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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-02-24

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Crucial Deliberations
  • [02] Christofias Wins Cypriot Elections
  • [03] Protests against Kosovo Independence Continue
  • [04] PASOK elections for Congress Representatives
  • [05] Public Works Ministry's Branch Attacked
  • [06] Fidel's Successor to Be Named
  • [07] Suicide Attack in Baghdad
  • [08] Papariga Lashes out at SYN
  • [09] Bar Associations' Elections
  • [10] Clinton-Obama Campaign Getting Bitter
  • [11] Cypriots Vote Today

  • [01] On Skopje Name Issue

    Crucial Deliberations

    24 Feb 2008 11:29:00 (Last updated: 24 Feb 2008 17:47:28)

    Feverish deliberations continue in Skopje, where FYROM political leaders Council convenes again today to decide on whether they agree with Nimitz proposal as a base for negotiations on Skopje name issue.In the meantime, UN special mediator, Mathew Nimitz, in his interview with newspaper "Kathimerini tis Kyriakis" said that he intends to announce a new round of negotiations after both interested parties submit their proposals on the name, stressing that he is seeking a fair solution.

    In the meantime, the Greek government underlines that Skopje will not be invited to join NATO unless a mutually acceptable solution on the name issue is reached. Moreover, government spokesman, Thodoros Roussopoulos described as groundless articles about divergence of views, stressing that there is a common and clear policy on Skopje name issue.

    On their part, political parties continue expressing their reactions, with PASOK leader, George Papandreou saying that solution of double name is the worst development for Greeces interests. General Secretary of GCP, Aleka Papariga said that the government does not dare to exercise its veto right and plays its game with the US and the EU. A double name providing for geographical term is the only realistic solution said SYN party president, Alexis Tsipras while LAOS president, George Karatzaferis is in favour of exercising veto right and holding referendum on name issue.

    "A pretty strong domestic front has been forged around the key position of the Greek foreign policy, meaning we [Greece] are ready to come to terms with a mutually acceptable name for all uses. Greece has been clear on that, thats why we should wait for the other sides answer. I think that the Governments stance, namely no acceptance of a name for all uses equals to no invitation for a NATO membership is a crystal clear one, provided that the Government believes in it and does all the necessary handlings to that end," commented Socialist MP Evangelos Venizelos.

    RASS Company Poll

    In the meantime, a nationwide poll conducted by RASS company on behalf of paper TO PARON showed that 59.3% of the respondents want the Government to veto FYROMs NATO bid in case the USA press the Government to accept the Nimetz proposal, 24.9% call for a referendum, 8.4% ask for elections and 5.3% expect of the Government to say yes to Nimetzs proposal.

    The vast majority of those surveyed, namely 88.3%, believe that the FYROM name dispute is a rather serious matter, because the term Macedonia is closely connected to the Greek peoples national identity and because allowing its use could whet the neighbouring countrys appetite to raise claims against Greece.

    FYROM's Political Leaders Hold Meeting

    The leaders of FYROMs four biggest political parties have been convening since 15:15 Greek local time before the countrys President to determine the countrys stance on the proposals US envoy Matthew Nimetz submitted on Tuesday.

    In the context of the talks on Nimetzs proposal, FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski met Friday with the representatives of all the political parties of the country. After that meeting, the countrys Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki said, "FYROM should continue the dialogue with Greece on the name dispute in a way that will protect the countrys interests and safeguard its national and cultural identity."

    Related News:

    Hard Diplomatic Bargain

    G. Papandreou's Interview with NEA

    KKE's Demonstration on the Balkans

    [02] Presidential Elections in Cyprus

    Christofias Wins Cypriot Elections

    24 Feb 2008 18:20:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ANA-MPA-NET

    Demetris Christofias is the winner of the presidential elections in Cyprus. With 80% of the vote counted so far, the AKEL leader has garnered 53.48% of the ballot, as opposed to 46.42% for his rival Ioannis Kasoulides. All exit polls aired on television networks as soon as the runoff vote came to an end had given a slight lead to Demetris Christofias. The two rivals had claimed that initiatives targeting to the solution of the Cyprus standoff and talks with Turkish-Cypriot leader Talat would rank among their key priorities. Talat, on his part, said he is willing to hold talks with the new president.

