|Sunday, 18 March 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-07-21
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Reforms in Bank TransactionsNews
Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis called on banks to abolish abusive terms in loan contracts. As he said banks should comply with judicial rulings in favour of consumers, even if they are not finalized, to indicate good willingness. He also announced the introduction of a telephone service where consumers can lodge specific protests against banks.
Mr. Hatzidakis announced new initiatives aimed to protect consumers and ensure smooth operation of the market. The initiatives include setting up of a special service to support consumers of bank products, incorporation of EU consumer credit regulation, acceleration of abolishment of abusive terms, even if there is no final ruling.
ESPA and EPAN funds will be allocated for the setting up of the special office to support consumers of bank products and the body will operate within the framework of the Consumers' General Secretariat. It will include a telephone line for questions, complaints and denouncements regarding the credit market, data bank of bank products, consulting service for the most favourable selection of loan or any bank product, elementary legal support for disengagement from several problems and briefing on consumers' rights.
‚Our selection is targeted legal initiatives, institutional interventions and useful briefing actions to achieve good service by the financial system‚ stressed Mr. Hatzidakis.
According to Development Minister judicial rulings on abusive terms are not irrevocable and will take some time to turn them irrevocable. He called on banks to abolish abusive terms on the grounds of judicial rulings, which would soon take an irrevocable character, underlining that delays would not benefit anyone.
The Bank of Greece, financial institutions and competent ministries are on the alert as further rise in loans on red line is visible.
Relatively low percentage of business loans are delayed compared against mortgage and consumer loans. PASOK has proposed regulation of household debts
Commenting on the government's measures, PASOK said that the government instead of responding whether it agrees or not with PASOK's proposal for the settlement of household debts once again gave general recommendations to banks and announced the creation of a telephone line to brief consumers.
In its announcement the SYN party blamed the government for not attributing part of responsibility for bounced checks and widening of gap of loan and saving accounts interest rates to banks but
News item: 25047
 K. Karamanlis Visits Peristeri IKA BranchPrime-minister Kostas Karamanlis visited the IKA branch in Peristeri suburb on Tuesday. He announced the introduction of prevention medicine program for third age as of September, 1, 2009. He also underlined the significant steps in the health sector and referred to the separation of health and social security sectors.
Separation of Health-Social Security Sectors
In his statements at the Peristeri IKA branch, one of the largest IKA branches, the Prime-minister admitted the existence of problems such as long waiting-lists for some doctors' specializations, lack of personnel and equipment, need for improvement of 184 software (telephone appointments) despite the several positive steps made so far.
‚A draft-bill provides for a major reform: Separation of health and social security services which ensures highest effectiveness and better quality of services‚, said the Prime-minister.
Within the framework of IKA modernization, the government proceeds to a major reform, separation of health and social security services.
‚This ensures highest effectiveness and better quality of services‚, said the Prime-minister. He also referred to a pilot program-preventive medicine for third age- which will be introduced in 8 IKA branches in September.
News item: 25030
 Japan Dissolves Parliament in View of ElectionsNews
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso dissolved Parliament's lower house on Tuesday for an August, 30 election expected to lead to a major change in Japanese politics. The opposition Democratic Party of Japan ( PDJ) that pledges to pay more heed to concerns of Japanese people, would put an end to Conservative Party (PLD) reign for the first time in over half a century.
Taro Aso, the 68-year-old prime minister, took office last September and has seen voter support slide below 20% according to recent polls indicating broad support to the Democrats led by 62yo Yukio Hatoyama, from a wealthy political dynasty compared to the Kennedy family.
The Democrats favor a more independent stance from the U.S., smaller government and more international peacekeeping missions for Japan's military. They are also expected to try to spend their way out of the recession by funneling more money to families.
Sources: Reuters, ŃNA-ŐPA
BBC: Japanese PM dissolves parliament
News item: 25024