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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-04-24

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Foreign Minister Kotzias on U.S. visit: 'They received our message'
  • [02] Controversial act of Parliament passes on ruling coalition vote amid stiff opposition

  • [01] Foreign Minister Kotzias on U.S. visit: 'They received our message'

    ANA-MPA - His official visit to the United States was "the most creative and productive of anything we expected based on earlier experiences," Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said on Friday, wrapping up a four-day schedule that took him to both Washington DC and New York.

    "I have the feeling - also from talks I had with organisations in New York which I will continue until late evening and from the meeting we had with American-Jewish organisations here in New York - that while the atmosphere when we first arrived in Washington was generally strange, here they are positive about Greece and have received our messages they way we would have liked them to," Kotzias said.

    He added, "I believe that the right atmosphere of trust has been formed and apropos of that, we have had proposals from several sides for help in growing our economy and for conveying our views to international organisations like the IMF and the United Nations."

    Kotzias met separately in New York City with the UN Secretary General's personal envoy for the FYROM name issue, Matthew Nimetz; with Stanley Bergman and David Harris, president and executive director of the American Jewish Committee, respectively; UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; and Archbishop Demetrios of America.

    He is also scheduled to attend a roundtable discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank on the priorities of Greek foreign policy. He conclude his visit to the U.S. with a meeting with members of the Greek-American community at the Greek Consulate General in the city.

    In statements after meeting with the UN secretary general, Kotzias said they discussed the Cyprus issue and Greece's grappling with the migrant influx.

    In terms of Cyprus, he said that Greece wanted Turkey to withdraw from Cyprus. "There cannot be a comprehensive solution that does not restore a Cyprus republic that is sovereign and with all rights of an EU member-state," he underlined, adding that Greece's contribution, as a guarantor power, is "that we wish to put an end to our rights and the rights of others that come from older agreements."

    "If the Turks want a quick solution, the only thing they have to do is leave the island quickly," Kotzias said, adding that he would be visiting Istanbul on May 11 and on May 12 he would be holding bilateral talks with Turkey, as NATO's foreign ministers summit will be held in Antalya on May 13 and 14.

    [In photo: Kotzias (L), Ban Ki-moon (R)]

    [02] Controversial act of Parliament passes on ruling coalition vote amid stiff opposition

    ANA-MPA - Parliament on Friday passed on ruling coalition votes a controversial parliamentary act obliging cities and state-related entities to transfer the majority of their liquid assets to Greece's central bank for use by the government.

    The act, which exempts health and pension funds, unleashed a fury of opposition that included verbal abuse and heavy charges of wasting valuable time while the economy was worsening.

    Ruling coalition parties Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and Independent Greeks (ANEL) passed the act under emergency voting procedures with 156 votes.

    A total of 260 deputies took part in the roll-call vote (in principle and on article 1), as proposed by main opposition New Democracy and Communist Party of Greece (KKE). Voting down the act were 104 deputies of ND, Potami, Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi), KKE and PASOK.


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