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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM and New Democracy party secretary discuss local elections
  • [02] FM Dora Bakoyannis holds talks with German counterpart
  • [03] Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos arrives in Istanbul

  • [01] PM and New Democracy party secretary discuss local elections

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and the ruling New Democracy party's secretary Lefteris Zagoritis held an extensive discussion at the Maximos Mansion on Saturday on municipal and prefectural elections due to be held in the country in October. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Zagoritis said that he and the prime minister discussed organising issues since the final stretch has been reached before the local administration elections. Asked to comment on "rebel" tickets, the secretary said that the issue was not discussed with Karamanlis, adding that ND has far fewer problems than other political forces.

    Commenting on ND's targets in the municipal and prefectural elections, Zagoritis said "we are supporting prefectures and municipalities at institutional and economic level with the purpose of improving the lives of citizens. Our target is that the most capable be elected and we are supporting the best tickets. We have selected the best candidates."

    Zagoritis further said that there will be deputies for all regions who will be playing a coordinating role in the election campaign.

    The secretary was also asked about unrest prevailing in the sector of education and said that dialogue wil provide a solution. He called on all sides involved to participate in the dialogue and predicted that everything will be fine. Zagoritis pointed out that education is an issue of national importance and consensus and understanding is necessary from all those who are involved.

    [02] FM Dora Bakoyannis holds talks with German counterpart

    German Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier held talks with his Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis on Friday night and warned Turkey that it must honour commitments it has undertaken concerning the protocol on the customs union that Turkey should extend to the ten new European Union member-states, including Cyprus.

    "We must make it clear to Turkey that it has the obligation of honouring all the commitments it has assumed and which concern the protocol that it must implement," Steinmeier said after his meeting with Bakoyannis, adding that "it is up to all of us to lead Turkey in this direction," Steinmeier told reporters.

    Asked how pressure will be exerted in this direction, the head of German diplomacy said that "if we had resolved how, the previous summit would have been a great success. We have not reached this conclusion. There is no doubt that all of Europe believes the accession of Turkey will be an important step forward for all and for Turkey. We shall all work in this direction."

    Referring to the issue of Turkey's accession course to Europe, that dominated the discussion between the two foreign ministers together with the question of the European constitution, Bakoyannis said "we are clear in our position. The Europeans are all cooperating very closely in the handling of this problem. We shall continue our efforts, expecting Turkey to realise that the implementation of the protocol is a precondition for the next step" noting that "we shall make an effort which we will continue throughout this period of time."

    On the question of scepticism prevailed on the chapter of science and research shortly before the last week's EU summit, Steinmeier said that the Austrian EU presidency did all that it could to defuse the crisis, but stressed that "I do not have the feeling that this can constitute a solution for the continuation of the course of negotiations. The efforts must be continued in the future as well."

    Bakoyannis, referring to the German EU presidency at the beginning of 2007, said that "it will be an important presidency" since the period of reflection on the European constitution will come to an end during this presidency.

    Steinmeier spoke on his part of the "challenge" of the German presidency and noted that "he has received a mandate to prepare a proposal so that an impetus will be given to this issue" in accordance with the directive given in Brussels "for the promotion of the European constitution to continue."

    Asked whether he will discuss the issue of the future purchase of fighter aircraft by Greece with the foreign minister during the dinner he was due to have with her later in the night, the German foreign minister said "I will not leave this issue at the corner. We will definitely discuss it."

    Both sides placed particular emphasis on close cooperation which, according to Bakoyannis, will continue, while her German counterpart spoke of the two countries "sailing in the same direction" since the day Bakoyannis assumed the foreign ministry.

    [03] Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos arrives in Istanbul

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos arrived in Istanbul on Saturday to extend his best wishes to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos for his Name Day. "I am coming out of love and respect for the Patriarchate and the Patriarch, to exchange an embrace of love and to convey the greetings and support of Greece in every difficult time faced by the Patriarchate," Archbishop Christodoulos said.

    The Archbishop went to the Fanar and visited the church of Saint George before going to the Patriarchal Residence.

    "As you can see, matters are very simple. What has been dramatised by your colleagues is groundless," the Archbishop told reporters waiting for him at the Fanar.

    Asked to comment on issues he will be discussing with the Patriarch, Archbishop Christodoulos said "we shall be together for two days. We have no specific agenda. We shall have discussions and see what the results of the talks will be."

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