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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-09-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Socially-Oriented Vision
  • [02] Polls Show Discontent
  • [03] Vatopedi Monastery's Bank Accounts Blocked
  • [04] EU Concerted Answer to Crisis
  • [05] Oil War in Nigeria
  • [06] G. Brown Sacks Second Cadre
  • [07] For a Greener Athens
  • [08] Scandal with Tainted Milk in China
  • [09] Two Drown in River Seine
  • [10] California Rail Crash Attributed to Human Error
  • [11] Mc Cain Gaining Ground

  • [01] Pledged by G. Papandreou

    Socially-Oriented Vision

    14 2008 14:04:00 (Last updated: 14 2008 18:44:28)

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: , -105.8

    Socialist leader George Papandreou vowed to struggle for a human society during the press conference he gave in the framework of the 73rd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

    Papandreou called for elections and blamed the government for lack of transparency and a series of scandals.

    The PASOK President stressed that he will pursue an independent government, leaving, however, doors open for SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left).

    The main opposition leader pledged to support family income through a single tax base and to reintroduce taxes on large property, include the ecclesiastical property. He also promised a crackdown on the high cost of living by bringing down state invoices and measures against overpricing.

    Papandreou reiterated he would earmark 7% of GDP for Education and research. Touching on the pension system, he said he would abolish the Conservative bill and establish a basic pension.

    Full-Scale Interview

    Calling for elections, PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) President George Papandreou blasted the government for its policy during the press conference he gave in Thessaloniki.

    Papandreou stressed that his party would strive for an independent government, adding, however, that his administration would be built upon consensus and that his proposal for an open dialogue with SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) to discuss a possible cooperation still stood.

    "Our vision lasts through times," added Papandreou, while he committed to establish a fair tax system as soon as he comes to power. He reiterated his pledge to support family income through a single tax base, to boost low-income earners by giving them non-standard allowances, to abolish the property tax (ETAK) and to reintroduce taxes on large property, include the ecclesiastical property.

    The main opposition leader vowed to stamp out corruption, adding that the goal is the rule of law.

    Papandreou avoided commenting on the Prime Minister when asked, saying that the people of Greece have come to a conclusion and that the governments policy has run its course.

    Finally, touching on the Vatopedi case, he held the government and the Prime Minister accountable for, adding that transparent relations with the Church are necessary.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    PASOK's Proposal on Economy

    [02] No to Early Elections

    Polls Show Discontent

    14 2008 10:43:00 (Last updated: 14 2008 16:38:17)

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: , NA-PA

    The political climate continues to be tense, following George Voulgarakis resignation.

    Meanwhile, civilians appear to be discontent with the two big parties (ND&PASOK), while as per polls both parties have lost popularity. At the same time, civilians are opposed to the eventuality of early elections despite forecast that speak of political tension this winter.

    Public Issue Poll

    As per a Public Issue poll commissioned by Kathimerini tis Kyriakis newspaper, civilians demand the improvement and acceleration of the governments work.

    In reply to a question as to whether the governments re-election would benefit Greece after last Septembers elections, 61% answered "no", while the governments efforts have been questioned. 67% believe that the government is not trying enough or not trying enough to tackle the problems, while 32% believe that it trying hard or enough.

    57% described the pace of the governments work slow, while 42% of ND supporters are dissatisfied for the same reason.

    49% believe that Greeces main problem is related to the economy, 43% consider unemployment the main problem and 25% the high cost of living.

    The poll took place from 4-9 September before Merchant Marine Minister G. Voulgarakis resignation.

    ALCO Poll

    As per ALCO poll, commissioned by Proto Thema newspaper, the ND (Conservatives) party is ahead PASOK (Socialists) only by 0.4%, as regards voting intention.

    The poll was conducted from 9-12 September when dominating the political arena were Voulgarakis, Vatopedi monastery and the tax bill issues. In this poll, ND is leading with 27.1%, PASOK follows with 26.7%, SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) comes third with 10.5%, KKE (Communist Party of Greece) fourth with 7.2% and last LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) with 3.9% on voting intention.

    47.5% believe that the ND party would be the winner, while 20.2% believe PASOK. 48.6% are in favour of a one-party government, while 45.1% favour a coalition government.

    59.4% believe that the NDs election last year proved negative for Greece, while 30.4% positive.

    58.3% blame the government for the situation in the economy and not the international crisis, while 35% believe the opposite.

    Finally, regarding economic reforms, 69.2% believe they are an excuse for the government to increase its revenue, while 21.9% describe them real reforms.

    RASS Poll

    Finally, as per a RASS poll carried by PARON newspaper, the ND party is leading on voting intention by 1.1%.

