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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-03-20

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Clash Over Employment
  • [02] Harsh Criticism by Gov't Spokesperson
  • [03] French Toughen Their Stance
  • [04] Recommendation for Compromise
  • [05] Premiere for Prisma+
  • [06] Papandreou's Criticism for Farming Issues
  • [07] Series of Robberies in Athens
  • [08] Compensations Paid Immediately
  • [09] New Chavez Attack Against Bush
  • [10] Bush Optimistic over Iraq
  • [11] Hamas Presents Cabinet
  • [12] Support Poultry-Breeders
  • [13] One Point for Larissa
  • [14] Strengthening the Health Sector
  • [15] Employees Are Dissatisfied
  • [16] Fuel Stations Closing Down
  • [17] Olympic Airlines at the Focus

  • [01] Conflict Escalates Clash Over Employment

    20 Mar 2006 21:06:00

    Sources: NET

    On the occasion of collective actions in France, the Government and PASOK continued their conflict over labour issues. Theodoros Roussopoulos presented a proposal on employing the youth without social security, a proposal which George Papandreou had voiced two years ago in Lavrio. Nikos Athanasakis accused the Government of distorting the PASOK Presidents opinions. The so-called French model triggered clashes between GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) and the FGI (Federation of Greek Industries) on the eve of their new meeting over the collective labour contract. The Confederation presented an opinion poll, as per which the majority is dissatisfied with the Governments handlings over labour issues.

    Over the EMU's Data

    The European Commission confirmed the Economy Minister's statements on NET regarding the Eurostat's condemnatory reports over the way Greece acceded the EMU.

    The spokeswoman for the Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Amelia Torres, said on the matter, "We discovered problems in the statistical data collection system, which we largely corrected and this is important, i.e. to ensure we have credible statistical data and that these problems won't reappear in the future."

    Asked whether Greece met the necessary criteria when it acceded the Eurozone, Joaquin Almunia's spokeswoman replied she does not wish to interfere with Greece's internal affairs.

    Swords Crossed

    Government spokesperson Theodoros Roussopoulos launched a personal attack against George Papandreou, on the occasion of the PASOK President's suggestion that the youth should follow the French example and become "rebels with a cause."

    Nikos Athanasakis said the Government is distorting the PASOK President's opinions.

    Meanwhile, on the eve of the new meeting between the GSEE and the FGI for signing the new collective contract, the FGI president insisted on his statements, which support the French model.

    Mr Kyriakopoulos noted, "I must say I am surprised by the reaction of the French to the proposal. The way I see it, the new law would increase youth employment. I think we should be troubled over this social turbulence in France."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Harsh Criticism by Gov't Spokesperson

    [02] Aimed at George Papandreou Harsh Criticism by Gov't Spokesperson

    20 Mar 2006 15:32:00

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8 - ANA

    Government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos launched a personal attack against George Papandreou on Monday, on the occasion of the statement by PASOKs President, whereby he urged the youths to follow the example of the French and become "rebels with a cause." Reading George Papandreous proposal, made during a speech in Lavrio on 20 January 2004, which spoke of employment of youths aged between 25 and 29 without the employees paying social security contribution, he stressed, "These words were uttered neither by Villepin nor by the President of SEV, but by the President of PASOK, who, in a display of surrealism, is today urging the youths to rebel against him."

    He Should Admit his Mistake

    Mr Roussopoulos also noted, "Mr Papandreou is trying to subtract rights arbitrarily; rights that were gained through many struggles in previous centuries and which inconceivably cannot be annulled in the 21st century. I understand that PASOK is trying to correct its pre-election blunder, which was recently repeated in Parliament by Mr Papandreou. I do not think that it can be corrected. He should admit straight out that he has made a mistake."

    At the same time, he accused Mr Papandreou of creating a climate of political aggravation, stressing that PASOK augmented todays crucial economic and social problems and systematically lied to the citizens and the countrys European partners when it was in power for 20 years, while it continues to lie and resort to black propaganda.

    The Government spokesperson also referred to Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis statements concerning Greeces accession to the EMU, stressing, "Everyone, and primarily ourselves, served the aim of accession to the EMU with responsibility."

