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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-09-26

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Karamanlis Ultimatum
  • [02] Procedures for OA's Privatisation Continue
  • [03] Flash Floods Hit China
  • [04] Four Killed in Landmine
  • [05] Ieronymos on Vatopedi Issue
  • [06] Remanded in Custody
  • [07] A. Papariga on Cooperation, Vatopedi and O.A.
  • [08] ND Central Committee Positions
  • [09] Coordinated Intervention to Boost Cash Flow
  • [10] Suspects on KLM Aircraft Arrested in Germany
  • [11] Koumoutsakos on Bakoyannis Contacts
  • [12] Oil Prices Drop
  • [13] US: New Meeting for Rescue for Crisis
  • [14] Couple Accused of Illegal Trading of Antiquities
  • [15] Supplementary Testimony of Journalist
  • [16] China: Melamine in Candies

  • [01] From ND Central Committee Meeting

    Karamanlis Ultimatum

    26 Σεπ 2008 12:06:00 (Last updated: 26 Σεπ 2008 15:48:12)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    In his speech at the ND party Central Committee meeting, Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis delivered ultimatum to senior party members who object to the governments policy. Speaking in first singular person, the Prime-minister clarified that he does not accept blackmailing neither undermining of his policy, namely showing the exit to those who will dispute the governments work in the future. "Premiership was not my personal target, I am not committed to anything else but the peoples mandate" was a characteristic phrase in K.Karamanlsi speech. He also referred to the international financial crisis which has had impact on Greeces economy, but still resists due to strong growth as result of reforms. With regards the Batopedi issue, the Prime-minister said that probe continues, underlining that the state will not suffer any damage.

    Mr Karamanlis speech was an address to the interior ND party, turning his back to society and portraying his weakness to solve his individual and the Governments deadlocks, stressed PASOK spokesman George Papakonstantinou, adding that the bill was again sent to Greek citizens. The Prime Minister did not only address his party but also entrepreneurs, stating that he would proceed decisively with the reforms instead of standing decisively at the side of the social strata" ,commented from Thessaloniki KKE (Communist Party of Greece) Secretary General Aleka Papariga.

    Mr. Karamanlis called on dissenters on a face to face dispute, underlining that he will not give in to pressures as his vision is to serve his country and not the premiership office. He referred to recent sharp criticism by deputies and senior party members saying that all proposals and positions are welcomed but not undermining of the government for personal promotion. He said he has indicated tolerance and patience even to exaggerations but there is a limit in tolerance and each one must assume his responsibilities to promote collective interest.

    Mr. Karamanlis admitted that mistakes and omissions have been made but stressed that he has always claimed the best for the country despite the difficulties and problems. He also referred to the recent cultivation of a climate of disregard and misinformation overshadowing the governments work. We owe to back our efforts and not to disregard them, he said. With regards to Batopedi case, he said there would not be any tolerance to illegality and light will be shed to any aspect of the case while all necessary measures will be taken for the protection of public interest. Referring to the international financial crisis, the Prime-minister said that it has had the slightest impact on Greeces economy as it has been shielded by changes and reforms promoted by the government in the last years. "Circumstances in the daily life of citizens are difficult across the world, we understand the peoples requests and continue with changes and reforms. Criticizing PASOK party, Mr. Karamanlis said that problems are not resolved with populist promises costing billions of euros which do not exist. They forget that interest paid on loans we inherited, mount up to 10 billion euros per year. He clarified that he will not succumb to temptations and resort to handlings that will prove destructive in the future and will not make false promises because of the negative climate. Mr. Karamanlis made a review of the governments work, underlining that the government has materialized its basic commitments such as rises in OGA pension and EKAS, resolved LAFKA and compound interest issues.

    The government's first priority from now on will be to combat the social problems and boost the social protection index.

    The prime minister commenced his speech by referring to Pavlos Bakoyannis' assassination 19 years ago, adding "we respect his memory and the memory of all victims of terror."

    [02] Procedures for OA's Privatisation Continue

    26 Σεπ 2008 13:32:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA-ΜNA

    The interministerial committee for the privatization of Olympic Airways gave permission today for the international competitions on the companys buy out to start. The private investor chosen will take over Olympic Airways three companies. As announced by ministry of finance, procedures will continue according to the timetable that has been pronounced by the government. The brand name and trade-mark of the company is expected to be preserved. The procedure of the competitions will be completed by the end of the year.

