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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-03-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou on FYROM name issue
  • [02] Tourism minister in Shanghai

  • [01] Papandreou on FYROM name issue

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Thursday underlined his party's utter rejection of the latest proposal put forward by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz for resolving the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). In statements after the briefing he received from Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on the latest developments surrounding the name issue, he also accused the government of sending out mixed messages that had led to its failure in the negotiations.

    "The government is unfortunately emitting contradictory messages and slipping, with the result that the various mediators are coming back to us with proposals that get steadily worse. We reject them. The latest proposal from Mr. Nimetz is rejected also," Papandreou stressed.

    "Greece's message must be crystal clear, in the way that we expressed it in PASOK: one name with a geographic qualifier for all uses without exception. A resounding no to any form of double name. This has been PASOK's clear-cut position from the start," he said.

    According to Papandreou, the result of the negotiations was a failure for the government and he underlined that a decisive stance by Greece at the NATO summit in Bucharest was the least that the Greek people expected and what PASOK had demanded all along.

    The meeting between Papandreou and Bakoyannis was also attended by two foreign ministry officials and the party's Parliamentary spokesman for foreign policy Theodoros Pangalos, PASOK Political Council member Panos Beglitis and Papandreou's diplomatic advisor Dimitris Droutsas

    [02] Tourism minister in Shanghai

    The significance of the Greek studies chair at the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) for Greece's presence in the major Chinese metropolis, one of the largest financial centres and ports in the world, was highlighted by Tourism Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos on Thursday, who is on a visit to the People's Republic of China. Addressing a student audience on the subject of "Greek Culture and Tourism", Spiliotopoulos underlined that the Greek and Chinese civilisations gave birth to today's global culture. He underlined the deeply anthropocentric nature of Greek and Chinese literature, with both focusing on the simple citizen that finds the strength to resist mainstream practices, oppose regimes and the cruel ethics of authority, even being at odds with the aesthetics of society itself. He pointed out that art, tourism and sports are the starting point of a dialogue that creates preconditions for cooperation between peoples, adding that it was not accidental that the Olympic Games in Beijing will take place after the Olympic Games in Athens, stressing that "this succession had to take place". Spiliotopoulos said that his vision is a philosophy and culture-oriented tourism, underlining that Greece has to be promoted as a country with academic powers and cultural depth that can constitute an alternative tourist proposal for the 21st century. He pointed out that the SISU Greek studies chair, founded in 1972, and the 27 students currently taking Greek studies courses, will have his support and stressed that efforts are underway to establish a postgraduate scholarship in Greece. He also extended an invitation to the university dean and professors to visit Greece in the summer. During his visit to the university, the tourism minister also inaugurated the student activity centre and a photo exhibition focusing on the Greek landscape hosted by the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), the Greek embassy to Beijing and SISU.

    Caption: Greek Tourism Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos is shown during a visit on Thursday, March 27, 2008, at the Shanghai International Studies University. ANA-MPA / STR

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