    The ND comes first with 30.9%, PASOK follows with 29.8%, SYRIZA is third with 13.2%, KKE fourth with 7.5% and LAOS last with 4.7%.

    68.3% believe that the ND ruling party would win the elections now, while 24.1% believe PASOK would be the winner. 50.3% consider Mr Karamanlis the most suitable person for premiership, while 30.5% consider Mr Papandreou better.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [03] Probe in Vatopedi Case Continues

    Vatopedi Monastery's Bank Accounts Blocked

    14 2008 16:01:00 (Last updated: 14 2008 17:02:14)

    Sources: NET, ANA

    A court ruling blocked the bank accounts of the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos and its Superior Efram. The Monasterys Council said Saturday it would deposit the profits generated from the sale of land to the Deposits and Loans Fund. It also decided to place the Monasterys assets under state control until the investigation is over.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Money from Sale of Real Estate to TPD

    [04] Ecofin's Conclusions

    EU Concerted Answer to Crisis

    14 2008 17:10:00 (Last updated: 14 2008 18:27:03)

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Concerted actions at an EU level and national policies will be the answer to the international financial crisis, which has an adverse impact on the EU economies. This was the outcome of the informal Ecofin and Eurogroup meeting that was wrapped up in Nice, France.

    The Ecofin meeting was termed as one of the most crucial ones held over the last years, because it coincided with one of the most crucial periods of the world and EU economy, due to the grave problems triggered by the financial crisis.

    At the same time, the repercussions brought about by an inflation hike worldwide coupled with the rising prices of oil, raw materials and foods are still serious, since as the EU Finance Ministers claimed they were worse within the Eurozone nations than initially expected.

    Emphasis was placed on activities boosting transparency in the European financial system and the better coordination of national regulatory authorities with a view to avoiding problems in the European financial system, which, as it was stressed, it does not suffer the problems existing in the USA.

    Furthermore, decisions were taken favouring the further funding of small and medium sized business by the European Investments Bank, with a view to creating greater growth prospects in the countries that have witnessed a growth slowdown.

    Related News:

    EU Economies Adopt Concerted Activities

    [05] Oil War in Nigeria

    14 2008 13:51:00

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: NA-PA, Reuters, AFP

    Nigerias most prominent militant group on Sunday declared an "oil war" in the restive Niger Delta after security forces launched a major operation against them. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said it had destroyed flow stations and oil pipelines, including a Chevron -operated platform. It said 22 Nigerian soldiers had been killed. A Chevron official confirmed one of its oil platforms was attacked by militants on Sunday. A military spokesman said no oil facilities were affected by two days of heavy fighting. "There were heavy casualties on the part of the militants," said Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, spokesman for the military task force in Rivers state. "We are hopeful they will give up the fight very soon."

    [06] G. Brown Sacks Second Cadre

    14 2008 13:37:00

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: NA-PA, Reuters

    Joan Ryan was sacked as Gordon Browns envoy to Cyprus today after adding her voice to calls for him to face a leadership contest. Ms Ryan, a Labour vice chairman, said today it was time for the the partys "direction and leadership" to be debated openly. The sacking comes at a time when Mr Brown is struggling to avert economic recession and raise his partys weak popularity.

    Ms Ryans sacking was followed by that of Siobhain Mc Donagh last night.

    Siobhain McDonagh, who said she had never crossed the leadership in 11 years as an MP, was promptly replaced as an assistant whip when her involvement in the apparent plot became known.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [07] For a Greener Athens

    14 2008 12:21:00 (Last updated: 14 2008 14:03:37)

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: NET

    The City of Athens is planning to set up a special service "Prasinodomia" that will be checking whether the General Building Regulation on clear spaces is being implemented.

    It has been estimated that if all clear spaces in Athens are planted, then the green will be double of that in the National Garden.

    If Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis proposal is approved then municipal duties may be reduced or abolished, stated special advisor for the City of Athens Anastasia Lagoudaki.

    The new service aims at checking whether the General Builing Regulation for clear spaces especially in densely populated areas, such as Kypseli is being implemented.

    About 40,000 clear spaces have been recorded. If they are planted, then the green in Athens will equal to that of two National Gardens. Moreover, air pollution will drop by 10%.

    Meanwhile, as per a Eurobarometre study, Greeks are more concerned among Europeans over the repurcussions of climate change.

    Specifically, nine out of 10 Greeks consider the greenhouse effect the most important problem worldwide; while in the case of Europeans six out of 10 believe so. However, one out of two believes they are not sufficiently briefed on how to tackle the problem.

