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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis addresses representatives of SMEs
  • [02] PASOK leader addresses event in memory of Kranidiotis

  • [01] PM Karamanlis addresses representatives of SMEs

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressed representatives of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) on Monday evening, outlining the government's work in the sector of SMEs over the past five and a half years, criticisng the main opposition PASOK party, saying that it lacks any plan for the country, while the ruling New Democracy (ND) party does not play with the country's future and places national interest above all and that he had called early elections for this reason.

    Karamanlis criticised PASOK saying the latter's governments bequeathed ND with a huge public debt and, as he said, from 30 percent in 1981 they took it to 100 percent in 2004. The prime minister further said that all that PASOK has announced and promises costs over 10 billion euros and wondered "where will it get the money."

    He went on to say that "as explicit that the crisis and problems are, so vague is the leader of PASOK" and, referring to the main opposition party, he added that "they are living in their own world. They proved this with their announcements in Thessaloniki and for this reason they are dangerous. They are saying that they will do things that cannot be done. It is being proved that they do not know reality. On the one hand they are terming the situation tragic and on the other they are promising things that cost over 10 billion."

    The prime minister said that PASOK was leaving no doubt as to what it will do on two points alone. That it will increase taxes and the public debt, adding that "they would be forced to do this and ithis would have dangerous consequences for the country."

    Karamanlis further stressed that SMEs are currently feeling pressure and mentioned that for ND they constitute the base of the Greek economy and the tissue of economic life.

    He also said that the gpovernment showed strong reflexes from the very beginning of the crisis and recalled the measures that were taken in support of the economy and of employment.

    Karamanlis referred to privatisations carried out and to energy agreements achieved by the government and which serve, as he said, national interests and criticised PASOK of speaking on the one hand of the state regaining control and on the other of renegotiating.

    "They are making innuendos and the president of PASOK claims quite peculiarly that the Burgas-Alexandroupoli agreement supports the interests of the Russians" and further stressed that in PASOK "they have no economic policy plan and for this reason they cannot guarantee the country's future."

    Karamanlis underlined that decisions must be taken now for the day after "so that we can turn the national crisis into a national opportunity" and noted that the government has started a specific strategy to confront the crisis, with its axes being control of public expenditures, cracking down on tax evasion and structural changes.

    Lastly, he accused PASOK of "extorting elections and, consequently, there was the risk of an election period lasting for many months" and assessed that PASOK would create tensions and it would be impossible for the government to complete its task, while concluding by saying that "I rejected extortion and I am asking for a fresh popular mandate." He lastly pointed out that two difficult years lie ahead and difficult decisions are necessary immediately.

    [02] PASOK leader addresses event in memory of Kranidiotis

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou addressed an event held at the University of Cyprus on Monday evening, organised by the ISTAME Andreas Papandreou Foundation in memory of Greece's late alternate foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, stressing that "the passing of time consolidates faits accomplis for partitioning" adding "no solution only serves those who have compromised with the partitioning status quo" on the island republic.

    The event was also addressed by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

    "We shall never compromise with partitioning, (Cyprus) President Demetris Christofias has stressed the dangers from the perpetuation of the problem," Papandreou further said.

    Papandreou further said that for the PASOK government, "if of course the people make this choice in the (October 4 general) elections, a foreign policy that will be giving once again power and prestige to Greece will be a priority, while the country will intervene in all the major international developments."

    The PASOK leader also said that the PASOK government's foreign policy will be a policy with targets.

    "President Christofias is aware that he has our support in his effort," Papandreou said, adding that for a solution to the issue of Cyprus there must be no outside interventions, pressures, suffocating timetables and arbitration and called on Turkey to leave the Turkish Cypriot community free to negotiate its future so that "we can be led to a solution that will be effective and fully workable of an EU state."

    Papandreou went on to say that "the problem of Cyprus is a problem of invasion and occupation by Turkey and we must remind this" and called for the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops, the last wall in Europe to fall and Turkey to fulfill all its commitments as an EU candidate country.

    Papandreou also underlined that "in December a new road map must be set, a new Helsinki" and Turkey will assume clear commitments for a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    On his part, President Christofias said that Cyprus feels the absence of Yiannos Kranidiotis, especially at the present stage of efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and Turkey's EU accession course.

    adding that, despite of the fact that his life was cut short, Yiannos Kranidiotis sealed the political developments of the '80s and '90s, and established himself as a politician and diplomat, who successfully combined technocratic training with political activity and contemporary European thought.

    President Christofias referred to Yiannos Kranidiotis' instrumental role in Cyprus' EU accession course, and the significant political heritage he left for both Cyprus and Greece. He added that ''the posts Yiannos Kranidiotis was called on to undertake in two very crucial decades for Greece, Cyprus and Europe testify the faith the Greek state, great political leaders of the age and various governments had in him.''

    Fifty-two-year-old Yiannis Kranidiotis, with his son Nicholas and another four persons, were killed during a flight to Romania on the Greek Prime Minister's Falcon jet, in September 1999, when the plane lost altitude.

    Kranidiotis, born in Nicosia in 1947, was an advisor on the Cyprus issue to late Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou from 1981 to 1984, while he also served as Secretary of European Affairs at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Foreign Minister and alternate Foreign Minister of Greece until his death. Kranidiotis was also the author of several books and articles focusing on European, Cypriot and Greek affairs.

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