well its ambitions to join EuroAtlantic structures.

    "No solution means no invitation, in other words no accession to NATO," he emphasised, while underlining that the Greek position was clear and unambiguous.

    Relations amongst allies and relations of mutual support could not be built on a basis of unresolved issues, the Greek premier added.

    "This is the position that it applies today; it will apply tomorrow and will continue to apply until a solution is achieved that is mutually accepted," he stressed.

    Questioned about the political crisis now unfolding in Greece's neighbour to the north, Karamanlis expressed hope that this would not be used as an excuse to perpetuate the problem.

    "We want to believe and we hope that political developments in the neighbouring country will not be used either as an excuse or as an alibi for perpetuating a 17-year deadlock through a false, compromise settlement. It is evident that such an approach cannot be accepted," the Greek premier said. He also noted that Greece had already "covered a great distance" in order to approach FYROM's positions and that it was now time for the other side to do the same.

    Replying to questions about a meeting held on Thursday between Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and FYROM's Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, the prime minister stressed that there was no need to fear discussion when one has clear positions and that no problem was caused.

    "I judged it advisable for the foreign minister to attend the meeting. If such meetings serve the interests of the country, no further answer is needed," he said.

    For the same reason, he said he met with the leaders of Greece's partners and allies and had shaken hands with Gruevski the previous day, adding that he would have been more than willing to detail the Greek positions if his FYROM counterpart had chosen to raise the issue.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] Alavanos meets with GSEE, ADEDY

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary group leader Alekos Alavanos met Monday with the presiding boards of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY). During the meeting, held ahead of Wednesday's general nationwide strike called by the two umbrella unions, which representing the private and public sector employees, Alavanos reiterated that the draft law on the social security system's reform should be withdrawn. He charged that the Greek people are witnessing an assault on the welfare state, adding that the government-sponsored draft law is targeting vulnerable population groups such women, youth, and the elderly.

    Caption: Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary group leader Alekos Alavanos(R) and President of ADEDY labour union Spyros Papaspiros (L) on Monday 17 March 2008 .ANA-MPA/PANTELIS SAITAS


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