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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-04-17

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Focusing on Economy
  • [02] FYROM – Germany Presidents Meeting
  • [03] Investigations Continue
  • [04] Papandreou-Farmers Meeting
  • [05] Bloody Clashes in Pakistan
  • [06] No Danger of Black Outs
  • [07] Nimetz in Skopje
  • [08] Multi Fatal Attack in N. Iraq
  • [09] New Testimonies on Siemens Case

  • [01] At Political Leaders' Level

    Focusing on Economy

    17 Apr 2008 11:56:00 (Last updated: 17 Apr 2008 17:30:49)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis unleashed Thursday a bitter attack against the main opposition party during the off-the-agenda parliamentary debate on Economy, which is underway. Kostas Karamanlis blasted PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) for being interested in party competition, averting foreign investors by adopting backward positions, distorting reality through hypocrisy and lack of ideas. The Government does not conceal the problems, said the Prime Minister, it takes steps ahead with targeted choices for changes and reforms aiming at a solid economy and society. On his part, PASOK President George Papandreou lambasted the Government for being unable to address the citizens problems. Aleka Papariga, secretary general of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), has now taken the floor.

    Promotion of Reforms

    Not a single euro from the ESPA programme would be spared, stressed the Prime Minister in his speech.

    With regard to high cost of life, he said that imported inflation directly influences prices and that both the Government and the consumers should forge a social alliance of constant action to address the problem.

    Although growth rate in the euro zone stands at 1.8%, it amounts to 3.6% in Greece, and if there had not been the deficits and weaknesses of the past, we would have done better, he said.

    Finally, Karamanlis insisted on promoting reforms, stressing that the Government smashed the vicious cycle that used to increase problems, broke free from the phobia of the political cost, and favoured strategic private-public partnerships, including the cases of OTE and ports, which will turn Greece into a sea transit trade hub.

    G. Papandreou: "Modern-Day Crisis Is Political"

    The Government had been held captive to certain interests, said PASOK President, and spoke of dire poverty, submitting to Parliament a dvd demonstrating an elderly pensioner picking up vegetables from the street.

    Papandreou claimed that the average Greek family cannot make ends meet, while Greece has the third highest share of consumer credits in the EU, more than 100,000 attachments of immovable property and vehicles, 5,000 auctions and rise in banks net profits by 70%.

    The modern-day crisis is mainly political and not economical, because the Government allows businessmen to act as "sheriffs," noted main opposition leader.

    Touching on the pension system, Papandreou claimed that a well-thought-out reform would foresee gradual unification of pension funds after their being consolidated.

    Al. Papariga: "Non Stop Conflict with Interests"

    KKE General Secretary Mrs. Aleka Papariga launched attack against the government ND for its financial policy and for the anti popular policy of austerity. "Political austerity empties peoples pockets and throws them to rubbish by intellectual austerity".

    KKE rejects the mentality of the third road. You must be whether in favor of the capital or people. Theft and exploitation of working people is a permanent situation. ND and PASOK are looking for alternative solutions in order to extend time in problems" she said. Mrs. Aleka Papariga also added. "There is only one road. And this road must always lead to permanent conflict with interests and monopolies".

    Mrs Papariga also commented on Mr. Papandreou criticism to the government for policies adopted which favor people affiliated to the government, branding these people "a capitalistic group". On reference to OTE buy out Mrs. Papariga said that she is in not in favor of the organization becoming private.

    She also supported the view that the poverty rate is bigger than the rates presented in official reports and that there are many people that live under conditions of "extreme poverty". According to KKE General Secretary, the creation of a Poverty Fund is targeting at concealing real problems. Tthis policy is rejected by the Communist Party, she concluded.

    Alavanos: "Lack of Restrain in Bank Markets"

    Head of the parliamentary group of SYRIZA Mr. Alekos Alavanos said that ND and PASOK market models which provide for no controls in markets, limitation of the private sector, deconstruction of the social state and profiteering have driven the country to a crisis, accusing at the same time the Prime Minister and PASOK president for being silent in the real problems.

