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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-12-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] President says Greece must return to growth while staying in euro
  • [02] 2016 will be a year of recovery and rebuilding, PM says in New Year message

  • [01] President says Greece must return to growth while staying in euro

    ANA-MPA -- In a New Year message to all Greeks on Thursday, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that Greece must leave behind it the nightmare of social and economic crisis, returning to the path of hope, optimism, growth and progress while remaining in the Eurozone.

    He also highlighted the refugee issue and noted that Greece, through no fault of its own, was "caught up in the vortex of the contemporary refugee tragedy," in addition to its own huge economic and social problems, and was dealing with them in ways that befitted its culture and history, with full respect for human values and its obligations under international and European law.

    Pavlopoulos underlined that Greek forces were efficiently guarding the country's borders, which were also the borders of the European Union, and that Greece thus had the right but also the obligation to seek the solidarity of its EU partners to deal with the refugee tragedy, as well as the end of the warn in Syria. In addition, Greece had a right and obligation to demand that its partners adopt a common stance concerning the obligations of neighbouring Turkey, he added.

    The president underlined that Greece will not back down one iota in the defence of its sovereign rights, regardless of the difficulties it faces, addressing messages specifically to Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    "To Turkey, we desire and sincerely support its European prospect. On the inviolable and self-evident condition, however, that it will also respect, fully and consistently, and always on the basis of European law and the entirety of international law, both written and customary, every kind of sovereign right of Greece," he said. Among others, and in relation to Cyprus, he noted that EU institutions must make clear that the presence of occupation troops on an EU member-state cannot be tolerated, and that the Cyprus issue was primarily a European and more generally, an international issue.

    "A solution to the Cyprus problem is only conceivable with full respect of the European political and legal acquis and the entirety of international law concerning the viability, structure and sovereignty of the Cyprus Republic," he said.

    Addressing FYROM, Pavlopoulos clarified that Greece wants to normalise and have closer relations with its northern neighbour and that, given FYROM's desire to join the EU and NATO, it cannot then claim a name that in addition to "grossly falsifying history, reeks of irredentism by leaving open, for example, issues of changing borders and inventing completely groundless ethnic minorities."

    The president ended his message with a plea for national unity, especially among democratic political forces, in order for Greece to achieve its major national goals. History, he added, had repeatedly proved that division at times of crisis brought only irreparable harm to both the country and its people.

    [02] 2016 will be a year of recovery and rebuilding, PM says in New Year message

    ANA-MPA -- The year 2016 will be one of recovery and rebuilding, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a New Year message to the Greek people on Thursday, just hours before the end of 2015.

    "It is the year that will mark a final exit from the economic crisis and, together, the end of supervision and the regaining of our national sovereignty," he said.

    Looking back, Tsipras said that 2015 had been a year when the "Greek people had held their heads high and openly fought for their rights, and the message of democracy and dignity that they sent to the ends of the earth will remain indelibly marked in collective memory."

    It will remain in history as a year of struggle and solidarity and will always be a milestone for those striving for a better world, he said.

    Now Greece was leaving behind a long and harsh period of crisis and entering the next five years of renewal for the country, a five-year period of rebuilding that would see major changes and reforms that the country needs, Tsipras added.

    "So that in five years from today, when we celebrate the 200th anniversary since the Greek revolution, we will have built a Greece that is worthy of its history and its people. A modern European country, with deeply rooted equality before the law, meritocracy and social justice. An islet of security, stability and social progress in a broadly destabilised region and a constant cradle of democracy and culture," he said.

    Though great challenges lay ahead, Tsipras added, "united and determined we will succeed."

    Referring to the refugee crisis, Tsipras said that this was another challenge facing the country, which it must face with humanity and solidarity.

    "It is a moral duty and dictate to stand beside the people uprooted from their country because of war and destruction," he noted. "Something that we must all of us remember is that, despite the economic difficulties, the crisis and our daily problems, most of us belong to the fortunate of this world," he added.

    For this reason, Greece had an obligation to take the lead in ensuring that Europe assumes the role that befits it, both in terms of receiving refugees and in establishing peace in the war-torn Middle East, dealing with the causes of the refugee crisis directly and leading to the final defeat of racism, intolerance and fear.

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