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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-05-07
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From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 EU-Eastern Partnership SummitPrime-minister Kostas Karamanlis is in Prague to attend EU-Eastern Partnership Summit. In his speech K. Karamanlis described cooperation in energy as a basic precondition for successful partnership between EU-Eastern European countries. Earlier, he met with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor on the sidelines of the meeting.
News item: 22012
 Spatharis in Critical ConditionNews
Evgenios Spatharis is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit. According to information, he hit his head, suffering a brain bleeding.
LAOS Head Statements
"Greece was hit in the face of Evgenios Spatharis. The tradition and values this great creator were injured. We were taught by his heroes. His serious injury hurt me a great deal. I cried and so did my son, while I feel sorry that my grandson will not have the chance to laugh with him. I still hope that he will pull his sword and win the battle for his life.
News item: 22006
 New Institutional Framework for Oil MiningNews
The Greek Development Minister unveiled the pillars of the new constitutional framework to govern oil mining in Greece. The key goal is to have the output of Greek oil increased, by exploiting the underground resources, creating new jobs and protecting the environment.
Imports of petroleum products cost Greece more than 11 billion euros per year. Back in the 80s, the domestic oil mining had managed to cover 1/5 of the country's needs. Nowadays, 99.5% of crude is imported, while only 0.5% is mined in Greece.
Greek development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis unveiled Thursday a new institutional framework to govern oil search and exploitation, with a view to opening a new chapter in this sector. The Minister underlined the financial and geopolitical gains Greece can have from searches.
Asked to comment on Turkey's stance with regard to search in the Aegean, Hatzidakis stressed, "Greece has never quitted and will never quit its sovereign right," further adding, "The only problem is that of continental shelf."
Xatzidakis maintained that the new policy will boost Greece's energy sufficiency, reduce imports, attract foreign investments and create new jobs.
The Minister also added that the recent deal brokered with Albania, as any deal, paves the way for positive prospects in the sector. He then went on to say that similar discussions are underway with Egypt.
News item: 22004
 Papandreou: āTime for Radical ChangesāMain opposition leader George Papandreou visited the Athens Technological Educational Institution of Athens (TEI), ahead of the students' elections on 13 May. In his speech, he unveiled PASOK's (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) proposal for a public education with universities that will live up to the social needs. He also reiterated his pledge that his party will earmark 5% of GDP for education and 2% for research, if it assumes power. He also blasted the government's educational policy and slammed the corruption cases.
"We Are Fighting Corruption"
George Papandreou touched on mankind's huge prospects, which "are being wasted by neo-liberalism, which claims to solve all problems with the invisible hand of free market." Alluding to the Wall Street collapse, he spoke of a system that produced inequalities and gave power to the few, who could even buy the democratic institutions. "Democratic institutions that should represent you, are kept slaves to the vested interests of the strong," argued Papandreou.
"Therefore, we are battling for transparency, we are fighting corruption. Our goal is not to target people, but to change the political system, so that every citizen can be represented in a democratic and equal manner. We will not allow the vested interests the ability to buy out politicians, judges, policemen or media," added he.
"It goes without out saying that every company should have its role, every businessman should do his job, but he should start showing respect to the country's democratic rules at last, so that your interest can be expressed.
When the new generation is represented, when citizens are represented, spending ceases, corruption ceases, and the people regain their dignity," argued the PASOK leader.
Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros, on the other hand, commented: "No one is convinced by the call of Papandreou, who willingly served the governments of the sinful past and cannot express a single realistic proposal."
The Greek Communist Party issued a statement that read: "Since Mr Papandreou keeps speaking of transparency, he had better tell his voters and the people what he and Mr Karamanlis discuss with the representatives of world imperialism in the sittings o f the Bilderberg Club."
"The top joke for this years was uttered by Mr Papandreou, when he told us that PASOK is fighting the vested interests," argued SYN (Coalition of the Radical Left) member Panos Skourletis.
News item: 22003
 ECB Interest Rate and Inflation Stand at 1%News
The European Central Bank notched its benchmark interest rate downward by a quarter of a percentage point to 1 percent. In Greece, inflation in April fell to 1% compared to 1.3% in March and 4.4% in last April, suggested the figures released by the National Statistical Service.
The above development is due to the fall in car prices. Based upon the current situation, the head of the National Statistical Service said that inflation is expected to maintain a downward trend.
As for the tourism industry, messages have been rather promising. The number of the tourists that visited Greece in April increased significantly, compared to the 2008 April.
Transport Minister Evrypidis Stylianides said that the government's prompt reaction has started yielding results.
News item: 22000
 Pork Consumption Is Absolutely SafeWorld Health Organization has warned against eating contaminated pork coming from infected pigs, since there is no evidence on whether the virus can survive or not, thus triggering confusion and concern. Pork consumption in Greece is absolutely safe, commented Rural Development Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis, dismissing the panic caused as unjustifiable.
The Veterinary School of Aristotle University issued an announcement today on the issue:
1. The new virus of flu A has not been traced in swines both in Greece and Europe.
2. In Greece and internationally all animals are being constantly inspecetd in order to safeguard animals and public health.
3. According to sanitary and veterinary controls any animal that present symptoms of a disease does not reach the level of pigsticking.
4. The sanitary inspections that take place after pigs' slaughter provide consumers extra guarantee that animals are safe for consumption.
5. Humans are not in danger of consuming infected meat or products when they cook them appropriately.
6. Greek consumers must be constantly briefed on the issue by competent authorities.
News item: 21993
 New Suspect in Madeleine's CaseNews
Authorities in Britain have released the image of an ugly man, who is the latest suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The image is based on the account of a British woman on holiday in the same Portuguese resort. She told the police that a very ugly man with a large noise and spitted complexion had been stalking the apartment where the three-year-old's family was staying on the day before she vanished. Two more witnesses, a man and a 12-year-old schoolgirl, gave similar testimonies.
News item: 21989
 USA: Bill Allowing Greek Entry to Visa Waiver ProgramA bill allowing Greece to join the visa waiver program was submitted to the US Congress. The said program allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. The bill was submitted by Republican lawmaker Gus Bilirakis and Democrat Carolyn Maloney.
AHEPA, the biggest organization of Greeks living in the USA and Canada, expressed their satisfaction.
News item: 21988
 Alert Level Raised after Krakatoa Increased ActivityNews
The Krakatoa volcano in the Indonesian Strait of Sunda has increased its activity, prompting authorities to raise its alert status to keep visitors away. The volcano spewed volcanic debris as far as 700 metres from its crater, causing as many as 230 tremors on Tuesday.
In a blast that took place in June 1994, an American tourist had been killed, and three British and two Indonesians had sustained injuries. The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa was one of the worst volcanic eruptions ever. It had been heard in Australia, some 3,500 kilometres away and had caused a 36-high tsunami. More than 36000 people lost their lives.
News item: 21987
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