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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-05-06

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Concern over Sharp Unemployment Rates
  • [02] Siemens to be Debated in Parliament
  • [03] With Responsibility against the Crisis
  • [04] Metron Analysis Survey
  • [05] Gradual Lift of Flu Curbs in Mexico
  • [06] Cretan Farmers' Demonstration in Syntagma

  • [01] Concern over Sharp Unemployment Rates


    European countries are heading into a "social crisis" as unemployment is set to jump amid the financial and economic crisis, the chairman of the Eurogroup of finance ministers warned on Monday. "We are in the heart of an economic and financial crisis and we are heading towards a social crisis," Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also the Luxembourg Prime Minister, told reporters after chairing a regular monthly meeting with Eurozone finance ministers.

    Juncker said he was very concerned about the sharp rise of unemployment in Europe as forecast by the European Commission.

    Employment is expected to contract by about 2.5 percent in both the European Union (EU) and the Eurozone this year and by a further 1.5 percent in 2010, resulting in about 8.5 million job losses for the two years, in contrast to the net job creation of 9.5 million from 2006 to 2008. Unemployment is forecast to reach 10.9 percent in the EU in 2010 and 11.5 percent in the Eurozone.

    Juncker urged European employers not to lay off workers prematurely and turn to alternative choices such as part-time employment and shorter working time as buffer measures.

    In this climate, Saab Automobile, the Swedish unit of struggling U.S. carmaker General Motors said on Tuesday it was not in talks with Italian peer Fiat SpA about a takeover. FIAT denied that when the buy out is completed factories will shut down and lay offs of 18.000 employees will follow.

    At the same time, in Great Britain that faces the worst after war crisis in its history, Finance Minister Alster Darling is disputed strongly because he does not appears incompetent to find the necessary 700 billion pounds to cover public deficit.

    In the US a day before the official release in public of the results of the US banks' stress-test results, Bank of America needs capitals of 34 billion dollars to get out of the tunnel of the crisis.

    Source: BBC, Reuters

    News item: 21939

    [02] Siemens to be Debated in Parliament

    Siemens case will be submitted again for discussion tonight in Parliament with political debate heating up. New Democracy Parliamentary members is expected to vote against the set up of an examining committee on Siemens case after the request submitted by opposition party PASOK. Opposition party press representative Giorgos Papakostantinou stated that the government avoids the set up of the examining committee because most probably it has something to hide. At the same time, Pavlidis' indictment to justice still triggers debate. A main opposition PASOK party proposal (agreed by KKE and SYRIZA) for a second special parliamentary investigation committee to probe the actions of ruling New Democracy (ND) MP Aristotelis Pavlidis when he was Aegean minister, relating to the allocation of a subsidized route to the remote island of Tilos, will be discussed in Parliament on Thursday night. PASOK wants the second Parliamentary probe to determine if there is evidence to indict Pavlidis on charges of breach of duty.

    Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros had stated that this is an "orchestrated effort to ridicule justice and politics in the country," adding that "the government will not take part." The spokesman repeated this statement on Tuesday, when asked about the government's stance on the second case involving the former minister.

    PASOK PM Vaso Papandreou, speaking to NET 105,8 noted that no one wishes the penalization of political life and underlined that most scandals were ND's charges. KKE general secretary Aleka Papariga delivering a speech in Thessaloniki in an event organized by KNE for student elections spoke of decomposition and rot of the political system.

    SYRIZA president Alexis Tsipras delivering a speech in Patra, stressed that all political forces must undertake their responsibilities against the humiliation of political life and the self disgrace of Parliament and parliamentary members.

    Source: Athens News Agency, - 105,8, MNA

    News item: 21936

    [03] With Responsibility against the Crisis


    The Prime Minister Mr. Costas Karamanlis chaired an inner cabinet meeting. Ecofin and Commission spring economic forecast were at the focus of discussion. Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou said that he he briefed the inner cabinet over developments in a Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings in Brussels. The Greek minister said the European Commission's spring economic forecasts were worse compare with forecasts made three months ago, while he stressed that the Greek economy -although projected to perform better- was affected by a worsening economic crisis.

    "We are determined to make any necessary changes and reforms to take the country out of the crisis with the less consequences possible", Mr. Papathanasiou stressed.

    "There are no easy recipes and magic solutions," Papathanasiou said, adding that "the government is determined to follow the choice of responsibility and to telling the whole truth to the Greek people, taking the necessary measures and adopting a policy that could lead the country out of the crisis".

