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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-05-05

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Aim to Reduce Deficit
  • [02] Sharp Drop in Car Sales
  • [03] Obama Plans to Limit Offshore Companies' Tax Benefits
  • [04] New Meeting in Ministry of Health
  • [05] Swine Flu Alert
  • [06] Parliament Votes No to Pavlidis' Indictment
  • [07] 44 Killed in Bloody Wedding in Turkey
  • [08] New Meeting in Ministry of Health
  • [09] Euroelections Entering Final Stage
  • [10] Swine Flu Alert

  • [01] Aim to Reduce Deficit

    News

    European economies are experiencing the deepest recession of the post war era according to the European Commission's report released yesterday. For Greece, it forecast negative growth, increase in fiscal deficit and rise in unemployment rate. Eurogroup and Ecofin Councils meetings in Brussels centered on developments in economy. Referring to European Commission report, Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou repeated that the government's target is to drop fiscal deficit below 3% till the end of 2010, stressing that the government is determined to take additional measures if necessary.

    The Finance Minister noted that he would have a clear picture on the economy and detailed data on the effects of the government measures till his briefing of EU counterparts on the course of Greece's economy in June. Referring to the European economy in general, he said that discussion during the Ecofin meeting in Brussels sees Europe facing the worst recession of post war period. Despite positive signs emerging there is still uncertainty in the market over the dimension and end of the crisis. First stability signs are expected in the second half in 2009 and recovery from 2010.

    PASOK President Launched Strong Criticism

    PASOK leader spoke of the government's complete fiscal policy failure, for which the country's bad economic condition is responsible and not the global crisis during his address to PASOK political council. Mr. Papandreou predicted that the government would take austerity measures, the worst step in a period of recession, and added that change of course in the management of developmental resources is a national need. Commenting LAOS spokesman Kyriakos Belopoulos said "After the former excessive taxation measures, the European Commission report comes to minimize few hopes -according to ND announcements-that further measures would not be effected. Unfortunately, the government's inability is leading to a tsunami of new anti-popular measures after euroelections to burden the Greek people.

    News item: 21875

    [02] Sharp Drop in Car Sales

    News

    A sharp drop of 48.72% in car sales has been recorded in the Greek auto market as only 14.376 new cars were sold in April compared against 28.036 in the same month last year. However, there was a sharp rise over 300% in luxury car imports due to the temporary drop in taxes and attractive offers by luxury car importers.

    Importers of smaller engine cars managed to keep average sales but some companies which did not make further offers saw their sales drop. Car importers, however, are optimistic over future sales maintaining that the effect of the government's measures will emerge in the coming months. According to executives in the car sales market Easter holidays and car dealers' price for the exchange of second hand cars to potent buyers played significant role.

    News item: 21865

    [03] Obama Plans to Limit Offshore Companies' Tax Benefits

    News

    Part of US President tax overhaul plan aims to limit the ability of U.S. off shore companies and wealthy individuals to defer paying taxes on overseas profits taking advantage of loopholes in the tax system. Barack Obama presented a far-reaching set of proposals on Monday that are aimed at the tax benefits enjoyed by companies that would take effect in 2011. "The US has a broken system full of corporate loopholes that makes it perfectly legal for companies to avoid paying their fair share" said Obama, underlining that the US government would step up efforts to go after evaders who abuse offshore tax shelters.

    Aims to Create New Jobs

    Lost revenue isn't the only problem, Obama said. The current system gives companies an incentive to invest overseas rather than creating jobs in the U.S.The president hopes to remove the competitive advantage for companies that invest and create jobs overseas, working to replace their tax advantages with incentives to produce jobs in the U.S. U.S. multinational corporations paid only $16 billion in taxes to the United States on $700 billion in foreign earnings in 2004, the most recent year for which data are available, according to the White House.

    Source: ΑNA

    News item: 21855

    [04] New Meeting in Ministry of Health

    Head of National Center of Health Operations Panayiotis Efstathiou is chairing today a new meeting in ministry of health with the participation of presidents of hospitals around the country on swine flu epidemic. Yesterday's meeting held by the General Secretary of Health Ministry Aristeidis Kalogeropoulos decided to distribute anti flu medicines only in hospitals and health centers after doctor's prescription that will enter the name of the patient.

