|Monday, 19 March 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-03-25
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Deadly Tornado in EliaA deadly tornado hit the region of Nea Manolada, in the Elia prefecture shortly after the end of the students' parade on Wednesday, killing two people and injuring one. The tornado caused extensive material damage to houses, shops and cultivations.
The victims are three Bulgarian nationals, passengers in a private car which was carried away by the tornado and crashed on a tree. Fortunately , the tornado hit the region 15 minutes after the end of the students' parade and the crowd had left, otherwise the death toll would have been much higher.
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 Easter RobberyA gunman stormed into a shop in suburban Christchurch, in New Zealand while a female accomplice stole chocolate Easter eggs. So far it is a usual robbery scene if the couple had stolen expensive items or money, they only stole chocolate Easter eggs!
The woman took the eggs off the counter and the pair fled in a waiting car driven by another woman.
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 G. Papandreou Portrayed Euro-elections as ReferendumPASOK leader addressing a meeting of the party's Political Council described euro-elections as a referendum on the government's policy as well as the EU we want . Mr. Papandreou underlined that the government's policy under these crucial circumstances and historical responsibilities do not indicate understanding of the real dimension of the problem in Greece.
The words "historical responsibilities" and "crucial circumstances" have a literal meaning nowadays, stressed among others PASOK president George Papandreou in his address to the Movement's Political Council. He added that the government can not understand the real dimension of the problem in Greece and blamed it for being irresponsible and dangerous. George Papandreou said that the government has turned its failures to blackmailing dilemmas. He also blamed it for being responsible for the rise in criminality rate, dissolution of law enforcement body, disregard of labour relations and encouragement of arbitrary employment and serving political clientele policies instead of policies to support the unemployed. Furthermore, he accused the government for tax attack against the middle class, tax relieves to the wealthy, overspending and clientele serving management, exclusively blaming the ND for doubling fiscal deficit.
He also underlined the need of a plan, initiatives, actions, alliances and trustworthiness to take advantage of the many options offered by the EU. He said that the ND government has lost the trust of people, partners and international markets. He went on to stress the need for "progressive policy", speaking of a "social Maastricht with measurable targets on development and employment". He also spoke about "new tools" such as "Green Development Fund" and "reforms in the European Central Bank". Concluding he repeated his position that euro-elections would consist a referendum on the government's policy and a Europe we want, underlining that we had to reverse the present course as the challenges we have to deal with are historical.
News item: 20461
 Papariga's Letter to George PapandreouAleka Papariga, secretary general of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), lashed out at Socialist deputy Theodoros Pangalos in a letter she sent to Socialist leader George Papandreou. In her interview with Eleftheros Typos tis Kyriakis Sunday paper, Papariga predicted that the anti-labour policy would bring about elections
Leading a KKE (Greek Communist Party) delegation, Aleka Papariga arrived in Belgrade, Serbia, to attend an International Conference organized by the Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals. Papariga will address the Conference, in which representatives of anti-imperialistic movements and parties of 45 nations. During her stay in Belgrade, the KKE delegation will hold talks with the Serbian House Speaker, Yugoslavia's new Communist Party, the Serbian Communist Party and former Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic. The delegation will also pay tribute to the tomb of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic.
Papariga's Letter to George Papandreou
Aleka Papariga sent a letter to PASOK leader George Papandreou, protesting the Pangalos' "repeated, provocative positions against KKE. Papandreou released the letter on Monday.
Papariga stressed that Pangalos' claims "have crossed the lines of normal wrangling," further adding that "it is not just a usual or even extreme criticism, for which we would have no reason to address to you. Besides, we too exercise aggressive criticism against the government and other parties, including PASOK. We do not recognize the right to such a wrangling to our party only, but to all parties."
In her letter, Papariga commented on Pangalos' statements. "The first concerned suspicions that KKE wages hits, meaning, obviously, the attacks against his office and his daughter's place. The second related to his speech at a congress held in honour of Grigoris Farakos. Pangalos said that had KKE won the civil war in 1949, it would have killed all the Greek dissenters and part of its officials. It goes without saying that I fully recognize that every party official is responsible for his positions and deeds, yet it holds his party's collective responsibility."
"The problem becomes bigger when the criticism against KKE copies, or imitates the anti-communist hysteria of the past, used by the Greek state to shoot and send to exile patriot communists," concluded her letter.
Papariga's Interview with Eleftheros Typos tis Kyriakis
"We will have general elections sooner or later, because the people's indignation has skyrocketed due to the anti-labour policy," commented Aleka Papariga, secretary general of the Greek Communist Party, in her interview with Eleftheros Typos tis Kyriakis Sunday paper.
