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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-04-05

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] "Diplomatic Goal Achieved"
  • [02] Slovenia: ECOFIN Conference
  • [03] Boat Accident in Congo
  • [04] Karatzaferis at the Ledra Street Checkpoint
  • [05] Protestation Rallies against Racism
  • [06] Sarkozy: Opening Ceremony under Conditions

  • [01] Hand of Friendship to Skopje

    "Diplomatic Goal Achieved"

    05 Apr 2008 11:50:00

    By

    Sources: NA-NA-

    Greece will not consent to NATO entry for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) while the dispute over its name remains unresolved, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis repeated on Friday, in statements after the conclusion of a NATO summit in Bucharest. He stressed that Greeces goal was that its smaller, land-locked neighbour to the north should have a "clear composite name for all uses," while adding that Athens was prepared to take part in a new round of negotiations under UN auspices in order to find a name that was mutually acceptable by both sides. "We have a relationship with the United States as allies but that does not mean that we have identical views. On the specific issue it is clear, that views are different. We went along our own views and raised a veto. I do not see shadows cast over bilateral relations," the Greek premier added. He disagreed, furthermore, with the view that Greeces veto would lead to a wider destabilisation in the region: "I believe that conditions will soon be ripe to repeat negotiations to find a mutually accepted solution," he said.

    K. Karamanlis: "We are not Isolated"

    Greeces friendly feelings toward FYROM, in general, were also expressed by Karamanlis, who stressed that there was no hostility on the part of Athens and that Greece wanted to support the countrys Euro-Atlantic prospects, provided that the issue of the name was first resolved in a satisfactory way.

    "We are glad that we can extend an invitation to begin accession negotiations with the first two countries, which have made major efforts. We have invested in their Euro-Atlantic prospects for development and stability of the region. Unfortunately, the same does not also apply for FYROM, since we are not in a position to give our approval as long as the problem of the name exists," he underlined

    In response to questions, Karamanlis indicated that Greece would adopt the same stance when FYROMs application to begin accession negotiations to join the European Union comes up for consideration in September, while saying that there was ample time to find a solution to the "name issue" before that time.

    "I consider that there is enough time to find a solution. On the issue of the accession negotiations, our countrys stance was, is and will be consistent," he stressed.

    Questioned about the results of the NATO summit and how Greeces stance was received by the other allies, Karamanlis said Athens had achieved its diplomatic target at Bucharest and that its veto was a tool that could work toward finding a solution and the ultimate goal, which was a mutually acceptable agreement. Among the positive points listed by Karamanlis regarding the summit was the fact that all sides had come to understand the true nature of the problem poised by the FYROM "name dispute", which had not been achieved in any of the previous 17 years since it first arose. Greece was hardly isolated in its views but had received support from several countries, while a general understanding of Greek positions was also expanded during the summit, he said. Karamanlis also commented on other NATO-related issues, among them a proposed enlargement toward Ukraine and Georgia. He stressed that no one could impose on the Alliance whether it should accept new members, provided that the party involved was in agreement and fulfilled the criteria. On the issue of Afghanistan, he indicated that Greece already participates in the NATO force and can increase its contribution to the effort for reconstruction in the war-ravaged country. With respect to Russia, the Greek premier said that NATO-Russia cooperation was extremely important for international stability and security. He also noted that the cold war was over and that the challenges now facing NATO and Russia were new ones.

    Opposition Party Concerned

    Opposition parties expressed criticism to the government regarding the governments handling and manipulation-as they celled it- of the Greek veto, stressing that the goal of foreign affairs strategy must be the resolution of the name issue .Giorgos Papandreou commenting for the first time on the outcome for Skopje supported the view that the government made its duty in the line that PASOK created. Mr. Papandreou also said that negotiations must continue under the auspice of NATO, underlying that his party will continue his positive initiatives.

    KKE (Communist Party of Greece) General Secretary Aleka Papariga added that the solution must not be in accordance with nationalist issues. It would have been a victory if we had managed to achieve a mutually accepted solution SYN (Coalition of the Radical Left) president Alexis Tsioras commented. LAOS (Popular Orthodox Alarm) expressed its satisfaction for the veto.

