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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] 'No' to New Tax Measures
  • [02] Full Frontal Attack On Hires
  • [03] Bad Weather Conditions Ahead
  • [04] Head-On Collision
  • [05] Re-Enactment of the Helios Fatal Flight
  • [06] Proceedings Against Zisis
  • [07] A US Marine on Al Jazeera!
  • [08] Hecatomb by Al Qaeda
  • [09] Third Place in Equitation
  • [10] Zidiridis Earns Bronze
  • [11] PASOK at Sex Form Factory
  • [12] Refuse Dump Remains Closed
  • [13] Armed Robberies in Attica

  • [01] Draft of New Budget On Monday 'No' to New Tax Measures

    30 Sep 2005 12:53:00 (Last updated: 30 Sep 2005 22:44:20)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: NET

    The 2006 Budget draft will be presented in Parliament on Monday, while Minister of Economy and Finance reassured that no new tax measures are foreseen. In the morning, Giorgos Alogoskoufis held a meeting with the Prime Minister, and appeared optimistic over the course of economy, noting that the deficit will be reduced through curbing Public expenditure and dealing with tax evasion, and not with new measures. As Mr Alogoskoufis predicted that the public deficit will be close to the targets set by the Stability and Growth Programme, while it will drop to under 3% in 2006. Economy Ministry sources mentioned that this years deficit would range around 3.6%, aiming at a final target of 2.8%, while they ruled out the possibility of increasing taxes through car registration fees or VAT. The Minister of Economy also excluded the possibility of implementing new tax measures, pointing out that the deficit will be reduced through curbing Public expenditure and dealing with tax evasion. Finally, asked to comment on his relationship with Deputy Economy Minister Adam Regouzas, Mr Alogoskoufis stressed that he collaborates very well with all his colleagues at the Ministry.

    Incomes and Expenditures

    The pay rises for Public Sector employees are expected to range at 3.7%, within the deficits limits, while it will double for pensioners, around 7%, since the Pensioners Social Solidarity Supplement (EKAS) is expected to increase by 10-11 euros and the Agricultures Insurance Organisation (OGA) pensions by 14-15 euros. A restriction of overtime and grant cuts in Organisations is foreseen for the decrease of expenditures.

    Incomes will be increased to 7%, original expenditures by 4.8%, and the Public investments programme by 10%, reaching 9 billion euros. The aim of the government for 2006 is the decrease of deficit to 2.8% from 3.6%, which is expected to be reached during the current period, a deficit that in 2004 was 6.6% of the GDP.

    The Minister of Economy supported Adam Regouzas after the commotion stirred by his comments on bribes, and his dispute with customs employees caused by an investigation on illegal trade cases.

    Giorgos Alogoskoufis, speaking with his colleagues, noted, "the issue of customs employees is dealt with in a serious manner and we will take measures. There is no Regouzas issue, as circuits within the party set him up. There is an ongoing investigation and we will take measures in the near future."

    In a meeting in the Ministry of Economy, Giorgos Alogoskoufis, Adam Regouzas and the Director of Customs, Ilias Rousakis, decided on an investigation in the Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki and Patras Customs, where irregularities were reported.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] Triggered by PASOK Accusations Full Frontal Attack On Hires

    30 Sep 2005 21:04:00 (Last updated: 30 Sep 2005 23:32:08)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    New accusations were exchanged between the government and the Opposition, triggered by illegal hires and extravagant rises in wages of Public Sector officials. The issue arose after accusations by PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis that the office manager of NDs President, Kostas Staikouras, is behind mass hires of citizens in the Lamia General Secretariat of Adult Education, in collaboration with the General Secretary of the Secretariat, Dinos Tsamadias. On Friday, PASOK MP Filippos Petsalnikos made further accusations on provocative pay rises to Presidents of Social Welfare Units, who he named as managers with special abilities. Minister of State Thodoris Rousopoulos accused PASOK of unsubstantiated claims, and an attempt of blurring the governments image.

    Rousopoulos Answers

    Yesterday, Messrs Staikouras and Tsamadias denied the accusations, noting that they are only targeted at the Prime Minister.

    Actually, in an announcement, Mr Tsamadias, stated that 1000 hires were made nationwide, with 9-month work contracts, noting that if the descent of all is investigated, then other Prefectures will be found with similar re-assignments.

