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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-05-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Parthenon Marbles - Foreign Minister
  • [02] PASOK - Central Committee
  • [03] Coalition of the Left

  • [01] Parthenon Marbles - Foreign Minister

    13/05/2000 20:08:48

    LONDON (ANA- L. Tsirigotakis) - The Greek government will adopt new principles and a new approach in its effort to have the Parthenon Marbles returned from the British Museum, Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos said on Saturday after discussions with members of the British committee supporting the Greek claim.

    Pangalos said the first new principle was that the issue was not a difference between the Greek and British governments but concerned the two countries' cultural and representative institutions.

    The second principle was that the issue was not one of administering justice.

    "Third, the Marbles are an issue of cooperation between the British and Greek peoples, and one of European cooperation in the context of the new era.

    "And fourth, we consider that the issue of ownership is secondary. What is important is where the Marbles are and on this we possess a catalytic argument, namely the undisturbed cohesion of the work of art called Parthenon. Its break-up and rupture by Lord Elgin at the time (early 19th century) was an act of barbarity and its vandalisation can be no longer tolerated," Pangalos said.

    Finally, Pangalos said the new Acropolis museum, which was essential for the exhibition of the Marbles in Athens would be ready before the Athens Olympics of 2004.

    [02] PASOK - Central Committee

    13/05/2000 18:41:04

    The ruling PASOK party must be subject to continuous reform, setting the pace for a renewal of the political system as a whole which is showing signs of fatigue, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Saturday.

    "As a Socialist party, PASOK must be subject to continuous reform, avoiding saying merely things pleasant but pursuing a policy of modernisation ... The party's renewal must be total and signal, at the same time, the renewal of the political system which is showing signs of fatigue," he told the party's Central Committee session.

    The two-day meeting, which ended on Saturday, was the first after the April 9 election in which PASOK was re-elected with an approximately one percent lead in the number of votes over the conservative New Democracy.

    Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who also addressed the Central Committee, said that the election had revealed the party's weaknesses and noted that New Democracy had managed to considerably narrow the gap by adopting a "people's Right" profile.

    He called for the opening of a front against this "people's Right" and for greater consideration to be given to relations with the forces of the Left.

    [03] Coalition of the Left

    13/05/2000 16:06:00

    Eighteen dissident cadres of the Coalition of the Left (Synasmpismos) on Saturday formally announced they are leaving the party to form an independent political grouping.

    In a statement, the dissidents claimed that Synaspismos has been increasingly acquiring demagogic features based on outdaded and dogmatic ideological stereotypes. They also charged that the party lacked substantive positions, which gave rise to negative and nihilistic opposition to the ruling Socialist (PASOK) party.

    The 18 dissidents further charged that the party had moved away from the values of the progressive Left -which they would try to reconstitute- and insisted they did not intend to join PASOK.

    Coalition leader Nikos Constantopoulos's reaction was low-key.

    "At this difficult hour it is important to defend our principles and values and not to allow ourselves to engage in a degenerate and pointless clash," he said.

    He added the party needed to reach at its upcoming congress a political decision clarifying the elements of its identity and orientation.


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