Papariga said that it is the working class that will be forced to pay the price of the crisis, stressing that what matters is that workers should not be passive observers of the developments. "The bigger the deficits the bigger the profits," added she. "Therefore, what is left to be done is to organize the struggle to fight the consequences and pave the way for a pro-labour prospect," argued Papariga.
Shifting her attention to vandals, Papariga stressed, "There are na√Įve groups of hooded youths who believe they have been involved in a fight against state power. However, there are provocateurs who are part of state repression." Commenting on asylum, she underlined, "They are looking for pretexts to have it abolished."
Call for Commitment
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 Papandreou Interviewed by ‚Ethnos‚In an interview with the newspaper To Ethnos tis Kyriakis, PASOK (Socialists) leader George Papandreou promises that if elected PM he will guarantee security to employees, just taxation and development for Greece. He commits himself to re-introduce taxation to those with big property and tax Church property.
In his interview he stresses that profits that are invested will be taxed with a low coefficient, while profits not invested will be taxed as personal income with coefficients applied to physical persons.
He also regards unacceptable for profits deriving from capital to be taxed more favourably from income deriving from work, adding that those owning big property should be taxed. The same should apply for Church property and off-shore companies.
He describes the consensus required by the PM a "blank cheque" that will allow him implementing the same unsuccessful policy at the cost of the many. He also criticizes the government for its measures to deal the fiscal deficit, adding that the government admits it had failed. He also says its measures do not help fiscal sanitation, do not combat tax evasion and provocative wealth; additionally they do not support the Greek families' income and do not offer a way out from the crisis.
He stresses that the government has failed, arguing that early elections could be declared soon due to the immense problems and that PASOK will be winner.
In reply to a question as to where he would find the money to finance his policy, Mr Papandreou says that it will derive by taxing the wealth of big income earners and shareholders, as well as those with big property. He adds that state property will be used in the right way to the benefit of the public and will freeze armament programmes, opening new routes to development.
In reply to a question on the Banks' role, he reports that Banks depend on the state today, without offering anything in exchange.
Regarding his meetings with entrepreneurs, he reports that he has explained to them that he intends to put an end to "sick relationship between the state and entrepreneurs", adding that he will put an end to the politicians' dependence from entrepreneurs and Media. He also states he is ready to clash with intransparency and extravagance of public money, without thinking of the political cost.
News item: 20422
 Polls and WranglingPolitics
Public safety and economy constitute for the government a top priority, while a poll conducted by Public Issue and commissioned by Kyriakatiki Kathimerini newspaper, shows that citizens support law and order a measure against violence. They are in favour of abolishing asylum in Universities, the use of security cameras and the penalization of hooded youths. Meanwhile, according to ALKO's poll commissioned by Proto Thema newspaper, PASOK (Socialists) is leading in the political arena with 4.5% ahead of the ND party, while as per Ras poll commissioned by Paron newspaper, Costas Karamanlis is considered to be the most suitable person for Premiership with 12 percentage points ahead of George Papandreou.
The majority of citizens favour stricter provisions for hooded youths and the abolishment of asylum in Universities, supporting in parallel the use of cameras.
A poll conducted by Public Issue and commissioned by Kyriakatiki Kathimerini newspaper shows that 52% support measures for hooded youths, 7% moderately agrees and 12% neither agrees nor disagrees. 5% rather disagrees and 21% certainly disagrees.
44% approves asylum for Universities and 49% is against.
Ras poll, commissioned by Paron tis Kyriakis newspaper has reached the same conclusions, with 58.9% supporting strict measures for public order, 11.8% saying perhaps yes, 22.7% no and 6.1% perhaps no.
A poll conducted by Alko and commissioned by Proto Thema newspaper shows that 75.8% approve police intervention in Universities for criminal acts, while 18.7% says no. 62% agrees with an additional penalty for hooded youths, while 32.6% disagrees.
Meanwhile, in an interview with To Vima tis Kyriakis newspaper, ND cadre demands from all to condemn political violence.
At the same time, PASOK comes first on voting intention.
According to a poll conducted by Ras for Proto Thema newspaper on voting intention, ND (Conservatives) garners 30.9%, PASOK (Socialists) 34.2%, KKE (Communists) 7.2%, SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) 6%, LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) 4.4% and the Greens-Ecologists 3.1%. Costas Karamanlis is considered by 44.7% the most suitable person as PM, George Papandreou garners 32.9% and 21.5% prefer neither.
According to Alko's poll on voting intention, PASOK comes leads with 4.5 percentage points, ND garners 28.1%, PASOK 32.6%, KKE 8%, SYRIZA 5.8% and LAOS 4.5%.