    Ioannis Kasoulides and outgoing President Tassos Papadopoulos called Demetris Christofias to congratulate him on his victory. Papadopoulos also contacted with Kasoulides whom he congratulated on the battle he gave.

    President of the Democratic Rally Nikos Anastasiades and the leader of the Greek main opposition party, George Papandreou, also congratulated the winner of the Cypriot presidential runoff and wished him all the best.

    Related News:

    Cypriots Vote Today

    [03] Serbs Demonstration in Athens

    Protests against Kosovo Independence Continue

    24 Feb 2008 13:20:00

    Unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence has sparked off mass demonstrations by Serbians as well as disputes in the international relations stage. Serbs living in Athens are staging a demonstration at Panathinaiko Stadium to be followed by a march to the center where a committee will hand a resolution to the Foreign Ministry and Presidential Mansion. The EU has decided to recall its personnel from Kosovo for security reasons while Albanians in the region have expressed fears for division of the country. In the meantime, Russian NATO representative has categorically denied that he referred to use of force by Moscow.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [04] Members and Friends

    PASOK elections for Congress Representatives

    24 Feb 2008 10:58:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA

    Friends and members of PASOK movement are voting today to elect 4.500 representatives to take part in PASOK congress to be held from 13-16, March. In parallel, they are called to respond to a questionairy on the political system, transparency, the countrys administrative structure and immigrants, whose results will be highly considered in the drawing of PASOK program. Within the frame of procedures for the election of congress representatives, there will be a second ballot for the election of secretary and alternate secretary for PASOK Youth Prefecture Coordination Secretariats. Polling stations opened at 09:30 and will close at 17:30 in the afternoon. In his statement, after casting his ballot at Nea Erythrea Cultural Center, PASOK leader, George Papandreou stressed that these elections are new steps within the partys new course for unity and renewal aimed to change the countrys route and give people new hope.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [05] In Abelokipous

    Public Works Ministry's Branch Attacked

    24 Feb 2008 17:52:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ANA-MPA-NET 105.8

    A homemade bomb went off on Sunday afternoon at the fa&#231;ade of a branch of the Public Works Ministry in Abelokipous district, Athens. A male who wished to remain anonymous called daily Eleftherotypia and said, "A bomb is to go off at the offices of the Public Works Ministry in Abelokipous. It is not a hoax." The man did not say which group was behind the attack. The police was immediately called and the offices were evacuated. The blast occurred exactly the time the man had warned. However, it has yet to be determined where the bomb had been planted. Bomb technicians and members of the anti-terrorism squad are searching the place.

    [06] Fidel's Successor to Be Named

    24 Feb 2008 17:37:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Cubas National Assembly met on Sunday to name a successor to Fidel Castro, ending the rule of the bearded revolutionary who dominated the island for five decades of communism and confrontation with the United States. His brother Raul Castro, who has been running Cuba since the 81-year-old leader was sidelined by illness 19 months ago, is widely expected to be named the next president. Whether Raul Castro will open the door to limited economic reforms is foremost in the minds of many Cubans struggling to cope with low wages and shortages of basic goods. The 614-member legislature will announce the composition of the Council of State, the islands highest executive body, at around 2:30 pm.

    [07] Suicide Attack in Baghdad

    24 Feb 2008 15:54:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    At least 40 Shiite pilgrims were killed and as many as 60 were injured in a suicide attack that rocked the town of Iskandariya, south of Baghdad, hospital and police sources said. The suicide bomber struck just a few hours after gunmen had killed three pilgrims and injured some 36 in an attack in Baghdad. In the Baghdad attack, the pilgrims were hit by a roadside bomb and then fired on by gunmen on a road used by thousands of pilgrims walking to the festival of Arbain in the holy southern Shiite city of Kerbala, police said.

    [08] Papariga Lashes out at SYN

    24 Feb 2008 14:39:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA

    Addressing a party event staged Sunday in Peristeri district, Athens, Aleka Papariga, the general secretary of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), touched on scenarios boosting the re-establishment of the political scenery, which is promoted by both the ruling class and foreign factors.

