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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-06-11

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Parliamentarian Clashes
  • [02] Warm Wishes to Ecumenical Patriarch
  • [03] Third World Debt Overwritten
  • [04] G Papandreou Makes Harsh Criticism
  • [05] Clashes and Disputes
  • [06] Refuse Dump Reopens
  • [07] Focused on Social Security-Labour Relations

  • [01] At the Discussion for the Vote of Confidence Parliamentarian Clashes

    11 Jun 2005 20:00:00 (Last updated: 11 Jun 2005 22:29:46)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The discussion for the vote of confidence to the Government continues for the second day with the issue of Economy at the focus of clashes between the government and the opposition. In the afternoon, tension escalated once more in Parliament, when PASOK MP Giorgos Floridis accused the Government of undermining Greece with its policy and further added that even a simple person woul have shown more progress in 15 months than the Prime Minister. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis reacted intensely and accused Mr Floridis of populism, nerve and distortion of the truth, things in which he outdid his leader. "We are building on the ruins handed to us over by PASOK and we will save the Economy and the Greek state," underlined Mr Alogoskoufis.

    Disputes Outside the Procedure

    Mr Floridis' comments triggered the instant reaction of Vyronas Polydoras, who intervened, although such interventions are not provided for in the procedure, to answer back using a harsh tongue.

    Mr Polydoras' intervention however gave way to a verbal incident between the Speaker of Parliament, Anna Psarouda-Benaki, and PASOK Parliamentarian Nikitas Kaklamanis, who has served as Speaker of Parliament for many years.

    Mr Kaklamanis asked her if she aspires to be the head of such a Parliament and in return what he got for an answer was: "Mr Kaklamanis, all of us standing in the room today have an excellent memory and we have been MPs for many years."

    In the afternoon, Minister of Transport and Communications Michalis Liapis harshly reacted to PASOK's bitter criticism regarding the 518 million-euro fine, stressing that the fine was limited thanks to the government's negotiations.

    Reviewing the progress of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Mr Liapis stressed that transportations with the Means of Public Transport have increased by 41%, while he announced that the Bill for the formation of a single urban transports public body will be soon submitted to Parliament.

    Regarding OSE (Hellenic Railways Association), MR Liapis said a Presidential Decree has been issued to separate railway infrastructure from exploitation, while he reassured that the Association will "keep its public nature."

    Lastly, the Minister of Transport referred to the OTE agreement, stressing that "PASOK unionists realized their party couldn't or simply wouldn't understand."

    Following, PASOK parliamentarian Alekos Akrivakis took the stand and underlined that in his speech, "the Prime Minister used expressions that are more like future statements and not things that have already been done," and further added there has been no reference to the developments in the country's foreign policy.

    "Only New Democracy will give a vote of confidence to the Government and on the next day its parliamentarians will continue apologizing for the Government's mistakes," said PASOK MP Tylemachos Chytiris.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] For His Name Day Warm Wishes to Ecumenical Patriarch

    11 Jun 2005 18:09:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew celebrated his name day on Saturday with the presence of important people from around the world. In the morning he officiated a prelatic Mass in the Church of Saint George in Phanar alongside Archbishops Christodoulos of Athens, Dimitrios of America and Gerason of Theofani, Metropolitan Bishop Kallinikos of Khartoum and metropolitan bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Panagiotis Skandalakis represented the Greek government. Speeches followed after the Mass to praise the Ecumenical Patriarch by the Archbishop of Athens, representatives from the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem, as well as by Mr Skandalakis.

    "Patriarchate's Steering Role Accepted"

    "The steering role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is widely known and accepted," stressed Christodoulos, referring to the role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the preservation of unity and peace among Orthodox Churches.

    As for Mr Skandalakis, he voiced the satisfaction of the Greek government for the presence of the Archbishop of Athens in Phanar, while he stressed that for Greece "the Ecumenical Patriarchate's breath is everyone's breath."

    Answering salutations, Bartholomew stressed that the Ecumenical Patriarchate resists any "fundamentalist intolerance," while he expressed his content for the presence of Christodoulos and Mr Skandalakis.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] G8 Finance Ministers Third World Debt Overwritten

    11 Jun 2005 17:29:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The Finance Ministers of the Group of Eight, ie the coalition of eight of the worlds leading industrialized nations, reached an agreement to gradually overwrite the debt of Africas poor countries. The historic agreement was reached during the G8 Summit Meeting in London and was announced on Saturday afternoon by UKs Finance Minister Gordon Brown, whose country is leading the effort to relieve sub-Saharan Africa from poverty and diseases that kill millions of people every year. As per Mr Brown, a total of 40 billion dollars in debt will be overwritten at first, while in the second and third phase 15 more billion dollars will be overwritten for another 20 countries.