    Provision of Anti Flu Medicines Only By Hospitals

    Ministry of health is also looking into the possibility to rise 10% the strategic supplies of anti flu medicines. In addition, according to decisions taken, the personnel of Call Center will be boosted and extra doctors and nursed will be advanced in air sanitary services around the country. Finally, international airports will be supplied with thermal scanners.

    Source: ΝΕΤ 105,8

    News item: 21852

    [05] Swine Flu Alert

    News

    The World Health Organisation last night moved away from raising its swine flu pandemic alert to the highest level, but warned that the virus was still very unpredictable. It was widely predicted yesterday that the organisation would move the alert to level six, which would officially signal that a global pandemic was in progress. However, the WHO backed down from doing this in the hope that the spread of the virus would slow down.

    So far, a total of 1,025 cases of the virus have been reported in 20 countries, with 26 confirmed deaths. Yesterday, Portugal became the latest European country to be infected. Its first case was a 30-year-old woman who recently returned from a holiday in Mexico. In Spain, the hardest-hit nation in Europe, 54 cases have now been confirmed.In Mexico, where the virus outbreak began, a nationwide business shutdown ended yesterday with the president, Felipe Calderon, claiming that the country was over the worst. Mexico said it would send a plane to retrieve dozens of its nationals confined across China, which quarantined them as a protective measure.

    Schools will open Gradually

    Mexican President Felipe Calderon said schools would reopen gradually. University and preparatory students will return to class Thursday, but those in lower grades will remain out until Monday to give officials more time to clean facilities. Moreover, nonessential businesses will reopen, starting with restaurants Wednesday. Museums, churches and libraries will open a day later.

    News item: 21849

    [06] Parliament Votes No to Pavlidis' Indictment

    Parliament PMs voted yesterday late at midnight against the indictment of former Aegean Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis to Justice. With 146 in favour, 144 against, 5 blank votes and 3 PMs who only stated to be present Mr. Pavlidis will not stand trial as 151 votes are necessary in order for former minister to be indicted to Court.

    ND chose the prescription and coverage of the scandal, PASOK press representative Giorgos Papakostantinou stated. He also added that Costas Karamanlis and his government were defeated. "Vote whatever you wish. I am ready for everything. I only ask for Justice", with these words Ar. Pavlidis ended the discussion yesterday in Parliament Plenum.

    The Greek Parliament voted. PMs did their duty and voted driven by their conscience only, according to the Constitution and the Parliaments' rules, Mr. Papakostantinou said. Of course we respect the decision of the Greek PMs as we respect the institutional function of Parliament, governmental spokesman Mr. Evaggelos Antonaros said after the completion of the secret vote yesterday late at midnight yesterday.

    PASOK president Mr. Papandreou pronounced that after the completion of national elections, he will ask from President of Republic to convene all political parties in order to find a national strategic against corruption.

    In addition, he committed to change the institutional framework stressing that corruption undermines the citizens' basic principles in Economy, Health, Education and Public Transport and boosts social injustice and inequalities.

    "Mr. Papandreou attempts to separate himself from PASOK governmental history vainly...", governmental spokesman commented stressing that Karamanlis' government initiated the procedure of Mr. Pavlidis indictment to Justice and brought to Parliament all cases that had to be investigated.

    KKE pointed out that PASOK president hides the scandals that grow up in the ground of the anti social politics that New Democracy cultivates and constitute the continuation of PASOK policies.

    "The fight between ND and PASOK is for power", SYN states.

    "Mr. Papandreou and his party forget that corruption and over loaning are works of both parties, PASOK and New Democracy", LAOS president Mr. Karatzaferis said.

    News item: 21850

    [07] 44 Killed in Bloody Wedding in Turkey

    News

    Eight people have been arrested after masked gunmen killed at least 44 people at a wedding party in mainly Kurdish south east Turkey.The attack was most likely the result of a blood feud between families.

