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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] President Papoulias visits Perugia on 3rd day in Italy
  • [02] Greek PM briefed over economic developments

  • [01] President Papoulias visits Perugia on 3rd day in Italy

    PERUGIA (ANA - N. Megadoukas) President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, who is currently on the third day of an official visit to Italy, on Thursday visited the city of Perugia. There he met Perugia's mayor and was made an honorary professor of philosophy at the city's university, which this year celebrates the 700th anniversary since its foundation.

    During a speech at the university on "The European Union: challenges and visions", the Greek president stressed that tackling unemployment and ensuring dynamic growth were the main challenges for the Community. He called for the adoption of a "realistic policy" that will combine growth and macroeconomic balance with yet more emphasis on the European social model, which he described as an "existential factor" that underpinned the architecture of Europe.

    Papoulias said that the necessary conditions for achieving this were to eliminate bureaucratic inflexibility within the EU and liberate the creative forces of Europe, both at university level and in primary and secondary education. He called on European students and universities to take a leading role in this direction.

    He said that the EU must pay particular attention to vulnerable groups such as European youth and farmers due to the problems created by the difficult situation for the global economy.

    Concerning the EU's external relations, Papoulias noted that the world order in the 21st century must be based on giving priority to international law and the broader democratisation of international relations, and not strategies based on unilateral selective actions.

    With respect to the Cyprus issue, the Greek president called for a solution based on the resolutions and decisions of the United Nations and EU authorities, while expressing hope that the process for finding a solution under the UN secretary-general would soon be resumed. He said that it was a fundamental duty of the EU to contribute to ending the illegal situation and the occupation by Turkey of an EU member-state, noting that this was a situation that offended the deepest European values.

    Papoulias also referred to the EU's response to terrorism, saying that European societies were determined to defend themselves effectively without compromising the dictates of their Constitutions and human rights.

    With regard to the future of European institutions following the rejection of the European Constitutional Treaty by France and Holland, the President stressed that dialogue must give rise to political goals and that any effort would be doomed to failure without the participation of European citizens.

    While Papoulias was at the university, a protocol of cooperation between the universities of Perugia and Ioannina in northwestern Greece was signed by their respective chancellors.

    During an earlier speech at Perugia Town Hall, Papoulias praised Perugia as an open city that was full of life and had not shut itself behind its imposing medieval walls and its past but had chosen to be open to the world and become a hopeful meeting point for different people and cultures, without prejudices and discrimination.

    Visit to St Francis of Assisi monastery

    After Perugia, President Papoulias paid a visit to the monastery dedicated to St Francis of Assisi in the town of the same name where he was shown around the St. Francis basilica.

    Afterwards, the president and the Greek delegation are due to continue on toward Venice.

    [02] Greek PM briefed over economic developments

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday was briefed by Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis over economic developments in the country and the Eurozone after the Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings early in the week in Brussels.

    Speaking to reporters, after the meeting, Alogoskoufis said the government would rapidly implement all decisions envisaging a restructuring of all public sector enterprises with the aim to make a more efficient use of taxpayers' money.

    Commenting on a government plan to promote joint ventures between the public and private sectors in major infrastructure projects around the country, the Greek minister said an inter-ministerial commission meeting on Wednesday discussed the interest expressed for particular projects, such as new schools and university dormitories.

    Alogoskoufis said the government has clear and specific positions on labour relation issues.

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