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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-06-01

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] The Identity of the EU
  • [02] The Reasons Why We Should Vote in the EU Elections
  • [03] Air France Airbus A 330 with 228 People on board Went Missing
  • [04] Obama Unveils Measures for Auto Industry
  • [05] Suspects on Siemens Case to Testify
  • [06] Siemens Case Sparks New Wrangling
  • [07] PM Visits Fire Department Operations Center
  • [08] Transparency for Everyone and Everything

  • [01] The Identity of the EU

    Written by Αλέξανδρος Μοζ

    The European Union is a unique economic and political partnership between 27 democratic European countries. Established in 1992 by the Treaty of Maastricht, it is the successor of the European Coal and Steel Community established by the six founding members in 1951. Since then, consecutive enlargements have increased the number of its member states and its goals. The European Union is viewed as the most powerful economic, political, social and cultural union of states.

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    Information on the 27-Nation Bloc

    The EU is one of the world's largest economic and political union, with 463 million people living in it and a combined GDP amounting to 11.5 trillion euros in 2006.

    The EU is a single market, with single trade, agricultural and regional policy, with a view to supporting poorer regions. It introduced a single currency, called the euro, which was adopted by 15 member states.

    The most important bodies and institutions within the EU are the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Parliament and the Court of Justice.

    News item: 22761

    [02] The Reasons Why We Should Vote in the EU Elections

    Written by Αλέξανδρος Μοζ

    Greeks, as well as the rest EU citizens, are called on to elect their representatives to the European Parliaments. But to what extent have the EU citizens realized why they should take part in the elections?

    Yes, you. You decide. By voting.

    By voting in EP elections, you choose who influences your future and the daily life of close to 500 million fellow Europeans. If you don't bother, somebody else will - and decide who represents you at the only directly elected Pan-European assembly. Elected MEPs shape the future of Europe for 5 upcoming years. Get the Europe you want! If you don't vote, don't complain.

    MEPs - Your voice in Europe

    Your MEP is your voice in Europe - why would you let it go to waste? Elected every five years, the European Parliament is a major and powerful player in European Union decision-making. Its votes shape final EU legislation that influences our everyday life, be it the food on our plates, the cost of our shopping, the quality of the air we breathe, or the safety of our children's toys.

    It's your right to vote!

    As a European citizen, voting in EP elections is your fundamental right and the means to have a say in how the EU works. By voting, you participate in determining who will represent real people like you, your family and friends, your neighbours and workmates in Europe. And as an EU citizen you can vote (or stand for election!) in whatever EU country you live, even if you are not a citizen of that country. And, what's more, it won't cost you a penny!

    It's for people and prosperity!

    Young or old, student or retired, man or woman, employed or independent, mainstream or alternative, town or country dweller, Europe concerns all of us, often without us realising! Thanks to Europe, we can easily travel, study and work abroad. The EP works tirelessly for a cleaner environment, safer chemicals, better services and jobs. It is an ardent defender of consumer rights, equal opportunities and human rights both in the EU and abroad

    One poll - 375 million voters

    In June 2009, You will have a unique opportunity to go to polls along with 375 million fellow European voters. What for? To elect both the world's only directly elected transnational and multilingual parliament, and the EU's only directly elected institution. Elected by the people since 1979, European Parliament represents today almost half a billion citizens.

    Heavyweight MEPs

    In most cases, MEPs have as much weight as the Member States in EU decision-making. Most laws that concern our daily lives are legislated side by side by MEPs and ministers at EU level. Many, probably most, laws enacted in your country are a transposition of European acts voted by MEPs - your representatives. And it's not just laws: money for new roads, cleaner beaches, research, education, development aid? MEPs also decide where our EU money goes.

    In the pipeline, even weightier MEPs

    With the new Lisbon Treaty, once it can be implemented, MEPs' decision-making powers over EU affairs will once more increase. It will place the Parliament on an equal footing as lawmaker with Member States' ministers in virtually all areas of EU policy. The Parliament will also elect the President of the European Commission, strengthening its control over the EU executive. Furthermore, you as an EU citizen will have a right to initiate European laws.

    Your vote for diversity

    Europe elects its new members in June 2009. Coming from 27 countries, these MEPs represent a wide range of national political parties, constituencies and views. In Parliament, most Members then organise themselves in political groups according to their political affinities. So Parliament, like Europe, is about diversity, prizing it and accommodating it - it even speaks 23 languages.

    It's politics! It's democracy!

    Love the EU? Hate it? Want it to turn to the right? Or the left? Is there some issue you care passionately about? Are there changes you want to see? Action that can't wait? Investments that should be made? Elect MEPs who see it your way and you could make it happen. That's what democracy is all about. Make the difference.

