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BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN (16/01/1996)

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@uranus.ee.auth.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki, January 16, 1996

NEWS IN ENGLISH

  • [01] ANDREAS PAPANDREOU OPENED THE WAY FOR HIS SUCCESSOR

  • [02] PAPANDREOU MAY RETURN TO PREMIERSHIP IF HE RECOVERS FULLY

  • [03] THE CANDIDATURES FOR THE PREMIERSHIP IN GREECE

  • [04] THE CONDITION OF ANDREAS PAPANDREOU REMAINS UNCHANGED

  • [05] OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF GREEK REPUBLIC

  • [06] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT ON THE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIGNATION

  • [07] GREEK PRESS REPORTS ON THE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIGNATION

  • [08] FOREIGN PRESS AGENCIES REPORT ON THE GREEK PREMIER'S RESIGNATION

  • [09] CYPRUS CONSIDERS PREMIER'S DEPARTURE A BRAVE ACT

  • [10] TURKISH MEDIA: JUST THE FACTS, FEW COMMENTS

  • [11] AUSTRALIA GIVES FRONT-PAGE ATTENTION TO GREEK PREMIER'S RESIGNATION

  • [12] THE GREEK PRESIDENT POSTPONED HIS VISIT TO STRASBURG

  • [13] LIAISON OFFICES IN ATHENS AND SKOPJE TO OPEN FORMALLY TOMORROW

  • [14] HALLBROOK TO MEET WITH GREEK-AMERICAN LOBBY

  • [15] VISA REQUIRED FOR CITIZENS OF FYROM WHO WISH TO ENTER GREECE

  • [16] GREEK ALMANAC TO BE PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH AND CD-ROM


  • NEWS IN ENGLISH

    [01] ANDREAS PAPANDREOU OPENED THE WAY FOR HIS SUCCESSOR

    PASOK's Parliamentary Group Presiding Board failed today to reach decisions on the procedures that will be followed for the election of new Prime Minister, while PASOK's Central Committee will meet tomorrow morning. According to Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization mr.Tsohatzopoulos, who is replacing the Prime Minister, the three-day period provided by the Constitution for the election of new Prime Minister by the Parliamentary Group, ends on Saturday morning.

    As it was made known, the Parliamentary Group's Presiding Board in today's meeting failed to reach an agreement on the voting process that will be followed by PASOK's Parliament deputies for the election of the new Prime Minister. Differencies were expressed among others, on the number of voting rounds that will be held and on the way the candidatures for the premiership will be submitted. As it was decided by the Parliamentary Group's Presiding Board, the issue of the voting process for the election of the new Prime Minister will be settled on Thursday when PASOK's deputies in Parliament will meet in order to elect the new Prime Minister.

    With a letter to PASOK's Central Committee and Parliamentary Group, Andreas Papandreou requested yesterday the election of a new Prime Minister. As he stresses in the letter, he made this request "because the problems of the country can not wait and everything that we have achieved until today can not be put in danger".

    Apart from the request for the election of a new Prime Minister in the letter is also being mentioned that "the Central Committee will determine the framework and the directions of the party's course until the next party congress which will guarantee the future of a united and strong PASOK".

    The letter was delivered late last night to President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos by Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization mr.Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who is replacing the Prime Minister and characterized mr.Papandreou's decision as a great initiative of historic importance that opens the way to the handling of the political problem that has been created.

    According to mr.Tsohatzopoulos the deadlines for the election of a new Prime Minister which are provided by the Constitution will be put into effect after tomorrow's meeting of the party's Central Committee while the Parliamentary Group will meet on Thursday.

    [02] PAPANDREOU MAY RETURN TO PREMIERSHIP IF HE RECOVERS FULLY

    Greek government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris left open the possibility of Andreas Papandreou's return to the premiership when responding to a question by a reporter said that mr.Papandreou will remain PASOK's President and leader and therefore the possibility of his return exists.

    Responding to the question concerning the fact that the word "resignation" is not mentioned in the text signed yesterday by mr.Papandreou, the greek government spokesman said that letter's content is clear.

    He also clarified that there is no other letter addressed to the President of the Republic and announced that today the Prime Minister will sign the Presidential Decree on his resignation opening this way the three-day deadline for the election of new Prime Minister as it is provided by the Constitution.

    The greek government spokesman also said that mr.Papandreou will still be a Parliament member while to the question on whether he will resign from the party's leadership, mr.Hitiris said that is too early to say what will happen in the party congress.

    [03] THE CANDIDATURES FOR THE PREMIERSHIP IN GREECE

    Four candidacies for the premiership in Greece have already been officially announced in Athens.

    In alphabetical order they are that of the 65-year- old current National Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis, of the 57-year-old former Industry Minister Kostas Simitis, of mr Yiannis Haralambopoulos, 77, who has served in various Ministerial posts and as Vice President of the 1980s PASOK governments.

