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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-10-08

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Interests Rates Brought Down
  • [02] Draft-bill on Bank Deposits
  • [03] Lake Vistonida Designated as National Park
  • [04] Growth Rate in Greece Rose to 3.5% of GDP
  • [05] Russian Pullout Completed
  • [06] SE Europe Defence Ministerial Meeting
  • [07] Cartilage Implants to Repair Bones

  • [01] Nervousness Remains

    Interests Rates Brought Down

    08 Οκτ 2008 15:06:00 (Last updated: 08 Οκτ 2008 17:19:18)

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ANA

    The central banks of the USA, Britain, Canada and the Central European Bank jointly brought interest rates down by 0.50 percent, easing the financial markets, which have started recovering. The US Federal Reserve Bank reduced interest rate from 2 percent to 1.50 percent, the European Central Bank from 4.25 percent to 3.75 percent, and Englands bank from 5 percent to 4.5 percent. Following suit, Chinas bank said it would bring its interest rate down on Thursday.

    The White House hailed the concerted campaign of the worlds major banks to reduce their interest rates in a bid to avert the collapse of international markets, terming it as useful and important. The coordinated move to have interest rates reduced could help restore peoples trust, argued German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The leaders of the worlds strongest nations would soon meet to figure out ways to address the global financial crisis, said Wednesday British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, further adding that he had discussed the matter with George Bush over the phone on Tuesday.

    Rescue Plan Made of Britain

    British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday in a joint interview with Chancellor Alistair Darling that he called on the rest European Union members to adopt an EU support plan, further stressing he had a telephone contact on the matter with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Brown also announced a rescue plan that includes earmarking credits up to 260 billion euros and recapitalization up to 50 billion sterling, a plan that equals to a partial nationalization.

    The eight banks included in the rescue plan are Abbey, Barklays, HBOS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Nationwide Building Society, Royals Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered.

    EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry Guenther Ferhoigen championed Wednesday the nationalisation of banks as a measure against a possible collapse of the financial system. He further opposed any attempt to break loose from the monetary discipline imposed by the EU stability pact. The euro currency should not be endangered, stressed he.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] To Be Submitted to Parliament

    Draft-bill on Bank Deposits

    08 Οκτ 2008 15:01:00 (Last updated: 08 Οκτ 2008 15:35:22)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ΝΕτ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA/MPA

    A draft-bill aimed to guarantee bank deposits in Greek lenders for at least three years will be submit to Parliament within the week. Greece, said Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, readjusted the minimum of bank deposit guarantee from 20,000 euros to 100,000 euros, also reiterating the governments pledge to guarantee all bank deposits indiscriminately. The repercussions of the global financial crisis on real economy proved harsher than expected, argued Governor of the Bank of Greece G. Provopoulos. Unveiling the interim report on the Greek economy, Provopoulos underlined that the risk of reduced liquidity did not pose a threat to Greek banks, which he urged to adopt a stricter attitude when giving loans.

    Aiming to Restore Faith in the Banking System

    Giorgos Alogoskoufis argued that draft-bill in question aims to restore and boost faith in the well-governed operation of the financial sector and step up any necessary measures to protect bank deposits.

    Touching on the EcoFin meeting, he stressed that the Finance Ministers of the 27-nation bloc agreed to keep supporting lenders, underlining that EcoFin ruled that any decisions and interventions in the financial sector should be taken at a national and not EU level.

    This decision enables each nation to intervene and do whatever it takes for its own financial system and to work in unison with the rest member states "so that there is a concerted course of action, because we are a single market." Any interventions, either at a national or EU level would be prompt and the support measures of temporary nature, added he. "Our goal is not to nationalize the European banking system but to restore faith in it," said the Greek Finance Minister.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Lake Vistonida Designated as National Park

    08 Οκτ 2008 17:07:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    A ministerial decision signed by Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias designated Lake Vistonida and the areas near the Nestos Delta as a national park under the name "National Park of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Stretching for 727 thousand square metres, the park is a wetland of international importance and one of Europes richest. The park has been divided into three protection zones. Lake Vistonida belongs to zone A, where only scientific research and actions meaning to upgrade and preserve the ecosystems and protected species are allowed. Souflias political intervention annulled the land exchange in Lake Vistonida by the Vatopedi Monastery.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] Growth Rate in Greece Rose to 3.5% of GDP