    It's a small effort for a big outcome

    Come on! It's just a few minutes, maybe you can combine it with a walk in the park or a drink in a cafΓ©. Not much effort to tell Europe what you want. After that it's easy to follow what your elected members are doing for you - just visit!

    News item: 22068

    [03] Air France Airbus A 330 with 228 People on board Went Missing


    French and Brazilian authorities are on the alert after Air France Airbus A 330 carrying 228 people on its way from Brazil to France went missing. The plane had left Rio de Janeiro on Sunday at 07:00 and was expected to land at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport at 12:10 Greek local time. According to Air France Airways the plane disappeared from radars off the coast of Brazil, at 09:00 Greek local time.

    Although search efforts are still in progress, French aviation officials are very worried. French President Nikola Sarkozy expressed "grave concern" over information on the flight. "We are very worried," said an aviation official in Paris. "The plane disappeared from the screens several hours ago. It could be a transponder problem, but this kind of fault is very rare and the plane did not land when expected." He could give no further details on when air traffic controllers had last been in contact with the cockpit during the flight. A government source in Brazil said the plane disappeared from Brazilian radars at around 0130 GMT, about three to 3 1/2 hours into its flight. That would mean controllers lost track of the plane while it was closer to Brazil than to France. Brazil's Air Force said its planes had begun searching for Air France airliner A330-200 that went missing off the Brazilian coast on a flight to France. The plane was carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew members. Air France confirmed French president Nicolas Sarkozy Monday said he was "very worried" after Air France confirmed one of its aircraft had gone missing off the Brazilian coast. In a statement, the French president said he had sent France's junior transport minister, Dominique Bussereau, and Development Minister Jean-Louis Borloo to Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris to monitor the situation there. Sarkozy also asked all relevant authorities to investigate.

    News item: 22984

    [04] Obama Unveils Measures for Auto Industry


    US President Barack Obama will address Monday the nation to elaborate on the rationale behind GM's filing for bankruptcy and announce measures for the auto industry. Pledging to shut 11 plants, General Motors, the nation's largest automaker, had been given until today to unveil a viable recovery plan and get state aid. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, on his part, hoped the nation's automakers will survive the consolidation process, without needing state aid in the future.

    General Motors Shuts 11 Plants

    The consolidation process for General Motors will last about 90 days and demands the closure of 11 plants. A new company will be carved out to regain the most profitable stakes.

    The US state will offer 30.1 billion dollars and get a 60% equity stake in the new company after restructuring. The governments of Canada and Ontario will lend 9.5 billion dollars and receive 12% of the equity in the new GM. Bondholders, who have signed the rescue plan, will get a 10% share of the new company plus the right to secure another 15%. Finally, A trust established to fund health care benefits for retirees of the United Auto Workers union will own 17.5%.

    Source: Reuters, ANA/MPA Related news: Final Countdown for General Motors CNN: GM to head into bankruptcy

    News item: 22966

    [05] Suspects on Siemens Case to Testify

    Former OTE and Siemens officials Giorgos Skarpelis and Ilias Georgiou, who were arrested Friday night, after an arrest warrant, are to testify Monday to the magistrate. Their attorneys filed a lawsuit against the magistrate, accusing him of breach of duty and blatant violation of their clients' rights. The two arrestees are expected to request a new deadline, so that their attorneys can have enough time to study the brief that numbers thousands of pages. An international arrest warrant has been issued against former top-ranking Siemens official Christos Karavelas who fled the country. His attorney said his client will appear before German Justice in the coming days.


    In the meantime, Former ND President Konstantinos Mitsotakis branded a press report, claiming that the ruling party of ND received money from Siemens through Mayo between 1990 and 1994, as a lousy provocation.

    "There is no such document in the brief," the Justice Ministry said.

    "It is common ground that the case has been investigate, court ruling have been issued, and people who were proved to have slandered the government have been convicted," commented Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

    ND has nothing to do with Siemens, stressed ND secretary Lefteris Zagoritis. Socialist deputy Dinos Rovlias spoke of an unprecedented intervention in Justice.

    Justice Minister Nikos Dendias said that PASOK is in panic, because the investigation is entering the most crucial phase.

    News item: 22962

    [06] Siemens Case Sparks New Wrangling

    A Sunday press report on the Siemens scandal has given a new dimension to the conflict between the ruling party of ND (New Democracy) and PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement). The press report read that magistrate Nikos Zagorianos, who is investigating the case, was given a document that proves that Siemens officials had deposited between 1990 and 1994 money to Mayo Investments Corporation, whose head was ship magnate Spyros Polemis. ND former president Konstantinos Mitsotakis and dismissed the information, while judicial sources keep stressing that there is no such evidence in the brief.

