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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-01-26

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] E. Stylianidis: Reforms to Continue
  • [02] A. Tsipras: More Evidence for Kouneva
  • [03] Response to Turkeys Provocations
  • [04] New Greek Aid Mission to Gaza
  • [05] Fresh Turkish Provocations in the Aegean
  • [06] Cabinet Reshuffle
  • [07] K. Karamanlis New Years Message
  • [08] Turkish Actor Calls Killings a Scenario
  • [09] 40 Dead in Vietnam-8 Climbers Killed by Avalanche
  • [10] Feverish Talks

  • [01] E. Stylianidis: Reforms to Continue

    Transport and Communications Minister Evripidis Stylianidis met with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday. After their meeting, Mr Stylianidis stated they established the ministry's goals for the new period. He also said that the new objective is to constitute Greece an important international entrepit, commercial and communications centre for the wider region. They also set three priorities for the government.

    The first is to constantly improve the quality of rendered services to civilians from the Transport Ministry and the second is to continue with the reforms in order to harmonise and streamline state enterprises. The third one is to constantly and systematically cooperate with the employees and free-lance workers, who cooperate with the Transport and Communications Ministry and who need this cooperation in order to combat the global financial crisis Europe is facing today.

    In reply to a question on Olympic Airlines, Mr Stylianidis replied that the deadlines had been set; adding that what remains is for the tenders to be submitted.Finally, referring to OSE (Hellenic Railways Organisation) he said that the priorities are known, adding "everytime an issue is ready we will provide with the details," adding that a systematic effort is taking place to allow Greek trains to become equal to Europe's.

    News item: 18161

    [02] A. Tsipras: More Evidence for Kouneva

    SYN (Coalition of the Left) President Alexis Tsipras met with Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos today and discussed the issue of trade unionist Konstantina Kouneva. After the meeting, Mr Tsipras stated "I had the opportunity to communicate with the minister and express our intense dissatisfaction because the police investigation on the assassination attempt against Konstantina Kouneva has proved fruitless. I also wished to express our concern because if this case is covered up, then this will mean that Greece is being transformed to Colombia, where assassination attempts are made against trade unionists and are not solved. The minister listened to our positions and committed himself to do whatever is possible from his side to direct the investigation to the correct direction from now on, so that this unbelievable case is solved.

    Regarding the wrong direction of the investigation, Mr Tsipras said that it is not his job to know the culprit, adding that it is clear that the culprit cannot be the trade unionist's family friend, as corroborated evidence proves that she had been receiving threats. He also denounced the present labour condions, as companies exploit employees and force them to sign documents that prove they have worked fewer hours than they originally did. Moreover, he spoke of a ring exploiting human dignity, adding that it should be disrupted and the culprits found. In parallel, the legislation should change and thus deprive the above companies from exploiting employees in this way. The minister committed himself in releasing information today or tomorrow. "However, what I wish to point out is that the politicians' role is not to discover the culprits. The police should play this role. Anyway, the fact that the Prosecutor has sent back the investigation in order to direct it to the correct direction, proves that the first efforts proved fruitless because Konstantina's family friends were not the answer to the solution of the mystery", said Mr Tsipras.

    News item: 18160

    [03] Response to Turkeys Provocations

    Ankara insists on playing with fire in the Aegean. A few hours Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis's warning that the Greek Armed Forces are on alert to face the Turkish provocations, eight Fantom jet fighers flew over Farmakonisi on low height. Although, Greek jet fighters intercepted all of them, what remains is concern over Turkey's intentions. Foreign Minsiter spokesman George Koumoutsakos told NET that Athens would continue briefing the International Organisations and NATO on Turkey's provocations.

    Greece's Defence Minister Vaggelis Meimarakis sent Thursday a stern message to Turkey, following the latter's midair provocations the previous day. Turkey's moves do not befit a NATO member state that wants to earn and EU membership and undertake peace initiatives," said Meimarakis.

    He further stressed that Turkey's recent provocations in the area of Agathonisi Islet would be addressed at diplomatic level.

    He then went on to argue that Greece's Armed Forces are on alert.

    All international bodies have been briefed on the matter, while NATO will be informed in the days to come, Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos told NET radio station. He further underlined that the nation would not give up on its interests.

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stated that Greece's foreign policy is a policy of concession and principles, aiming at securing peace and the country's national interests.The Opposition put down Ankara's provocations to the government's slow response.

    Referring to Tukey's violations in the Aegean, LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) spokesman Kyriakos Velopoulos wondered whether the government had understood Sarkozy's statements as per which "Turkey belongs to Asia and not to Europe"Turkish Staff announced that the Turkish Foreign Ministry had been briefed on Greek jet fighters harassing Turkish aircrafts near Mytilini and the Greek coastguard and fishing boats violations of Turkish waters at the Imia area.