    The relevant Education Ministry Secretariat also strongly denied the accusations, stating that all hires have been made by work contracts under transparent procedures.

    Today, Mr Rousopoulos returned to the issue after questions by journalists and stated: "PASOKs accusations, on hires in the Public Sector promoted by persons in the PMs environment, are unsubstantiated. "

    Following the reading of data per Prefecture by the recorded hires list, Mr Rousopoulos stated that the persons hired, in their majority, come from Prefectures where schools are situated.

    "The Greek citizen sees, judges and remembers," he concluded.

    "The government tries to hide the needle in the haystack. Apparently, hour-wage employees, the rest of the educators, work contracts and persons responsible for programmes are all different. They should stop lying. Nobody believes them," rejoined Mr Athanasakis.

    Dispute Over Petsalnikos' Statements

    The issue of hires was followed by the accusation of Filippos Petsalnikos on provocative pay rises.

    "At the time when the people are going through an unprecedented austerity, and the government speaking about rises to employees and unprivileged pensioners, in the deficits limit, around 3%, 4% or 5% at the most, is around the time we concluded that it gives provocative rises, which reach 962% in some cases, to the Presidents of Social Welfare Units, which it named as managers of special capabilities. When one sees the credentials of these persons appointed by the Minister of Health, then the non-correspondence to the special credentials of the so-called managers is apparent. It was an extremely unfair policy. Unfair to everyone else," stated Mr Petsalnikos arriving at the proceedings of the PASOK National Council.

    The Deputy Minister, Giorgos Konstantopoulos answer was immediate. "It seems that Mr Petsalnikos wants Social Welfare and Solidarity as the poor relative of Health. It is not possible for the units of social welfare to be managed by of Presidents for a few hours," he answered, insisting on the necessity of permanent employment of managers.

    "There are 100 such institutes nationwide. Adjustments were made in 29, which foresee the hire of full time managers, while their pay is equal to the minimum pay of a hospital manager," claimed Mr Rousopoulos.

    "Up to now," he explained, "figures were appointed, which were not full time employed, and resulted to the assets of the institutions to not be utilised, and community grants to be lost, since the absorbance was only 4%," he stated, and added:

    "This decision, in the relevant bill, was agreed on by the spokesperson of persons with special abilities, who is also a member of the PASOK Central Committee, while it was praised by the Opposition."

    "The administration of these institutions has to constantly work for the absorbance and the utilisation of grants, and the protection of persons who depend on it," concluded Mr Rousopoulos.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] With Heavy Rain and Storms Bad Weather Conditions Ahead

    30 Sep 2005 17:33:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    On Friday, the Hellenic Meteorological Service issued a bulletin on dangerous weather conditions, as heavy rainfalls and storms are expected in the following hours. The stormy weather will hit the Ionian Sea, Epirus, western Sterea, Macedonia and probably Thessaly and eastern Sterea. As of Saturday night, rainfall will also affect Thrace and the islands of northern and eastern Aegean sea, while it will subside in western Sterea. The weather is expected to improve as of Sunday around the country.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Between G. Papandreou and the Government Head-On Collision

    30 Sep 2005 15:26:00 (Last updated: 30 Sep 2005 21:04:07)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Speaking at PASOKs Political Council meeting, party President George Papandreou launched a harsh attack against New Democracy. Mr Papandreou accused the government of not rising to the challenge and the Prime Minister of being unable to put things in order and as a result Greece has lost funds, prestige, historic negotiations and its course is undermined. The PASOK President said there is corruption within the Government and heartlessness, while ND is promoting party politics and nepotism. "18 months ago, I would have never imagined I would make use of such expressions today. The Right seems unable to change," he stressed. Mr Papandreou also referred to Turkeys accession talks with the EU, scheduled to open on October 3 and accused the Government of negotiating inability and lack of strategy.

    Turkey at Focus

    The President of PASOK, continuing his fierce criticism, referred to the issue of guard hires in the National Bank of Greece, and competitions in the Dodecanese and the Cyclades Islands "where the names were announced three hours before the committees convocation which was investigating the candidates applications."

    He expressed his opposition to "you are similar," and counting the policy differences between PASOK and ND in all areas, stated, "ND handles Greece as a foreign country conquered by an invasion."

    Making reference to the start of Turkeys accession negotiations with the EU, he accused the Government of lacking strategic planning, while being incapable and weak in negotiations.

