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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-04-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] FM Dora Bakoyannis comments on meeting with U.S. counterpart in newspaper interview
  • [02] Ministers comment on constitutional reform in newspaper interviews

  • [01] FM Dora Bakoyannis comments on meeting with U.S. counterpart in newspaper interview

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis commented on the main issues of Greek foreign policy and on the recent visit to Athens by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Typos tis Kyriakis." Bakoyannis said that she does not see her meeting with her U.S. counterpart as being "neither a triumph nor a disaster", stressing that with the American side there is a "convergence regarding our target for peace, stability and growth in our wider region." A convergence of views also exists on many longterm targets such as that Greece believes that Turkey must have European prospects. The foreign minister clarified that this is so, of course, on condition that Ankara will observe the prerequisites set by the European Union for its accession.

    Bakoyannis noted that there is also a difference of approach with the American side as well, such as on the issue of Cyprus. She said Greece's position is known, adding that the targets are common in the sense that all desire a solution for Cyprus.

    The minister stressed that "the question is how can we prepare a final, just, viable and workable solution" and mentioned that she briefed Rice in detail on the proposal by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    Asked to comment on a statement made by Rice in Athens on the need for lifting the isolation of the northern part of the island, Bakoyannis said one should not simplify matters so much.

    "No one speaks in American diplomacy about a different community in the sense of recognising the Turkish Cypriot regime. They rule this out. What she said in her statements was their steadfast position that there should be a clear effort by the Republic of Cyprus to tone up the economy of the Turkish Cypriot communtiy as well. We are talking about this," the foreign minister said.

    As regards the Customs Union Extension protocol that Turkey must ratify by autumn, Bakoyannis made it clear that the time limit set is a time limit set by the EU and not Greece and did not rule out the possibility of tension between Turkey and Europe as a result, saying that "I want to believe that Turkey will respond to its commitments in the end."

    Bakoyannis further said that the visit to Ankara by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will be taking place at some time, just like the visit to Athens by her Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. She also said that the government has the will and has decided on there being a mosque in the Attica region for the needs of Moslems living in Athens.

    Referring to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the foreign minister said that no Greek government and no Greek Parliament will ratify the European course of FYROM with its supposed constitutional name.

    Lastly, commenting on the issue of Iran, Bakoyannis expressed the hope that the crisis will be handled with diplomatic means at the disposal of the international community.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] Ministers comment on constitutional reform in newspaper interviews

    Incompatibility between the capacity of minister and Parliamentary deputy, the doubling of the number of Deputies of State and a five-year Parliamentary tenure are among government proposals to be tabled in the framework of dialogue on constitutional reform. Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Vima tis Kyriakis", and Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis, in a similar interview with the newspaper "Sunday Apogevmatini", commented on the proposals.

    Referring to constitutional reform, Meimarakis rejected the proposal on incompatibility between minister and deputy and approved the idea of a five-year government tenure.

    On his part, Kefaloyiannis considers constitutional reform as being an opportunity for an "institutional Parliamentary revolution." He also believes that Parliament should have a five-year tenure to enable every government to have time to carry out its reformist work.

    Kefaloyianis stressed that incompatibility should be established between the capacity of minister and deputy, while on the question of increasing the number of Deputies of State he said that instead of this he prefers the establishment of a second legislature such as of a Senate.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.


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