|Monday, 19 February 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-05-09
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Wrangling on Parliament's ClosureTensions are running high after Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas announced the surprise closure of Parliament on Friday night, in view of the European Parliament elections on June 7. The opposition spoke of institutional deviation. However, government officials stated it is not the first time such a thing happens. The Parliament will resume after the Euro elections with the summer recess sessions.
George Papandreou spoke of institutional deviation at PASOK's National Council, accusing the government of choosing anomy and impunity, inviting the PM to declare dual elections.
Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated that what happened is something that happens before Euro elections with the exception of 2004 and some cases when the closure lasted longer the this one. He rejected PASOK's explanations on writing off responsibilities, as no issue as such was tabled at Parliament.
KKE (Communist Party of Greece) Secretary General Aleka Papariga stated in Germany that Parliament's closure surprised the government itself, adding that the closure serves the writing off of scandals, as all scandals made until 2007 have been written off.
SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) Parliamentary spokesman F. Kouvelis described the closure an unprecedented political act, with the government assuming a huge political responsibility, as cases related to any penal responsibilities, involving ministers or deputy ministers will be written off.
LAOS (Orthodox Popular Rally) reported that the prime minister and the government had been harassing the Greek people who see no hop from ND.
Presently, SYRIZA and LAOS' Parliamentary Groups are holding extraordinary meetings.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA Relative articles: Parliament Closure In View of Euro Elections "The Government Has Nothing to Hide"
News item: 22085
 Papandreou Demands Dual ElectionsThe interruption of Parliament sessions constitutes an institutional deviation, reiterated PASOK (Socialists) President George Papandreou at the party's National Council. He accused the government of acting against institutions and Democracy, calling on the people to be on alert to defend Democracy, the Constitution and their rights. In parallel, he asked from the PM to declare national elections that would coincide with the 7 June euro elections. "Thus, an end would be put to government's downgrade," he said.
"The Government Despises the Feeling of Justice"
Mr Papandreou launched a harsh attack against the interruption of the Parliament's sessions, at a speech delivered at his party's National Council. He accused the government of despising the feeling of Justice that has been typical of Greece's democratic tradition, undermining Democratic institutions at a crucial bend for the nation. He also forecast that a surge of selective muck-raking would take place in the next weeks against PASOK and its leading cadres.
Mr Papandreou stressed that the euroelections would be a referendum that would send the message to the government and the ND party that the Greeks wish to change a course on a national and European level.
"Civilians wish to end once and for all with the ND's five years of destructive ruling, putting an end to policies that serve big interests that put above all profit," adding that the people expect a new government to offer them hope and security. "A Lot will be Put at Stake at the Euro Elections" Mr Papandreou asked from all his party cadres to join the first line as now is the time for final political attack.
In parallel, he asked all Greeks to vote at the Euro elections, as they do not only constitute a democratic right but a political and moral obligation to our children. A lot would be put at stake at the Euro elections he added.
"We shall fight a battle to defeat the conservatives who caused the crisis, adding that the European Social Democrats' victory would be first of all a win for social Europe, green development, social protection, a Europe of equality and solidarity.
Referring to the European Socialists' targets, he underlined that the Stability Pact should be revised and a Socialist President of the European Commission be elected, rejecting explicitly Jose Manuel Barroso's re-election.
G. Ragousis' Speech
During his opening speech PASOK Secretary G. Ragousis described the Euro elections crucial and determining for Greece, criticizing harshly the government and the PM for the surprise closing of the Parliament. He also stressed that the Euro elections is the time when the people should express their opinion on the surprise closing of the Parliament, which defiles the temple of Democracy, constituting thus the Parliament a place that will write off possible penal responsibilities of the government.
Government Spokesman's Statement
In reply, government spokesman E. Antonaros said that Mr Papandreou's concern is how to win power.
"Mr Papandreou seeks in polarization, demagogy and populism a way out to cover his political weakness for serious corporate and applied proposals and it is natural that he is in agony now that he sees that his plan on muck raking, mud-slinging and blague to be failing."
News item: 22083
 âThe Government has nothing to HideâRuling New Democracy is starting its pre Euro election campaign with the Premier delivering a speech in the party's Central Committee, Thessaloniki today, Saturday. Mr. Karamanlis attacked the president of the opposition party accusing him of mud-slinging, disinformation, verbosity and partisan prejudice that becomes extreme. On reference to the early closure of Parliament the Premier said: "This government has nothing to hide", ha nothing to cover and serves with consequence the democratic institutions". Mr. Karamanlis added that the fact that Parliament always breaks off its works before Euro elections as well as the fact that this Parliament has investigated all cases that were passed by Justice to Parliament have been investigated, are being concealed.
"Distortion Has Limits"
Rising the political tone even more and on reference to the unification of forces for the tackling of the financial crisis, the Premier stressed that the opposition party chose as its tactic the reaction and the mud-slinging.
The opposition party chose, he stated, to drift this country to the road of irresponsibility, to the road of partisan prejudice.
"PASOK leader came to the point to accuse the government of allegedly organized mud-slinging! Of mud-slinging! Even distortion has limits. Verbosity has its limits. Political nerve has its limits! Who does Mr. Papandreou try to deceit? Slanderers are well known in this country. Those who defame the country abroad are known", he said.
Mr. Karamanlis stressed that by adopting these behaviors "PASOK president is being revealed he is showing that he does not realize the crucial conditions of the circumstances, that he has no plan, no vision for the Country" and continued:
"All his vision start and end with the same craving: How to come to power! All his visions start and end with the same irresponsible notions. He does not hesitate to sacrifice the national interest in sake of partisan and personal achievement. He does not want- he can not- contribute to the fight of Greeks for the exit from the crisis".