    However, he noted, "It is evident that the real fiscal situation was different than the one PASOK tried to present. Due to the hidden deficits of PASOKs governments, we are now obligated to make greater efforts. We should not forget that the fiscal inventory performed by the EU services produced a series of errors, omissions and concealments, which resulted from PASOKs policies."

    Finally, Mr Roussopoulos added, "If ND was in power back then, we would never have created false impressions for the economy and we would have definitely placed the country in the EMU."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Head-On Attack by Roussopoulos

    [03] French Toughen Their Stance

    20 Mar 2006 21:28:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET, NET Radio 105.8, ANA

    Students and trade unions in France announced new collective actions, after rejecting the compromise, which businessmen presented to Prime Minister Dominique De Villepin over the controversial First Employment Contract (CPE). Protestors decided to answer back with a new day of demonstrations and work stoppages, Tuesday 28 March, protesting over the CPE and asking the Government to repeal the law in question, although the French PM does not seem willing to give into their demands. The serious injury of a 39-year-old trade unionist, who is in coma after been stamped over by the French special forces, is expected to trigger new tension.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Strike call over French job law

    Le Monde: CPE : les syndicats appellent a une journee d'action avec des arrets de travail le 28 mars

    Related News:

    De Villepin Not Backing Down

    [04] In France Over the CPE Recommendation for Compromise

    20 Mar 2006 17:40:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA, Reuters

    Just a few hours before the students and trade unions' ultimatum for repealing the First Employment Contract expires, businessmen submitted a compromise proposal to Prime Minister Dominique De Villepin. The representatives, who met with the French Premier, unanimously proposed to reduce the trial time and fully justify the reasons of dismissal. Despite the fact that employers took the first step towards social peace, it yet remains unclear whether these suggested changes would be enough to scale down tension and prevent further demonstrations. French President Jacques Chirac repeated his appeal for a constructive and credible dialogue between social partners to improve the CPE (First Employment Contract). This is the fourth time since last Tuesday the President is showing his support to the Government, whose handlings triggered on Saturday the protest of some 1.5 million people in dozens of French cities.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] New Era for ERT Premiere for Prisma+

    20 Mar 2006 11:38:00 (Last updated: 20 Mar 2006 23:01:48)

    ERT entered a new era on Monday, as it started airing the channel Prisma+ at 5:00pm using state-of-the-art Digital Terrestrial Television, thus turning a new leaf in Greek television. Prisma+ broadcasts commercial-free entertainment and informative programmes, as well as useful shows, with amazing clarity of image and sound. ERT Digitals new channel is innovative, airing even the main news bulletin with simultaneous sign language interpretation, thus offering unimpeded access to its content to everyone. Prisma+ broadcasts in Attica and Thessaloniki, while it will start broadcasting in Thessaly as of next week.

    Multi-Choice TV Programme

    The new multi-choice TV programme is broadcast daily for seven hours, is accessible to people with disabilities, and includes sign language interpretation and subtitles.

    The programme begins at 17:00 with a 5-minute news bulletin. A childrens programme follows until 18:00. Documentaries are aired from 18:00 to 19:00 and an informative show, "Invitation to All", from 19:00 to 20:00. This is a programme with diverse content and useful information for all, hosted by Nikos Lepeniotis and Tenia Papageorgiou.

    A Greek show is broadcast at 20:00, while an impressive innovation follows at 21:00. NETs central news bulletin is broadcast by Prisma+ with simultaneous sign language interpretation. Finally, a film is broadcast for the friends of Prisma+, immediately after the news. The weekends programme includes a documentary entitled "Forms and Colours."

    Except for the news bulletins, the programme is repeated until the next day at 17:00. Cards and trailers with information on the next stages of the pilot digital programme, decoders, selecting programmes and useful information concerning the viewers of Prisma+ are projected during the programme.

    The programme is broadcast in Attica by UHF Channel 48 from the transmitter on Mt Ymittos, and from Mt Parnitha and Aegina as of the beginning of April.

    In Thessaloniki, it is transmitted by UHF Channel 48 from the transmitter on Mt Hortiati. In Thessaly, it will be transmitted by UHF Channel 53 on Mt Pilio.

    The premiere of ERTs second digital programme, Cine+, has been scheduled for April, while Sport+ for May.