    08 Οκτ 2008 16:34:00

    Sources: ANA

    The growth rate of the Greek economy rose to 3.5 percent of GDP in the second quarter of 2008, compared to the same period last year, suggested the figures Eurostat released on Wednesday

    The growth rate stood at 1.4 percent in the eurozone, 2.1 percent in the USA and 0.8 percent in Japan. As per the Eurostat figures, Romania and Slovakia reported the highest growth rates, 9.3 percent and 7.6 percent respectively, with Estonia and Ireland reporting the lowest, -1 percent and -0.7 percent respectively.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] From Buffer Zones in S. Ossetia and Abkhazia

    Russian Pullout Completed

    08 Οκτ 2008 16:00:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8, ANA

    Russian troops completely withdrew from all buffer zones formed around Georgias breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, said Wednesday the head of the Russian peacekeeping forces. The withdrawal was also confirmed by Georgias Interior Ministry.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had vowed that all Russian forces would leave buffer zones by midnight. At the same time, he hailed the role of the EU observers deployed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the war.

    Under the French-brokered peace plan, Moscow had been given until Friday to withdraw its forces from the buffer zones it took over after the one-month war against Georgia in August.

    The Russian pullout is believed to ease tension between the two countries, but it is not going to resolve their disputes.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] SE Europe Defence Ministerial Meeting

    08 Οκτ 2008 15:49:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    The 10th meeting of the South-Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial (SEDM) kicked off Wednesday in Ohrid, FYROM. The participating nations along with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates are to discuss regional cooperation on defence matters, AFP news agency reported.

    Taking place behind closed doors, the meeting will mainly touch on enhancing cooperation at regional level and joint actions member states can follow with a view to addressing any defence weaknesses.

    The official start of the regional organization, which was founded in 1998 to facilitate its members entry into NATO, was signalled by FYROMs Defence Minister Zoran Konjanovski. "The goal of this organization, of our todays gathering, is to enhance regional cooperation with a view to boosting stability and security in the area," said FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

    Prior to the official start of the meeting, Gates and his Ukrainian counterpart Yury Yekhanurov discussed Ukraines NATO prospects.

    Ukraine, as well as Georgia who had Kievs support in the recent conflict with Russia, has bid to enter NATO. The two former Soviet democracies have Washingtons backing, but Russia strongly opposes their future within NATO, dismissing the European Unions enlargement towards the east as a strategic mistake.

    Robert Gates, however, reassured that the USA would back Kievs drive to join NATO, irrespective of the political situation in Ukraine.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Cartilage Implants to Repair Bones

    08 Οκτ 2008 09:55:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine have developed new ways to repair and regenerate bone, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons said in a Press Interview on Tuesday, Basilis Bitounis, president and Nikos Zaharakis general secretary of the Hellenic Orthopedic Surgery Society on the occasion of its 64th Panhellenic Congress, held in Athens from 8-11 October. Cartilage cells are stimulated to grow and multiply in a laboratory and then implanted on the part of the joint to be treated. Advances in gene therapy and tissue engineering, said Mr. Zaharakis have reduced stem cells growth time to 40 days from about one year. The two scientists said that regenerated bones are implanted in serious fractures for a faster and safer treatment. Advances in Stem Cell Biology is invaluable for rapid treatment of fractures and the fast return of patients to their daily routine. Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects articular cartilage. The reason why there is currently no cure for osteoarthritis is that the damaged articular cartilage is unable to repair itself. Articular cartilage transplants, and cartilage cell implants are currently being used and developed to address this issue. The goals of these procedures are to restore the damaged joint surface and stop cartilage degeneration. The hope is that complete, pain-free range of motion can be achieved. New implants have a duration length of 25 years compared to last generation implants of 10 to 15 years. Also robotics surgery is a significant weapon for orthopedic surgeons. They also stressed that standards of orthopedic surgery are high in Greece, this is the reason why Greece is the country with the lowest rate of handicapped people.

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