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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-12-09

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] "Continuing the Battle"
  • [02] Week of Strikes
  • [03] Evidence on Keys Accepted
  • [04] "Friendship" Tunnel at Greek-Bulgarian Borders
  • [05] Reactions on Ries' Statements
  • [06] Alogoskoufis Garganas Meeting
  • [07] He Kept the Money to Himself
  • [08] Locked Up Because of Disease
  • [09] Papandreou SEPE Meeting

  • [01] Karamanlis Blair Meeting "Continuing the Battle"

    09 Dec 2005 17:36:00 (Last updated: 09 Dec 2005 19:10:46)

    Sources: ANA

    The community Budget for 2007-2014, over which serious debates have risen between the "25", as well as the further enlargement of the European Union are the issues discussed during the business dinner hosted by the EU President Prime Minister Tony Blair to Greek counterpart Kostas Karamanlis. The Greek Prime Minster, stating the general difficulties existing, reminded of the two main pillars of the argumentation of the Greek positions. "Firstly, we believe in a Europe of consensus, which means a political convergence for poorer Member-States and secondly, that the allocation way of expenses for the Enlargement should be fair," stated Mr Karamanlis, whilst speaking of a "thin and sensitive stage of the hard and arduous negotiation." "We insist, we give our battles, we fight, we take initiatives, we create alliances with other countries and we will do everything we can, until the end, to secure our interests," noted the Prime Minister speaking to journalists after the end of the meeting. "We are urging the Government to position itself, and, finally, strongly negotiate on this crucial issue," was the comment of PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis, from Athens.

    Difficult Issue

    Before the business lunch, the PMs of Great Britain and Greece had a ten-minute t&#234;te-&#224;-t&#234;te without the presence of their advisers. In his statements, Mr Karamanlis referring to the issue of fiscal prospects spoke of a "difficult issue, which became even harder after not reaching an agreement in June. It is very hard to find common ground between the 25 countries, since each one has its own views and priorities."

    On a question of whether he concluded if there is a deadline for reaching an agreement until next week, when the Summit Meeting of the European Council will convene, Mr Karamanlis answered: "I cannot rule that event out, but I will insist on the following. We are in a thin and very sensitive stage of a hard and arduous negotiation."

    In total, eight European leaders met with the British Prime Minister the previous 24 hours, in Downing Street, in order for an agreement to be reached on the issue of the community budget. Shortly before the meeting with Mr Karamanlis, Tony Blair held discussions with Irish PM Bertie Ahern, followed by a meeting with Spanish counterpart Jos&#233; Luis Rodr&#237;guez Zapatero.

    The Greek PM, who is in London as of last night, is accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Giannis Valynakis and alternate Government spokesperson Evangelos Andonaros.

    Criticism on Handlings

    "The Government, as it does in nearly all issues containing negotiations, does not announce its aims, so, each time it says that is has achieved all of them," stated PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis from Athens, and added: "We are urging the Government to position itself, and, finally, strongly negotiate on this crucial issue. The country cannot go through another lost battle," said Mr Athanasakis.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Tough Week for Commuters Week of Strikes

    09 Dec 2005 20:09:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The following week is going to be a week of strikes. Apart from the already announced strike on 14 December, held by GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour), civil servants in DEKOs decided to repeat their collective actions on 15 December as well. The decision to escalate actions was made today at the common meeting between GSEE, DEKO and Transport Federations, aiming to express their intense protest against the new DEKO Bill, which as they stress in an announcement, "promotes serious negative changes in labour relations and undermines the institution of free collective negotiations." In particular, the following were decided in todays joint meeting:

    5-hour work stoppage on Monday 12-12-05 from 11:00 to 16:00 in all means of transport (buses, trolley buses, metro, subway) and rally at 12:00 in Omonia to protest at the Economy Ministry and the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection.

    New 24-hour strike for DEKOs and Transports on Thursday 15 December and mass protest rally outside the Parliament at 18:00 on the same day.

    DEKOs will participate in the nationwide strike at the public and private sector on 14 December. Even ships will remain docked on that day, since the Panhellenic Maritime Federation is also taking part in the collective actions, while the subway and the metro will be operating from 11:00 to 18:00 to facilitate protestors that will participate at the rally. On the same day, reporters will go on a 4-hour work stoppage from 11:00 to 15:00.

    It is noted that next Tuesday the Bill in question should be submitted to the Parliament's Plenary Session without any changes. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said the Government will not back down in relation to article 14, which refers to collective negotiations, because its implementation will allow the purgation of public enterprises. "With this Bill we are trying to deal with the overall problems in DEKOs. This is the greatest reform of the last 15 years. Our aim is to help them operate with processes that would guarantee respect to tax payers' money and offer of proper services," said Mr Alogoskoufis in Parliament yesterday. However, PASOK Parliamentarian spokesperson Charis Kastanidis accused him of "placing a bomb at the foundations of labour peace and social regularity."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Tension in the 17N Trial Evidence on Keys Accepted

    09 Dec 2005 16:48:00 (Last updated: 09 Dec 2005 19:08:02)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The trial of 17N took place in a tense atmosphere once again. The point of friction was the document of the Forensics concerning findings keys in the Patmos Street hideout, which the Five-Member Felony Appeals Court decided on its insertion in the brief. Meanwhile, the court overruled the motion filed by the defendants attorneys with the exception of Pavlos Serifis over the illegal composition of the court. The thought behind the provision designated that the composition of the court, for a serious court case, is chosen by a draw between a pre-selected number of judicial employees, does not violate the Constitution and the principle of a natural judge. The trial will continue on Monday.

