|Monday, 18 December 2017|
Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-06
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 PM at TIF: The elections can be wonNothing can be taken for granted regarding the October 4 general elections, prime minister Costas Karamanlis said on Sunday, adding his conviction that "this battle can be won" and stressing that "I will give my all, as never before", speaking during a press conference at the 74th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).
Asked if planned to resign from the helm of his ruling New Democracy party in the event that ND loses the elections, Karamanlis replied: "No, I am not resigning. For as long as I feel useful, I will remain at the front line of the battles and ideals."
The premier ruled out the prospect of a post-electoral collaboration either with main opposition PASOK or the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party in the event no party achieved a self-sufficient majority vote, explaining that collaborations "cannot give solutions to today's problems". Specifically regarding LAOS, Karamanlis said it was a party with extremist ideology, stressing that there would be no collaboration "with the extremes".
Karamanlis reiterated that the exclusive criterion for his decision to seek a "fresh popular mandate" by calling snap early elections had been "the national interest alone" and, addressing himself to the people, added: "That's who I am. I presented my policy to you. There may have been certain mistakes and weaknesses, but I am determined to carry out what I say, and I will do so."
Asked whether cadres whose names had been implicated in scandals would be included on the ND ballots, Karamanlis stressed that "everyone is judged on his overall conduct", and asked the press to be patient for a few days until the candidate lists were completed and made public.
 Papandreou: Country's future at stake in electionsMain opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou stressed that it was the country's future that was at stake in the October 4 general elections, and not the fate of (prime minister) Costas Karamanlis or himself, in an interview appearing in the Sunday edition of Eleftherotypia newspaper.
Papandreou said the decision that would be made in the elections was "whether we will continue on the course to decay, to financial and moral crisis, to concession of values, or whether we will come out of the quagmire with a collective effort that will unite all the creative forces of the country.
The PASOK leader expressed certainty that the citizens will opt for a strong, self-sufficient government, and warned that he will not allow the crucial electoral showdown to degenerate into a "cock fight", adding that he will invite the prime minister to an "upgraded pre-electoral dialogue process".
Papandreou said that in every eventuality, including a PASOK self-sufficient majority, he will seek consensus and cooperation with the wider progressive political and social forces because "that is demanded by the magnitude of the problems faced by the country, by the ambitious goals we are setting".
"We will exhaust all the margins in order to give solutions to the country's problems," he added.
The main opposition leader said he will be inexorable on phenomena of corruption, and from his very first moment in power will make every possible effort to clear up all the "fetid cases" that have hurt the Greek people.
Papandreou further said that his Cabinet will comprise a substantially reduced number of ministers and deputy ministers, adding that there are very many worthy Greeks "outside of PASOK but also outside the political parties in general" whom he will invite to contribute, from responsible positions, to a national effort above and beyond party demarcations.
 FM at TIF: Foreign policyPrime minister Costas Karamanlis urged Turkey that "it must do many things, more than it has done to date", in reply to questions during a press conference on Sunday at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).
"If you ask me whether I consider Turkey's attitude encouraging, especially in the past year, I will say 'no'," Karamanlis said characteristically, noting that the Greek government's policy on Greek-Turkish affairs is crystal clear.
"We have a clear-cut policy. The target is full normalisation of Greek-Turkish relations and Turkey's EU accession prospect, on condition, however, that it meets and adopts all the prerequisites" set out by the EU, Karamanlis stressed.
"I believe that this is a very correct policy that leads to clear messages. We've said it to everyone. We've said it to our partners. Our neighbors also know it," the premier added.
Karamanlis also said that he is satisfied with the handling of Greece's national issues, noting characteristically that "I have recorded good performance on the national issues".
To a question by ANA-MPA on seeming hesitations of the new Bulgarian government on the materialisation of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline and Russia's stance on such a development, the prime minister expressed conviction that the project will progress, and recalled that a central part of his government's policy was "to render Greece an energy hub".
"I believe that the strategic importance and political will to proceed with this project exists on all the sides," Karamanlis added.
 Ferry rams into islet, no injuries reportedA car/passenger ferry rammed into Despotiko islet off the port of Carpathos island on Sunday, but no injuries were reported among the 262 passengers.
The ferry 'Prevelis', which was carrying out the itinerary from Rhodes to Carpathos, Kassos, Crete (Siteia and Heraklion), Thira, Milos and Piraeus, sailed safely into Carpathos harbor on its own steam.
The vessel will be inspected by the local port authorities, which will decide whether or not the Prevelis is in condition to continue its journey.
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesAthens' Sunday newspapers at a glance
Prime minister Costas Karamanlis' address on Saturday night at the 74th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), five new opinion polls and the drafting of the political parties' candidate lists for the October 4 early general elections were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Karamanlis: Do you want a responsible government, or empty words? The big battle begins from Thessaloniki".
APOGEVMATINI: "5 steps for the future - The government's priorities for the 'morning after' the elections unveiled by the premier at the TIF".
AVGHI: "Steadily towards the radical Left".
AVRIANI: "PASOK begging SYN (Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology) for...coalition government, in return for 2 ministries and numerous positions in the state machine".
CHORA: "ND in flames - Karamanlis lethal mistakes that are leading the ruling party to a Waterloo and out of power".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "The public sentiment may consider a PASOK victory on October 4 a given fact, but the Karamanlis 'bill' has not expired yet...".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The government I am planning - Interview with (main opposition PASOK leader) George Papandreou: Fewer ministers and deputy ministers, with utilisation of non-parliamentary personalities".
ETHNOS: "ND and SYRIZA laying down...self-sufficiency carpet for George (Papandreou) - Signs of decomposition on the left and right of PASOK".
KATHIMERINI: "The citizens demand answers - Opinion poll: 42 percent feel that no self-sufficient ND or PASOK government can better face the crisis".
LOGOS: "Prime minister waging battle for political survival - He's 'cleaning up' the ND candidate tickets in a last-minute show of strength".
NIKI: "The 'morning after' in ND a nightmare - The dauphins (hopeful successors) fully armed and waiting".
PARON (weekly): "Karamanlis' 'morning after' - Revelation of why he opted for early elections".
PROTO THEMA (weekly): "ALCO opinion poll: PASOK will win with self-sufficient majority in the first round, with 6.3 percent lead over ND".
RIZOSPASTIS: "On with optimism to the battle for a stronger KKE and popular movement".
REALNEWS: "MRB opinion poll: 80 percent of ND voters say to Karamanlis that all those who 'scandalised' (were implicated in scandals) must 'go away'."
TO VIMA: "Wave of change - PASOK ahead with 6.7 percentage points - Opinion poll".
VRADYNI: "The new faces on the candidate lists - Those who were left out, the pressures and the behind-the-scenes in the selection of candidates - The names on the ND and PASOK ballots".
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