|Friday, 1 March 2024
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-05-21
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Siemens: Testimonies and DetentionsNew developments are expected this evening regarding the alleged payment of bribes by German electronics giant Siemens, since the round of testimonies is about to reopen. On Wednesday, magistrate Zagorianos issued an international arrest warrant for former Siemens Hellas CEO Mihalis Christoforakos, who failed to appear before the magistrate, after claiming that health reasons stopped him from departing from Munich. In the meantime, former telecommunications manager Prodromos Mavridis was last night remanded in custody following five hours of questioning at Athens's main court complex. The other suspect questioned, former Siemens Hellas financial manager Alexandros Athanasiadis, was released on bail of 700,000 euros.
Former Siemens officials Christos Karavelas and Elias Georgiou were given until forthcoming Friday to testify.
Scenarios on Christoforakos' Moves
With regard to Mihalis Christoforakos, who flew to Munich to take part in the judicial probe being carried out there, scenarios are thriving.
Legal source estimate that Mihalis Christoforakos left because he is also a German citizen, and Germany does not extradite its citizens.
He could also request he stand a trial in Germany. No charges have been pressed against him there, but if this is the case, penalties in Germany are lighter.
Asked on the Siemens case and Christoforakos' escape overseas, government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros stressed he would not make any comments, since the case is still under investigation.
News item: 22616
 Priority the Support of EmploymentThe Prime Minister visited the offices of the Greek Manpower Employment Organization (O.A.E.D.) in Alimos today. Kostas Karamanlis referred on the actions of the government, the reinforcement of employment and the limitation of unemployment.
He branded OAED as a basic lever for the support of employment underlying that 2,5 billion euros are being provided for actions and support programmes for 1.350.000 employed and unemployed citizens. He added that this year 200.000 new working positions will be created noting at the same time that when "some people are investing in non applicable words, we answerer back with the truth of our work". The Premier had also brief discussions with unemployed that take part in the briefing and support programme for the creation of new businesses.
"OAED will spend 1.6 billion euros in dozens of initiatives for the working people and the unemployed, small and very small enterprises and freelancers," noted Karamanlis, stressing that the first 120,000 jobs of the 200,000 to be created this years have already opened, while more than ten job-creation programmes are underway.
"Investing in knowledge, new technologies and the new generation is the best answer to the global challenges," added Kostas Karamanlis.
He then went on to lash out at PASOK's (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) stance towards the financial crisis. Karamanlis underlined, "some have chosen to invest in empty words and irresponsible promises. The government has chosen the path of responsibility. We are investing in the truth of our work, which is yielding tangible results and cementing a better future for everyone."
"Our concern is not only the present, but also the future. We are shaping today the conditions that will allow us to run the race that will commence as soon as the crisis comes to an end," continued Karamanlis, further adding: "We are investing in vocational training, placing emphasis on new professions that will be on demand tomorrow."
Antonaros Slams Papandreou
Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros blasted Socialist leader George Papandreou.
"The Greek pensioners are well aware of who raised their pensions. They know how to make comparisons and judge," stressed he, also claiming, "It is not us who are promising the moon, like Mr Papandreou and his party, when he speaks of provisions he fails to be specific of."
Touching on the figures mentioned by Kostas Karamanlis during his visit to the OAED headquarters, Antonaros stressed that they are completely documented. As for the rise in unemployment, he underlined that no one said the financial crisis would have no negative repercussions.
PASOK spokesman Giorgos Papakonstanou, touching on the Prime Minister's visit to OAED, called on Kostas Karamanlis to talks with the unemployed, adding that several serious questions demanded answers.
News item: 22608
 A Flu Cases Exceeded 10,000News
Death toll from swine flu rose to 80, while 10,243 cases have been officially confirmed worldwide, said the World Health Organization. In the USA, eight deaths have been confirmed, while 5,710 people have been infected with the new flue. The rising cases in the New York City have worried parents who keep their children in. A total of 40 schools, including the Greek-American school of St Demetrios in Astoria, have been shut down.
40 Schools in New York Shut
New York has 1.2 million students and more than 500 private and public schools.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "While there are abnormal number of people going to the hospital, who are worried, virtually none, a very tiny percentage of them have any symptoms whatsoever."
However, hospitals in New York are not equipped to conduct the necessary tests. Only the infection control centre in Atlanta can confirm or not suspected swine flu cases.
Earlier, authorities in Arizona had confirmed a third A flu victim. It was a schoolboy, aged 13, who died of complications caused by the virus.