    "Insertion of Document is Legal"

    The judges rejected a motion of the defence attorneys to not insert the report of the Forensics, ruling, "The document was legally inserted and rightly submitted by the Prosecutor Mrs Koutzamani."

    The issue of the document triggered tension in the courtroom when Christodoulos Xiros attorney, Fragiskos Ragousis, criticised the bench Prosecutor on its publication. The attorney noted that he should have asked for her removal but will not do so. Mrs Koutzamani explained that it was her duty to submit the document to court, which she couldnt keep, as she said, in her drawer, as she would be committing the crimes of illegally acquiring a document and breach of duty.

    Alexandros Giotopoulos attorney Ioannis Rachiotis, citing the relevant article, claimed that the decision for the transfer of the document to the court was political. "Political interventions do not concern the court," observed the benchs President.

    Christodoulos Xiros ruled out the event that the document contained evidence, at least against him, and repeated his reasons over a trial of impressions and not of evidence and about pressures by the Americans, an event he claimed he lived through in the first trial. The procedure will continue the forthcoming week.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Motions and Tension

    Without Cameras

    [04] "Friendship" Tunnel at Greek-Bulgarian Borders

    09 Dec 2005 16:38:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    On Friday, the Presidents of Greece and Bulgaria inaugurated the tunnel at Exochi, Drama, which will connect the two countries, in the presence of people; Greeks and Bulgarians, who had gathered from the surrounding areas. After the inaugural ceremony, the President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias, said that today is one of the happiest days of his life, and added, "We should be exemplary partners, forgetting about any past sins and with the power given by our people build a friendship between Greece and Bulgaria." On his part, Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov said that the inauguration constitutes a message to the areas people - friendship relations are created in this land - and voiced the hope that there will be business partnerships in the area and the strengthening of relations between the residents of border areas.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] By the Opposition Parties Reactions on Ries' Statements

    09 Dec 2005 15:27:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    "Modern Greek Democracy in bilateral and multilateral relations does not allow interventions in its internal affairs," replied Government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos to the reactions of the opposition parties, which described the statements of the American Ambassador to Greece, Charles Ries, in relation to terrorism, the economy, corruption and the purchase of war aircrafts, as recommendations. The Prime Minister "should not accept to discuss with Mr Charles Ries, who behaves as a salesman of the US War Industry and a Far West sheriff," stated former Parliament Speaker and PASOK MP Apostolos Kaklamanis. With an announcement the Press Office of KKE called on the people to fight and "break away from the imperialistic organisations and weaken the political parties, which service the imperialistic designs of the weapons dealers." On its part, member of the SYN Political Secretariat Panos Trigazis, in a written statement, asked for the cancellation of the F-16 order by our country. It is noted that Mr Ries, in the context of the Exporters Association conference, described the purchase of the F-16 as economical.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Over ECB Interest Rate Alogoskoufis Garganas Meeting

    09 Dec 2005 17:31:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    The course of the Economy and the consequences of the recent increase in the European Central Bank interest rate topped the meeting between Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Bank of Greece Governor Nikos Garganas on Friday at the Economy Ministry. After the meeting, Mr Garganas stressed the interest rate increases are not predetermined by the ECB and explained the decision for the increase "was based on the need to limit monetary facilitation, under the light of increased dangers for the stability of prices." At the same time, he said all developments are closely monitored and stressed, "All decisions in the future will be taken to ensure price stability."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] He Kept the Money to Himself

    09 Dec 2005 21:21:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    A new case of money embezzlement in Leivadia, this time involving a collector from the Trades Insurance Fund, who never submitted traders' contributions to the service. The total of embezzled money remains unknown, but investigation is underway. The employee, who deceived 25 shop owners, used friendly relations as bait, while he even gave his victims fake receipts not to arouse suspicions. For some days now, a panel of auditors from the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection is in Leivadia to fully look into the case, as this is third case of embezzlement at the Trades Insurance Fund in the last period.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Tied Him to the Bed Locked Up Because of Disease

    09 Dec 2005 13:44:00

    Sources: Eleftherotypia newspaper, NET

    An unbelievable story was revealed at Chalkero, Kavala. A 63-year-old father kept his 40-year-old son locked up in the house, as he was reportedly HIV positive. Actually, many a times he tied him to the bed with straps. The neighbours informed the incident to the police, while in an investigation conducted, detected the captivity of the 40-year-old patient, who was taken to the Kavala Prefecture Hospital, where he is being hospitalised. Meanwhile, a brief was composed on the father. The disease of the 40-year-old was diagnosed five years ago. His father took him to several hospitals, however, the doctors in Alexandroupolis Hospital advised him to take his son home, and without anyone being capable of imagining what would take place.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] On Issues of Technology and Communications Papandreou SEPE Meeting

    09 Dec 2005 13:29:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ANA, NET

    On Friday morning, President of PASOK George Papandreou held a meeting with the Board of the Federation of Hellenic Information Technology and Communications Enterprises (SEPE), and briefed by its representatives on issues concerning the department of information technology. SEPE, which represents 450 companies around the country, noted the importance of the appointment of a figure in Government, in order to have a complete review on information technology issues and telecommunications, as well as to avoid the danger of not receiving funds from the programme "Information Society." During the meeting, the PASOK President was briefed on other issues such as copyright, recycling of electric and electronic equipment, the new development law and the creation of the Technological Park, "Acropolis." In the afternoon, Mr Papandreou is departing for Mount Athos, after a formal invitation by the holy community of the Athos State.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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