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Illegal Migration Action Plan on track

The Ministry of Citizen Protection, in a press release issued on March 9, reiterated that Greece with the assistance of the European Commission and European funding is making immense efforts to implement the Greek National Action Plan on mixed migration flows, despite the disproportionate burden that is being placed on the country as a result of the influx of a large number of irregular migrants.
The Ministry announced the new actions that are currently being implemented, stressing Greece’s commitment to deal with the problem as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
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PM Papandreou meeting with French President Sarkozy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou flew to France yesterday, for talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy – on an array of issues, focused mostly on economic matters – ahead of today’s European Council meeting.
After his meeting with the French president, Papandreou stated that the Greek government is committed to taking all necessary measures to fix Greece’s public finances.
 “We are ready to take any measures in order to cut public deficit to 8.7% of GDP in 2010 from 12.7% in 2009 and to meet the commitments the government has undertaken in its Stability and Growth Programme.”
Besides the pressing deficit and credit crisis burdening Greece, Papandreou said issues dealing with the Balkans, the Cyprus problem, climate change and even Europe’s position on the international stage were discussed.
Kathimerini daily: Premier talks tough but EU may offer help; Youtube.com: Greek prime minister in France for debt talks

Cyprus: A Devided Island, 35 Years After

Cyprus Map(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  35 years have elapsed since July 20th, 1974, a day which marked a turning point in the history of Cyprus. The Turkish invasion in the north of the island, which was facilitated by the then Greek totalitarian regime’s series of disastrous meddling, led to the brutal and permanent division of the island into two ethnically cleansed areas. Nicosia is still a physically divided capital, the last one in Europe after the fall of the Berlin wall. In memory of the events of 1974, the Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stated that a solution to the Cyprus problem is still sought, always within the framework of the UN Security Council’s resolutions and the principles of the European Union to which Cyprus adheres as a full member since 2004. “July 20 is a day of memory and honour. It stands as landmark for a definite, just, viable and functional solution to the problem.” The ongoing deliberations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leader should be based on the grounds of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty and legal personality, the premier concluded. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis added that “Turkey continues to hold the key to the solution of the Cyprus problem” and encouraged the country to actively demonstrate its will to ‘turn page’ on its stance so far. Secretariat General of Information: About Greece- History of Modern Greece ; Greek News Agenda: Tearing Down the Barriers; Kathimerini Daily: Christofias and Talat exchange olive branches; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Cyprus- The Parameters of the Problem and the Solution

EU Cooperation on Immigration

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  “The problem is not a Greek problem, it is a European problem, because if one illegally enters Greece one also illegally enters the EU and the Netherlands,” said the Netherlands’ Deputy Justice Minister, responsible for immigration issues, Nebahat Albayrak, on Wednesday (May 27) after visiting an illegal immigrants’ reception centre on the eastern Aegean island of Samos.  “Certainly many problems exist, but we also have many possibilities for cooperation, not only on a bilateral basis, but also within the framework of the European Union between member-states,” added the Dutch official who earlier this week had talks in Athens with Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis.

Greece: A Joyful Anniversary

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Hellenic Parliament held a special session on July to mark the 34th anniversary since democracy was restored to Greece after a seven-year dictatorship fell on July 24, 1974. During the “Third Hellenic Republic” political life had been normalised and democratic institutions consolidated. Nowdays, according to the 2007/8 UN Human Development report, Greece ranks 24th  among 177 countries. Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas, representatives of the government and the political parties in Parliament paid homage to the people that had struggled against the junta rule, highlighting the fact that the Cyprus problem was still unsolved 34 years later and stressing the need for a just and viable solution. On the occasion, President of the Republic Karlolos Papoulias held the annual anniversary banquet. Athens News Agency: Restoration of Democracy anniversary ; BBC: Greek Military Rule Gives In to Democracy; Konstantinos Karamanlis Archive: The Restoration of Democracy, 1974-77