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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM and French counterpart discuss Aegean collision, Turkey's EU course
  • [02] KKE leader blasts ND, PASOK and SYN
  • [03] Synaspismos leader meets Garganas

  • [01] PM and French counterpart discuss Aegean collision, Turkey's EU course

    PARIS (ANA-MPA - A. Panagopoulos) The collision between a Turkish and a Greek fighter jet in the Aegean and Turkey's EU accession course dominated talks on Wednesday between Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin in Paris.

    Karamanlis briefed his French counterpart on the collision between the two fighter aircraft on Tuesday, based on an announcement issued by the Greek defence ministry.

    During talks on Turkey's EU accession prospects, meanwhile, the Greek premier underlined that Turkey's European prospects depend on fulfilling the commitments it has undertaken toward Europe and on maintaining good neighbourly relations.

    The two men also discussed the progress of the EU generally and the European Constitution, which will be the main topic discussed by EU leaders at the upcoming European Council in June.

    During the meeting, Karamanlis reiterated Greek positions in favour of the European prospects of the Balkan states, while the French premier pointed out that French President Jacques Chirac had also backed the European prospects of South Eastern Europe.

    In talks concerning Kosovo, Karamanlis and Villepin stressed the need for stability, while they reiterated the need for a diplomatic resolution in the issue of Iran's nuclear programme, discussing the proposals made by the EU and Russia on this issue.

    Karamanlis also repeated the standing Greek positions on resolving the Cyprus issue within the framework of the United Nations and stressed that every move must be well prepared so that it will lead to results.

    Villepin raised the issue of a possible purchase by Greece of fourth-generation fighter jets from France, to which Karamanlis replied that the Greek defence ministry had not completed its assessment of the proposal and that he could not make any further comment at this time.

    The French premier also thanked Karamanlis for Greece's support in the activities of the Francophonie organisation.

    [02] KKE leader blasts ND, PASOK and SYN

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Aleka Papariga on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on both the ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK parties, as well as the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Progress (SYN).

    She accused New Democracy of a "underhanded political games at the expense of the people and KKE", referring to the ruling party's backing of local government candidates that are affiliated with the KKE, and called PASOK a "slanderer" of the KKE's policies.

    The attack was prompted by an article appearing in a Patras local newspaper claiming that ND intended to also back the candidate that was backed by the KKE, DHKKI, the Communist Renewal group, and the Leftist Citizens' Intervention group, headed by DHKKI member K. Keramidas.

    New Democracy was seeking, at all sacrifice, to use the local elections to entertain, and chiefly to legitimise, its anti-popular measures and win the government authority again, Papariga said, adding that it used direct and indirect means that bordered the margins of political provocation, with selective backing of candidates of the cooperation tickets backed by the KKE. The goal, she said, was to grab the people's votes from the first round in the upcoming local government elections, but chiefly in the second round.

    Papariga clarified that the KKE did not want "seats in which our hands will be tied behind our backs". Th ultimate aim, she said, was for ND to lose seats, and also for PASOK or the PASOK-SYN collaboration, to lose seats.

    The KKE, she said, will aspire to winning its seats through the vote of the popular strata that comprehended that both the mainstream parties (ND and PASOK) must suffer defeats in the local government elections.

    As for PASOK, Papariga said it was "playing the role of slanderer", knowingly, if one were to judge from the interventions of its leading cadres, "while the SYN leadership is also taking part in the chorus".

    Also, she said, that which irritated PASOK and SYN was that her party would not "sing second voice" to the centre-left plans for governance.

    The KKE, Papariga said, had a clearcut policy and choices that caused aggravation.

    Asked to comment on PASOK leader George Papandreou's criticism of the government's handling regarding Tuesday's collision of two Greek and Turkish fighter planes over the Aegean, she recalled earlier PASOK government policy vis-a-vis Turkey, and accused Papandreou of wearing a different mask as foreign minister and a different mask as main opposition leader.

    Papariga opposed referral of border differences to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, although she conceded that referall of the continental shelf issue could be referred to the Hague.

    [03] Synaspismos leader meets Garganas

    The leader of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) party Alekos Alavanos on Wednesday morning met Bank of Greece governor Nikos Garganas, in a meeting requested by Synaspismos.

    Later on Wednesday, Alavanos is due to make statements concerning Tuesday's collision between Greek and Turkish fighter jets in the Aegean and relations between Greece and Turkey, in light of this development.

    On Tuesday, during statements after a meeting with doctors employed on a contract basis by the Social Insurances Foundation (IKA), Alavanos had stressed that the government must restore Community legality with regard to indefinite work contracts.

    He pointed out that the hiring of doctors by IKA with 24-month 'project' contracts rather than normal and stable employment agreements violated EU directive 70/99.

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