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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-10-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Emergency Meeting
  • [02] Deadly Quake in Pakistan
  • [03] Cases of Bird Flu in Romania
  • [04] Papandreou Launches Attack
  • [05] POESY Announces Work Stoppage
  • [06] Annan Call for Talks over Kosovo

  • [01] In Maximos Mansion Emergency Meeting

    08 Oct 2005 11:13:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET 105.8

    An emergency meeting has been underway since this morning at Maximos Mansion between Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis and his close associates, for the selection of Adam Regouzas replacement, who might even be announced today. The matter of the former Deputy Ministers successor has already been discussed between the PM and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Giorgos Alogoskoufis. Speaking on radio station NET 105.8, Mr Alogoskoufis declared that no one should judge another, while he added that the replacement of the former Deputy Economy Minister is a matter that concerns solely the Prime Minister. On his part, yesterday, government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos clarified that Mr Regouzas will not be stricken from NDs parliamentary group. According to information, the discussions are focusing on the possibility of the new Deputy Minister being a member of the partys Central Committee or an external member with knowledge of economics

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Awaiting the Replacement

    [02] Fears for Dozens of Victims Deadly Quake in Pakistan

    08 Oct 2005 09:36:00 (Last updated: 08 Oct 2005 13:24:56)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: Reuters - ANA

    According to official estimates, the death toll from the strong 7.6 earthquake that was recorded early this morning on the Indian-Pakistani borders has reached 157. Most of the losses are located in the northern provinces. At the same time, a Pakistani army spokesperson mentioned that the final death toll may even exceed 1,000. "Over 75 apartments were affected, so the number of people is in the hundreds," Mohammad Ali, a government official in Islamabad, told Reuters. A major rescue operation is underway to recover the hundreds of people trapped under the rubble. In the meantime, all phone lines are down, while major damages to properties have also been recorded. Seismologist Mohammad Hanif said that it was one of the strongest earthquakes ever felt in Islamabad, while he also mentioned that entire villages have been wiped off the map.

    Fear and Panic

    According to estimates, the epicentre of the quake was very close to the surface and that is why there are fears that the final death toll will by far exceed the initial estimates.

    The area where the quake took place is known for its frequent seismic activity and experts have long predicted an imminent major earthquake in the Himalayan region.

    The tremor, which lasted about a minute, spread panic and the Pakistani citizens took to the streets.

    An aftershock of magnitude 5.9 was felt in the Pakistan capital about an hour later, causing more panic.

    In the town Lahore, which is situated close to the epicentre, nine people were injured when the roof of a police station collapsed.

    The citizens of New Delhi, India, abandoned their homes screaming, however, a local government official declared that there have been no reports of any victims yet.

    The tremor was also felt in the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, where many buildings collapsed, resulting in the death of two children.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] On Three Domestic Birds at the Danube Delta Cases of Bird Flu in Romania

    07 Oct 2005 23:47:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Romania reported its first case of avian flu on Friday, but said it had not yet established whether the virus found in domestic birds in the Danube delta was harmful to humans. "We discovered today three cases of domestic birds which were tested positive for the avian flu in the village of Ceamurlia de Jos in the Danube delta. There were three ducks in the yard of a peasant family," Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur told reporters. Flutur said tests would be carried out to determine whether the flu was the deadly H5N1 strain or a less dangerous one. "We will send the samples to Great Britain for a thorough analysis," he said.

    The Romanian minister also said he had imposed quarantine for three kilometres around the site and all domestic birds would be culled to prevent the disease from spreading in the environmentally sensitive delta.

    Flutur also added that hunting was banned across the delta and that health authorities had dispatched medical teams to start testing for possible human cases in the area, just a few km from the Black Sea.

    The Danube delta is Europes largest wetlands and a major migratory area for wild birds coming from Russia, Scandinavia, Poland and Germany.

    [04] From Corfu Papandreou Launches Attack

    07 Oct 2005 21:02:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The president of PASOK, George Papandreou, launched a severe attack against the Government from Corfu, where he spoke at a local rally. The Opposition leader focused on the economic, as well as the foreign policy, following the commencement of accession talks between Turkey and the EU. Mr Papandreou pointed out that in the economic sector, "the budget is up in the air," adding that Commissioner Almunia left the Government exposed, while referring to the foreign policy, he said that Mr Karamanlis total inadequacy in handling foreign affairs has prompted his concern and puzzlement over his abilities.

    Foreign and Economic Policies at the Focus

    On the Governments economic policy, Mr Papandreou also noted that this was the first time that the national budget was not accepted by the EU, adding that a matter of trust for the Economy Minister, who has to assume his responsibilities, has surfaced.

