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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM, PASOK leader hold first discussion on planned revision of Constitution

  • [01] PM, PASOK leader hold first discussion on planned revision of Constitution

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis and main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Monday had their first discussion on the revision of the country's Constitution proposed by Karamanlis' ruling New Democracy party (ND).

    "The purpose is to find common targets," Karamanlis said while greeting Papandreou at the Maximos Mansion.

    Papandreou added that it was important for common targets to be found, but also focussed on everyday matters on which, he said, the present Constitution provided solutions.

    Karamanlis replied that there was always room for improvement.

    During their meeting, Karamanlis briefed the main opposition leader on the government's proposal for the Constitution's revision. The issue is also slated for discussion on Tuesday at a meeting of the ND parliamentary group to be chaired by the premier.

    After the meeting, Papandreou voiced support for a "bold revision", noting that he had Karamanlis had "exchanged views" on the issue.

    Papandreou reiterated that many of the problems existing today could be solved with the existing Constitution, noting that such problems were related to the economy, unemployment, healthcare, and bureaucracy.

    "The present Constitution does not hinder any government from exercising correct policies," he said.

    Papandreou said his PASOK party would submit its own proposals, following serious study and deliberations with the citizens, so that the revision would be a bold one.

    "We are in favour of a corrective revision," Papandreou said, adding that his party did not want to become embroiled in an meaningless, disorienting discussion.

    He also said he was against an "petty political revision with a short range".

    The revision, he stressed, needed to be for the citizen, and not the opinion polls, if it were to meet the needs of the future generations, while "we have our eyes also on the present, difficult reality".

    Government's goal is broadest-possible consensus, Roussopoulos says

    The government's goal was to achieve the broadest-possible consensus for the planned revision of the Constitution, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said after the meeting between the prime minister and Papandreou on Monday.

    He said the meeting was held to seek and establish a common ground, he added, while noting that Karamanlis will present his own views at a meeting of New Democracy's Parliamentary Group on Tuesday.

    Roussopoulos said that the premier had laid down a framework for the planned Constitutional revision and more detailed proposals would be made on Tuesday, while the political parties had not yet presented their own proposals because "we are still at the start of the process".

    Govt's constitutional revision aims to eliminate social state, SYN leader claims

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) President Alekos Alavanos criticised the government on Monday over its initiative to revise the Constitution saying that the key objective "is to do away with the social state in Greece and to sell out public property".

    Referring to the possibility of private universities being founded in Greece, Alavanos said "we must all react to that" since allowing the operation of private universities "effectively means turning over higher education to profit-making entities".

    Finally, Alavanos called on "all progressive forces, forces from the main opposition PASOK party - which unfortunately agrees on this crucial issue of constitutional revision - to jointly react, to not allow the country to follow this path."

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