|Saturday, 24 March 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-05-25
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Message to Turkey-SkopjeGreece's Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis sent Monday a message to Turkey and Skopje, while delivering a speech at the Economist Conference. Bakoyannis stressed that Greece's keynote priority is the EU-NATO future of the Balkan countries, provided they fully commit themselves to meeting the EU and NATO standards, before earning full membership.
The key topic of the Economist Conference taking place in a hotel in central Athens is the financial crisis and the geopolitical developments.
News item: 22744
 Successive Tremors in the Border with SkopjeA new earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale was recorded at 11am in the morning some 70km NW of Thessaloniki, near the border with Skopje. Successive tremors had preceded the day before, panicking the inhabitants of the region. The strongest measured 5.1 on the Richter scale and occurred at 19.17 in the evening.
Seismologists Are Monitoring the Phenomenon
After several aftershocks measuring less than 4.0 on the Richter scale, a new 4.8 magnitude earthquake occurred at 22.37pm.
The two strongest quakes were felt in Thessaloniki and in the prefectures of Kilkis, Serres, Pellas, and other region of Central Macedonia. There were no reports of damage.
Experts are monitoring the seismic activity in northern Greece.
The strongest earthquake that has ever been reported in the area is the 6.7-magnitude one that occurred in 1931.
News item: 22738
 Second Nuclear Test by North KoreaNews
North Korea conducted a second nuclear test in the early hours of Monday, prompting international outcry. Pyongyang confirmed the news, adding it "enhanced the Republic's self-defensive nuclear deterrent in all directions." Britain spoke of a blatant breach of an UN resolution, Russia expressed its grave concern, while the UN Security Council is due to hold an emergency sitting later today.
The US Geological Survey said a 4.7-magnitude quake was detected at 0054 GMT, 10km underground.
North Korea had warned of a second nuclear test - the first was conducted in October 2006 - in retaliation for the sanctions imposed on the country after the a long-range missile test last April.
The European Union is particularly concerned and will condemn it as soon as it is confirmed, the Czech Foreign Minister said.
The Japanese government welcomes an emergency session of the UN Security Council to consider the matter, stressed the country's Foreign Minister.
The new nuclear test is a blatant breach of the 2006 UN resolution, commented the British Foreign Minister.
Russia and the USA also expressed their concern. A State Department spokesman said that the USA is holding talks with the nations taking part in the six-party talks and with their allies in the UN Security Council.
Source: Reuters, ANA/MPA
News item: 22735
 G. Papandreou Blasts ND for Mocking the PensionersWritten by Αρης Δημητρίου
Socialist leader George Papandreou, who visited Monday the Open Care Centers for the Elderly (KAPH) in Argyroupoli district, unleashed an attack on the government, blaming it for abandoning the social welfare services and mocking the pensioners. He then went on to pledge that as soon as his party comes to power, it will give the EKAS benefit to another 300 thousand pensioners and guarantee a minimum pension of 550 euros for each pensioner and 950 euros for couples.
"ND's policy, which has abandoned the social welfare services and the pensioners, is unacceptable," said Papandreou, speaking of a collapse of the pension funds.
Addressing the pensioners, Papandreou stressed, "This policy has to come to an end, to turn over the page, to create the necessary structures capable of supporting the weak," further adding, "Our commitment is to work for a more humane society."
"We are not promising the moon, but we are asking dignity and respect for the elderly," said he, further blasting the government for failing to proceed with the reforms, because it represents vested interests.
The pensioners, on their part, outlined their problems, including the low pensions. "There are many to be done," answered Papandreou. Touching on the funds necessary for Papandreou's pledges, he said that the money was found, but were offered to the rich and the shareholders of big companies. He then wondered where the additional loan of 80 billion euros was spent.
He in fact spoke of lack of justice and barbarism, since the pensioners and the weak cannot make ends meet, while the strong are engaged in money laundering.
Finally, focusing on corruption, he stressed: "We are guaranteeing transparency and that the money of the Greek people will be well-spent. We want to restore confidence and decency, and I will commit myself to providing solutions to the problems, by exploiting the experience of the old and making the young the spearhead of our campaign to change Greece."
News item: 22750
 Wrangling Runs HighWritten by Δημήτρης Αλεξόπουλος
Two weeks before Euro elections, political wrangling between the government and the opposition party is running high. Governmental spokesman Evaggelos Antonaros referred on the "barbarity" phrase Giorgos Papandreou used in his pre electoral campaign stressing that Mr. Papandreou slipped to a false move. Mr. Antonaros called on PASOK president to disaffirm his statements.
Mr. Antonaros also spoke about the proposal for change of the electoral law suggested by PASOK president noting that PASOK should submit specific proposals regarding the issues that citizens are concerned. Change of the electoral law does not concern Greek citizens, Antonaros underlined.
PASOK Euro elections head Giorgos Papakostantinou answered that the dilemma socialism or barbarity has nothing to do with ND voters. Socialist party chose this message in order to show that it is different from New Democracy, he said noting that the ruling party will be unable to govern after its defeat to Euro elections.
Papakostantinou attacked the Prime Minister and his government because as he said Mr. Karamanlis is attempting to create polarization to the political scenery. "Instead of speaking as the Prime Minister of the country he has been governing for five years he speaks as an opposition party leader who submits false evidences", he concluded.
News item: 22755