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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-11

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM: We are determined to proceed with Kallikratis plan
  • [02] President commends Presidential Guard for not abandoning posts during explosion outside Parliament
  • [03] Alternate FM met Andros Kyprianou
  • [04] Greek rescue teams in Albania

  • [01] PM: We are determined to proceed with Kallikratis plan

    Prime minister George Papandreou on Monday said that the government is determined to proceed with the "Kallikratis" reform plan in public administration, stressing that "the Greek people voted us into office to make changes, not patches".

    Papandreou noted that a wider consensus exists, adding that the plan had been preannounced by main opposition New Democracy (ND) when it was in government, but never implemented it. He also said that the plan has wide acceptance among the public, stressing that it is a necessary reform that all agree must be done.

    The premier made the latter statements to reporters after the conclusion of the sworn in ceremony of newly appointed Deputy Interior, Decentralisation and e-Governance minister George Dolios in the presence of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias at the presidential mansion.

    Addressing himself to the new deputy interior minister, Papandreou wished him success in his new duties "in a ministry that is at the spearhead of the changes for the state".

    [02] President commends Presidential Guard for not abandoning posts during explosion outside Parliament

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Monday received three members of the Presidential Guard (Evzones) and praised them for their devotion to their duty, for not abandoning their posts at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside parliament on Saturday despite a warning that a bomb was due to explode in minutes in a trash receptacle next to their sentry posts.

    Papoulias commended Marios Theodorou, Vassilis Vernikos and Ioannis Andreakos for their bravery in remaining at their posts when the home-made time bomb exploded, stressing that "the psyche of the Greeks is evident in times of difficulty" and adding that the three Evzones had "given a message", congratulating them warmly "for your devotion".

    [03] Alternate FM met Andros Kyprianou

    Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas met on Monday with visiting Cypriot AKEL party leader Andros Kyprianou.

    Leaving the Ministry, Kyprianou told reporters that he had a fruitful and constructive discussion with Droutsas, stressing that the Cyprus issue is going through it's most difficult and decisive phase, and thus the best possible coordination between Greece and Cyprus is of great importance.

    "The phase Cyprus is going through at this time is very critical and decisive, and this is not a figure of speech. There have been decisive phases in the past as well, but the present phase I believe is the most decisive of. It is therefore of immense importance that there is the best possible coordination and cooperation between Greece and Cyprus in this crucial period, and that is the purpose of our visit here," said Kyprianou.

    Responding to press questions on whether Droutsas expressed disappointment on the proposals put forward by Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Kyprianou said that the proposals were a disappointment to all Greek Cypriots and the political parties in Cyprus, adding that the content of the proposals would lead to a confederation rather than a federation and reflected long-standing proposals by Turkey on the Cyprus issue which have been repeatedly rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.

    Concluding, Kyprianou stressed that this particular move by the Turkish side is extremely counter-productive.

    The Cypriot official will have separate meetings later Monday with President of Republic Karolos Papoulias, with Prime Minister George Papandreou, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga, and main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, consecutively.

    Kyprianou will wind up his visit to Athens with a press conference on Wednesday.

    [04] Greek rescue teams in Albania

    Two Greek rescue teams arrived on Sunday in the northwestern Albanian region of Vau i Dejes which was stricken by the recent floods. The 35-member crews immediately commenced search and rescue operations, and also assisted in the evacuation of the stricken areas.

    According to a representative of Albania's emergency interministerial committee, the Greek rescuers have at their disposal four vehicles, two inflatable motorboats and seven water pumps.

    Italy, France, Austria and Slovenia have sent humanitarian aid and rescue teams to Albania reacting to Albanian authorities' plea to EU and NATO for help.

    Meanwhile, evacuation operations continued in the regions of Shkodra. A total of 4,800 residents have already been evacuated while 2,473 houses and buildings were under water together with 12,000 hectares of land.

    Heavy rain and the Albanian authorities' decision to open the gates of the dam at three hydroelectric plants on the Drin river were the main causes of the catastrophe.

    Caption: Albanians try to make their way through the flooded streets of Obot village, in the Shkoder district some 120 km (75 miles) northwest of the capital Tirana Albania on 07 January 2010.ANA-MPA/ EPA/ARMANDO BABANI


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