    Mr. Alavanos spoke of no restrain in the bank markets which control the deposits of the Greek citizens and on reference to the explosion reported in confiscations of estate properties he branded Greece as the "kingdom of usury". He also said that instead of the state posing conditions to banks, the opposite occurs. Mr. Alavanos accused the government that in these difficult times it is changing the social security system. "New Democracy must leave. There is another road the road of the Left party and of the new majority", he concluded.

    Karatzaferis: "The same anti popular policy"

    LAOS (Popular Orthodox Alarm) president Mr. Giorgos Karatzaferis in his speech during the off the agenda discussion in Parliament on economy, supported the view that a mechanism of non institutional principles, that is the capital and the manipulative Media is governing the country. A new procedure of restoring democracy must start, he added. Mr. Karatzaferis also accused the two big political parties that they adopt the same anti popular policy: PASOK on one side that has been in power for the last 20 years has created a party-state laying its own game and on the other side New Democracy appoints in high positions people affiliated to its party.

    Mr. Alogoskoufis' Speech

    Mr. Alogoskoufis noted that the policy of denationalizations has allowed Greece and the Greek Banks to broaden themselves outside the Greek borders and for that reason they can not be branded as non successful. "We can not claim on the one side that we want freedom that is to be able to invest to other countries of the world and on the other side not to want other businesses to settle Greece. If we do not want foreign investments we must leave the European Union and be introspective like we did in the 60s", he said.

    On reference to Mr. Papandreous proposals regarding loaners, finance minister committed to look into them but reminded everyone that the government has undertaken relative measures on the sale of first residence of debtors due to consumption loans and credit cards which do not surpass 10.000.

    As per OTE Mr. Alogoskoufis said that the government was the one that protected the organization from aggressive buy outs with the adjustment of 20% which was disputed by PASOK.

    "The private citizen bought the shares you sold in the stock market through free market. We can not stop them- we stopped them with the adjustment we submitted to Parliament and which leads this specific investing company to the exit.Aaccording to us this company was not the most appropriate partner for OTE", he said.

    [02] Nimetz to Visit Athens Friday

    FYROM Germany Presidents Meeting

    17 Apr 2008 16:52:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ΝΕΤ- ΝΕΤ 105.8-ΑNA

    UN mediator Matthew Nimetz is starting a new round of talks in Skopje in the afternoon on the FYROM name issue and will visit Athens Friday. While the Skopje leadership insists on its harsh stance, the name issue was discussed between FYROM and Germany presidents.

    German President Horst Koehler has reported from Skopje that Germany supports efforts on the solution of the name issue. After his meeting with FYROM President Branko Crvenkovski Mr Koehler stated that the latter had stated that although he supports a compromise on the name issue, this cannot happen at all costs.

    Expressing his regret that FYROM had not been invited to join NATO, the German president appeared optimistic that the issue would be settled, since that is to the benefit of Europe, which wishes the issue to be resolved.

    Mr Koehler reiterated Germanys support to FYROMs course to NATO, adding that although Europe wishes to see FYROM join NATO and the EU, this country must make extra efforts to achieve this goal. He also hoped that the early Parliamentary elections in FYROM would not delay or create any problems to European prospects.

    From his side, Mr Crvenkovski stated that FYROM would continue participating in the negotiations on the name issue, despite the holding of the early elections.

    Messrs Crvenkovski and Koehler described their countries bilateral relations excellent, adding that they could extend further their economic relations in the future.

