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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-05-05

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Creating a New State
  • [02] More Bugged Pre-Paid Mobiles
  • [03] Cosmote Acquires Germanos
  • [04] PASOK Political Council Meeting
  • [05] Incidents in Police Station
  • [06] Optimistic Predictions by EU
  • [07] Optimistic Predictions by EU
  • [08] Felix Borja in Olympiacos
  • [09] Meeting over Tourism

  • [01] Tour in Lakonia-Messinia Creating a New State

    05 May 2006 20:45:00

    Sources: ANA

    In the context of his tour in Lakonia and Messinia, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis launched an attack against PASOK for the mistakes and omissions of the past. In a speech he delivered at the packed Indoor Hall of Sparta, he sent a clear message that the Government stays firm on the path of changes and reforms. Karamanlis emphatically repeated that the Government would not back down when faced with difficulties and sterile opposition reactions and added that those responsible for the problems cannot go accusing others for their own mistakes. "Their tactics are well-known. They attempt to polarize and aggravate any given situation, they react to everything but state no positions of their own," underlined the Prime Minister. The deal we made with the citizens, said Karamanlis, is in full effect. He then referred to the "bold changes and reforms promoted by the Government which will put an end to the vicious circle of lost opportunities, lay the foundations for the Rule of Law, ensure a dynamic and competitive Economy." In his speech, the PM also referred to the situation with Iran, which has aggravated the international environment and to the consequences of the oil crisis.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] New Chapter in Wiretapping Case More Bugged Pre-Paid Mobiles

    05 May 2006 13:21:00 (Last updated: 05 May 2006 21:38:06)

    Sources: NET - ANA

    The Government is viewing positively the proposal by the leader of the Main Opposition for the wiretaps case to be appointed to an Appellate Examiner. Meanwhile, a new chapter in the wiretapping case was written on Thursday, as the President of the Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) presented new evidence to the Parliaments Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency. Andreas Labrinopoulos revealed that calls were made and text messages were sent to pre-paid "shadow" phones from abroad, thus providing new insight into the case. The proceedings of the competent parliamentary committee will continue next Wednesday, with the hearing of the current and former NIS (Greek National Intelligence Service) directors. "From the beginning, the Government turned to the judicial authorities, in order to fully clarify the wiretapping case. Consequently, the Government welcomes any potential initiative by the judicial authorities as for example appointing an Appellate Examiner to the case," declared Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras on Friday, answering to a relevant question by a reporter. In the meantime, the ADAE provided clarifications to the parliamentary hearing in an announcement issued on Friday morning.

    Clarifications by the ADAE

    In an effort to avoid any misunderstandings following the articles in the Press, the ADAE issued an announcement mentioning the statements made by the Authoritys President during the 4 May hearing:

    The ADAE is not implicating the company TIM by revealing that three of their pre-paid mobiles were communicating with Vodafones "shadow" pre-paid mobiles and were demonstrating the same characteristics as the "shadow" pre-paid mobiles in question during their operation. The ADAE does not have any evidence at hand linking the phone calls that were made from one of the TIM pre-paid mobiles to the USA and the US Central Intelligence Agency. The ADAE describes the phone calls made from four countries to Vodafones "shadow" pre-paid mobiles as suspect and subsequently investigable, but does not connect the phone calls to those countries secret services.

    Evidence Assists in Solving the Case

    In the meantime, alternate Government spokesperson Evangelos Antonaros referred to the statements made Friday by the Justice Minister, when asked to comment on PASOK Presidents proposal Thursday to refer the wiretapping case to an Appellate Examiner.

    In addition, answering to another question about the revelations made Thursday by the President of ADAE to the competent parliamentary committee, the spokesperson repeated, "Any evidence coming to light will assist in solving the case, which is what the Government wants."

    In another question over the pace of the case, Antonaros clarified, "Police, judicial and technical investigations are underway. They are all contributing towards collecting evidence necessary to crack the case."

    On the other hand, PASOKs Political Council member Evangelos Venizelos questioned on the positive stance of the Government to Mr G. Papandreous proposal, for appointing an Appellate Examiner to the wiretaps case, said, "the Government is extremely exposed, defending itself and is now trying to run behind the developments." In closing, he added "the responsibilities are huge and personified, taking the form of scandal and the size of an avalanche."

    Related News:

    New Revelations by ADAE

    Related Links:

    ADAE

    Greek Ministry of Justice

    [03] Cosmote Acquires Germanos

    05 May 2006 11:52:00 (Last updated: 05 May 2006 17:10:24)

    Sources: ANA, NET 105.8

    On Friday, the administration of the Athens Stock Exchange decided to temporarily suspend the trading of shares of companies Cosmote and Germanos. The decision aims to protect investors, since the administration of the Athens Stock Exchange is expecting the announcements of the companies, which are negotiating the acquisition of Germanos by Cosmote.

