|Sunday, 17 February 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-04-24
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
(THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)
 Debate on government's policy statementsThe debate on the government's policy statements opened in the Greek parliament with speeches by the political party leaders, ministers and other deputies. The debate ends with a vote of confidence in the new government.
The first to speak was the New Democracy party President Costas Karamanlis, who described the government's policy statements as generalities and prevarications which contained no plan or programme, stating that his party would not vote for them. Mr. Karamanlis also hinted on the methods the government used during the elections, stating that the fact that tens of thousands of appointments during the pre-election period as well as the presentation of a big number of foreigners as Greeks, demanded a thourough investigation that would go under way.
In reply, Prime minister Costas Simitis pointed out that Mr. Karamanlis appeared under many faces, exercising at the same time a deceiful policy. Regarding the results of the election, Mr. Simitis stressed the Greek people were free to express their choice during the April 9 elections. Mr. Karamanlis underlined that his party won approximately the same votes with the PASOK ruling party, a development the government should not ignore.
Additionally, Mr. Karamanlis reiterated his proposals for the establishment of a National Foreign Policy Council, the holding of a National dialogue on Education and the setting up of an Olympic Games Council under the auspices of the President of the Republic.
Regarding the revision of the Constitution, the New Democracy President stated that his party would not vote for the provision which disconnected the election of the President of the Greek Republic with the event of early elections.
Finally, as for the consensus from all political parties, which the Prime minister had called for, Mr. Karamanlis said this presupposed procedures for which legislation had already been laid down.
After Mr. Karamanlis, the National Economy minister, Yannos Papantoniou took the stand and spoke about the privatization programme which the government was to promote. Mr. Papantoniou referred especially to the securitisation of Electric Power Corporation, the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki and the seeking for a strategic investor for the Greek Telecommunications Organisation.
 Increased diplomatic activity on the Cyprus issueThere is increased diplomatic activity on the Cyprus dispute. The Cypriot Foreign minister, Yannakis Kasoulidis, is expected in Athens on Wednesday for talks with his Greek counterpart, Yorgos Papandreou. Press reports say the visit was deemed necessary in view of Mr. Papandreou's forthcoming trip to the United States in the first week of May, where he will have contacts with the American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and the Turkish Foreigh minister, Ismail Cem.
Mr. Kasoulidis said in a statement that the position held by the Turkish side regarding recognition of two separate states on the island or acceptance of the two state entities and a confederation would never be accepted by the Cypriot side.
On may 19th the Cypriot President, Glafkos Kleridis is scheduled to have a meeting with the Greek Prime minister Costas Simitis in Athens, in view of the third round of proximity talks on the Cyprus issue, scheduled to get under way in New York on Ìay 23rd.
 G. Schroeder extends invitation to C. SimitisThe German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, has invited the Greek Prime minister Costas Simitis to take part in an international conference on "progressive governing in the 21st century", which will take place in Berlin on june 2nd and 3rd. According to a report published in the newspaper "To Vima tis Kyriakis", the American President, Bill Clinton, European center-left leaders and representatives of Latin American countries will also take part in the conference.
 Z. Zeming ended his three-day visit to GreeceThe President of the People's Republic of China, Ziao Zeming, who ended a 3 day official visit to Greece, was taken on a conducted tour of Knossos and the Arcaeological museum in Heraklion. Çe visited the premises of the agricultural cooperative of Peza, where he was briefed on the production and bottling processes for wine and olive oil.