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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou: Greece can assume major role
  • [02] Prison directors meeting
  • [03] Briefing for president
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Papandreou: Greece can assume major role

    "Greece can assume a very important role in the Balkans, Europe, Mediterranean and the Middle East," main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou stressed in statements to reporters on Thursday, during a press conference marking the end of the 12th Symi Symposium on the Aegean island of Skiathos, which ended at noon.

    The same conclusion was reached by delegates attending the Symposium, the conclusions of which will be formally presented later in the evening by Papandreou, 2001 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics Joseph E. Stiglitz, and Segolene Royal.

    Papandreou underlined that Greece can also play an important role in Europe-Russia relations and in relations between Europe and Turkey, with which it can enter into cooperation on energy issues. He also underlined the need for innovative steps in the utilization of Renewable Energy Sources (RES).

    A reference was made to Greece's potential with regard "green development" and democracy issues.

    The symposium delegates also focused on security issues concerning the protection of borders, trade, illegal trade, drug trafficking, etc, while they associated the global problems with local ones. Referring to the banking system they underlined that it does not serve the global needs and has a major impact locally. In addition, they observed a major deficit in democracy on a global level, mostly in terms of who makes the decisions and in what way, while they also referred to the mass media.

    Turning to Greece's foreign policy, Papandreou stated that the government was "suffering a strategy crisis as regards the major national issues." He made the comment in reference to relations with Turkey, in light of a recent statement by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Papandreou pointed out that "Greece is not adequately prepared," expressing opposition to a visit to Turkey by the Greek foreign minister.

    He accused the government of dealing with Greek-Turkish relations issues in a "contradictory manner," using as an example the continental shelf issue and the "abandonment" on behalf of the government of its reference to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

    He clarified that for the country and for his party, the issue of the Muslim minority in Thrace, northeast Greece, "is an exclusively Greek issue and is not an issue up for discussion with anyone." As regards the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he stressed that "Greece is concerned about its fate but it is not a bilateral issue between Greece and Turkey. It is an obligation on behalf of Turkey toward the European Union."

    Referring to the way the country is governed by the ruling party of New Democracy (ND), he underlined that the "crime rate, corruption, lawlessness and whitewash practices are unprecedented."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    [02] Prison directors meeting

    Justice minister Nikos Dendias chaired a meeting of the country's prison directors at the justice ministry on Thursday, during which he called for strict adherence to the correctional code - especially a new regulation prohibiting the use of cell phones by inmates.

    Dendias further instructed the prison directors to fully respect the inmates' rights.

    The minister announced that the director of the Agias rural prison in Chania, Crete, Michalis Kyriakakis, and the chief warden of the Alikarnassos prison, Emmanuel Kougioumtzakis, have been placed on suspension following sworn internal inquiries (EDE).

    Dendias on Friday had ordered an EDE on Kougioumtzakis following media reports alleging that he had made arrangements with an inmate at Trikala prison to ensure his transfer to the Alikarnassos prison.

    Two days earlier, Dendias had ordered an EDE on Kyriakakis after the prison governor suddenly resigned from his post and a senior prison policy official reported that Kyriakakis had shown great interest in the transfer of the prisoner Panagiotis Vlastos from Trikala prisons to the Nea Alikarnassos prisons. The transfer was never carried out but Vlastos was later discovered to have masterminded the January kidnapping of shipowner Periklis Panagopoulos from within Trikala prison.

    The minister also said that he would put before the Disciplinary Council a recommendation for the dismissal of the two prison officials.

    Further, Dendias announced the tabling in parliament of an amendment enabling prison inspectors to use trained dogs to locate narcotic substances inside the prisons, as well as the creation of an Internal Affairs division in the country's jails that would be headed by a correctional employee and would comprise police officers and correctional employees.

    [03] Briefing for president

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Thursday received Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who briefed him on developments in key foreign policy issues.

    Afterwards, Bakoyannis said the meeting was carried out in the framework of regular foreign ministry briefings for the president. She said they had discussed the results of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) foreign ministers' meeting on the Ionian island of Corfu, ongoing negotiations to settle the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and recent violations of Greece's airspace and flight information region by Turkish aircraft above the Aegean, over the islands of Agathonissi and Farmakonissi.

    Asked to comment on a statement by the Turkish foreign ministry that disputed Greek territorial rights in the Aegean, the minister stressed that Greece and Turkey were only discussing the delineation of the Aegean continental shelf.

    "It is also known that the basis for any discussion is international law and the agreements that have been signed," she added.

    "We will never tire of repeating that the most important thing is for Ankara to realise that it has obligations that it must honour," the minister stressed.

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The new measures for protection from the new flu pandemic announced on Wednesday, including the inoculation of high-risk population groups, planned measures against terrorism, and the economy were the main front-page items in Thursday's dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "ESY (National Health System) collapsing due to debts? Debt was 5.22 billion euros at end-2008, and is anticipated to increase by an additional 2 billion euros in 2009".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Federation of Home Owners' clarifications on Environment, Town Planning and Public Works ministry regulations".

    AVGHI: "Bounced checks exceeded 1.8 billion euros in first-half 2009, while post-dated checks circulating on the market are estimated at 380 billion euros".

    AVRIANI: "Financial Crimes Squad raid on all technical firms relying solely on public sector and municipal public works projects".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "European Commission abolishing visa requirement for FYROM citizens for travel to the EU member countries, thus enabling them to travel with 'Republic of Macedonia' passports".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Civil war in EYP (National Information Service) in political power play".

    ESTIA: "Now is the opportunity for the government to dare to go ahead with a taxation revolution".

    ETHNOS: "The market drying up of cash" despite immense discounts in the summer sales that commenced on Wednesday.

    KATHIMERINI: "The cash flow problem on the market becoming more intense - Dizzying increase in bounced checks".

    LOGOS: "Vaccination of vulnerable groups in September - New package of measures (against the new flu A/H1N1 virus)" announced by health minister Avramopoulos.

    NIKI: "Internal civil wars breaking New Democracy".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The popular movement and shielding of the political system is the target - Exclusive funding of the political parties by the state".

    TA NEA: "Government setting up police state".

    TO VIMA: "The government has gone on holiday - The prime minister in Italy (for talks with his Italian counterpart), and the ministers take to the beaches".

    VRADYNI: "Subsidies of up to 60 percent for SMEs, 3 new programs announced by development minister Hatzidakis".

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