|Saturday, 16 December 2017|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-07-01
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Greek FinMin: Reforms Are NecessaryNews
Finance Minister Giannis Papathanasiou called for consensus and dialogue with the employees. Addressing an even organized by the Economic and Social Council, Papathanasiou said tough decisions are required and assured that the government is determined to stay committed to the path of responsibility. Touching on unemployment, he said that it is going up, yet at a slower pace compared to the rest eurozone nations, where the problem is bigger.
The Finance Minister heralded reforms on the labour market and an upgrading of the educational system with a view to creating a competitive environment in the future. Papathanasiou admitted unemployment has slightly gone up. He noted, though, that it is increasing at a slower pace compared to the rest European nations.
Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia unveiled figures that show that there have been more and more qualitative jobs in May as opposed to April.
Answering to Louka Katselis' criticism, Petralia said that the crisis cannot be tackled with magic spells.
Socialist deputy Evi Christofilopoulou lashed out at the government's policy, questioning the figures released by the Employment Minister.
News item: 24286
 New Justice LeadershipChaired by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, the Cabinet inner meeting held a sitting and appointed Wednesday the new Justice leadership. Giorgos Kalamidas was appointed new Supreme Court head, Ioannis Spyridon-Tentes was appointed Supreme Court Prosecutor and Panagiotis Pikramenos was named State Council chief.
Justice Minister Nikos Dendias said the Cabinet unanimously approved the new appointments.Reactions by Opposition Parties
The government is responsible for the choices it made, said PASOK's spokesman Dinos Rovlias, wishing the new Justice chiefs all the best.
Rovlias spoke of unacceptable and guided initiatives by some of their predecessors. Socialist cadre Evangelos Venizelos expressed his objections to the appointment of the new Supreme Court Prosecutor, arguing that a prosecutor should have been picked for that post.
‚We are reiterating our firm position on the self-governance of Justice. We have seen all these years that justice is hostage to any government's party plans,‚ commented SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left).
LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) head Giorgos Karatzaferis also disagreed with the appointment.
News item: 24282
 Strong Quake Jolts CreteA strong earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale jolted the town of Ierapetra, Crete. There have been no reports of casualties or damage, so far. The tremor's epicenter was located some 170km west of Crete.
News item: 24281
 Th. Tsoukatos Testifies TodayThodoros Tsoukatos is to testify on the 1.000.000 Deutche marcs case today. In view of his testimony, Spiros Avgerinos and Dimitra Papahristou, who were formerly responsible for PASOK funds, testified yesterday. Coming out of the interrogator's office, they said they repeated what they had testified before Prosecutor Athanasiou. Namely they said that Mr. Tsoukatos used to bring money from contributions to the party's fund so they could not know whether the controversial sum was deposited to the party's fund and under which form. PASOK spokesman G. Papakonstantinou repeated that Siemens black money was never channeled into the party's fund and PASOK would never agree to become a hostage of anybody. In the meantime interrogator Nikos Zagorianos and Prosecutor Evangelos Batzioras, both in charge of investigation into Siemens black money, are flying to Germany to cooperate with German judicial authorities for the extradition of Mihalis Hrstoforakos.
Former Siemens chief Mihalis Hristoforakos was arrested in Germany after Greek judicial authorities issued a European warrant also requesting his extradition.
Mihalis Hristoforakos testimony in Munich's Court lasted about 10 hours within his effort to avert his extradition to Greece.
Charges against him have not been written off said a spokesman for the German Prosecutor's office.
SYRIZA president, Alekos Alabanos called the government to do everything possible for the return of M. Hristoforakos to Greece and freeze all orders to Siemens.
News item: 24277
 Ban on SmokingRegulation banning smoking in public places came into force on Wednesday, July, 1. A relevant circular was sent to municipalities, prefectures, competent ministries and posted on the Health Ministry webpage. Health Minister Dimitris Abramopoulos calls on smokers to respect the new regulation which provides for exemptions under certain terms.
Greece has joined the list of countries which have introduced ban on smoking in public places, hospitals, airports, ports, train stations and work places. Smoking is only allowed in special places.
Smokers, however, should be aware that after putting out a cigarette:
Cardiac pulse and blood pressure returns to normal rhythm after 20 minutes
Oxygen level rises in 8 hours
Taste and smell improve in 48 hours
Breathing is better after 72 hours
Nicotine comes out of the system in 5 days
Those who break the new law face fines from ‚¨50 to ‚¨500 and businesses from ‚¨1.000 to ‚¨20.000. Finally, people can refer violations of the new law dialing the 4 digit number ‚1142‚.
News item: 24274