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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-09-28

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Two New Polls Released
  • [02] "Greece Should Turn the Page"
  • [03] USA: Set to Sign off a Deal
  • [04] Rise of Far Right in Austria
  • [05] Sentenced for Illegally Issuing Driving Licenses
  • [06] Affray in Korydalos
  • [07] The US Deploys Anti-Missile Radar in Israel
  • [08] Belarussians Go to the Polls
  • [09] Japanese Minister Quits over Gaffe
  • [10] Snap Elections in Austria
  • [11] Work Stoppage at Tram

  • [01] In Sunday Papers

    Two New Polls Released

    28 Σεπ 2008 12:10:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Two new polls that appear in Sunday papers are quite interesting. The first poll conducted by VPRC on behalf of Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia gives a two-point lead to the Socialists, who garner 34.5% of the vote. The second one, which was carried out by Public Issue for Kathimerini tis Kyriakis, suggests that Kostas Karamanlis has better leading skills than Socialist leader George Papandreou. Both polls were carried out before the session of the ruling partys Central Committee.

    Hazy Political Scenery

    Two new surveys that are to appear in Sunday papers keep proving how hazy things are in Greeces political life.

    The VPRC poll conducted for Eleftherotypia suggests that the Socialist party (PASOK) enjoys a two-point lead. ND (New Democracy) garners 32.5percent, PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) receives 34.5percent, KKE (Greek Communist Party) gets 8percent, SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) earns 14percent, while LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) 4.5percent. Questioned which government is capable of solving the countrys problems, 27 percent of the despondents give a positive rating to Socialist leader George Papandreou and 21percent to Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. However, nearly half of those surveyed (47 percent) says none of the two.

    The survey conducted by Public Issued for Kathimerini tis Kyriakis paper manifests the profile of the two political leaders. The Prime Minister has the lead over the Socialist President, as 40 percent of the voters believe in him, compared to 16 percent who opt for George Papandreou. With regard to corruption, 34 percent believe that the Socialist leader can do better, while 12 percent give a positive rating to the Prime Minister. Finally, on the question "who comes to mind upon hearing the word honest?" 31 percent of the respondents say no one, 30 percent answer Kostas Karamanlis and 21 percent George Papandreou.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Papandreou Addresses Greek-Americans in Astoria

    "Greece Should Turn the Page"

    28 Σεπ 2008 11:24:00 (Last updated: 28 Σεπ 2008 13:25:32)

    Sources: ANA-MPA, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    "We should join forces, so that Greece can turn the page," stressed Saturday Socialist leader George Papandreou while addressing Greek-Americans in Astoria, New York. Referring to the Conservative government, Papandreou spoke of a monolithic government that wished to control everything. He put down the global financial upheaval to a "crisis of principles and institutions of neo-conservatism that turned the poor poorer and the rich richer." He also offered his backing to the Cypriot President Demetris Christofias efforts to have the Cyprus row settled. Focusing on the FYROM name dispute, he reiterated the Socialist position on a composite name with geographical determinant that would apply for all. At the same time, he defended the expatriate Greeks voting rights, noting that the petty party wrangling should not be transferred abroad.

    George Papandreou, who visited New York in his capacity as the head of Socialist International, touched on his familys bonds with Greeks living abroad, saying, "I feel like you." He claimed he knows exactly how it feels to be away from home, and referred to the fight he gave along with his father Andreas Papandreou and Melina Merkouri against the military junta.

    He highlighted the need of expatriate Greeks to feel proud of their homeland, stressing that the current Greek government has done everything in its power "to make us lose our self-confidence and feel pessimistic and miserable." Furthermore, "There is no plan, no vision, no road map for our course, except for communicative moves meaning to create impressions." "That is why we must and I have repeatedly made proposals to the Prime Minister join forces to strike out corruption, laying down rules for a well-governed state. On the contrary, we are witnessing a state that does not protect the weak, public property, institutions, and the Greek peoples forests and beaches," added the Socialist leader.

    Shifting his attention to the collapse of major financial institutions, Papandreou spoke of a "crisis of principles and democracy," noting that Greece is living through something quite similar, owning to the governments neo-conservative attitude. "And that comes along when a political party is clinched to interests that do not care about the peoples good and do not reflect democratic institutions," explained he.

    With regard to Greeces national affairs, he dismissed the Turkish occupation of a large part of Cyprus as unacceptable, stressing that he backs Cypriot President Demetris Christofias efforts, terming him as a politician of great visions.

    Touching on the FYROM name row, he underlined that UN envoy Matthew Nimetzs proposal package seems to combine other matters, as well, further stressing that Greeks are united towards Gruevskis provocations and agree on a mutually acceptable solution.

    Related News:

    Socialist International Sitting

    [03] On the US Rescue Plan

    USA: Set to Sign off a Deal

    28 Σεπ 2008 11:00:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA, Reuters, AFP

    US congressional leaders from both parties said Sunday they were set to give thumbs up for the $700 billion rescue plan proposed by US President George W. Bush, as only a few details had to be sort out.

    "Weve made great progress," House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters after the marathon talks.

    Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson also spoke of an important progress. Paulson lobbied hard for the bailout plan, which was criticized by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, who did not agree with that mass state intervention.

