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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-02-11

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Additional Depositions
  • [02] New Page
  • [03] Social Security at Final Stage
  • [04] Crucial Talks
  • [05] Eurogroup- Ecofin Meeting
  • [06] Measures to Combat Rises in Price Index
  • [07] Paintings by Renowned Artists Stolen
  • [08] Car Bomb Blasts
  • [09] East Timor Coup Attempt Fails
  • [10] Obama Regaining Momentum
  • [11] Interrogator to Bring Indictments

  • [01] Main Suspects to Be Named and Charged

    Additional Depositions

    11 Feb 2008 15:35:00

    Sources: , 105.8, ANA

    The Zahopoulos scandal is assuming new dimensions following the additional depositions given on Monday. The main suspects are to be named and charged within this week. Journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos testified Monday to magistrate Dimitris Oikonomou about his phone contact with independent MP Kostas Koukodimos. His partner, Sokratis Giolias had testified earlier. Already detained, alleged blackmailer Evi Tsekou is to give an additional deposition on coming Friday.

    Interesting evidence has come to light following the lifting of the confidentiality of phone records. Tsekou has used at least two mobile phones registered to a person, who has allegedly given false data, while the last person to have called Christos Zahopoulos was his close friend Giorgos Mylonas.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] New Page

    11 Feb 2008 15:21:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA/PA

    The election of 33 years-old Alexis Tsipras to the post of SYN party president opens a new page in the Left wing. The newly elected president with a large majority of 70.41% against 28.67% of his rival Fotis Koubelis, described his election as a mandate for unity, optimism and struggle. On his part, Fotis Koubelis, who followed the winner to the stand to thank participants , sent a message of unity. Entering into the party offices this morning, Mr. Tsipras stressed the high responsibility of his new post and underlined that he will be on the side of workers and near Greek citizens and their problems. Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis and PASOK leader, George Papandreou called Mr. Tsipras to congratulate him on his election.

    Meeting with A. Alavanos

    Alexis Tsipras had a cooperation meeting with outgoing SYRIZA president, Alekos Alavanos, who described Tsipras election as adaring option which will change the political scene of the country. Mr. Alavanos refused to comment on opposition political parties attacks underlining that SYRIZA party launches attacks against challenges of the future which is what distinguishes our party from disputes and confrontations which most of the times are self-centered and unsubstantial.

    On his part, Alexis Tsipras also described as a daring step forwards the outcome of the congress while regarding his elction he stressed that he has assumed heavy responsibility. He promised to spend the least time in his office, although it is a familiar place for him, because society needs the Left wing out in the streets, in the social struggles with our first date being on Wednesday during the GSEE general strike. He also underlined need for collective work.

    Referring to a recent dispute between SYRIZA and PASOK parties, Tsipras said neither himself nor his party consider voters as products on super-market shelves but active citizens with views and judgment, stressing that it is high time for citizens to participate in political developments.

    Confrontation with PASOK

    In the meantime, SYRIZA PASOK confrontation continued in statements with NET 105.8 state radio. Pasok spokesman, Yiannis Ragousis said "Some wish for war within the Left, which can be probably linked with mistakes in speeches by SYRIZA senior members", stressing that "PASOK will not be dragged into a confrontation as its target is the government and its policy".

    In an interview with NET 105.8, Fotis Koubelis said that G. Papandreou started confrontation with SYRIZA, continued by Th. Pangalos and this because PASOK loses voters to SYRIZA according to recent gallops. Mr. Koubelis added that there is no room for cooperation with PASOK but convergence policies are necessary.

    Government spokesman, E. Antonaros did not comment on question regarding what A. Tsipras election signals to the political stage but reminded that K. Karamanlis was elected ND party president at a young age.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [03] Social Security at Final Stage

    11 Feb 2008 17:22:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA/PA

    Reforms in social security system are entering into final stage as the Prime-minister will announce its basic axes in the Parliament at the end of the week. The new draftbill on social security provides for merging of funds, cuts in early retirement and counter benefits for mothers with under aged children. GSEE and ADEDY 24-hour strike on Wednesday with participation of employees in the public and private sector, mass transport, scientists sectors and mass media will precede announcements.