    Viewers can contact the channel at

    [06] From Etoloakarnania Papandreou's Criticism for Farming Issues

    20 Mar 2006 14:35:00 (Last updated: 20 Mar 2006 18:12:53)

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8 - ANA

    Speaking from the Community of Stanos, Etoloakarnania, where he is touring for the second day, PASOK President George Papandreou accused the Government of inability to stand by the farmers. Referring to the problems of the local tobacco growers, he criticised the Prime Minister for failing to give a battle in Brussels, as promised. He also accused the Government of not making any negotiations with the EU to secure the necessary funds, amounting to 150 million euros. At the same time, he blamed the Government for serving the interests of the few, at the expense of the many.

    Taking Advantage of the CAP

    Specifically, he stressed that Kostas Karamanlis made no efforts to strengthen the farming sector during negotiations for the 4th Community Support Framework, as was the case with Portugal.

    "He went to Brussels, he sat down, he listened, he did not talk and he left. No effort, no negotiation, no prestige," he added.

    At the same time, he pledged to give a strong battle to support the Greek farmers, stressing that PASOK would renegotiate with the EU once it takes over the power, so as to return to the Greek framers, and especially the tobacco growers, the funds lost by ND.

    On Monday morning, Mr Papandreou visited a factory processing and packaging asparaguses, where he congratulated the employees on the work performed.

    Moreover, he asked the Government to support such efforts, underlining that the State has an obligation to cut through the red tape and assist so as the local forces, and especially the younger farmers, can become more productive with the new Common Agricultural Policy and other similar initiatives.

    "Unfortunately, the current Government is not looking to take advantage of the new Common Agricultural Policy, losing a significant opportunity to help farmers take steps forward and become competitive, instead of depending solely on funding," he added.

    On his way to Stanos, the President of PASOK made a stop at the Community of Kypseli, where he laid a wreath at the monument dedicated to Dimitris Vlachos, the tobacco grower who was killed by police in 1962 during the rallies staged by tobacco growers.

    In an announcement, KKE noted, "The cock-fight between ND and PASOK for the farmers constitutes a challenge and a great mockery. Although they both agreed, voted for and implemented the new CAP and the WTO (World Trade Organisation) that is exterminating it, they are now attempting to appear as supporters of it, fighting over who is implementing it better! The first step for farmers in order to escape from the tribulations of the anti-farming policy is to escape from ND and PASOK."

    Roussopoulos' Response

    Government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos reacted immediately to the statements made by George Papandreou saying:

    "They are sorely mistaken in PASOK if they think that the inaccuracies, the distortion of the truth and the black propaganda, to which they are resorting recently, will remain unanswered.

    Mr Papandreou should realise that those who linked 20 years of governing to lack of transparency and the serving of interests, and those who nourished the parasitic economy, oligarchy and middlemen will not be able to shift the historical responsibilities burdening them elsewhere.

    He should realise that those who urged the farmers to fend for themselves cannot act as critics now.

    He should realise that when Ms Diamantopoulou set the bar for Community funds to 19-20 million euros on 17 June 2005 and the Government exceeded it, it is in the least a joke to claim the Greece did not attain its targets in Brussels.

    Mr Papandreou and his party should at last understand that you can cheat some people for a short while, but you cannot cheat everybody all the time."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Criticism by George Papandreou

    [07] Police Launched Manhunt Series of Robberies in Athens

    20 Mar 2006 07:57:00 (Last updated: 20 Mar 2006 23:02:46)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ANA, NET

    The day began with an attempted robbery of an armoured truck and in a Hellenic Bank branch (ELTA) in two different areas of Athens. At 07:00, four unknown men, armed with kalashnikovs, blocked the way of the Hermes Security Group armoured truck on 50 Spyros Patsis Street and when the vehicle stopped, they opened fired. As per initial evidence, one of the bullets pierced through the vehicle and wounded the driver of the armoured truck on the leg. Regardless of his wounding, the driver of the armoured truck, who is hospitalised out of danger in Tzanio Hospital following surgery for the removal of the bullet from his leg, sped away, which resulted in the perpetrators abandoning their attempt and escaping. At the junction of Iera Odos and Konstantinoupoleos Avenue, the armoured truck collided with a municipality vehicle and was immobilised

