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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM comments on FYROM issue
  • [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] FM comments on FYROM issue

    In the aftermath of the NATO Bucharest Summit a significant issue remains unresolved: that is, the invitation to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to join the trans-Atlantic family, pointed out Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis in her commentary published in the April 29, 2008 issue of the "Washington Times". "All members of NATO, including Greece, look forward to the day that an invitation is extended to FYROM, as we believe this will further strengthen regional security. Such an outcome is particularly important to Greece, considering the geographic proximity, the traditional ties and the links between our peoples," stressed Bakoyannis. "During this summit, however, the Alliance made it abundantly clear that accession is contingent upon respect for NATO shared values and principles; that alliances and partnerships can be forged among countries only when there is good will, mutual trust and good neighborly relations. So FYROM's aspiration to join NATO came to an inevitable halt, as it failed to take steps toward normalizing relations with Greece - a neighbor, major foreign investor and future ally," she pointed out. "Greece has been a NATO member since 1952, ranking high in defence expenditure, reaching almost 2.67 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, participating with numerous personnel, means and capabilities in all major NATO missions and operations, and providing critical facilities. At the same time, it is committed to regional dialogue and stability, using soft and smart power to bring countries closer together. Greece is not only a major investor in its region, but it has also actively supported development in South-Eastern Europe through developmental assistance, building of infrastructure and other projects financed by a special fund," Bakoyannis stressed. "For many, a name expresses little more than a right to self-determination. This, I am afraid, is an oversimplification, as this is a complex issue, interwoven with a rich historical background - as is always the case in our part of the world - and with the sensitivities of the peoples living in the area. The term "Macedonia" defines a wider geographic region, only a part of which is in FYROM. One might wonder whether FYROM has territorial claims to the entire region. Its leaders claim they have no such plans, and we want to believe them. Yet, we wonder why official FYROM maps and other state documents depict the region of Macedonia in Greece - which they call "Aegean Macedonia" - as "occupied" territory belonging to FYROM that will one day be "liberated." And why are such maps and documents widely used? Why are these geographic and historical inaccuracies found in their school textbooks, propagating a distorted reality? At the very least, such actions - which emanate from the state - "poison" the political climate of our bilateral ties and, even worse, the ties between our peoples," the foreign minister underlined. "Let us remember that the name resonates not only for the people of FYROM, but for the Greek people as well. Greece has taken bold steps toward a solution. In an unprecedented turn, we have come to negotiations prepared to accept a composite name, with a geographical qualifier for the term "Macedonia." All we ask of the other side is that they meet us half way. We are not alone in our expectations of FYROM. In the U.S. Congress, 116 members, both Republicans and Democrats, recently co-sponsored House Resolution 356, which expresses the "sense of the House of Representatives that FYROM should stop hostile activities and propaganda against Greece, and should work with the United Nations and Greece to find a mutually acceptable official name." Sens. Robert Menendez, Olympia Snowe, Barack Obama, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow have introduced a similar resolution in the Senate," she stressed. "On the fresh momentum of the NATO Summit aftermath, with our expressed readiness to resume negotiations immediately under United Nations auspices, I would like to send a clear and unequivocal message to FYROM: Our will to find a mutually acceptable solution is firm. Greece invites FYROM anew to display the resolve and political spirit that will secure its accession to NATO and, if all requirements are met, to the European Union tomorrow. FYROM's future lies in its own hands. The name issue is not a game of skill. It is one of common sense, where fair is fair for all, and rules apply to all. This was made unanimously clear to both NATO members and aspirants in Bucharest," FM Bakoyannis concluded. Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis

    [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Wednesday edition of Athens dailies at a glance

    The signing of an agreement for the South Stream natural gas pipeline between Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in Moscow and rising prices for consumer goods dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Dangerous food import orgy - Blockade for 641 tons of food unfit for consumption".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Karamanlis' doctrine :We belong to the West but we also look to the East - The card of multi-dimensional Greek foreign policy was played in Kremlin".

    AVGHI: "Labour day struggle against unemployment, high cost of living and uninsured labour".

    AVRIANI: "US stung that Karamanlis is making major deals with the Russians in the interests of our country - Americans see Greece as playing dangerous games with Putin".

    CHORA: "From Russia - The new energy agreement brings glut of Russian capital".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "They (Karamanlis, Putin) signed the South Stream agreement and a Russian air blows over Greece".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis nonplussed by Karamanlis' game - The prime minister playing the European and Russian card strongly".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "70 million car thieves - Thousands of underaged kids trapped in a virtual reality of violence in Greece also [article on the video game Grand Theft Auto]".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Labour Day. Oh Daddy, what a world! Global rage over widening inequality, the offspring of neoliberalism".

    ESTIA: "Overture to Russia - Karamanlis' -Putin's meeting on Tuesday".

    ETHNOS: "5 thorns in the way of nationwide university entrance examinations - Bar raised for 94,600 candidates".

    KATHIMERINI: "Bonds between Russia and Greece strengthen after Karamanlis-Putin agreement".

    LOGOS: "Historic agreement between Karamanlis and Putin - The pipeline of challenges and opportunities".

    NIKI: "Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis' miracles - The government audit, reform and economy's black hole".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "1st of May, Labour Day with PAME (KKE-affiliated trade union group) - Class unity and social coalition against plutocracy and imperialism".

    TA NEA: "High cost of living leads to 'diet' in everything - Households in despair".

    TO VIMA: "The Moscow overture irritates Washington - Karamanlis'- Putin's rapprochement and US' reactions".

    VRADYNI: "They signed the future - Historic agreement between Karamanlis and Putin for the South Stream pipeline".

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