|Wednesday, 21 February 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-05-17
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 PASOK's Euro Ballot ReleasedPASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) President George Papandreou announced Sunday noon the nominees of his party for the European Parliament elections. Giorgos Papakonstantinou, a close aid to the PASOK leader and current Press spokesman, was picked to head the list.
Addressing his associates, George Papandreou stressed that PASOK is after taking a new step for Greece and Europe. "The forthcoming elections are related to major issues that concern us all," added he.
"The elections are not a referendum. They are a decision for the Europe and Greece we are after. We should do away with the policies of the past," argued the PASOK leader, shortly before unveiling his party's nominees for the EU elections. Picking Giorgos Papakonstantinou to head the ballot signals the referendum nature of the elections and the will to get down to work with a view to addressing the crisis, said Papandreou.
Athens deputy Sylvana Rapti was picked second and Stavros Labrinides trailed third.
The rest nominees are: Chryssoula Saatsoglou, Giorgos Stavrakakis, Marilena Koppa, Anny Podimata, Kritonas Arsenis, Spyros Danellis, Dimitris Droutsas, Petroula Deledimou, Lina Papadopoulou, Symeon Paltsanides, Stavroula Saloufakou, Christos Hatziantoniou, Sibel Mustafaoglou, Chryssi Vitsilaki, Maria Kaltsa, Konstantinos Tatsis, Rony Filevsca, Giorgos Sotirellis and Dimitris Asimakopoulos.
George Papandreou is due in Patras, southern Greece to deliver a speech at an open political event.
News item: 22427
 Karatzaferis Lashes OutLAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) head Giorgos Karatzaferis gave a Press conference touching on the current political affairs and the political climate ahead of the European Parliament elections.
Karatzaferis blasted both the Conservatives of ND and the Socialists of PASOK, and lashed out at nepotism. "None of the two major political parties are capable of addressing the chronic problems plaguing Greece, underlining that the main problem is political rather than financial, claiming that three major families have been ruling Greece over the past 65 years.
Karatzaferis dismissed the Premier's decision to have the House shut earlier as inappropriate, noting, "Were the House to continue its works, then the government would be forced to deal with scandals, including the Vatopedi and the SIEMENS cases." Karatzaferis appeared certain that the majority of the top-ranking officials of the two major political parties have been bribed by SIEMENS, further adding that the people of Greece are convinced that corruption prevails in the country's political life.
The LAOS head also slammed the Conservatives and the Socialists for failing to include the Greek national affairs in the European agenda, wondering, at the same time, "Who governs Thrace, the official Greek state or the Turkish consulate?" He then went on to stress that the government of ND gave away the name Macedonia to Skopje after Dora Bakoyannis' intervention, "and what is left to be seen now is whether the Prime Minister of the neighbouring country will agree on the qualifier Upper or North Macedonia."
Karatzaferis then shifted his attention to the illegal immigration. Citing a UN report, he said that Greeks will be a minority in their own country by 2045. He underlined that nobody pays attention to so a serious problem, reiterating his party's proposal, whereby Greece should only accept the immigrants it really needs.
News item: 22426
 String of Bomb Hits in AtticaA string of bomb hits on car dealerships, private security companies and shops took place after midnight throughout the Attica basin. The first three explosive devices went off shortly after midnight and a second round was reported at about 1.05am.
The blasts caused extensive damage, while fire broke out after the hit on a SKODA car dealership on Mesogeiwn Avenue. No group has claimed responsibility for the hits, so far.
News item: 22425
 ND Unveils Its European Parliament NomineesRunning the final stretch for the European Parliament elections, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis unveiled shortly before Sunday noon the nominees of this party, accompanied by the party's secretary Lefteris Zagoritis.
Karamanlis stressed that his party's nominees constitute a strong and renewed team, capable of defending both the national positions and the EU principles. He made a special reference to former minister Marietta Giannaou, who was chosen to lead ND's ballot, hailing her as "Marietta of courage," and to the Vice President of the European Parliament Giannis Varvitsiotis.