    "The Turkish Foreign Ministry has been briefed in order to take the necessary measures," announced the Turkish Staff in its web page.

    On 5 January, "the Turkish F-16s that were carrying out training flights in the international waters of the Aegean west of Mytilini were harassed twice by two Greek F-16s and M-2000s that had taken off from Anhialos and Tanagra bases respectively. Additionally, Turkish F-16s that were carrying out training flights in the international waters of the Aegean south of Limnos were harassed by Greek F-16s that had taken off from Larissa."

    On January 6, "two Greek post guard vessels violated the Turkish territorial waters between the spots 09.56-12.10 and 12.00-16.15 and eight fishing boats between the spots 09-.50-16.30 in Imia area."

    On 5 January, two Greek coast guard vessels violated the Turkish territorial waters between 07.24-12.10 and 11.56-17.30 and 12 fishing boats between 06.45-17.30 in the Imia area.

    Sources: /--105.8-NA/PA

    News item: 17477

    [04] New Greek Aid Mission to Gaza

    Upon Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis' initiative, a Greek military airplane is departing Thursday for Tel Aviv, carrying humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Amounting to 13 tonnes, the aid includes medicines and medical materials.

    Furthermore, the Greek ship Arion is setting sail from Larnaca on Friday carrying humanitarian and medical staff to Gaza.

    News item: 17457

    [05] Fresh Turkish Provocations in the Aegean

    Several fresh Turkish provocations in Greek sea waters and air space were reported near Agathonisi and Farmakonisi this morning, a day after the President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias visited the remote islet of Agathonisi to attend Epiphany Day celebrations. Turkish provocations initially started shortly after 09:00 against gunboat "Nikiforos", that had sailed near Farmakonisi to take part in rescue operation followed by violations by two Turkish F-16 aircrafts against a Greek Super Puma, also participating in rescue operation, but they were intercepted by Greek aircrafts. Shortly after, two Turkish F-16 aircrafts flew at low height over Farmakonisi while half an hour later another Turkish F-16 duo flew over Agathonisi.Greek Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyianni strongly reacted to fresh Turkish provocations describing them as unacceptable acts, flagrantly violating International Law and hampering efforts for improvement of Greek-Turkish relations. Mrs. Bakoyianni said that she has given instructions for relevant demarches.

    Sources: 105.8 - NA-PA

    News item: 17445

    [06] Cabinet Reshuffle

    Greece's Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis reshuffled Wednesday his government's cabinet. Former Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis was not given a government post, while several Ministers, including Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Dora Bakoyannis, Evangelos Meimarakis, Giorgos Souflias, Dimitris Avramopoulos, Fani Palli-Petralia and Anastasis Papaligouras remained in their posts. Evrypides Stylianides was named Transport Minister, Kostis Hatzidakis was appointed Development Minister and Aris Spiliotopoulos was picked to head the Education Ministry. Apart from Alogoskoufis, Christos Folias was also removed from the cabinet. The new government members were announced at 12.15 by government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros.

    Prime Minister: Kostas Karamanlis

    Ministry of the Interior, Public Administration and DecentralisationMinister: Prokopis PavlopoulosDeputy Minister of Public Order: Christos MarkogiannakisDeputy Ministers: Athanasios Nakos, Christos Zois, Konstantinos Gioulekas

    Ministry of FinanceMinister: Ioannis PapathanasiouDeputy Ministers: Antonis Bezas, Nik. Legas, Athanasios Bouras

    Ministry of Foreign AffairsMinister: Dora BakoyannisDeputy Ministers: Ioannis Valinakis, Theodoros Kassimis, Miltiades Varvitsiotis

    Ministry of National DefenceMinister: Evangelos MeimarakisDeputy Ministers: Konstantinos Tasoulas, Ioannis Plakiotakis

    Ministry of DevelopmentMinister: Kostis Hatzidakis Deputy Ministers: Georgios Vlahos, Ioannis Bouras

    Ministry for the Environment Physical Planning and Public WorksMinister: Giorgos Souflias Deputy Ministers: Stavros Kalogiannis, Themistocles Xanthopoulos

    Ministry of Education and Religious AffairsMinister: Aris SpiliotopoulosDeputy Ministers: Andreas Lykourentzos, Spyros Taliadouros

    Ministry of Employment and WelfareMinister: Fani Palli-PetraliaDeputy Ministers: Sofia Kalatzakou, Georgios Kontogiannis

    Ministry of Health and Social SolidarityMinister: Dimitrios AvramopoulosDeputy Ministers: G. Papageorgiou, Marios Salmas

    Ministry of Rural Development and FoodMinister: Sotiris HatzidakisDeputy Ministers: Konstantinos Kiltides, Mich. Papadopoulos

    Ministry of JusticeMinister: Nikolaos Dendias

    Ministry of CultureMinister: Antonis SamarasDeputy Minister: Giannis Ioannides

    Ministry of Tourism DevelopmentMinister: Konstantinos Markopoulos

    Ministry of Transport and CommunicationsMinister: Evrypides Stylianides

    Ministry of Mercantile Marine and Island PolicyMinister: Anastasis PapaligourasDeputy Minister: Panagiotis Kammenos

    Ministry of Macedonia-ThraceMinister: Stavros Kalafatis

    Government spokesman:Evangelos Antonaros

    The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 1100 hours at the Presidential Mansion on Thursday.