    Shortly after, two unknown men broke in a Hellenic Post branch (ELTA) on 19 Vasikleous Street, in Pagrati. Under the threat of guns, they seized an undisclosed amount of money and following got away on a motorbike towards an unknown direction. An Alpha Bank branch on 36 Trion Ieararchon Street, in Petralona was targeted by robbers at 11:30. The perpetrators seized an undisclosed amount of money and got away.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] To the Affected Inhabitants of Evros Compensations Paid Immediately

    20 Mar 2006 19:09:00

    Sources: NET, NET Radio 105.8

    ELGA (Hellenic Organisation of Agricultural Insurances) President Nikos Katsaros and Deputy Rural Development Minister Alexandros Kontos announced the immediate restoration of damages, which farmers and poultry-breeders sustained when the Evros river overflowed. As per the first estimations, some 7,500 hectares of crops were covered in water because of the recent floods. Prefecture crews have already started recording the damages and the affected started filling claims on Monday to receive compensations, which will be paid within three months, as per the Governments reassurance. Speaking before the Parliament, Deputy Rural Development Minister Alexandros confirmed that compensations would be full and immediate. Those who were affected, stressed the Deputy Minister, will be fully compensated, while special care has been taken for fields that farmers wont be able to cultivate.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Review of Situation in Evros

    [09] On the Occasion of a White House Report New Chavez Attack Against Bush

    20 Mar 2006 12:32:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: Reuters, NET

    President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez launched another fierce attack against US President George W. Bush. The new verbal attack was driven by Chavezs anger over a report of the White House, describing him as a "demagogue," who is using the rich oil deposits of Venezuela to destabilise the democracy. "Donkey," "drunkard" and "Mr Danger" were some of the names used by Chavez to a large audience on Sunday. The President of Venezuela is one of the biggest critics of US policy and has repeatedly accused the US of wanting to remove him from his position. On its part, the US estimated that the recent reports are targeted at aggravating the climate in view of the presidential elections in December.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Three Years after US Invasion Bush Optimistic over Iraq

    20 Mar 2006 10:02:00 (Last updated: 20 Mar 2006 14:12:45)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: BBC, NET, ANA

    Three years after the US invasion in Iraq, US President George W. Bush appeared optimistic over the countrys future and estimated that the policy followed will lead to the creation of a safe country for next generations. Referring to the political situation, he described the fact that politicians are nearing to the creation of a national unity government is encouraging and called on them to put more effort towards that direction. He did not fail to refer to the US soldiers, saying that Americans should thank them and their families for their offer. However, former interim Prime Minister of Iraq Ayad Allawi claimed that the country is on the verge of a civil war, as national cleansing is underway.

    Internal Attack against Bush Rumsfeld

    George W. Bush did not comment on Allawis estimations, however, the President of the country, Jalal Talabani, said that the danger of a civil war is not imminent and noted that discussions on the formation of government are on a good course, a fact which reduces the event of an internal clash.

    On his part, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in an article in newspaper Washington Post, supported that if Americans withdrew from Iraq, it will be an act similar to the delivery of Germany to the Nazis after World War II.

    However, Rumsfeld was attacked over the way he handled and is handling the invasion in Iraq. Retired Major General Paul Eaton, who was head of the training of Iraqi Security Forces in 2003-04, in an article in newspaper New York Times, described the Defence Secretary as "incompetent" and called on him to resign as he considers him as fully responsible of the situation in Iraq.

    At the same time the US Presidents popularity is on a freefall. As per a new opinion poll, only 29% of Americans approved of his handlings in Iraq. On Sunday, the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion, thousands of protesters took the streets in the US and other countries, demanding the immediate withdrawal of US troops from the country.

    On Monday, 15 persons lost their lives in Iraq, while the Authorities have taken strict security measures in Karbala, fearing attacks as thousands of pilgrims have gathered in the town for the celebration of Ashura Day.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Bush upbeat on Iraq anniversary

    Related News:

    Allawi Sees Civil War in Iraq

    [11] Abbas Haniyeh Meeting Hamas Presents Cabinet

    20 Mar 2006 08:15:00 (Last updated: 20 Mar 2006 12:42:50)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    On Sunday night, head of Hamas and Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh presented the list of Ministers composing the Government to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The government, which is up for approval, is composed by 24 Ministers, 14 from the West Bank and 10 from the Gaza Strip, while the remaining Palestinian factions rejected the event to participate in the new Government formation. "The Government is made up from professionals, experts and technocrats, as well as political figures," said Mr Haniye. On his part, the Palestinian President stated that he will convene the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) until Tuesday the latest, in order to examine the composition of the Government and will present it to Parliament to receive a confidence vote.

