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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK leader addresses Forum on Balkans

  • [01] PASOK leader addresses Forum on Balkans

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou addressed the 11th Economic Forum on the Balkans in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on Tuesday, in the same place where Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had sent warnings to Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), and said that "national issues must not get involved in a tough election confrontation."

    Papandreou said that strict warnings are necessary and in turn called on the neighbouring countries to respect Internataional Law absolutely and in full, their commitments towards the international community, the European Union and the member-states.

    However, as he noted, "warnings are not enough and a veto is a powerful weapon, provided one knows how to use it. One cannot wield it, or give it a way, like Karamanlis did in the case of Turkey."

    Papandreou accused the prime minister of agreeing in 2005 to the accession of FYROM to the EU and NATO without terms and preconditions. He added that "today Greece's negotiating position is worse."

    Referring to the ratification on Tuesday of the progress report on FYROM by the relevant European Parliament committee, the PASOK leader said that this development confirms that Greece is constantly faced with fait accomplis.

    Papandreou made four ascertainments which, as he said, currently characterise Greece:"we are experiencing the end of the development model being applied since the restoration of democracy (in 1974) onwards, Greece is missing the train of competitiveness, development is leaving many outside and the third week syndrome is tending to become practice and, lastly, Greece is not investing in the future" and mentioned, as an example, "the decrease in investments in education in three consecutive New Democracy party budgets."

    He went on to say that a structural crisis currently exists in the economy and insecurity as a result of government policy. "Reliability and trust were lost during these three years, that are essential elements for deep reforms to take place."

    Lastly, Papandreou said that the government "followed the path of petty-party options instead of reforms and instead of fiscal restructuring it followed the path of the audit and of supervision, from which we are leaving after three years at a great cost."

    Papandreou visited the pollution-ridden municipality of Echedoros in Thessaloniki on Tuesday morning, opting to spend World Environment Day in the region and to learn about its problems.

    Local government officials set up a multimedia presentation with images from the villages of Kalohori and Sindos that demonstrated the environmental degradation caused by industrial activity and the illegal dumping of waste.

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