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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] Reforms Are the Key
  • [02] Analysing Jeanne d'Arc
  • [03] Incidents Marked OTOE's Strike
  • [04] Resignation at Economy Ministry
  • [05] New Home for Press Information
  • [06] Ships Docked until Monday
  • [07] Day of Prayer and Protests
  • [08] Annan: "Shut Down Guantanamo"
  • [09] Barroso in FYROM
  • [10] Spotlight on Karaiskakis Stadium
  • [11] New Suspect Cases
  • [12] Mad Cow Case in Croatia
  • [13] Municipal Task Group

  • [01] Satisfaction over the Commission's Praise Reforms Are the Key

    17 Feb 2006 21:02:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ═┼ď - ═┼ď 105.8 - ┴NA

    The Greek Government welcomed the European Commissions confirmation that the fiscal deficit could be reduced to under 3% of the GNP before the end of 2006, without implementing any added measures. The Commission is expected to proceed with approving the Greek Economys stability programme for 2006-2008 next Wednesday, while its recommendation will be submitted in March to the Economy Ministers Council, which is expected to give it the green light. Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis briefed the PM on Friday. In addition, the Governor of the Bank of Greece, Nikos Garganas, as well as former PM and honorary ND president Konstantinos Mitsotakis, voiced their support for the reforms promoted by the Government.

    Satisfaction over Positive Recommendation

    "The Government is implementing very successfully the programme [] that will rid the country of the fixed economic problems it has been suffering for many years and will provide a new prospect for Greece," declared Mr Alogoskoufis upon exiting Maximos Mansion, where he briefed the PM on the European Commission and Joaquin Almunias positive assessment of the Greek Economy.

    According to information, the Commissions report will include the view that a reduction in the deficit is possible, provided the budget is implemented without nay deviations.

    Answering to reporters questions, Government spokesperson Theodoros Roussopoulos stressed, "The effort will continue until all the Governments pledges to the citizens are fulfilled." Referring to the Commissions report, Mr Roussopoulos said the EU recognises the Governments efforts to restore the problems with the Economy, adding that the criticism was proved wrong.

    Speaking at an event hosted by the Commerce and Industry Chamber of Thessaloniki, Mr Garganas pointed out the positive steps taken for the Economy. The Governor of the Bank of Greece added that the fiscal adjustment should be quicker and the reforms bolder, especially in the employment market, while he noted that the markets are anticipating increases in European interest rates next month.

    Furthermore, Mr Garganas stressed that the reforms in the pension system should proceed as soon as possible, so as to stop any extra charges from the aging of the population. In addition, he said that the aim was to secure funds that will be boosted by redistribution through the state budget.

    Finally, speaking from Chania, Crete, Mr Mitsotakis also noted the need for reforms, stressing that the Government is proceeding towards change with determination, while he voiced the hope that both the Opposition and the social bodies will understand that barren refusal leads nowhere.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    The Prime Minister's Contacts

    Stability Programme Approved

    [02] DNA Test on Joan of Arc Analysing Jeanne d'Arc

    17 Feb 2006 20:02:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    French scientists are hoping to shed light into the mystery of Joan of Arc, as they are trying to determine whether the charred tissues they have really belong to Frances national heroine. Some six centuries after being burned at the stake, the scientists have some samples of ashes that were allegedly recovered in the place where she died, in the town Rouen, southern France. The only remains of the leader of the French army toward the end of the Hundred Years War that survive until today are fragments of charred rib and material from clothing, which are on display in a museum of the Roman Catholic Church in Tours, SW of Paris. Forensic expert Dr Philippe Charlier leads the team of 18 scientists from Raymond-Poincare Hospital, while the tests are expected to last for six months.

    Putting an End to Doubts?

    The 19-year-old national heroine, and later Saint, burned at the stake on 30 May 1431.

    Carbon dating techniques and analysis of pollen traces will allow the team to pinpoint the age of the relics down to the exact year and month, while the human tissues will reveal the sex and age of the victim.

    However, as per Dr Charlier, it will be almost impossible for the tests to reveal whether the remains belong to an historic figure. Furthermore, no DNA comparison can be done with possible descendants, since Joan of Arcs supposed family tree is "probably false," he added.