    "We [KKE] have no intention of taking part in the re-establishment of the political scenery," underlined Papariga, while she unleashed a rather biting attack on SYN (Coalition of the Radical Left). She branded it as "a crutch of the two-party system" and accused it of arousing illusory hopes, as it is constantly altering its positions. "What SYN wants is to increase its negotiating power," commented Papariga, assuring, "Opportunism does not change and it is like the 1989-91 period." "Back then," she continued referring to the time the two left parties had formed a coalition, "they got us, but we held strong." Papariga called on the people to not be fooled by these scenarios.

    Responding to press reports on the influence the political developments could have on KKE, Papariga assured, "We feel no panic," further underlining that KKE is mature and determined enough to strike back.

    The KKE secretary general also appeared optimistic about the partys future, noting that the growing disdain for the Conservative and the Socialists should be exploited to the peoples benefit.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] Bar Associations' Elections

    24 Feb 2008 14:18:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA

    Lawyers are voting today to elect presidiums of their Bar Associations. In Athens, elections will continue on Monday while the second round will be held on March, 2. Interest is centered in Athens where there are 13 candidates while the two large parties, ND and PASOK, have not nominated their candidates. The president of the Parliament, D. Sioufas, Interior Minister, P. Pavlopoulos, deputies, A. Dimopoulos and F. Koubelis and former president of the Athens Bar Association, A. Roupakiotis cast their votes this morning. In his statements, Mr. Pavlopoulos placed special importance to the particular elections, stressing that in an era we are all seeking for upgrading and effectiveness of Justice, the bar associations play a significant role.He wished the new president and administration to assist in efforts so Justice meets the expectations of society and the level of democracy.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [10] Clinton-Obama Campaign Getting Bitter

    24 Feb 2008 12:44:00

    Obama-Clinton campaign is getting bitter as delegate rich Ohio and Texas contests are nearing. New York Senator, and former US first lady, Hillary Clinton, who is now a candidate for Democratic party nomination for 2008 presidential elections launched a strong attack against her rival Illinois Senator, Barrack Obama accusing him of using tactics of the Republican party. "Shame on you, Barack Obama," Clinton said, speaking to reporters after a rally in Ohio.

    Hillary Clinton slammed rival Barack Obama for distributing campaign leaflets on her health-care plan that she called "blatantly false". Brandishing a copy of the leaflet, Clinton said the Obama campaign was spreading "false, misleading, discredited information" about her health-care plan. She also said another leaflet Obamas campaign issued misrepresented her views on trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. In a bitter exchange, Obama defended the leaflet as accurate and decried Clintons "negative campaign" reminding her that this tactic has neither benefited her in S. Carolina nor Wisconsin or in any other part of the country.

    Obama, has won 10 consecutive state nominating contests since Feb. 5. The string of victories has put him ahead in the race for delegates to a nominating convention this summer where the party will pick a candidate for the November election. Many analysts say Clinton must win contests in the delegate-rich states of Ohio and Texas on March 4 to cut Obamas lead and still have a chance at the nomination.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [11] Crucial Presidential elections

    Cypriots Vote Today

    24 Feb 2008 11:09:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA

    Cypriots began voting for a new president in a runoff election on Sunday morning. According to gallops, the candidates, Dimitris Hristofias and Ioannis Kassoulidis are running neck-and-neck and the election could go either way. In last weeks first round, Kassoulidis gathered 33,51% and Hristofias 33.29% while incumbent president Tasos Papadopoulos was defeated with 31.79% .

    Voting is scheduled to end at 17:00 in the afternoon with an hour break from 12:00-13:00 while the head of the polling station is allowed to extend voting till 21:00 in the evening in case voters continue coming. A total of 515.994 voters, included 390 Turkish-Cypriot citizens of the Cyprus Republic, are registered to vote while 361 enclaved Cypriots and prisoners are to exercise their voting rights.

    Chief election official, Lazaros Savvides said that voting started on time and if everything runs smoothly, results are expected at around 19:30 and the proclamation of the new president at around 22:00 at Nicosias "Liberty" stadium. The new president will be sworn in on February, 28 at the House of Representatives. There are a total of 1.159 polling stations while there are two poll stations for the enclaved and prisoners. The following is the distribution of poll stations, 438 in Nicosia, 340 in Limasol, 55 in Ammohostos, 190 in Larnaca and 134 in Paphos

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis


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