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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-17

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] The Prime Minister's Contacts
  • [02] Developments in ND
  • [03] G. Papandreou at GSEE Offices
  • [04] Injured Persons Out of Danger
  • [05] Wiretaps Stir Tension in Parliament
  • [06] Bank Employees on Strike
  • [07] Deadly Mudslides in the Philippines
  • [08] ETA Struck Once Again
  • [09] Cargo Ship Sinking
  • [10] Stability Programme Approved
  • [11] Series of Blasts
  • [12] Tsalikidis' Case Becomes a Riddle

  • [01] Economy and Changes in ND at Focus The Prime Minister's Contacts

    17 Feb 2006 11:08:00 (Last updated: 17 Feb 2006 12:44:33)

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    The Economys prospects, as well as changes in New Democracy following the appointment of Vangelis Meimarakis as Minister, are at the focus of todays contacts for Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who returned from his important trip to Germany and Ireland. Earlier, he held a meeting with Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis and discussed the developments in the Economy and the programme of reforms. Questioned on the event of early elections, on the occasion of the PASOK Presidents statements, Mr Alogoskoufis replied, "The Government is in the middle of its term and successfully implementing the programme of reforms, which will pull out Greece from the pasts economic problems. The Main Opposition has its reasons to create distractions." Mr Alogoskoufis estimated that the preliminary draft of the publicised Almunia report over the Greek Economy is positive, since it does not ask for the implementation of added measures, but the implementation of the Budget. The report will be discussed at the College of Commissioners next week and following by the Ministerial Council. At this time the Prime Minister is meeting with newly appointed Defence Minister Vangelis Meimarakis.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Meimarakis Called an Intra-Secretarial Meeting Developments in ND

    17 Feb 2006 12:48:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Evangelos Meimarakis called today his last ND intra-secretarial meeting in his capacity as the partys secretary to lay down the election process of his replacement. The meeting assumed a ceremonious character, while everyone present applauded Mr Meimarakis on his entering the chamber. Lefteris Zagoritis voiced yesterday his intention to run for the post of the partys central committee secretary. ND parliamentarians Giannis Manolis and Katerina Papakosta have also expressed their wish to run for the post. NDs central committee is expected to hold a meeting to elect the new secretary in late February. Evangelos Meimarakis argued he would stand by the new secretary. Obviously emotional, ND parliamentarian Iordanis Tzamtzis stated that the outgoing secretary aimed high. Mr Meimarakis close associate Nikos Karahalios claimed that everyone would be on the new secretarys side. On his part, Apostolos Stavrou, secretary of NDs Parliamentary Group, argued that Mr Meimarakis had the party on alert in hard times, while Nikos Nikolopoulos said he is overwhelmed with mixed feelings.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Labour Issues at Focus G. Papandreou at GSEE Offices

    17 Feb 2006 12:39:00

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    Labour issues, following the dead end reached in yesterdays third meeting between GSEE and FGI, were at the focus of the discussion between the President of PASOK and the Presidency of GSEE. Following the meeting, the President of PASOK fiercely criticised the Government and the Prime Minister personally of undermining the citizens and employees security. Mr Papandreou stated that the Governments attack is targeted at social unity and added that the countrys development does not pass through cuts in wages. On his part, President of GSEE Christos Polyzogopoulos spoke of an attack against democratic rights and compared the refusal of bankers to sign a sectoral contact with Thatchers attack against the mineworkers in the 80s. Employers organisations and in particular FGI, are discussing increases in wages and salaries less than 3%, while GSEE is retaliating with work stoppages in the beginning of March. In statements made to NET 105.8, Deputy Minister of Employment Gerasimos Giakoumatos spoke of a great unevenness in payments and repeated the 8-year commitment of NDs programme, in order for the lowly paid to reach EU averages. The Government is observing but not intervening in negotiations, added Mr Giakoumatos.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] In the Train Accident in Serres Injured Persons Out of Danger

    17 Feb 2006 12:18:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, NET

    Seven persons remain hospitalised in Serres General Prefectural Hospital, thankfully, out of danger, following the train derailment in Serres. Two persons, a 23-year-old female train passenger and the 41-year-old truck driver were killed and in total 18 persons were injured.

