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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-04-03

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] NATO Says "No" to FYROM
  • [02] Political Reactions on Skopje Issue
  • [03] Increases Announced in State Sector
  • [04] French Mission for Betancourt
  • [05] MAT Installation in Goudi Attacked
  • [06] Fatal Car Accidents at Dawn
  • [07] Administrative Reform Programme Materialized
  • [08] Alitalia Bankrupts

  • [01] Following the Greek Veto

    NATO Says "No" to FYROM

    03 Apr 2008 15:14:00 (Last updated: 03 Apr 2008 18:52:57)

    Sources: , 105.8, NA-PA

    "Within the UN framework, many have worked hard to resolve the FYROM name issue. The Alliance notes with regret that these talks have not had and successful result. For this reason we agreed to extend an invitation to FYROM to join NATO only when the name issue is resolved. We urge the resumption of negotiations without any delays, expecting a result the soonest possible." This conclusion sums up the results of the Greek efforts to resolve the FYROM name issue. Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis appeared satisfied as the final communiqu&#233; does not set a deadline, while the UN will be responsible in resolving the issue and not NATO.

    "Greece has achieved its diplomatic objectives. We are in the mid of a course before reaching an agreement. We shall continue to work towards this direction," pointed Ms Bakoyannis, addressing a friendship message to Skopje. She said Greece wishes FYROM to join NATO provided a mutually accepted solution is reached on the name issue and good neighbourly relations. At the same time, disappointment and skepticism has prevailed in Skopje after FYROM was refused an invitation to join NATO.

    Greek Side Satisfied

    In reply to questions by FYROM journalists Ms Bakoyannis explained that Greece does not wish to impose a name, but reach an agreement for a mutually accepted name.

    Referring to the Greek rejection of the US proposal to allow FYROM join NATO under its temporary name, Ms Bakoyannis said that the above solution would not resolve the issue, adding that Greece wishes to help FYROMs accession, something which it has proved in the past.

    In reply to a question as to whether Greece will adopt the same stance with the EU in September, Ms Bakoyannis said that the Greek government will be equally determined as at the NATO Summit Meeting.

    Finally, she reported that Greece has achieved its diplomatic targets, adding that from now on it will continue its efforts to resolve the FYROM issue. She appeared optimistic over the final result, which would support stability, peace and development in the region.

    FYROM Disappointed

    At a Press Conference in Bucharest today, FYROM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki stated that although Skopje met all necessary criteria for its accession to NATO, Greece blocked its entry. He added that all countries had supported "Macedonias" entry except for Greece.

    Regarding the future of negotiations between Greece and FYROM on the name issue, Mr Milososki stated "unfortunately the Interim Agreement has been violated; for this reason the government will have to re-examine the issue."

    Following developments, FYROMs delegation decided to leave Bucharest before the official closing of the Summit Meeting. Mr Milososki explained that the delegation would leave because it felt that it had to be with the Skopje people, whose large majority 90% supports admission to NATO. He spoke of lack of vision over stability in the region, adding that due to Greeces objections the NATO Summit Meeting had chosen less stability in the region. In parallel, he explained that in the case of future destabilization, the Greek side will be held responsible.

    Furthermore, he praised the US stance, which supported his countrys entry to NATO, describing "it the most important thing in the strategic relations between Macedonia and the US."

    A meeting of about an hour between American President, George Bush with FYROMs President and Prime-minister followed. After the meeting FYROMs delegation announced that it had decided to stay till the official end of the Summit meeting. Earlier, he had expressed his sorrow as no agreement had been reached for FYROM to join NATO, pointing out that the name issue should be resolved quickly.

    Greek Positions Supported

    French President Nicola Sarkozy is justified to set its demands to NATO, adding that France is in support of the Greek positions, and wishing a fast resolution over the FYROM name issue.

    Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero spoke of "well-documented Greek positions", adopting a similar stance with that of Portuguese Prime Minister Jos&#233; S&#243;crates, who had expressed his support to Greece on Wednesday.

    Amongst others, the Prime Ministers of Belgium, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Iceland, Hungary and Canada showed understanding to the Greek positions, stressing that the name issue should be resolved the fastest possible. Baltic country representatives, on the other side appeared reserved.

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul stated that he understands the Greek positions, adding however that FYROM could have been invited, as an invitation does not mean automatically accession.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Political Reactions on Skopje Issue

    Greek Veto

    [02] Political Reactions on Skopje Issue

    03 Apr 2008 14:51:00

    The Greek veto that kept Skopje out of NATO at the NATO Summit Meeting in Bucharest has triggered various reactions. The Greek government spoke of national unanimity, while the opposition appeared reserved.

    Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros stressed that enjoying the politicians and peoples support, the government presented in a clear and explicit way and beyond any question the Greek stance on the FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) name issue.

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated that what the prime minister had committed himself for took place. He pointed out that Skopje should understand that good neighbourly relations constitute a condition for its entry to international organizations.