    Two other MPs who are expected to run from premiership are the 60-year-old minister of Interior Affairas, Public Administration and Decentralization Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who is replacing the Prime Minister and the 55-year-old speaker of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    Mr.Simitis in his announcement concerning his candidature for the premiership left open the possibility of running for the Presidency of the party at PASOK's next congress. He said that this is something he will look at after the Parliamentary group meeting together with his colleagues in the party. Also, referring to mr.Papandreou's decision to resign he described it as "courageous" and said that he had done his duty with respect to his history, the people and PASOK.

    Mr Haralambopoulos said that the prime minister to be elected should serve the unity of the party till its congress, due in June 96.

    [04] THE CONDITION OF ANDREAS PAPANDREOU REMAINS UNCHANGED

    The condition of Andreas Papandreou remains unchanged but the attendant doctors are worried because of the fluid that is being accumulated in his lungs.

    Mr.Papandreou is expected to undergo a second CAT scan today in order to be observed by the doctors the fluid accumulating in the patient's lungs.

    According to today's medical bulletin issued by the Onasion Cardiology Center, mr.Papandreou's condition remained unchanged in the past 24 hours while he underwent dialysis treatment. The patient's respiratory function was periodically supported by respirator and today underwent an operation for the removal of the fluid accumulated in his lungs.

    [05] OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF GREEK REPUBLIC

    Main opposition party New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert held a meeting today with greek President of the Repubic Costis Stefanopoulos, after which he commended that Mr. Andreas Papandreou's resignation is a result of the recent pressures his party exerted on the ruling government to appoint a prime minister.

    Mr. Evert's meeting with Mr. Stefanopoulos was scheduled prior to the resignation and, according to ND officials, Mr. Evert's aim was to formally convey to the President his displeasure of the recent political situation.

    [06] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT ON THE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIGNATION

    European Parliament President Klaus Haentch referred to Andreas Papandreou's huge contribution to the history of Greece and the European Union commenting on the news of his resignation.

    The European Parliament President stressed that during this important period in the greek history, Greece successfully completed its transition from the dictatorship to democracy and took its place as a full member in the European Union. He said that during the premiership of Andreas Papandreou Greece played a vital role in Europe, while Europe from its part became more sensitive regarding its responsibilities toward the Mediterranean countries.

    Mr.Haentch also referred to the rotating EU Presidency that Greece took over in 1988 and in 1994. He said that those two greek EU Presidencies left a legacy of great progress behind them, as in 1988 Greece played a leading role in the consultations concerning economic issues, while in 1994 the greek government was leading the negotiations for the EU enlargement that resulted to the EU membership of Sweden, Finland and Austria.

    The European Parliament President concluded by saying that Andreas Papandreou is the one who shaped Greece's course in Europe and expressed his wishes for quick recovery.

    [07] GREEK PRESS REPORTS ON THE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIGNATION

    As was expected, top priority was given to the greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou's resignation which was issued late last evening, a fact that did not daunt greek journalists from writing voluminous articles.

    The Makedonia newspaper's front-page title was "Election of New Premier with Papandreou's Resignation."

    Thessaloniki's second-in-circulation newspaper "Thessaloniki" printed "Andreas Papandreou: A Leader's Last Act."

    Athens-published "Kathimerini" wrote "the End of An Era..."

    "Apogevmatini": "Finally, The End."

    "Ethnos": "A Historical Decision by Andreas."

    [08] FOREIGN PRESS AGENCIES REPORT ON THE GREEK PREMIER'S RESIGNATION

    Using a greek epithet, the London-based news agency BBC characterized Andreas Papandreou as "the most charismatic Greek politician of this century," during today's broadcast of the greek politician's resignation from the post of prime minister.

    The British Broadcasting Company stated that Papandreou was Greece's first socialist prime minister who, taking advantage of the anti-american and anti- european sentiments during the mid-seventies through the eighties, gave the greek people a sense of elitist pride.

    To Reuters, the U.S.-based news agency, Papandreou is an enigma. The press agency, while crediting the premier with restoring Greece's political balance, wrote that the Harvard-educated economist, and for 20 years a U.S. citizen, "embraced radical Third world politics and infuriated his western partners."

    The french news agency AFP reported that the "exhausted" greek premier's resignation "put an end to the country's extended period of political paralysis."

    Bulgarian news agency B.I.P. granted analytical reports on the issue, concluding that the greek Premier's decision to depart from his position will put an end to the political crisis caused by his illness. According to B.I.P., the ruling party PASOK continues to face difficulties in the election of a new prime minister. The bulgarian news agency also reported the greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis' statement that "Greece will have a new prime minister by Friday."

    Associated Press noted that Mr. Papandreou did not resign from his position as president of PASOK and speculated that this perhaps is a way to leave the door open for his return to power after he recovers.

