|Saturday, 17 February 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-07-16
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 ‚Terrible Tragedy‚ Russian Activist MurderNews
A prominent human rights activist was found dead after being kidnapped in Russia's troubled republic of Chechnya Wednesday, provoking outrage from President Dmitry Medvedev and the international community.
Natalia Estemirova, a close friend of murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, worked for the human rights organization Memorial in the Chechen capital Grozny and documented abuses by law enforcement agencies, colleagues said.
Her body was found in neighboring Ingushetia.
"The news was reported to the president, he was outraged and gave all appropriate orders to the head of the investigations commission (Alexander) Bastrykin," Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said.
The murder is the latest in a series of killings of journalists and human rights defenders in Russia which has drawn international condemnation and led to questions about Medvedev's pledges to uphold the rule of law and build a freer society.
"The body had two wounds to the head, it was clear she had been murdered in the morning," Madina Khadziyeva, a spokeswoman at the Ingush Interior Ministry, told Reuters. She did not specify the nature of the injuries.
"It is evident that this deliberate murder could be related to Natalia Estemirova's human rights activities," said Medvedev's spokeswoman.
Estemirova's body was found in woodland near the Ingush city of Nazran, the Ingush interior ministry spokeswoman added.
She was snatched as she left her house Wednesday morning, pushed into a white vehicle and driven away, colleagues at Memorial and Tanya Lokshina, Russia researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), told Reuters.
Britain has called Russian authorities to investigate in depth the murder of the Russian activist describing it as ‚shocking‚.
News item: 24895
 EU Targets Illegal ImmigrationEU Interior and Justice Ministers informal meeting held in Stockholm has placed special emphasis on strengthening border control to crack down on illegal immigrants. The Stockholm meeting has set a 5-year action plan to combat illegal immigration included in a framework text. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who represented Greece at the meeting, sent a new message to Turkey stressing that Greek borders are EU borders.
In his statements from the Swedish capital, Prokopis Pavlopoulos stressed that Greece's firm position is EU member states to share budget for the protection of borders. He also warned Turkey to comply to agreement for readmission of illegal immigrants otherwise it would face problems with its EU admission course.
EU Interior ministers are set to spend the next four months debating how the Stockholm Program should deal with migration. They are set to approve the five-year action plan in early December. The text places emphasis on strengthening border control and the development of Frontex to an agency equivalent to Europol.
Within the context of Frontex operation, seven European jets, three helicopters and two ships along with the Greek force are guarding Greece's sea borders since March. However, the effort has proved ineffective as it is undermined by Turkey's refusal to comply with inter-state agreements for readmission of illegal immigrants.
On his part, merchant Marine Minister A. Papaligouras, in a press interview, said that illegal immigration is not merely a Greek problem but a EU problem. The results will not be significant regardless of measures and good organization said Mr. Papaligouras. He, however, added that guarding of sea borders has been strengthened and there is a drop in number of illegal immigrants.
Greece will receive 450 million euros from the Interior Borders Fund till 2013 for the guarding of its sea borders.
–Á„ř: NET, NET 105.8
News item: 24894
 G. Papandreou Criticizes the GovernmentPASOK leader G. Papandreou exercised strong criticism on the government's handlings of Greek-Turkish and EU-Turkish relations after the conclusion of conference on the island of Symi.
Referring to recent developments in Greek-Turkish relations-violations of Greek air-space and Ankara's provocative actions-Mr. Papandreou stressed that the government's reaction to the unveiling of special agreements on the Aegean Sea in relevant statements of Turkish Foreign Minister indicate the absence of collective and effective policy on Turkey and the contradictory way in dealing with these issues.
PASOK leader characteristically said: The government does absolutely nothing in the last 5 years despite PASOK's Helsinki agreement which had imposed terms and timetables to Turkey. The government not only abolished that policy but also abrogated veto in an interview of the Prime-minister with CNN. The government could have made clear to Turkey and partners that Greece would keep reservations to give green light for the next stage of EU-Turkey admission unless there was a solution or setting procedures for solution to continental-shelf issue.
He portrayed the government as untrustworthy to handle such issues as it has created a picture both in the interior and abroad that it has no positions and targets in foreign policy. ‚How would the Foreign Ministry proceed to negotiations when Turkey is aware of the lack of reliability‚, said Mr. Papandreou .
PASOK leader stressed that the government has lost many opportunities which damaged national interest and referred as a big mistake the acceptance of Turkish proposal linking the opening of Halki Theological School with issue of Muslim minority in Thrace. He underlined that Turkey has international obligation to reopen the Halki Theological School while the Muslim minority in Thrace is a Greek domestic issue and not a bilateral issue. Launching an attack against the government he described it as the most intransparent and corrupted government that has ruled Greece.
Finally in response to PASOK's stand in the event Kostas Simitis was proposed for the post of President of the Republic, Mr. Papandreou stressed that top priority is placed on public interest and this government serves other interests such as illegality and clientele. Beyond any concept of personalities we honour, is the need for change in the country.
News item: 24892
 ‚Sounding Bell‚ on FundsNews
The president of National Federation of Insurance Fund Employees' George Koutroumanis, in a press interview, sounded warning bell regarding situation in insurance funds which he described the most critical situation in 60 years.
Mr. Koutroumanis underlined the need for an additional 5 billion euros till the end of the year for the smooth operation of the 5 largest insurance funds, which cover 93% of employees. The insurance funds are IKA, OGA, TEBE (Free Lance Professionals), Civil Servants, and NAT( seamen). According to Mr. Koutroumanis non ‚payment of contributions and the state's inconsistency to finance the funds are the major reasons of problems.
News item: 24885