Defendory exhibition in Piraeus
NEWS IN DETAIL
New government sworn in
Prime Minister Costas Simitis' new 41-member government was sworn in today,
kicking off a fresh four-year mandate after winning a solid victory in last
Sunday's snap general elections.
The new government was sworn in before President Costis Stephanopoulos at
the Presidential Mansion. Immediatelya fter, the new Cabinet, which
includes 14 newcomers, held its first meeting, chaired by Simitis.
In the new Cabinet, 12 portfolios changed hands.
''A new era begins today which will be marked by an intense and systematic
effort for a strong Greece, a Greece of creativity and solidarity,'' Prime
Minister Costas Simitis said today shortly after chairing the first meeting
of his new Cabinet.
This, Simitis said, was the message from Sunday's general elections ''and
this is what the people are expecting from the government''.
Simitis said that both and he and the members of the government were aware
of the needs which existed and the responsibilities which they had assumed,
as well as the fact that it was up to the ruling PASOK party whether the
country would succeed in effectively meeting the ''great challenges of the
The prime minister added that the government would immediately set about
its task at a rapid pace, stressing that ''every effort must be effective''.
Underlining however that an effort on the part of the government alone was
not sufficient, Simitis called for ''the contribution and participation of
''The battle which we must give, is the battle of all Greeks, including
those who did not vote for us,'' Simitis said.
Commenting on the result of Sunday's elections, Simitis said the outcome
was a great victory for PASOK, while adding that it also belonged to
''other forces of the centre-left and progress''.
''An effort will be made to find a common language and common course with
these forces. The wager which must be won concerns the entire country and
all the Greek people,'' he added.
Replying to questions on statements today by outgoing national defence
minister Gerassimos Arsenis, who expressed concern about the dangers facing
the country, Simitis said his remarks did not create a problem since he was
merely expressing the known positions of the government ''as he had done
also in the past''.
On the appointment of former education minister George Papandreou as
Alternate Foreign Minister, the premier said that the foreign ministry
required the presence also of other persons ''in order for the task to be
Asked to clarify his comments on the centre-left, Simitis replied that he
had himself stated in the past which forces comprised it and what kind of
cooperation PASOK would seek with them.
''Today I am sending the simple message that there must be contact and
dialogue with these forces,'' Simitis added.
Mr. Simitis and his associates worked around the clock over the past couple
of days to put together the new 41-member cabinet, which includes 14 new
ministers and undersecretaries, with 12 portfolios changing hands.
Theodoros Pangalos has retained the Foreign Ministry, with Giorgos
Papandreou, son of the late PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou, replacing
Giorgos Romeos as Alternate Foreign Minister. Giorgos Romeos has been
appointed Public Order Minister.
The Defence Ministry went to Akis Tsohatzopoulos, while Vasso Papandreou
retained the Development Ministry.
Gerasimos Arsenis has replaced Giorgos Papandreou at the Education and
Religious Affairs Ministry.
The National Economy portfolio has been retained by Cambridge-educated
economist Yiannos Papantoniou, who has also taken over the Finance Ministry
from Alekos Papadopoulos.
According to the announcement, PASOK will support Apostolos Kaklamanis for
a fresh four-year term as Parliament President.
The new cabinet is as follows:
Prime Minister: Costas Simitis
Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister: Alekos Papadopoulos
Undersecretaries: Lambros Papadimas, Anastasios Mantelis
National Defence Minister: Akis Tsohatzopoulos
Undersecretary: Dimitris Apostolakis
Foreign Minister: Theodoros Pangalos
Alternate Foreign Minister: Giorgos Papandreou
Undersecretary: Christos Rozakis
National Economy Minister: Yiannos Papantoniou
Undersecretaries: Christos Pachtas, Alekos Baltas
Finance Minister: Yiannos Papantoniou
Undersecretaries: Giorgos Drys, Nikos Christodoulakis
Development Minister: Vasso Papandreou
Undersecretaries: Mihalis Chrysohoidis, Anna Diamantopoulou
Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister: Costas Laliotis
Undersecretaries: Theodoros Koliopanos, Christos Verelis
Education and Religious Affairs Minister: Gerasimos Arsenis
Undersecretary: Ioannis Anthopoulos
Agriculture Minister: Stefanos Tzoumakas
Undersecretaries: Dimitris Sotirlis, Vassilis Geranidis
Labour and Social Security Minister: Miltiades Papaioannou
Undersecretaries: Nicos Farmakis, Christos Protopappas
Health and Welfare Minister: Costas Geitonas
Undersecretaries: Manolis Skoulakis, Theodoros Kotsonis
Justice Minister: Evangelos Yiannopoulos
Culture Minister: Evangelos Venizelos
Undersecretary (Sports): Andreas Fouras
Merchant Marine Minister: Stavros Soumakis
Public Order Minister: Giorgos Romaios
Macedonia-Thrace Minister: Philippos Petsalnikos
Aegean Minister: Elizabeth Papazoi
Transport and Communications Minister: Haris Kastanidis
Undersecretary: Manolis Loukakis
Press and Media Minister: Dimitris Reppas
Undersecretary to the Prime Minister's Office: Giorgos Paschalidis
Reppas: Simitis programme
Prime Minister Costas Simitis' scheduled visit to Cyprus will go ahead as
planned, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas announced today.
