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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-10

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Tidying Up and Reforms
  • [02] Political Reactions
  • [03] Oil Benefit?
  • [04] Contacts and Agreements
  • [05] Awaiting the Greek Light
  • [06] First Place for Devetzi
  • [07] Heart Attack in the 87'
  • [08] UN Issue at the GPF

  • [01] Announced Mr Karamanlis from TIF Tidying Up and Reforms

    10 Sep 2005 21:10:00 (Last updated: 10 Sep 2005 21:57:14)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    During his speech at the 70th Thessaloniki International Fair, the Greek Prime Minister announced a series of reforms aiming at tidying up the Economy, as well as significant and anthropocentric growth. Kostas Karamanlis referred to bold steps in 14 sectors that would boost the competitiveness of Greek Economy and allow the transition to an effective state, which would focus on its citizens. "The Greeks did not simply elect another Government. They elected a course of reforms," he stressed, noting that the strategy of bold reforms has guaranteed positive results.

    Course of Reforms

    Speaking at the TIF, Mr Karamanlis analysed his plan for a strong and competitive Economy, which would serve citizens above all.

    Focusing on the main points of the government policy, he seemed determined to proceed with anthropocentric growth and the reestablishment of the state.

    "If we do not change the State, we cannot solve its problems," he underlined and announced a series of bold reforms, which, as he said, "would definitely improve Greece." In this context, he also announced:

    Tidying Up the Public Sector and Reducing Expenditures

    Reduction of expenditures and end to excessive spending in the Public Sector. Development of public real estate. New supply system for the Armed Forces, which will provide for a reduction of defence expenditure from 4.1% of the GDP, during the period 1999-2003, to 2.96% for the period 2005-2006. The relevant Bill will be submitted to Parliament in the following days. Rationalisation and a new operational context for all DEKOs (public enterprises classed as public services and utilities), using OTE as a model. Mr Karamanlis further added that the aim for all DEKOs is to ensure their social role, while at the same time operate respecting Greek taxpayers' money. Tidying up also provides for common rules and regulations for executive salaries and evaluation.

    Denationalisations Energy Market

    Expansion of the denationalisation privatisation programme, while will encompass the Athens International Airport, the Greek Postal Savings Bank and the Greek ports. Common framework for Public and Private Partnerships, which would provide more funds for a social state, new business activities and hence new job openings.

    Deregulation of the energy market (electricity and natural gas) and measures that would lead to the reduction of oil demand. At that point, Mr Karamanlis announced the extension of the natural gas network in 13 prefectures and the immediate completion of the legislative framework for the energy market.

    Taxation

    Gradual reduction of tax rates for physical entities as of 2007. Targeting smuggling and tax evasion. "This decision is not negotiable. The State will be ruthless towards all directions. No one is above the law," clarified Mr Karamanlis.

    Social Security in Due Time

    Dialogue over Social Security will open in due time, in order to prepare the solutions necessary to ensure its viability beyond the next decade.

    Entrepreneurship

    National urban planning for Renewable Energy Sources, Tourism, Industry, Mountainous Regions and Coastal Space, in order to facilitate those who wish to know where and to which they could invest. Reformation of motives for foreign and Greek businesses that provide services exclusively outside the Greek borders, but are based in Greece. New legislative framework that would make the establishment and dissolution of businesses easier.

    Regional Restructuring

    New regional restructuring will take place in view of the next CSF, aiming at the equal sharing of Community funds. The country will be divided in five Important Growth Regions. Daily Life

    Draw up a National Growth Plan for the period 2007-2013, focusing on the daily needs of all Greek citizens, the improvement of the quality of life, the reduction of unemployment. Mr Karamanlis stressed the first messages from the unemployment front are encouraging, even though he did admit, "Nor me, nor any other member of the Government can feel satisfied, as long as unemployment is still at these levels."

    Regarding the high living cost, after oil prices went sky-high, he asked everyone to hold a responsible stance and further announced more checks. "We have zero tolerance when it comes to profiteering phenomena," he clarified.

    Regarding Health, he referred to the abolishment of the drugs list and the problem with the lack of enough beds in hospitals.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Political Reactions

    [02] Political Reactions

    10 Sep 2005 21:15:00 (Last updated: 10 Sep 2005 22:22:10)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    All opposition parties harshly reacted to Kostas Karamanlis speech at the 70th TIF. PASOK accused the Greek Prime Minister of an unreliability demonstration and generalised announcements. "The Greeks waited to hear important and specific announcements on the economic policy of the year to come, and all they got instead was Mr Karamanlis pretending once more to be a great reformer," stressed Mr Athanasakis, accusing the PM of leading the country to the wrong direction. "The government made promises to the capital," underlined KKE in its announcement, further adding that all 14 points of Karamanlis speech are policies against the people and asked citizens to participate in demonstrations. SYNs reaction was also very intense. In statements, P. Lafazanis predicted "the middle ages of labour," noting that "the government and NDs dogma is whatever serves the interests of the capital, also serves the interests of Greece."

