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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-05-29

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece striving for solution by June 15, PM Tsipras says
  • [02] PM Tsipras telephones Kyriakos Mitsotakis to express his condolences
  • [03] Mirage 2000 fighter jet crashes near Skopelos; pilot unharmed
  • [04] Papademos' health improving; will be moved from ICU, says hospital

  • [01] Greece striving for solution by June 15, PM Tsipras says

    The Greek government is striving for a comprehensive solution on June 15, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told reporters on Monday, after a joint press conference with Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and their meeting at the Maximos Mansion.

    A solution must come and "the sooner the better," the prime minister replied to reporters, when asked if this would happen at the Eurogroup on June 15 or the European leaders' summit on June 22.

    "We hope for a solution within June, before Estonia takes over the presidency [of the Council of the European Union] for a final settlement on a reduction of the Greek debt," he added.

    During the meeting with the Estonian premier, the main issues on the agenda were bilateral relations and the Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2017. They also discussed the Cyprus issue, the situation in the Balkans and the refugee crisis.

    In a joint press conference after the meeting, Tsipras said their talks had been "constructive" and that Estonia was taking over the EU presidency at a time presenting serious challenges, including the need to build a new vision on which to build the foundations of a stable Eurozone, so that there can be a steady Eurozone exit from the economic crisis.

    He said Greece will support the Estonian presidency's efforts to eradicate inequality for European citizens, called for a revision of the Dublin Treaty in response to the refugee crisis and also referred to relations with Turkey. He stressed that Greece will keep diplomatic channels with Ankara open but was also determined to protect its sovereign rights, especially in the Aegean.

    Regarding the Cyprus issue, Tsipras repeated Athens' support for a solution in the framework of UN resolutions and accused Turkey of stalling and failing to take steps for improvement on key issues. He also repeated that the Cyprus problem was not a bilateral but European issue.

    "I did not fail to express my disappointment at the dilatory attitude adopted by neighbouring Turkey," he said, noting that Turkey's stance was proved by the fact that "it does not show the same political will that we do, in order to discuss and resolve important issues, to take steps to bridge the differences on important matters, chiefly those concerning security and guarantees."

    The Greek premier said that he and Ratas, who recently visited Cyprus and held talks with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, "had agreed that the Cyprus issue is not a bilateral issue, that it is a European issue." This meant that European leaders must be fully informed and ensure over the coming period "that we have the best possible developments, that dialogue remains open and for substantive steps to be taken," Tsipras added.

    Ratas said he had an opportunity to discuss the Estonian presidency's priorities with the Greek premier, while noting the very good relations between Greece and Estonia as EU member-states and NATO allies. He also praised Greece's stance on the refugee crisis and said that Athens and Tallinn had excellent cooperation in the relocation of refugees.

    The EU can and must show that it is united and that we can all work together to get results for European citizens, he said. "Difficult decision will have to be made but it is more important to bring good results. It is more important to know that we must show, again and again and again, that the EU is a valuable part of the everyday life of all our citizens and the answer to the challenges we face today," he said.

    Noting that the role of the presidency was to seek a common denominator and the optimum balance between the various sides and forces in the EU, Ratas ended by saying that he needed to cooperation of the Greek premier and all his colleagues in Europe "so we can handle the economic crisis, the refugee crisis and terrorism. To upgrade electronic governance and continue to live in a European framework."

    The meeting was also attended by Alternate Foreign Minister for European Issues George Katrougalos and other government officials.

    It also served as an opportunity to decide to finally activate a memorandum of cooperation in electronic governance - an area where Estonia excels - signed by Greece and Estonia in 2013 and to intensify cooperation in line with Greece's goals for reorganising the public sector.

    [02] PM Tsipras telephones Kyriakos Mitsotakis to express his condolences

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras telephoned main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday to express his condolences for the death of his father, former Greek premier and honorary ND president Constantine Mitsotakis.

    The Greek premier also wrote a message of condolence, in which he stressed that Constantine Mitsotakis was one of the figures that had help shape modern Greece and one of the main protagonists of the country's recent political history.

    "With the loss of Constantine Mitsotakis, a great and important chapter in the history of this country is concluded...in the post-junta period he made a decisive contribution to establishing democracy and our country's European course. To his family, those close to him and to his party, I express my sincere condolences," the Greek prime minister wrote.

    [03] Mirage 2000 fighter jet crashes near Skopelos; pilot unharmed

    A Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter jet crashed into the sea at 12:18 on Monday, about 15 miles south of the Sporades island group near Skopelos. Sources said the accident occurred during a training exercise, when the plane presented a mechanical fault.

    The aircraft's pilot managed to bail out of the aircraft safely and was collected unharmed by an Air Force Super Puma helicopter that transported him the 251 Air Force General Hospital at 13:30.

    The Mirage 2000 belonged to the 332nd Squadron and had taken off from the Tanagra air base with another aircraft of the same type in order to carry out an aerial battle exercise.

    An expert inquiry into the causes of the incident has been launched.

    [04] Papademos' health improving; will be moved from ICU, says hospital

    Former prime minister Lucas Papademos, who was injured by a letter bomb last week, will be moved from the intensive care unit of Evangelismos hospital to the Enhanced Care Unit on Monday as his health is showing "steady improvement", the hospital said in a press release.

    "The former prime minister Mr. Lucas Papademos remains hemodynamically stable and shows a smooth progression of his wounds. He will be released from the Intensive Care Clinic within the day and be moved to the Enhanced Care Unit," it said.


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