01 October, 2005
Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Friday continued his sharp criticism of the government, touching mostly on various press allegations of cronyism and favoritism dealing with hirings in Greece's massive public sector, while at the same time outlining his party's demands vis-a-vis EU-Turkey and Greek-Turkish relations.
The former foreign minister spoke to supporters and cadres during a fourth national council of PASOK.
Among others, he called on the Greek government to aim for a "Helsinki II" bolstered by specific commitments, guarantees and a timetable, including the resolution of the Aegean continental shelf issue. He said Athens should propose a December 2006 timetable for solving pending issues, otherwise, Turkey should accept jurisdiction of the International Court at The Hague if negotiations fail.
Regarding the long-standing Cyprus issue, he said a specific reference should be made to the commencement of stepped negotiations within a prescribed time period under the UN's auspices and with the active participation of the European Union, given that Cyprus is an EU member-state.
Echoing long-standing Greek foreign policy strategy, he said such negotiations should lead to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on the Union's acquis communautaire, while he said it was "self-evident" that implementation of the EU-Turkey customs agreement will begin.
Additionally, Papandreou said a negotiation framework for the EU-Turkey accession talks should include a monitoring mechanism to make sure that Ankara implements and meets criteria.
Finally, he criticized the government for implementing a 42-percent election limit for mayors and prefects in next year's local government elections.
Source: Athens News Agency