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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-09-18

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Seeking an Investor
  • [02] Internal Wrangling and Accusations
  • [03] Wrangling over Vatopedi Case
  • [04] Market Sway
  • [05] Focus on Energy
  • [06] Art is good for Health
  • [07] Mr. Papandreou's Criticism on Health
  • [08] Doctor Convicted for Bribe
  • [09] Household Debts Soaring
  • [10] Metro Services Suspended from 12:00-16:00
  • [11] Weather to Deteriorate
  • [12] Christofias-Talat Fresh Meeting

  • [01] For Olympic Airlines

    Seeking an Investor

    18 Σεπ 2008 14:37:00 (Last updated: 18 Σεπ 2008 17:36:28)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ΑNA/ΜPA

    After the Commissions approval for the privatisation of O.A., the government is seeking a strategic investor. The Transport ministers announcement was followed by the opposition and GSEEs (General Confederation of Greek Workers) strong criticism for the companys depreciation and privatisation. At the same time, Olympic Airlines employees have staged a protest rally at the runway of Eleftehrios Venizelos airport.

    The Plan

    Protesting to the governments plan to privatise O.A., Eleftherios Venizelos airport employees fired buoyant smoke signals on the runway today, causing a fire.

    As per the privatisation plan approved by the Commission, three companies will be created, negotiations with the employees will commence and an open bid will be declared.

    The investor will acquire 49% of O.A. shares and PANTHEON 51% by December. Investors will acquire 100% of the company, measures for the employees will be implemented and financial abeyances of old Olympic Airlines companies will be settled by spring 2009.

    Permanent employees, numbering 4,593 and especially those hired before 1.1.1993 will be allowed to choose from voluntary retirement, transfer to other Civil Services with the same salary or one-off allowance.

    Limited time contract workers, numbering 3,000 will receive a 50%-credit bonus and an OAED (Manpower Organisation) programme will see to their rehabilitation into the labour market.

    The new company (65% of the present company) will keep Olympic Airlines name and sign and carry on with its domestic and most foreign flights.

    At the same time, the employees are reacting to the companys privatisation by taking recourse to Justice.

    Transport Minister Kostis Hatzidakis intends to send letters to each of the 8,000 O.A. fixed time and limited time contract employees to brief them on the privatisation plan.

    No Problem for the Investor

    Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos described the European Commissions approval for the privatisation of O.A. plan crucial for the investors, the use of the companys names and Olympic Circles and its operation until the privatisation concludes.

    Regarding domestic flights, he said they will continue taking place as in the past. He added that 14,000 working positions have been found for those who wish to work in another sector of the civil service, adding that voluntary retirement programmes are also available.

    As for the new investor, he stated that the Commission had taken its decisions, adding he will not have any problems with the European Commission.

    Opposition's Strong Criticism

    The opposition has accused the government of selling out the company, arguing that it could be sanitated instead of closing.

    In an extraordinary Press Conference, KKE (Communist Party of Greece) Secretary General Aleka Papariga acused the ND (Conservatives) and PASOK (Socialists) governments of deliberately reducing the company in order to remain in the private sector.

    Ms Papariga also stated that KKE believes that the company should remain with the public sector, adding it would react to its privatisation.

    Finally, SYN (Coalition of the Left) President Alexis Tsipras stated that with the companys sell-out, Greece will not have any strategic choice in the crucial sectors of tele-communications and Transport in the future.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    OA New Era

    [02] Internal Wrangling and Accusations

    18 Σεπ 2008 15:53:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105,8-ΑNA/ΜNA

    Criticism by New Democracy parliamentary members continue regarding the governments policy and the ministers choices. New Democracy PMs launched accusations regarding recent scandal that rocked the country. State spokesman covered Finance minister stressing that he is doing his job fine. Giorgos Souflias also supported the governments work.

    New Democracy PMs Launch Accusations

    Former deputy health minister Thanasis Giannopoulos in his interview in ALPHA 9.89 radio station, spoke of "golden boys" and "court jollier". He said that fundamental changes are necessary in the governmental party otherwise it will not win in any forthcoming elections.

    Minister of Public Order Mr. Vyronas Polydoras launched accusations even against the Prime Minister:

    "Mr. Karamanlis adopted two practices similar with the way emperors in Roman legion were elected: consensus and collective acceptance".

    Mr. Polydoras even made a prediction: "The political and financial system, businessmen and "golden boys" prepare something new, an agreement they may reach even after crisis.