    Continuing, he criticised the government of following a " neutrality on purpose," stating that PASOK supports Turkeys European future, and called on the Government to seek an "Helsinki 2," with a nucleus of pledges, guarantees and timelines.

    Government spokesperson Mr Thodoros Rousopulos, replying to the President of PASOK made the following statement:

    "By going into the past and attempting to perpetuate dividing dilemmas, which harmed the country, the only thing that Mr Papandreou is doing is destroying the image of another policy which he referred to some time ago."

    Replying PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis noted, "NDs government daily harms the land and divides the citizens with its policies aimed at the few and burdening the many. It has destroyed its credibility long ago, and only insists on opposing PASOK."

    ND Policy: "Not A One Way Street"

    On her part, the partys Secretary, Mrs Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou, stated that the first aim of PASOKs collective efforts is to reveal, daily, that NDs policy is not a one-way street, as the notion that competitiveness should not be based on third-world ideas of cutting down labour costs.

    She also underlined that the reasons of running down collective negotiations, the generalised attacks against employees and the policy that benefits the few against the many and social consensus, are not a one-way street.

    On the political issues that concern the party, she stated that PASOK is busy reconnecting its policy with social bodies, while she underlined that the conferences decision will be over the existence of a specific regulation that concerns the operation and representation of departmental organisations.

    In closing, she noted that in view of the 2006 Municipal elections, the first priority of PASOK members and officials is the discussion of the political context on Local government, which will take place in tomorrows meeting of the National Council, and will be combined with the procedures of electing candidates.

    Tension in Political Council

    The meeting of the PASOK Political Council, during which swords were crossed between its members, took place before the National Council.

    The cause was the proposal presented on changes in departmental organisations of PASOK, presented by the Secretary Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou.

    Evagelos Venizelos stated that important issues should not be discussed in the absence of the partys Leader, estimating that if this proposal is adopted the creation of a Lenin type party will be advanced, while Mr Skandalidis noted that the specific proposal takes the party back to the 70s and 80s.

    After these events, Mrs Xenogiannakopoulou was forced to withdraw her proposal.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] In Akrotiri, Chania Re-Enactment of the Helios Fatal Flight

    30 Sep 2005 13:27:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The re-enactment of the fatal flight of Helios airplane that crashed in Grammatiko is being performed since morning at the Olympic Aviation pilot training centre in Agia Triada, Akrotiri, on Crete. The representation is performed through an Olympic Aviation simulator, while members of the Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board and president Akrivos Tsolakis are in Chania for this reason.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Proceedings Against Zisis

    30 Sep 2005 16:21:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, NET 105.8

    The Appellate Prosecutor Kyriakos Karoutsos ordered criminal proceedings against Supreme Court Vice President and President of the Judges and Prosecutors Union Achilleas Zisis. Supreme Court Vice President Georgios Sanidas, who is investigating corruption rings in Greek Justice, ordered the criminal proceedings. The charges are abuse of power and violation of the declaration of assets bill.

    The charges he is faced with are misdemeanours, and concern intervention in the work of judicial employees, aimed at favourable court decisions in the cases of businessman Konstantinos Avramidis, who is also being charged of two misdemeanours.

    Achilleas Zisis reportedly received money from Konstantinos Avramidis, in order to repair his summer home in Crete. As per the brief, the businessman issued invoices, in his company, for the purchase of construction materials intended for Mr Zisis summer home, and avoiding paying 450 euros VAT. Mr Avramidis was charged of being an accessory in Mr Zisis breach of conduct and fraud against the Public Sector.

    Within the coming week, the Supreme Court High Judicial Council is expected to investigate the issue posed by Mr Papaligouras, in order for Mr Zisis to be temporarily suspended after the latest developments.

    However, with the Councils decisions, Appellate Judge Nektarios Vazaios and First Instance Judge Maroulio Daviou were temporarily suspended, as they were involved in the case of the extra-judicial ring with former interrogator Antonia Ilia and Archimandrite Iakovos Giosakis.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] US Point of View in the Arab-Speaking World A US Marine on Al Jazeera!

    30 Sep 2005 11:52:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The story of Josh Rushing has created havoc. He is one of the few men to have surprised the world for simply changing his line of work. And not just any kind of job. After spending 14 years serving the US army as a spokesperson for the situation in Iraq, Josh Rushing bade farewell to his army uniform and decided to serve the Americans from another position. He was hired by Al Jazeera, the Arab-speaking television network, which Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly described as devolish and inaccurate.

