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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-12-14

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Strike Fever
  • [02] Dispute Over DEKOs
  • [03] US Pentagon Runs a Secret Database
  • [04] F-16 Contract Placed
  • [05] US Congresswoman on FYROM
  • [06] WTO Talks Amid Incidents
  • [07] Mofaz Approves Settlement Construction
  • [08] Apartment Block Collapsed in New Jersey

  • [01] 24-Hour Strike Announced by GSEE-ADEDY Strike Fever

    14 Dec 2005 07:09:00

    Sources: NET

    Wednesday marks the beginning of the two-day collective actions. The Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) and the Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions (ADEDY) have announced a 24-hour strike, while the personnel of the Public Utilities and Enterprises (DEKO) and the public transport have announced a 48-hour one. Public services, schools, banks and DEKOs will also be disrupted today, while hospitals and National Centre fro Emergency Medical Care (EKAV) will be running with an emergency staff. With the exemption of the metro and the electric railway, which will operate from 11am to 6pm, the rest of the means of the public transport will not run. Flights will be seriously disrupted due to the work stoppage the air traffic controllers have scheduled from 12:00 to 16:00, while OSE trains and ships will remain docked at the platforms and ports respectively. The main rally of the unions is to take place at 1pm at Pedion tou Areos. On Thursday, when the bill on DEKOs is expected to be submitted in Parliament, all means of public transport will pull handbrake, DEKOs will not operate, while no trains will run. The Panhellenic Federation of Editor Unions (POESY) is also participating in the strike, with a work stoppage on all Mass Media from 11am to 4pm on Wednesday. The Greek Broadcasting Workers Federation (POSPERT) has planned a twelve-hour work stoppage from 7:30am to 19:30pm and a five-hour one from 1pm to 6pm on Thursday.

    In the meantime, tension among the employees was reported outside PPCs offices on Halkokondyli Str, since strikers blocked the entrance and tried to prevent employees form working.

    Related News:

    Amid Continuing Strikes

    [02] Dispute Over DEKOs

    14 Dec 2005 09:48:00

    Day one of the discussion over the bill on Public Utilities and Enterprises (DEKO) in Parliament was marked by high tension among the parliamentarians. Based upon the controversial provisions with regard to the collective negotiations of the employees as well as the issue of arbitration, PASOK filed an unconstitutional motion against the bill. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis pointed out that the issue of unconstitutionality is out of the question, since, as he said, the Supreme Courts Plenary Session has issued a ruling on that. He then went on to accuse PASOK of hypocrisy, arguing that in 1998 it voted a provision on labour relations that failed to settle the DEKO problem in its whole, as the government is doing. On his part, former Economy Minister Giannos Papantoniou described Mr Alogoskoufis claims as inaccurate. Furthermore, PASOK parliamentarian Giorgos Floridis claimed that the provisions of the bill run contrary to article 22 of the Constitution, while PASOK parliamentary spokesman Haris Kastanidis called on NDs parliamentarians to respect, as he said, the Constitution. The unconstitutional motion was outvoted by ND, while PASOK, KKE and SYN voted in favour.

    [03] A Secret Database Came to Light US Pentagon Runs a Secret Database

    14 Dec 2005 08:49:00

    A secret database run at the US Pentagon proves that the US army may be able to collect evidence on American citizens who oppose the war in Iraq, and may also monitor peace rallies, reported American television network NBC on Tuesday. The database obtained by NBC, consists of a list numbering 1,500 suspicious incidents that occurred across the USA in a ten-month period. The incidents include nearly 50 anti-war rallies, some of them staged against military recruiting, said NBCs show Nighlty News. According to the show, this document constitutes the first ever inside record of how the Pentagon has intensified intelligence collection in the USA since the 9/11 attacks. The show cited a top secret document which read, "We have noted increased communication between protest groups using the Internet but not a significant connection between incidents."

    TALON Watches Over the Americans

    The USA has a long history on monitoring anti-war activities since the war in Vietnam, when it was learned that the Pentagon spied anti-war demonstrations and civil right groups. The Congress recommended strict limits on military spying inside the USA in the 1970s.

    A spokesman for the Pentagon declined to comment on NBCs revelations. He said, "The Department of Defence uses counterintelligence and law enforcement information properly collected by law enforcement agencies. The use of this information is subject to strict limitations, particularly the information should relate to missions with regard to the Department of Defence facilities, interests and personnel."

    The Pentagon has already admitted the existence of a spying programme known as "Threat and Local Observation Notice," TALON.

