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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM calls on FYROM to cooperate on name issue
  • [02] Pavlopoulos on Greek gypsies

  • [01] PM calls on FYROM to cooperate on name issue

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, addressing the conference organised by the Economist magazine on Tuesday evening, called on the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to cooperate with Greece in finding a solution to its name issue.

    He stressed that he extended a public invitation to the political leadership of FYROM for the discussion to be continued as soon as possible in the framework of the UN.

    Karamanlis said that the solution must be a complex name that will be mutually acceptable and for all uses, a "solution that will not be able to be used as an vehicle for historically inaccurate, nationalistic and irredentist logic."

    The prime minister termed its stance at the Bucharest summit and towards FYROM's NATO accession in general an "act of responsibility and credibility," adding that it is an act of consistency by Greece towards the principles of good neighbourliness.

    Elaborating further on the issue of FYROM, Karamanlis said that in the process of seeking a solution there will be no winners and defeated and both countries will benefit, while noting that "partnership and allied relations cannot be built on pending issues."

    Karamanlis further said that "we are awaiting their response, viewing the European future and not the Balkan past. We want to be allies and partners. We want relations of friendship and close cooperation."

    Turning to domestic issues, the prime minister expressed his determination in continuing his reforms policies. He said that in an era of rapid developments, changes and challenges, the course towards future requires firm axes and strategic agreements, agreements that concern "where we want to go and, mainly, how to go."

    The prime minister clarified that his commitment and his position is that the goals, no matter how conditions and the environment change, remain steadfast.

    Karamanlis further stressed that it is disastrous for each state to leave matters to be crushed under the weight of the repercusions of global developments and underlined the need for a competitive economy and a foreign policy of open horizons.

    Focusing on foreign policy in particular, Karamanlis said that Greece supports, "steadily and sincerely, not only the European prospects of the countries of southeastern Europe, but of neighbouring Turkey as well."

    "The course, however, of each of our neighbours depends, first of all, on themselves. For us, their full compliance with the principles, values and prerequisites of the EU also means their full accession. We want to have our neighbours as allies and partners. It is, however, self-evident and clear that neither can allied or partnership relations be built on serious pending issues," he said.

    [02] Pavlopoulos on Greek gypsies

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said in a message on Tuesday, on the occasion of the World Day of the Roma Nation, that the ministry is working methodically to safeguard the rights of all sensitive social groups, particularly of the Greek gypsies.

    "The Interior ministry, in the framework of its duties, is working systematically and methodically in the direction of fully safeguarding guarantees for respect to the rights of all sensitive social groups and of the Greek gypsies in particular and for the speeding up of their smooth integration in society," he said.

    Pavlopoulos referred to the ministry's efforts, particularly through the Integrated Action Programme that is being implemented, as well as to institutional initiatives and new programmes and measures of tangible support "that also secure for Greek gypsies the same equal opportunities that they are entitled to for their participation in education, employment and social life in general."

    The minister further said that many important steps have been taken over the past four years to shield the rights of Greek gypsies and many longstanding pending issues were resolved.

    Lastly, he analysed the ministry's activities regarding Greek gypsies, such as the programme for their social accession, combatting exclusion and discrimination, programmes for permanent housing, housing loaning, the building of settlements, education, etc.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

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