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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Premier holds dialogue with citizens in Egaleo

  • [01] Premier holds dialogue with citizens in Egaleo

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis held a dialogue with citizens in the western suburbs of Athens during an event on Thursday night at the "Yiannis Ritsos" cultural centre in the district of Egaleo. The prime minister received many questions from citizens and gave replies.

    Focusing on his decisioon to hold early elections, Karamanlis spoke of ‚extortion by the PASOK party with elections in March‚ and, as he said, he could not leave the country in a prolonged election period, stressing that the criterion for his decision was national interest.

    Commenting on the 28 billion euros allocated to the banking system of the country, the prime minister said that the monetary system had to be supported in the crisis and pointed out that ‚a great deal of populistic talk is being heard,‚ clarifying that only 5 billion euros went to back liquidity of the banks while the rest were guarantees. From borrowing, the public sector receives 500 million a year and a strict check is carried out for the management of the amounts, he added.

    Karamanlis noted that with the freezing of salaries this year special support was given to low wage earners of up to 12,500 euros, amounting to 500 euros. PASOK is saying an increase above inflation and it is not even 150 euros a year, he added.

    Referring to illegal immigration, he said that it was an issue that concerns many countries and not only Greece stressing that the European Union was pressured by Greece, Italy and Spain to bring a programme on the improvement of the performance of policies to handle the problem.

    "No country can handle it alone. We are doing everything that we can ourselves. Our policy in Athens had a considerable result and in Patras as well. You can realise that when a country receives such waves (of illegal immigrants), you can understand that it is impossible to intercept this trend," he said and stressed the need for a common European immigration policy.

    Addressing an election campaign rally in the northern city of Alexandroupoli on Wednesday evening, Karamanlis 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."

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