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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-08-04

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Reward Given for Arsonists
  • [02] Modest Adjustment
  • [03] Bill for Rural Development
  • [04] Voting for Immigration Bill
  • [05] Weak Tremor
  • [06] Petros Doukas in Hospital
  • [07] Black Boxes Found
  • [08] Explosion in Istanbul
  • [09] Iraqi MP Murdered
  • [10] Bomb Kills 14 US Marines

  • [01] A Forest is Always A Forest Reward Given for Arsonists

    04 Aug 2005 10:28:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    During the Ministerial meeting presided by the PM in Maximos Mansion it was decided that burned forest areas will remain protected. Evidence and aerial photographs that demark with absolute accuracy the stricken areas in East Attica were also investigated. Furthermore, the Minister of Public Order Giorgos Voulgarakis announced a reward of 100,000 for the arsonists of the great fire in Rafina, as well as of any other incident concerning the summer period. A joint decision was issued over the grants for the stricken persons in the East Attica fire. The free state grant is expected to burden public investments by 1,250,000 euros. It is a 15-year interest free grant of which 1/3 is given as state fund. In his statements Minister for the Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos noted that the grants will be given as normal, while the stricken persons can go forth with repairs and reconstructions of their houses. The aerial photographs of the area are expected to be made public at noon. A broad meeting in the Prefecture of East Attica in order to set a deadline for the reforestation of the area is underway.

    Help to the Stricken

    The amount that will be given for anyone who has information about the arsonists will range from 10,000 to 100,000 euros according to a Ministerial decision that will be issues by Mr Voulgarakis.

    The amount depends on the importance of the information given, as well as other factors such as the extend of damage, if there were victims or not etc. The stricken persons have a one-year deadline for submitting their applications for buildings that have suffered damage or have been destroyed.

    For buildings used for housing purposes the amount is 420-euros/sq m and 120 sq m maximum.

    For buildings used as professional space the grant is 250 euros/sq m and 120 sq m maximum. If the professional space is over 150 sq m its will be divided in 150 parts and any further grants that will arise will be funded by 160 euros/sq m.

    For the repairs of damage in the frame of the building the grant is 150 euros while on any other part 250 euros/sq m. If there are damages in both areas the grant will reach 240/sq m.

    For the repair of buildings that are tenable or described as traditional the sum is 580 euros/sq m.

    Area will be Replanted

    On the issue of aerial photographs, Minister of Defense Spilios Spiliotopoulos stated that the pictures were taken by the Air Force and the Army Geographical Service with a land survey system.

    Minister of Rural Development Evangelos Basiakos spoke of the advancement of all measures for the reforestation of the area.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Fires Under Control

    [02] Reactions Continue Modest Adjustment

    03 Aug 2005 21:12:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Giorgos Alogoskoufis did not rule out the event of updating the tax relief limits for a first house. The Minister of Economy stated that the event of updating will be investigated in the case that problems arise from new values per square meter. Moreover, he reassured that any increases in property new values per square meter will be made in the context of a modest adjustment. In relation with the imposing of VAT to property, he accused PASOK of foreseeing the above measure in its pre-election programme. "If the party of the Opposition does not agree, then it should renounce its programme," he said. The answer of PASOK Press spokesperson was immediate. "It is obvious that the Minister of Economy is lying through his teeth when he mentions PASOKs programme in order to justify the governments cashing-in policy," noted Nikos Athanasakis.


    "Whatever Mr Alogoskoufis is doing with VAT on property, the imposing of new taxes with transactions, the increment tax and the forthcoming increase of value per square meter are not related to PASOKs programme," added the PASOK Press spokesperson, noting that the policy of the government will have negative consequences on construction activity and the citizens. SYN asked for the repeal of the measures and the governments commitment that values will not be increased in 2006, especially for the purchase of a first house. The ND government noted the partys Press spokesperson Mr Voutsis, favors profiteering on land and houses, while the VAT imposing on property, which was a PASOK programme announcement, becomes the lever for new tax burdens to the working class.

    However, on its part, the Greek Chamber of Technology stated that it agrees with the imposing of VAT to newly constructed houses but disagrees with the 19% reduction rate.

    Its President Mr Alavanos proposed for the reduction rate to be lower given the fact that values per square meter will increase.

    Aim is Tax Evasion

    Earlier, speaking on NET 105.8 the Minister of Economy estimated that the VAT imposing will deal with the extended tax evasion in construction activity, noting that the 19% will not be imposed in the total value of the property.

    On the question of what the citizens should expect for wages and pensions in 2006 in view of Mr Karamanlis announcements from DETH he noted, "no one can influence the PMs announcements."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Taxation Reforms

    [03] Bill for Rural Development

    04 Aug 2005 11:39:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    At noon, the Minister of Rural Development, Evangelos Basiakos, is submitting a bill for agriculture in Parliament. The draft bill includes, among others, reforms for the establishment and operation of local rural development centers, while it upgrades the organisation for the promotion of agricultural products abroad.

    The Bill will institutionalize the certified agricultural adviser who will stand by the farmers, give motives to new farmers, and speed up the redistribution of cooperatives.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Voting for Immigration Bill

    04 Aug 2005 00:55:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, NET 105.8

    The 2nd Recess Section of Parliament adopted the first 45 Articles of the immigration Bill. Except for the positive votes of ND MPs, PASOK voted for most of the articles, while KKE and SYN voted against.

    On behalf of the Opposition objections were noted over the prediction that the rejection of the immigrants demand for the issue of residence and work permit does not need a special justification, as well as a series of rules concerning the exercise of economic activity, the obligation of the immigrant to remain in one Prefecture for a year, or the recording of biometric characteristics of the immigrant on the residence permit in the context of a singe European permit type.

