|Wednesday, 21 February 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-08-19
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Siemens-Hristoforakos Case Sparks Political DisputeLast Updated on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 18:20
Former Siemens CEO lawyers are trying to exhaust all judicial means to avert their client's extradition to Greece. Munich court rejection of Hristoforakos request for suspension of his extradion, however, has given an indication of German Justice intentions while awaiting for the Constitutional Court final verdict. Refusal of Hristoforakos lawyers to provide evidence on his allegations requested by PASOK has given rise to a new confrontation between the ND and PASOK parties. SYRIZA deputy Periklis Korovesis statements about involvement of Unified SYN party involvement in bribery case sparked reaction by the party's leadership.
PASOK party letter to Mihalis Hristoforakos' lawyers and their refusal to provide evidence on their client's allegations that Siemens âblack moneyâ was channeled into their party's fund has given rise to a new round of political confrontation.
SYRIZA deputy Periklis Korovesis statements about bribery of Unified SYN party during the period of ecumenical government ruling has also sparked political dispute.
Senior government members maintain that the case only regards PASOK and the government wants plenty of light to be shed.
Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis wonders why PASOK is submitting questions instead of answering questions like what has happened to Mr.Tsoukatos and why it signed the contracts it did with Siemens.
The secretary of the ND Central Committee Lefteris Zagoritis stressed that it was constitutionally unacceptable for PASOK to open dialogue with a defendant.
Greek Justice is doing its job and aim of the government is plenty of light to be shed and responsibility attributed for a scandal that occurred during PASOK ruling underlined Transport Minister Evripides Stylianidis.
Hristoforakos lawyers' negative response means that there is no evidence says PASOK.
PASOK secretary Yiannis Ragousis described as courageous the decision to send the letter stressing that Hristoforakos lawyers' refusal to provide evidence is a most positive development, justifying the party so on to claim that this is their response because there is no evidence and even predict that evidence was neither provided to German Justice.
Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said that PASOK president has acquired another competence that of official interlocutor with a defendant sought by Greek authorities.
In the meantime SYRIZA deputy Periklis Korovesis statements about involvement of Unified SYN party involvement in bribery case during the Ecumenical Government ruling in 1989 has sparked turbulences in the leftist political wing.
SYN party has asked Periklis Korobesis to recall his statements which were described as unacceptable, inconceivable, full of groundless charges and inaccurate references. Alexis Tsipras also expressed his disapproval.
News item: 25950
 Acceleration of OSE PurgingNews
Transport and Communications Minister Evripidis Stylianidis during his successive meetings on Wednesday with OSE, ERGOSE and TRAINOSE administration boards gave instructions for acceleration of procedures for the materialization of OSE purging as it was approved by the government committee. In parallel, Mr. Stylianidis called for intensification of efforts for the completion of modernization of Patra-Athens-Thessaloniki-Evzonoi-Promahonas railway- line and to meet the economic targets. Mr. Stylianidis did not comment on reports saying that he is leaving the Transport and Communications Ministry to take up the position of secretary of the ND party Parliament Group.
After the meetings, Mr. Stylianidis repeated that OSE purging and development is a main government's reform, reminding that the merging of five companies into three has been completed while OSE is undergoing preparation to adopt in the new environment of liberated railway lines.
According to the Transport Minister, the first reform stage has been completed successfully and it has entered into the second stage which will soon bear positive results from the implementation of the government's policy. TRAINOSE at least has been purged with increase of shareholders capital and will deal with the 350 million euros deficit in the next period.
Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ÁNA
News item: 25945
 Draft-bill on Entrepreneurship and Industrial ParksNews
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 17:38
After a meeting of the Inner Cabinet at the Maximos Mansion on Wednesday, chaired by Prime-minister K. Karamanlis, Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis announced that a draft bill providing for better operation of entrepreneurship, regulations on industrial parks and actions to strengthen businesses will be soon submitted.
Development Minister K. Hatzidakis said that two draft-bills providing for the strengthening of competitiveness and entrepreneurship would be submitted to the Parliament.
The first draft-bill regards industrial parks and the second regards simplification of procedures for the setting up of a company.
