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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] Stability & Development Program to Be Submitted
  • [02] France Gripped by Mass Strike
  • [03] āFrizid Coldā in Europe

  • [01] Stability & Development Program to Be Submitted

    News

    Stability and Development program for the next three years, readopted due to the new circumstances created by the world financial crisis, is to be submitted to the European Commission on Friday. Green light will be given by the government's economic staff to convene at 10:00, on Friday morning.The governor of the Bank of Greece has called for support of real economy and businesses, indirectly giving instructions to banks to accelerate granting of loans. Piraeus Bank in cooperation with the Trade and Industry Chamber are introducing a new rescue program, mounting to 1 billion euros, for small and middle-sized businesses. However, high interest rates, higher compared to other European countries, remain a significant problem for households and businesses.

    Moreover, the impact of the world financial crisis appears to have no end with tens of large companies resorting to mass layoffs after poor business results in 2008. Sony has announced its first losses in 14 years. Toshiba, Nintendo, NEC, Samsung which see destructive drop in profits and reduction of production are considering mass layoffs.

    Starbucks is to close 300 shops in the US involving 6.700 job cuts. Germany, Europe's strongest economy has officially announced its highest rise in unemployment rate since March, 2005 with 8.3% of its labor force unemployed. Some 3.489.000 people have been hit by unemployment.

    While multinational companies announced huge drop in their profits, oil giant Shell recorded the highest profits in the history of British businesses in 2008.

    Clash between emerging and old capitalism is the focus of the 39th World Economic Forum to be held in Davos, Switzerland. China's -US dispute over Beijing monetary policy has given rise to concern regarding common action to deal with the world financial crisis.

    News item: 18323

    [02] France Gripped by Mass Strike

    France was hit by a massive strike on Thursday with some 2.5 million people taking part in demonstrations in several cities but mainly in Paris within the framework of mobilizations and protests against President Nikola Sarkozy policy according to the largest trade union CGT. It is reported as the largest mobilization after the 3 million demonstrators in 2006 protesting against the then "first labor contract". It is obviously the largest demonstration since May, 2007 when Sarkozy assumed France's Presidency. Police said that there were some 1 million demonstrators.

    The impact of demonstrations found a response from President Sarkozy, who described it as "legitimate concern" and committed himself to meet with trade unions and employers in February. In his statement, the French President says: "the unprecedented world financial crisis gives rise to a legitimate concern in France as in all countries worldwide. The crisis imposes authorities the duty to listen, to hold a dialogue and in parallel move to action with high determination. Within this spirit I will meet with trade unions and employers in February to reach an agreement on reform plans in 2009 and policies so to move to action correctly".

    News item: 18326

    [03] āFrizid Coldā in Europe

    News

    Subzero temperatures have hit many countries killing at least 23 people in the US while heavy snowfall left hundreds of households in Austria without electricity. Heavy snowfall has hit south Turkey and forecasters predicted further deterioration of weather in south-east Turkey in the next hours. Snowfalls have caused serious problems in Austria and Slovenia.

    Frigid conditions in the US, particularly cities in the northeast New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Pensylvania) posted record lows readings. Electricity cut offs and road accidents have been reported in many regions among them in the capital city Washington where many businesses and schools are closed. Heavy snowfall in Burgeland and Styria in Austria have left hundreds of households without electricity. Heavy snowfall and strong winds have hit Antalya in Turkey since Wednesday evening. Three people lost their lives, a 16-year old boy carried away by flood waters and two others struck by thunder.From frigid cold to heat wave reaching 46C which has hit Australia. It is reported as record high temperatures in the last 100 years. Adelaide authorities distributed bottled water to commuters to put up with delays in train services. Melbourne tennis tournament has been cancelled.

    Sources: ĶÅŌ

    News item: 18318


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