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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK wants Vatopedi com't of inquiry
  • [02] Guyana President arrives for state visit
  • [03] PASOK on developments in Gaza
  • [04] Aid-laden vessel blocked from Gaza
  • [05] FM outlines Greek OSCE goals

  • [01] PASOK wants Vatopedi com't of inquiry

    proposal made by the main opposition PASOK party on the establishment of an Investigatory Committee to probe the Vatopedi Monastery land swap affair will be presented to the Parliament plenum on Monday afternoon.

    This was decided by the conference of Parliament party representatives that convened on Thursday under the chairmanship of Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas.

    The other opposition parties have also acknowledged, in their conclusions on the case, the need for further examining the issue through an Investigatory Committee, while the ruling New Democracy party's Parliamentary representative, Panos Panagiotopoulos, attributed "party selfishness and an attempt to criminalise the country's political life" to the main opposition party, clarifying that the ruling party "will not participate in PASOK's methods."

    [02] Guyana President arrives for state visit

    The President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, currently on an official visit to Greece, met with President Karolos Papoulias for talks on bilateral relations and international issues on Thursday.

    Papoulias hosted a dinner in honour of the Guyana president and expressed certainty in his address that the visit will contribute to the further strengthening of friendly relations between the two countries.

    Jagdeo said on his part that "in the ranks of the European Union the small countries are those that can understand the challenges being faced by the small and developing ones around the world."

    [03] PASOK on developments in Gaza

    Main opposition PASOK party spokesman George Papaconstantinou said on Thursday, referring to the ongoing Gaza crisis, that "unfortunately, news of an impending ceasefire in Gaza is being denied every day" and then focused on the ship "Arion" that returned to the port of Larnaca after being blocked by Israeli warships.

    "It is unfortunate that the Israeli government does not realise the need for humanitarian aid corridors to be open. The international community and Greece must insist on this," the spokesman said and added that "a non-combatant people who are under bombs every day are watching an international community that does not want or that cannot."

    [04] Aid-laden vessel blocked from Gaza

    LARNACA (ANA-MPA) -- A Greek-flagged vessel carrying humanitarian aid for war-ravaged Gaza returned here on Thursday evening following a fruitless 34-hour journey after Israeli gunboats intercepted it in international waters.

    The vessel, "Arion", had departed from the Cypriot port of Larnaca with 17 passengers of different nationalities and four crewmembers. Due to the blockade of Gaza by the Israeli navy the humanitarian aid was not delivered.

    Caption: The "Arion" is shown sailing from the port of Larnaca on Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. ANA-MPA / KATIA CHRISTODOULOU.

    [05] FM outlines Greek OSCE goals

    VIENNA (ANA-MPA / D. Dimitrakoudis) - Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Thursday outlined the ideas guiding the scope and goals of the Greek presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2009.

    The Greek foreign minister spoke at a press conference here.

    Earlier, Bakoyannis presented the priorities of the Greek Presidency before the Organisation's Permanent Council, at the Hoffburg Palace in the Austrian capital.

    The foreign minister pointed out that these ideas focus on pursuing cooperation between all the participating countries in promoting partner, undivided and intersectional security, pursuing a strategy on planning more effective ways of implementing common goals to guarantee stability, security and cooperation in the region of the OSCE, as well as caring for achieving symmetry in efforts to confront asymmetrical threats and past provocations.

    Replying to a question related to the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bakoyannis said Greece has an explicit view and believes that a new Europe should be created, leaving in the past the old problems of the Balkans, while adding that this means that there should be good-neighborly relations between the countries.

    "We have a whole developmental aid programme and we have been cooperating with our neighbors until the moment when, unfortunately, the government of Mr. Gruevski decided that the rhetoric of FYROM shall be rhetoric of nationalism and of provocation beyond limits towards the Greek people," she said.

    Bakoyannis further referred to efforts being made to resolve the problem of the "name" under the auspices of the UN and expressed a hope that Greece's neighbors will realise that good-neighborly relations are important for both peoples.

    The foreign minister also announced that she will be going to Moscow on Jan. 21 and will make every effort to have the OSCE's mission in Georgia maintained, as presently, no extension of the mandate has been obtained.

    On the question of a Greek vessel carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, the foreign minister said it has been stressed in contacts between the Greek side and the Israeli government that it is purely a humanitarian effort, which has been decided by a non-governmental organisation.

    Lastly, Bakoyannis said she hopes for support by the new US administration vis-à-vis OSCE's issues and that she will have a meeting in Washington as soon as possible, while noting that she does not expect cutbacks by the OSCE's 56 member-states in the organisation's budget, as a result of the economic crisis.

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