|Saturday, 23 February 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-04-17
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
(THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)
 Incidents in Washington over globalizationThe first session of the spring joint meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank was held as scheduled in Washington, despite the incidents that broke out. The police had to use force to disperse the thousands of demonstrators who protested against globalization and tried to block the arrival of the delegations. The areas around the International Monetary Fund building and the Finance Department reminded of a battlefield, while according to the latest announcement, 637 demonstrators have been arrested.
In the meantime, the finance ministers representing all the members of the international organization have exerted strong pressure on the International Monetary Fund, so that it may "work towards a more speedy and most effective implementation of the plan aiming at a reduction of the poorer countries' foreign debt".
 Tension in international money marketsThe interest of investors is turned to the international money markets and particularly in New York, following Friday's unfavorable developments in Wall Street. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped by 7.6% at the opening of the session, losing 1,275.65 points. In Manila, the index lost 3.2%, closing the 1,668.17 points, while in Seoul, the index plunged by 11.3% with a loss of 90.77 points that led to 710.12 points. Transactions in the Korean stock exchange stopped when the index fell by 10% and the session resumed twenty minutes later. In Tokyo, the Nikei index had losses of 1,750.79 points and the price was 18,683.89 points.
On the Athens stock exchange, today's session is crucial and the government is expected to announce measures to safeguard the bourse legislatively.
The development minister Nikos Christodoulakis stated that he believed the fluctuation of the share price indices in the Athens bourse was coincidental. Despite Friday's fall, the governor of the Bank of Greece, Theodoros Karatzas also appeared optimistic as regards the future of the Athens stock exchange.
In a related development, the United States president Bill Clinton was reassuring as regards the nose-dive taken by international stock markets. He said that in the long run, all stock markets would react positively and added that he was not worried about this year's rise in the inflation rate shown in the United States.
However, the Sunday Times and other European newspapers say they expect to be a black Monday on stock exchanges. This view clearly comes to conflict with the spirit of the announcement by the finance ministers of the world's most industrialised nations, known as the Group of Seven, that the world economy would continue to grow and become stronger if measures were taken to ensure balanced development in the industrialised countries.
On Saturday, the Group of Seven appealed to the world's richest countries not to increase interest rates because, they say, this would harm international development and widen the north-south divide.
The announcement was made on the eve of the opening of the joint spring conference of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington.
 The Greek government's platformA debate on the government's platform will take place in Greek parliament on Saturday. The prime minister is determined to put immediately into effect measures for speedy results in the sectors of health, education, employment and transports.
 Plans on education reformsSpeaking over Greek state television, Education minister Petros Efthimiou said education reforms were necessary and stressed that a new round of talks on the issuewould open at the national education council.
 Turkish planes violate air traffic control regulationsTwenty Turkish aircraft that were taking part in an exercise effected as many violations of air traffic control regulations on Saturday. The aircraft were intercepted by Greek fighters and thereafter operated within the designated areas without violating Greek air space.
Turkey will illegally use the Nicosia FIR, while warships from the United States, France, Italy, and Spain have been invited to take part in the exercise.
Greece has made representations to these countries to persuade them not to participate, but France is expected to respond positively to the invitation. Ships belonging to Nato's Mediterranean force have also been invited to take part in certain phases of the exercise. The Greek destroyer Themistocles belongs to this force but has withdrawn from the activities in Nicosia's FIR.
 The Cypriot president and the Greek PM will meet in AthensAccording to reports, the Cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis will have a meeting with the Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis in Athens on May 19th, just two days before the New York talks on Cyprus.
 Commemoration event for World War II victimsThe memory of 274 patriots who were executed by Nazi occupation troops was honoured in Klisoura, Kastoria. The president of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos attended the commemoration event.
 Mikis Theodorakis' nomination for Nobel Peace prizeSenator Nikos Bolkas of Greek descent, former minister and presently shadow environment minister of Australia, has sent a letter to the officials of the Nobel Awards, stressing that he backs the nomination of the well-known Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis for the Nobel Peace prize. Several other Australian politicians are also in favour of Mikis Theodorakis' nomination.