|Sunday, 25 February 2024
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-04-10
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
(THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)
 Elections 2000Pasok won parliamentary elections Pasok and Kostas Simitis will be in power for a new four year term and what lies ahead for the country, are the procedures for admission to the Euro zone, to continue efforts for the modernization of the economy and society, as well as to continue the improvement of international relations and the important role the country is playing in the Balkans. Pasok won parliamentary elections with 1% difference from the New Democracy party.
According to the data provided by the Interior Ministry and Delta Informatics, Pasok gathers 43.78% of the votes and 158 seats, the New Democracy party 42.79% and 125 seats, the Greek communist party 5.51% and 11 seats, and the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress 3.19% and 6 seats. The Democratic Social Movement gathered merely 2.68% of the votes and stays out of Parliament.
Speaking in Zappeio mansion, the prime minister Kostas Simitis described the election results as an important political victory, greater than the numbers, saying that the people gave a mandate to Pasok to continue its course with renewed ideas and strength. Mr Simitis stressed that he would honour his pre-election pledges for greater social state, the combat of unemployment, balanced growth and opportunities for the young people. He also promised that the new four year term would be for all the Greeks a period of creativity and uplift.
The New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis stated that the people honoured the party's proposal for consensus through the impressive enlargement of the social forces supporting the party. Mr Karamanlis stressed that on the basis of the election results, the government could not go ahead without the consensus of the major opposition party. The New Democracy party leader added that in essence, it was a victory for the party and described the elections as a basis for a new beginning with a powerful political trend.
The secretary general of the Greek communist party Aleka Papariga stated that the overall election result, with the high percentage of the two major parties and with the marginal majority of Pasok for the first time perhaps in modern history, was clearly corresponding to the people's attitude before the elections. Mrs Papariga stressed that the need of creating a popular front was now imperative.
The Coalition leader Nikos Konstantopoulos said that the country was entering in a new period, during which, the Greek society would face major challenges. Mr Konstantopoulos admitted that the struggle against the two party system did not succeed and gave assurances that efforts would continue in parliament to defend the ideas of the democratic left, the social movements and ecology.
The leader of the Democratic social Movement Dimitris Tsovolas said he wished the vote of the people would not prove fatal for Greece, Cyprus and the Greek citizens. Mr Tsovolas forecast four years of harsh anti-popular policy, during which, the Greek national issues would close against the country and attributed the fact that the two party system prevailed in the elections to the major editing and economic lobbies, and Washington.
The news agency Associated Press reports on the victory of Pasok, quoting the statements of the prime minister Kostas Simitis, adding however that the tough election battle shocked the socialists who believed that the achievements in the economy sector would ensure for them an easy victory.
The Associated press points out that despite the election result, the opposition leader Kostas Karamanlis came out reinforced from his first battle with the leader of Pasok since he took over the leadership of the New Democracy party three years ago.
The same news agency also stresses that a marginal majority guaranteed additional seats for the first party, due to the electoral system in Greece and describes Pasok as a party which 19 years ago was marked by an anti-american fever, but now had "managers and reliable allies of the West".
About Mr Karamanlis, the Associated Press quotes that he tried to reverse criticism for his inexperience by focusing on the need for new ideas and by blaming the Socialists for their arrogant attitude and for having dropped down the farming regions.
Meanwhile, Reuters news agency quotes that the exit polls have been denied, while the BBC gives out date on the 50% of the votes, according to which Pasok is in the lead with 43.6% against 43.2% of the New Democracy.
Both Reuters and the BBC invoke the statements of election analysts, according to which the result is not reversible, also quoting the statements of the Greek defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos who had told reporters that Pasok would win, even with a narrow majority.
Reuters also refers to the change of climate in the center of Athens, where early in the evening, after the exit polls were announced, supporters of the New Democracy party were celebrating, while the cheers went over to the camp of Pasok.
Reuters is also quoting statements of the New Democracy candidate George Alogoskoufis who claimed that whichever party won would not have the strength to rule and therefore new elections would possibly take place very soon.
 Meeting between Tony Blair and Glafkos KliridisThe developments in the Cyprus issue and the island's course towards admission to the European Union, will be the focus of talks, the Cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis and the British prime minister Tony Blair will have in London.
According to reports, Mr Blair will raise, at his own initiative, the issue of the British bases on Cyprus, in view of the island's accession to the European Union.
The British government considers this issue to be a technical matter and not one for negotiation, but it is a question which must be settled directly with the Cypriot government, before it is moved to a European Union level.