Simitis is due to visit Cyprus on October 1, while on October 4 the premier
will fly to Dublin to attend the European Union summit, Reppas added.
The spokesman said that the new Parliament would convene on October 7 for
the swearing-in ceremony. The following day, he added, the House would
elect a new president, and on October 9 the members of the new presidium.
The speaker in the previous parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis, would again
be proposed for the position of president, Reppas said.
On October 10, the spokesman added, Parliament would begin a three-day
debate on the government's policy statements.
Arsenis concerned about dangers facing the country
Outgoing Defence Minister Gerassimos Arsenis today expressed concern over
the dangers facing the country.
''The dangers are ahead of us, and so are the difficulties,'' Arsenis, who
takes over the Education Ministry, said in farewell comments to the
National Defence Ministry military and civilian staff.
He said he also distrusted the dialogue approach or confidence-building
measures approaches ''which lead, through the back door, to dialogue
(negotiations) on all issues with Turkey which, in turn, leads to a new
Arsenis praised the new National Defence Minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, as
an experienced and seasoned cadre, adding that the civilian and military
personnel of the ministry would, under Tsochatzopoulos, continue the task
it had begun.
He further asured that the new government would continue to place priority
on the country's defence shield.
Arsenis, reviewing his time at the National Defence Ministry, called on the
ministry staff to do their utmost to safeguard the Greece-Cyprus unified
defence doctrine, adding that it upgraded Hellenism's defence shield
against Turkish expansionism, overturned the political balances in the
wider region and created the necessary infrastructure for a credible
He also said that the needs of the Armed Forces were being met to the
extent allowed by the economy.
Arsenis said that the armaments programme submitted to the Government
Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) secretariat "will be among
the first tasks" of the new government.
Economy, finance ministries to be merged, Papantoniou says
Yiannos Papantoniou, who retained his national economy portfolio and has
also been appointed Finance Minister in the new government, indicated today
that the two ministries would be merged institutionally.
Speaking to finance ministry personnel shortly after being sworn-in this
morning, Papantoniou said ''now we will be taking unified action'', adding
that ''the institutional unification of the two ministries will contribute
significantly to the formulation and implementation of economic policy''.
Outgoing finance minister Alekos Papadopoulos, who has been given the
interior, public administration and decentralisation portfolio in the new
government, said ''Woe betide if we fail to realize the dream, which is
none other than our course to European integration''.
Papadopoulos expressed certainty that Papantoniou would further consolidate
''the climate of confidence and stability which has been achieved over the
last three years'' and ''maximise the successful results''.
Pangalos, Mihailidis stress good cooperation between Greece, Cyprus
Meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly yesterday, Foreign
Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his Cypriot counterpart Alekos Mihailidis
discussed issues of bilateral cooperation, the Cyprus problem and certain
details of Prime Minister Costas Simitis' planned visit to Nicosia.
Mr. Mihailidis underlined the usefulness of bilateral cooperation.
"We are particularly happy because the results of the (Greek) elections
maintain the road open for the continuation of this close cooperation
between the two countries, which is very useful for the national cause of
Cyprus," he said.
Asked if he could confirm the prime minister's visit to Nicosia scheduled
for October 1, Mr. Pangalos replied, "It has been planned so".
Developments in main opposition party
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) deputy Dora Bakoyianni today proposed
that the party's leadership should be assumed by an interim president until
the election of a new leader at the next party conference.
Bakoyianni put forward the proposal in talks this morning with former ND
leader Miltiades Evert, who resigned following Sunday's electoral defeat,
her father and honorary ND president Constantine Mitsotakis, and party
cadres Stavros Dimas and Ioannis Varvitsiotis.
Speaking to reporters on leaving Evert's office, Bakoyianni described her
proposal as one of unity, adding that ''the candidates for the leadership
of the party will be able to set out their political positions and
arguments at the conference''.