    Giannis Manolis in his interview in Real FM does not seem to forget his conflict with Finance Minister Mr. Alogoskoufis branding him a terrorist

    However, state spokesman Mr. Rousopoulos supported finance minister saying that for five years now, Mr. Alogoskoufis has been doing his job fine and has driven the country in adopting a new mentality that has been recognized by the Commission many time".

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [03] In Parliament

    Wrangling over Vatopedi Case

    18 Σεπ 2008 11:59:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    S. Hatzidakis covered prosecutor G. Sanidas on his handlings regarding Vatopedi case. Former president of Parliament accused the government of being responsible for the case and branded it a crime. The governmental spokesman repeated yesterday that in this case ministers acted according to their political responsibilities and duties. PASOK parliamentary members ask for ministerial decisions regarding the Monasterys land provisions as well as the legislative adjustment regarding the protections of state property, to be submitted to parliament. SYRIZA suggested a proposal per abolition of tax relief in churches.

    Hatzigakis-Kaklamanis Debate

    Vatopedi case as well as the complete crime took place during Mr. Kakalamanis tenure when he was president of Parliament and when PASOK president, Mr. Papandreou was minister of Foreign Affairs, minister of Justice Mr. Sotiris Hatzidakis said. Mr. Hatzidakis stated that 6250 acres were transferred to Vatopedi church when PASOK was in power and underlined that prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas opened the case and found that a series of illegal actions took place. In parallel, he said that Mr. Kakalamanis should not accuse prosecutor Mr. Sanidas. Mr. Kaklamanis answered back that he has to legally persecute Mr. Sanidas who may have committed criminal actions and concluded that the government is also politically guilty in the case.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    Related News:

    Wrangling on Vatopedi Continues

    [04] Market Sway

    18 Σεπ 2008 09:05:00 (Last updated: 18 Σεπ 2008 12:48:15)

    Sources: ΑNA, Reuters, AFP

    Turmoil continues in the international money markets. Markets in Asia and the Passific sustained heavy losses anew, following Wall Streets sharp fall yesterday. In parallel, investors have expressed their concern over fresh losses despite the impressive salvage operation of AIG from the US government. Meanwhile, the Fed has announced today it will channel US$180 billion to the American inter-bank market within the framework of the coordinated re-financing actions by the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of Canada. Following the announcement, the dollar-euro exchange rate went up by one cent reaching 1.4279 euros.

    Heavy Losses in Morning Transactions

    European stock market futures STXEc1 FCEc1 FDXc1 were down slightly, pointing to at least a temporary staunching of three days of heavy selling. Japans Nikkei share average .N225 ended down 2.2 percent to a three-year low early on Thursday.

    The MSCIs index of other Asia-Pacific .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 3.7 percent after earlier touching the lowest since July 2006. The index is down about 39 percent so far this year. Hong Kongs Hang Seng index .HSI dropped 7.4 percent to the lowest in two years, led by HSBC (0005.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), down 5.9 percent. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (1398.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which gave up its title of worlds biggest bank by market capitalistion to HSBC on Wednesday, saw its shares drop 11.7 percent.

    Russia on Wednesday halted stock and bond trading on the countrys MICEX and RTS exchanges as investors and dealers desperately liquidated positions for cash. It was not clear when the exchanges would open again.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Turmoil Continues

    [05] Karamanlis-Folias Meeting

    Focus on Energy

    18 Σεπ 2008 12:24:00 (Last updated: 18 Σεπ 2008 14:58:32)

    Sources: NET-ANA

    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis is presently holding a meeting with Development Minister Christos Folias on energy at Maximos Mansion. Meanwhile, PASOK cadre, responsible on Development Michalis Chrysohoidis will give a Press Conference on energy today. At the same time, the European Commission is accelerating developmentrs on the construction of the Nabuko natural gas pipeline. Natural gas will flow through it from central Asia to Austria and other European countries through Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.

    Commissioner Ferran Tarradellas stated that he will raise the issue of the construction of above pipeline in Turkey and Georgia. Within this framework, a conference will ber held in Budapest on the pipeline in January. Austria and Turkey are expected to commence construction works within the first months of 2009.

    The flow of natural gas from Azerbaijan is expected to begin in 2013.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [06] Art is good for Health

    18 Σεπ 2008 15:24:00

    Sources: ΑNA-ΜNA

    A beautiful painting, a nice sculpture or any other qualitative piece of art can offer relief from sentimental traumas and physical pain.