    Provisions of Reforms

    The Prime-minister will announce the basic axes of reforms in the social security system to the Parliament on Friday. According to reports existing funds will merge into 6 main pension funds, 8 supplementary and 2 welfare funds. As main social security funds will remain the following:

    Salary earners fund (IKA- TEAM) Organization for the self-employed (OAEE) Agriculture Insurance Organization (OGA) Scientists Fund ( from merging of lawyers, doctors engineers funds) Press Fund (probably merging of all mass media funds) Unified funds will be under the same administration but will maintain autonomy concerning pensions and benefits. In the meantime, healthy funds will contribute 10% of its social funds to support funds with deficits. The Prime-minister is expected to announce abolition of early pensions below 60 years-old and 8% yearly reduction of pension for each year under 60 years old retirement. If someone retires at the age of 55 his pension will be 40% lower. The draftbill provides for a 5- year transitional period, in other words it will not affect people retiring till 2013. It also has special provisions for mothers with underage children.

    Petralia- Meeting

    Employment Minister, Fani Petralia met today with the Panhellenic Federation of Social Policy Organization Personnel and assured them that merging of funds will not have an impact on them and nobody will lose his job or any of his rights. She stressed that merging of funds aims at a viable and fair social security system , taking into consideration the rights of employees in the Security Funds.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [04] On the FYROM Name Row

    Crucial Talks

    11 Feb 2008 17:07:00

    Sources: 105.8, ANA

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will elaborate on Greeces stance regarding FYROMs NATO bid during her forthcoming talks in the USA. FYROM, on the other hand, remains intransigent when it comes to the name issue. Bakoyannis agenda includes meetings with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as well as US Congressmen. The entire spectrum of the bilateral ties and regional affairs, such as the Kosovo standoff, are to top the meetings. On Monday, Bakoyannis flew to Malta to attend the EU-Arab League summit

    Deputy Government spokesman stressed anew that a UN-sponsored mutually acceptable solution would pave the way for a better future for both sides and give a boost to FYROMs EU prospect.

    "We [Greece] are not threatening anyone with a veto. FYROM not gaining a NATO and EU membership is not our goal. On the contrary, we want it to earn the membership. However, we are clear that there should be sound foundations. No alliances can exist without sound foundations," commented Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman G. Koumoutsakos in his interview with Greek radio station Athina 9.84.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Eurogroup- Ecofin Meeting

    11 Feb 2008 14:20:00

    Sources: 105.8-NA/PA

    Economics Minister, George Alogoskoufis flew to Brussels to attend Eurogroup Council meeting focused on Eurozone inflationary pressures and briefing on the outcome of G7 group meeting held on Saturday, in Tokyo. On Tuesday, Mr. Alogoskoufis will attend the Ecofin Council meeting, which will mainly discuss implementation of growth and stability pact, reduction in energy consumption in order to combat global warming and control of bureaucracy in the EU. During working breakfast, EU member states Finance Ministers will discuss issue of states investment capitals mounting to 2 trillion euros.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [06] Measures to Combat Rises in Price Index

    11 Feb 2008 13:55:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NA/PA- 105.8

    After his meeting with the Prime-minister at the Maximos Mansion this morning, Development Minister, Hristos Folias underlined that the government will announce measures to combat rises in the price index till the end of February. Mr. Folias advised consumers to shop around before doing their shopping, stressing that it is important for citizens to be well-informed in order to reward fair traders and punish bad traders. Responding to a question on over-consumption, he said that "shopping therapy" concerns only those who can afford it. He also seemed certain that there will be heating-oil supply on Friday despite threats by oil-traders that they will not deliver heating-oil on Friday.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [07] From Collection E.G Buehrle

