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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-03-21

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Interior minister says Greek government determined to defend constitutional legality
  • [02] Turkey's European course, violations of Greek air space and Cyprus to be discussed during Karamanlis-Erdogan meeting

  • [01] Interior minister says Greek government determined to defend constitutional legality

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, speaking to reporters after meeting European Union Commissioner in charge of the Internal Market and Services Charlie McCreevy in Brussels on Monday, said the Greek government is determined to defend constitutional legality and to prove the compatibility of both the greek constitution and executive legislation with EU law.

    The minister did not conceal the differences in views prevailing during the meeting, telling newsmen that the EU Commissioner insisted on the positions already set out by the European Commission in 2003 and which lead to the conclusion that both article 14, paragraph 9, of the Greek constitution and its executive laws are contrary to EU law.

    Pavlopoulos did not rule out the possibility of the European Commission to decide on Tuesday to set out these views in writing as well, sending Athens a relevant letter of warning.

    "We on our part explained analytically to Commissioner McCreevy our positions and we stressed that in the event a letter of warning is sent we shall give a substantiated reply and we shall prove that Greek legislation is not contrary to EU law," the minister said, stressing at the same time that the Greek constitution supports the principle of transparency which the government considers non-negotiable.

    "Greece knows how to defend its constitutional legality and the government will do exactly this," he added and blamed the previous Simitis government for its inertia on the issue of defending Greek constitutional legality.

    Pavlopoulos, asked whether the possibility exists of the European Commission deciding to freeze EU funding for projects to be awarded on the basis of the law on the main shareholder, said he does not believe such a thing will happen and advised all who are hasty to wait for the presentation of Greek argumentation.

    In parallel, the minister said that the law will go into effect as of June, 2005.

    [02] Turkey's European course, violations of Greek air space and Cyprus to be discussed during Karamanlis-Erdogan meeting

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis greeted his Turkish counterpart and dinner guest Tayyip Erdogan as the latter arrived at Villa Lorraine restaurant in Brussels on Monday evening. Turkey's European course, repeat violations of Greek air space by Turkey's air force and the Cyprus issue are expected to be the focus of conversation between the two leaders over dinner.

    More specifically, Karamanlis is expected to remind Erdogan of Turkey's obligation to meet all commitments it agreed to at the December 2004 EU Summit, including the prompt signing of the Ankara Protocol, which extends Turkey's customs union agreement with the 10, new EU member states - Cyprus among them - and implementation of reforms necessary before Turkey's EU accession talks can begin in October.

    It is also expected that the Greek premier will discuss the issue of repeated violations of Greece's national air space by the Turkish air force and will also address the Cyprus problem.

    Finally, Karamanlis is to also address the issue of bilateral cooperation. For example, the recent collaboration between the two countries regarding the flooding of the Evros river in northern Greece is considered a positive development regarding bilateral cooperation, while the issue of the natural gas pipeline is still pending.


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