    On its part, Cosmote informed investors that it is holding discussions with Panos Germanos, founder of Germanos SA. Provided they are successful Cosmote will gain controlling interest over Mr Germanos portfolio and subsequently the company in question. Moreover, Cosmote requested the suspension of the share trading until Monday 8 May 2006, when it will make an announcement relating to the result of the negotiations. The administration of Germanos also sent a similar announcement to the Athens Stock Exchange administration.

    In Brussels, the Minister of Economy was called to comment on the acquisition. Mr Alogoskoufis stressed that the Greek Public Sector has been informed and he has full faith to the Cosmote administration. Moreover he referred to adjustments and acquisitions of companies as the main factors of improving a national economys competitiveness in the modern globalised market.

    Related Links:

    Germanos

    Cosmote

    [04] Presided by George Papandreou PASOK Political Council Meeting

    05 May 2006 16:12:00 (Last updated: 05 May 2006 16:57:25)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA, NET

    The circle of consecutive meetings of PASOKs institutional and party bodies closed, following the completion of the Political Council meeting presided by the President of PASOK. Earlier, Mr Papandreou met with the women candidates supported by PASOK for the municipal and prefectural elections. Speaking at the start of the meeting, the President of PASOK said "Local Self Government needs a renewal, new figures and new blood; it needs a contribution by women, who are able to give to Greek society and the political life. Local Self Government needs to take on new powers and to acquire new abilities." Moreover, he voiced his certainty that the women candidates will do well and will find the support of Greek society, playing a determinative role as members of the Local Self Government and in its development. In the meantime, on Friday, the President of PASOK will depart for Cephallonia so to attend the partys Regional Conference.

    Related News:

    PASOK's Political Council Convening

    [05] By Members of the Social Forum Incidents in Police Station

    05 May 2006 11:58:00 (Last updated: 05 May 2006 17:43:48)

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Approximately 50 persons belonging to the Social Forum attempted to take over the police station at Agios Panteleimonas, at 10:40. They entered the police station protesting over the beatings of young Afghani immigrants, which took place a few months ago, and requesting to visit the detention cells and photograph the area. The policemen did not allow them to do so resulting in an incident, during which an Italian member of the Forum was injured. Following, the police forces arrested former SYN MP Panagiotis Lafazanis, lawyer Ioanna Kurtovic, an Italian EU Parliamentarian and another 26 persons, while they released them shortly after.

    Alternate government spokesperson Evangelos Antonaros commenting on the incidents, stated that these happenings are a form of protest, which should have limits. Moreover, he added that persons participating in them should avoid tricks and delaying tactics, especially when protests are made in areas such as protected police stations with armed policemen.

    In a written statement, Minister of Public Order Byron Polidoras stated "our country is peaceful and law-abiding and in this spirit we welcomed the 4th European Social Forum. Police stations are open for EU Parliamentarians to exercise their duties. MPs are also always welcome."

    In an announcement, Synaspismos Press Office voiced its strong protest over the uncaused, as it claimed, attack of MAT (Special Police Forces) against peaceful protesters and the arrest of the SYN delegation.

    [06] Deficit Under 3% for 2006 Optimistic Predictions by EU

    05 May 2006 16:36:00 (Last updated: 05 May 2006 17:47:47)

    Sources: ANA, NET

    On Friday, Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis satisfactorily welcomed the content of the spring economic predictions, which will be published next Monday by the European Commission. For the first time, the Commission estimated that Greeces fiscal debt will not exceed 3% of GDP in 2006, "a very positive development" as Mr Alogoskoufis described it, while attending the EU Economy Ministers Council. However, the predictions of the Ministry of Economy are even ore optimistic, as they foresee that the Greek deficit will drop to 2.6% in 2006. Relevant European Commissioner for economic matters Joaquin Almunia voiced his satisfaction over the efforts of the Greek Government towards that direction and noted that firstly the Greek authorities fully cooperated with the European Commissions proposals and the decrease of the exceeding deficit and secondly the efforts for stabilising deficits do not end in 2006, but should continue in 2007.

    Efforts for Stabilisation Continuing

    Regarding growth, the European Commission is expected to announce that it will range at 3.5% of GDP in 2006 and 3.4% of GDP in 2007. These estimations are quite similar to Greeces.

    Moreover, the European Commission is expected to announce that Greeces fiscal debt will record a 3.6% rise of GDP in 2007. The Minister of Economy stated that this estimation is explainable and due to the fact that the Commission has incomplete knowledge of the economy policy planning for 2007, as it has been recorded in the forthcoming budget. "In the meantime, there should be continuing efforts for stabilising the Greek economy by structural changes, which are necessary for securing the viability of public economics of Greece," noted Economy Commissioner Mr Almunia. On his part, Mr Alogoskoufis said that the measures ruled as necessary for the stabilisation of deficits under 3% will be included in the 2007 budget.

