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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-03-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis discusses with Barroso
  • [02] FM to FYROM people
  • [03] SYRIZA's protest rally

  • [01] PM Karamanlis discusses with Barroso

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis held talks with European Union Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso at the Maximos Mansion on Thursday night. Karamanlis said in statements afterwards that during their talks the issue of the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty was raised, while the issue of the Western Balkans was also discussed in relation to the European Union's further enlargement, as well Turkey's accession negotiations.

    Karamanlis said that Greece actively supports their accession prospects in parallel, however, with respect for European principles and values. He also pointed out that the problem of illegal immigration was also discussed and its handling by the EU, stressing that Greece is experiencing more pressures on this issue on its land and sea borders.

    The prime minister also referred to the international economic situation, streressing that the EU is playing the role of a stability pole on the international economic stage and pointed out that the EU must be vigilant and closely watch international developments in the economy.

    On his part, Barroso referred mainly in his statements to the issue of illegal immigration, noting that at the moment there are 27 countries in the EU and 27 policies on handling illegal immigration.

    He also said that a common policy is necessary to tackle the problem of illegal immigration, while pointing out that the Mediterranean region is a priority for the European Commission. He added that the future of the Balkans lies in the EU, but underlined that "we are concerned about security and stability matters."

    Karamanlis hosted a dinner for the European Commission president later in the evening.

    Barroso will attend on Friday the proceedings of the 4th plenary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly which is being held in Athens.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis(L) and European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso(R) at the Maximos Mansion (pm's office)

    [02] FM to FYROM people

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, on Friday addressed a message to the people of FYROM stressing that a solution acceptable by the two countries will allow relations of good neighbourliness.

    "I wish to send again, and from the Parliament podium, a clear message to the Skopjan people and tell them that Greece is a good, very good neighbour who desires the stability and the development of their country, because this is in the interests of both the Greek people and the Skopjan people," she said.

    Bakoyannis further said that Greece really desires the finding of a solution acceptable by the two countries that will allow good neighbourliness relations that "constitute the basis for allied and partnership relations."

    The foreign minister also said that "I call on the leadership of Skopje again today to respond to this invitation. What we are doing today is not extortion, but a sincere effort for us to find a solution, as soon as possible, for the stability of the entire region."

    After pointing out that this issue is extremely sensitive and touches the hearts of the Greeks, she assured the House that negotiatig "is taking place with the best of conditions and that the government is determined to do its duty in full."

    Lastly, Bakoyannis said that she believes that when the result of negotiations will be presented in the Greek Parliament, all "with your hand on your hearts will be able to agree and to vote for it."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis

    [03] SYRIZA's protest rally

    The Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) on Thursday evening held a protest rally against the social insurance reform and in support of a referendum for the voting or not of the social security bill tabled by the government.

    Deputy Panagiotis Lafazanis, General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) vice-president Alekos Kalyzis and workers' representatives, youth and students were present at the rally and accused the government but also past PASOK governments of "following anti-popular policies in favour of capital and against the working people."

    They further said that the struggle of the working people "will also continue after the voting" of the social security draft law and asked for the holding of a referendum with which the "Greek people can decide whether the social insurance reform planned by the government will be implemented or not."

    Caption: Protest of Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary group at Syndagma sq. in Athens in front of the parliament on Thursday 27 March 2008.ANA-MPA/EVI FYLAKTOU

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