    Demonstrations

    Earlier in the afternoon, the big trade union organisations held a demonstration opposing to the government policy.

    The protest organized by GSEE, ADEDY and the Macedonian Labour Centres started shortly after 19:00 at the El. Venizelos statue.

    At the same time, PAME gathered at the Thessaloniki port's main gate, while Left supporters demonstrated in Kamares.

    The rallies came to an end opposite the "Ioannis Vellidis" Conventional Centre, where the PM would speak in the context of the 70th TIF.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Oil Benefit?

    10 Sep 2005 19:30:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    From Manchester, where he is attending the unofficial ECOFIN meeting, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said there could be an oil benefit for the socially weaker groups. "The Government is looking into all possibilities as long as the budget can endure it," stressed the Greek Minister adding, "we will ask all Public bodies, Ministries, Organisations and Local Administration who are funded by the budget to contribute in order to raise a fund for this purpose." Referring to the plan discussed at ECOFIN on the oil crisis, he said there could be measures to financially reinforce the weaker, although at this point it would be better to avoid actions that could twist the Economy.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Contacts and Agreements

    10 Sep 2005 19:56:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Government members had important contacts in Thessaloniki, where the heart of growth and entrepreneurship is beating these days. Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis inaugurated the new OKANA unit, while the HAI (Hellenic Aerospace Industry) and Italian Finmeccanica reached a major agreement for manufacturing aircraft parts. Minister for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works G. Souflias appeared satisfied by the course of major works and the growth of Northern Greece, underlining he would "reveal all those who delay to complete the works, regardless of their status, like he did with the expansion venture at the Macedonia airport." "There will be no dismissals in DEKOs (public enterprises classed as public services and utilities)," clarified Employment Minister P. Panagiotopoulos, also noting that "whatever happens regards those who will be hired in the future and those who are already working."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] New Orleans: A Dead City Awaiting the Greek Light

    10 Sep 2005 09:28:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Two weeks after Hurricane Katrinas deadly strike, anyone needing to travel to the centre of flooded New Orleans needs a special permit and an armed escort. A fundraiser, which will be broadcast in more than 100 countries around the world, including Greece, commenced on Friday to gather money for the people affected by the hurricane. In the meantime, many European countries are awaiting the green light from Washington in order to offer aid to the victims. US officials thanked the international community, however, they asked the counties to demonstrate patience. The US Homeland Departments person in charge of coordinating the international effort, Harry Thomas, declared that 95 countries have offered help. He also added that the American authorities are trying to "adjust" the offers to the real needs of the areas afflicted by the hurricane, while he noted that they do not want to accept any type of help that cannot be used or might not benefit the American people.

    Sweden

    The spokesperson of the Swedish Embassy in Washington, Claes Thorson, declared that they have been awaiting permission to send a plane to the USA since last Saturday. As soon as the US clarified that they would be accepting international aid, Sweden chartered a plane to transfer water purifying equipment, containers, blankets and telecommunications systems. However, the Hercules C-130 is still waiting for the green light from Washington, despite Stockholms repeated reminders.

    Hungary

    According to Andr&#225;s B&#225;csi-Nagy of the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, his country suggested sending experts, as well as other types of aid, but they still have not received a response from the US Government.

    Switzerland

    Andreas Stauffer of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation declared, "We can do nothing else, but wait."

    Croatia

    Yesterday, Croatia announced that it is awaiting the green light from Washington, before sending medical coroners to the country.

    Finally, it has been estimated that the US Government will be distributing approximately $460 million in aid to the 230,000 victims of Hurricane Katrina.

    Shelter from the Storm

    A fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina commenced on Friday. Telephone operators in all the major US networks kept answering to calls for funds.

    The benefit show, entitled "Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast", culminated when famous artists, including Sheryl Crowe, The Dixie Chicks, Alicia Keys, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Rod Steward and Neil Young, appeared on stage. Other celebrities who participated in the event were: Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Ellen DeGeneres, Jack Nicholson, Chris Rock and Ray Romano.

    The show was broadcast by all of the major US networks, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The WB, UPN and PBS, as well as the cable networks ABC Family, Black Family Channel, Bravo, E!, Fox Reality, Oxygen, Showtime, MSNBC, TV Guide Channel, USA Network, Fox Movie Channel and Court TV.