    Mr Nimetz is going to meet with FYROM PM Nikola Gruevski and President Branko Crvenkovski.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Nimetz in Skopje

    [03] Suspects of Punishable Deeds

    Investigations Continue

    17 Apr 2008 11:17:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Former weightlifting head coach Christos Iakovou, his associates, the national teams doctors, as well as, the drug store owner who packaged the substances into capsules, were given until 5 May to testify. Iakovous lawyer Mihalis Dimitrakopoulos wished Justice would not manifest the effectiveness it did not manifest in other major cases. Olympic medal winner weightlifter Valerios Leonides said that the case has been blown out of proportions, stressing that truth would eventually shine. In the meantime, the Prosecutor requested the samples taken by the Greek weightlifters be tested anew, after the Cologne lab said they were positive to one illegal substance only. This could change the penal charges against those involved in the case. The 11 weightlifters of the Greek national team were given until 2 May to testify, while the gym owner who imported the illegal substances from China testified to the Larissa Police.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] Papandreou-Farmers Meeting

    17 Apr 2008 16:37:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    PASOK President George Papandreou met with tobacco producers, PASEGES (Panhellenic Confederation of Union of Agricultural Co-ops) and GESASE (General Confederation of Greek Agrariarn Associations) representatives at his office in the Parliament. Mr Papandreou stated that due to the governments policy farmers would sustain losses on subsidies after 2009 amounting to 50%, a development that would cause a serious social problem in tobacco producing areas. Furthermore, he argued that it has been estimated that tobacco growers would lose 600million until 2009, pointing out that this money would be transferred to programmes that the Rural Development Minister will be managing most probably in "non-transparent" ways. Finally, he urged the government to re-negotiate subsidies to farmers with the EU, adding that he will present PASOKs positions to the EU Commissioner on Friday.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Bloody Clashes in Pakistan

    17 Apr 2008 14:48:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA, MNA

    20 people at least died and many injured during violent clashes that broke out during the first morning hours among members of tribes that live in the borders of Pakistan with Afghanistan and between armed troopers of Laskar Islami (Army of Islam) lead by the radical Muslim priest Mangal Bagh. Khyber news agency reported that the clashes started yesterday night and continued today. Geo TV net broadcasted that members of the tribes as well as armed of the Army of Islam exchanged rocket fires in the mountainous areas they control.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [06] DEH President and Director Consultant Reassures

    No Danger of Black Outs

    17 Apr 2008 13:20:00


    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105,8

    DEH president and Director Consultant Takis Athanasopoulos assured that there are not going to be any black outs during summer when power demand is raised and problems are created to the electrical supply. Mr. Athanasopoulos admitted that there are problems and that DEH takes necessary measures to prevent them. It must be noted is that water supplies in the hydroelectric energy production is lower than ever before and settled at about the same level with last year.

    [07] New Round of Talks on Name Issue Commence

    Nimetz in Skopje

    17 Apr 2008 12:05:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    UN envoy Matthew Nimetz is to kick off Thursday a new round of talks from Skopje, as part of a new UN-sponsored initiative on the name dispute, the first after the Greek veto in Bucharest. Nimetz is due in Athens on Friday. In the meantime, the Greek National Foreign Policy Council (ESEP) held a meeting chaired by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis at the Foreign Ministry. The latest developments in the issues of Skopje and Cyprus were the key topics of the meeting.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    New Round of Talks

    [08] Multi Fatal Attack in N. Iraq

    17 Apr 2008 11:17:00

    Police reported today that 49 people died and more than 50 injured during a suicide attack reported today during a funeral ceremony in N. Iraq. According to the same source a kamikaze triggered the bomb explosion in his vest in the Sunnite Arabic village near Aldam in Diyala province. This attack took place during the funeral ceremony of two members of American Security Forces in Iraq and it is the bloodiest attack of the latest months. American and Iraqi authorities claim that Sunnite members of Al Qaeda have moved to N. Iraq after they had been driven off western province Anbar in Baghdad.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [09] On Friday on the District Attorney

    New Testimonies on Siemens Case

    17 Apr 2008 11:11:00


    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105,8

    A former OTE executive member as well as 6 former members of the company, involved in Siemens case are called to testify tomorrow to the District Attorney Panayiotis Athanasiou as witnesses as they are considered suspects for culpable actions. According to information, one of them has asked and has received deadline until April 30. The 7 members have been called in the framework of the investigation ordered by the District Attorney and in the framework of evidence collected by the German authorities. Witnesses to be called for testimonies are expected to be more than 10.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

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