    As per doctors, the condition of one of the injured, in particular a man who sustained head injuries and is hospitalised in the ICU, is stable, while a 35-year-old woman, who suffered an impact fracture at the spinal cord was taken to Papanikolaou Hospital in Thessaloniki. The other injured persons were released from hospital.

    It is reminded that the accident took place on 14:07 yesterday at noon, when a pick-up truck attempted to cross the railway tracks, out of a level crossing, between the stations of Serres and Lefkothea resulting in its back wheels getting stuck in the mud at the time the train was passing. The Intercity train carrying 101 passengers was en route from Piraeus to Alexandroupolis.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Interpellations by PASOK-SYN Wiretaps Stir Tension in Parliament

    17 Feb 2006 12:08:00 (Last updated: 17 Feb 2006 13:14:52)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The phone-tapping scandal was at the focus of the dispute between Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras and PASOK and SYN parliamentarians Miltiadis Papaioannou and Nikos Konstantopoulos respectively, who had filed interpellations on the issue. Mr Papaligouras spoke of a systematic drive to distort truth aiming to implicate both the Prime Minister and the government as the perpetrators of this major national scandal, irrespective of the fact that they were the targets of the wiretaps. He also underlined that Vodafones initiative to deactivate the illegal software seriously hampered the revelation of truth, while he assured that there is a base of clues that will lead to those involved. He concluded arguing that Tsalikidis suicide is thoroughly being looked into. SYN parliamentarian Nikos Konstantopoulos spoke of a cooperation between intelligence services and business interests. In answering, Mr Papaligouras described the phone-tapping scandal as unheard-of and national, stressing the government did not pursue to cover it up, but to reveal it and look into it, instead. On his part, PASOK parliamentarian Miltiadis Papaioannou blasted the government for shirking its responsibilities and requested the Justice Minister hand in his resignation. In the meantime, the Greek National Defence General Staff categorically dismissed articles implying that army officers had set up a phone-tapping network during the annual military exercise, code-named "Parmenion." Furthermore, the six new notebooks, which Tsalikidis held, handed over to Prosecutor Ioannis Diotis, who leads the probe into Tsalikidis suicide, raised more questions. The notebooks had been handed over to the prosecutor by the mobile phone company.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Tsalikidis' Case Becomes a Riddle

    New Turn of Events

    [06] Tension and Small Incidents in Athens Centre Bank Employees on Strike

    17 Feb 2006 10:13:00

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    At this time, bank employees are staging a protest march outside of the offices of the Greek Federation of Bank Employee Unions (OTOE), protesting over the banks intention to abolish collective work contracts. The Presidency of OTOE will arrive at the Ministry of Employment, where it will submit the sectors demands to Minister Savvas Tsitouridis. Earlier, tension and small incidents took place outside of Alpha Banks central offices at Stadiou Street, when security men clashed with strikers, which guarded the work stoppage. Bank employees are staging a 24hour strike today, protesting over the banks initiative to abolish collective work contracts. In fact, shipping routes were not performed today due to the 48hour strike of ships crews, which will end tomorrow. However, the Panhellenic Seamens Federation will convene at noon, in order to investigate the proposals submitted by the Minister of Mercantile Marine.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Fears of Dead Reaching 2,000 Deadly Mudslides in the Philippines

    17 Feb 2006 10:13:00 (Last updated: 17 Feb 2006 12:40:45)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, BBC

    At least 200 are likely to have been buried under tonnes and mud and 1,500 are missing due to landslides caused by heavy rainfalls in two villages on Leyte Island in central Philippines. There are fears over the number of victims reaching 2,000. As per Red Cross spokesperson Richard Gordon, one of the two villages was completely covered by mud. The landslides occurred at 10:45am local time in the village of Guinsaugon, near the town of Saint Bernard, south of the island. As per state radio, 45 persons have been rescued, while local authorities stated that only four bodies have been recovered in the ruins of the village, which has been buried under the mud. Rescue crews with special sniffer dogs and the Philippine Army have rushed to the scene, although the villages are inaccessible. As Governor of Leyte Island Rosette Lerias stated, many of the villages residents had evacuated their homes as of 6 February due to the rainfalls, but unfortunately returned today. Director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology Rene Solidum announced that a magnitude 2.6 earthquake occurred in the area. "Heavy rainfalls are responsible for the disaster, however, the earthquake sped things up," said Mr Solidum.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Mud wipes out Philippines village

