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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Greece won't turn back to the past
  • [02] Dep. FM concludes Albania tour
  • [03] Two left in Superleague race

  • [01] PM: Greece won't turn back to the past

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday reiterated his government's intent to proceed, unwaveringly, with its reforms policy, referring to a "responsible choice that we will not change or negotiate."

    "Greece won't turn back to the past," he told members of his ruling New Democracy party central committee during an address in Athens.

    In other comments, Karamanlis referred mostly to a second round of reforms for Greece's creaky social security sector as well as to the timely FYROM "name issue".

    Karamanlis again called on the leadership of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to immediately resume negotiations over a mutually acceptable solution to the "name dispute". Referring to a NATO Summit in Bucharest last week, he said Athens is clearly interested in solving the long-standing issue - the only real difference between the two Balkan neighbours - while pointing to continued intransigence by the other side over the years as the primary reason preventing any breakthrough.

    "We have made it clear that no solution means no invitation to NATO, however, FYROM's government did not believe us and remained adamant in their positions. Our position was adopted by the Alliance - the joint communiqué -- and is now a political clause for its (FYROM) accession."

    Reviewing the government's work to date, Karamanlis said critical reforms in the economy and the state were being implemented, as promised.

    "Results have shown that we are on the right course," he stressed, adding that he is determined to move on with other reforms and changes. "The hour of major decisions is now, together we are changing Greece, this era won't forgive inertia and immobility, we are the party that takes major decisions," he told party delegates.

    Moreover, the prime minister attacked the opposition saying, "there is a battle going on amongst them over who will best counter-attack each other's initiatives ⦠we are not going to follow them".

    "The state (Greece's extensive and cavernous public administration) is the real sick man," Karamanlis said, adding that social security reforms were inevitable and fair, providing for a long-term solution to the social security problem and guaranteeing the system's viability for future generations.

    Karamanlis also referring to this past week's college students elections, as he congratulated the New Democracy-affiliated grouping (DAP) for again coming in first in the polls.

    Concluding his address, the prime minister referred to the links between the ruling party and the government, a point over which in the past, when he was main opposition leader, generated stinging criticism against then ruling PASOK.

    "The party does not identify with the government and the state, it supports the government and is a communication link with society ⦠the doors of ministers' offices and public services must be always open to citizens," he said, in an indirect reference to previous criticism by several ND MPs.

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis during his address to ruling New Democracy party central committee in Athens on Saturday 12 April 2008.ANA-MPA/KATERINA MAVRONA

    [02] Dep. FM concludes Albania tour

    Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis on Sunday concluded a tour of southern Albania municipalities and villages that host ethnic Greek communities, and following his talks in Tirana with Albanian leadership.

    In comments in the town of Korce, Kassimis called on representatives of ethnic Greek communities to work together and avoid divisions and splits.

    "I believe that with assistance and cooperation by all, and of course, building on the foundations of good-neighbourly and friendly relations between the Greek and Albanian governments, we will be able to achieve the vision of allowing people who migrated to Greece for a better future to return to their homeland, the land of their forefathers, to work and prosper," the Greek minister said in Korce.

    A day earlier, he visited villages in the Sarande region -- Livadia, Mesopotamos, Vouliarati and Dervitsani -- before also attending a memorial service at the Vouliarati cemetery hosting the graves of Greek servicemen that fell in action during the Greek-Italian war (1940-1941) in the area.

    Kassimis and the Greek delegation also visited a Greek-language, appropriately named "Homer", in the coastal area of Himare, where75 local children are instructed in Albanian and Greek.

    In Sarande, Kassimis and the Greek delegation toured a local military hospital whose construction in 2004 was financed by Greece's defence ministry, and which is today staffed by Greek military physicians and nursing personnel.

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis

    [03] Two left in Superleague race

    Olympiakos Piraeus continued to hold a 2-point lead in the Super League soccer championship over the weekend after thrashing Xanthi 4-1 away on Sunday during the next to last week of play. Meanwhile, AEK Athens demolished PAOK Thessaloniki 4-0 away, the same score it levelled on Olympiakos two weeks ago.

    Panathinaikos Athens remained in third place by beating Aris Thessaloniki 1-0 at home.

    In other action:

    Veria-Atromitos Athens 1-1

    Asteras Tripoli-Levadiakos 1-2

    Iraklis Thessaloniki-Apollon Kalamaria 5-2

    Larissa-Ergotelis Crete 3-2

    OFI Crete-Panionios Athens 1-2

    The standings after 29 games:

    1. Olympiakos 67

    2. AEK 65

    3. Panathinaikos 63

    4. Aris 47

    5. Asteras Tripolis 44

    6. Panionios 42

    -- Larissa 42

    8. Xanthi 36

    9. PAOK 35

    -- Iraklis 35

    11. OFI 32

    12. Levadiakos 30

    13. Atromitos Athens 29

    14. Ergotelis 27

    15. Veria 23

    16. Apollon Kalamaria 22*

  • Apollon Kalamaria has had one victory over Olympiakos overturned by a sports tribunal and penalised one point.

    Caption: Highlight from the Superleague match Panathinaikos -Aris on Sunday 13 April 2008.ANA-MPA/SPYROS PANTAZATOS

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