    TALON has been designed to collect "unconfirmed information on threats and security abnormalities indicative of a possible act of terror

    [04] 40 Fighter Jets Purchased F-16 Contract Placed

    13 Dec 2005 18:05:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The Foreign Affairs and Defence Council (FADC), presided by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, approved the purchase of 40 F-16s Block 52+ from the United States through an interstate agreement. The cost of the main programme rises to 1.1 billion euros and constitutes, as per National Defence Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos, the most economic purchase of such aircrafts by the Greek state ever. As Mr Spiliotopoulos stated, it covers the needs to support the previous programme of purchasing 60 F-16s Block 52+, which had not been provided for by the 2000 contract, while all necessary bank guarantees are ensured for the first time.

    With today's decision, underlined the Minister, we ensure the absence of mediators in the programme in question, confirm the government's commitment on transparency, while preserving the correlation of forces in the area.

    At the same time, Mr Spiliotopoulos underlined that F16s would be delivered in 2009.

    PASOK: Direct Assignment

    The issue triggered the reaction of all Opposition parties. "The government proceeded to a decision of high economic and political cost through direct assignment and at the same undermined the possibility of the state's budgets to fund development and social solidarity," said PASOK member Christos Papoutsis, who asked the government "to submit this contract to Parliament as soon as possible."

    KKE underlined that "a purchase not based on the country's defence needs indicates that there is a lot of money, in fact abundant for NATO equipment, for the dispatch and maintenance of troops in Afghanistan and Kosovo, for tax evasions and motives in favour of plutocracy."

    SYN member Panos Trigazis voiced his opposition, speaking of a "huge burden for Greek economy, without serving the real defence needs of the country."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] US Congresswoman on FYROM

    14 Dec 2005 09:36:00

    US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sent a letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calling on the Bush administration to take actions with a view to achieving a compromise solution on the official name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Floridas Republican Congressman underlined, "Assisting the efforts made by the UN to come up with an official name equally accepted by both Greece and FYROM would serve the USAs strategic interests." Mrs Lehtinens letter came after ambassador to Washington Alexandros Mallias had briefed the Congress members on the developments in the Balkans.

    The Congresswoman, who is most likely to head the Congress Committee on International Affairs, underlined that Washington can play an instrumental role in achieving a beneficial solution on an issue that has been troubling the region for 13 years. She also called on the Bush administration to prompt "our friends in FYROM" to assent to a compromise solution and accept the proposals submitted last March by UN special mediator Matthew Nimic.

    Mrs Lehtinen also noted that last years decision to recognize the FYROM as "Republic of Macedonia" resulted in blowing a strike against Greece newly elected government. She went on to underline that they should make the best of the positive climate created inside the FYROM by the USA recognition. The US Congresswoman also noted that Skopje has to embark on a more honest approach aiming at really settling the issue.

    [06] Korean Farmers Clashed With Police WTO Talks Amid Incidents

    14 Dec 2005 09:31:00

    South Korean demonstrators clashed with the Hong Kong Police for a second day running, while trying to cross the security cordon and reach the venue hosting the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Summit. Around 50 South Korean, mostly farmers opposing the liberalisation of their countrys rice market, were pushed back by blasts of pepper spray. During the clashes, at least nine injuries were recorded. Eyewitnesses, however, noted that there has not been a serious violence outbreak as the Hong Kong authorities were expecting.

    [07] Despite Israel's Obligation to Freeze Any Activiti Mofaz Approves Settlement Construction

    14 Dec 2005 09:15:00

    Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz approved the construction of more than 290 settlement houses in the West Bank, despite Israels obligation to freeze constructions under a US-backed peace plan, read Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth. As per the newspaper, Mofaz approved the construction plan shortly before he joined the Ariel Sharons new party. Yedioth Ahronoth also published the statement by Mofaz according to which there was neither political significance nor any political connection regarding the approvals. Such an initiative is likely to "upset" Washington, Israels most powerful ally.

    [08] Fears Over Many Victims Apartment Block Collapsed in New Jersey

    13 Dec 2005 18:37:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, BBC, Reuters

    A three-storey apartment block, where 30 families were residing, collapsed today shortly after 15:30 (CET) in New Jersey, causing a yet undefined number of victims. A thick cloud of black smoke, visible beyond the river of Manhattan, has covered the area. Fire Brigade forces and rescue crews have rushed on site and struggle their way through the fire, as some of the nearby buildings have been also wrapped in flames. There are fears of people trapped under the ruins. As per CBS radio, the victims from the collapse, which was most probably triggered by a gas explosion, are too many. According to sources inside the Holy Main Hospital, five people have been admitted so far, but the seriousness of their condition is not clarified. No official death toll has been released, but as per county sheriff Leo McGuire, at least one person is missing. Rescue crews verified that the back of the building has been completely destroyed by the blast, while speaking on CNN, Mr McGuire said the blast was probably caused by gas leak, when a pipe broke during repair works on the street.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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