    For the Sake of Americans

    In an exclusive interview for the Times, 33-year-old Josh Rushing explained the reasons why he left the Marine Corps.

    One of them was he was not allowed to speak to the Press. And for a long time he was faced with a serious dilemma. Should he continue serving his country or its citizens?

    With his new duties on Al Jazeera, he is sure to be doing both.

    He will serve his country and the US public opinion by making sure to let the Arab-speaking world know the American point of view.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Claimed Responsibility of Balad Attack Hecatomb by Al Qaeda

    30 Sep 2005 17:57:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    With an announcement in an Islamic website, the organisation of Al Qaeda in Iraq assumed responsibility of the triple attack in the town of Balad, which cost the lives of 99 and the injuring of another 124 civilians. The announcement of the organisation, which is led by Abu Musab al Zarqawi, stated the following: "Al Qaeda claims responsibility of the triple bomb attacks against Police and National Guard renegades, in the town of Balad." The authenticity of the announcement has not been yet confirmed, however the website it is posted in, is frequently used by al Zarqawis organisation.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Bloody Attacks in Iraq

    [09] Third Place in Equitation

    30 Sep 2005 19:48:00

    By Thanasis Karlos

    The Equitation World Cup at the Olympic Equitation Centre in Markopoulo, commenced with Greek successes, specifically in the first international game Athens CS12 in Hurdles. In the second game of the day, the 1.25m jump, Stefania Papadimitriou, riding Flamme D Aunis, earned the bronze medal, performing two excellent rides with 31.56. She was followed by Fiona Fragista, riding Dark Knight, in 4th place, Elina Dendrinou, riding Neptune, in 5th place and Kostas Gounaras, riding El Capricho Farmer, in 6th place.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Zidiridis Earns Bronze

    30 Sep 2005 18:28:00

    By Thanasis Karlos

    Tariel Zidiridis has added one more medal to his collection. The judoka of the Filippos Amyntaio team earned the bronze medal in the 66kg category, in the U21 European Championship, which commenced today in Zagreb. The young athlete, in the preliminaries scored three wins, however he was defeated in the semi-finals where he received third place and the bronze medal.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] PASOK at Sex Form Factory

    30 Sep 2005 15:19:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    On Friday morning, Anna Diamantopoulou and Christos Protopapas visited Sex Form factory. The two PASOK members spoke with the employees, who are in retention of employment. Speaking at the rally of the employees, Mrs Diamantopoulou reassured that PASOK will take all necessary initiatives, and pressure the government to restart the operation of the company, and secure the workers employment. PASOK also pledged to discuss the issue in Parliament, and support all the employees efforts. Furthermore, Mrs Diamantopoulou and Mr Protopapas asked to meet with administration of the company, but the latter refused.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Employees Still on Strike Refuse Dump Remains Closed

    30 Sep 2005 14:34:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Employees at the Ano Liossia Hygienic Refuse Burial Area decided on Friday to continue with their collective actions. Employees protest for their working conditions, supporting the transfer of the sewage sludge from Psittalia causes unbearable odour. What is more, they will not allow and rubbish trucks to dispose garbage at the Ano Liossia refuse dump until they get a binding commitment that the sewage sludge will be taken to another site. The refuse dumps has been closed for four days now and the accumulated rubbish are starting to cause serious problems around the capital. Answering to PASOK Parliamentarian Apostolos Kaklamanis' question, Deputy Environment Minister Themistoklis Xanthopoulos said transferring sewage sludge to Ano Liossia is a one-way street, but efforts are made to proceed with alternatives.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [13] In the Morning Armed Robberies in Attica

    30 Sep 2005 14:27:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    A gang of three foreigners committed two armed robberies in the early morning hours in Kalyvia and Markopoulo, in Attica. Wearing hoods to cover their faces, the robbers broke into a house at 04:00 at the junction of Kyprou and Amorgou streets in Kalyvia, holding the 70-year-old owner and his wife at gunpoint. The foreigners remained in the house for more than an hour and disappeared after stealing 900 euros and precious jewellery. As per Police speculations, the same men then broke into a house on 3 Bouki street in Markopoulo and after tying the owner and his 23-year-old son, stole their ATM cards and their two Mercedes cars and vanished into thin air.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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