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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece-Turkey natgas pipeline to be inaugurated November 18
  • [02] Alavanos: Party Congress before Christmas

  • [01] Greece-Turkey natgas pipeline to be inaugurated November 18

    The Greece-Turkey natural gas pipeline will be inaugurated next Sunday by prime minister Costas Karamanlis and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and preparations for the inauguration were discussed during a meeting between Karamanlis and development minister Christos Folias.

    Following the ceremony at the Greek-Turkish frontier, natural gass will begin flowing via the pipeline.

    The minister also briefed Karamanlis on the results of his visit to Moscow, from where he returned on Saturday.

    Asked whether there was a complication regarding the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, Folias replied in the negative.

    "Quite the opposite, in fact. There was an exceptional climate in my meetings with my counterparts in Moscow, and everything is progressing well," Folias said.

    The development minister noted that this had been the first time he had met with his counterparts since his assumption of the ministry, adding that, at the meeting, everyone's determination for the speediest implementation of the plans was reaffirmed.

    Folias said that he further briefed the prime minister on a series of matters falling under his ministry and, asked what instructions Karamanlis had given him, he replied "intensification of the efforts in order to have the best possible results".

    The Greece-Turkey natgas pipeline will have a transport capacity of 11.5 cubic metres of natural gas annually, and the project will eventually extend to Italy via the construction of a Greece-Italy natgas pipeline, officially known as the "Interconnector Greece-Italy (IGI)", which is slated for completion in 2011 and comrpises a supplement to the Greek-turkish pipeline, transporting an additional 8 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year.

    [02] Alavanos: Party Congress before Christmas

    The Coalition of the Left, Movements and Progress (SYN) opened its pre-Congress process on the weekend with a two-day session of the party's Central Political Committee, which was inaugurated Saturday by SYN leader Alekos Alavanos.

    Alavanos stressed that the Congress must be held before the Christmas holiday, adding that there would be no extention to that deadline.

    The country, he said, was currently in a transitional period that was marked both by the functional problems in the New Democracy (ND) government and by the crisis in the main opposition PASOK party, noting that the current state of affairs vindicated SYN's pre-elections tactic calling for a change of the political scenery.

    Today, the prospects were forming for an end to the two-party system and for new political developments to arise.

    In that framework, it was necessary to renew and reinforce the party, he said, adding that the most important tool in that direction is the party Congress.

    At the same time, the SYN-led Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), "which today has acquired a strong trend of confidence among the citizens", must also be strengthened, he said.

    Alavanos expressed satisfaction with the activities to date of SYRIZA's new Parliamentary Group, which arose from the September 16 general elections in Greece, and promised that SYRIZA will continue to "bombard" both PASOK and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with proposals for cooperatin, despite the fact that the response thus far by the two other opposition parties has not been particularly positive.

    SYRIZA, he continued, will concentrate its action in the immediate future on such "fronts" as the high cost of living, social insurance, education, the environment, and foreign policy.

    For that reason, Alavanos stressed, throughout the course of the pre-Congress procedures, SYN must not give the impression of a "debate club" but instead proceed quickly to the Congress itself.

    The SYN preliminary draft of positions for the Congress was unveiled on Saturday. The draft platform stresses that the new political landscape was dominated by intense crisis, which manifested itself immediately after the elections in an explosive way, and which is particularly acute in PASOK due to the defeat it suffered, but also in the ruling New Democracy (ND) party, which was heading in an even more conservative direction.

    The draft platform also contains the estimation that the destabilisation of the two-party system has begun, and that SYN and SYRIZA played a big role to that end with the constant, aggressive and substantive opposition they exercised.

    The draft further makes an extensive reference to the political developments, evaluates the pre-electoral and post-electoral picture of the political forces, and proposes an alternative policy plan of the Left aiming at "socialism, with freedom and democracy".


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