    The bride, the groom and the groom's mother and sister were killed in the attack, as was the Islamic cleric who was presiding over the marriage.

    Six children were among the dead after the gunmen opened fired using assault rifles and grenades last night. Two girls survived after the bodies of slain friends fell on top of them during the massacre. Six people were injured in the onslaught.

    It was one of the worst attacks involving civilians in European Union candidate Turkey's recent history. There are no evidence that this was a terrorist attack, ruling out involvement of the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    According to eye witnesses, the gunmen stormed a building in Bilge village, near Sultankoy, 12 miles from Mardin, and fired at wedding guests.

    The gunmen escaped from the isolated region of Turkey, on the border with Syria, before soldiers surrounded the village and cut off road access. There were some 200 people at the wedding party.

    Local rivalry leading deadly feuds is common in southeast Turkey, although it is rare for the death toll to be so high.

    Source: ΝΕΤ- ΑNA/ΜNA

    News item: 21848

    [08] New Meeting in Ministry of Health

    Head of National Center of Health Operations Panayiotis Efstathiou is chairing today a new meeting in ministry of health with the participation of presidents of hospitals around the country on swine flu epidemic. Yesterday's meeting held by the General Secretary of Health Ministry Aristeidis Kalogeropoulos decided to distribute anti flu medicines only in hospitals and health centers after doctor's prescription that will enter the name of the patient.

    Provision of Anti Flu Medicines Only By Hospitals

    Ministry of health is also looking into the possibility to rise 10% the strategic supplies of anti flu medicines. In addition, according to decisions taken, the personnel of Call Center will be boosted and extra doctors and nursed will be advanced in air sanitary services around the country. Finally, international airports will be supplied with thermal scanners.

    Source: ΝΕΤ 105,8

    News item: greece-5.htm

    [09] Euroelections Entering Final Stage

    Written by Μπέτυ Σαβούρδου

    Euroelections was the subject of the Prime-minister's meeting with Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos at the Maximos Mansion, on Tuesday . Our aim is to ensure the best possible preconditions for a pre-election campaign in accordance to our political culture said Mr. Pavlopoulos, adding that relevant circulars have been already sent to competent services.

    The Interior Minister briefed the Prime-Minister on the official opening of the pre-election campaign and all procedures till the holding of elections. He also said that election procedures have begun early, underlining the importance of this particular euro elections for the future of Europe which is experiencing a deep crisis this period . Mr. Pavlopoulos clarified that relevant circulars and decisions have been sent to competent services and efforts from so on would be focused on the timely convention of the Intra-Party Committee and discussion to facilitate participation of political parties and information of people on the importance of euroelections.

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA-ΜPA

    News item: 21866

    [10] Swine Flu Alert

    News

    The World Health Organisation last night moved away from raising its swine flu pandemic alert to the highest level, but warned that the virus was still very unpredictable. It was widely predicted yesterday that the organisation would move the alert to level six, which would officially signal that a global pandemic was in progress. However, the WHO backed down from doing this in the hope that the spread of the virus would slow down.

    So far, a total of 1,025 cases of the virus have been reported in 20 countries, with 26 confirmed deaths. Yesterday, Portugal became the latest European country to be infected. Its first case was a 30-year-old woman who recently returned from a holiday in Mexico. In Spain, the hardest-hit nation in Europe, 54 cases have now been confirmed.In Mexico, where the virus outbreak began, a nationwide business shutdown ended yesterday with the president, Felipe Calderon, claiming that the country was over the worst. Mexico said it would send a plane to retrieve dozens of its nationals confined across China, which quarantined them as a protective measure.

    Schools will open Gradually

    Mexican President Felipe Calderon said schools would reopen gradually. University and preparatory students will return to class Thursday, but those in lower grades will remain out until Monday to give officials more time to clean facilities. Moreover, nonessential businesses will reopen, starting with restaurants Wednesday. Museums, churches and libraries will open a day later.

    News item: world-8.htm


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