    At the same time, Greeks appear optimistic for the future, as eight out of 10 consider climate change irreversible and seven out of 10 states that they would pay more for green energy while fewer than half among the rest of the Europeans would do the same.

    Most Europeans appear distrustful over the effectiveness of community institutions regarding the protection of the environment.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [08] Scandal with Tainted Milk in China

    14 2008 11:47:00 (Last updated: 14 2008 14:23:28)

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: , NA-PA, Xinhua

    Chinese authorities say they have detained 19 people after at least 432 babies developed kidney stones blamed on contaminated milk powder.

    A senior Health Ministry official told reporters Saturday that authorities ordered the Sanlu Group, which produced the contaminated milk powder, to stop production.

    Chinas official Xinhua news agency said police are questioning 78 suspects in the city of Shijiazhuang, where Sanlu is based.

    Investigators say dairy farmers may have added a dangerous chemical to milk linked to one infant death and the other illnesses.

    Xinhua said Friday that investigators suspect farmers added the chemical to conceal that water added to the milk. The chemical melamine would make the milk appear to have a higher protein content.

    An official who is part of the nationwide probe said Friday that those responsible for the contamination will face severe punishment.

    The company blamed its suppliers for the contamination. But a Chinese media report on Friday said Sanlu knew about the problem in August and decided not to inform the public.

    Sanlu waited until it became the target of a government investigation to announce that it found melamine in its products. The company issued a recall on Thursday for about 700 tons of baby formula produced before August 6th.

    Sanlu is a leading maker of dairy products and is partly owned by New Zealand company Fonterra. Reports say some of the products could have made their way into overseas markets.

    Melamine is used in plastics, fertilizers and flame retardants.

    Chinese officials have briefed the Worth Health Organisation and the authorities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and New Zealand on the developments in the investigation, an official stated.

    [09] Two Drown in River Seine

    14 2008 11:31:00

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: , NA-PA, AFP

    A six-year-old child and a 40-year-old man drowned when the tourist boat they were on board crashed on a bridge or with another vessel and sank. In parallel, 10 more passengers were saved The two, reportedly father and son, had been stuck in the bottom of the boat and spent several minutes underwater before being pulled out by divers. Attempts to resuscitate them failed. The accident took place on Saturday night at the Pont de lArcheveche, a bridge on the River Seine in the French capital. The bridge connects the tip of the Ile de la Cite, where the popular tourist landmark Notre Dame cathedral is located, to the Left Bank of the river. The nationalities of the victims were not known. The boat was raised from the riverbed during the night. It will be used in investigations into the cause of the accident, which is also not yet known.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [10] California Rail Crash Attributed to Human Error

    14 2008 11:01:00

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: NA-PA, German Newsagency

    The number of dead in Californias railway accident has risen to 25, while the injured number 135. Officials blamed an engineer for the tragic accident. At this moment we must acknowledge that it was a Metrolink engineer that made the error that caused yesterdays accident," said Denise Tyrrell, a spokeswoman for the train line. She said the engineer, who was not identified, worked for a sub-contractor used by Metrolink. He is believed to have died in the crash. The accident took place in Chatsworth north of Los Angeles at 02:23, Greek time, Saturday.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Train Crash in Los Angeles

    [11] Mc Cain Gaining Ground

    14 2008 10:15:00

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: ANA-MPA, Washington Post

    Senator John Mc Cain has wiped away many of Senator Barrac Obama's's pre-convention advantages, and the race for the White House is now basically deadlocked at 47 percent for Obama and 46 percent for McCain among registered voters, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The presidential contest is also about even among those who are the most likely to vote in November: 49 percent for McCain, 47 percent for Obama. Both candidates solidified support among party loyalists during their parties' conventions, but it is the Republican nominee who enters the campaign's final stretch with newfound momentum.

    Much of the shift toward McCain stems from gains among white women, voters his team hoped to sway with the pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate. White women shifted from an eight-point pre-convention edge for Obama to a 12-point McCain advantage now.

    McCain has also improved his standing on the contest's core issues, and there has been a significant narrowing of Obama's advantage as the candidate better suited to shake up Washington.

    McCain used his convention to present himself as a maverick and a reformer, stressing past fights with special interests and his own party leadership. He also introduced Palin as a like-minded reformer.

    On one front, the new message had the intended effect: Although Obama maintains a sizable 12-point advantage as the one who would do more to change government, that is down from a 32-point lead on the question in June. In previous surveys, white women clearly sided with Obama on this issue, but they are now split about evenly, with 47 percent saying McCain would do more and 44 percent sticking with Obama.


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