20 February, 2004
Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis hosted the European People's Party's (EPP) summit in Athens which came to an end on Thursday afternoon in the presence of six European center-right prime ministers.
The summit focused primarily on the Brussels summit on March 25-26, mainly expected to examine the issue of employment, the European constitution and the issue of Cyprus.
Karamanlis bid farewell to his guests at the airport and expressed confidence that his party will win the March 7 elections.
He said the EPP's forces ''are a majority in Europe and will be so tomorrow as well'' and stressed that the climate was excellent during the summit.
Karamanlis said the target of the new governance is to decrease unemployment by 3 percent and the convergence of salaries and pensions with the European average over the next 8-10 years, as well as strengthening education, health and social security and, in essence, achieving a strong economy and an effective and humane state.
Referring to the issue of Cyprus, Karamanlis said he looks forward to successful negotiations and a solution which shall be in accordance with the acquis communautaire.
He added that a positive outcome will put an end to 30 years of clashes and Greek and Turkish Cypriots will enjoy the privileges of accession.
Source: Athens News Agency