|ATHENS, Saturday, April 22, 2000
Serb dissidents meet in Athens
Representatives of Serb opposition groups meeting at the coastal resort of Vouliagmeni outside Athens yesterday called for the overthrow of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's regime. And the country's exiled crown prince urged the international community to ease sanctions against Belgrade, saying that they hurt the common people most.
But the most dramatic result of the conference was the resignation of Alex Rondos, Foreign Minister George Papandreou's aide on humanitarian issues and Kosovo, following condemnation in the news media for referring to Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic as "Highness" - in accordance with protocol.
Rondos tendered his resignation to Papandreou by telephone. It was not accepted, but Rondos is determined to stick to his resignation if the issue makes the foreign minister's work more difficult. Because of the flap, Papandreou canceled a speech to the Serb opposition members planned for today. He will meet with them at the ministry instead. Participants at the conference include Zoran Djindjic, head of the Democratic Party, Belgrade Mayor Vojislav Mihajlovic, representing main opposition party leader Vuk Draskovic, and Nenad Canak, head of the Union for Change. Patriarch Pavle, head of Serbia's Orthodox Church, sent a message of support. The participants were to be joined later by James Dobbins, special adviser to U.S. President Bill Clinton on Bosnia and Kosovo. Dobbins played down Alexander's call for an easing of sanctions. He told reporters that most of the Serbian opposition wanted sanctions eased, but that the United States believed they were necessary to hurt Milosevic.
BIO GREEK MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Born in the USA in 1952, he is the son of former Prime Minister and Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) founder Andreas Papandreou and grandson of former Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou.
Studied sociology at Amherst College in Masachussetts and attended post-graduate studies at the London School of Economics.
First elected to parliament in the seat of Achaia in 1981.
Elected member of the PASOK central committee in 1984.
Elected member of the secreteriat of the PASOK executive bureau in 1987.
Elected to the PASOK executive secretariat for Greeks abroad in 1990.
Elected member of the PASOK political secretariat.
Elected vice-president of the Fellows Research and Continuing Education Center of Harvard University, member of the board of the Foundation for Meditarranean Studies and member of the board of the Georgios Papandreou Foundation.
Has held the positions of Deputy Minister for Culture (1985-1988), Minister for National Education and Religions (1988-89 and 1994-96), Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs (1993-94) and Alternate Minister for F.A. (1996-99).
Georgios (Giorgos) Papandreou is married and has a son and a daughter.