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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-02-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Zoi Konstantopoulou elected President of the Greek Parliament
  • [02] Alternate FM Chountis to ANA-MPA: Greek government is not bluffing
  • [03] ND spokesman Karagounis on SYRIZA's statements

  • [01] Zoi Konstantopoulou elected President of the Greek Parliament

    ANA/MPA---SYRIZA MP Zoi Konstantopoulou on Friday was elected President of the Parliament, after receiving the record number of 235 votes.

    A total of 61 deputies cast a blank vote, while 2 votes were considered invalid. Two deputies - ND deputy Nikos Dendias and Golden Dawn secretary general Nikos Mihaloliakos - did not attend the voting process.

    SYRIZA's candidate President of the Parliament was also supported by junior coalition government party Independent Greeks (ANEL), New Democracy, To Potami and PASOK.

    Konstantopoulou, born in 1976, is the youngest Parliament President in the history of the House.

    [02] Alternate FM Chountis to ANA-MPA: Greek government is not bluffing

    ANA/MPA---Alternate Foreign Minister Nikos Chountis said that "in any case the Greek government does not bluff. We have said that we have pledged before the Greek people to implement our programme" in an interview with ANA-MPA on Friday commenting on the result of Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis' meeting with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin on Thursday.

    Chountis noted: "We have said that we will seek the best solution for the debt in the interest of the economy and of the country and we will seek the best solution to these problems on European level as well as changes in Europe so that we will be in the position to play its role and to come closer to the citizens...We are waiting for specific answers on how the problem will be dealt with taking into account the Greek people's mandate. They can't ask from us to step back from our commitments and we know very well the rules of the EU. Consequently, Mr. Schaeuble and Germany must play their role within the framework of a EU with equal members.

    Asked on the presence of US Secretary of State delegation in Athens, Chountis underlined "I think that on their part the US want to have a better look to our proposals, there were also contacts at ministers' level, but according to what they have said they see the problem that exists in Europe. Whereas the US during the crisis or after the crisis followed different policies to reset the economy and the society, the crisis in Europe has not ended."

    Finally, referring to the developments in Ukraine, Chountis noted: "Our opinion, an opinion of principles, is the Ukrainian crisis to be dealt with in a political way and the responsibilities to be allocated. In parallel we believe, as it has already been proven that the sanctions on Russia on political and economic level, were fruitless and was beneficial neither for Europe nor for the Greek economy. From that standpoint, we want to undertake initiatives if possible, in order the EU to be able to move on this line and I believe that in this sense Europe's honour will be saved."

    Nikos Chountis' full interview is available for subscribers on ANA-MPA WebTV

    [03] ND spokesman Karagounis on SYRIZA's statements

    ANA/MPA---New Democracy spokesperson Costas Karagounis commenting on the contradictory statements by government officials said: "A few days after the elections and before the policy announcements, the Tsipras-Varoufakis government, via the talkative (Finance Minister) Mr. (Yanis) Varoufakis, confesses outright that:

    First, the debt write-off is no longer on the table, going back on what they had been saying up until now.

    Secondly, that it will not meet its pre-election pledges.

    On the other hand, (Alternate Social Security Minister Dimitris) Stratoulis noted that:

    First, the debt will be written-off and secondly, SYRIZA' pre-election pledges will be fully met.

    Somewhere in between, the government spokesman (Gavriil) Sakellaridis agreed with Mr. Stratoulis citing Mr. Varoufakis.

    The government must immediately make its official position known, ahead of the crucial negotiations on the country's course."


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