    He also urged the Government to withdraw the budget draft it submitted, while he accused it of social callousness.

    Referring to the "national programme for reforms", which has to be submitted to the European Commission, he said that the Government prepared a text after copy-pasting the measures it implemented recently.

    "Our aim as a future government is to guarantee growth, employment for all, quality of life, security, equal opportunities, education for all, environment and culture, solidarity, democracy, participation and transparency," underlined Mr Papandreou.

    With regard to national matters, PASOKs leader accused the Government of implementing a foreign policy with zero effort, giving up, and abandoning Helsinki and the long-term efforts for solving the issue with Cyprus, following the tactics he employed concerning the talks for EUs negotiating framework with Turkey.

    As for the municipal elections, he noted that PASOK would fight for a second wave of radical reforms in Self-Government, securing unity and convergence of progressive forces.

    With regard to the choice of candidates that PASOK will be supporting, Mr Papandreou said that this would be done through new and transparent selection procedures.

    Finally, the president of PASOK said that his party is forming a new national social agreement, which will be their programme and which will be implemented the very next day after they are elected to government, since it would have the consent of the Greek people.

    Roussopoulos' Response

    "Audacity has its limits. Limits that PASOK and its president keep crossing daily. The implementation of necessary policies to fix the economy and lay the foundations for a better future does not constitute social callousness. What actually constitutes social callousness is the economic destruction of thousands of small investors at the Stock Exchange, the shame of compounded interest rates, the long-term hostage situation with tens of thousands of contract workers, the illegal deduction of pensions through LAFKA, and doubling of taxes for citizens in just eight years. The social callousness of the past, as well as the political hypocrisy of the present bear the seal of PASOK," responded government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    PASOK on Higher Education

    [05] For Wednesday 12 October 12noon-4pm POESY Announces Work Stoppage

    07 Oct 2005 22:03:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Unions of Press employees announced a work stoppage for Wednesday 12 October from 12noon to 4pm on all Media. In its announcement, the Board of the Panhellenic Federation of Editor Unions (POESY) called all the Unions that are members of the Federation to organise a nationwide stoppage with the participation of all journalists and Media employees. POESYs Board also announced that it is warning the Government and the employers that it will not be accepting any more incidents of arbitrariness, such as the ones recorded in the private TV and radio sector (Planet, SKAI, Teletime etc), as well as the newspapers (Apofasi, Makedonia, Apogevmatini, Tragas Group etc) that lead to loss of jobs, flexibility in labour relations and undermining the right of citizens for honest and objective news. It also warned the Government that any attempt to undermine the social security rights would be strongly opposed by the Unions. POESY urged the journalists, as well as all employees in the Press and electronic Media, to participate in the rallies organised for Wednesday 12 October, underlining that it is just the beginning of their collective actions.

    Reasons

    As per the announcement, the Federation is proceeding with a work stoppage for:

    Immediate payment of the back pays owed to employees Defending the Social Security Funds, as well as the immediate payment of any debts owed to the funds by employers Opposition to legislative provisions for flexibility of labour relations Implementation of measures to combat unemployment and loss of jobs Abolishing the law about working hours and overtime Immediate implementation and observance of the collective work contracts that are currently in effect Enactment of measures for absolute transparency in the ownership regime for Media.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] He Recommended Commencement of Discussions Annan Call for Talks over Kosovo

    08 Oct 2005 00:11:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    On Friday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan recommended the start of talks for settling the regime in Kosovo, stressing that the time has come for a discussion over its future, while he urged the Security Council to aim at solving the disputed regime of the Serbian province. "The time has come to move to the next phase of the political process," was mentioned in Annans letter to the 15-nation UN Security Council, which has the authority to settle Kosovos political future. The Security Council has scheduled to discuss the matter on 25 October, based on the recommendations made by Annan. These were also included in a report drawn up by his special envoy Kai Eide, who has been holding talks with Serbia, Albania and the EU over the last few months. Annan also added that Eide has concluded that, although standards implementation in Kosovo has been uneven, this should not hinder the commencement of talks for its future. "The future status process must be moved forward with caution. All the parties must be brought together - and kept together - throughout the status process," said the report. "The end result must be stable and sustainable.

    Annan, who visited Geneva on Friday, said that the talks would lead to the independence or autonomy of Kosovo from Serbia, as declared his spokesperson Stephan Dujarric, who also added that Annan is planning on appointing a special envoy to lead the discussions.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis


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