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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-07-28

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] CABINET MEETS TO PREPARE NEW IMMIGRATION POLICY
  • [02] PRIME MINISTER VISITS GREEK TROOPS IN KOSOVO
  • [03] GREEK-TURKISH DIALOGUE CONTINUES IN ATHENS TOMORROW
  • [04] US CYPRUS COORDINATOR IN ATHENS
  • [05] SINGLE DEFENCE DOCTRINE GOING STRONG
  • [06] GAS PIPELINE MEETING IN MOSCOW IN THE AUTUMN

  • [01] CABINET MEETS TO PREPARE NEW IMMIGRATION POLICY

    The cabinet meets today to discuss the strictly controlled immigration policy the government plans to implement which will focus, on the one hand, on the scheduled entry of seasonal workers to the country and on the other, on the immediate deportation of illegal immigrants. The new legislation that is being prepared, which will be tabled by the interior minster, Vaso Papandreou, for discussion by all the political parties, provides for the drawing-up of bilateral agreements with neighbouring states over the limited entry of seasonal economic immigrants to Greece. The draft bill also provides for an annual reassessment of cases where immigrants are already in possession of a green card, while measures will be stepped up to police the borders against illegal immigrants who, if caught, will be deported immediately. The New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, has proposed the establishment of a special body to guard the border areas which would act in conjunction with the army. He also recommended a restructuring of the country's police force, tighter control over the entry of immigrants, greater transparency in the issuing of green cards and the reintroduction of the rural police or gendarmerie.

    [02] PRIME MINISTER VISITS GREEK TROOPS IN KOSOVO

    Accompanied by the national defence minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, and the government spokesman, Dimitris Reppas, the prime minister, Kostas Simitis, visited the Greek contingent in the international peace-keeping force stationed in Urosevac in Kosovo yesterday. Addressing the members of the force, Mr Simitis said their presence in the region was a practical indication of Greece's interest and of the Greek people's solidarity with their neighbours. The prime minister also referred to the responsibilities that lay with the EU for the war in Yugoslavia and said that if the EU had been more far-sighted in its planning and adopted an integrated strategy for the Balkans, it could have forestalled the crisis and prevented the conflict. The prime minister underlined Greece's role in smoothing over the crisis and said the government's policy had made Greece one of the strongest and most reliable interlocutors, both within the Alliance and amongst the Balkan countries. Mr Simitis was briefed by the commander of the Greek force about its work in the region. He announced that an engineers battalion and a medical corps would soon join the contingent to work for the region's reconstruction. The prime minister also met with the British commander of the multinational force, General Michael Jackson with whom he discussed the disarmament of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Mr Simitis noted that no satisfactory progress in the issue had been made.

    [03] GREEK-TURKISH DIALOGUE CONTINUES IN ATHENS TOMORROW

    The Greek-Turkish dialogue which began in Ankara on Monday at the level of foreign ministry experts moves to Athens tomorrow. The Turkish foreign ministry has described the talks as positive and constructive. The Greek foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, may have a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem, in Sarajevo on Friday to assess the results of the initial contacts.

    [04] US CYPRUS COORDINATOR IN ATHENS

    On a farewell visit to Athens, the American State Department's outgoing special coordinator in the Cyprus issue, Thomas Miller, spoke yesterday of Washington's efforts to get both sides round the negotiating table over the Cyprus dispute in view of the invitation which the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, is expected to issue soon. With reference to the initiative undertaken by the so-called Group of Eight, Mr Miller told a press conference that the intention was not to replace the United Nations as mediator but to focus the attention of the international community on the Cyprus dispute. The State Department coordinator also reaffirmed that the United States had for the past 25 years been in favour of the establishment of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation under a single rule on the island, adding that this position was unlikely to change.

    [05] SINGLE DEFENCE DOCTRINE GOING STRONG

    The Greek ambassador in Nicosia, Kyriakos Rodousakis, has said the single defence doctrine between Greece and Cyprus does not need amendment or restructuring in any way. He announced that the Greek national defence minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, would be going to Cyprus in September to reconfirm the strategic cooperation between the two sides with his Cypriot counterpart. Commenting on a statement by parliamentary deputy Christos Rotsas regarding the range of the F-16 fighter jets, the Cypriot government spokesman, Kostas Serezis, pointed out that the aircraft had a range of 2,000 miles, while the distance between Crete and Cyprus was only 370 nautical miles.

    [06] GAS PIPELINE MEETING IN MOSCOW IN THE AUTUMN

    A tripartite meeting of Greek, Bulgarian and Russian delegates aimed at the establishment of a company to build and manage the Burgas-to-Alexandroupolis natural gas pipeline will take place in Moscow in September. The meeting was arranged during talks in Athens yesterday between the Greek development minister, Evangelos Venizelos, and the vice-president of the Russian parliament, Valentina Matvienka.
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