|Saturday, 2 March 2024
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-02-20
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Prime-Minister Asks for ConsentPolitics
In response to a relevant question by LAOS president G. Karatzaferis, the Prime-minister underlined the need for consent to deal with the impacts of the world financial crisis and announced that he would ask to meet with political party leaders shortly after the EU extraordinary meeting on the economy. On his part, George Karatzaferis repeated his proposal for the formation of ecumenical government to exit the country from the crisis.
Employment Minister, Fani Petralia responded to SYRIZA Parliamentary Group president Alekos Alabanos question regarding impact of financial crisis on the labor force. She said that the Prime-minister has repeatedly referred to the government's action plan for the exit from the crisis with support measures for the weak social groups.
Responsibility and Sobriety
Mr. Karamanlis repeated his call for consent and asked for a responsible stand and sobriety, stressing that division practices have no room in national issues. As the Prime-minister said in response to LAOS president relevant question, arguments do not harm the country but ostensible practices, negation, communication tricks and reaction do harm the country.
The Prime-minister stressed that the government has a plan, is implementing and enriching it but developments in economy are changing every day. There are no magic solutions to an unprecedented circumstances such as nowadays financial crisis. He said that selection of options are strictly limited but stated open to listen to proposals provided that they are realistic. He called on financial sectors, businesses, trade unions, civil servants and all political forces to indicate understanding at least on basic issues.
LAOS president repeated his proposal for formation of an ecumenical government including distinguished politicians from all political parties under the vice-president of the European Central Bank Loukas Papadimos, as it happened in 1990 with Xenofontas Zolotas, to exit the country from the crisis. In his counter-response, the Prime-minister said that the country has an elected government, stressing that such proposals do not indicate a responsible stand.
Commenting, PASOK secretary Yiannis Ragousis said that Mr. Karamanlis was so truthful when speaking about responsibility and consent as truthful he was when speaking about modesty and humbleness. The GCP in its statement underlines: "The government, other political parties and plutocracy ask for consent aimed to disarm the people and suffer further sacrifices. The impacts of the financial crisis would be paid either by employees and middle-income earners who are not responsible for developments or by the monopolios which have accumulated huge profits and are responsible for the crisis
News item: 19168
 Enforcement of Labor Inspection BodyPolitics
Employment Minister Fani Petralia announced the submission of draft-bill on Labor Inspection Body aimed to intensify inspections and observe implementation of labor legislation. This was her response to a relevant question by the president of SYRIZA Parliamentary Group Alekos Alabanos on the impacts of the financial crisis on the labor force.
The draft-bill on Labor Inspection Body will be tabled in the Parliament in the next days and provides for: 100 permanent job positions Set up of new labor inspection departments in regions with increased economic activity Imposition of fines from â¬500 to â¬50.000 to businesses that violate labor legislation. Also employers are obliged to keep copies of labor contracts for two years and books with employees vacation lists for 5 years. Mrs. Petralia responding to his question instead of the Prime-minister gave rise to a high pitched dispute with Mr. Alabanos blaming the Prime-minister for truancy and maintaining that Mr. Almunia is the country's prime-minister instead of a Greek Prime-minister. Responding to Mr. Alabanos, the Speaker of the House Dimitris Sioufas said that all Prime-ministers and particularly Kostas Karamanlis attends parliament sessions and responds to political leaders questions but Mr. Alabanos question was of the exclusive competence of the Employment Minister.
News item: 19182
 Canada: Obama Received Rock Star WelcomeUS President Barrack Obama visited Canada on Thursday, reviving a long tradition of newly elected US Presidents choosing neighbouring Canada, US largest trading partner, for their first visit abroad. Former US President George Bush after his victory in 2000 presidential elections paid his first foreign visit to Mexico while he was most unpopular among Canadians, particularly after his decision to invade Iraq. The new US President, however, received a warm rock star welcome by thousands of Canadians who braved the cold to get a glimpse of the President.
In a joint interview with Canadian Prime-minister Stephen Harper, he spoke with enthusiasm about Canada underlining that the US could not have a better friend and ally. Obama has a brother-in-law from Canada while two members of his staff are from Canada. Polls indicate that Obama is even more popular in Canada than the Canadian Prime-minister himself. The US President also thanked Canadians for their assistance in his pre-election campaign and stressed that he was looking forward to a new visit to Canada when the weather got warmer. Canadian Prime-minister Stephen Harper, described as rather cold and official, when addressing Obama called him Mr. President, however, he appeared rather more comfortable than during contacts with former US President George Bush. He was accused of following instructions by Bush administration, a fact that led him to keep distances from former US President.
Political Leadership Satisfied
ÉCanadian politicians expressed satisfaction at the outcome of US President first official visit to Ottawa. Barack Obama has pledged to work with Canada on energy, trade, economic recovery.he said global challenges, including security, required a global response. And on the war in Afghanistan, Mr Obama said he had not pressed Mr Harper on the Canadian decision to withdraw the bulk of its forces in 2011. Canadian Prime-minister Stephen Harper said that the two leaders began a dialogue on clean energy that would lead to an intra-continent policy on global warming. Experts from both countries will cooperate for the development of alternative energy sources that would reduce gas emissions. Harper also stressed the need for the two countries' close cooperation for the recovery of the economy despite Canada's fears that recession could lead to US protectionism policies. Mr Obama also assured his country's biggest trade partner that he would not pursue protectionist policies adding that the US would comply with its treaty obligations regarding international trade.He said he wanted "to grow trade and not contract it".
News item: 19175