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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-05-08

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Inter-ministerial Meeting on OTE
  • [02] Mourning and Despair
  • [03] PASOK Proposal on Rising Debts
  • [04] Gangsters Pursued
  • [05] Adulterated Sunflower Oil Withdrawn
  • [06] ECB Crucial Meeting
  • [07] A. Papariga Gives Press Conference
  • [08] Putin Approved P.M.
  • [09] Karamanlis-Pavlopoulos Meeting
  • [10] O.A. Service Disrupted
  • [11] Fire in Jeweler Shop

  • [01] Final Decision Next Week

    Inter-ministerial Meeting on OTE

    08 May 2008 10:30:00 (Last updated: 08 May 2008 17:39:08)

    Sources: - 105.8

    With todays meeting held by the inter-ministerial and privatization committees, the government has made a step further to secure an agreement to sell OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications). The meeting also focused on national security issues on which Greece will be entitled to exercise a veto, policy and collective agreements. At the same time, the opposition and OTE employees reacted to the meeting. OTE employees staged a protest rally before the Transport Ministry.

    Talks with Deutsche Telecom Continue

    The Inter-ministerial and Privatisation Committees have approved all of the points agreed to date by the Greek state and Deutsche Telecom on OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications).

    The Greek state advisors have been ordered by the Committee to continue talks with the German Group, until a final text is hammered out.

    The final agreement between the two sides is expected to be ready at the beginning of next week, when it will have to enjoy again the Committees approval. Then, the Greek Parliament and Deutsche Telecom will have to offer their consent.

    As per information, the final agreement will not include any binding terms on OTEs pricing policy; however, this has not been illustrated yet.

    Government sources have stated that the free market in Greece determines the pricing policy each time and this is checked by the supervising National Telecommunications and Post Office Committee.

    Referring to the Inter-ministerial Committee meeting on OTE, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros stated that the Ministry of Economy has issued an announcement on the issue for present phase.

    As per information it is not known yet how much Deutsche Telecom will pay for the purchase of OTE shares.

    Opposition Reacts

    At the same time, the opposition is reacting to the agreement.

    The PASOK spokesman demanded from the government to be briefed on the terms of the agreement, criticizing the government of not holding face-to-face talks with Deutsche Telecom, a development that cost the public sector a substantial amount of money.

    KKE (Greek Communist Party) Secretary General Aleka Papariga has reiterated the partys fixed position on a public OTE at the service of people, describing the other parties wrangling grotesque and dangerous, since OTEs course became evident from the moment the Maastricht Treaty was signed.

    SYN (Coalition of the Left) President Alexis Tsipras described the agreement a national crime with huge repercussions on Greeces future.

    Finally, SYN MP Dimitris Papadimoulis will raise the issue with the Commission to be informed whether the minority of shareholders will enjoy protection as per EU directive 25/2004.

    [02] International Releif Hard

    Mourning and Despair

    08 May 2008 09:36:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Anger and despair are growing among the 5 million residents of Myanmars main city in the aftermath of the devastating Cyclone Nargis which has killed more than 80.000 people, while more than 40,000 have gone missing. At the same time more than 5.000 square meters of land are under water and at least one million people are in need of first aid, UN representatives estimate. More specifically in Irrawaddy delta, aid is difficult to be sent. "We need boats, helicopters and trucks", UN officials state. "There are thousand of bodied flooding in water", they add warning at the same time about the dangers and the epidemics that threaten the survivors.

    Death toll may rise if aid is not sent sonn as people may be infected by polluted water. Survivors are also threatened by hunger and thirst. The cyclone has destroyed big parts of rice crops. According to analysts, the consequences of this disaster will be apparent in the long term as the countrys main source was rice and its exports reached 500.000 tones yearly.

    Meantime, General Secretary of the Union of Southeastern Countries appeals to Myanmars junta to open the countrys borders to the inetranational aid sent from abroad "before its too late". Analysts estimate that the military junta of Myanmar is blocking foreign releif because they see it as "threat to their dominance".

    France is warning that it will take up the issue to the Security Council while US Foreign Affairs Minister Condoleezza Rice appeals to the junta to allow organization to enter the country.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [03] Alleviation of Loanees

    PASOK Proposal on Rising Debts

    08 May 2008 16:56:00

    Sources: , 105.8

    PASOK party has focused its opposition tactic on price rises. Forty-six deputies submitted a draft proposal providing for alleviation of fast growing household debts and protection of consumers from credit card and mortgage loan debts as G. Papandreou had announced.

    According to the draft proposal banks could not proceed to confiscation unless the debt is over 20.000 euros while the start bidding should at least the objective value of the property. The total debt from mortgage and consumer loans can not be over the double amount of the borrowed sum while it abolishes all forms of compound interest.

    PASOK deputies, Louka Katseli and Mihalis Hrisohoidis, who spoke of lawlessness in the market, described the proposal as an applicable and realistic plan and called the government to adopt the measures. They also said that PASOK will soon announce a new draft proposal on TEIRESIA and the Bank of Greece supervision.

