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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou's health improving
  • [02] Athens on FYROM FM's quip
  • [03] FinMin on ENAE
  • [04] Papariga on ports issue

  • [01] Papandreou's health improving

    Main opposition PASOK party spokesman George Papaconstantinou, speaking during a press briefing on Monday, conveyed the gratitude of the party's leader, George Papandreou, to everyone who wished him a speedy recovery, as well as to the medical staff of the state-run KAT hospital.

    "The health of George Papandreou is improving daily and we hope that in the coming days he will be returning to his home for a speedy recovery," Papaconstantinou said.

    Papandreou was injured during an accident with his bicycle on Sunday.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    [02] Athens on FYROM FM's quip

    Greece on Monday afternoon brushed aside the latest diplomatic volley fired by a top official in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), in this case, a more-or-less impertinent reaction by the country's foreign minister to high-profile statements by his Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis, who among others, referred to increased funding and the possibility of visa-free travel following a solution to the nagging "name issue".

    "Bilateral cooperation with the purpose of implementing the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is proceeding smoothly in recent years, with the participation of relevant authorities in the neighbouring country (FYROM)," foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said in reply to a reporter's question.

    "Therefore, it is obvious that today's latish reactions and statements by the Skopje government are part of and exclusively serve pre-election expediencies ? this says it all," the spokesman added.

    A day earlier Bakoyannis was quoted in a published interview as saying that Athens was eyeing a comprehensive funding package and other measures for the neighbouring state when a mutually acceptable solution to the nagging "name issue" is finally achieved.

    The response to Bakoyannis' overture came a day later in Skopje, as FYROM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki quipped that "it is easy for Greece to show off with European funding, but we're not merchants, we are and we will remain 'Macedonians' and this does not depend on Greek money."

    In the interview, published by the Athens daily "Apogevmatini", Bakoyannis said that if such a solution was reached, Greece would immediately allocate 75 million euros towards construction of Road Corridor X, which would link the landlocked country with Greece, to the south, and the rest of the European Union, as well as funding of business ventures, whereas she said the visa requirement for FYROM citizens could also be gradually abolished.

    Milososki made the remark nearly three weeks after FYROM's course towards NATO membership suffered a 'train wreck' due to failure to achieve a mutually acceptable solution with Greece over the "name issue" dispute. His comments came in answer to reporters' questions following a meeting with the speaker of the Canadian House of Commons.

    Milososki's statements also coincided with a visit to Skopje by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who among others, noted after a meeting with the FYROM FM that "my personal ambition is to see your country in NATO. I believe that Euro-Atlantic integration is crucial for the stability of this region."

    "You can do two things: to look back with anger and to look ahead. I want on July 9, when Albania and Croatia will be signing the NATO accession protocol, to be joined at the table by a third nation, your nation ... You have the opportunity as of now until July 9 to find a name solution," Scheffer was quoted as saying by local media.

    More tellingly, the NATO chief reminded his FYROM hosts that the Alliance is based on the "principles of consensus".

    A declaration issued by the 26 NATO member-states following the early April summit in Bucharest, underlined, in reference to FYROM's NATO ambitions that: "... Within the framework of the UN, many actors have worked hard to resolve the name issue, but the Alliance has noted with regret that these talks have not produced a successful outcome. Therefore we agreed that an invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be extended as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached. We encourage the negotiations to be resumed without delay and expect them to be concluded as soon as possible."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos.

    [03] FinMin on ENAE

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Monday approved the immediate handout of 70 million euros to the Union of Prefectural Authorities of Greece (ENAE), Dimitris Drakos, the Union's president said on Monday.

    Speaking to reporters, after a meeting with the Greek minister, Drakos said Alogoskoufis pledged the handout of another 50 million euros from the 2009 budget to support the Union's projects.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis.

    [04] Papariga on ports issue

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga on Monday said her party would continue to fight against plans to privatise Greece's two largest ports, Athens and Piraeus. She made the statements after meeting with the Federation of Port Employees of Greece.

    "We will continue our efforts so that this struggle against the privatisation of Piraeus port and the other ports of the country will turn all the workers into a great army," she stressed.

    The problem was not just the concern of dock workers and not limited to the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki, she added and stressed that the struggle to avert the government's plans had to be successful, or at least cause these plans to be shelved, so that in the future there might be a "radical overthrow of this option".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga.


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