    At the same time, OA employees react. Today, OA technicians proceeded to a work stoppage. The working union of the company is holding now a conference in the technical base of Olympic Airways at Spata on order to decide whether they are going to participate to further discussions with the government.

    GSEE has pronounced a new meeting with the participation of OSPA and the Working Centers of the Prefectures for Thursday, October 2 at 13:00 in Sofitel Hotel, focusing on the buy out of the Greek flying company and the prevention of its sell out that will have major impacts in OAs employees.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [03] Flash Floods Hit China

    26 Σεπ 2008 17:44:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Sixteen people have died and 48 others are missing after flash floods and landslides hit an area of southwest China still recovering from a devastating earthquake in May, state media said on Friday. Heavy rain hit mountainous Sichuan province near the epicentre of the quake, where survivors are still living in tents and pre-fabricated houses. At least 80,000 people were killed in the May 12 earthquake. "So far, we have moved 18,000 residents who were threatened with danger to safe areas. We are now relocating the other 2,000," a government spokesman was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency. The rain and landslides have also damaged more than 40,000 houses and flattened another 16,000, the report added, as well as killed more than 5,000 head of cattle.

    [04] Four Killed in Landmine

    26 Σεπ 2008 17:03:00

    Four illegal immigrants were killed in a landmine in Kastania, Evros in their attempt to penetrate Greece illegally from Turkey The explosion took place in the early morning hours. Army officials and landmine specialists arrived at the spot, while the four bodies were transferred to Didimotycho Hospital.

    Two of the illegal immigrants carried documents that proved they were from Georgia, while the other two had no documents on them.

    The landmine had signs in Greek and English and was surrounded by double barbed wire. Army officials believe the illegal immigrants perhaps thought the wire was the line marking the Greek-Turkish border and violated it.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Ieronymos on Vatopedi Issue

    26 Σεπ 2008 16:52:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The Archbishop of Athens was asked this morning on the Mount Athos Holly Community letter.

    Mr Ieronymos avoided commenting on the content of the letter, saying that he had not read it and reiterating the Mount Athos administration is different from that of the Greek Church. "We all make mistakes; however, the problem is when to realize that and correct them," he stated.

    Meanwhile, Efraim has stated he is ready to return the properties acquired by Vatopedi Monastery, except for the Olympic properties, provided the monastery gets back Lake Vistonida.

    Finally, KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga said the return of properties is a matter of political decision, requesting again the annulment of decision and the dissociation of authority between the State and the Church.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Letter against Abbot Efraim

    [06] Remanded in Custody

    26 Σεπ 2008 16:32:00

    Sources: ΑNA-ΜPA

    The Music professor,36, who admitted killing his wife about 10 days ago and burying her body in a park in Filothei was remanded in custody

    The professor, who is charged with voluntary homicide, argued he was in an ebullition state and was trying to defend himself as his wife had attacked him before killing her.

    He argues that tension prevailed lately in their relations due to property differences, adding that they had nearly got a divorce, something he did not wish as he loved his children. The Music professor does not maintain that he has psychological problems, requesting to be punished for killing a human being and depriving his children from their mother.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [07] A. Papariga on Cooperation, Vatopedi and O.A.

    26 Σεπ 2008 15:46:00

    Sources: ΑNA-ΜPA ΝΕΤ 105.8

    At a Press Conference in Thessaloniki, KKE (Communist Party of Greece) Secretary General Aleka Papariga accused PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) and SYN (Coalition of the Left) of playing a political game with their alleged cooperation in order to attract voters. She also described SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) Parliamentary Head Alekos Alavanos six-point proposal for SYRIZAs cooperation with PASOK a "salad". Regarding the Vatopedi monastery issue and claims of properties by other monasteries she proposed all allocation acts of state property to be annulled and small property owners to be protected. She supported the confiscation of property that belongs to the state, adding that no discussion should take place on the Vatopedi monastery issue. Moreover, she reported that Lake Vistonida should be returned to Vatopedi monastery and the latter to return the property it had taken in return. Regarding Vistonida area, she said that it had been declared a national part in 1996, but the presidential decree that would secure it had never been issued. Earlier, Ms Papariga had met with Olympic Airlines employees at Macedonia Airport, where she advised them to remain united an fight against the companys privatization. Finally, she commented the KKE does not trust the governments promises, as per which it will see that employees would not lose their jobs.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [08] ND Central Committee Positions

