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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-01-29

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Broadband Internet Rises in 2008
  • [02] Bakoyannis Briefs the Standing Committee
  • [03] Changes to ISAP Services
  • [04] Farmers' Unity Appears Shaky
  • [05] Solution Sought

  • [01] Broadband Internet Rises in 2008

    Broadband Internet services are developing at fast pace in Greece, which is still behind the average European countries. However, it is listed among the five EU countries with the greater increase in this sector. This development fully verifies reports as per which Greece is in a convergence orbit with the EU.

    As per information made public by the National Telecommunications and Post Committee (EETT), Broadband Internet in 2008 expanded by 4.3% and thus is at 13.4%.

    These numbers prove that the number of broadband connections at the end of December reached 1,506,614 that is a 13.4% penetration to the population instead of 1,311,221 in 2007, which was marked by an 11.7% penetration.

    EETT believes that any further improvement by Greece in the rank of the list for Broadband Internet is improbable to take place in 2009, given that Greece was behind Hungary in June 2008 by 4.5 percentage points.

    It also stresses that the State should take action to haste Greece's position and reduce the digital gap in relation with the rest of Europe.

    News item: 18305

    [02] Bakoyannis Briefs the Standing Committee

    Politics

    During the three-hour-long session of the Standing Committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs today, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis briefed it on Greek-Turkish relations, detainees in Guantanamo and the Greek Presidency for OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe).

    Referring to the OSCE Presidency, Ms Bakoyannis stressed that Greece is taking over amid the global financial crisis, adding however that it has the opportunity to transform the challenge to an opportunity to promote Greece.

    Regarding Greek-Turkish relations, she said that immobility marked 2008 and was sealed with Turkey's violations in the last months.

    Ms Bakoyannis stressed that the government is not undermining the real benchmarks, but instead is assessing them without exaggerations. Lucidity is a necessary condition in Greek-Turkish relations she pointed out.

    Referring to a Turkish actor's statements, she said they are being assessed with great attention, adding that their adjustment or retraction one day later by him neither changes reality nor the violent and unjust actions committed.

    Finally, referring to Skopje, she stated that FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) PM's statements do not allow for optimism and have forced Greece not to allow ESOAP lay out not a single euro for the international motorway.

    From his side, referring to Guantanamo prisoners, PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) cadre Andreas Loverdos said that his party is opposed to their transfer, demanding explanations on the possible legal status under which they could be accepted in Greece.Referring to Greek-Turkish relations, she reported that 2009 would be marked by tension and a crisis, adding that the crisis had not culminated yet.

    KKE (Communist Party of Greece) cadre Spyros Halvatzis demanded the release of the Guantanamo prisoners, saying that Greece should not be involved in this issue. Regarding Greek-Turkish relations, he referred to Turkey's aggressiveness in the Aegean lately.

    Referring to the Guantanamo prisoners, SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) Parliamentary Group leader Alekos Alavanos reported that the USA, which is responsible for their condition, should offer them asylum. As for the Greek-Turkish relations, he said that Turkey is rekindling the grey wolves' issue, demanding an investigation on the Turkish executioner's confession, as he called him.

    LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) cadre Adonis Georgiadis described Turkey's lasciviousness when the ND ruled unprecedented.

    Ms Bakoyannis also stressed that the government lacks a substantial foreign policy, adding that no opposite view on the foreign policy had been submitted.

    Greece is a country with national reliance and nobody has argued that Greek-Turkish relations are smooth.

    Finally, she pointed out for once more that Greece would benefit from Turkey's accession to the EU, provided Turkey meets the EU criteria.

    Source: 105.8

    News item: 18303

    [03] Changes to ISAP Services

    There will be no train services for the route PIRAEUS - OMONIA - PIRAEUS On Saturday 31 and on Sunday 1 February 2009, due to renovation works on the electrical railways network. Passengers wishing to continue with direction to the above stations will be served by the Thermal Blue Buses (Line 500A) using their validated ticket. Furthermore, the frequency of train services will be lower until 13 March.

    Source: NET 105.8

    News item: 18297

    [04] Farmers' Unity Appears Shaky

    After nine days of industrial actions, farmers' unity appears rather shaky, as they are wondering whether to maintain the roadblocks or lift them. Assemblies are taking place, while after the Tempi roadblock, which was lifted on Wednesday, traffic was restored Thursday in the area of Mikorthives, as well. Those who do not wish to give in are on their way to the Nikaia intersection, near Larissa. Farmers at the roadblocks of Promahonas, Alamana, Nikaia, Kastro, Linopetasmata in Heraklion and Platani in Chania keep steadfast on their industrial actions. Farmers in Malgara and Chalkidona persist with their roadblocks and from time to time open the road. At the same time, the Thessaloniki Prosecutor's Office requested bills be compiled against those obstructing traffic.