    News item: 17444

    [07] K. Karamanlis New Years Message

    In his New Year's message, Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis expresses his certainty that Greek people united can deal with all big challenges as our history and tradition has proved. The Prime-minister predicts a difficult year for the whole world as we are experiencing the impacts of the gravest financial crisis in the post war period

    Uncertainty and deep concern prevails in Europe as financial activities are slowing down and employment has received a tough blow. The impact of the financial crisis is gradually influencing our country, however, our economy is strongly resisting compared to other countries due to the economic reforms we promoted in the last years, stressed the Prime-minister.

    Mr. Karamanlis adds: "the new year finds us at a crucial stage in our collective course. We realize the difficulties of the weak social groups, we understand the daily problems of the unemployed, of ones concerned whether they will keep their jobs as well as the problems of the new generation and we are exhausting all means to support the groups worst affected by the financial crisis". He stressed, however, that the government's willingness is not enough as the crucial world circumstances, not only financial but also threats to world stability and peace -as in the ME- demand a steady ruling and responsibility and maturity from all political parties and collective sectors.Concluding the Prime-minister says: "we are determined to continue with steady steps the necessary reforms and turn the world challenge into an opportunity for the future we are looking forward. We can achieve it and we will achieve it , with common efforts we will win a better prospect for all Greeks wherever they are. Wishes for Happy New Year, healthy, family happiness and prosperity.

    News item: 17270

    [08] Turkish Actor Calls Killings a Scenario

    Turkish actor Attila Olgac, who had confessed to having killed 10 Greek-Cypriot prisoners during Turkey's invasion in Cyprus in 1974, said that nothing had to do with the truth. In his interview with Turkish paper Hurriyet, he claimed that everything he had said was a film scenario like 'Saving Private Ryan. However, his claims failed to convince both Athens and Nicosia.

    Whether his claims were true or not, actor Attila Olgac had to stand a trial, read Hurriyet.A Hurriyet editor wondered which of the two versions the world would believe. Arguing that thought Olgac's claims were nothing but fiction, the editor stressed that both the incident and the period in which Olgac referred to should be investigated.

    The Hurriyet editor went on to say that whether Olgac's claims proved true, both he and his commanders should be tried for war crimes. Otherwise, he added, Olgac should be tried for exposing Turkey.

    News item: 18156

    [09] 40 Dead in Vietnam-8 Climbers Killed by Avalanche

    Europe

    At least 40 people have drowned in a river boat accident in Vietnam after a crowded vessel sank while taking people to a market, a senior provincial official said.

    The wooden boat sank amid strong currents and cold winds 20 metres from shore on the Gianh River in central Quang Binh province when passengers scrambled to get off before it reached the pier, the official said.

    40 bodies have been recovered, at least 5 people remain missing, while 36 were rescued, an official said. 8 Climbers Killed by Avalanche in North Eastern Turkey

    Eight mountain climbers were killed and several were believed trapped under snow after they were caught by an avalanche in northeast Turkey, the localgovernor said.

    Some 16 people had been buried by the avalanche on the Zigana mountain, site of a small ski resort in Gumushane province, near the Black Sea Coast, the governor Enver Salihoglu told Turkish broadcaster NTV.

    News item: 18140

    [10] Feverish Talks

    Middle East - Iraq

    Aiming to broker a new ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, talks between Hamas and Egypt continued till late on Sunday in Cairo. Israel has suggested an 18-month ceasefire, but Hamas is after a 12-month one. Hamas has suggested Turkish and European observers be present at the border crossings, rejecting the presence of observers from Israel. Hamas negotiators said they would visit Monday Gaza and Syria to meet with the local Hamas leaders to discuss the terms of a long-running truce. However, a Hamas spokesman in Lebanon said his organization would continue sending weapons to Gaza.

    At the same time, a spokesman for the Israeli Defence Ministry said that Ehud Barack would meet Wednesday with the new US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, before departing for Washington.

    Palestinian sources said that Mitchell would also meet with the Palestinian President in Ramallah in West Bank.

    News item: 18149


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