|Saturday, 16 February 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-04-14
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
(THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)
 Developments after the swearing in of the new cabinetPrime minister Kostas Simitis declared that Greece was beginning a fruitful historic period, after the mandate citizens gave in last Sunday's election to the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). Speaking after the first meeting of the new cabinet, held after the swearing in ceremony of ministers before President Constantinos Stephanopoulos, prime minister Simitis added that citizens expected tangible results and would get them. Indicating the new PASOK government's policy, he underlined that priority would be given to the welfare state and to a higher standard of living, as well as to a speeding-up of the government's work. The prime minister called on his new ministers and undersecretaries to undertake their duties wholeheartedly, adding that there will be no period of grace for the government and that the voters' hopes should not be disappointed. After urging cabinet members to do their work quickly and decisively, Mr Simitis expressed pleasure at the start of a new era, in which, as he said, the government would be able to do still more for the country. New ministers were all united in stating that their top priorities were to boost the Greek economy in a society of solidarity, and said that the new government would have to work hard to achieve its aims.
The main opposition New Democracy party is considering to hold its own congress in the fall, while leader Kostas Karamanlis is currently holding contacts with senior members to map out the party's opposition strategy.
The Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress, which holds 6 seats in the 300-seat parliament, announced that it will hold a congress in June.
Meanwhile, the general secretariat of the Democratic Social Movement met in a particularly gloomy climate and attributed the loss of the party's electoral force to the blackmailing, as it described it, dilemmas set by the two major parties.
 The Turkish foreign minister's statements over NYVSpeaking over the Turkish NTV television channel, the Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem said he had trust that informal talks on methodological issues raised in Greek- Turkish differences would begin soon between officials of the foreign ministries of Greece and Turkey. Replying to questions, Mr Cem said that at the meeting he had with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou in Luxembourg two days ago, he had raised the question of a meeting of experts from Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria on the issue of border trade in Thrace and the Aegean. Mr Cem also said that he reminded to Mr Papandreou that Turkey was ready for talks on issues concerning the Aegean and underlined that Turkey had certain stands on the issue of the Aegean and desired to find a solution through talks. Referring to the climate of a rapprochement between Greece and Turkey, Mr Cem said that Turkey wanted right from the beginning to keep the Cyprus issue out of this procedure.
 The European Commission's stand on the Cyprus issueClarifying the recent statements of the European Commissioner responsible for issues of European Union enlargement Gunther Verheugen which were interpreted as legalization of the Turkish occupation troops in Cyprus, the European Commission stressed that the presence of foreign troops in Cyprus did not affect the island's accession course to the European Union. The European Commission press spokesman stated in Brussels that the presence of foreign troops in Cyprus was not an issue that was really raised in the proximity talks between the two communities held under the auspices of the United Nations, a procedure which the European Commission was fully backing.
 Nazi massacre victims vindicatedIn a decision that has been described as a historic one, Greece's Supreme Court vindicated the victims of a Nazi massacre during World War II in the village of Distomo, by ratifying a previous ruling for the payment by the German state of 9 billion drachmas in compensation to the victims' families. The ruling is believed to pave the way for similar lawsuits throughout Europe.
 Planned meeting between Greek and Turkish journalistsA contact and working group for cooperation between Greek and Turkish journalists and media executives, is scheduled to meet in Constantinople this weekend. The meeting has been organised following the successful First Greek-Turkish Journalists' conference, held on February 5 and 6 in Athens. Taking part in the event on behalf of Greece, will be the general manager of Hellenic State Radio Yannis Tzannetakos, the general manager of Flash radio Panos Koliopanos and Athens News Agency correspondent Akis Kourkoulas.
 Conference on Greek scientists living abroadThe university of Athens is organizing a three-day conference on the subject of "Higher Education and the Greek Scientists from Abroad" with the participation of at least 100 Greek scientists living abroad, who arrived in Athens. The conference's aim is to create a permanent communication network with the Greek scientists from abroad.