    The border passage at Promahonas and the Exoxi customs offices remain closed, while the border at Evzonoi, Doirani, Kipoi and Ormenio has opened.In Crete roadblocks at Linoskepasmata, Heraklion and Platani, Chania remain on the spot.

    The farmers' coordinating bodies are meeting to decide on their future stance.

    ND Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis stated that the situation is going to diffuse, stressing that the majority of the farmers are adopting a responsible stance and are opening the streets.

    Furthermore, he described a dialogue the best tool, adding that the specialization of measures is taking place in a satisfactory pace.

    Regarding the materialization of the packet of measures decided by the government, the Rural Development minister assured that there is no problem with the EU, adding that he will discuss the issue with the competent high commissioner on Wednesday.

    In the meantime, Rural Development Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis assured that the EU would not block the government aid offered to farmers. Representatives of the Panhellenic coordinating body are to request both the ELGA head and the Rural Development Minister elaborate on the timeline of the government aid.

    He also rejected rumours as per which agriculturalists are refusing to sign reports on damages.

    The ELGA board is convening now to change the regulation, in order for compensations to concern more products and the causes which destroy plant production.A joint ministerial decision will be signed today that will include all products to be compensated an included in the 500-million-euro packet.

    The support packet to farmers is high, told Deputy Interior Minister Christos Zois NET radio.The Socialist party (PASOK), on the other hand, expressed its scepticism over the government aid compliance with the EU regulations. The Greek Communist Party (KKE) urged farmers to not give in, while SYN head Alexis Tsipras called for an agricultural policy that would recognize the farmers' pivotal role.

    Finally, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) called for radical changes.

    Source: 105.8 - NA-PA

    News item: 18290

    [05] Solution Sought

    News

    Politicians and economists are called to reply to the question as to how the world will be shaped after the crisis. They are attending the World Economic Fourm at Davos, Switzerland. Russian PM Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart opened the forum leaving in the shade those responsible the crisis, that is bankers and executives of big Groups. However, as per International Organisations, the road to resurgence will be difficult. Until the end of 2009, 30 million working positions may be lost worldwide and powerful world econonomy branches may stop existing in the form we know them.

    The UN International Labour Organisation is warning that warning that 51 million new unemployed and 200 million more poor will mark 2009.

    The crisis is knocking the door of the world and the voices of the civilians' protests from the Interntional Social Forum in Brazil are picking up, demanding an alternative and more just development model.The question remains worldwide what will happen with the world financial crisis.

    However, the answer is for Davos Forum attendants is not easy as the problem is the grave financial crisis and the terrible repercussions worldwide.

    The recession and climate change, as well as the energy problems are topping the agenda at the Forum.

    The Russian and Chinese prime ministers opened the sessions of the Forum. However, the previous years' luxury was not there, giving its place to general concern.

    French Trade Unions are declaring a national strike tomorrow, demanding the protection of salaries and working positions from the economic tsunami, which is pulling down Mr Sarkozy's popularity by five percentage points in one month only.

    At the same time, the Bank of Spain is forecasting -1.6% development and 14% unemployment, the hightest percentage in Europe.

    In Washington, US President Barack Obama is continuing his feverish contacts with economists.

    For the time being, the American Senate has approve a US$522-billion packet in the form of tax cuts and aid to American unemployed, in order to retain their Social Security insurance.

    US President Barack Obama stressed that it is necessary that a bold and fast action to be taken by the administrtion against the crisis, calling on businessmen to undertake responsibilities as unemployment is rising.

    He also invited all to carry out the share of collective work that corresponds to each, ading that will go well for the US economy. He also added that if businessmen discover that Washington is not doing its job well, then in that case they may not be doing so well as they can.

    It should be noted that Wall Street is expecting confirmation of the Fed's mild interest rate policy. Meanwhile, due to the upward trend of bank shares Dow Jones Industrial rose by 1.59% reaching during mid session 8,300 points.

    Meanwhile, all are shocked with the news as per which an American father killed his wife and his five minor children and then committed suicide. A few days ago he and his wife were fired from their hospital they were working at.

    News item: 18286


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