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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-05-19
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Political Row Hits RedVgenopoulos Files New Lawsuit
19 May 2008 15:07:00
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ANA-MPA
Political confrontation is intensifying, refueled by Bgenopoulos, MIG president, new lawsuit, this time against PASOK President. The Government spokesman stressed Monday that the Government does not agree with such practices, while House Speaker Dimitris Sioufas blasted efforts to turn political positions into criminal offences. PASOK keeps claiming that it is the Governments stance that encourages the MIG Vice-Presiddent, who lodged a libel suit against an OTE unionist, demanding 100,000 euros.
Government spokesman, Thodoros Roussopoulos refused to comment on businessman, Andreas Bgenopoulos lawsuit against George Papandreou, on the grounds of PASOK statements that the government encourages the businessman in his moves because as he said these statements are contrary to the practice and the views of the government as well as to common sense.
Mr. Roussopoulos said that the government clearly expressed its position on April, 11 when the same businessman had filed a lawsuit against another political leader. "We had stressed then that in no case do we agree with such practices, in other words the filing of a lawsuit against a political leader because he exercised political criticism.". He also added that it was the government, that passed a bill banning any businessman from holding over 20% of OTE shares.
"Views and political positions debated in the Parliament should not be transferred to court-rooms" said the President of the Parliament, Dimitris Sioufas. In an interview with NET radio, Transport and Communications Minister, Kostis Hatzidakis said that the government is against lawsuits practice while Gerasimos Yiakoumatos strongly objected to penalization of political life. PASOK deputy, Nikos Hristodoulakis described Bgenopoulos move as extreme.
In his statement, Athens Mayor, Nikitas Kaklamanis stressed: "Mr. Bgenopoulos or any other Greek businessman, who wants to get involved in politics, has nothing else to do but to imitate Sylvio Berlusconi and ask for the Greek peoples vote instead of resorting to lawsuits against political leaders. It is farther more clear and honest." SYN, GCP and LAOS parties expressed their objections and spoke of an unacceptable and dangerous move.
In the same line was OME-OTE announcement, as soon as it was informed that Mr. Bgenopoulos proceeded to a libel action against the organizing secretary of the union, Basilis Koufis, asking for 100.000 euros compensation. SYN party deputy, D. Stratoulis spoke of terrorization attempt against OTE unionists who object to the sale of the company
PASOK on Bgenopoulos-Government
The lawsuit is not a personal issue, however, it is very important for Democracy and blamed the ND party for indifference, idleness and tolerance to organized interests. PASOK circles blamed the government and the Court of First Instance for delaying to inform Mr. Papandreou on the lawsuit.
PASOK has requested a copy of the agreement with Deutsche Telekom but has not received it as its translation has not been completed yet. In response to PASOK accusations that the government is tolerant with Mr. Bgenopoulos, Mr. Roussopoulos stressed that it was the government, that passed a bill banning any businessman from holding over 20% of OTE shares. In reference to tough language used by George Papandreou, Mr. Roussopoulos said that the Prime-minister has given responses to the main opposition leader while he spoke of Mr. Papandreou effort to emerge on the political stage due to his partys domestic problems as well as gallops.
In an interview with NET radio 105.8, Transport and Communications Minister, Kostis Hatzidakis said that with its sale OTE goes up in category taking up a distinct role from regional. He also added that these are the procedures followed in Europe and accused PASOK of selling OTE when it is in office and supporting the contrary when it is opposition. Mr. Hatzidakis maintained that the government has no intention of selling a higher percentage of OTE shares.
SYRIZA leader, Alekos Alabanos launched strong criticism against the government and Mr. Bgenopoulos. He accused the ND party of "embracing the forces of a new plutocracy " noting that businesses and forces with rather ominous records are involved in the OTE sale. He said that a prosecutors report, dated July, 12, 2007 calls for the prosecution of A. Bgenopoulos in relation to legalization of incomes from criminal activities and the sale of 3 structured bonds to the hotel employees fund. Mr. Alabanos wondered why the prosecutors report is still in the drawer and the government does not react.
 K. Karamanlis to Visit Bulgaria19 May 2008 17:52:00
Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis will fly to Bulgaria tomorrow to take part in the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit meeting.
Upon his arrival to the Bulgarian city of Pomorie, Mr. Karamanlis will attend a dinner hosted by Bulgarias Prime-minister, Sergei Stanishev in honor of state leaders, premiers and foreign Ministers. Mr. Karamanlis will attend the meeting of state leaders and premiers on Wednesday and later will have a private meeting with Serbias President, Boris Tadics. The Greek Prime-minister is expected to return to Athens after the conclusion of the works of the meeting.
Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis
 Precautionary MeasuresMore Sunflower-oil Withdrawn
19 May 2008 14:53:00
By Anna Kourti
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8
According to the State Laboratory tests, the contaminated sunflower oil removed from the market contained lubricant mineral while companies continue precautionary withdrawals of oil from super-market shelves. Food Safety experts, however, do not appear concerned. In the meantime, EFET has extended inspections of sunflower oil beyond the 3.000 tones imported in February by "Manos" and "Agrotiki" companies. In his statements, Mihalis Hrisohoidis has brought on the issue of contaminated sunflower oil as he raised several questions to EFET and the government. Among others, Mr. Hrisohoidis called EFET to respond on whether it has carried inspections on larger companies which import the product, dropping hints that there are more quantities of contaminated sunflower oil which have not been inspected and even not located.
Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis
 Exotic Fruits and Flowers Trigger Allergies19 May 2008 13:35:00
The consumption of exotic fruits and vegetables and the uncontrollable importing of ornamental plants, not endemic to the Mediterranean climate, and other factors related to modern lifestyle have encouraged an allergy surge in Greece. As a result, one in three residents of Attica and the rest Greek cities has developed some type of allergy. This was what was underlined during a Press conference in the framework of the 34th Annual Panhellenic Conference of the Athens Medical Society.
Translated by Areti Christou
 Bin Laden's New Recording19 May 2008 10:55:00
By Alexandros Moz
Sources: ANA-MPA, Reuters
Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to help break the blockade Israel has imposed on Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, according to an audio recording posted on an Islamist website. The speaker, whose voice sounded like Osama bin Ladens said that it is every Muslims duty to fight against the Gaza blockade. The recording was posted on the day US President George W. Bush wrapped up his Mideast tour, voicing his hope that a peace deal will be struck by the end of his term. However, Bush infuriated Palestinians, by calling Israel the homeland of the chosen people. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Hamas and the Egyptian negotiators that Israel could decide a large-scale incursion in the Gaza Strip to stop rocket attacks.
 ETA Attack19 May 2008 08:54:00
A car bomb exploded early on Monday in the Basque coastal town of Getxo but a telephone warning from the Basque guerrilla group ETA enabled police to evacuate the area and no one was hurt, local authorities said. The explosion came five days after a car bomb placed outside a police barracks at Legutiano, also in Spains Basque Country, killed Guardia Civil officer Juan Manuel Pinuel. The Getxo bomb was left in a van outside the Maritime Club and caused considerable damage to buildings. ETA has killed more than 800 people in four decades in its fight for independence for the Basque Country in northern Spain and southern France. Polls show most Basques do not want independence but would like greater autonomy from Spain.