    26 Σεπ 2008 14:59:00

    Sources: ANA, MPA

    During the ND Central Committee meeting, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stated that although everybodys views are welcomed the party would not accept personal strategies and behaviour at the partys expense. Then, government cadres commented on difficult climate at present, requesting unity.

    Cadre Speeches

    Petros Tatoulis asked for an extraordinary Congress meeting, so that the party would exit the crisis. He also said that proposed reforms lacked ideology.

    National Defence Minister Vagelis Meimarakis asked for all issues to be raised at the Central Committee to stand a vote, agreeing with Mr Tatoulis proposal on holding an extraordinary congress. He also advised cadres to remain united and act as per the partys demands.

    Mr Giannis Manolis reported that he wishes to prove of help to the party and offer his services.

    Byron Polidoras stated he supports Kostas Karamanlis government, while Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos reported that Kostas Karamanlis is the man who will lead the party to victory. Transport Minister Kostis Hatzidakis wondered whether responsibility or demagogy would prevail, denouncing the sick mentality keeping Greece in the past.

    Development Minister Christos Folias reported the party should boost its bonds with the society, adding that PASOK has no prospects to win, provided the ND party does not allow such a thing to happen.

    Education Minister Evripidis Stylianidis denounced the sick climate the opposition has been trying to promote since 1997, while Vassilis Michaloliakos added he supports Mr Karamanlis government.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [09] Coordinated Intervention to Boost Cash Flow

    26 Σεπ 2008 13:27:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA, Finfacts Ireland

    Central banks on Friday provided $290 billion in liquidity in a bid to ease serious stress in the inter-bank markets.

    "Central banks have been employing coordinated measures designed to address the pressures in global money markets," the Fed said in a joint statement with the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank. Fridays move is "designed to address funding pressures over quarter-end. Central banks continue to work closely together and are prepared to take further steps as needed to address the ongoing pressures in funding markets." The ECB said that the Governing Council decided to provide US dollar one week funding over the quarter end to Eurosystem counterparties against Eurosystem-eligible collateral, applying a variable rate tender procedure and with an intended volume of $30 billion.

    [10] Suspects on KLM Aircraft Arrested in Germany

    26 Σεπ 2008 13:19:00

    A police spokesman has announced that the German police have arrested two men on a KLM aircraft preparing to take off from Cologne airport A Somali, 23, and a Somali-born German, 24, were suspected of planning attacks and were detained. The aircraft was heading to Amsterdam. As per Der Spiegel, the German police do not believe that the arrested had been planning to highjack the aircraft.

    The two men had intended to carry out "holy war" and suicide notes had been found at their flat, a police official told German TV networks.

    A KLM spokesman stated that the German police had removed two passengers from the aircraft, adding that he did not have any more details. However, all passengers had to get off the aircraft to have their bags checked.

    The aircraft left an hour later and arrived in Amsterdam.

    The arrests do not appear to be related to the investigation on the two suspect Islamists, a German and a Lebanese, who as per information were heading from Afghanistan to Germany, announced the Federal Forensic Service.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [11] Koumoutsakos on Bakoyannis Contacts

    26 Σεπ 2008 12:41:00 (Last updated: 26 Σεπ 2008 13:22:16)

    Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos stated that the Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis participation in the sessions of the 63rd UN General Assembly gave the opportunity amongst others for the Greek side to raise Greeces resumption of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Presidency next year. Furthermore, he described the Greek Presidency a challenge as it will deal with difficult and crucial issues, such as the issue in Georgia and Caucasus after the recent developments. The Greek Presidency will also have to come into contact with the US administration as the issues it will have to manage interest the US, Russia and the UN. Moreover, the Presidency will have to brief the UN Security Council twice a year. As a result, the Greek Presidency will have to play an important role during this period. Regarding the FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) name-issue, he stressed that the Greek side remains fixed to its position, despite the fact that it is concerned over how the other side conceives the negotiating process. As for the Cyprus issue, he reported that we are in the beginning of a fresh effort, which many believe began on President Christofias initiative and which may lead to the much expected viable, just and operational solution of the Cyprus issue. Concluding, Mr Koumoutsakos stressed that the Foreign minister referred to the course of bilateral relations with Turkey. Although Greeces remains steadfast over Turkeys accession to the EU and the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations, Turkey does not act likewise. "In most of the cases promises are not followed by deeds," he concluded.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Bakoyianni-Rice Meeting

    [12] In Asian Electronic Transactions

    Oil Prices Drop

    26 Σεπ 2008 10:21:00

    Oil prices dropped in electronic transactions of Asia as the market is expected to adopt Bushs proposal for the rescue of the financial system. Oil prices dipped on Wednesday, erasing earlier gains and continuing this weeks roller-coaster ride, as traders set aside news that US crude inventories plunged last week. New Yorks main contract, light sweet crude for November delivery, fell $0.84 to $106.72 per barrel. Brent North Sea crude for November gave up $59 to $103.48 a barrel. US Congress has not yet accepted Bushs plan, provision of $ 700 billion in financial markets. According to parliamentary sources there are still many issues that have to resolved" before some kind of progress is done.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [13] US: New Meeting for Rescue for Crisis

    26 Σεπ 2008 10:02:00

    Sources: Reuters

    Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Thursday said he expects an agreement will eventually be reached on a $700 billion plan to rescue the troubled U.S. financial system. After McCain took part in talks with President George W. Bush, Obama and other congressional leaders at the White House, it was unclear if sufficient progress had been made on a financial bailout for troubled banks and markets for McCain to travel to Mississippi for the debate.

    Sen. Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said House and Senate negotiators had reached "fundamental agreement" on a set of principles guiding a bailout bill.

    What must be stressed is that oil drop was recorded today in oil prices in Asia. electronic transactions. Crude light delivery settled at $ 106,70 per barrel. Meantime one of the biggest US financial foundation Washington Mutual was bought out by JPMorgan for $ 1,9 billion.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [14] Couple Accused of Illegal Trading of Antiquities

    26 Σεπ 2008 12:29:00

    A 42-year-old archaeologist and History of Art professor, as well as her husband, who is the owner of a bookshop with rare books in the centre of Athens, are accused of illegal trading of antiquities. The police arrested the archaeologist and the 37-year-old bookshop owner, while the 63-year-old publisher is wanted as rare books of religious content, dating back to 1830 were found in the couples bookshop and house. Many of the rare books, which are considered unique, were sold at the bookshop. The arrested couple will appear before the Prosecutor today.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [15] Supplementary Testimony of Journalist

    26 Σεπ 2008 10:46:00

    Journalist of "Proto Thema" newspaper Gainnis Makrygiannis was called today by the prosecutor to give a supplementary testimony on the charge of violation of personal data regarding the case of former general secretary of ministry of culture Mr. Christos Zahopoulos. Mr. Makrygiannis denied the charges. The prosecutor re pressed the charges after including information from the testimony of the 35 years old close associate of Mr. Zahopoulos.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [16] Also in Taiwan's Pizza Hut

    China: Melamine in Candies

    26 Σεπ 2008 09:24:00

    One of the Chinas leading confectioners of White Rabbit brand candy, which is exported to 50 countries, today stopped all domestic sales of the sweet. The Shanghai-based Guanshengyuan company had previously recalled all exports after Singapore authorities found that the sweet contained melamine, the industrial chemical at the heart of a tainted mi lk scandal which has killed at least four babies and sickened 53,000 in China. White Rabbit candy was still being tested for melamine by the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

    In addition, Taiwans Pizza Hut said on Friday it had pulled grated cheese from its outlets after they were found to contain unacceptably high levels of the industrial chemical melamine. "Our delivery shops island-wide have stopped supplies of the grated cheese after tests for melamine showed higher than the allowed levels. We apologise to the public," a company spokesperson told reporters.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

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