|Wednesday, 21 March 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-03-12
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Wrangling over National AffairsPolitics
Addressing the House during an off-the-agenda-debate requested by LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) Giorgos Karatzaferis, Greece's Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis sent a stern message to both Skopje and Ankara, urging them to abandon their intransigent policies. Kostas Karamanlis spoke of "inviolable red lines," and placed emphasis on the constant upgrading of Greece's ties with all nations. Touching on the USA, he stressed it is the Greece's historical ally. LAOS head Giorgos Karatzaferis lashed out at the Socialist leader and the Foreign Minister, blasting the former for competing the latter on who is a better friend of the Americans. Karatzaferis also dismissed coalition scenarios between his party and the ruling Conservatives. Socialist leader George Papandreou accused the government of failure in all matters. KKE head Aleka Papariga and SYRIZA leader Alekos Alavanos lambasted the government's policy.
"Regarding Greece's national affairs, there are inviolable red lines that will not be negotiated. They are the lines we will never abandon," stressed the Greek head o government, further noting, "We are committed to goals that are common for all Greeks."
Shifting his attention to the FYROM name row, the Greek Premier underlined, "Our neighbours in Skopje cannot - with their nationalistic policies - cross the road of the EU-NATO family. A solution to the name raw with a geographical qualifier for all uses is a prerequisite, and we mean everything we say," argued he.
With regard to the Cyprus standoff, Kostas Karamanlis underscore that this year will be proved important, further adding that the Greece encourages talks between the two communities.
"The Annan plan is history, and those who did learn their lesson should realize that it is the Cypriots themselves who will solve the problem based upon international law. Greece works in constant cooperation with Cyprus, something which I will reiterate in my forthcoming visit to Cyprus," commented Karamanlis.
The Greek Prime Minister also noted that Greece pursued to upgrade its ties with all the EU nations, the USA, Russia and China.
Touching on Greece's energy security, he noted, "We managed to deal with the natural gas row without facing the problems that puzzled others nations." As for the global financial crisis, he underlined that only global interventions can offer a solution to the problem.
"Such an international environment requires a steadfast course of responsibility and insight," stressed he.
LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) head Giorgos Karatzaferis lashed out at the PASOK leader George Papandreou and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, accusing the former of competing the latter on who is a better friend of the Americans.
Karatzaferis stressed that US President Barack Obama's first trip will take place in two weeks' time in Turkey, further adding that it is the first time that a US President visits Turkey, without visiting Greece, as well.
He also blasted both the Conservatives (ND) and the Socialists (PASOK) for giving thumbs up for the Annan plan and offering their backing to Turkey's EU bid, disconnecting them from the Turkish pullout of Cyprus.
Addressing to the Prime Minister, George Papandreou underlined that his foreign policy collapses and reiterated his call for snap elections. He also noted that the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament will give a crystal clear message.
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis did not let accusations made by Papandreou and Karatzaferis go unanswered.
Replying to the criticism she came in for by the LAOS head, she stressed that Karatzaferis keeps arguing that he has no extreme positions, yet his claims prove that he is an ultra-rightist.
Referring to George Papandreou, she disagreed with Papandreou's statement, whereby the consensus of all political parties when it comes to national affairs is nothing but a myth.
News item: 20004
 Papandreou-Simitis MeetingPASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) President George Papandreou is meeting Thursday with former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, upon the former's initiative. PASOK Press spokesman Giorgos Papakonstantinou said that there "will be a useful exchange of views on all major issues."
"From a leading nation in the wider region, Greece has become a problematic nation, while there is widespread feeling that it plays no international role and its status is questioned," said PASOK leader George Papandreou at the sitting of the party's committee on foreign affairs. He then went on to add that the aforementioned feeling has been intensified by the developments in economy.
PASOK Press spokesman blasted the Conservative administration for being incapable of fiscal management, citing EcoFin's conclusions. Papakonstantinou stressed that the Greek government lacks vision and has not submitted a plan to help the nation survive the crisis.
Touching on the EcoFin resolution, he noted that it viewed the Greek stability plan as insufficient and incapable of tackling economy's structural weaknesses.
Asked whether PASOK would clash with EcoFin, which calls for permanent measures, if it were to win elections, Papakonstantinou underlined that the party agrees with permanent measures that will concern spending cuts, measures to boost low-income earners and development. Drilled about the elections for the European Parliament and the way the EU is dealing with the financial crisis, Papakonstantinou maintained that the EU has failed to live up to the expectations.
Asked about the release of a list with possible terrorist hits, the PASOK spokesman wondered why authorities did not investigate how such evidence leak. He dismissed the explanation given by the government spokesman as insufficient.
News item: 20002