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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-21

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou cites citizens' 'insecurity, uncertainty'
  • [02] DM underlines support for Bulgaria's EU entry

  • [01] Papandreou cites citizens' 'insecurity, uncertainty'

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Tuesday referred to what he called "citizens' insecurity" during an address to his party's Parliamentary group coordinating body.

    Papandreou told his party's deputies that he ascertained a "increased insecurity and uncertainty by citizens" during his recent tour of the provinces, while he said this feeling was particularly heightened in Athens, a reference to what he termed as an increase in crime.

    In referring to the government's priority of reforms in the public sector and a handful of large state-run enterprises, he said such "so-called reforms" were creating disarray amongst ministers.

    Finally, he said PASOK will in the near future concentrate on problems facing the provinces, people in the provinces and farmers

    Gov't reaction

    In a later reaction to Papandreou's comments, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos charged that the PASOK leader's latest comments belie a "weakness to express productive criticism, arguments or even serious and realistic proposals."

    "Mr. Papandreou's only specific proposal refers to the uninsured (exemption from social security contributions) work of young people ... The president of PASOK merely attempted to deceive Greek citizens when a only a few weeks ago in Parliament he declared that his proposal included the payment of contributions by the state," Roussopoulos said, adding, however, that Papandreou's pre-election proposal did not mention that point.

    Finally, the spokesman again criticised Papandreou's recent statement calling on the country's young people to become "rebels with a cause".

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] DM underlines support for Bulgaria's EU entry

    DM underlines support for Bulgaria's EU entry

    Greece's Defence Minister Vangelis Meimarakis on Tuesday underlined that all Greek political parties supported Bulgaria's accession to the European Union on January 1, 2007, during a press conference held in the Bulgarian capital.

    Meimarakis has been in Bulgaria since Monday for talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Vesselin Bliznakov, followed by meetings with Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov and Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev.

    The minister also stressed the excellent bilateral relations of "mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation" between Greece and Bulgaria, saying that this was a very important positive factor for the two countries and also the entire region.

    Noting that development that would lead to investment and new jobs required a calm and secure environment without uncertainty, Meimarakis said that Bulgaria's accession to the EU could bring only positive results "for all of us".

    "We in Greece consider ourselves vindicated for our fervent support of Bulgaria's entry into NATO, because this created a sense of security in the entire region," he said.

    In response to questions, Meimarakis said his talks with Bulgaria's president and prime minister had taken place in a friendly, warm climate. The Greek minister said this was a sign but also confirmation that both sides wanted to develop bilateral ties. He said a similar climate had dominated his meetings with his Bulgarian counterpart, with whom he had discussed extending defence cooperation.

    According to a government announcement, the Bulgarian premier said that the Greek minister's visit had given a new boost to the development of friendly, good neighbourly ties with Greece. He also expressing gratitude for Greece's support of Bulgaria's NATO entry and ratification of Bulgaria's EU Accession Treaty by the Greek Parliament.

    Stanishev underlined his satisfaction with the dynamic political dialogue and rising economic cooperation between the two countries and expressed conviction that, with Greece's support, experience and defence industry, it would be possible to speed up infrastructure development plans coordinated with NATO but also to modernise the Armed Forces.

    In the meeting with Stanishev, Meimarakis conveyed the regards of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and noted that "building bridges of dialogue, mutual understanding and friendship to benefit the future of the peoples," was a "strategic choice" made by Karamanlis.

    Clarifying his statements on Monday regarding the future of Kosovo, Meimarakis said that history had shown that people tended not to accept solutions that were imposed on them and in many cases reacted.

    Greece's standing position was that issues and difference must be resolved through dialogue and negotiations, he added, while noting that solutions that were imposed might create new sources of unrest.

    "With great caution and with the interests of the wider region always in mind we must create conditions that rule out the emergence of such sources of unrest," he underlined.

    He also referred to the role of European defence activities in relation to NATO, saying that European defence and security must both maintain its autonomy and act in a supplementary way to NATO, because Europe hoped to focus more on economic and social directions at this time.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.


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