Older People May Have Stronger Immune Responses
Scientists are trying to answer why A flu does not affect older people.
In his interview with USA TODAY daily, Daniel Jernigan, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention influenza division said that older people who may have been exposed to the flu before 1957 appear to have some protection against the new H1N1 virus.
Nearly 40% of patients are ages 19 to 49, added he.
News item: 22604
 US: Arrests in Bomb PlotFour men were arrested late on Wednesday over plots to attack targets in New York, judicial sources say. The four planned to blow up synagogues and use Stinger missiles to bring down military planes, a statement said. The men were seized after allegedly planting what they thought were bombs near two synagogues in the Bronx area.
They earlier agreed to buy explosives and missiles in an undercover police operation. The men planned to detonate a car packed with plastic explosives outside the Riverdale synagogue and the Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx district of the city.
They also intended to target military planes at the New York Air National Guard base at Stewart Airport, 60 miles north of New York City.
They were named as James Cromitie (also known as Abdul Rahman), David Williams (aka Daoud and DL), Onta Williams (aka Hamza) and Laguerre Payen (aka Amin and Almondo).
They are to appear in court on Thursday in White Plains, and face from 25 years to life imprisonment if found guilty.
After September 11 terrorist attack the level of alert of secret agencies is risen.
News item: 22603
 Debate Scheduled for 28 MayWritten by Δημήτρης Αλεξόπουλος
The battle of the political officials ahead of the 7 June elections for the European Parliament is flaring up. The debate of the political leaders has been scheduled for Thursday 28 May. In the meantime, George Papandreou's dilemma "Socialist of Barbarism" has broken out a new fierce wrangling.
Dozens of flying green parrots bombarding a citizen with eschatological claims are the key feature of the ND TV commercial spot, until the narrator starts unveiling the government's work. The spot culminates with the phrase: "Now you know the truth - New Democracy with you as an ally."
Puzzled faces of people in their workplace have a leading role in PASOK's TV spots. Their faces start smiling, after George Papandreou's brief presence. The slogan is "Citizens Come First."
Strong KKE pave the way for labour counter-attack, is the slogan of KKE's TV spot, while SYRIZA is sending the message that people are hiding behind numbers.
Wrangling over "Socialism or Barbarism"
The dilemma "Socialism or Barbarism" posed by George Papandreou has triggered a fierce dispute between ND and PASOK. The government urged the PASOK leader to admit his mistake and recall, with the latter speaking of a deliberate distortion of truth.
Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros attacked PASOK, claiming that its leader has given his official the green light to offend the Greek people, claiming that whoever does not vote for PASOK is a barbarian.
Antonaros then added that it is an unconceivable offence, calling on George Papandreou to claim responsibility for his mistake and fix it.
"There is nothing to recall," commented PASOK spokesman Giorgos Papakonstantinou. Papakonstantinou spoke of barbarism because of poverty, unemployment, social inequalities. Asked whether he thinks the word was too heavy, Papakonstantinou said, "The word does not refer to certain choices by politicians, but to the outcome of the policies," and went on to wonder whether they were going to have a philological discussion on words or they were going to talk about the real problems.
"Mr Karamanlis is well aware of that the long-standing political and philosophical dilemma βSocialism or Barbarism' does not refer to the supporters of New Democracy under any circumstances. Therefore, he is deliberately distorting truth," argued Giannis Ragoussis, secretary of PASOK's National Council.
"Mr Papandreou and his team's arrogance has led them to call the citizens who do not vote PASOK βbarbarians.' We cannot have a political dialogue with extreme and insulting claims," underlined Conservative official Fevronia Patrianakou.
Debate Scheduled for Coming Thursday
The debate among the five political parties has been scheduled to take place at the building housing the Greek national broadcaster on 28 May.
Commenting on PASOK's proposal for a second debate between Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and Socialist leader George Papandreou, government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said, "at this moment, the elections relate to Europe's future. Were we to debate on the country's future and on who would be the most appropriate for the premiership, then we could consider PASOK's proposal."
PASOK spokesman Giorgos Papakonstantinou insisted on his party's proposal, suggesting another debate among the heads of the euro-ballots.
KKE (Greek communist party) stressed that all political leaders should be asked exactly the same questions, while SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) claimed the debate should focus on real problems.
SYRIZA press spokesman A. Karitzis, asked who is going to represent the part at the debate, he said, "Fortunately, we have two gifted leaders, Alexis Tsipras and Alekos Alavanos. We have yet to decide which of the two to represent us."
News item: 22632