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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-03-22

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] G. Ragoussis Named PASOK Secretary
  • [02] The Pension Bill to Be Voted
  • [03] Russia: Journalists' Death Raise Questions
  • [04] China Does Not Compromise
  • [05] Taiwan's Main Opposition Wins Elections
  • [06] ND Holds the Lead

  • [01] New Political Council Elected

    G. Ragoussis Named PASOK Secretary

    22 Mar 2008 12:47:00 (Last updated: 22 Mar 2008 15:43:25)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ANA

    PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) press spokesman Giannis Ragoussis is the partys new secretary. Backed by Socialist leader George Papandreou, Ragoussis earned 159 of a total of 273 ballots. Pantelis Oikonomou trailed with 43 votes, while there were 59 blank and 12 spoilt ballots. Ragoussis is to assume his new duties as of Saturday morning. Lefteris Zagoritis, the secretary of the ruling party of ND, sent his a congratulation card, wishing him all the best in his tough task ahead.

    The members of the National Council also elected Friday the partys new Political Council. Papandreou noted that the people elected signal both renewal and unity.

    The new Political Council consists of: Panayiotis Beglitis (154 ballots), Mihalis Karhimakis (144 ballots), Thanos Moraitis (144 ballots), Giannis Koutsoukos (139 ballots), Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou (133 ballots), Louka Katseli (122 ballots), George Panayiotakopoulos (119 ballots), Nikos Androulakis (110 ballots), Dinos Rovlias (105 ballots), Kostas Askounis (103 ballots), Sylvana Rapti (102 ballots), Tonia Antoniou (96 ballots), Paris Koukoulopoulos (96), Fofi Gennimata (71).

    Papandreou: "Moving on as One"

    Addressing the opening session of the new National Council, Socialist leader George Papandreou outlined his proposals with regard to the people staffing the new bodies, as well as to the partys course after the congress. "We [PASOK] are leaving behind the gap, the camps, the personal strategies and the bitter feelings fostered. Neither praetorians nor domestic opposition have a place in a party like PASOK," commented Papandreou.

    In the meantime, a telephone survey conducted by Metron Analysis on 17 March suggested that 48.5% of the total of the electorate and 71% of the Socialist voters give a positive rating to a possible coalition government in the future. Furthermore, Papandreous proposal against the participation of officials, who had been appointed to government posts, in PASOKs Political Council was favoured by 57.9% of the respondents and 69.3% of the PASOK voters.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Mr. Papandreou's Speech in Political Council Meeting

    [02] In Parliament's Plenum on Wednesday

    The Pension Bill to Be Voted

    22 Mar 2008 14:40:00 (Last updated: 22 Mar 2008 15:42:31)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The pension reforms are running high on the political agenda, as the pension bill will be put to a vote in Parliaments Plenum on coming Wednesday. A debate on SYRIZAs (Coalition of the Radical Left) call for a referendum will follow the vote. All opposition parties have offered their backing to SYRIZAs call. The debate is expected to be held in three sittings.

    Political Wrangling

    The Government is not intimidated by the temporary political cost, as it is certain it is producing lasting public benefit, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis underlined Friday during an off-the-agenda parliamentary debate on youths. Karamanlis stressed that the reforms will not be halted, since the future of the young generation would be bleak, and blamed the opposition for populism.

    "The Prime Minister did not have the courage to defend the pension bill, which is creating medieval working conditions, especially for the young," commented Socialist leader George Papandreou.

    "You cannot accuse us of populism, when we champion solid work and the 7-hour working scheme. This is not populism. This is our belief," argued KKE (Greek Communist Party) head Aleka Papariga. Chairman of SYRIZAs (Coalition of the Radical Left) parliamentary group Alekos Alavanos also blasted the Prime Ministers absence from the debate on the pension reforms.

    Secretary of the ruling party of ND Lefteris Zagoritis touched on the issue, while addressing a party event in the northwestern Greek city of Preveza. Zagoritis stressed that the pension system would collapse had the reforms not been advanced.

    Related News:

    "Reforms Wont Be Halted"

    [03] Investigation in Full Swing

    Russia: Journalists' Death Raise Questions

    22 Mar 2008 14:20:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    The death of another two journalists in Russia has raised several questions, bringing the high-profile case of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot in 2006 back to the fore. The body of 32-year-old Ilyas Shurpayev was found when neighbours noticed his flat was on fire. Authorities said Shurpayev possibly knew his stranglers. In the meantime, yet another television journalist Gadzhi Abashilov was shot dead near war-scarred Chechnya. It was on his car when attacked. He died on the spot, while the driver got injured. Having launched a manhunt to locate the gunmen, authorities are trying to determine whether the two murders are related, since the two journalists were from Dagestan. No evidence, however, has indicated any relation between the two cases. Several journalists have mysteriously died in Russian since 2000, with the majority of them investigating state corruption cases or Russias wars in Caucasus.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] Death Toll Rises

    China Does Not Compromise

    22 Mar 2008 13:33:00

    Sources: ΑNA, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Chinese authorities announced yesterday Saturday that they will continue suppression operations in Tibet in order to bring down the anti Chinese forces. Meantime, death toll rose in conflicts reported in Lassa the previous week. According to the latest toll of "New China" news agency 19 people died in riots in the Tibetan capital last week

    Latest death toll was announced today while worries are expressed about the way Beijing handled the anti Chinese riots putting in shadow that way the picture of the country which is about to host the Olympic Games.

    North India of Tibet speaks of a "confirmed" death toll of 99 in Tibet as well as in Chinese provinces.

    "New China" agency attributes to rioters whom it calls "trouble makers", the burning of 7 schools, 5 hospitals, 120 residencies, 38 cars and the depredation of 908 shops.

    Foreign Affairs Minister of Germany Frank Walter Steinmeier put pressure in Beijing asking from the authorities for more transparency. According to Mr. Steinmeier, the rest of the world has to see on its own what is happening in Tibet. "What China does is to wound itself forbidding to foreign observers to see what is happening", he stressed in a statement made in a German newspaper.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [05] Taiwan's Main Opposition Wins Elections

    22 Mar 2008 12:07:00 (Last updated: 22 Mar 2008 13:35:12)

    Sources: REUTERS

    Taiwans main opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) formally declared its candidate, Ma Ying-jeou, the winner in the islands presidential election on Saturday. Honorary chairman Lien Chan made the declaration as the official vote count was nearly complete, with Ma taking 58 percent of the tally. Ma favours closer economic ties and political dialogue with China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

    [06] Reported a New Survey

    ND Holds the Lead

    22 Mar 2008 11:16:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    A Metron Analysis survey has suggested that the ruling party of ND (New Democracy) holds a lead of 4% over PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement), while SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) and the possibility of coalition governments have increased their popularity. Particularly, the ruling Conservatives have received 29.2%, the Socialists 25.2%, SYRIZA 17.8%, KKE (Greek Communist Party) 6.8% and LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) 4.8%. Asked who is the most suitable for the post of the Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis landed first with 36.1%, and George Papandreou trailed with 20.8%. Alexis Tsipras finished third with 11%.

    The majority of the respondents (54.9%) favoured coalition governments, as opposed to 40.2% that preferred independent governments.

    In the meantime, in his interview with Imerisia daily, Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos did not ruled out cooperation between Greeces two leading political parties, ND and PASOK, arguing, "Everything is possible in politics." He claimed, however, that such a government would be hopeless, for it would have been founded on circumstances.

    Responding to Socialist leader George Papandreous bid to reach out to SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras noted that the Socialist head spoke of independence, although he could invite the Left in contribute on the basis of a new electoral law.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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