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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-01-12

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] EMU MORE IMPORTANT THAN EARLY ELECTIONS SAYS GOVERNMENT
  • [02] PAPANDREOU DENIES SUPPORT FOR CYPRUS CONFEDERATION SOLUTION
  • [03] DIRECT CYPRUS TALKS EXPECTED AFTER SECOND PROXIMITY TALKS
  • [04] GREEK-ITALIAN TALKS IN ATHENS
  • [05] OVER HALF OF KOSOVO'S POWER NEEDS TO BE SUPPLIED BY GREECE
  • [06] THE MELBOURNE "AGE" CALLS FOR PARTHENON MARBLES' RETURN

  • [01] EMU MORE IMPORTANT THAN EARLY ELECTIONS SAYS GOVERNMENT

    The government has stressed that there should be an end to speculation about early elections. Instead, said Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday, emphasis will placed on the country's entry into the European economic and monetary union, which is a priority. Similar positions were expressed yesterday by the ruling Pasok party's general secretary, Costas Skandalides, who said the government's main focus was on ensuring EMU accession this year. However, he conceded that the party was preparing for general elections and noted the need for unity and renewal, in order for Pasok to succeed in the difficult electoral battle. Their views were echoed by government spokesman Dimitris Reppas who said the date for general elections was not among the government's priorities and urged against any further speculation on the issue. The government's goal, he said, was to secure the country's admission into the economic and monetary union. He maintained that for the time being, one could rule out the possibility of elections being held prior to September. Meanwhile, the main opposition New Democracy party is busy making strategical changes, in view of the upcoming elections later this year. Party leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday appointed senior party members to take charge of the vital sectors of Education, Quality of Life, Youth, and Institutions. The Political Spring party has decided it will run on its own in the next general elections, without forging any links with larger parties. A party spokesman has said that a preliminary list of its candidates will be ready by the end of January.

    [02] PAPANDREOU DENIES SUPPORT FOR CYPRUS CONFEDERATION SOLUTION

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou departed for Nicosia yesterday for talks with the Cypriot government, prior to the next round of proximity talks in Geneva between Cypriot president Glafcos Clerides and the Turkish-Cypriot representative, Rauf Denktash, at the end of January. On his arrival in Nicosia, Mr Papandreou categorically denied all rumours about Greece's alleged support for a confederation solution. He told the Cyprus news agency that a just and viable solution to the Cyprus dispute on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions was and would remain Greece's fundamental goal. This was the creation of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, one that would have a single international character, a single sovereignty and a single citizenship and would guarantee the security, peaceful co-existence and welfare of all the island's citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike. Mr Papandreou said his second visit to Nicosia shortly after his previous one was tangible proof of the very close and substantial cooperation he had initiated both with the Cypriot government and with Cyprus' political leadership-a cooperation dictated by the recent developments and by the developments expected in the near future. At the Helsinki summit, he pointed out, very important decisions were secured, which will be the tools for the promotion of a just Cyprus settlement and for Cyprus' admission into the European Union. In his welcome address, the Cypriot foreign minister, Ioannis Kassoulidis, said that that the two governments would have to shoulder the burden of utilising all the positive elements related to the effort for a Cyprus settlement, the European Union role in this effort and Cyprus' EU admission course. Following his visit to Nicosia, the Greek foreign minister will go on to London for talks with his British counterpart Robin Cook on the Cyprus dispute, Greek-Turkish relations and Turkey's relations with the European Union. During his stay in London, Mr Papandreou, together with the foreign ministers of Britain and the Czech Republic, will take part in a seminar at the London School of Economics, on the subject "Ideas of 1999."

    [03] DIRECT CYPRUS TALKS EXPECTED AFTER SECOND PROXIMITY TALKS

    The acting special envoy of the United Nations secretary general, James Holger, has said that the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus are expected to hold direct talks after the second round of the proximity talks. Mr Holger has said that before the opening of a third round of talks the UN should have a clear picture of the positions of the two sides. The UN official has said that the second round of the proximity talks, like the first, will focus on the constitutional, refugeee, territorial and security aspects.

    [04] GREEK-ITALIAN TALKS IN ATHENS

    Greek-Italian cooperation for the reconstruction of the Balkans was the focus of a 2-hour meeting in Athens yesterday between Prime Minister Simitis and his Italian counterpart, Massimo D'Alema. During their talks, the two prime ministers discussed matters relating to stability and development in the Balkans and issued statements calling on the international community to accept the Serbian opposition's appeal for early democratic elections to be held in Yugoslavia that would guarantee the region's stability. At a press conference after the meeting, Mr. D'Alema praised the Greek government's foreign policy, while Mr. Simitis expressed the conviction that by next month, Greece will have fulfulled the inflation criteria for EMU entry. Later, the Italian prime minister was received by the President of the Republic, Costis Stephanopoulos.

    [05] OVER HALF OF KOSOVO'S POWER NEEDS TO BE SUPPLIED BY GREECE

    Greece will supply Kosovo with electric power within the framework of an agreement reached last week between Athens and the UN representative in Kosovo, Bernard Kusner. According to Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas and the UN mission in Kosovo, the electricity will flow from Greece through Albania. Much of the Yugoslav power grid was damaged during last year's Nato air campaign and Mr. Reppas said that Kosovo vitally needs electricity from Greece. According to the UN, Greece will donate 60 megawatts daily to bring the amount of power flowing into the province up to 100 megawatts-more than half the full power requirements.

    [06] THE MELBOURNE "AGE" CALLS FOR PARTHENON MARBLES' RETURN

    Melbourne's prestigious daily newspaper, "The Age," has called for the return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece. In a lead article entitled "Give back the Marbles," it calls on Britain to make do with its own monuments. The newspaper says Greece's demand is just and has accused the Blair government of backing down on its pre-election pledges on the issue. The paper asks Britain to content itself with its newly-built monument for the new millennium, the so called Millennium Domem which might be considered as a masterpiece after 2,500 years, and to allow the body of the goddess Athena to return to the Parthenon. The newspaper points out that greece has requested the return of the marbles in a very civilised manner, even offering to pay the cost for their transport as well as the expenses for production of copies for the British museum, together with the construction of the Acropolis museum which will house the originals.
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