|Friday, 15 December 2017|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-11-16
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Alpha Joins Bank Support PlanIn an interview with newspaper "Kathimerini tis Kyriakis", Alpha Bank chief, Yiannis Kostopoulos announced Alpha Bank's participation in the β¬28 billion support plan to ensure bank liquidity. "We take this initiative to be the first to join, that way we relieve all the other banks from any hesitation in joining the plan", he said. Referring to the bank support plan during his visit to Kozani, on Saturday, Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis underlined that his target is drop in intra-bank interest rate. Furthermore he reassured that the government responds to the real needs of low income groups with social sensitivity and responsibility and pledged to support households.
Aimed to drop Intra-bank interest rates
The aim is drop of intra-bank interest rates and eventually drop in interest rates for households and businesses loans, stressed Prime-minsiter, Kostas Karamanlis, adding that the plan does not burden Greek taxpayers but on the contrary it guarantees an additional β¬500 million income for the Cohesion and Public Investment Fund. Mr. Karamanlis said that the government has intervened and will continue intervening to achieve low-interest rates and block abusive bank terms.The government is determined to take all additional measures exhausting all possibilities provided by the community programs and the state budget. In expectance of EU ApprovalFrom London, Finance Minister, G. Alogoskoufis predicted that the European Committee will have approved the Greek banks' support plan by the beginning of next week. In a letter to the Bank of Greece, the European Commission, among others, calls for materialization of plans within a 6-month period instead of the end of 2009 and specific reasons on whether the measures would last over 3 years as the length of the support plan covers a 5-year period.
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΑNA-ΜPA
News item: 15599
 Russia Open to Negotiations on Anti-missile SystemOn the sidelines of the G20 Summit in the US, Russian President, Dmytri Medvedev expressed Moscow's willingness for a strategic cooperation with Washington similar to its cooperation with Beijing. Dmytri Medvedev said that Russia looked forward to closer US-Russia relations during the administration of newly elected US President, Barrack Obama, adding that Russia was ready to discuss the US missile defence system.
Russia is ready to hold talks with the US on the missile defense plan said Russian President, who met with former State Secretary, Madlin Albright, Barrack Obama representative at the G20 summit, in Washington, signaling easing Russia's categorical objection to US plans. "We will not do anything until the US makes the first step said Medvedev. I believe that we have an opportunity to resolve the problem either agreeing with a world anti-missile system or the least to find a solution within the proposed programs to serve the Russian Federation" said the Russian President.
News item: 15597
 Olympic Medallist Larry James Passed AwayFormer world 400 meters record-holder and twice Olympic medallist Larry James has died of cancer, USA Track & Field said on Friday. American James, a double medallist at the 1968 Games in Mexico City, died on Thursday in Smithville, New Jersey on his 61st birthday.
Nicknamed 'The Mighty Burner', James set a world record of 44.1 seconds for the 400 while finishing second behind Lee Evans at the 1968 Olympic trials in Echo Summit, California. Evans won the race in 44.0 but his time was disallowed by the IAAF because he wore illegal brush spike shoes. James went on to claim the Olympic silver medal in the 400, behind Evans, in Mexico City before adding a gold after running the third leg of the 4x400 relay. The U.S. set a world record of 2:56.16 in that relay which lasted until 1992. A multiple winner of NCAA titles, James was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2003.
News item: 15289
 Obama's ChallengesAnalysts estimate that the new president has to face crucial challenges in the negative conjuncture of the financial crisis that troubles US as well as Europe. And as Barack Obama prepares to take office, he will have to wrestle with these facts of life: the economy is either in recession or teetering and the U.S. is embroiled in two wars.
Economy: The big Bet
The newly elected president must act fast and encourage a country that is concerned for its future, reinforcing at the same time Democrats in Congress "Change in America has come", Obama announced to his voters asking from them at the same time to be united and patient in order to face the challenges the US is ahead of.
The 44 president of the United States is the first Afro American president that has been elected in the White House and has inherited an extremely difficult financial situation. Mr Obama will seek to be seen taking proactive action to help out. US as well as the whole world are facing the most crucial financial crisis after 1929. The country is also involved in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 152.000 US troopers participate in army operation in Iraq while during the last five years after the American invasion in the country, 32.000 US soldiers remain in the area of Afghanistan, 6 years after the beginning of the war against terrorism.