    In response, the alternate government spokesman, E. Antonaros referred to the governments 41 measures to combat price rises, underlining that they are bearing fruit. In a counter response regarding the positive results of the 41 measures in the long- term, PASOK spokesman, G. Papakonstantinou quoted John Maynard Keynes phrase "in the long run we are all dead".

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [04] Gangsters Pursued

    08 May 2008 16:11:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA/PA

    Two gangsters, who had broken into a pregnant womans house in Marousi, stole her car and then refused to stop for a check by the police in Galatsi. As a result they got out of the car and were pursued by police officers on foot. Then, the culprits forced a woman out of her car with a use of gun, got in and vanished.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Adulterated Sunflower Oil Withdrawn

    08 May 2008 15:44:00

    Sources: , 105.8

    The authorities have launched sweeping checks in the market to locate dangerous adulterated sunflower oil with mineral oil imported from the Ukraine through Switzerland. It has not been ruled out that some quantities of the dangerous sunflower oil to be still on supermarket shelves.

    On Thursday, MINERVA S.A. in cooperation with EFET (Central Food Control Agency) has withdrawn a number of products of standardized sunflower oil, bearing the name MINERVA. These products include two, five and ten-litre packing, bearing the following expiry dates: January, February, May and June 2009.

    Most quantities have been withdrawn said Mr Antonaros, adding that Development Ministry check teams are trying to discover why no customs checks had been carried out.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [06] ECB Crucial Meeting

    08 May 2008 15:11:00

    Sources: NET

    The Board of the European Central Bank has met in Athens amid a negative concurrence on the international economy. Amongst others, the meeting focused on the course of the European economy. The decisions are to be announced by President Jean-Claude Trichet. Meanwhile, inflation in April has reached 4.4 in Greece, while natural gas has went up by 45%, heating oil by 38.6%, seed oil by 35.4% and butter by 31.5% within a year.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [07] A. Papariga Gives Press Conference

    08 May 2008 14:00:00

    At todays Press Conference, Secretary General Aleka Papariga stressed that she said whatever she had to say on the succession issue in KKE (Greek Communist Party). Referring to the replacement of three party cadres with others she said that three old cadres had been replaced with three equally competent ones. Referring to the OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications) issue she spoke of a dangerous and clownish situation, blaming the ND (New Democracy party), PASOK(Panhellenic Socialist Movement) and SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) parties. She commented that OTEs course had been sent the moment the Maastricht Treaty had been sighed. In parallel, she expressed her opposition on armament programmes that serve aggressive needs. Ms Papariga referred to her recent visit to Cuba, praising KKEs relations with the Cuban Communist Party. In parallel, she praised Cubas course despite obstacles set by a superpower, adding that when the people are determined they can accomplish their goals.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [08] Putin Approved P.M.

    08 May 2008 13:25:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The State Duma has approved Vladimir Putin with 392 votes in favour and 56 against Vladimir Putin as the new prime minister. Addressing earlier the MPs, Mr Putin stated that his governments main target is to boost the Russian economys competitiveness and raise the civilians standard of living in the leading positions worldwide. In parallel, he set a target for Russia to overtake Great Britain in terms of GNP within 2008. He also promised a tax reform and the combating of corruption, requesting the Parliaments support in his efforts to modernize and "settle" the Russian economy. To that goal the government should control inflation and stabilize prices in foodstuffs. Furthermore, Mr Putin committed himself to look after the Armed Forces and its personnel, war veterans, pensioners and low-income earners. He also promised to hammer out a programme against poverty, alcoholism and smoking by the end of 2008.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [09] Karamanlis-Pavlopoulos Meeting

    08 May 2008 12:02:00

    After his meeting with the prime minister Thursday morning, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated that the administrative reform would be tabled at Parliament in autumn. Mr Pavlopoulos reported that after the ENAE (Union of Prefectural Authorities of Greece) and KEDKE (Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece) meetings conclude, the government will present its final proposals that will serve as a draft bill that will be debated.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [10] O.A. Service Disrupted

    08 May 2008 10:55:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Olympic Airlines flights will be disrupted due to a strike launched by pilots of propeller aircrafts. Specifically, 904/905, 040/041 and 754/755 flights have been cancelled, while changes in the itinerary of 090/091 flight will be introduced. Passengers can call 210-966 66 66 and 801 11 44 444 for further information.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [11] Fire in Jeweler Shop

    08 May 2008 10:13:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA, MNA

    Fire broke out in a jeweler shop just before 7:00 in the morning causing serious damages. The incident occurred in 36, Roubessis St. when burglars were trying to open a hole to the shop. According to first estimation, the wall had metallic plexus. The burglars attempted to cut it by torch welding but the sparks caused fire to the insulating materials. The burglars abandoned the jeweler shop while fire brigade arrived immediately and put out the fire. During the fire extinguish operation a fireman was slightly injured in his hand.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

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