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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM warns Turkey on illegal immigrants

  • [01] PM warns Turkey on illegal immigrants

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, addressing an election campaign rally in the northern city of Alexandroupoli on Wednesday evening, sent a message to neighbouring Turkey that "it is obliged to respect the readmission agreement reached in 2001 regarding illegal immigrants, to respond to the European Immigration and Asylum Pact and to cease to cover the modern-day slave drivers."

    Karamanlis also underlined Turkey's commitments on the issue of Cyprus, calling on it "to contribute in practice to a workable and viable solution, in the framework of UN resolutions," while on the question of Turkey's course to Europe, the prime minister said that his government's policy is condensed in four words: "Full compliance-full accession."

    He further said that "these few words determine with frankness our position. And something more: The status quo in the Aegean does not change and will not change neither with infringements and violations nor with whatever other provocations. Concessions on our sovereign rights are inconceivable. We will not back down and we will grant nothing."

    Referring, furthermore, to the "energy pipeline policy," the prime minister said that it is taking on the dimensions of a national issue and spoke of a policy which "we laid the foundations for with boldness and systematic effort. We achieved international energy agreements with huge (strategic, political and economic) benefits for our country."

    Karamanlis added that these agreements "include our country on the global energy map, they contribute to the upgrading of our relations with Russia and the neighbouring countries and bring investments, permanent revenues, new jobs."

    The prime minister said that two of these agreements are considerable achievements for the Evros prefecture, that is the Turkey-Greece-Italy natural gas pipeline and the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and, addressing the citizens of Evros, he noted that "for this pipeline, we assumed before you explicit and clear commitments: firstly, that the project will take place with the participation of the local authorities, the production and social forces of the region. Secondly, that it will be constructed and operated with absolute respect for the environment. Thirdly, that the annual transit revenues, about 35 million dollars a year will remain, in their entirety, here, in Thrace. A part of them will be going to the prefectures of Rodopi and Xanthi. Most, however, will be provided in your prefecture."

    Karamanlis, referring as he said to the allegations of the main opposition PASOK party leader about the agreement "that, supposedly, it only secures the interests of the Russian side," termed them absolutely aribitrary and added that "disputing (the agreement) harms the policy that places the interest of Greece above all. Whoever may be bothered. For this reason, the stance of the leader of PASOK is inconceivable and he owes all the citizens explicit answers."

    The prime minister termed the economy "the most pressing, the most urgent national issue" and added that "90 percent of the increase in the debt is due to interest and the expenditures for armaments that were left by the governments of PASOK. Therefore, they are wasting their time if they are looking for accomplices. They are not accusers. They are the accused."

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