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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-07-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM : You cannot change a country without fighting populism & extremism
  • [02] Venizelos: 'Samaras and I share a mutual understanding'
  • [03] Tsipras: 'I will not allow Greece to become a debt colony'
  • [04] Andreas Papamimikos elected New Democracy party secretary

  • [01] PM : You cannot change a country without fighting populism & extremism

    ANA-MPA - You cannot change a country without changing mentalities and without fighting populism and extremism, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told the main New Democracy (ND) party political committee meeting on Sunday.

    Speaking at ND headquarters on Syngrou Avenue in Athens, the PM and party leader said, "You cannot change a country if you do not fight and win the battle of ideas and if you do not keep an open battle front with populism and extremes. The Greek people are not passive observers."

    "The battle of ideas has a specific adversary; you have to know who the enemy is. Today it is necessary to bring productive investments to the country. Those who say no to investments are [our] opponents. Our goal is to bring more job openings - those who are against this and shut down factories are [our] opponents," the PM said, " adding that "when the primary need is for security, those who reinforce hooded protesters and those who burn down the city."

    Speaking of PASOK in the government, Samaras said that "there is a lot in our past separating us from PASOK, but there is a great committment bringing us together: to take the country out of its crisis." He further said that everyone makes mistakes, but the greatest mistakes are made on streets and sidewalks by those who have never governed. "We are in great conflict with those who want nothing to change," he added.

    His government's priority, he said, was "first to save our country, otherwise we will not be worthy of its history...What will our children say if, when it's time to bring the country out of crisis, we start fighting over the past?"

    Both ND and PASOK are "the only remaining forces that want to save the country," Samaras charged, saying that did not mean the two merged or obliterated their differences. "However, it's one thing to prioritise the needs of our homeland, which is in emergency mode, and another to forget your differences. Look at what is going on in Greece - a year ago, Greece was the only source of instability. Look at it today - uncertainty and instability everywhere around us, while Greece looks like the only island of stability."

    Samaras made special mention to NBA-selected Greek basketball forward of Nigerian descent, Giannis Adetokunbo, who does not forget he's Greek. "He has some people curse him and then complain that we call them neo-Nazis, while he is more of a Greek than those burning the Greek flag," Samaras said. "We move on, leaving the extremists in their misery, their whining is turning off Greek society. The battle for ideas unites, does not divide the majority," he concluded.

    [02] Venizelos: 'Samaras and I share a mutual understanding'

    PASOK leader, government vice president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos described his collaboration with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras "a relation of mutual understanding and personal trust" in an interview to the Sunday edition of Kathimerini newspaper.

    Venizelos stressed that both of them share a "huge burden" and stated that "the stability of the government's and the strategic stability of the country is a political possession of huge importance".

    He noted that everyone understands that "there is no Plan B and if our country goes to elections we will be led before an absolute impasse".

    He reiterated that the country cannot stand any more measures that will reduce incomes, function recessively and are hostile to employment.

    "The thriller with the [release or not of the] tranche was a communicative and political mistake of our institutional partners," Venizelos said. "This public debate should end and stop giving rise to this communication issue every so often," he added.

    Asked about relations with Democratic Left (DIMAR), he said it will be judged in parliament and expressed the certaintly that it will be judged positively; he also called his relation with DIMAR leader Fotis Kouvelis very warm.

    Finally, Venizelos denied he has a problem a Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras: "I do not have a personal issue with Stournaras. On the contrary, I regard him a friend and there is a relation of mutual respect and sympathy between us exists. What I care for is that any negotiation be conducted in the best possible and effective way."

    [03] Tsipras: 'I will not allow Greece to become a debt colony'

    The certainty that when SYRIZA becomes government both the country and Europe will change was expressed by Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras in an interview with Sunday newspaper Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia.

    Addressing himself to Greece's EU partners, the leader of the main opposition said he will not proceed to unilateral actions unless he is forced to by their stance to do so, and noted, "Our priority is the people's needs and not the international usurers' demands".

    Tsipras noted that he will not allow the country to remain immersed in the crisis and to become a debt colony. In this framework, he proposes the re-negotiation of the loan contract, the write-off of the largest part of the debt and the freezing of the taxes for at least four years. The freezing will result in a savings of 25 billion euros that can be allocated to growth and to dealing with the humanitarian crisis, he opined.

    [04] Andreas Papamimikos elected New Democracy party secretary

    Andreas Papamimikos is main New Democracy (ND) party's new secretary, following a unanimous decision by its political committee on Sunday.

    In a short address Papamimikos said, "Our aim is to create a new party structure, a new political organisation that will attract new citizens and will inspire those who in the last years distanced themselves from the party. Our policy focuses on the human being. Our aim is to strengthen the government and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' efforts."

    Papamimikos, 34, a lawyer by training with degrees from the University of Macedonia's Balkan Studies (undergraduate) and European Policies (graduate), and studies in communications and human resources at the University of Lille III. Before becoming ND secretary, he served as the first president of ND's youth party (ONNED) to be voted in directly by youth party members.

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