Karamanlis underlined that the ND ballot for the European Parliament elections expresses the society, as it is a strong and fresh team capable of defending the nation's positions and the EU principles.
He then went on to add that the ballot consists of experts on EU affairs and distinguished scholars who can live up to the increased demands of the European Parliament and, at the same time, excel at their increased obligations towards Greece.
"It is a strong team that knows how to process the key topics, which are going to run high on the agenda of the European Parliament. It is a fresh team, representing the employees, businessmen, scientists, experts on global affairs, the youth and the Greeks living abroad," added the Greek Prime Minister.
He also claimed it is a strong team that comprehends the repercussions of the global financial crisis, has a deep-rooted social conscience, is aware of the challenges and the dangers looming and fights for Greece and its interests with faith and persistence.
The head of the government said that ND is a pioneer and the true representative of European orientation, the party of major national choices, a party that is "bold enough to take decisions, claim responsibility for the political cost and opt for the harsh path for the sake of the greater good. Decisions and choices that are vindicated as the time passes by, and this is what defines politics." Karamanlis then added that the European Union has come up against with the worst financial crisis, a crisis that is changing the world standards and is meant to play a decisive role in its progress.
Touching on the current Conservative MEPs, he praised them for their major contribution to Europe, the nation and the society, making a special reference to Giannis Varvitsiotis. "He is one of the most prominent members of the party. His 50-year-long presence equals to knowledge, experience and contribution."
"In the elections for the European Parliament, we are called on to lay down our expectations of our MEPs, who we want them to be, what we want them to stand for, which Europe we want, which positions to put forward," added he.
He then said, "We are after a Europe built upon social justice, democracy, law of state, with a strong presence in the international affairs, open, democratic and safe for all the peoples. We are after a Europe capable of living up to the modern challenges, including climate change and poverty."
"We want Europe to support its member states in the reforms they need, making allowances for their peculiarities, the hardships each member state faces. We want Europe to join its forces in the fight against the global financial crisis and its repercussions," commented Karamanlis.
In her brief address, Marietta Giannakou noted that Europe has been overwhelmed with concerns and questions, citing Jacques Delor. He further added that the ratification of the Treaty by Ireland and the Czech Republic will authorize the European Parliament to take joint decisions on the 80% of the everyday affairs.
Apart from Marietta Giannakou, the Prime Minister also included Rodi Kratsa, Giorgos Papastamkos, Kostas Poupakis, Theodoros Skylakakis, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, Giorgos Papanikolaou, Giannis Tsoukalas, Stavros Papastavrou and Aliki Mosxi in the top 10. Lefteris Dimitriou, Vassiliki Kollia, Eleni Fotea, Vassilis Kanakas, Anna Bredima, Dimitrios Kourtis, Alexandra Palli, Ioannis Antoniades, Afroditi Bleta, Ahmecic Ritvan, Pinelopi Pappa, and Giorgos Kassimatis completed the list.
Later today, the Greek Premier is expected to tour Preveza and address a political event in Arta, NW Greece.
News item: 22424
 Polls Give the Socialists the LeadFive new surveys that appear in the Sunday Press have given the Socialists of PASOK a lead ranging from 2.8 to 5.5 points over the ruling Conservatives of ND.
With regard to voting intention, PASOK garners from 26.5% to 39.4%, ND receives from 21% to 36.6%, KKE (Greek Communist Party) from 6% to 8.1%, SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) from 5.5% to 9%, LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) from 3% to 5.3% and the Greens from 3.6% to 6.5%. The undecided vote amounts to 20%.
As for who is the most appropriate for the Premiership, Kostas Karamanlis has the positive rating of 41.7% of the respondent, as opposed to 31.1% that opt for George Papandreou.
Source: NET 105.8
News item: 22423
 Norway Wins ESC TrophyNews
Norway swept the 54th Eurovision Song Contest held in Moscow, with Alexander Rybak's song "Fairytale." Winning both the applause and the votes of the ESC fans, Norway landed first place, trailed by Iceland and Azerbaijan.
It is its third ESC victory, after winning in 1985 and 1995.
News item: 22422