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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM addresses parliamentary debate
  • [02] Kiltidis visits the U.S.
  • [03] Photo biennale opens

  • [01] PM addresses parliamentary debate

    Greece wants relations of friendship and cooperation with FYROM, but will not toy with the region's stability and security, nor with the national issues, prime minister Costas Karamanlis stressed on Thursday in parliament, speaking during an off-the-agenda discussion on the FYROM name issue at the initiative of Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis.

    "The opportunity is in Skopje's hands," Karamanlis said, after reiterating anew his public invitation to FYROM "to continue the discussion" in the framework of the UN.

    "We seek a solution that takes into consideration the sensitivies of all, and ensures relatons of good neighborhood," the premier said, noting that "we are neighbors and will live in the same region, one next to the other".

    "We want a realistic, practical, implementable solution to the benefit of regional stability and the bilateral relations between the two peoples," he added.

    Karamanlis continued that the northern neighbors "have the opportunity to open wide their country's course to the Euro-Atlantic institutions".

    "They have the opportunity to evaluate the real facts, to formulate constructive positions, abandon the past, and win the future," he said, adding that "the opportunity is in their hands, and they must not let this opportunity go to waste".

    "This is our message to the people of the neighboring country. And this message, a message of friendship and cooperation, is a clear, steadfast and frank message," he said.

    "We want relations of friendship and cooperation," the premier said, but warned, however that "we do not toy with the stability of the region, we do not toy with the security of our neighborhood, we do not toy with national issues".

    Referring to the backing of opposition parties in Greece to the Greek stance at the recent NATO summit in Bucharest, Karamanlis warned that this unanimity must not turn into faint-heartedness the morning after. "Political party competition must finally become competition in contribution to the country," he said, adding that "sterile opposition has no place in modern Greece, let's keep sterile disagreement away, at least from the national issues".

    Turning to the 'hard battle' waged in Bucharest, Karamanlis praised the climate of unanimity at home, noting that "all the political forces -- each one from its own viewpoint -- backed, and back, the national effort for achieving the best possible result".

    "We waged a hard battle and achieved an important development...We are not over-estimating, but neither are we underestimating, the outcome. We know that we have a substantial road ahead of us in order to reach the ultimate national goal, the permanent resolution of the issue," he said.

    Regarding FYROM's expectations from the Bucharest summit, Karamanlis said that "delusions and mirages" had prevailed in the neighboring country, and the "rationale of intransigence".

    "Even when some timid indications, some isolated thoughts of moving away from intransigence, arise, newer official statements follow that undermine them and, in the end, neutralise them," he said.

    "Our neighbors disregarded the principle that demands, of all who wish to participate in the international transpirings, absolute respect for the international rules. They disregarded the principles of good neighborhood. Nationalistic and historically ungrounded rationales prevailed. And that was -- and is -- the mistake of our neighbors that must be realised," Karamanlis said, adding that Greece was waiting for "perceptions that will lead FYROM to a European future" to prevail.

    As for the "scenarios" that Greece could have found itself 'isolated' at the Bucharest summit, Karamanlis stressed that, quite the opposite, "we found many, and good, supporters", underlining the backing of large European countries, adding that "this was not by chance, this happened because we put foward convicing arguments, and through hard work".

    Evaluating the communique from the NATO summit, Karamanlis said that it adopted the Greek position. "Our position that 'no solution means no invitation' in essence became the position of the Alliance. And this is an important development in the 17-year impasse," the prime minister concluded.

    [02] Kiltidis visits the U.S.

    Greece's Deputy Agricultural Development and Foods Minister Costas Kiltidis is having a series of contacts with Greek-American entrepreneurs and importers of Greek foods and beverages in the United States (Washington, New York and Philadelphia).

    His visit to the U.S. is from April 7-13.

    Kiltidis will meet on Thursday with Archbishop of America Demetrius.

    On Friday, Kiltidis will take part in an event at Drexel University in Philadelphia and on the next day he will speak at a symposium within the framework of the 17th "Hermes Expo International" exhibition in Atlantic City.

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Deputy Agricultural Development Minister Costas Kiltidis

    [03] Photo biennale opens

    The 20th annual photo-biennale opens its doors on Thursday in Thessaloniki. A total of 240 artists from 17 countries will present their works in 42 exhibitions throughout the event, organised by the Photography Museum under the auspices of Culture Ministry.

    Culture Minister Michalis Liapis presented the programme of the event, stressing that "Photography is an easily exported product" and added that next week he will announce the composition of an advisory committee that will draft the strategy of the photography art in early summer.

    The main theme of this year's Biennale is 'Time' .All works will be displayed in the central Thessaloniki exhibition halls and in 9 galleries.

    The minister also made special note of an exhibition titled "Time is not now", featuring the works of US photographer Duane Michals, which will be on display until May.

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