    As per the list, Mahmoud al-Zahar, leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and an assassination target by Israel, was appointed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Saeed Seyam is appointed to the Ministry for the Interior and Security Forces, while economics professor Omar Abdel-Razeqwill will take up the Finance Ministry and engineer Ala el-Deen Al-Araj the Economy Ministry. Among the 24 Ministers are some independents, a woman and a Christian.

    "Israel will refuse any contact with a terrorist government led by Hamas," stated a spokesperson of the Prime Ministers office, who wished to remain anonymous.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Le Monde: Le Hamas a presente son gouvernement a Mahmoud Abbas

    BBC: Hamas submits names for cabinet

    Ha'aretz: Mofaz: Hamas gov't will turn PA into terror entity

    Related News:

    Hamas Government to be Formed

    [12] Basiakos' Intervention to the EU Support Poultry-Breeders

    20 Mar 2006 18:28:00

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Speaking before the Agriculture Ministers Council, which convened in Brussels on Monday, Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos stressed the need to take immediate Community measures and support the Greek aviculture. Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel stressed that the next scheduled Council meeting in April would focus on particular measures to support aviculture, given that the institutional framework would have changed and the College of Commissioners would have gone over the proposed measures.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [13] One Point for Larissa

    19 Mar 2006 23:33:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    The match between Atromitos and Larissa in Peristeri for round 24 of the Greek Division 1 football championship ended in a nil-all tie. Both teams, which are battling it out for a spot in the UEFA Cup next season, tried hard in the pitch, but could not convert their efforts to goals. The coaches basically aimed at keeping their nets goalless, so no great opportunities arose. When Kalantzis entered the pitch, Larissa became more aggressive, and could have celebrated an away victory if the young striker was not as stressed.

    Referee: Kontogiannidis (Xanthi) Yellow Cards: Kotsolis, Bachramis, Doe, Gikas, Guga, Mikes

    ATROMITOS: Michailidis, Katemis, Georgious, Mikes, Geladaris, Raguel, Merino (86 Sotirchos), Dimos, Korakakis, Djebbour (72 Doe), Zacharopoulos

    LARISSA: Kotsolis, Dabizas, Helder, Katsiaros, Galitsios, Gikas (79 Tsioutsios), Digozis, Aloneftis (71 Kalantzis), Serban (58 Bachramis), Guga, Kyparissis.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] As Noted by Dimitris Avramopoulos Strengthening the Health Sector

    20 Mar 2006 13:05:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET

    Speaking on NET TVs show "Frontline" on Monday, Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos announced significant changes in the sector. Mr Avramoppoulos announced that 5,000 employees would be hired by 2007 by ESY (Greek National Health System), as the 4,000 people employed through ASEP (Supreme Council for Personnel Selection) are not enough to cover all the needs. As per the Health Minister, one of the first objectives is the operation of Attikon Hospital, while new state-of-the-art ambulances will be added to the EKAV (National Centre for Emergency Medical Care) fleet. "Health is changing and we ought to be adjusting constantly," noted Mr Avramopoulos, clarifying that the spot checks in hospitals throughout the country will continue. It should be noted that two bills, on hospital supplies and drug policy, will be submitted to Parliament within the next month.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [15] With their Employers, as per a Poll Employees Are Dissatisfied