    On the issue of a non-special justification of a rejection of a residence and work permit, Minister for the Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos noted that an added special explanation could constitute an extra bureaucratic act that would not ensure immigrants.

    SYN rapporteur Athanasios Leventis commented on the process of the personal interview for the issue of permits, foreseeing that the employees on the task of "evaluating personality" will be insufficient.

    PASOK rapporteur Mr Vlatis also disagreed with the prediction of the Bill, which states the immigrant that is granted a work permit should remain in the area of the Prefecture for a year.

    Mr Pavlopoulos rejected the demand of the PASOK Parliamentary spokesperson Charis Kastanides for a clear reference to the future granting of political rights to immigrant that become "long-term residents," stating "such a thing will be a trade of hopes."

    In closing, Mr Pavlopoulos commenting on KKEs protests over the recording of immigrants biometric characteristics in residence and work permits and the return of deporting procedures exclusively to the Greek police, underlined that Kostas Karamanlis government does not bargain with personal rights not even for security reasons.

    The procedure will continue tomorrow with the voting of the remaining Articles.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Weak Tremor

    04 Aug 2005 09:59:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    Early this morning a small quake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale occurred and its epicenter was located in the sea area between northern Euboea, and Skiathos. According to the Institute of Geodynamics of the National Observatory of Athens the quake that occurred 120km north of Athens took place at 08:47.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Petros Doukas in Hospital

    03 Aug 2005 23:41:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Greek Deputy Economy Minister Petros Doukas was admitted in the Athens Geniko Kratiko Hospital G. Gennimatas on Wednesday evening suffering from pains in his right limp. Tests showed that Mr Doukas suffers from thrombosis. His condition, however, is not critical. As per the medical bulletin, Mr Doukas is on medication for precautionary reasons and he will remain in hospital for three or four days.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Bad Weather Conditions Black Boxes Found

    04 Aug 2005 08:05:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    The black boxes of the aircraft, which are expected to shed light to the causes of the crash, are in the hands of special crews investigating the debris of the French A340. The Air France aircraft caught on fire after it skidded in the runway of the Toronto airport, during very bad weather conditions, which could be a primary reason for the crash. However, the 309 passengers and crewmembers survived and only 42 were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Canadian officials state that the crew of the French aircraft did a very good job during the evacuation of the craft that did not take more than 2 minutes. In the meantime, a war of statements has broken out in relation to the decision concerning its landing under such extreme weather conditions.

    No Technical Problems

    "The only person that takes the decision for landing is the pilot of the flight. Consequently he has full responsibility of his decision," stated Canadian Transport Minister Jean Lapierre to television network Radio Canada.

    "Extreme weather conditions are one factor that the investigators will be considering, but they have access to a great deal of other information that will be relevant to their work. We have been extremely lucky to not have had a single loss of life in that accident. Its a miracle," he added.

    On his part, Air France CEO Jean-Cyril Spinetta pointed out that the airports authorities did not obstruct landing nor close down the airport due to the weather conditions, explaining that the aircraft had sufficient fuel in order to land in another airport if necessary.

    However, the company announced that the aircraft did not have technical problems and the two pilots were very experienced.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Aircraft in Flames

    [08] Two Dead and Five Injured Explosion in Istanbul

    04 Aug 2005 07:35:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    The causes of the explosion that occurred on Wednesday night in the Asian side of Istanbul, and resulted in the death of two people and another five to be injured remain unclear. According to CNN Turk the explosion occurred in a moving vehicle. Star TV, quoting a passerby, states that the explosion was in a truck, while NTV states it took place in a rubbish bin. The investigations of the authorities are in development.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Iraqi MP Murdered

    04 Aug 2005 10:28:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The Iraqi rebels are escalating their violent actions. Following yesterdays bombing attack against American marines, today, their target was a member of the Iraqi National Congress and former Vice-President of the Ahmad Shalabi Government. Haidar al-Dujaili was murdered in cold blood by armed rebels who invaded his home in the capitals southern district of Saydiya. The culprits fled the scene after the attack.

    It should be noted that unknown militants ambushed Ahmad Shalabis motorcade on 31 July, south of Baghdad. One bodyguard was killed in the exchange of fire, while no Iraqi officials were riding in any of the cars.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Bomb Kills 14 US Marines

    03 Aug 2005 21:14:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    US forces in Iraq sustained the deadliest bomb attack ever. As per official sources, 14 marines and an interpreter were killed and another was injured in a roadside bomb attack near Haditha west of Bagdhad. The soldiers were on an amphibious assault vehicle.

    Haditha is one of the strongholds of the Sunni-led insurgency, where clashes and bombing attacks are a daily phenomenon. On Monday, a similar blast claimed the lives of six troops inHaditha, whereas another was killed the following day in the nearby town of Hit. All blasts targeted the Regimental Combat Team 2 and the 2nd Marine Division.

    This means that we are dealing with a very lethal and, unfortunately, adaptable enemy," commented a Pentagon spokesperson.

    The deadliest attack against the US forces since the end of the war in Iraq occurred last September, when a suicide bomber detonated himself in a US military base in Mosul killing 21 including 14 US troops.

    Meanwhile, an Iraqi insurgent group under the name Army of Ansar al-Sunna posted an announcement on the Internet claiming it captured a US marine during clashes near Haditha. The insurgent group also said that it will soon release footage of the hostage. Washington, on the other hand, rejects these claims.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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