    When asked if the government is afraid of a social explosion as Europe Mr. Papathanasiou answered "no", while reference to the question if the government is strong enough to vote in Parliament the measures he answered "of course it is strong".

    Political Debate

    The crisis constitutes a battlefield in the political world where parties debate strongly.

    Governmental spokesman Mr. Ev. Antonaros attributed responsibilities to opposition party president Mr. Giorgos Papandreou saying that Mr. Papandreou proves that he does not realize what is going on internationally that he is blind and that he does not want to understand.

    On the other side, PASOK press representative Mr. Papakostantinou accused the government of revising state budget four times so far, of rising beyond limits loans and public deficit to 108% when the government's forecast spoke of 98%.

    Commenting on Mr. Papathanasiou statements, KKE spoke of fake dilemmas.

    Source: Athens News Agency

    News item: 21927

    [04] Metron Analysis Survey

    A survey conducted by Metron Analysis, on behalf of private television channel ANT1, indicates that the majority of respondents are dissatisfied over the Parliament's decision not to refer to Justice the case of former Minister for the Aegean Aristotelis Pavlidis. Of respondents 63% are dissatisfied at the decision, 70% want Pavlidis to be relieved from the ND Parliamentary Group with 77% of them insisting on his relief even if elections are called. It also indicates a 2.5 percentage point lead of PASOK.

    In reference to the Prime-minister and PASOK President stands over the scandal cases, 53% of respondents believe that K. Karamanlis wants cover up of cases and G. Papandreou partisan exploitation. The Metron Analysis telephone survey also shows a 2.5% lead of PASOK. In intention of voting PASOK gathers 30.1% against 27.6% of ND, followed by SYRIZA 8.8%, GCP 6.7%, LAOS 4.2%, Ecologists-Greens 3.4% while unclear vote percentage point is 17.8%. A previous gallop by the same company (October 6-7) showed PASOK 0.4% ahead. However, in intention of vote recounting valid ballots, the survey indicates failure to ensure majority and 3% lead of PASOK gathering 36.6% and 137 seats and ND 33.6% 89 seats. Regarding question who is the most appropriate for the premiership, Kostas Karamanlis is ahead with 30% against 23% of G. Papandreou while 35% answered no one. Of respondents 44.1% see PASOK elections victory against 37.7% of ND. The global financial crisis is seen as the country's major problem by 68% of respondents against 13% who believe that it is the Batopedi case while 60% believe that the conomic situation will worsen, 21% will improve and 15% remain the same.

    News item: 21917

    [05] Gradual Lift of Flu Curbs in Mexico

    Life in Mexico is gradually returning to normal as the country has recorded a fall in new cases of the 11 virus. Authorities said that the number of confirmed cases is 29, with more victims from Mexico city and suburbs around the city. Number of people infected has risen to 913 with an additional 39 suspected cases. The Mexican government said that state services will open today while universities and schools will gradually start opening from Thursday. Cinemas except for those in Mexico City are expected to start opening from today.

    Two People Died outside Mexico

    The number of confirmed H1N1 cases worldwide is over 1.440 in 21 countries while there is fear of a spread in the south hemisphere as winter is approaching. The flu which raised question about a pandemic claims 31 deaths, two outside Mexico in the US territory. The last victim was a woman from Texas who had been suffering chronic health problems according to doctors. Doctors in Mexico and the US advise people to take precautions while tens of countries have taken strict prevention measures. The US navy "Dubuque" ship is postponing a humanitarian mission to the Pacific after a crew member on the vessel scheduled to take the trip developed swine flu and 49 others showed symptoms.

    News item: 21913

    [06] Cretan Farmers' Demonstration in Syntagma

    Some 1.500 Cretan farmers, who arrived in Piraeus on Wednesday morning without their tractors this time, are staging a demonstration outside the Finance Ministry demanding support of their income. Next they will march to Maximos Mansion to hand a protest resolution. Filellinon St. is closed to traffic.

    The first 850 farmers aboard "Ariadni" passenger boat arrived in Piraeus port at 06:00 and some 600 farmers from Hania aboard "El. Benizelos" ship arrived at 06:30. Later convoy of buses transferred them to Syntagma Square where they are staging a demonstration. They want to meet with Prime-minister Kostas Karamanlis to hand him a resolution maintaining that their financial and institutional demands have not been met. Cretan farmers demand refund of VAT and 100 million support package which includes:

    News item: 21902

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