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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-01-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] George Papandreou says ruling party removed barriers for Pomaks
  • [02] Foreign minister urges matched cut in arms spending for Greece, Turkey
  • [03] Main opposition leader blasts ruling party before March 7 poll
  • [04] Opinion poll gives main opposition the lead in March 7 ballot
  • [05] Weather Forecast: Light cloud, showers on Monday

  • [01] George Papandreou says ruling party removed barriers for Pomaks

    18/01/2004 23:26:33

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Sunday that ruling PASOK had removed barriers for Pomaks in the north that divided them from the rest of the country, and the party would do the same for all citizens.

    ''We will abolish all barriers that bar citizens from participation in society,'' Papandreou told the residents of Pomak villages in the prefecture of Xanthi during a tour of the area.

    ''We want to build a new relationship of confidence between the state and its citizens,'' he added.

    [02] Foreign minister urges matched cut in arms spending for Greece, Turkey

    18/01/2004 23:20:03

    Greece and Turkey should embark on a gradual, matching reduction in defence spending, Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Saturday.

    Papandreou, the sole candidate for leadership of the ruling party, said PASOK would make the proposal a foreign policy priority if it won general elections on March 7.

    Speaking at the start of a tour of the country's northeast, he said that Greece had turned a new page in its ties with Turkey in recent years.

    ''Although not all the problems have been solved, a course to navigate has been set, new conditions have been created, and 2004 will be a decisive year for a policy of peace and security in the region,'' Papandreou told a public meeting in Alexandroupoli.

    ''We have been inspired by the past, but we are not imprisoned by it,'' he added.

    Papandreou, son of the late Andreas Papandreou, the PASOK party's founder and premier for many years, also pledged to use his personal prestige to persuade investors from abroad to bring their capital to Greece.

    Later, the Imam of Didymotiho, Hassan Mohammed, told Papandreou during another public meeting that he had the support of Greek Moslems.

    ''We are devoted to our Greek homeland, our country, the country in which we were born, that we love and that loves us. We have never lived better, because here, apart from religion, there is no other difference between us,'' the imam said outside Didymotiho's mosque.

    [03] Main opposition leader blasts ruling party before March 7 poll

    18/01/2004 23:18:50

    The leader of the main opposition New Democracy party repeatedly criticised ruling PASOK over the weekend, saying its officials were stale, addicted to power, and divided after 20 years in government.

    ''The prime minister himself recently explained that they have abandoned their ideology and want the alternation of power to be effected by their party only,'' Karamanlis told a party election rally during a tour of the Peloponnese.

    ''His successor (George Papandreou) seems, like an irresponsible stranger, to be condemning the entire (ruling) party, and all its recent governments. He is one of PASOK's longest-serving ministers, and, after 14 years in ministerial posts, is acting as a newcomer,'' the ND leader said in Pyrgos on Saturday.

    Papandreou is the sole candidate for PASOK's leadership in a snap move to change the party's leadership before general elections on March 7.

    Karamanlis claimed that in criticising PASOK's past, Papandreou had failed to acknowledge that ND had been right to state the lack of genuinely free education in Greece; to call for reform of the state; to condemn corruption and arrogance; and to warn of the ruling party's distance from the public.

    ''Why was Papandreou silent for so long, backing the choices, the behaviour and the attitudes that he is now calling mistaken?,'' Karamanlis asked.

    The ND leader also said that his party would set growth in the regions as a priority, along with improving education and taking care of needs of the public.

    ''The heart and soul of New Democracy's policy is people, and we will make no compromise whatsoever on this principle,'' Karamanlis told supporters in Tripoli on Sunday.

    [04] Opinion poll gives main opposition the lead in March 7 ballot

    18/01/2004 23:17:29

    The main opposition New Democracy party emerged as favourite among voters in national elections set for March 7, with 41.1 per cent of respondants in an opinion poll saying ND was the most suitable party to rule, followed by 35.5 per cent for ruling PASOK.

    The favourite for prime minister was George Papandreou at 40.1 per cent, followed by 39.3 per cent for ND chief Costas Karamanlis. Papandreou is expected to become PASOK party leader next month.

    Commissioned by Sky radio station from pollster Rass, the telephone poll sampled 1,218 voters on January 14-16, with a 2.8 per cent margin of error.

    The survey was published by the Sunday Kathimerini newspaper.

    [05] Weather Forecast: Light cloud, showers on Monday

    18/01/2004 15:17:48

    Light cloud and sunny spells are forecast in all parts of the country accompanied by showers, especially in the west. Winds southwesterly, turning very strong at sea. Temperatures in Athens 5C to 15C and in Thessaloniki 1C to 10C.


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