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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-03-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM spokesman on Nimetz proposal
  • [02] Demetrios calls Bush to exercise influence
  • [03] Greeceās longest tunnel opens
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] FM spokesman on Nimetz proposal

    A new proposal put forward on Tuesday by UN special mediator on the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz to the Greek and FYROM negotiators during a crucial meeting in New York "is being asessed", Foreign Ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said on Wednesday.

    According to a Foreign Ministry announcement on the new round of UN-brokered talks aimed at finding a mutually acceptable solution to the FYROM name issue, Koumoutsakos made the following statement:

    "Mr. Nimetz, in the framework of the ongoing efforts in the framework of the United Nations, has submitted another proposal. The proposal is being assessed. The initial conclusion is that we are far from a mutually acceptable solution. The effort is continuing."

    Meanwhile, US White House spokeswoman Dana Perino replying to questions on Tuesday, during a press briefing, on whether US president George Bush had in mind "any other way" for Athens and Skopje to reach an agreement prior to the NATO summit (at the beginning of April in Bucharest), said: "We continue to encourage Greece and 'Macedonia' to reach an agreement before we get to Bucharest so that we can deal with this issue prior to getting there. But if it's going to take all the way -- take all the time up to the NATO conference, then that decision will be made there. But certainly the President believes that they should be able to work this out."

    Asked whether NATO would be asked to "grant a kind of extension of three or six months" for FYROM's accession in the event of failure of the New York talks, Perino replied: "We should take first things first, before we get ahead of ourselves. Let's let them continue to work together. I think that the time factor is a forcing event, and that they should be coming together to work this out before we get to NATO."

    Caption:UN special meditator on the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz (R) and Greek ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis in UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday 25 March 2008.ANA-MPA/GANP/DIMITRIS PANAGOS

    [02] Demetrios calls Bush to exercise influence

    Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios of America called on President Bush to use his influence to back "a faithful ally, as is Greece", on the FYROM name issue, and also on the Cyprus issue, in his address during a special ceremony held at the White House celebrating the March 25th Greek Independence Day, the 187th anniversary of the commencement of the 1821 Greek Revolution against Ottoman rule.

    After outlining the values and principles that the Greek nation has stood and fought for since antiquity to the present, the Archbishop underlined that Greece in our days "constitutes a strong factor for stability, progress and peace in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean basin".

    He stressed, however, that this very same Greek nation, "in a series of sensitive national issues, receives by some nations treatment which is unjust, by any standards. The issues of the reunification of Cyprus, and of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, for instance, are two characteristic examples of this."

    "Speaking rather boldly, on this solemn day, we express our firm conviction that you will certainly exercise your unique authority and leadership in order to facilitate a course of action that will treat sensitive issues related to Greece in a fair and dignified way," the Archbishop continued, stressing that "Greece is not seeking special favors or unreasonable deference".

    "The Hellenic nation is a proud and honorable nation, a faithful ally of the USA for generations, which throughout its long history has established as a fact that it does not depend on favors, but on justice and respect," Demetrios said.

    Expressing appreciation for the Bush administration's support on such matters as the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Archbishop stressed that the same resoluteness was needed on the two outstanding issues of Cyprus and FYROM, which were "vital for the Greek nation and its beneficial role in promoting peace, justice and freedom in Southeastern Europe".

    Caption: US President George W. Bush (R) shares a thought with Archbishop Demetrios (L), Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, during a performance by the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Youth Choir at Celebration of Greek Independence Day in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., USA, 25 March 2008.ANA-MPA/ EPA/RON SACHS - POOL

    [03] Greeceās longest tunnel opens

    A 4.8km-long road tunnel, the longest in Greece, will open to traffic in April. The Egnatia Motorway's two-way tunnel at Driskos, Ioannina north-western Greece that took seven years to complete, cuts through Mt. Mitsikeli linking the Ioannina plateau with the Arachthos River valley. Meanwhile, the 9km-long road tunnels in the Tempi Valley, central Greece, are expected to be ready five years after their construction gets underway. A total of 76 two-way road tunnels have been constructed within the framework of the Egnatia Motorway network, most of them along the Igumenitsa-Veria section.

    Caption: The Egnatia Motorway's two way tunnel at Driskos,Ioannina north-western Greece. Wed. 26 March 2008/ANA-MPA/STR

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The negotiation on the FYROM name issue, SYRIZA parliament group leader Alekos Alavanos's planned visit to President Papoulias regarding the social security draft law, parties' reactions and Wednesday's roll-call vote in parliament on the bill and the opposition parties' call for a referendum on the draft law, dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Prime Minister will complete all reforms - He believes that he will be eventually be vindicated".

    APOGEVMATINI: "8,560 hirings in ministries and public organisations".

    AVRIANI: "7-day working-week in public and private sectors - Deregulation of shop hours - Tax offices, municipality offices and other services will remain open in the afternoons".

    CHORA: "Implication the President with the social security draft law is a dangerous game - Meanwhile the bill will be voted on Wednesday in parliament".

    ELEFTHEROS: "President Papoulias faces a big challenge - Alavanos' visit aims to ask him for renvoi (refusal to sign the bill once it has been passed and sending it back to parliament for review and a new vote) of the social security bill".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Bipartisan 'shots' against Alavanos - Ruling party New Democracy and main opposition PASOK accuse SYRIZA of attempting to entangle President Papoulias in the social security issue".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Raid plan No2 - Karamanlis sends signal for new 'de-forms' ".

    ESTIA: "Demagogic fireworks - The common proposal for a referendum".

    ETHNOS: "Provocative proposal by US - Matthew Nimetz (UN negotiator on FYROM name issue)".

    TA NEA: "UN 'baptise' FYROM as 'Macedonia' - US will be the godparent".

    VRADYNI: "New objective values in real estate to be announced in May".

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