    Researchers from the nerve physiopathology unit of Bari University, Italy justify the administration boards of hospitals that often spent a lot of money in order to decorate the place with works of art.

    According to the research, volunteers felt less pain and had reduced electric activity in the equivalent brain area when they looked at beautiful paintings. Although, studies have proved music reduces pain too, this is the first time that it is scientifically proved that other forms of art can also have such results in the treatment procedure.

    "Hospitals have been designed to be functional, but aesthetics must also be taken into consideration", neurologist professor De Tomasco said adding that "beauty offers a pleasant distraction, that bad paintings can not offer. However, there is not evidence yet, that an unpleasant environment can make pain worse". According to the Italian neurologist, these findings need more scientific research in order to prove how a nice environment can smooth patients pain.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [07] Visit to Children's Hospital

    Mr. Papandreou's Criticism on Health

    18 Σεπ 2008 11:31:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    PASOK president Mr. Papandreou visited today childrens hospitals Aglaia Kyriakou and Agia Sofia accompanied by the partys competent members responsible on health issues. Mr. Papandreou was briefed by the administration board on the functions of the hospitals and stressed that PASOK policy focuses on the human being and health. Then he accused the government of abandoning the National Health System.

    "The main concern of our policies lies in the human being and the health sector being mostly sensitive on childrens health. I must congratulate all employees and doctors working in these units for their superhuman effort on sick children. Unfortunately, the government does not always stand by them", Mr. Papandreou said.

    "The government, the state seems to be more preoccupied nowadays with buying and selling state property while there is need for proper accommodation and infrastructure regarding children suffering from cancer. What must be stressed is that during the last month the provision of necessary technical equipment regarding radiotherapy is inefficient. It is unacceptable to keep children waiting for basic infrastructure, to wait for equipments when the government has the preconditions to buy this equipment", Mr. Papandreou concluded.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [08] Doctor Convicted for Bribe

    18 Σεπ 2008 11:17:00

    A gynecologist-doctor working in Serres General Hospital was convicted to 18 months of imprisonment for receiving bribe from the husband of his patient. The doctor was arrested last Tuesday in Serres Hospital by policemen of the department of Thessaloniki Internal Affairs. According to the charges against him, he received bribe of 400 in order to provide medical treatment to his patient and he was arrested when he was taking the money that had been marked. The doctor submitted appeal and was set free.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [09] Household Debts Soaring

    18 Σεπ 2008 10:45:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    As per the Bank of Greece, the debts of households and enterprises for loans and nominal bongs have reached 236billion in July. Households owe to Banks 113billion. This ammounts corresponds to 46% of the GNP. Building loans have reached 75billion, consumer loans 35billion. Out of the latter, eight billion euros have been spend on credit cards. Besides, the commerical deficit has reached 18.1 billion in the first half of 2008, recording a 1.3-billion drop in relation to the respective period in 2007 as per Eurostat.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [10] Metro Services Suspended from 12:00-16:00

    18 Σεπ 2008 10:25:00

    Metro services will be suspended in Athens from 12:00-16:00 Thursday due to a work stoppage staged by its employees. Besides, hospital doctors in Athens and Piraeus have also staged a strike for today with a protest rally outside the Health Ministry at 11:00. Finally, Ethnistiki Asfalistiki employees are also on strike in reaction to the companys privatisation.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [11] Weather to Deteriorate

    18 Σεπ 2008 10:21:00

    The weather will deteriorate in the weekend, with a drop in temperature, rain, storms and 8-Beaufort winds. Meanwhile, the Thessaloniki port authorities have issued a warning, as the weather will deteriorate in Thermaikos Gulf with north-westerly 8-Beaufort winds blowing in the area. They also advise those with small vessels to find shelter at safe ports.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [12] Christofias-Talat Fresh Meeting

    18 Σεπ 2008 09:42:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The President of the Cyprus Republic Dimitris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will meet anew in Lefkosia today, within the framework of the face-to-face talks between the two men. They will discuss issues related to ruling and the distribution of authority. They will also examine the points they agree with.

    Mr Christofias is expected to raise the issue of violation by Mr Talat of the agreement on the embargo of statements on the progress of negotiations.

    Meanwhile, the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus has announced it will not allow journalists to visit the Nicosia (Lefkosia) Airport area today in order to cover the two leaders meeting.

    Meanwhile, Lefkosia reacted to European Commissioner Oli Rehns statements on a "new entity" after the resolution of the Cyprus issue.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

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