    The special event will also be broadcast in more than 100 countries all over the world, including Brazil, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Taiwan, India, Great Britain, Greece, Spain, Japan, Israel and Iceland. The show was produced by Joel Gallen, producer of the fundraiser "America: A Tribute to Heroes", for the 9/11 attacks.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Nightmare Under Water

    [06] First Place for Devetzi

    10 Sep 2005 18:58:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    She may not have won the gold medal, however ranking first in the IAAF track and field final in Monaco proves that Greek Pigi Devetzi is still one of the big names of triple jump. The Greek silver Olympian managed, in her last presence for this year, to rank first with a jump at 15.89m, her best performance for the year. Devetzi jumped at 14.52m, 14.38m and 14.37m. Russian Tatyana Lebedeva won second place with 14.86m in her last effort. Cuban Yargelis Savigne ranked third with a jump at 14.81m, leaving world champion Trecia Smith in fourth place with 14.69m. Shortly after winning first place, Pigi Devetzi said on the Greek public television, "I am happy. I wanted the world to see what I can do and I lost a great opportunity in Helsinki to do so. But the time finally came. It was great today (Saturday) and the conditions were ideal."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Heart Attack in the 87'

    10 Sep 2005 20:46:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Even though PAOK took the lead 2-0 in the first half time, Atromitos managed to tie the match in the rerun three minutes before the end and leave from empty Toumba with an unexpected point. Karipidis was sent off in the 63' with a second yellow card, leaving PAOK with one player less at the match's most critical moment, as Atromitos were put a lot of pressure to tie the score. The home team showed two faces, which cost him dearly, as they were very good in the first half and very bad in the second, a fact which may have resulted from PAOK's belief that the match had ended in the 35', when Salpigidis scored his second goal.

    PAOK Showed Two Faces

    From the very beginning of the match, Atromitos showed they were after a goal and thus played offensively, which did not give PAOK a lot of room to breathe. The only bad thing for Paraschos' team was that his defensive line betrayed him at a time when PAOK had found their pace and applied pressure to score.

    In the 24', Salpigidis was coming from the left and made a centre kick at the right time, thus allowing Mieciel to open the score for PAOK.

    With the air of the lead, PAOK quickly went after the second goal, which did not take long to come.

    In the 35', Zagorakis launched a 35-metre kick caughting Atromitos' defence duo by surprise and passing to Salpigidis, who gave a two-goal lead to the home team.

    But from then onwards, things got off hand for the Thessalonikan team. Nikos Karageorgiou's players probably believed the match had ended and loosened up.

    Atromitos balanced the pace and set the pitch on fire, tying the match without having a hard time.

    After avoiding Salpigidis' third would-be goal in the 48', the guests scored their first in the 60', when Petkov passed to Zacharopoulos, who reduced to 2-1 from a favourable spot.

    Three minutes later, things got even easier for Atromitos as Karipidis was sent off with a second yellow card for overthrowing Zacharopoulos outside the goal area.

    Atromitos put a lot of pressure, which paid off three minutes before the end. Petkov was awarded a foul kick at the centre, Zacharopoulos and Udeze went after the ball and the Nigerian forward score the goal of the draw for the guests.

    Referee: Kouklakis

    Yellow Cards: Karipidis, Geladaris, Balafas

    Red Cards: Karipidis (second yellow)

    LINEUPS

    PAOK: Tohouroglou, Udeze, Megahed, Zagorakis (69' Balafas), Maladenis (69' Vangelis), Haralambous, Feutchine, Konstantinidis, Salpigidis (88' Egomitis), Karipidis, Mieciel

    ATROMITOS: Michailidis, Sotirchos, Mikes, Dagas (46' Karadimos), Pappas, Koutsis, Korakakis, Petkov, Zacharopoulos, Geladaris (78' Katemis), Dimos (67' Skarmoutsos)

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] UN Issue at the GPF

    10 Sep 2005 00:13:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The major and significant problems faced by humanity nowadays were at the focus of the Annual Event of the Global Progressive Forum, which was founded by the European socialist leaders. The President of PASOK attended the Event in Milan, while on Friday night, he participated in a reception hosted by the founding members and discussed the issue of reviewing the UNs operations. Following the discussion, Mr Papandreou referred to the significant role of the world Organisation, saying, "Today, no one is that strong, so as not to require the help of the international community," and using the case of the USA as an example, since they are asking for international aid following the tragedy in New Orleans. "This demonstrates just how significant the role of the UN is and how important it is to upgrade and modernise it," added Mr Papandreou. On Saturday, the leader of PASOK will address the Forums Plenary Session on the subject "Global Progressive Vision".

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:

    Global Progressive Forum


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