    The scientists, though, will be able to determine with absolute certitude whether the remnants they have belonged to a 19-year-old woman that was burned three times in Rouen in 1431.

    Joan of Arc led the French to several victories over the English towards the end of the War (1337-1453), saying that she heard voices from a trio of saints telling her that her mission was to save her country. After being injured in battle, she was captured, tried for witchcraft and burned at the stake three times on one day. She initially died of smoke inhalation and when she was burned a second time, her internal organs were not fully consumed by the flames. Nothing was said to remain after the third cremation except her ashes. She was made a saint in 1920.

    It should be noted that Dr Charlier has also cleared up other mysteries of French History. Last year, he determined that Agnes Sorel, the mistress of King Charles VII of France, died of mercury poisoning.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    ┴┬C: Experts to Test Possible Joan of Arc Bones

    [03] Injuries and Clashes with Riot Police Incidents Marked OTOE's Strike

    17 Feb 2006 15:32:00 (Last updated: 17 Feb 2006 19:20:30)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ═┼ď

    Todays 24-hour strike staged by the bank employees opposing the bankers refusal to sing a collective working contract heavily disrupted the operation of banks. The OTOE (Hellenic Federation of Bank Employee Unions) presidency held a meeting with Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis. The Minister urged OTOE to run the dialogue to stretch, pointing out that there is no room for intransigence. Mr Tsitouridis also called OTOE a "protection shield for thousands of bank employees." OTOE President Dimitris Tsoukalas, on the other hand, said that the turnout percentages were pretty high and described the statements by the Governor of the National Bank of Greece who spoke of highly-paid bank employees, as well as the statements by the FGI President who suggested a possible OTOEs abolishment, as provocative. In the meantime, tension ran high and clashes occurred between bank employees and riot police outside the premises of the Agricultural Bank on Panepistimiou St. President of OTOEs pensioners Ignatios Pliakos was among the injured. Earlier, minor incidents had been reported outside Alpha Banks headquarters on Stadiou St, when members of PAME (All Workers Militant Front) clashed with the banks guards. Two unionists sustained minor injuries.

    "Run the Dialogue to Stretch"

    "The Government will once again urge the bankers to negotiate," stated the Employment Minister and called on all parties to hold a dialogue, saying, "We may disagree, yet we have to come to an understanding."

    Confident of the final win, the OTOE President underscored that todays strike attracted a larger turnout than that of the strike staged on February 6, which everyone had hailed as successful. Furthermore, Mr Tsoukalas lambasted the Governor of the National Bank of Greece Takis Arapoglou and the FGI President Odysseas Kyriakopoulos for trying to abolish OTOE. "Several other things will be abolished long before OTOE is dissolved," claimed Mr Tsoukalas, also warning, "the struggle of the bank employees will turn into a broaden working class struggle."

    Condemning the Incidents

    PASOK secretary Mariliza Xenogiannkopoulou, former SYN parliamentarian Panagiotis Lafazanis and unionists from other sectors visited the headquarters of the Agricultural Bank on Panepistimiou St, the scene of clashes between an OTOE delegation and riot police, and condemned the stance of the police officers.

    Mrs Xenogiannakopoulou stressed the banks boards have been provocative, underlining that what is happening in the banking sector foreshadows what the private sector will be subject to. As for the incidents, she called them sad, pointing out, "They are taking us backwards." She further blasted the Governments policy, arguing, "it is affecting the employees and the pensioners, it is hindering social cohesion and has a an adverse effect on Greeces prospects in the long run."

    On his part, Mr Lafazanis claimed, "What happened at the expense of the bank employees is a shame upon democracy. The riot police beating and injuring employees and pensioners, who are struggling for their most fundamental democratic and union rights, is beyond belief. Blatant authoritarianism is becoming a weapon for the abolishment of collective working contracts, resulting in the abolishment of the unionist movement itself."

