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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-04-24

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Eurostat's Report
  • [02] Iran Stays Adamant
  • [03] Papoulias: "I Stand by Your Side"
  • [04] Greek Cabinet Convenes
  • [05] Blasts Rock Baghdad
  • [06] 24-Hour Programme for "Cine+"

  • [01] On Fiscal Figures Eurostat's Report

    24 Apr 2006 15:11:00 (Last updated: 24 Apr 2006 17:33:48)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA, NET

    Greeces fiscal deficit for 2005 posted a major decrease, read the official report the EU statistical agency submitted Monday to Brussels. As per Eurostats figures, Greeces fiscal deficit dropped to 4.5% of Gross Domestic Product in 2005 from a total of 6.9% in 2004, while the government debt amounted to 107.5% of GDP, as opposed to 108.5% in 2004. Greeces deficit ranked third among the EU Member States. Hungary and Ukraine recorded the largest government deficits, 6.1% and 6% respectively. Greece came third, followed by Italy with 4.1%. With regard to the government debt, Greece registered the largest one of all the 25 Member States. Italy scored 106.4%, Belgium 93.3%, Malta 74.7% and Cyprus 70.3%. Furthermore, the report read that Eurostat will undertake a methodological visit in the coming weeks in order to clarify the pending issues. The Eurostat report also referred to certain reservations on reported data relating to Belgium and Greece. Regarding Greece, Eurostat said that despite the recent improvement in the statistical processes and good co-operation between Eurostat and the national statistical authorities of Greece, issues remain related to the Greek government accounts of a structural and systemic nature. Finally, the Greek Ministry of Economy has no intention of stepping up additional measures, since the ones already taken are viewed as adequate.

    Economy Ministry's Announcement

    "The deficit fell to 4.5% of GDP from 6.9% of GDP in 2004, down by 2.4 percentage points. Budgetary consolidation programmes are still running, as the implementation of the countrys budget during the first quarter has proved. Bringing the deficit under 3% of GDP in 2006 is feasible, and requires no additional measures [] Furthermore, Eurostats report surfaced the fiscal chaos and poor management the previous Government bequeathed [] One of the elements that shaped the 2005 deficit was the fine imposed on Greece for the poor management of the third Community Support Framework funds for 2000-2003," read the announcement.

    A remarkable progress has been posted with regard to the credibility of fiscal data, as both the Ecofin and the European Commission have underlined in the past, added the Ministrys announcement. "As for the surplus the Security Funds and the Local Government Organisations have registered, some pending problems generated by the distant past still remain. The Government, working alongside with Eurostat, is determined to put an end to these problems, as it did with all the other problems the country inherited by PASOK. The developments proved the necessity of the fiscal inventory aiming to restore the data credibility," added the Ministrys announcement.

    "The Main Oppositions drive to twist reality concerning the fiscal inventory fell through. The European Commissions recent undisputable answer to the interpellation filed by PASOK MEPs with regard to the inventory of defence expenditure speaks volumes. The anguish of fiscal chaos will haunt PASOKs Governments for good," concluded the announcement.

    Excellent Cooperation

    European Commission spokeswoman Amelia Torres hailed the progress Greece has made in the credibility of fiscal data given to Brussels.

    She, further, praised the excellent cooperation between the EU statistical agency and the statistical authorities of Greece, adding that Greece has gone a long way, and voiced her conviction that the remaining pending issues relating to the countrys fiscal profile will soon be settled. "There is light at the end of the tunnel," Mrs Torres argued.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] It Won't Halt Uranium Enrichment Iran Stays Adamant

    24 Apr 2006 11:41:00

    Under no circumstance will Iran knuckle down to UN Security Councils demand to halt uranium enrichment by Friday, declared Monday Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Motaki. In a Press Conference Motaki gave on the issue of regional safety, he underlined the USA, assisted by the UN Security Council, aims to go against the firm will of the Iranian people. "They [USA] can possess nuclear weapons, but we [Iran] cannot have nuclear technology [] This reasoning is doomed and the Iranian people will prove it by staying firm and united," stated the Iranian FM.