    Mr Pavlopoulos added that for as long as there are exaggerations, FYROMs way to NATO will remain closed.

    Culture Minister Michalis Liapis spoke of national unanimity, wishing that Greece had adopted the same stance in other sectors of the public life.

    PASOK (Socialists) MP Michalis Chrysohoidis described the governments stance in Bucharest positive, speaking however of "national adventure" that demands great attention, before a positive result is reached on the issue.

    Referring to the NATO Summit Meeting, SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) Parliamentary Group Head Alekos Alavanos said that his party would celebrate when the issue is resolved after such a long time. In parallel, he presented five axes on how the issue could be used to the advantage of Greece. Specifically, Greece should reject the embargo procedure, it should continue deliberating within the framework of the UN and not of NATO, it should adopt any assymetrical threats procedure and should take advantage of political contrasts within FYROM, insisting in parallel for a geographical qualifier.

    KKE (Greek Communist Party) Secretary General Aleka Papariga stated "we shall neither share the governments triumph nor accept that there has been national unanimity on the way the issue had been handled".

    She explained that the government had adopted KKEs stance over a geographical qualifier, adding that the term veto had not been used in the NATO Summit Meeting.

    LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) from its side hailed the Greek governments veto, describing it however a temporary measure with temporal results. Moreover, he said that FYROM and Turkeys accession to the EU and NATO (only for FYROM) should be decided at a referendum.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Greek Veto

    [03] Increases Announced in State Sector

    03 Apr 2008 14:45:00

    Sources: - 105,8-NA/NA

    Minister of Finance in a press conference on the governments 2008 income policy announced a 4,5% rise in public officers salaries and 5% in retirement pensions. Public officers salaries will rise up to 2,5% retrospectively starting from 1/1/2008 while 1/3 of their refund motive is being incorporated to their basic salary. The above motive will rise from 86 to 150 according to the working category of the employee. Retirement pension rises will settle to 3% retrospectively starting from 1/1/2008 and 2% form October 1st. In spite of the negative international developments, we exhaust all inflation limits, finance minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis stressed. Ministry of economy announced that the stability programmes targets are being re examined due to the consequences caused by high oil and product prices. However that does not mean that there are going to be any changes in the targets of the national budget.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [04] French Mission for Betancourt

    03 Apr 2008 13:01:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    France has sent a humanitarian mission including a doctor to try and make contact with hostage Ingrid Betancourt in the Colombian jungle, the presidents office said on Wednesday. The operation is shrouded in mystery with no indication of whether FARC guerrillas holding Betancourt, who is believed to be very ill, have given it their blessing or whether a French team is already in the region. "A humanitarian mission by the three facilitating countries, Spain, France and Switzerland, has begun, in cooperation with the authorities concerned," President Nicolas Sarkozys office said in a statement. It did not elaborate. Sarkozy made a direct televised appeal on Tuesday to the Marxist FARC to release Betancourt who was "in danger of imminent death", he said.

    [05] MAT Installation in Goudi Attacked

    03 Apr 2008 12:58:00

    Sources: 105,8

    About 20 youths launched an attack against MAT (Riot Police) installations in Goudi at 10:15. As per the police, they youths got out of the University campus on Kokkinopoulou street and then came back later. They threw stones and bottles against the guards, without however injuring anyone.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [06] Fatal Car Accidents at Dawn

    03 Apr 2008 12:54:00 (Last updated: 03 Apr 2008 13:47:34)

    Sources: ANA, MNA

    A fatal car accident was reported in Aegaleo area, in Kifissos Avenue. The dismembered body of a woman was found in Lenorman road. According to Road Traffic Police Department it is possible the unfortunate woman to have been drifted by a large vehicle the owner of which the police is trying to find. The victims identity has not been certified yet. The body has been transferred to "Evagelismos" hospital. A 24 years old police officer also died tragically in a car accident reported in 201 Athens Avenue when the car the friend of the police officer was driving deviated its route and crashed successively to a DEH power tower and to a sign-board of a petrol station.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [07] Administrative Reform Programme Materialized

    03 Apr 2008 12:06:00

    Sources: 105.8

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos has presented today the basic principles of the Interior Ministrys programme on administrative reform. The basic axes of the programme are the reduction of the bureaucracy and the boosting of transparency. "This programme aims at saving money from the EU, something that has not been happening until now," stressed Mr Pavlopoulos.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [08] Alitalia Bankrupts

    03 Apr 2008 12:00:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET

    Italian Alitalia Airways is a step before bankrupt as 2.000 employees have proceeded to mobilizations. French-Deutch Air France KLM Company withdrew its interest to buy out Alitalia offering 139 billion. Air France claimed that the reactions of the employees who are threatened with mass dismissals blocked the buy out. After the resignation of Alitalia president the companys future lies to the release of its property. Unionists state that they are going to negotiate with the new Italian government that will come up from the elections taking place in two weeks.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou


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