    KKE secretary general Aleka Papariga argued that the presence of the riot police and the violence they exercised against the strikers showed that the Government, even a few hours after the cabinet reshuffle, still prefers discussing while "armed with a club." She further added that KKE favours the dialogue among the employees to form a joint militant front and not a dialogue with the Government or other employers, "for such a dialogue has a pre-fixed purpose."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Bank Employees on Strike

    [04] Resignation at Economy Ministry

    17 Feb 2006 17:44:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The general secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Konstantinos Michalos, tendered in his resignation on Friday afternoon in order to run for President of Athens Commerce and Industry Chamber. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis accepted the resignation, thanked Mr Michalos for the excellent collaboration and wished him all the best.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] New Building Inaugurated New Home for Press Information

    17 Feb 2006 17:30:00

    Sources: NET - ANA

    On Friday, Archbishop Christodoulos inaugurated the new building that will house the General Secretariat of Communication and Information, while the ceremony was attended by State Minister and Government spokesperson Theodoros Roussopoulos. At the same time, the annual cutting of the vasilopita (New Years cake) for the employees took place. Mr Roussopoulos received the Archbishop at the entrance to the new building, while after the ceremony, Christodoulos blessed the cake. In his short speech, the Archbishop of Athens and the Whole of Greece said that Mass Media has an influence over the people and for that reason they have to operate carefully, with responsibility and based on moral principles. On his part, bearing in mind the objectives for the new year, the State Minister referred to the legislation pertaining to the radio and television media, including the dialogue underway for the licensing of Mass Media and the bill for regional Press. "We are placing a bet for more valid and qualitative news," noted Mr Roussopoulos, describing the digital era as "a bet that has to be won."

    At the request of the Archbishop, the Minister gave him a tour of the new facilities where the briefing of reporters will be talking place. While in the Press room, Christodoulos had the opportunity to talk with the reporters.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    General Secretariat of Communication/Information

    [06] Seamen Escalate their Collective Actions Ships Docked until Monday

    17 Feb 2006 16:41:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Panhellenic Seamens Federation (PNO) decided to escalate its collective actions by announcing a new 48-hour strike. Therefore, ships will remain docked at ports until 6am on Monday. That was the seamens answer to Mercantile Marine Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis letter regarding their claims. In his letter, Mr Kefalogiannis referred to the measures the government has taken to boost the sector.

    Furthermore, the Minister underlined that a draft bill providing for the setting-up of an independent Special Unemployment Fund has been submitted, the lump sum given to seamen posted a 25% rise in 2005, while he pointed out that the negotiations on the collective working contracts exclusively relate to the parties involved and that the bill on marine education is to upgrade Merchant Marine Academies.

    In its statement, the PNO spoke of vague announcements, underscoring that Mr Kefalogiannis "failed to make a substantial and concrete pledge to settle the seamens fair and mature claims."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related Links:

    Ministry of Mercantile Marine

    [07] New Muslim Demonstrations Day of Prayer and Protests

    17 Feb 2006 19:20:00


    Sources: ANA - Reuters - AFP

    New protests over the drawings of Prophet Mohammad published in a Danish newspaper took place on Friday in Hong Kong, Hebron, the West Bank, Basra in Iraq and Pakistan. Muslim protestors gathered and started chanting mottos against Denmark, asking for a boycott of products from the country. However, some incidents were recorded in Pakistan, with the police having to fire teargas to disperse the 2,000 protestors that had blocked a highway near Karachi. Earlier, in an effort to avoid any disputes, the Pakistani authorities had arrested some 150 Islamists and had confined extremist Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Jamaat al-Dawat that was banned in 2001, to his home. At the same time, a Pakistani cleric announced he had personally offered to pay a bounty of 500,000 rupees ($8,400) to anyone who killed a Danish cartoonist, and two of his congregation put up additional rewards of $1 million and one million rupees plus a car.

    Danish Embassy in Pakistan Shut

    On the other hand, Denmark announced on Thursday that it was temporarily shutting its embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

    However, Ambassador Bent Wigotski stressed that the fact did not mean the relations between the countries were in crisis.

    This, though, did not stop Pakistans Foreign Ministry from recalling to Islamabad its ambassador to Denmark for talks, without elaborating any further.

    At the same time, a European diplomat, who asked not to be named, declared that the Danish Ambassador to Islamabad was called to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, as is the case with other heads of European diplomatic missions. However, the reasons for this were not clarified.

