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17 October, 2001
Prime minister Costas Simitis met Tuesday with President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos to discuss international and domestic developments following the recent Congress of the ruling PASOK party and in light of an anticipated government reshuffle.
According to press sources the reshuffle was expected to take place next week, at the latest by Thursday, October 25, barring a surprise early announcement, given the itineraries of the Premier and the President.
Simitis had stated Sunday after the conclusion of PASOK's 6th Congress -- at which he was re-elected to the party presidency and a new Central Committee was elected -- that the reshuffle would take place after his return from the EU interim summit in Ghent (on Friday) marking the halfway mark through the Belgian EU presidency, and after the first meeting of PASOK's new Central Committee, which is scheduled for Monday.
At the same time, President Stephanopoulos, who will swear in the new government, is due to leave Athens on the afternoon of October 25 for Thessaloniki to attend the October 28 OCHI Day celebrations.
Greeting the premier, Stephanopoulos congratulated him on his re-election to the PASOK leadership by the Congress, which Simitis described as a "positive event" and "a process that created the conditions for us to move ahead more rapidly and efficiently".
After their one-hour meeting, Simitis said that particularly attention had naturally been placed on the international developments.
"There is always a great uncertainty surrounding the international developments and this uncertainty affects all sectors, including the economic sector," Simitis said, reiterating that calm and cool-headedness was necessary.
He said the repercussions on Greece were "controllable", adding that the country was "making an effort to contain the potential dangers that may arise", and cited foreign minister George Papandreou's visit to Syria earlier in the week.
He said those issues would be discussed on Friday at the EU summit in Ghent where "we will examine the course of things, but also the policy we must follow, precisely so as to be able to restore smooth development to the international framework".
Source: Athens News Agency