    The U.S.-based news agency credits Mr. Papandreou for having filled the gap that separated the right-wing followers from the leftists and his accomplishments in the equal rights for women and social welfare programs.

    [09] CYPRUS CONSIDERS PREMIER'S DEPARTURE A BRAVE ACT

    The Greek Prime Minister's resignation announcement was received in Cyprus with stoicism as the cypriot government spokesperson said that the decision to leave the post is viewed as a "a brave act."

    Responding to a question on what effect Mr. Papandreou's departure will have on the Cyprus issue, government spokesperson Mr. Kasoulides said that the cypriot government is intently watching Greece's political developments and hopes that Mr. Papandreou's successor will be the ablest among the candidates.

    Cypriot President Glafkos Klerides is expected to arrive in Athens when the new premier will be elected.

    [10] TURKISH MEDIA: JUST THE FACTS, FEW COMMENTS

    "Papandreou's Resignation" was the common title in most of Turkey's newspapers where the story appeared without further comments.

    Overall, the turkish press reported just the facts, stating that five ministers convinced Mr. Papandreou to resign, and that, in order to ensure that the greek premier was coherent and sound, four physicians were present during the signing of the resignation letter.

    Turkish news agency ANADOLOU reported that, in accordance with the greek constitution, the ruling party's Central Committee must meet within the following three days in order to elect the new prime minister. The news agency also added that there are five candidates for the premiership and that it has not been clarified whether Mr. Papandreou will refrain from the presidency of PASOK.

    [11] AUSTRALIA GIVES FRONT-PAGE ATTENTION TO GREEK PREMIER'S RESIGNATION

    The Greek Premier's resignation was the front-page article in most of Australia's newspapers today and was also considered as top priority during today's television and radio broadcasts there.

    Speaking on behalf of the australian government, the greek-descent australian Minister of Immigration Nikos Bolkas expressed his sadness for Andreas Papandreou's ailing health and added that all of Australia's citizens who are of greek-descent, regardless of political preferences, appreciate Mr. Papandreou's accomplishments.

    [12] THE GREEK PRESIDENT POSTPONED HIS VISIT TO STRASBURG

    Greek President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos postponed his visit to Strasburg scheduled to take place on January 22-23 during which he was going to speak in the Council of Europe.

    In the statement issued by the President's office are not mentioned the reasons that led to the postponement of the trip but is obvious that the decision was made due to the political developments in Greece.

    [13] LIAISON OFFICES IN ATHENS AND SKOPJE TO OPEN FORMALLY TOMORROW

    The liaison offices in Athens and Skopje will begin formally operating tomorrow. Head of the greek diplomatic office will be mr.Alexandros Mallias, Embassy Counsellor, who had been head of the Regional Office in Sofia, responsible for issues concerning Bulgaria and FYROM in the period May-December 1994.

    The head of Skopje's liaison office in Athens has not been appointed yet and in Athens has arrived only the second in hierarchy, mr.Sokofski.

    [14] HALLBROOK TO MEET WITH GREEK-AMERICAN LOBBY

    The U.S. Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Richard Hallbrook, scheduled to meet with leaders of the greek- american lobby in Washington today, will convey the american government's policies on greek national issues, according to souurces.

    Mr. Hallbrook will center the lobbyists' attention to the Cyprus issue which, according to previous statements made by the U.S. government, is expected to be granted specific attention by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

    Mr. Clinton is counting on the greek-american lobby's support during the upcoming presidential elections in the U.S.

    [15] VISA REQUIRED FOR CITIZENS OF FYROM WHO WISH TO ENTER GREECE

    Starting tomorrow, a special visa requirement will be enforced on the citizens of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) who wish to enter Greece.

    The visa requirement is part of a memorandum signed on October 13, 1995, and agreed upon between the two neighboring countries.

    To be issued a visa, which is also mandated by the European Union for citizens of third countries, FYROM citizens must submit their photograph.

    According to customs officials, an estimated 80 FYROM citizens entered Greece today.

    [16] GREEK ALMANAC TO BE PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH AND CD-ROM

    A greek author plans to single-handedly undertake the sizeable feat of publishing a "Greek and International Almanac" in the english language because, as he said, "he is fed up with hearing public officials constantly contradicting themselves" and wants to have something at hand that sets the record straight.

    Mr. Kostas Thigaves, is the editor of the 13-year- old greek publication which recently issued the 1995 edition. This edition includes, in a brief and objective manner, the most important greek and international events and facts of 1995.

    According to the author, the year's most important event in greek foreign policy was the Greece-Turkey relations, while highest on the totem pole of international events was the war in Bosnia. As for greek national issues, Mr. Thigaves considers 1995's gravest event to be Mr. Papandreou's illness.

    The Almanac, a worldwide yearly publication of facts, is normally the result of many people's collaborative efforts who have access to the most advanced publishing technologies. Mr. Thigaves plans to edit the publication alone, without any funding from sponsors.

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