    As per an opinion poll conducted in Denmark, the majority of the citizens support the actions of Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

    Specifically, 41.5% of those asked believe that his efforts during the crisis were good, while 40% believe they were average.

    The poll was conducted on a sample of 1,037 people by Greens Alalyseinstitut on behalf of newspaper Borsen.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Bloody Protests Over Cartoons

    [08] UN Calls for the Closure of Guantanamo Base Annan: "Shut Down Guantanamo"

    17 Feb 2006 10:49:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA-BBC-Reuters-Associated Press

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan backed the UN report that lambasted the US-run base at Guantanamo, where some 500 "enemy combatants" have been held without a trial for up to four years. Although he distanced himself from some of the reports findings, Kofi Annan voiced his belief that the Guantanamo base "must be shut down as soon as possible." "I think sooner or later there will be a need to close the Guantanamo camp, and I think it will be up to the (US) government to decide, and hopefully to do it as soon as is possible," Annan told the reporters. "I do not necessarily agree with everything in the report, but the basic premise that we need to be careful to have a balance between effective action against terrorism and individual liberties and civil rights, I think is valid," and concluded that he supported the panels opposition to people being held źin perpetuity╗ without being charged and prosecuted in a court where they had the opportunity to explain themselves.

    The USA Dismissed the Call

    The UN report, which was released yesterday and compiled by independent UN-appointed investigators, spoke of abuse and underlined that the Guantanamo camp must be shut down "without further delay," and that the inmates should be transferred to other US prisons.

    BBC broadcast that senior British Minister Peter Hain also called for the camp to be closed and implied that British PM Tony Blair agrees with him.

    Washington, on the other hand, dismissed the claims as "unreliable," underscoring that the UN panel reduced itself to sheer accusations and failed to thoroughly look into the evidence before compiling the report.

    The UN argued that the UN-appointed investigators did not visit the detention facility in Cuba because they were not allowed to interview the detainees.

    The report is to be officially submitted to the Geneva-based UN Commission of Human Rights on March 13.

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC-Annan backs UN Guantanamo demand

    Related News:

    UN: "Try Them or Release Them"

    [09] Meeting with FYROM's Political Leadership Barroso in FYROM

    17 Feb 2006 21:37:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA

    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who travelled to FYROM on Friday afternoon along with Enlargement Commissioner Oli Rehn in the context of their tour of the Western Balkans, urged the countrys political leadership to advance with determination towards implementing the necessary internal reforms that will promote FYROMs European prospects. Mr Barroso, who met with PM Vlado Buckovski, clarified that the country would have to fully implement the Ohrid Treaty, proceed with changes in public administration and deal with corruption and organised crime.

    On his part, FYROMs PM noted his Governments readiness to respond to those recommendations, adding that his countrys leadership is working intensively towards fulfilling its vision, which is for FYROM to become a fully-fledged member of the EU.

    Finally, Mr Buckovski did not rule out the possibility of early general elections before the summer holidays, instead of September, so that the EU can have time to review the countrys new government in its annual progress report for FYROM, which is due in November.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Spotlight on Karaiskakis Stadium

    17 Feb 2006 12:59:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    The big game in Karaiskakis Stadium, which could mean a whole lot in the quest for the Championship title, where pioneer Olympiacos will welcome AEK in the game for the Championships 20th round, will be on the spotlight. The "red and whites" have a six-point lead from AEK and with a win will decrease their difference and take an important step towards conquering the title. Trond Sollied is counting on a full line-up, since Yaya Toure has returned. Of course, the Ivory Coast player will only participate in two training sessions and the Norwegian coach will decide if he will use him or not, in the last minute. On the other hand AEKs coach Fernando Santos gave a win signal to his players, but noted that the derby will not arbitrate the title, but if Olympiacos wins it will have a greater lead. The Portuguese coach is waiting to see if he will integrate Alexopoulos and Cesar in the team roster.

    The Other Games

    Panathinaikos will welcome Kallithea in OAKA. The "greens," who will have Eki Gonzales in the team roster, will try to continue wining against a low-ranking Kallithea, which will attempt a good performance and hope for the best.

