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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-07-11

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Criminal Charges Over Germanos' Case
  • [02] Confrontation on Siemens
  • [03] Labor Law Specialist Released
  • [04] Risen Traffic in Ports
  • [05] Suspect Remittances on TOR-M1
  • [06] In Alert for the New School Year
  • [07] Fire in Halkidiki
  • [08] Karamanlis-Stylianidis Meeting
  • [09] Skopje Intransigence
  • [10] New Incident in Western Bank

  • [01] Regarding Germanos Buyout by Cosmote

    Criminal Charges Over Germanos' Case

    11 Ιουλ 2008 14:27:0 (Last updated: 11 Ιουλ 2008 19:13:5)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105,8-ΑNA/ΜNA

    Athens Prosecutor who is investigating retailer Germanos buyout by OTE Telecoms mobile phone company filed criminal charges against the two companies top executives, a court official said on Friday. The charges are against OTE head Panagiotis Vourloumis, the former Cosmote board members, businessman Panos Germanos and seven people involved in the Germanos company. A preliminary investigation had been held into the case after Socialist MPs had called the buyout as non-profitable, since it cost OTE 1.3 billion euros. The Socialist party (PASOK) said it was proved right, while the Communists defended the state character of telecommunications in Greece, stressing that merely attributing responsibility would not do. "These developments have left the Government exposed," underlined SYN (Coalition of the Radical Left).

    Five Felonies

    The charges came as a result of an investigation carried out by Appeal Prosecutor Efstathia Spyropoulou.

    Upon concluding her probe and after interrogating all people implicated, Spyropoulou ordered the First Instance Prosecutors Office to press charges for five felonies.

    The charges relate to abuse of trust, against the businessman for moral instigation, the members of the companys board for legalizing profits coming from illegal activity and against members involved in the case for manipulating the companys share holders.

    Political Reactions

    The deal in question was signed between Cosmote and Germanos company in 9 May 2006. It originally cost 1.58 billion euros, but the sum brought down to 1.3 billion euros after it was sold to Panos Germanos and the Germanos stores in Poland, Ukraine and Cyprus, countries where Cosmote has no activities in.

    Cosmote paid 19 euros per share for the buyout of 42% of the company. It bought the rest 58% through a takeover bid. The deal enabled Cosmote to have full control of the 337 Germanos stores across Greece.

    After the deal was signed, Tim and Vodafone mobile operators, which had strong contracts with Germanos, stopped their cooperation with the company.

    Commenting on the legal actions taken against the OTE chief, Panagis Vourloumis, Finance Ministry circles noted that the prosecution is against all persons responsible and not against Vourloumis, whose name was mentioned in the report because he is the OTE head.

    Asked on the matter, Deputy Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said he could not take a stand, since he was not aware of the case.

    Following the charges pressed by the First Instance Court Prosecutor, PASOK feels vindicated, stressed PASOK spokesman Papakonstantinou, noting that the prosecution resulted from the lawsuit filed by 17 PASOK MPs in February 2007.

    PASOK wonders, continued Papakonstantinou, whether the relevant Ministries will shoulder their responsibilities and what the Government will do about the fact that the OTE board is exactly the same with the one that sold the Organisation to Deutsche Telekom.

    The PASOK spokesman said that he expects Alogoskoufis to take a stand, noting that although he has political responsibilities, the possibility of penal responsibilities should be investigated as well.

    According to information, during the sitting of PASOKs Political Council, Socialist leader George Papandreou voiced his satisfaction over the outcome of the judicial investigation. He further underlined that while the Governments battle against corruption goes on vacation, PASOK will keep fighting for transparency till the end.

    "This is an obvious case for which we had lodged a lawsuit. I hope this time Justice will clear it because losses for OTE company and the social group are very big. However, this development poses more serious questions about OTEs buyout by Deutsche Telekom", PASOK cadre Vaso Papandreou stressed on reference to the case.

    KKE in its announcement says: "KKE is the only political party that supports and will always support the existence of a state company of telecommunications with no other private companies getting involved. However, attributing only criminal responsibilities is not enough."

    "These developments have left the Government exposed, since it encouraged and covered up and fully backed not only this unacceptable buyout, but also its implementation," read a SYN (Coalition of the Radical Left) announcement, underlining that what really matters, apart from reaching to the bottom of the Germanos case, is to re-examine Cosmotes buyout by OTE and annul the agreement between OTE and Deutsche Telekom.

    [02] Continues

    Confrontation on Siemens

    11 Ιουλ 2008 11:18:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Strong confrontation on Siemens case continues. In a letter sent to the Prime-minister and the Speaker of the House, PASOK leader, George Papandreou requests the convention of the Parliament Plenum, the Institutions and Transparency Committee and the setting up of an Inquiry Committee. "We either agree to clear up the situation or resign from our share of responsibilities", stresses Mr. Papandreou in his letter. In response, government spokesman, Thodoros Roussopoulos said: "Political responsibility is proven with deeds and not words", adding "the ND party has proposed and effected policies mainly based on transparency". He described PASOK stand as contradictory since it had asked for several months open dialogue with regards all reforms and now for such a serious case he calls for rapid procedures to close the case. The Speaker of the House, Dimitris Sioufas also rejected the request for convention of the Parliament Plenum.

    In an interview with NET 105.8, Interior undersecretary, Athanasios Nakos expressed belief in political expediency in PASOK proposal for the setting up of an Inquiry Committee as it results in as many reports as the number of political parties represented in the Parliament. PASOK deputy, Petros Efthimiou told NET 105.8 that the government must take legal action against Siemens, refer to the European Commission with a parallel suspension of all payments to the German company.