    Reuters: Many feared dead in Philippine mudslide

    [08] No Injured Persons ETA Struck Once Again

    17 Feb 2006 08:35:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA

    A bomb explosion occurred on Thursday night near the offices of a construction company in Spains Basque Country. Earlier the Basque armed organisation ETA had made a phone call, warning over the attack, to newspaper Gara. The blast in Bilbao occurred amid Spanish newspapers reporting that the Basque armed organisation would announce a ceasefire. As Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported in its website there were no injured persons by the blast. It is noted, that two days ago a bomb had exploded outside of a nightclub in Navares, northern Spain, which caused vast damage. The responsibility over the bomb explosion was claimed by ETA. As per sources, there are plans over the start of a peace procedure with the Basques as long as ETA renounced violence.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Off the Shores of China Cargo Ship Sinking

    17 Feb 2006 07:40:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA

    Thirty-seven Chinese sailors are missing, when the cargo ship they were aboard on, sank after crashing into a reef, off the shores of southeast China. As news agency Xinhua reported, the ship sank on Thursday and straight after investigations started over the location of the missing sailors. The relevant authorities voiced the fear that the chances of finding them are slim. The ship was carrying aquatic products to Indonesia and sank near the island of Fujian of the Dongjia province. As per Chinese Mass Media, more than 230 persons lost their lives last year in several boat sinkings.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Without Added Measures Stability Programme Approved

    16 Feb 2006 21:27:00

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    The European Commissions recommendation to the EU Economy Ministers Council is positive, in relation to the Greek Economys stability programme, which will be discussed at ECOFIN on 22 February. As per sources, the aim of controlling the fiscal deficit below 3% of the GDP by the end of 2006 is plausible, without requiring the implementation of added measures. The Greek Economy stability programme will be evaluated at the forthcoming Economy Ministers Council on 13 March, in Brussels.

    Faithful Implementation of Budget

    During the evaluation of the Commission, the faithful implementation of the budget was requested and stressed that the goal of achieving of fiscal adjustment is possible, without securitisation of due debts to the Public Sector taken into consideration.

    As per the same sources, the Commission, in its recommendation to the Council, also recognised that the current fiscal effort made by the Greek authorities have included some temporary measures, filing at 0.6% of GDP, for which their evaluation by Eurostat is still pending.

    Moreover, it noted the need of promoting the demanded reforms on the reformation of the pensions system, which has also been demanded by the overwhelming majority of Member-States.

    On estimations over the Greek Economy growth rates, the Commission estimated that the GDPs increase will be at 3.4% for 2006 (3.8% as per the stability programme) while in 2005 was at 3.5% (3.6% as per the stability programme).

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Series of Blasts

    17 Feb 2006 08:08:00

    Sources: NET

    Five branches of banks were targeted by unknown men late last night in Attica. The makeshift explosive devices detonated within minutes from each other.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Tsalikidis' New Notebooks to Mr Diotis Tsalikidis' Case Becomes a Riddle

    16 Feb 2006 21:41:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    Vodafone official Kostas Tsalikidis case has been further perplexed following the revelation that a notebook Tsalikidis held contained a rather puzzling phrase ending with the word "suicide." The notebook in question is one of the four notebooks Vodafone submitted to Prosecutor Diotis, a move that prompted the deceaseds family to doubt their authenticity. So far, no one doubts that it was Kostas Tsalikidis who wrote down the word "suicide." His brother, Panagiotis, knows his handwriting and can assure whether he wrote it or not.

    A Vodafone employee found the notebooks in drawers that did not belong to Tsalikidis. One of them contains the rather puzzling phrase, "If this fells flat, then suicide."

    The family of the deceased strongly reacted to this new revelation and wondered why the company did not submit these new notebooks along with the rest of Tsalikidis belongings and failed to inform them about the mystery phrase.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    K. Tsalikidis' House Searched

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