    The 20th round begins on Saturday with two games. Initially OFI will welcome Egaleo with the Cretans only wanting a win, since they are situated in the danger zone, and PAOK will face another difficult away game against Larissa. Xanthi will welcome Atromitos, Ionikos will play against Akratitos, Panionios will face Levadiakos, while the 20th round will conclude with Apollon Kalamaria vs Iraklis.

    The Programme


    17:00 (Pancretan) OFI vs Egaleo Supersport 17:45 (Alkazar) Larissa vs PAOK Alpha


    14:45 (Pigadia) Xanthi vs Atromitos 14:45 (Neapolis) Ionikos vs Akratitos 17:45 (Panionios) Panionios vs Levadiakos Alpha 19:30 (¤┴╩┴) Panathinaikos vs Kallithea Supersport 20:00 (Karaiskakis) Olympiacos vs AEK Alpha


    21:00 (Kalamaria) Apollon Kalamaria vs Iraklis Alpha

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] In Halkidiki and Rodopi New Suspect Cases

    17 Feb 2006 13:41:00 (Last updated: 17 Feb 2006 20:45:02)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET-ANA

    Three birds infected with the H5 avian flu virus were found in Rodopi and Halkidiki, north of Greece. Two swans found in Rodopi and one in Halkidiki. The samples taken form the infected birds were sent to the EU laboratory in London and the results are to be yielded in three days time, while all relevant authorities in the affected areas have taken all necessary measures as defined by the Greek national and EU committees, claimed the Ministry of Rural Development. Yet another three dead birds found in the Peloponnese and in Macedonia are being tested by the relevant bodies to see whether they were also infected with the deadly disease. The implicit EU directive, as well as the directives issued by the Ministry of Rural Development, regarding the protection measures in the areas where ill birds were located, have been thoroughly implemented and will keep being in force for the three coming weeks. Furthermore, fines imposed on offenders are pretty heavy. At the same time, the governments of the EU Member States escalate their efforts to avert a possible pandemic.

    Dead Birds in the Peloponnese-Macedonia

    In the village of Marmari near Mt Tainaro in the Peloponnese, a hunter found two dead ospreys, with one of them being devoured by other wild animals. They were both collected by a veterinarian and initially sent to Sparta. The samples will then be sent to the Reference control centre to undergo tests.

    The third dead bird was a swan and was located in the area of Nea Apolloneia, near the banks of the Volvi Lake in Macedonia.

    The Prefects of the areas under surveillance are determined to impose heavy fines on offenders, while inspections across Greece are still in progress to avert the wild birds from contacting domestic poultry.

    On Alert

    At the same time, Australia-based pharmaceutical manufacturer CSL said that an avian flu vaccine could be available in the country within six weeks of a pandemic. The early results yielded by the clinical trials on 400 Australians, aged 18-45, prompted the company to describe the vaccine as safe and effective.

    In the meantime, it was confirmed that an Iraqi who died last month was the second avian flu victim in his country. As announced by the WHO, the 39-year-old man was the uncle of a girl who died of the H5N1 virus and was tending to her, while he also came in contact with an infected henhouse.

    In Nigeria, authorities are stepping up measures to deter a possible avian flu outbreak. An awareness campaign is listed among their keynote priorities.

    A World Health Organisation official told Reuters that the deadly virus was detected for the first time in dead birds in Egypt. Government spokesperson Magdi Radi said that six birds were found in Cairo and one in Minia, 350km south of the Egyptian capital.

    In Europe, concern does not die down, since dead swans positive to the deadly virus were found in Germany and Slovenia.

    In Hungary, according to the initial results, the death of eleven swans located on Danube is put down to the H5N1 strain.

    In Austria, a fourth dead swan that tested positive to H5N1 was found in Graz.

    Health authorities in France announced that the dead swan found late on Tuesday south of the city of Lyon did not die of avian flu. However, one wild duck found in central France may have possibly been infected by the virus. If the case is confirmed, it will be the first one detected in France, as the local Agriculture Ministry.

    Authorities in Serbia announced that the two dead swans located in the cities of Pirot and Kladovo were not infected with the avian flu virus. Electrocution and tiredness were named as the causes of the death.