    The meeting held in Pelosis office brought the closer to signing off a deal on a law that would help market stability and protect taxpayers, added Pelosi. Henry Paulson had already been briefed on the amendments proposed, argued Pelosi.

    Related News:

    Efforts to Approve the Plan

    [04] Rise of Far Right in Austria

    28 Σεπ 2008 18:27:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ΑNA/ΜPA

    The Social Democrats remain the first political power in Austria following Sunday's early Parliamentary elections. However, the big winner appears to be the Far Right and the two mainstream parties virtually being neck-and-neck. With 40% of the ballots counted, the Social Democrats are ahead with 28.6% and the Conservatives follow with 25.1%. For the first time eligible to vote in the Austria were 16 and 17 year-olds following a lowering of the voting age from 18.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Sentenced for Illegally Issuing Driving Licenses

    28 Σεπ 2008 17:17:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    Four Transport Department employees in Trikala have been sentenced to 24 to 48 months in prison as they were involved in the illegal issuing of driving licenses. Specifically, a former Director and three more employees of the above department had illegally issued driving licenses to three candidate drivers. All of them appealed against the decision and were released. The case will be tried at an Appeals Court on a date to be specified in the future.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [06] Affray in Korydalos

    28 Σεπ 2008 17:14:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    An affray broke out between detainees and prison guards in Korydallos prison when an unidentified man used a sling to throw 45 grams of heroin wrapped in a parcel with batteries into the prison. The detainees ran to grab the heroin, but finally the policeme took it.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [07] The US Deploys Anti-Missile Radar in Israel

    28 Σεπ 2008 12:55:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    The USA has deployed an anti-missile radar in Israel recently aimed at improving defence against Iranian long-range ballistic missile attack, reported the Israeli radio today.

    The high-powered, high-frequency, transportable X-band radar is designed to detect and track ballistic missiles soon after launch. Its range is over 2,000 kilometres and it has been deployed in Negev desert, southern Israel. 120 members of the US army stationed in the region will be responsible in operating the radar.

    When asked, an Israeli Defence spokesman on the radar, he stated he was ignorant on the deployment of such radar.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [08] Belarussians Go to the Polls

    28 Σεπ 2008 12:51:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Belarussians voted for a new parliament on Sunday and President Alexander Lukashenko expressed confidence the election would proceed smoothly and lead to improved relations with the West. Lukashenko, accused of flouting fundamental rights during 14 years in power, has freed political prisoners and eased curbs on the opposition, shut out of the outgoing 110-member parliament. His opponents this time have been allowed to put forward some 70 candidates and hope to win up to 30 seats.

    "If the election goes smoothly, the West will recognise Belarus," a beaming Lukashenko said after voting in Minsk. Lukashenko remains banned from travelling to the United States and European Union on grounds that he blatantly rigged his 2006 re-election. The EU has said it may consider easing or lifting its sanctions if the election goes well.

    The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has sent 477 observers and their observations on whether the poll was free or fair may matter more than the actual outcome.

    [09] Japanese Minister Quits over Gaffe

    28 Σεπ 2008 12:40:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Japans transport minister quit on Sunday after just four days in the job over a series of contentious remarks, a blow to brand new Prime Minister Taro Aso as he considers calling a snap election.

    Transport Minister Nariaki Nakayama, the first to resign from Asos cabinet, had come under fire on Saturday for calling Japans biggest teachers union a "cancer" in the education system. It was the latest verbal gaffe by Nakayama, one of several outspoken allies whom Aso had tapped as ministers.

    "His remarks were extremely inappropriate. It is very regrettable," Aso told reporters after Nakayamas resignation. "I apologise deeply to the citizens and to those affected."

    Aso, an outspoken nationalist who favours spending and tax cuts to boost Japans faltering economy, took office on Wednesday to replace Yasuo Fukuda, the second Japanese premier to quit abruptly in a year after seeing their popularity slump.

    [10] Snap Elections in Austria

    28 Σεπ 2008 12:25:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Austria went to the polls in an early parliamentary election on Sunday with the far right forecast to make big gains and the two mainstream parties virtually neck-and-neck. Opinion polls point to a rise in the rights share to 25 percent and a slump for Social Democrats and conservatives to less than 30 percent each, which would herald long negotiations on another coalition that may prove as short-lived as the last. Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) and the last ones close at 5 p.m. Preliminary results are due shortly afterwards.

    About 6.3 million people were eligible to vote in the Alpine republic, including 200,000 16- and 17-year-olds following a lowering of the voting age from 18.

    Illustrating a growing disenchantment with politics, polls showed 40 percent of voters doubted any party could address their problems and up to 30 percent were undecided how to vote.

    The combined popularity of the two main parties, which joined forces in a coalition that collapsed in July after 18 months of mutual stonewalling that blocked reforms, stood at its lowest level since World War Two.

    [11] On Monday

    Work Stoppage at Tram

    28 Σεπ 2008 12:20:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    As tram drivers will continue with their work stoppages demanding pay rises, on Monday Tram service will be suspended from 13:00-17:00 on Monday. However, tram wagons will begin being withdrawn as of 11:30. Tram service will be restored as of 18:00.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

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