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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM Dora Bakoyannis briefs PM Costas Karamanlis
  • [02] Papandreou chairs Political Coordinating Body
  • [03] Karamanlis-Petralia meeting

  • [01] FM Dora Bakoyannis briefs PM Costas Karamanlis

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was briefed by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Thursday at his Maximos Mansion office in Athens. After the meeting, Bakoyiannis referred to the prime minister's formal visit to Turkey stressing that it is scheduled and the date will be announced. Regarding the Zachopoulos affair and if it affects the political climate, Bakoyiannis refused to make any comments adding that only the Greek Justice can shed light on the issue. A day earlier, the prime minister reiterated that he is determined to proceed with necessary reforms for the country, speaking during a reception by the Athens Chamber of Industry and Commerce. "During a difficult and fluid international juncture, the Greek economy is on the right course, indicating that it has a strong growth rate allowing us to confront any challenges."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (R) and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis (L).

    [02] Papandreou chairs Political Coordinating Body

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party leader George Papandreou chaired a meeting of his party's Political Coordinating Body on Thursday, that decided that PASOK will bring the issue of former culture ministry secretary general Christos Zachopoulos before Parliament. Party spokesman Yiannis Ragoussis said that as of Monday PASOK will be assuming initiatives for the issue's clarification.

    First of all, it will call for a meeting of the Permanent Parliamentary Cultural Affairs Committee and will request the summoning of culture ministers serving from 2004 until now. A proposal will also be submitted for the convening of the Institutions and Transparency Committee, before which the head of the prime minister's press office Yiannis Andrianos will be requested to testify.

    Ragoussis further accused the government of trying to cover up the issue, adding that PASOK will be resolute against this effort. The spokesman went on to say that the Greek people are following developments in the Zachopoulos case with perplexity, terming it a great scandal.

    As of next week, the spokesman said, PASOK will be assuming initiatives on a series of issues, such as the high cost of living, public utilities, the social security issue, ports and town planning.

    Referring to the high cost of living in particular, Ragoussis said that, together with inflation and the excessive loaning of households, it is functioning like a tight noose round the neck of a large section of the Greek people. On Monday, PASOK will also be announcing in detail its proposal regarding the electoral law.

    On the question of PASOK's congress, a limited postponement was decided and it will be held between March 13-16.

    It was also decided, lastly, that the immediate convening of the Foreign Policy Council will be requested from the foreign minister, also in light of the prime minister's visit to Turkey.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    [03] Karamanlis-Petralia meeting

    Employment and Social Protection Minister Fani Palli-Petralia briefed Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday on the progress made in the social security system reform and the new round of meetings to be launched with social partners.

    "We move ahead with a sense of responsibility, following a specific plan while seeking the broadest possible social consensus. Goodwill displayed by all sides will help overcome many difficulties," the minister said.

    Petralia also stressed that the adoption of a fair and viable social security system is imperative to avoid future problems.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Empoyment and Social Protection Minister Fani Palli-Petralia.

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