    Paintings by Renowned Artists Stolen

    11 Feb 2008 12:33:00

    An armed gang has stolen paintings by the Impressionists Cezanne, Degas, Van Gogh and Monet from Collection E.G Buehrle Museum in Zurich. Swiss police said that the robbery took place on Sunday and that the masterpieces are valued at more than 66 million euros. Police have not yet named the museum but they said they will provide more information in a press interview later today. The Collection E.G Buehrle Museum is one of the most famous museums in Europe as it houses one of the most significant private collections of European art with paintings of French impressionists and other 19th century artists. It comes just days after two paintings by Picasso-valued some 3 million euros- were stolen from a Swiss exhibition near Zurich. Picassos oil paintings - Head of Horse and Glass and Pitcher - were taken from an exhibition in the town of Pfaeffikon last Wednesday.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [08] In the Centre of Baghdad

    Car Bomb Blasts

    11 Feb 2008 11:45:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, NA-PA

    While US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was concluding his visit to Baghdad two car bombs exploded killing three people. The two strong blasts took place in Karanda and Janadriya districts in south-eastern Baghdad. "At least three people were killed and six injured from two car bombs that were parked in an avenue between Karanda and Janadriya districts," stated an Iraqi Defence Ministry source. Official convoys, as well as American patrols use this avenue. The area has been cordoned off by security forces. Mr Robert Gates, who arrived in Baghdad on Sunday, expressed his satisfaction over the progress made on security in Baghdad, proposing in parallel a curtailment of US military forces in Iraq, scheduled for the next months.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [09] East Timor Coup Attempt Fails

    11 Feb 2008 11:29:00

    East Timors President Jos&#233; Ramos-Horta, who was seriously injured early Monday morning when he was shot in the stomach by rebel soldiers, is in a coma. According to the latest reports his situation is critical. An Australian medical spokesman says he is on life support under an induced coma. After being shot Mr Ramos-Horta was flown to Australia for further treatment. Rebel leader and former naval commander Alfred Reinardo was shot dead by President Ramos-Hortas bodyguards following the attack. In 2006 Mr Reinardo was involved in an insurrection by a group of former soldiers.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: East Timor president wounded in rebel attack

    BBC: E Timor leader 'in induced coma'

    [10] After Wins in Four States Contests

    Obama Regaining Momentum

    11 Feb 2008 10:29:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The clean sweep of all five weekend contests puts Senator Barack Obama neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton in the battle for the partys presidential nomination while in the Republicans camp Maick Huckabee is not pulling out although John McCain appears to be in the lead. On Sunday, Obama won the Democratic caucus in Maine with 59% against 40% of Hillary Clinton. Illinois Senator won 15 delegates and Hillary Clinton 9.According to CNN Obama has 986 elected delagates against 924 of Hilary Clinton while she has 224 super-delegates against 135 of Obama which brings the former first lady in the lead with a total of 1148 delegates against 1121 of Obama. The two contesters for the Democratic party nomination are rolling into tomorrows crucial primaries in Maryland, Virtzinia and Washington DC which give 70, 83 and 15 delegates respectively. According to a poll released on RealClearpolitic website, Obam is 17.3% ahead of Hillary Clinton in Virtzinia while Illinois Senator is expected to win in Maryland and Washington with large black-American communities. In the Republicans side, frontrunner John McCain was defeated in Kansas by conservative Huckabee who refuses to pull out. Mr McCain has a wide lead with 697 delegates to Mr Huckabees 214.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [11] On Zahopoulos Case this Week

    Interrogator to Bring Indictments

    11 Feb 2008 12:15:00

    It is likely that interrogator will bring indictments against suspects involved in the Zahopoulos case in the next days. In a relative development, Evi Tsekou, held in custody, will make a supplementary statement on Friday, expected to answer crucial questions such as who edited the controversial DVD and where is the rest of the DVD material, as according to the police only 1/3 of the DVDs content has circulated. Journalist, Makis Triantafilopoulos is to make a supplementary statement tomorrow while the chief editor of his television program, Sokratis Giolas today. In the meantime, lawyer, Hristos Nikolitsopoulos, who was initially diagnosed of "suicidal ideation" 16 days ago and is treated with antidepressants, remains hospitalized although he was expected to be released today.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

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