    The GCP underlined that there will not be purging and solution of problems unless people leads developments. SYRIZA called for reforms in bill regarding ministers responsibility and political parties funding, stressing that corruption is a rule in the systems function.

    In a letter to the Speaker of the House, Dimitris Sioufas, Alekos Alabanos asks him to undertake initiative for a reform in ministers responsibility bill. LAOS President, George Kratazaferis asked for the convention of the Parliament Plenum in order to start an Inquiry committee. In the meantime, Finance undersecretary, Antonis Bezas ordered sworn administrative inquiry following "Kathimerini" article speaking of bribery of tax office employees.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [03] Under Terms

    Labor Law Specialist Released

    11 Ιουλ 2008 12:04:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA

    After release of 35 year old Ebi Tsekou, detained for 7 months charged with blackmailing former Culture Ministry general secretary, Labor Law specialist, Hristos Nikolitsopoulos also charged with involvement in the same case was discharged from prison under terms.

    Interrogator, Dimitris Oikonomou agreed to release Hristos Nikolitsopoulos on 50.000 euros bail, ban from leaving the country and regular obligatory visits to police station after his application for release due to health reasons. Prosecutor, George Boulgaris report on his application for release due to health reasons was also positive. Only two lawyers remain temporarily detained.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [04] Risen Traffic in Ports

    11 Ιουλ 2008 11:32:0

    By

    Traffic in Piraeus port was risen today as July vacationers are leaving Athens. Ship capacity in ferries for Cyclades islands reached 90%. 34 routes have been arranged while no major delays are reported. Up until this morning 9 ferries departed from Piraeus port. Groups from organizations for consumers services distributed leaflets to passengers in Piraeus port with the slogan "Information is the ticket for holidays" containing useful information about the passengers rights as well as the Greek legislation. "Guide for Holidays" was issued in co operation with consumers organizations and includes basic guidelines for restaurants and products, information about prices as well as suggestions about hotels or rooms to rent. In addition information is provided to passengers regarding their arrival in the place they chose to spend their holidays.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [05] 3 New Bank Accounts

    Suspect Remittances on TOR-M1

    11 Ιουλ 2008 14:22:0

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: ΑNA-ΜNA, ΝΕΤ

    A new round of investigation will attribute possible criminal responsibilities to non political people for possible involvement in the case of commissions regarding anti-aircraft systems TOR-M1 as recent investigation brought into light suspect bank accounts in Swiss bank of a Greek and two foreign businessmen who seems to be linked in the case. According to top judicial sources, politicians do not seem to be involved in the case. Parts of the cases files have been sent to Parliament for the government to look into possible involvement of its members. On reference to the case PASOK representative Mrs. Papakostantinou stated that the opposition party is troubled about the time sequence of facts as PASOK already knows that justice is being manipulated.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [06] In Alert for the New School Year

    11 Ιουλ 2008 15:02:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΑNA-ΜNA

    Minister of Education Mr. Stylianidis briefed the Prime Minister on the preparations for the new school year. Mr. Stylianidis said that 50% of books have been already distributed to schools. As he stressed the draft bill that will end the hostage of thousand of substitution teachers will be submitted to Parliament next week. He also made clear that this bill will set clear rules regarding the time period a teacher can substitute, before he/she walks into a permanent position.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [07] Fire in Halkidiki

    11 Ιουλ 2008 14:00:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105,8-ΑNA/ΜNA

    A big fire broke out in Sarti, Halkidiki for unknown reasons. Fire brigade forces arrived immediately and at this time four firefighting planes, two helicopters and more than 90 firemen are trying to put it under control. Fire brigade office announced that their first priority is to control the fronts which can threaten residential areas. According to General Secretary of Civilian Protection there is high risk for fires tomorrow in Athens, Eastern Attika, Western Attika, Piraeus, Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, Lasithi, Cyclades, Lesvos, Chios and Samos (including Ikaria Island).

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [08] Karamanlis-Stylianidis Meeting

    11 Ιουλ 2008 11:24:0

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis is having a meeting with Education Minister, Evripidis Stylianidis at the Maximos Mansion this morning. Their talks focus on the last details of draft-bill recognizing professional rights to private college graduates provided they are branches of European universities.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [09] "No" to Nimitz Proposals

    Skopje Intransigence

    11 Ιουλ 2008 10:48:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    According to FYROM diplomatic sources, Skopje has rejected Nimitz package of ideas on name issue, which included 4 options containing the terms North and Up Macedonia. During his yesterdays meeting in NY with UN envoy, FYROM negotiator stressed that his country does not intend to abrogate its national identity right. Skopjes intransigence also emerged from FYROM Foreign Minister, Antonio Milososki provocative statements, who raised issue of "SlavoMacedonian" minority in Greece and provoked sharp reaction from Thodoros Pangalos. Mathew Nimitz is to meet with Greek ambassador, Adamantios Basilakis ON Monday, July, 14. Diplomatic circles, however, describe present meetings of UN envoy with both interested parties negotiators as reconnaissance meetings and expect to be of more substantial content as of September.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [10] New Incident in Western Bank

    11 Ιουλ 2008 09:13:0

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ANA, AFP, German News Agency

    The death of an armed Palestinian and the injury of two Israelis, a civilian and an army officer was the tragic toll of a violent clash reported on Friday in Kuliglig city in North western bank. Since the beginning of peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinians, November 2007 in Annapolis of US, 527 people have died in clashes between both sides. On Friday, a group of Palestinians injured an Israeli driver near a Jewish refugee camp which is situated very close to the "green line" that divides the Palestinian territory from the Israeli.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou


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