    Mr Almunia reminded that a Eurostat crew will visit the Greek National Statistical Service in the coming week and discuss the methodology, based on which the economic situation of municipalities and social security funds in Greece have to be estimated.

    Reassuring over Rising Oil Prices

    Mr Alogoskoufis commenting on the international developments over oil prices appeared reassuring, saying that regardless of the important rises the European economy is expected to face great problems and that the Eurozone will be in a position to absorb shocks created by the rise in oil prices.

    Referring to the discussion that took place in the EU Ministers of Economy Council relating to the different levels of inflation, growth and competitiveness observed in Member-States, the Minister stated that Eurogroup considered that a greater coordination should exist between the economic politicians and participating countries.

    Regarding the upcoming enlargement of the EU to the Balkans and the economic consequences of this development, the Minister of Economy stated that this event will be exceptionally positive.

    [07] Deficit Under 3% for 2006 Optimistic Predictions by EU

    05 May 2006 16:36:00 (Last updated: 05 May 2006 17:47:33)

    Sources: ANA, NET

    On Friday, Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis satisfactorily welcomed the content of the spring economic predictions, which will be published next Monday by the European Commission. For the first time, the Commission estimated that Greeces fiscal debt will not exceed 3% of GDP in 2006, "a very positive development" as Mr Alogoskoufis described it, while attending the EU Economy Ministers Council. However, the predictions of the Ministry of Economy are even ore optimistic, as they foresee that the Greek deficit will drop to 2.6% in 2006. Relevant European Commissioner for economic matters Joaquin Almunia voiced his satisfaction over the efforts of the Greek Government towards that direction and noted that firstly the Greek authorities fully cooperated with the European Commissions proposals and the decrease of the exceeding deficit and secondly the efforts for stabilising deficits do not end in 2006, but should continue in 2007.

    Efforts for Stabilisation Continuing

    Regarding growth, the European Commission is expected to announce that it will range at 3.5% of GDP in 2006 and 3.4% of GDP in 2007. These estimations are quite similar to Greeces.

    Moreover, the European Commission is expected to announce that Greeces fiscal debt will record a 3.6% rise of GDP in 2007. The Minister of Economy stated that this estimation is explainable and due to the fact that the Commission has incomplete knowledge of the economy policy planning for 2007, as it has been recorded in the forthcoming budget. "In the meantime, there should be continuing efforts for stabilising the Greek economy by structural changes, which are necessary for securing the viability of public economics of Greece," noted Economy Commissioner Mr Almunia. On his part, Mr Alogoskoufis said that the measures ruled as necessary for the stabilisation of deficits under 3% will be included in the 2007 budget.

    Mr Almunia reminded that a Eurostat crew will visit the Greek National Statistical Service in the coming week and discuss the methodology, based on which the economic situation of municipalities and social security funds in Greece have to be estimated.

    Reassuring over Rising Oil Prices

    Mr Alogoskoufis commenting on the international developments over oil prices appeared reassuring, saying that regardless of the important rises the European economy is expected to face great problems and that the Eurozone will be in a position to absorb shocks created by the rise in oil prices.

    Referring to the discussion that took place in the EU Ministers of Economy Council relating to the different levels of inflation, growth and competitiveness observed in Member-States, the Minister stated that Eurogroup considered that a greater coordination should exist between the economic politicians and participating countries.

    Regarding the upcoming enlargement of the EU to the Balkans and the economic consequences of this development, the Minister of Economy stated that this event will be exceptionally positive.

    [08] Felix Borja in Olympiacos

    05 May 2006 15:17:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Sources: ANA, Olympiacos FC

    As of Friday, Felix Borja is officially a player of Olympiacos. The 23-year-old striker arrived in Greece on Thursday night and visited the Athens Medical Centre, where he successfully underwent tests. Following, he was taken to the offices of the football clubs administration and signed his new four-year contract with the "red and whites." The relevant announcement by Olympiacos FC reads as follows: "Following the meeting of Olympiacos FC Vice President Mr George Louvaris with football player Felix Borja and his representatives earlier today at the club headquarters in Alexandras Square, Piraeus, the international striker from Ecuador signed his new 4-year contract with the team."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] In View of the New Tourist Period Meeting over Tourism

    05 May 2006 12:47:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    On Friday morning, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis held a discussion, in view of the new tourist period, with Minister of Tourism Fani Palli-Petralia, at Maximos Mansion. Following the end of the meeting, Mrs Petralia stated that she briefed Mr Karamanlis over the priorities and goals of the Ministrys policy. As the Minister stressed, the proposals on the new tourist period will be announced on Tuesday 9 May, while she underlined that long-term planning is necessary for implementing policies. It is noted that the Prime Minister is departing for Laconia, where he will speak at a rally in the Indoors Hall, at Sparti, on Friday night.


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