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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-11-24
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From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Public Policy Holders to Pay at Private Outpatients SurgeryEvening surgeries at public hospitals will operate smoothly following the Health Ministry's assurance that doctors and nurses will be paid by a new special account. However, there is a problem with tests of public policy holders conducted at private surgeries. In this case they will have to pay in full and then get their money back from the Funds. Meanwhile, private doctors are warning that they will adopt the same policy.
As of 15 December, policy holders will have to pay for their tests at private surgeries, following their doctors' decision to suspend their contracts with most Social Funds. Then, they will have to submit their receipts to their Funds to get back the money they had paid.
The doctors' decision came as an answer to the Funds' delays in paying them back.
News item: 15918
 The Chinese President Visits GreeceDuring Chinese President Hu Jintao's three-day visit to Greece, China and Greece will sign three important economic agreements. They concern a Piraeus port container terminal contract between the Greek state and Cosco Pacific Ltd and the exchange of know-how and technology between the two countries' telecommunications organizations and TV stations. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis received the Chinese President at the airport. Later, Mr Jintao held talks with the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, who will host him an official dinner in the evening. Tomorrow, Mr Jintao will meet with the Greek PM and sign the agreements between the two countries. Then, he will be hosted a working lunch by Mr Karamanlis. PASOK (Socialists) leader George Papandreou will meet the Chinese President tomorrow.
Willing to Further Improve Bilateral Relations
President of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao arrived in Athens on Monday and was greeted upon arrival at Athens International Airport by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis.
Upon his arrival Mr Hu Jintaoexpressed his pleasure over his visit to Greece with which China has had friendly relations ever since and referred to the two countries' relations which develop fast. He added that both sides wish to boost bilateral relations
Meanwhile, in an interview with Xinhua news agency Mr Karamanlis described the Chinese President's visit to Greece a landmark, expressing the hope that both sides would boost their bilateral relations. He also referred to the opportunities offered by China's economic development to Greek enteprises.
Additionally, he stated that Greece should become a hub of the wider region, attracting Chinese investments. Finally, SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) Parliamentary Group head Alekos Alavanos stated he would not attend this evening's dinner in protest to the selling of Piraeus port to Chinese Cosco.
News item: 15915
 Pondering on PollsNormal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
The latest polls give PASOK (Socialists) the lead by 1.1-4.5%. As per a poll conducted by RASS on behalf of Apogevmatini newspaper, PASOK is leading by 32.1% on voting intention with the ND ruling party garnering 31%. In parallel, VPRC poll commissioned by Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia newspaper gives PASOK a 4.5-point lead over ND, while as per a FOCUS research commissioned by REAL NEWS, PASOK is ahead with 3.7 points. In all three polls, Karamanlis is projected as the most suitable person as PM.
At the same time, the government describes polls a reflection of the moment, adding that there is still time for the elections to be declared, while PASOK appears to be optimistic.
A new poll conducted by RASS and commissioned by Apogevmatini newspaper gives a 1.1% lead to PASOK.
Regarding voting intention, PASOK is leading with 32.1%, ND comes second with 31%, SYRIZA third with 8.5%, LAOS fifth with 4.2%, Ecologists sixth with 3%, Others get 1% while those who cast a blank vote got 2.5%. 10.3% did not answer.
Kostas Karamanlis is ahead George Papandreou by 13.3% as the most suitable person for premiership, garnering 46.8% against Papandreou's 33.5%. 18.7% prefer neither.
38.1% believe that Karamanlis could handle Greece's problems in the best possible way and 30.6% Papandreou, while 29.4% believe neither. Regarding the financial crisis, about 77% of the Greeks feel concerned over the repercussions, only 13.7% wishes early elections to be declared and 10.5% would like to see a new political party is founded.
News item: 15914
 Markets SkyrocketEconomy -
European markets have been surging today, while Wall Street opened with 4% gains on the occasion of the US Treasury's news that it is ready to invest 20 billion dollars to save Citigroup. At the same time, Mr Bush's outgoing government has announced that it would try to save Citigroup with capital guarantees amounting to 306 billion dollars.The Indices of the biggest European markets have been recording now up to 10% gains. At the same time, British PM Gordon Brown has announced a 15billion sterling pound plan to lead the British economy out of recession.
At around 21:30 Greek time, Dow Jones industrial was up 2.89%, while Nasdaq high technology 3.84% up. Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 4.09%, FTSE up by 9.84%, Cac in France up by 10.09% and Frankfurt's Dax up by 10.34%. In Italy, the market in Milan SP/Mib Index closed with a 7.37% rise.
News item: 15921
 No New Taxes to be ImposedGreece's Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis assured no new taxes will be imposed in 2009, while visiting the Transport Ministry, where he was briefed by Transport Minister Kostis Hatzigakis on the developments on OA and OSE. Karamanlis stated that the Olympic Airlines and the Hellenic Railways Organisation burden Greek taxpayers with 2.7 million euros on a daily basis. Apart from denationalising the Greek national air carrier, the goal is to consolidate OSE and bring its operational deficit down to 80 million euros in 2010.
Karamanlis also touched on the plans to have regional airports modernized, with a view to paving the way for new investments and jobs, so that the young will not leave their place of residence.
The Prime Minister underlined that the economy is the major challenge, which concerns all the citizens and the nation's political forces, further noting that the government has opted for responsibility. He then went on to stress that reforms are more necessary than ever.
Asked on taxes and the increased revenues the 2009 state budget predicts, Karamanlis underlined that they will result from the tightened measures against tax evasion and the economic growth, adding that no new taxes will be imposed in 2009.
In fact, he said that tax rates on natural persons are forecast to drop to 25 percent.
Reactions by Opposition Parties
Commenting on the Prime Minister's visit to the Transport Ministry, PASOK deputy and section head for transport and communication affairs Nikos Sifounakis said:
"The Prime Minister confirmed that, for as long as he is in power, his goals will include selling off state property."
The Greek Communist Party issued a statement, reading that businessmen are subject to symbolic taxation after the continuous cuts in tax rates by both the Conservative and Socialist governments.
"The Prime Minister's commitment against new taxes applies to the capital and not to the people. The truth is that the working class will keen being robbed of by the monopolies and the state," stressed KKE's statement.
Source: NET, ANA-MPA
News item: 15905
 Rice to Tour Europe from 30/11 -5/12U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will kick off a 6-day tour to Europe from November 30 to December 5, State Department said Monday. The secretary will travel to Britain, Belgium, Italy, Finland and Denmark, spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters at the daily press briefing. "In London, Secretary Rice will meet with Foreign Secretary David Miliband. She will then travel to Brussels to participate in the annual formal meeting of NATO foreign ministers on December 2 and 3." "After the NATO ministerial, the secretary will go to Rome to meet with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, then travel to Helsinki to participate in the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) ministerial on December 4 and meet with Finnish officials while there as well," said McCormack. "The secretary's final stop will be Copenhagen, where she will have meetings with Prime Minister Anders Rasmussen and Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller," he said. The spokesman made no comment on the goals of Rice's European tour, which is expected to strengthen the relationship between the United States and its transatlantic allies.
News item: 15922
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