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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-07-10

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Sunny start on Thursday
  • [02] PM proposes measures to promote transparency, protect politicians from
  • [03] Former U.S. president Clinton to attend Andreas Papandreou Foundation
  • [04] Greek and Cyprus DMs stress Cyprus National Guard to continue to be
  • [05] European Parliament socialist delegation to meet Turkish PM, FM
  • [06] Twelfth round of Greek-Turkish talks starts on Thursday

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Sunny start on Thursday

    10/07/2003 10:36:59

    Hot, sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country until afternoon, when cloud scattered cloud will build up on the mainland. Showers and storms are expected in Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace. Winds north-northwesterly, light. In the north, temperatures will range from 17C to 32C; on the rest of the mainland from 19C to 35C; and in the islands from 22C to 31C. Temperatures in Athens will range between 22C and 34C; and in Thessaloniki from 21C to 31C.

    [02] PM proposes measures to promote transparency, protect politicians from slander

    09/07/2003 23:57:13

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday announced initiatives that aim to increase transparency and the efficiency of anti-graft measures but also to protect politicians from slander, intimations of misconduct and rumour-mongering.

    Speaking after the end of Wednesday's cabinet meeting, Simitis said the initiatives marked the start of ''a new era for politics and the political system''.

    According to the premier, the deficiences and dysfunctions of this system left ''a bitter taste in the mouth of citizens''despite a number of measures already taken to promote transparency.

    Among these he listed the monitoring of public procurement by the State Auditing Council, an objective system for hiring public-sector staff and new measures to control election campaign spending that will be in force at the 2004 elections.

    Simitis stressed, however, that the political world could not allow lingering suspicions that left it susceptible to slander to remain, and had to take further measures to reinforce transparency.

    The additional measures proposed by Simitis included careful inspection of 'statement of means' declarations submitted by MPs, public officials and civil servants, so that these became more than just a formality. Noting that effective use of the 'statement of means' system would greatly reduce graft and unethical links with businesses, he stressed that there must be regular comparisons with past declarationsand that random checks must be both thorough and faster.

    The premier also announced that there would be an inspection of all 'statement of means' declarations submitted by MPs from 1990 onward and pledged to give extra resources to Parliament's auditing committee so that this inspection can be completed before the next elections.

    Simitis then called on all ruling PASOK MPs and ministers to declare all their financial investments from 1998 until 2000, as well as those of their spouses, asking them to declare the size of all investments and any profit made. He said these statements would be verified by the Capital Markets Commission and checked against their 'statement of means' declaration by the Auditing Committee.

    [03] Former U.S. president Clinton to attend Andreas Papandreou Foundation conference

    09/07/2003 23:51:16

    Former U.S. president Bill Clinton arrived on the island of Kos on Wednesday to attend a conference organised by the Andreas Papandreou Foundation on ''Translatlantic relations, reshaping the world order after September 11 - problems and prospects''.

    Immediately after his arrival, Clinton visited the historic plane tree of Hypocrates and the island's castle afterwards.

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Minister of the Aegean Nikos Sifounakis, U.S. special mediator for the Cyprus issue (during Clinton's administration) Richard Holbrooke, former Turkish foreign and economy ministers Ismael Cem and Kemal Dervis and former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guteres are among dignitaries on the island for the conference.

    The conference will come to an end on Friday night and its conclusions will be announced during a special event to take place at the castle.

    [04] Greek and Cyprus DMs stress Cyprus National Guard to continue to be strengthened

    09/07/2003 23:45:14

    Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and his Cyprus counterpart Kyriakos Mavronikolas stressed in Athens on Wednesday that the National Guard in Cyprus will continue to be strengthened for as long as the Turkish side and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash remain intransigent in their positions and the Turkish occupation army of such a big dimension is maintained.

    They also expressed great reservation over the prospect of the finding of a fair and workable solution to the Cyprus issue.

    Papantoniou reiterated Greece's steadfast position, saying that ''we insist on the maintenance of a strong National Guard in Cyprus, which will function preventively towards whatever threat. Greece is taking and will continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard the security of the Republic of Cyprus in the framework of the unified defence doctrine.''

    The Greek defence minister further said Greece and Cyprus will reassess the framework of their defence strategy on condition that the Turkish side and Denktash will abandon their intransigent positions and contribute to a fair and workable solution to the Cyprus issue in the framework of the Annan plan.

    [05] European Parliament socialist delegation to meet Turkish PM, FM

    09/07/2003 23:42:50

    ISTANBUL (ANA - A. Kourkoulas) - A five-member delegation of the European Parliament's socialist group, including the head of the PASOK party's Eurodeputies and socialist group Vice President George Katiforis, will be meeting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Ankara on Thursday.

    The purpose of the meeting is an exchange of views and a briefing of the Turkish political leadership on the position of the European Parliament and the socialist group in particular on Turkey's accession course.

    The Eurodeputies will also be meeting Justice Minister Cemil Cicek and representatives of the Turkish ''society of citizens.''

    Apart from Katiforis, a number of other Eurodeputies were also present.

    [06] Twelfth round of Greek-Turkish talks starts on Thursday

    09/07/2003 23:40:05

    The 12th round of exploratory contacts between Greece and Turkey will take place on Thursday, a Greek foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

    Spokesman Panos Beglitis said Greek foreign ministry Secretary General Anastasios Skopelitis and his Turkish counterpart Ambassador Ugur Ziyal would meet at the foreign ministry in Athens.


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