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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 04-01-28
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Suicide bomber in Iraq kills 428/1/2004 8:12:00 μμ
A suicide bomber driving a van disguised as an ambulance blew up his vehicle today in front of a hotel frequented by Westerners, witnesses and police said. Iraqi police reported four people were killed, and South Africa said one of its nationals was among them. In the southern city of Nasiriyah, about 10,000 followers of a radical Shiite Muslim cleric forced the coalition-appointed governor to leave his office, insisting they would recognize only elected leaders
 Israel army kills 8 during Gaza gunbattles28/1/2004 8:08:00 μμ
Israeli troops killed eight Palestinians today in the deadliest raid in the Gaza Strip in more than a month, casting a shadow over a new U.S. push to salvage a battered peace plan. Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the main groups behind a campaign of suicide bombings against Israelis, vowed revenge, saying five of their fighters were among those killed in fierce gun battles in Gaza City.
 PM meets with heads of GSEE, discuss salary increases28/1/2004 8:07:00 μμ
The issues of unemployment, social insurance and welfare were examined today during a meeting between Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and the leadership of the General Confederation of Greek Workers, GSEE, with the participation of the ministers of the Economy and Labor. The meeting took place in view of the negotiations underway for salary increases in the private sector and the pre-electoral commitments of political parties.
GSEE president, Christos Polyzogopoulos underlined that increases of up to 8% would be sought for the period 2004 and spoke about the problems being faced by syndicates in view of the 2004 collective work contracts.
 European Committee says Greece's economic policies must harmonize with Europe28/1/2004 8:05:00 μμ
High development rates are expected for the Greek economy in the coming years, however the countrys fiscal situation is presenting problems proving that Greeces economic policies must eventually harmonize with the European Unions orientations.
These findings are included in todays report by the European Commission for Greeces stability program that was submitted December 1st 203 and concerns the period 2003-2006.
 Turkish PM meets with U.S. president on Cyprus28/1/2004 8:03:00 μμ
The Cyprus dispute will be at the center of talks today during a meeting between U.S. President, George Bush and Turksih Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan. Mr. Erdogan has requested once again that the Annan plan be a referral point and not a basis for negotiations for the islands dispute.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today a Cyprus peace settlement should be reached by the end of March if a reunited island is to join the European Union on May 1. Annans blueprint for the divided island calls for Turkish and Greek Cypriots to hold a public referendum on the plan before the EUs enlargement.
Backing U.N. efforts to promote peace in Cyprus, the Council of Europe called today for talks between the Greek and Turkish sides, with a nod of consent from Greek Cypriot President Tasos Papadopoulos. The parliamentary assembly of the international human rights forum based in Strasbourg, eastern France, unanimously adopted a resolution saying the body "appeals to the leaders of both communities to recommence talks without delay." Papadopoulos told the assembly before the vote that he backed "immediately restarting negotiations".
 TV and Radio time for political parties examined28/1/2004 8:01:00 μμ
Final decisions concerning political party air-time on radio and television channels during the pre-election period are expected next Wednesday. The Biminesterial Campaign Committee examined the issue of free air time today while Press Minister, Christos Protopappas is also scheduled to meet with media owners about the issue.
 G. Papandreou campaigning in Thessaloniki28/1/2004 7:58:00 μμ
PASOKs pre-election campaign is continuing with an open party meeting this evening at Palais de Sport in Thessaloniki, with Foreign Minister and candidate party President Giorgos Papandreou speaking. Later in the evening, Mr. Papandreou will hold a dinner for the MPs and Party officials from Thessaloniki, while tomorrow Mr. Papandreou will visit areas in the second Thessaloniki electoral district and in the evening will address repatriated Greeks from abroad in a meeting in downtown Thessaloniki.
In Thessaloniki, Mr. Papandreou will present the new model of governance and will describe the basic parameters of his program, which he will continue during his entire tour of northern Greece. Mr. Papandreou is also expected to discuss issues concerning transparency and confronting corruption.
 Pre-agenda discussion on forest land amendment28/1/2004 7:56:00 μμ
The strong political clashes between the government and the New Democracy party, with respect to the scandalous amendment over forest land in Chalkidiki will be discussed this evening during Parliaments Plenary session where Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and New Democracy leader, Kostas Karamanlis will cross their swords in the pre-agenda meeting concerning social policies and transparency.
 Weather Forecast28/1/2004 7:55:00 μμ
Rain and storms are forecast in all parts of the country with snow on high ground in the mainland and in low-lying areas of the north. Winds variable, moderate to very strong, turning gale force in the Aegean. Temperatures in Athens will range between 10-13 C and in Thessaloniki from 5-9 C.