    Konstantinos Mitsotakis

    Former ND President Konstantinos Mitsotakis branded the press report as a lousy provocation. "It is obvious that it is a lousy provocation, aiming, a week before the European Parliament elections, to bring up an issue that had been completely settled. The information released has been fabricated, copying a press report that was released last December and was fully answered. New Democracy has received no money from Siemens through Mayo. New Democracy has never received any aid from Siemens."

    Besides, it is common knowledge that the relations between New Democracy and Siemens were bad. Our government was prematurely ousted because it refused to approve an OTE contact, which was of interest to Siemens and Intracom. I cannot prove that Siemens joined the effort to have New Democracy ousted. It is certain, however, that it was benefited from our fall, the same way Intracom was benefited, given that PASOK rushed to approve the commission shortly after the 1993 general elections."

    Giannis Ragoussis

    News item: 22954

    [07] PM Visits Fire Department Operations Center

    Written by Μπέτυ Σαβούρδου

    Prime-minister K. Karamanlis visited the Fire Department Operations Center early on Monday and saw the firefighters information maps. In his statements he stressed that the Fire department is well prepared to carry out its duty, to protect people's lives and properties and the environment. Mr. Karamanlis referred to the measures upgrading the fire department and congratulated the senior staff for the self sacrifice they indicate carrying out their duty.

    Further Upgrading of Fire Department

    "The Fire Department is fully manned and equipped to carry out its duty this summer" said the Prime-minister during his visit to the Operations Center. The Prime-minister also added that the Fire Department in his mission to protect people's lives and properties as well as the environment shares the invaluable contribution of Local Administration, Forest Department, Civil Protection General Secretariat and the Air Force. Further enforcement of firefighting force for this summer includes:

    -An additional 68 water trucks in the existing 1.500 fleet, while another 50 water trucks are to be delivered soon. -An additional 45 general duty vehicles. -Hiring of 16 helicopters for the enforcement of air firefighting means( one of the largest fleets in the world). Regarding manning of the Fire Department 553 new firefighters were hired while 240 new firefighters were admitted in the Firefighters' Academy.In the meantime, 5.500 temporary personnel, who have a long experience particularly in forest fires, were rehired. Volunteers play an important role in the prevention and protection of forest fires and active citizens who always speed to fire sites to help the Fire Department. We honor and thank them and certainly encourage them through Local administration programs.

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA-ΜPA Σχετικά άρθρα: Greek PM Lashes out at PASOK

    Euroelections 2009

    News item: 22980

    [08] Transparency for Everyone and Everything

    Written by Αθηνά Σαλούστρου

    In his interview with Mega private television on Monday morning, PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) President George Papandreou touched on the current affairs. He blamed the Prime Minister for a cover-up campaign, arguing that the government lives under the fear of everyday revelations. "It's not me who will say that the legal is also moral," stressed Papandreou, further adding, "In a PASOK government there will be a code of conduct apart from laws."

    He then went on to add that he will pursue to restore the people's faith in the political system, predicted that the Conservative government will not survive March and hold snap elections, and took a favourable stand on coalitions even if PASOK can form an independent government after the forthcoming general elections. Papandreou sent a message to the new generation on the value of social and political struggles, underlining that their vote can change the nation's course. "The rally in Larissa is indicative of the people's need for change [...] New Democracy missed the challenge to include Greek farming in a green, competitive development."

    "I sent Giorgos Kasketas to prison. I mean and do what I say," said Papandreou, while commenting on scandals and corruption. "The fact that the Prime Minister has no responsibility is propaganda beyond comprehension. The government is being blackmailed by those it is covering up. The situation is tragic. The Prime Minister is the first to be held responsible. We call for transparency for everyone and everything. We will open the scandals again, not to take revenge but to have all the cases cleared. Our key concern is to restore the people's trust in democracry."

    "We are not making promises, like Mr Karamanlis who went back on his promises on the day after. We mean everything we claim. He says no to excessive spending. We agree. Unless burdens are equally allocated, then we cannot talk about democracy. Therefore, there is the need for a fair tax system. Excessive spending and corruption in the public sector must come to an end."

    Shifting his attention to the financial crisis, he stressed that as soon as his party comes to power, he will implement a recovery plan, taking fiscal measures and promoting a new development model.

    Source: NET 105.8, NET

    News item: 22977

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