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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Tsipras at Elliniko park protest
  • [02] LAOS aiming for two Euro-MPs
  • [03] Simitis: we need more Europe

  • [01] Tsipras at Elliniko park protest

    Criticising the environmental policies of both main parties, Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party leader Alexis Tsipras told protestors in the Athens district of Elliniko on Sunday that the actions of ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK in no way matched their professed support for 'green' policies.

    As we approach the elections, we hear not only the president of PASOK but also the prime minister talk about "green development" at the same time that they agree to plans that destroy the environment, to environment-killing laws, to plans for motorways, large shopping malls and diversions of major rivers. We wonder, in the end, whether by the term 'green' they mean the colour of nature or the colour of money," he said.

    He was speaking at a protest organised by Elliniko residents against the environment ministry's plans to build a major junction on open ground previously occupied by an airforce unit that has now departed from the site, instead of letting it remain as a park.

    Tsipras stressed that the fight for the environment was a battle fought by active citizens in every local society, who were the only force that could win large open spaces and resist the plans of big capital. He underlined his party's support for their efforts.

    In an interview published in the Sunday newspaper "Vima", meanwhile, Tsipras denied that a decision by former SYN leader Alekos Alavanos to represent the party at the upcoming debate between the party leaders - as head of the SYRIZA Parliamentary group in which SYN is the major coalition partner - in any way undermined his leadership position.

    "No, the river doesn't come back," he told reporters, in response to questions, while predicting that his party would come in third in the European Parliament elections on June 7.

    [02] LAOS aiming for two Euro-MPs

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis said in a press conference held in the port city of Patras on Sunday that his party aimed to elect two Euro-MPs to the European Parliament during the elections on June 7.

    Referring to the campaigns of the political parties so far, he noted that "there hasn't been any discussion about Europe yet" and jested that the key players had so far confined their attention to "song birds and barbarity" in a reference to the new ND television spot and main opposition PASOK's much-discussed 'dilemma' between "socialism and barbarism".

    About Niki Tzavella - who migrated from ruling New Democracy's ranks to head LAOS's EuroParliament ticket - Karatzaferis said she had been chosen as the most suitable person for the job, "because the next five years will be the five years of the economy and energy".

    He also repeated criticism about the decision to close the regular session of Parliament early, saying that the prime minister would be the first prime minister of a democratic country who will govern without a Parliament for six whole months.

    Caption: LAOS leader George Karatzaferis during a press conference in Ioannina on Saturday. ANA-MPA - Paraskevi Pappa

    [03] Simitis: we need more Europe

    A call to the political parties to put more 'Europe' into the agenda for the European Parliament elections was made by former Greek premier Costas Simitis in an interview appearing in the newspaper 'Vima' on Sunday.

    "The topics of the Euro-elections should be as European as possible and highlight that what is sought on a national level is largely dependent on a European answer," he said.

    Simitis also urged opposition to what he called the "political inaction" of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, stressing the need for a change in the political balance of power and more effective EU policies on issues concerning Europeans.

    European social democrats had to provide answers on the future of Europe; not just about the kind of Europe desired but also on how to achieve economic growth combined with social justice, he noted.

    The former premier expressed support for "more Europe", in which the EU had stronger institutions and broader powers than at present, while noting that current trends were more in favour of a 'looser' union based on the "principle of intergovernmental cooperation".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of former Greek premier Costas Simitis.

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