|Tuesday, 5 December 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English (AM), 99-03-01
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
Today's ERA News OnlineMonday March 1st 1999
 Prime minister comments on statements by Dilan KilicWhile voting yesterday in Piraeus for delegates to the PASOK 5th congress scheduled for March 18-21, prime minister Kostas Simitis elaborated on the prospects of a Greece equal to the other EU members during the process for European unification, with a role in the Balkans and a voice in the world.
The prime minister used strong language to comment on the statements to the press issued by Kurdish Workers' Party leader Abdullah Ocalan's female aide, Dilan Kilic, and he spoke of an attempt to defame Greece by people who received every possible humanitarian aid.
He also said that it would be tragic to reduce Greek-Turkish relations to the Kurdish issue and that Greece was helping hundreds of Kurds and thousands of Albanians, to an extent much greater than that of other EU members countries which have a comparatively much greater capacity.
The government, Mr Simitis stressed, will not be drawn into the schemes of those who seek to implicate Greece in damaging conflicts and influence the country's progress negatively.
 Similar stand adopted by other PASOK membersSimilar in tone were the statements made by speaker of parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, PASOK secretary Kostas Skandalidis, education minister Gerasimos Arsenis and development minister Evangelos Venizelos, as well as other members of the ruling PASOK party.
Furthermore, Mr Simitis has sent a letter to speaker of parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis requesting the expulsion of deputy Kostas Badouvas from the parliamentary group of PASOK due to his stand in the Ocalan affair, which was detrimental to Greece's national interests.
 Opposition leader again calls for government's resignationMeanwhile, in a speech in Crete yesterday, opposition New democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis again called for the resignation of the government, saying that the prime minister and cabinet ministers had not been equal to the occasion and accusing the prime minister of guilty silence.
In reply to Mr Karamanlis, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the New Democracy leader was attacking the prime minister and the government on the basis of unsubstantiated and inadmissible allegations made by Ms Kilic. He added these allegations were an insult not only to the government but also to the country.
 Concert in support of Kurds in Athens todayFinally, in Syntagma square in Athens, a concert and rally in support of the Kurdish people will go on as planned today. World-acclaimed Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis will not take party in the concert following statements critical of Ms Kilic and her accusations he made on Saturday.
 Fresh statements against Greece by Turkish presidentTurkish president Suleyman Demirel yesterday reiterated his country's propaganda, claiming that Greece supported terrorism and trained PKK terrorists. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas described the statements as defamatory and groundless, designed to perpetrate a climate of tension in Greek-Turkish relations.
 Prime minister in Milan for European socialist meetingPrime minister Kostas Simitis left for Milan yesterday to take part in today's meeting of European Socialists. Mr Simitis is heading a 15-member delegation of the ruling PASOK party. The main items on the meeting's agenda are the adoption of a manifesto in view of the Euro-elections, the election of a new presidium and issues of development and employment on which Mr Simitis will submit a series of proposals.
 Greek EU campaign for Cyprus solutionThe Greek government is organising a campaign in the EU aimed at a substantive European political initiative to resolve the Cyprus problem. Deputy foreign minister Yannos Kranidiotis said yesterday that the Amsterdam new treaty provides the institutional framework for such a European initiative. Mr Kranidiotis is planning a visit to Cyprus soon, at the head of a ministerial committee which will examine the steps necessary for the island's conformity with European standards.
 Cypriot president comments on State Department reportCommenting on the State Department's annual report on human rights, president of the Cyprus republic Glafkos Kliridis has categorically rejected claims that there was an effort under way by other countries to equate the unilaterally proclaimed self-styled Turkish Cypriot state with the Cyprus republic. He said that assurances from all sides were that no country would recognize the pseudo-state.
 PASOK elects delegates to party congressAn election was held yesterday in the ruling PASOK party to elect the 5,500 delegates to the party's 5th congress to be held from March 18 to 21 at the Olympic Stadium in Athens.
 Elections in Greek Bar AssociationsThe second round of elections are being held today in Greek Bar Associations to elect new boards.