    Avian flu outbreaks have also appeared in four Romanian villages. As per the countrys Agricultural Ministry, all necessary measures have been implemented to avert the spreading of the disease. Thousands of birds have already been culled in the villages affected.

    Finally, authorities in Azerbaijan announced that the H5N1 virus has been detected in dead birds found in the country. On this announcement, Moscow decided to ban poultry imports from Azerbaijan.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] Awaiting Confirmation from Britain Mad Cow Case in Croatia

    17 Feb 2006 20:02:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA - Reuters

    Apart from the concerns over avian flu, Croatia is now living in fear of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. The announcement was made by Croatian Agriculture Minister Petar Cobankovic, during an emergency Press conference on Thursday night. Cobankovic mentioned that the initial tests performed on the cow, which had been slaughtered recently, indicated that it had mad cow disease. Samples were also sent to Weybridge lab, UK, for confirmation and the results are expected next Tuesday or Wednesday. The Minister, however, did not reveal the exact location of the farm where the case was detected, but mentioned that another nine heifers are bred there and will be slaughtered if it is established that they have also been infected. At the same time, he put the citizens fears to rest, stressing their health is not in danger, since the way that the sample was taken and sent to the lab proves that the system operates effectively.

    As per Croatian legislation, all cattle over the age of 30 months are examined prior to being slaughtered in order to determine whether they have been infected by the specific disease. In case the results are positive, it will be the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Croatia.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Between KEDKE, PPC and Development Ministry Municipal Task Group

    17 Feb 2006 15:10:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: ANA - NET

    A meeting took place today at the offices of KEDKE (Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece) and was attended by PPC (Public Power Corporation) CEO Kostas Kyriakopoulos, PPC Managing Director Dimitris Maniatakis, and the leaderships of KEDKE and the Ministry of Development. The decision made was to form a permanent task group among KEDKE, the PPC and the Development Ministry that will deal with the problems arising between the power company and the various municipalities. After the end of the meeting, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas declared it was constructive and effective, since all the necessary decisions were made. One of the topics discussed was the matter of running underground PPC cables, with KEDKE asking that the state budget cover the cost for all major urban centres and not just Attica and Thessaloniki, as provided for by the law currently. The Minister also stressed that PPC stopped paying 30-50% of those costs since 2001, the year that its shares were floated in the Stock Exchange.

    Solving Problems

    KEDKE also asked that the commission paid to the PPC for collecting municipal duties and the funds paid to the PPC by the municipalities for installing new pillars be reduced.

    As per Mr Paris Koukoulopoulos, the municipalities are charged at the highest rate for street lighting. At the same time, he noted that a similar problem arises for other municipal services, schools and sports facilities.

    KEDKEs President also mentioned that the PPC charges 925 euros to municipalities for installing a new pillar to extend the power network, as opposed to 352 euros paid by private citizens.

    PPC Managing Director Dimitris Maniatakis voiced his opposition, noting that the municipalities are charged 30% less than other public services.

    On his part, the Development Minister stressed that the there are no margins for further reductions as per the figures he has at hand noting that the PPC would have done so if it was possible however, he asked the companys administration to review the matter anew.

    With regard to the PPC receiving money in advance for research and subsequent works, it was decided that a different way to collect the aforementioned costs should be sought, i.e. on the PPC bill for each municipality, so as to avoid any accounting hitches. This matter will be reviewed by the new task group.

    The discussion also focused on renewable energy sources. Mr Sioufas mentioned that the bill is being subject to public deliberations currently, while KEDKE will be called to submit its views and discuss them in Parliament.

    Finally, on the issue of the municipalities using the PPCs computer files, the Development Minister firstly clarified that a matter of privacy does not arise, while he then noted that the files contain 7.5 million names that constitute the PPCs clientele, so it will be a sensitive issue considering the prospect of deregulating the energy market. Mr Sioufas added that the PPC could verify the data required by the municipalities and asked the new task group to deal with the issue.

    The data presented by Mr Maniatakis was disputed by the representatives of the Local Self-Governments, who stressed that the PPC does not take into consideration the fact that the municipalities constitute the companys biggest client.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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