|Saturday, 24 March 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-06-09
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 ‚Changes to Respond to Circumstances‚In his speech at the Ministers' Council on Tuesday, the prime-minister said that election result sound warning bell for the government. He also gave strict instructions to all members of his government in order to restore disrupted, as he said, relations with society. Kostas Karamanlis once again exercised criticism on behaviours and acts that hurt citizens and described as an irresponsible stance PASOK leader ‚s request for the holding of early elections. The Prime-minister placed emphasis on economic and security issues and called all ministers and undersecretaries to intensify efforts.
Speaking to the members of the Ministers' council, the Prime-minister told them to seek in themselves and not elsewhere for the causes of the election results and gave strict instructions for changes to respond to circumstances and not to disappoint and hurt citizens.
Mr. Karamanlis described turn out as record low for Greece but he attributed to the fact that there was no direct political question. He, stressed, however, that the high rate of abstention was a message to the political system in general warning them that citizens are disappointed at the basic aspects of political life. Specifically referring to the drop in the ND party's percentage point, he spoke of disruption of its relations with society and people's demand for solutions. He also spoke of malfunctions of the state mechanism which apply to all ministers and ministries at all levels of state-citizen relations.
He also called for intensification of efforts and adherence to the principles he personally set in March, 2004. The Prime-minister described the financial crisis as an urgent national issue regarding all ministries and not only the Finance Ministry and called on Ministers to inspect timetables to produce government work, stressing that no delay is excusable so on.
He placed emphasis on solution of problems in the health system and public security, further cuts in expenditures and purging of public sector and stressed that he has given instructions to competent Minister to take necessary measures to deal with corruption phenomena. He spoke of acceleration of dialogue on transparency and referred to SYRIZA proposal for amendment of the "ministers' responsibility law".
Criticizing the main opposition , the Prime-minister said that voters rejected the referendum character it attempted to give to elections, citing that it would continue to keep a distance from the country's problems bringing up continuously the issue of early elections. It is irresponsible on the part of the opposition party to keep calling for early elections when it gathered fewer votes compared against the last elections.
Finally the Prime-minister underlined that result of European elections would not judge the outcome of the battle and expressed certainty that the ND party would renew citizens' broad support , ruling out any coalition with other political parties.
News item: 23335
 DefMin Announced Reduction of Military ServiceSpeaking to state television NET, Defence Minister Baggelis Meimarakis announced gradual reduction of military service to 9 months from 12, starting next August. Commenting, PASOK spokesman on defence issues Baso Papandreou said that the government sped to announce sketchy measures regarding military service following its big defeat in European elections. Referring to European elections results, Mr. Meimarakis said: "People with their abstention gave us a tolerance vote".
9-Month Service only in the Army
Defense Minister Baggelis Meimarakis said that 9-month service would be in effect from August and apply only for the army. Recruiters would do their service mostly in border regions. Mr. Meimarakis said that the relevant proposal is ready and provides for reduction to 10 months and 11 months for those joining in the army in May and January respectively. He also clarified that transfers into other branches of the armed forces have already stopped. Changes in the service in the navy and air-force are expected in the period 2010-2011. According to reports only professionals will be recruited in the navy and air-force.
PASOK spokesman on defense issues Baso Papandreou, commenting on the announcement said that the Defense Minister announced reduction of military service without a previous planning reorganization of the Armed Forces structure, electronic guarding of military camps, improvement of training and significant increase of professionals despite objections by the military leadership. All reductions in military service were carried out during PASOK ruling based on a plan without undergrading the effectiveness of the Armed Forces and the country's defence.
Meimarakis on European Elections
Commenting on European elections results, B. Meimarakis said: "People with their abstention gave us a tolerance vote", though adding that there was time for change of climate. He also described Kostas Karamanlis as a "firm reference point for the party and the political system".
Sources: ÕŇ‘-105.8 / ÕŇ‘
News item: 23325