Regarding the government's choices on the tackling of the crisis, he stressed that the choice was and still is responsibility and honesty to citizens, compared to PASOK leader who, as the Premier said, has never suggested any specific and applicable proposal.
"He turned to wishes. He turned to defaming the country. He turned to populism, self-interest and irresponsibility. "I am moving forward, with strength and determination. We are moving forward all together, with one purpose only: national, social and collective interest".
On National Issues
On reference to national issues, Mr. Karamanlis underlined that "there are inviolable red lines" which can not be altered can not be bargained can not be abandoned."
More specifically, as far as FYROM is concerned the Premier called the leadership of the neighboring country to abandon evasions, nationalisms of the past and unfounded historic obsessions.
Mr. Karamanlis also spoke of the construction works taking place in Northern Greece some of which he intends to visit today stressing: "Macedonia and Trace are being developed today to international inter nudes, to commercial and banking centers of Northern Europe to a multi powerful energy channel.
oreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis spoke of important challenges at the ND government committee in Thessaloniki, adding that we should all be conscious of our responsibilities.
Referring to PASOK she accused it of muck - raking, adding that its leader George Papandreou appears as if he had not been minister when PASOK ruled.
Defence minister Evangelos Meimarakis commented that the euro elections are not a referendum for out work by a nodal point for us in order to continue until 2011. "We should not underestimate them. PASOK is not interested in seeing Greece move ahead, but is only interested in polls. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos described Mr Papandreou's doings an institutional deviation, adding that he offers no solutions.
PASOK spokesman George Papakonstantinou said that the last who is entitled to speak for his power boulimia is Mr Karamanlis.
In reply government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said that PASOK's priority should be respect to institutions and until it does so it has a long way to cover.
SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) stressed that now is the time for the two-party system to weaken and for SYRIZA to be boosted. It described Mr Karamanlis' pride for his policy and his decision to go on with it a provocation.
KKE (Communist Party of Greece) urged the youth, farmers and the self-employed to turn their back to PASOK and ND as they had both been involved in scandals and as they are adopting an antipopular policy.
LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) spokesman K. Velopoulos told reporters that Mr Karamanlis had continued repeating the same, with the people seeing that the ND party offers no hope.
News item: 22082
 H1N1 Flu: Canada Confirms First DeathConfirmed cases and deaths caused by the swine flu infection increase rapidly. Canada has the third highest number of swine flu infections, with 224 cases and reported its first death Friday. Italy reported on Friday the first case of the H1N1 flu strain transmitted within the country, after a 70-year-old man in Rome caught the virus from his grandson who returned from a holiday in Mexico.
Swine Flu Reaches Australia
Ministry of Health of Italy underlined that "this is a case of family infection" and that similar cases have been traced in other countries.
Australia reported on Saturday its first case of the virus, after a woman tested positive for the disease as she returned from a trip to the United States, the government said.
In Mexico confirmed deaths reach 45 while patients rise to 1319.
Cases Double in the US
Tthe United States overtook Mexico to become the country with the most patients, 1,639 cases in 43 states, according to statistics released in the US.
In addition, three Japanese males who had spent time in Canada have been confirmed to have the new strain of flu, the first confirmed cases in the country, a Health Ministry official said.
News item: 22080
 Philippines: In the Mercy of Cha-hom TyphoonNews
At least 24 people have been killed and three are missing in the northern Philippines after a powerful typhoon swept through the area, officials have said. Typhoon Cha-hom packed winds of 120kmh when it made landfall in Pangasinan province north of Manila overnight on Thursday, dumping heavy rains and uprooting trees.
With many roads flooded, several towns were cut off during the storm and authorities struggled to move hundreds of residents to safety.
Soldiers have been sent into some areas to clear the debris left by the typhoon, Teodoro said.
News item: 22078
 Early Closure of Parliament Due to European ElectionsMr. Karamanlis on Friday shut down parliament early. The government said the early closure was due to the June 7 European Parliament elections.
The Premier prompts protests from opposition parties which said the move was aimed at dismissing investigations into a series of scandals.
Opposition socialist party president Giorgos Papandreou stated that this is an unprecedented and provocative action that aims at dismissing penal responsibilities of ministers during the period 2004-2007 over a series of scandals. This is a cynical confession that in the name of his government's self preservation, Mr. Karamanlis has not the slightest constraint. Instead of transparency, attributing responsibilities and dismissing from charges ministers that have been wrongly been accused, Mr. Karamanlis chose the Parliament's passivity and silence, he chose the darkness of non transparency, in order for him to cover the responsibilities of his governmental members and to leave open the ground of mud-slinging, of the organized governmental mud-slinging. History will remember Karamanlis' government as the government of coverage, the government that dismissed investigations over scandals and violated the institutional order. The Greek people will give the answer.
KKE announcement states that this early closure of Parliament concerns the dismissal of the investigations over scandals or hides other conveniences. The Greek people must turn their back to a rotten political system. They must develop their own action and vote for KKE.
SYRIZA PM F. Kouvelis said that this move is unprecedented in the political life of the country. It is an unprecedented choice of coverage of all cases that were under investigation. It is an unprecedented move that constitutes an institutional deviation.
LAOS press representative Mr. Kyriakos Velopoulos said:
"After Pavlidis, Simens and MAN scandals the government chose to stop the Parliament's workings and attempts to dismiss investigations over offences taking place during the last five years. Unfortunately our proposal to keep the Parliament open until light is shed to all cases was not heard by the Prime Minister. This means many things, this means coverage."
News item: 22076