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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-01-23

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] A sovereign Cyprus at the 'core' of a Cyprus solution, Kotzias says
  • [02] Parliament committee wraps up inquiry into political party, media loans
  • [03] Tsakalotos letter 'a good starting point' for agreement between institutions, Brussels sources say

  • [01] A sovereign Cyprus at the 'core' of a Cyprus solution, Kotzias says

    A solution to the Cyprus issue is a sovereign Cyprus, and at its core this solution must involve the departure of Turkish occupation troops and the end of rights of intervention, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said on Monday in an interview on the state broadcaster ERT1.

    The fact that this 'core' of the Cyprus issue had surfaced from the depths and become the object of talks was a "major success" during the negotiations, Kotzias added, since it had forced Turkey to discuss the issue and the international actors to recognise that this was the main problem.

    Kotzias referred to three main elements that the Greek side proposed for the departure of the occupation troops, namely ensuring a constant flow, having a final completion date and the monitoring of the flow by an international organisation, such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), so there could be direct control of the real number of troops, a register of weapons and of departure flows.

    The foreign minister also stressed the importance of keeping the negotiation open-ended, noting that Turkey had not wanted this. He indicated that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was prepared to take part in the talks, provided that conditions had sufficiently mature as to create a window for an agreement.

    The Greek side does not want the talks on Cyprus to end with a failure, Kotzias added, and stressed that channels of communication with Turkey must be kept open, even at the most difficult moments. Greece wants to solve problems with its neighbours on the basis of European and international law, he added.

    [02] Parliament committee wraps up inquiry into political party, media loans

    A Parliamentary investigating committee looking into the legality of bank loans to political parties and the media officially concluded its nine-month inquiry on Monday, with the delivery of its final report and conclusions to Parliament President Nikos Voutsis.

    Each of the parties represented on the committee reached volubly different conclusions concerning the extent of corruption involved, setting the tone for the debate on its findings that is to take place in the plenum on February 1.

    The final report delivered to Voutsis by the commitee chairman Antonis Balomenakis runs to 965 pages, while there was strong disagreement between the ruling coalition and the opposition parties regarding its conclusions during the committee's last session. The opposition parties finally insisted on appending their own conclusions and positions separately, attached to the final report.

    During the vote on the set of conclusions supported by the ruling majority, votes in favour were cast by 12 MPs from SYRIZA and ANEL, while there were eight votes against, cast by main opposition New Democracy, Democratic Alliance, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Golden Dawn. Two MPs representing the Potami party and Union of Centrists abstained, voting 'present'. All the parties with the exception of ND also supported the majority's proposal that the final report, as it stood, should be sent to the Supreme Court prosecutor so that justice can investigate any criminal liability that may exist.

    Commenting on the final report, government sources noted that SYRIZA's standing political pledge to investigate the "triangle of corruption," made two years earlier in January 2015, was now a reality. "Just nine months were needed, and the depositions-confessions of the protagonists themselves, to refute the lies of decades and shed light on the underground dealings of ND and PASOK with the media and banks," they said. The inquiry had proved to all Greece that the "main pillar for the production of policy for decades was corruption itself, with banks transformed into a piggy bank to serve their mutual interests."

    According to ND, however, the committee's findings were "yet another resounding defeat for the government" and had culminated in "SYRIZA's conclusion, according to which there was no evidence of criminal liability for political figures, since there was no indication of their involvement in the lending to political parties and media enterprises."

    ND submitted its own 110-page conclusions outlining 38 specific findings.

    [03] Tsakalotos letter 'a good starting point' for agreement between institutions, Brussels sources say

    The letter sent by Greece's Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is a "good starting point for an agreement between the four institutions," sources in Brussels told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Monday.

    They noted that the letter was "well written" but noted that additional negotiations will be needed for a final agreement to be reached. Commenting on the results of a meeting between International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Davos, the sources said these confirmed the necessity of the IMF's participation in the Greek programme.

    Greek finance ministry sources earlier said that Tsakalotos will attend the Eurogoup on January 26 and present specific positions on the remaining outstanding issues for completing the second review of Greece's adjustment programme, while clarifying that the letter did not include the positions of the Greek side.


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