The healthcare sector holds a powerful Washington lobby and is naturally resistant to change. Furthermore these particular changes will not come cheap: it's going to cost around $60 billion, he estimates, which will be funded by taxing the rich. Quite how prosperous the US is could prove critical to the success of his health agenda.
The US oil dependence form other countries is considered a threat for the security and economy of the country. Obama has stated that he is open to under sea test drillings and stresses the importance of energy effectiveness and of massive investments in renewable energy sources.
Top of the list will be a short-term populist move: a windfall energy tax providing $1,000 of tax relief for American families. Later, longer-term reforms will follow through changes to the tax code, with a cut for 150 million workers planned.
Obama has promised the Revision of the Agreement of Free Trade. He announced that he will use trade agreements signed with other countries as a mean to promote better working and environmental conditions. He also said that he will abolish tax relieves that encouraged companies to transfer working positions abroad.
Source: Reuters, ANA, MNA
News item: 15189
 President-elect Obama World ReactionInternational reaction to the historic election of Barrack Obama as the next President signaling a new era in US political stage has begun with hundreds of congratulatory telegrams and phone calls. Among the first to congratulate the 44th US president are: his opponent John McCain, President G. Bush, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, French President Nikola Sarkozy and British Prime-minister, Gordon Brown.Prime-minister, K. Karamanlis described Obama's election as landmark victory.
According to White House spokesman, Dana Perino, US President George Bush called to congratulate Obama upon announcement of his victory and invited him and his family to visit the White House soon saying that they are to start one of the most significant trips in their life. G. Bush also called defeated Republican candidate McCain to congratulate him on his campaign, and express his regret about the result. Senator Hillary Clinton described Barrack Obama election as "historical victory for the American people", adding that all will work together to build a new economy and restore US world leadership under the leadership of Barrack Obama and vice-president Jo Bidden. "My father would be proud of America today, proud of all young people who voted to make this dream true. A new day begins for America" said the daughter of Martin Luther King.
European Leaders' Congratulations
EU Commisioner, Jose Manuel Barroso congratulated Obama on Wednesday expressing the hope that he will follow a new direction so that the White House cooperates with Europe to lead the world towards a "new deal" and transform the present financial crisis to opportunity.French President Nikola Sarkozy was among the first leaders to offer his sincere congratulations to Barrack Obama on his overwhelming victory. The French President said: "With the world in turmoil and doubt, the American people, faithful to the values that have always defined America's identity, have expressed with force their faith in progress and the future."At a time when we must face huge challenges together, your election has raised enormous hope in France, in Europe and beyond. France and Europe ... will find a new energy to work with America to persevere peace and world prosperity.German Chancellor, Angela Merkel congratulated Obama on his historic election, underlining her conviction for closer and more trusting cooperation with the US. " You can be sure that my government is fully aware of how important the trans-Atlantic partnership is for our futures", she stressed.British Prime Minister Gordon Brown congratulated the new US leader, hailing his "energising politics, his progressive values and his vision for the future" underlining that he looks forward to their cooperation. "The relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is vital to our prosperity and security", Gordon Brown stressed. In Rome, Silvio Berlusconi spokesman stressed that Rome's relations with Washington remain friendly after Obama's victory. He reminded of the "excellent relations" between Berlusconi and President Clinton in 1994.
In the Rest of the World
News item: 15149
 Emotional Victory Speech"Change has come to America, it's a dream come true" said the newly elected US President in his victory speech before tens of thousands of people that jammed Chicago Grant Park last night. The 44th US President called for unity in facing the hard challenges ahead while in tribute to his defeated Republican opponent Obama said that John McCain had fought long and hard in his campaign, and even longer and harder had served America. Earlier at his Arizona headquarters, McCain concluded his speech admitting his defeat after having called his Democrat opponent to congratulate him on his victory.
Change Has Come to America
"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where anything is possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," said Obama to over 150.000 supporters as he was greeted by delirious cheers.
In tribute to his defeated opponent, Obama said that "Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign and has fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. Of McCain and defeated vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Obama said that he looked forward to working with them..."
In his first speech as victor, the 44th US president catalogued the challenges ahead. "The greatest of a lifetime," he said, "two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century." He cautioned that it would take "more than one year and more than one term" to address the challenges. "But we will get there - we as a people will get there."
Sources: Reuters, BBC, ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA-ΜPA
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CNN: Obama inspires historic victory
BBC: Obama wins historic US election
News item: 15148