Commenting on the polls, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that polls do not substitute elections, describing them however valuable as they help us reach conclusions. He said that although PASOK may be leading in the polls, the number of the undecided remains high, showing that they expect from Costas Karamanlis and the New Democracy government to help Greece. He also said that it is up to us to move better and faster. As for George Papandreou, he said the people do not trust him. Meanwhile, in an interview with Ethnos tis Kyriakis newspaper Mr Papandreou has asked for early elections, describing each day that passes a waste of time. In an interview with Eleftheros Typos tis Kyriakis newspaper, KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga criticizes the ND and PASOK parties, launching an attack against SYRIZA.
LAOS argues that the government does not listen to the society, adding that PASOK is winning because the ND party is loosing. Both parties support the rich and LAOS is the only hope.
The government argues that the first objective is to tackle the global crisis and not early elections. While the ND party is not planning any early elections PASOK demands that they are held with June's euro elections.
News item: 20412
 ‚Extraordinary Conditions Demand Extraordinary Measures‚In an attempt to combat the repercussions of the international crisis, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis used phrase "extraordinary conditions demand extraordinary measures", indicating thus the axis of his policy. At a Press Conference after the end of the EU Summit Meeting in Brussels, the prime minister defended the government's revenue policy, assuring that no more taxes would be imposed, not ruling out flexibility on employment in Greece. However, he added that Greece favours stable labour relations. He also stressed that there is no problem with the re-financing of the public debt, criticizing the opposition for its refusal to proceed to national understanding.
Furthermore, he said that it is wrong to believe that enterprises and Banks would be further taxed amid the crisis, rejecting rumors for a EU plan that would save the Greek economy.
PASOK (Socialists) described Greece unprotected in the European Council, holding responsible the government for unreliability, lack of plan and blind policy. In reply, the government reported that PASOK and its leading team are prisoners of their blind populism.
KKE (Communist Party of Greece) commented that disobedience to the EU constitutes a basic condition for the people to repel the worst anti-popular measures.
SYN (Coalition of the Left) argued that the PM accepted the European leaders' choices without any reaction. LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) reported that Mr Karamanlis went to Brussels begging for credit of time.
E. Antonaros' Reply
Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros replied to the PASOK spokesman, wondering why PASOK and its leading team continue to be prisoners of their blind populism.
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 Voting in FYROM Passes off SmoothlyEurope
Passing off peacefully, voting in FYROM's presidential and local elections came to an end at 19.00 local hour. The Skopje-based European Union envoy Erwan Fouere praised a democratic vote: "The elections took place in a calm atmosphere and we command the members of the electoral boards and citizens of this country who despite the harsh weather came out to vote."
Problems were reported in some mountainous regions due to the inclement weather conditions, as 134 polling stations did not open.
Seven candidates, including four Slavomacedonians and three Albanians, contested the presidential election.
As per the polls conducted prior to the elections, none of the candidates is expected to garner more than 50 percent of the ballot. Therefore, there will be a run-off vote in two weeks' time.
News item: 20435
 Mr. Simitis Visits Ecumenical PatriarchateFormer Prime Minister Mr. Simitis is visiting today Istanbul as official guest of "BILGI" university in order to deliver a speech on the "Differentiation and Democracy in the European Union". Mr. Costantinos Simitis arrived in Fanari accompanied by his wife Dafni and the ambassador of Greece in Ankara Mr. Fotis Xidas. Mr. Simitis had a long talk with Patriarch Vartholomaios in the Patriarch's office before attending a celebration lunch hosted by Mr. Vartholomaios to honor him.
The ambassador of Greece, the general ambassador Mr. Vasilis Bornovas and ambassador of France, Larisa Mayor Mr. Kostantinos Tzanakoulis who is representative of the Conference of Greece Prefect and Communities Union as well as the metropolitan bishops of the patriarchate attended the lunch.
"You broadened the horizons of Greece and you made it a valuable and appreciable member of the European Union. You entered it in the monetary union and in a word, you offered many and precious things", the ecumenical patriarch said when he welcomed former Prime Minister Mr. Simitis in Saint George church in Fanari.
"The Greek people are grateful to you, our Patriarchate honors you ands thanks you for everything you had done during your tenure as Prime Minister. We appreciate all the modesty you shown in your decision to voluntarily withdraw from the leadership of your movement, from the active political life, even though you are always integrated in the movement that you decided to serve and you are always a member of the Greek Parliament", the Ecumenical Patriarch said addressing Mr. Simitis.
Addressing the Patriarch former prime minister praised the personality and offer of Mr. Vartholomaios. "I want to express my happiness to be here", he said and added: "All these years I have tried to be responsible for the politics of the Greek government, to improve the relation with the neighboring Turkey and through this effort to improve the environment you work with such success.
News item: 20428