    "Time for Boldness"

    G8 Countries:

    USA Canada United Kingdom France Germany Italy Japan Russia

    "This is not a time for timidity but a time for boldness," stressed UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, announcing the deal, while he went on to add that up to 20 other countries could be eligible if they meet targets for good governance and tackling corruption. US Treasury Secretary John Snow hailed the agreement as "historic" and further added that the agreement was reached thanks to the meeting between US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the beginning of the week.

    Twenty-seven countries are eligible for debt relief under the HIPC (highly-indebted poor countries initiative), but 18 that have reached completion point, and will therefore qualify for immediate debt relief: Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia

    Following, nine countries will be relieved from 11 billion dollars in debt and eleven more countries will follow indebted for 4 billion dollars.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Helping Hand for Third World

    [04] In his Speech at the Athens Regional Conference G Papandreou Makes Harsh Criticism

    11 Jun 2005 16:33:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ANA- NET

    Twenty-four hours after the start of the procedure of a confidence vote to the government in Parliament, President of PASOK, George Papandreou, in his speech in the Athens Regional Conference, explained the policy that his party will follow. "PASOK counterattacks and New Democracy bankrupts," said Mr Papandreou, describing the governments work as pathetic, while he accused ND of taking up power without having a program for the country but only for its party followers. President of PASOK accused the government over its handlings in Public Administration and OTE, while he referred to the internal affairs of PASOK, speaking of five great changes that have been materialized since he took up the leadership of the party.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] In Parliament Clashes and Disputes

    11 Jun 2005 14:25:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The discussion in Parliament, which began last night, over the vote of confidence to the government, continues in a tense atmosphere. During his speech Minister of Health, Nikitas Kaklamanis challenged George Papandreou to demand early elections saying, "There are two ways for a government to resign. One is through Parliament; something that Mr Papandreou did not ask, and the other is though the peoples decision. Let the President of PASOK ask for it. Mr Karamanlis is a big hearted man and can answer affirmatively." "We do not place our trust to someone because of his bigheartedness or because he is a good speaker," answered PASOK MP, Anna Diamantopoulou to Kaklamanis invitation. The PASOK MP accused Kostas Karamanlis that he made commitments but did not materialize his declarations that he gave during the discussion of the current budget, while she also spoke of the European Commission fine for illegitimacies in public works in 2000-2003. Earlier, Petros Doukas and Charis Kastanidis crossed their swords concerning the economy while Dimitris Sioufas and Andreas Loverdos were also involved in a dispute.

    Swords Crossed Over Economy

    "We received a kingdom of paperwork and debts," stated Deputy Minister of Economy, Petros Doukas during his speech, making reference to the state that the current government received from PASOK. He also described the countrys economy as grim, in relation to the rest of the EU Member-States and noted that Greece is the poorest country in the EU, and rates last in all standings.

    Answering, PASOK MP, Charis Kastanidis accused the government of concealing budget data from the Greek people.

    PASOK MP, Andreas Loverdos accused the government of a new-liberal policy, to whom the Minister of Development answered that PASOK does not have a plan and does not make reference to its mistakes during its rule.

    SYN PM, Asimina Xirotiri described the process as "a set-up" that serves the goals of the two big parties and the interests they express. She also claimed that the result of the voting session will reinforce the governments scheme over the planned measures that affect social benefits.

    Announcements over Health

    Minister of Health, Nikitas Kaklamanis announced the submission of the plans for co-funding by the Private and Public Sector in healthcare, and a new system of hospital provisions. He also stated that a Presidential Decree was signed, which foresees the increase of social security nursing funds for individuals with special needs from 60 to 160 euros.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Heated Discussion

    [06] Refuse Dump Reopens

    11 Jun 2005 16:37:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Shortly before 12:00, and after the intervention of police forces, the refuse dump in Ano Liosia has reopened. It is noted that the refuse dump had closed down since yesterday afternoon by the residents of the area and members of the West Attica Committee, who demanded its closure and its transfer away from the area. Shortly after, the residents of the municipality blockaded NATO Avenue, while later on they gathered at the Town Hall in the central square of Ano Liosia. It is noted that this has been the first time this year that the refuse dump has closed down with the residents initiative. The committees of the areas that are involved in the issue are expected to meet within the coming days in order to decide their further stance.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Developments Expected Within the Week Focused on Social Security-Labour Relations

    11 Jun 2005 12:50:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The Prime Minister met with Minister of Economy, Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Employment, Panos Panagiotopoulos, over banks social security and labour relations, at Maximos Mansion. In his statements, Mr Alogoskoufis noted that the government is ready to go forth with the legislative reform for the creation of a subsidiary social security organization for bank employees, which will be financed 2/3 by banks, and 1/3 by bonds of the Public Sector. He also added that every bank can be incorporated if it wished to and a relative deadline has been set in order to submit applications. On his part, Mr Panagiotopoulos noted that the dialogue over labour relations continues and stated that within 2005 an agreement will be made over the adjustment of the above matter. He repeated the governments support towards IKA, underlining that if it is needed further support will be given to the organization.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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