Stressing that the unity of the party was more important than personal
ambitions, Bakoyianni proposed Tzannis Tzannetakis ''whose prestige and
sensitivity is widely acknowledged'' as interim president.
Dimas, who is general secretary of the party's parliamentary group, said
later however that Bakoyianni's proposal ''is not based on the party's
statutes which provide for the election of a permanent president''.
''In theory, everything is possible,'' Dimas added.
Dimas said that ND supporters undoubtedly preferred ''a common decision by
all to choose one person, who will have the backing of all, without the
phenomena of the past which created some of our problems''.
He was speaking to reporters after taking part in a meeting of party cadres
attended by Evert, Varvitsiotis, Stephanos Manos, George Souflias,
Athanasios Tsaldaris and Yiannis Kefaloyiannis.
According to informed sources, Varvitsiotis and Kefaloyiannis proposed
Costas Karamanlis, grandson of the former president of the republic of the
same name, as candidate for the presidency, but this was rejected by Manos
Manos reportedly said during the meeting that ND had been in the throes of
''civil war'' for the last six years between supporters of Evert and
Mitsotakis, ''owing to which we lost two elections''.
The only way to restore unity, Manos reportedly said, was for both sides to
refrain from seeking the leadership.
''This is the only clear way forward, otherwise there is a danger of (the
party) breaking up or this situation being perpetuated,'' Manos reportedly
According to the same sources, Bakoyianni's proposal is also opposed by
Tsaldaris, Varvitsiotis and Manos.
Souflias, meanwhile, is expected to announce his candidacy for the
At the same time, deputies loyal to Evert continue to gather signatures to
petition the former leader to run once again for president of the
Valsamis Giovanoudas said today that more than 60 ND deputies had so far
signed the petition.
According to some party sources, Evert remains firm in his decision not to
run for president, while other sources maintain that he is in a quandry
about running due to the large number of signatures.
Informed sources said Evert did not make his intentions clear at this
Turmoil continues in the main opposition New Democracy party following the
resignation of party leader Miltiades Evert after ND's defeat in the
elections and the announcement of two candidacies for the party's
Deputies loyal to Mr. Evert are gathering signatures to persuade him to
reconsider his decision and to seek the party's leadership again.
Many deputies signing the relevant document visited Mr. Evert yesterday
morning and briefed him on their intentions. Some of them claim that he has
agreed with this move, while others said Mr. Evert is insisting on his
decision not to seek the party's l eadership.
According to a scenario being promoted by senior ND members supporting Mr.
Evert, if more than 60 deputies support him, he could seek the leadership
and then hold a party congress to have the issue settled.
ND spokesman Prokopis Pavlopoulos said the announcements of Stefanos Manos'
and Dora Bakoyianni's candidacies were premature.
Former Prime Minister Tzannis Tzannetakis has supported the idea of a
transitional leader being elected by the body of electors and a new leader
being elected at a party congress.
Meanwhile, deputies and former deputies have been visiting ND honorary
leader and former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis, and have called on
him to submit his candidacy for the party's leadership.
It is believed that the party's leadership will not be sought by Mr.
Varvitsiotis and Constantinos Karamanlis in the event that Mr. Evert
announces his candidacy.
However, in a statement to Antenna Radio, Mr. Mitsotakis said democratic
processes anticipated by the party's charter safeguard party unity and
there is no risk of a split whatsoever.
ND's Executive Committee is to convene today to begin processes aimed at
electing prefectural committee representatives.
Ten British companies and two defence ministry organisations will be taking
part in this year's Defendory Exhibition of defence systems and equipment
to be held in Piraeus October 1-5, the British Embassy announced today.
The participants would be part of a group organised by the Defence
Manufacturers Association (DMA) with the support of the British Department
of Trade and Industry, an embassy press release said.
The DMA, which represents companies manufacturing fully integrated defence
systems, sub-systems and special equipment and which also provides support
services, will have an information stand at the biennial exhibition, while
the Defence Export Service Organisation (DESO), which is part of the
British Defence Ministry, would be participating with its own pavilion.
Sunny to partly cloudy in most parts of the country with temperatures
rannging from 18-27C in Athens and 15-24C in Thessaloniki.
Both Greek teams participating in the UEFA Cup last night were disqualified.
Olympiakos drew 2-all at home with Hungary's Ferencvaros, having lost the
away match 1-3.
Panathinaikos narrowly missed qualification, conceding a second goal three
minutes into injury time to Legia in Warsaw, and having won the first leg
at home 4-2.
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