    Yesterday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi reiterated Irans firm stance and called uranium enrichment an "irreversible" issue.

    The UN Security Council is on the eve of yet another major test, claimed Monday Motaki, drawing a parallel between Irans will to supervise the output of nuclear fuel and the countrys effort to nationalise the oil output during the 50s. Back in 1951, Britain had vied unsuccessfully to make the Security Council impose sanctions on the Iranian army for occupying oil plants. The Iranian oil output was fully nationalised in 1973. The Iranian nation unanimously decided not to give up its rights to nuclear energy, said Motaki, adding that another UN Member State, namely the USA, wishes to succeed what has been averted in the past.

    Washington has not hidden its intention to convince the Security Council to impose sanctions or even to vest it with the power to step up military action, so that Iran backs down.

    Oil Prices on the Decline in Asian Markets

    In the meantime, oil prices seem to be on the decline in Asian markets, since they closed down by 48 cents, compared to last Fridays prices in New York, when they exceeded $75 per barrel. During the transactions, crude oil prices for Junes contracts stood at $74.69 per barrel.

    The US Energy Minister, who is attending the Energy Forum taking place in Qatar, underscored that the soaring oil prices are causing grave problems to global economies. Commenting on the deal struck by Iran, Pakistan and India on a gas pipeline, the US Energy Minister pointed out that doing business with Iran does nothing but bolstering up Tehrans nuclear aspirations.

    Furthermore, an Israeli report on nuclear weapon read that Irans nuclear aspirations may prompt other Middle East countries to develop nuclear weapons.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:


    [03] Papoulias: "I Stand by Your Side"

    24 Apr 2006 18:30:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias manifested his deep interest in the economic growth of the Prefecture of Evros, north of Greece, while concluding his three-day tour in the area. "I stand by your side in your battle to reorganise Evros," he underlined, after he was briefed on the problems caused by the recent floods.

    [04] On Tuesday Greek Cabinet Convenes

    24 Apr 2006 16:41:00

    Sources: ANA

    Greek FM Dora Bakoyannis will hold talks with PM Kostas Karamanlis on Tuesday shortly before her meeting with her US counterpart Condoleezza Rice, who is expected to arrive in Athens in the early hours of Tuesday. In following, the Cabinet chaired by Mr Karamanlis will convene to discuss the issues of the Media concentration and authorisation of television and radio stations. Mr Roussopoulos is expected to brief the Cabinet members on the relevant draft bill and the course of the dialogue that has been launched with all interested parties and political forces.

    [05] Blasts Rock Baghdad

    24 Apr 2006 11:20:00

    Sources: ANA-BBC

    A string of car bomb attacks rocked Monday morning Baghdad. Three people were killed and 25 were wounded, when a car bomb targeting an Iranian police patrol went off near the Health Ministry in Baghdad. The blast destroyed further three vehicles and smashed the windows of nearby shops, reported the Iraqi police. Two more car bombs detonated near Baghdads university claiming three lives and wounding some 15. In the meantime, Iraqi police announced that a fourth car bomb went off wounding at least eight people.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] It Starts on April 25 24-Hour Programme for "Cine+"

    24 Apr 2006 14:07:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    The broadcast of Cine Plus, ERTs second digital channel, will start on Tuesday at 6am, offering a 24-hour programme. Cine Plus will be a channel for culture, broadcasting an entertainment programme, with films, documentaries and selected shows from ERTs substantial archive. In Attica, it will be broadcast by UHF Channel 48 from the transmitters on Parnitha, Ymittos and Aigina. In Thessaloniki, it will be broadcast by UHF Channel 56 on Hortiatis and in Thessaly by UHF Channel 53 on Pilio.

    It is reminded that Prisma Plus, a multi-choice channel, also fully accessible to people with disabilities, has been broadcasting in Athens, Thessaloniki and Thessaly since March 20.

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