    20 Mar 2006 15:43:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    An opinion poll conducted by Metron Analysis on behalf of the GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) demonstrated the discontent towards the employers stance and the Governments economic policy. According to the survey results, six in ten citizens appear dissatisfied with the employers proposals, as well as the Governments actions for social security, pay rises and unemployment. Specifically, the opinion poll, which was conducted in March 2006, showed that 61.9% view the pension rises negatively, 64.5% the pay rises, 64.3% the efforts to deal with high prices, 66.5% the efforts to combat unemployment, and 59.3% the issue with social security. Asked whether the laws enacted mainly favour the employees or the employers, 67.8% answered the employers and only 6.4% answered the employees. In addition, 10.1% declared they favoured no one, while 7.8% said they favoured both the employers and the employees. Furthermore, it should be noted that a very small percentage views positively the proposals put forward by SEV (Federation of Greek Industries). Specifically, 4.1% of the employees view the abolishment of the National General Collective Labour Contract positively and 6.9% the abolishment of departmental contracts. Moreover, 83.7% consider the increase of private and public investments the best policy for combating unemployment in areas facing a crisis, while only 2.3% view SEVs proposals for freezing wages and not implementing collective work contracts positively.

    Employers Deemed Responsible

    Referring to the opinion poll results, GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos stressed that the employers carry part of the responsibility for the prospects recommended both for the employees and the country. He also noted that the poll constitutes a message towards the Government and employer groups.

    Mr Polyzogopoulos also pointed out that cooperation is necessary; however, there should also be answers to the real increases and the reinforcement of the negotiations, so that the collective contracts are not doubted at any level.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [16] On 30 and 31 March Fuel Stations Closing Down

    20 Mar 2006 13:49:00 (Last updated: 20 Mar 2006 15:41:46)

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    The Federations of Fuel Station Owners and Fuel Truck Owners announced collective actions on 30 and 31 March with the closure of fuel stations and asked for the immediate implementation of measures for combating illegal trade. The President of the Fuel Station Owners, Dimitris Makryvelios, estimated that the turnover by the illegal fuel trade reaches 1.5 billion euros.

    As explained by Mr Makryvelios, the sector is proceeding with strikes, as the market remains uncompetitive for Greek consumers, despite the efforts made to resolve the major problems in the operation of the fuel market.

    At the same time, he accused the companies selling tax-free shipping fuel and some border fuel stations that sell fuel for exportation of the increase in illegal trade.

    The President of the Fuel Station Owners added that the problem of illegal trade can be easily combated by contemporary technology, since there are electronic surveillance systems available in the market that could be used by the Economy Ministry.

    Finally, all the relevant bodies appeared in favour of spot checks throughout the market, so as to demonstrate that the problems are not created exclusively by some bad fuel station owners.

    "Our sector also has bad and good people. We do not represent the sector of angels and saints. However, we want distinguished roles in the market. We want purgation, and this can only be achieved with willingness and dialogue. We are asking for real inspections into all relevant businesses," stressed Mr Makryvelios.

    [17] Karamanlis-Liapis Meeting Olympic Airlines at the Focus

    20 Mar 2006 13:04:00

    The discussion during the meeting between Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis and Transport Minister Michael Liapis focused on the matter with Olympic Airlines and the implementation of the law on DEKOs (Public Utilities and Enterprises). Upon exiting Maximos Mansion, Mr Liapis noted that the Government would review the proposal for the establishment of a new company with private finance criteria, adding that the final recommendation will be submitted to the EU soon, so as to be approved by the Commission. Referring to the law on DEKOs, the Minister described it as a major reform that is not targeting the rights of the employees, but aims at improving the position of employees and purging the finances of DEKOs. Asked to comment on the possible two-month extension on the implementation of the law, as hinted by the Economy Minister, Mr Liapis declared that he would abide by the specific deadlines.

    Meeting with Justice Minister

    Mr Karamanlis also met with Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras.

    As per the Minister, the two men discussed three extremely important bills. The first focuses on dealing with and combating domestic violence, the second on quicker administration of justice and the third on the formation of judicial police.

    Asked to comment on the wiretapping issue, Mr Papaligouras said that it was not a matter of the Ministry, but a matter of the independent Justice. In addition, asked whether Vodafone CEO Giorgos Koronias will be called to testify by the Examiner, he said that Justice would decide once the time comes.

    Referring to Konstantina Bourboulia, the Minister declared that the former Examiner has realised that it is in her best interest to cooperate well with the Greek Justice. Finally, Mr Papaligouras added that Apostolos Vavilis extradition is a matter of days, while, with respect to Antonia Ilia, he noted, "Nowadays, it is very hard for someone to remain in hiding forever."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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