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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus' Christofias meets Greek leadership in Athens
  • [02] Memorial event for former premier Rallis held in Parliament
  • [03] Gov't against stresses Papandreou proposals in Lavrio

  • [01] Cyprus' Christofias meets Greek leadership in Athens

    Cyprus House of Representatives president Demetris Christofias embarked on a round of meetings with Greece's political and state leadership, including the president and prime minister, during a visit to Athens on Wednesday.

    The high-ranking Cypriot official held talks with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis early in the day, followed by meetings with the political party leaders, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and his Greek counterpart Anna Psarouda-Benaki.

    After his meeting with Karamanlis, Christofias told reporters that the prime minister's views and his own regarding recent developments converged, mirroring the convergence of views between Athens and Nicosia as a whole.

    "I was also given the opportunity to thank the prime minister for the Greek government's efforts and its comprehensive cooperation with the Cyprus government so that we move ahead and prevent efforts by Turkey and its friends to take steps backwards, cancelling out steps forward," he said.

    Christofias also expressed satisfaction with the Greek government's vigilance in deflecting "threats and machinations" by Ankara and elsewhere.

    The meeting with the premier was followed by a meeting with Greek Parliament president Anna Psarouda-Benaki. Afterward, Christofias said he could not come to Greece without visiting his Greek counterpart, with whom he worked closely, both through the implementation of a protocol they have signed and in the daily activity and coordination of the Greek and Cypriot Parliaments.

    In a later meeting with Papoulias, the talks again focused on the Cyprus issue and a recent meeting between United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos in Paris. The Greek president also thanked Christofias for "the wonderful hospitality and reception" he received during a recent visit to Cyprus, that he said was "unforgettable".

    The Cypriot parliamentarian later met with PASOK leader George Papandreou, the country's former foreign minister and currently president of Socialist International.

    "We're concerned over the latest statements on the part of Turkey, whom we consider to be obliged to meet the conditions set out for its European course," Papandreou said, while again criticising the Greek government for not exploiting Helsinki summit decisions over the past two years, as he said.

    "In our talks we again confirmed the existence of Turkey's well-known dogma (on the Cyprus issue) - via recent press reports, of course - but I believe that this is a reality, in other words, a tough stance vis-?-vis Greece regarding the Cyprus issue," Christofias said.

    "Unfortunately, Turkey's stance up until now has created obstacles, they have not yet clarified their position, and I believe that Mr. Papandreou's help as the president of the Socialist International will be significant," Christofias added.

    The Cypriot leader concluded his Athens contacts on Wednesday by meeting with Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) leader Alekos Alavanos.

    "We believe that there is a new mobility in the Cyprus issue thanks to the proposals set forth by the Republic of Cyprus, and we must all guarantee that an agreement to re-commence talks on substantive issues, as occurred with the UN general secretary, will be adhered to and not undermined by the other side," Alavanos said.

    He also stressed that Ankara must be again reminded of its obligations in its course towards EU accession.

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

    [02] Memorial event for former premier Rallis held in Parliament

    A special memorial session in honour of the late Greek premier George Rallis, who died earlier this month of heart failure, was held in the Greek Parliament on Wednesday. Parliament president Anna Psarouda-Benaki and each of the political party leaders reviewed Rallis' career, emphasising the major political events marked by his presence and stressing his personal and political virtues.

    Talking about the departed former premier, Psarouda-Benaki noted that he "served all aspects of his political action, whether as prime minister or as a party leader or as a simple party member or common citizen, dutifully, honestly, moderately and sincerely."

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said Rallis had been a "model" of political behaviour. "We will all remember him as a noble politician, devoted to Greece, which he loved and served with passion," Karamanlis added.

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou said that Rallis had left life as he had lived, "without great noise but simply, modestly and proudly".

    "George Rallis was an opponent of our party but this does not prevent us from recognising that he overcame dogmatic dictates and that he was the living proof of a politician that served the general public good," Papandreou said.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga talked of Rallis "discreet presence", especially in later years, and said that he had adopted a correct attitude toward the trend of gearing political speech and political behaviour to political spin and the electronic media.

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology president Alekos Alavanos, lastly, while pointing out that Rallis had been a unrelenting opponent of the Left, nevertheless conceded that he had been forthright and sincere in his beliefs. "It is an important contribution to political life, providing antibodies to the sickness often created by a climate of hypocrisy, conspiracy and double talk," he said.

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

    [03] Gov't against stresses Papandreou proposals in Lavrio

    Countering objections from main opposition PASOK on Wednesday, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos once again reminded reporters of proposals for reducing youth unemployment made by PASOK leader George Papandreou in Lavrio, stressing that the government had done nothing but quote him word for word.

    Roussopoulos stressed that the proposals moved along the same lines as the reforms attempted by French Prime Minister Dominique De Villepin and that Papandreou's invitation to Greek young people to follow the example of France's youth and become "rebels with a cause" was paradoxical, given that the French riots were protests against measures similar to those he had himself proposed.

    In fact, Papandreou's proposals went even further than the Villepin reforms, both in terms of the age limits and the length of time worked without social insurance contributions, the spokesman added.

    "In a series of announcements, PASOK has accused us of distortion. All we did was present in its entirety, word for word, the extract of Papandreou's speech in Lavrio. PASOK is incensed with the fact that we pointed out the similarities between his proposals and those of the French premier, but it is not only us who say this," Roussopoulos noted.

    The spokesman also pointed to statements made by PASOK's own state deputy Stephanos Manos in a radio interview on Tuesday, who also noted similarities between Papandreou's proposals and those of De Villepin.

    "It's time for Papandreou to clarify where he stands: Does he or does he not still support his proposal," Roussopoulos added, urging the main opposition leader to "stop hiding behind members of his party".

    He also accused Papandreou of trying to incite strikes and protest action on two occasions, once with young people and once with trade unionists.

    "It is clear who is using fair words that do not reflect what they truly believe to try to convince young people of things that are not what they intend to do once in government," he said.

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


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