Mr. Hatzidakis underlined that the first draft-bill attempts to put order in industrial areas, whose institutional framework is outmoded, as he said, adding that the target is to conciliate environment with business activity.
Referring to the second draft-bill, Mr. Hatzidakis stressed that 14-18 procedures are requested at present to set up a company, a fact that apart from stressing out interested parties has negative impact on the country's competitiveness. The Ministry aims to reduce to 4 steps for the setting up of a company, underlining that all the above is not words but specific steps of the government to improve daily life.
Mr. Hatzidakis also referred to measures already taken to strengthen competitiveness, stressing that the Development Ministry alone has injected â¬ 11.5 billion into the market through the TEMPME and ESPA programs.
Source: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA
News item: 25942
 Recommendation for Schools to Start on Regular DateThe National Scientist and Operational Council on Flu Pandemic that held a meeting on Wednesday has recommended the new academic school year to start on regular date, September, 11 and give vaccination priority to doctors, hospital personnel and pregnant women. A new meeting of the Council expected to be held next week will decide on criteria for the closing of schools. Competent Education and Health Ministries are to take the final decision on the school opening day.
The National Scientist and Operational Council on Flu Pandemic has placed on top of vaccination list doctors, hospital personnel, and pregnant women in second and third trimester and people looking after under 6-month old babies. Women in pregnancy first three- months are advised to be vaccinated only if they have health problems among them diabetes, heart and respiratory problems.
In the meantime, a long queue has been formed outside the central office of the Control and Disease Prevention Center where hundreds of interested people want to submit applications for the 401 positions to cover interim personnel in the event flu pandemic broke out.
News item: 25939
 Bloodiest Day in BaghdadLast Updated on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 18:24
Iraqi police say a series of explosions near high-profile targets across Baghdad killed at least 75 people and wounded more than 300 others. At least 6 strong explosions occurred near the Parliament Building, which is located in the heavily fortified Green Zone. It is a coordinated attack in quick succession against strategically important targets in the center of the city.
Hospital sources said that the number of dead would rise as many of the injured are in critical condition.
Two of the six explosions were truck bombings according to the Interior Ministry.
One of the truck bombs exploded outside the Foreign ministry in a residential area close to the Green Zone sending plumes of smoke and dust into the air, leaving a crater three metres deep and 10 metres wide filled with the twisted wreckage of dozens of cars and several charred corpses.
Only minutes before, another truck bomb exploded outside the Finance ministry in Baghdad's northern neighbourhood, destroying part of a nearby bridge and wounding tens of people, a police witness said.
A car bomb also hit a market in the western neighbourhood of Bayaa while two mortars landed in the Green Zone, an area of foreign embassies and government offices, among them the US embassy and one exploded outside, a security official said.
News item: 25937
 Afghanistan Violence Rise ahead of ElectionsNews
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 17:01
Violence has escalated in Afghanistan ahead of the presidential election on Thursday, 20 August. Police stormed a bank in Kabul on Wednesday and killed three insurgents who had taken it over. Security forces said that 4 policemen were killed during 4-hour exchange of fire. The bank was located 1.5km west of the center of the capital. Initially the spoke of failed robbery attempt with robbers trying to escape arrest while the Taliban spoke of attack against a government target.
The Taliban have threatened to hamper elections which are held on Thursday. A suicide attack in Kabul yesterday killed killed 10 people and wounded another 50 while 13 others were killed in other bombing incidents. The Afghan government however, had asked domestic and foreign media not to report incidents of violence to avert discouraging voters from going to poll stations to cast their ballots.
UN Encourage Afghans to Vote
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon encouraged all Afghans to vote and said that by participating in the election Afghans will help "bring fresh vigor to the country's political life, and ultimately reaffirm their commitment to contribute to the peace and prosperity of their nation."
The next president will face challenges on several fronts: the rising Taliban insurgency, internal political divisions, ethnic tensions, unemployment, the country's drug trade and corruption.
The UN Secretary General has appealed to all voters, party supporters and representatives, local and international observers to closely cooperate with the Independent Election Committee so elections are held successfully in a peaceful climate.
News item: 25930