    [02] Mr. Alogoskoufis' Statements

    Slovenia: ECOFIN Conference

    05 Apr 2008 13:55:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-NA- 105,8

    The Alternative Ecofin, a conference on European economic and financial policy is organised by the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia in co-operation with several partner organisations. The effects of the national crisis in the European economy were the focus of ECOFIN meeting which was completed in Slovenia. Greek Finance Minister Mr. G. Alogoskoufis stated after the meeting that the FM ministers agreed on the fact that in spite of the uncertainty and the dangers in a national scale and the big problems the situation is not so worrying in the European Union. ECOFIN agreed on a road map for monetary and credit policies which was discussed last October when an agreement was signed which provides for: boost of transparency in stock markets and better co-ordination of politicians, country-members of UN. This fact shows, as Mr. Alogoskoufis said that the European Union adopts a consistent and co ordinate approach on these issues. During ECOFIN many issues were discussed regarding the quality of fiscal policies as well as the social model promoted by the European Union. In this framework, the issue of the effectiveness of fiscal expenditures was discussed taken as granted the non stop efforts for the treatment of social inequalities, unemployment and poverty. On answering questions related on the revision of predictions in Greece (as well as in other country-members), Mr. Alogoskoufis said that there is no reason for revision of the new predictions.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [03] Boat Accident in Congo

    05 Apr 2008 19:11:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    At least seven people died and another 24 were missing after an overloaded canoe capsized in Democratic Republic of Congo, U.N. radio reported on Saturday. Six other passengers swam to shore and survived after the wooden dugout overturned on the Lubilanji River some 45 km south of Mbuji Mayi, the capital of central Eastern Kasai province, on Thursday, U.N.-sponsored Radio Okapi said. The boat was built to carry about 25 people, witnesses said. Ten people died and several others were injured in a road accident in Bandundu province on Saturday morning. Police said the driver of a truck was speeding and used poor judgment.

    [04] Karatzaferis at the Ledra Street Checkpoint

    05 Apr 2008 15:29:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    In a rather charged climate, the final opening of the Ledra Street crossing in the centre of Nicosia took place on Saturday noon and was attended by the Cypriot leaders and crowds of people. LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) President George Karatzaferis, who also witnessed this historic moment, said: "I myself had suggested Mr Klirides open the checkpoints for the shake of communication. The opening of the Ledra Street is to the benefit of the Greek side, and I believe that it is a major step towards a solution to the Cyprus standoff [] The more the Muslim Cypriots see the lifestyle of the Christian Cypriots, the more they will try to get rid of the occupation," concluded Karatzaferis.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] In Many Cities of Greece at the Same Time

    Protestation Rallies against Racism

    05 Apr 2008 13:40:00 (Last updated: 05 Apr 2008 20:03:07)

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-NA- 105,8

    The Pan Hellenic Net for the Support of Anti Racism and Refugees Organizations staged Saturday a protestation gathering in Athens and in other cities of Greece as well. The theme of the rallies varies from city to city: In Athens the main signal of the rally which started at 3:00pm was "Asylum and Open Borders for Emigrants". In Thessaloniki, protestors planned a rally for the "non existence of rights for second generation emigrants", for "the sweeping operations", and the "creation of camps". In Samos Island protestors went on a march while in Volos city a discussion will take place on the demand "Open borders and provision of asylum to emigrants". These rallies are part of a sequence of protestations organized by the European Social Forum in many European countries, February-October 2008.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [06] Regarding Beijing Olympic Games

    Sarkozy: Opening Ceremony under Conditions

    05 Apr 2008 12:54:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ANA, MNA. AFP

    French president Nikola Sarkozy poses three conditions for his participation in Beijing Opening ceremony, among which the beginning of dialogue with Dalai Lama, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, responsible for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Mme Rama Yade said in her interview in "Le Monde" newspaper. She stated that President Nikola Sarkozy will decide after examining current events will then have talks with his European partners and then he is going to announce his decision. She also added: "However, 3 preconditions are necessary in order for him to go to Beijing: Violent clashes against people to stop, political prisoners to be released, Tibet incidents to be revealed and dialogue with Dalai Lama to begin.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou


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