|Wednesday, 29 November 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-05-15
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 G. Papandreou Meets China's PresidentPASOK leader and president of Socialist International G. Papandreou met with China's President Hu Jidao on Friday, the second day of his visit to the Republic of China. Their talks focused on the financial and environmental crisis, green development and disarmament. G. Papandreou underlined the important role of China. Referring to Greek-Chinese bilateral relations he spoke of huge room for development and cooperation to the benefit of Greece and its economy.
Mr. Papandreou and the delegation of the Socialist International visit to Beijing received a wide coverage by the Chinee mass media. During G. Papandreou-Ju Jidao meeting a reference was made to Andreas Papandreou visit to Beijing in the mid 80's within the frame of the "Initiative of the Six" when talks centered on nuclear disarmament and reduction in nuclear arms race involving the US and the Soviet Union. The Chinese President actually said that Andreas Papandreou speech was published in the cover page of the largest circulation newspaper. Mr. Papandreou briefed the Chinese President on the Socialist International Environment Committee proposals in view of the Copenhagen Summit in autumn and environmental issues in general. The Chinese President spoke of his country's positive intentions to join global cooperation to deal with global warming. It also seems that China has taken decisions to participate in green development procedures and has already put relevant programs into effect. Hu Jidao said that the global financial crisis had an impact on exports which have dropped but the government has invested large sums in public projects, large part of them in green development, to maintain high growth rate and it seems that it has achieved its target. Commenting Mr. Papandreou said that Europe should have done the same. They agreed, however, that developing economies could not bear alone the weight of modernization and measures to reduce gas emissions. It was underlined that developed countries have the duty to transfer know how to developing countries through the means of investments. Discussing the global crisis and operation of financial institutions, Mr. Papandreou called China as a big power to exercise pressure for a change in regulations in financial institutions and the IMF to prevent toxic assets which led to the global financial crisis. Mr. Papandreou also proposed a Chinese representative to attend works of the Stiglits Committee.
News item: 22384
 Eurozone GDP Shrank-Rise in UnemploymentNews
A report released by Eurostat on Friday says that the gross domestic product of both eurozone and EU member states shrank to 2.5% in the first quarter of 2009. Germany's economy is in the worst situation, recording a 3.8% plunge in output, the worst in the post war period while France has officially entered into recession with GNP shrinking by 1.2%. In the meantime, unemployment rate is rising and industrial mobilizations demanding protection of job positions are to be staged in European cities. Spain, with 4 million unemployed opened mobilizations. Over 50.000 people took to the streets in Madrid on Thursday and are followed by mobilizations in Brussels on Friday and Prague and Berlin on Saturday.
"Within the frame of the crisis which led to a surging rate of unemployment, the European trade unions are staging demonstrations aimed to remind that measures should be taken to protect job positions", underlines the European Confederation of Trade Unions which is organizing the "European action days" till May, 16. High concern also prevails among employees in the European auto industry as some 20.000 job positions may be lost in the Italian south if Fiat -after US Chrsysler-merges with German Opel car maker European Commission new forecasts see recovery after 2010. Till then there will be over 8.5 million losses in job positions and unemployment rate rising to 11.5%. UK telecommunications have already announced 15.000 job cuts. The most dramatic development is forecast for Spain with unemployment rate rising to 20.5% next year and negative growth, the worst since 1059.
Europe's biggest economy, Germany, led the plunge with a 3.8 percent quarterly fall and a 6.7% annual drop after a 1.7% slowdown in the October-December period, caused by a collapse in exports and investment. France, Europe's second biggest economy, had a fall of 1.2% on the first quarter in 2009 after 1.5% shrinkage in the last quarter, in 2008. Gross domestic product in Eurozone and EU 27 member states had respectively 4.6% and 4.4% annual drop (in 2008 last quarter recorded 1.4% drop) According to Eurostat annual inflation rate remained at 0.6% and EU 27 member states at 1.2% from 1.3% in March 2008.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 22377
 Tax Office Targets Luxury Car OwnersNews
According to reports the Finance Ministry will set up a body comprised of traffic policemen and internal revenue officers targeted at luxury car owners in order to combat tax evasion and smuggling. Crews equipped with lap tops (mobile revenue data) will be dispatched to toll stations, ports, airports and night clubs to investigate for traffic violations and tax returns of car owners.
Specifically, the crews will carry out investigations on whether car ownership details square with income declared, car tax disc is paid, car belongs to company that has suspended activities, pending taxation debts.
News item: 22358
 Papandreou Delivers Speech for the EnvironmentPASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) President and President of International Socialist George Papandreou will meet with the President of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao today. The Chinese Communist party held a seminar on the environment and the need for a different development model, that of green economy. The results of the conclusions of International Socialist and the People's Republic of China were related to the above. Amongst others, Mr Papandreou stressed that we should reject the logic that the market will solve all. New planning for the protection of the environment is required. Green economy constitutes a guarantee for viable development, the new working positions, the quality of life and prosperity for all. We are obliged to adopt a new development model, the model of green development and new ruling model. The imminent world conference on environment and climate change, due to be held in Copenhagen in autumn is a very big challenge; mainly on the how the governments will handle the issue of viable development. Therefore, for all to prosper, green development is a precondition. The moment we adopt it we will all be able to benefit from it.
Speaking about the lack of sufficient oil and natural gas reserves in the world, he stated that that development urges us to turn to renewable sources of energy. In this way future armed clashes and conflicts on energy issues will be averted.
Before environment issues were discussed, in his opening speech, Mr Papandreou stressed the great importance of cooperation between International Socialist and the Chinese Communist Party on the global financial crisis and climate change.
In parallel, Mr Papandreou proposed the cooperation on issues that are related to peace and disarmament to be extended. Referring to the global financial crisis, he reported that it revealed the disadvantages and inbalance of fundamentalism of the free market.
Finally, in reply to questions set by journalists on the developments on the Siemens issue and to whether he believes that this justifies his stance and his party's stance on the issue, Mr Papandreou commented "our position is correct irrelevant of whether we have been justified or not. There should be transparency for everybody and everything. Contrary to the government, PASOK is ready to clash with bad practices, even if they concern party cadres. We should save our political system and for that reason we should denounce the system that allows non-punishment."
News item: 22356