|Wednesday, 18 October 2017|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-01-19
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 EU with over 500 Million CitizensTuesday, 19 January 2010 16:46
Population in the 27 EU member states has for the first time gone over 500 million on January, 1, 2010. According to population census released today by French Statistics Institute (Insee) the nuber of citizens in Europe is 501.26 million.
According to Eurostat population in 27 EU member states was 499,7 million citizens in January, 1, 2009. Germany is the EU country with the largest population 81.7 million people followed by France 65.4 million and Britain 62 million. Population in Ireland (4,45 million) and Spain (46,08 million ) increased 15% in 10 years while Germany's remained the same.
Except for Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, birth rates dropped in 2009 in eastern European countries such as Bulgaria, Lettonia, Latvia, Hungary and Rumania.
France and Ireland remain first place regarding birth rate with 2 children while Britain comes third. Total number of births in Europe in 2009 reached 5.4 million against 4.8 million deaths. News item: 32149
 TRAM S.A Hiring ScandalTuesday, 19 January 2010 16:22
Public Administration Inspector Leandros Rakintzis has referred to Justice to investigate illegal hiring practices in 2009 by TRAM AE former administration. According to a report the company almost tripled its personnel without any extension of its network and official announcement of recruitment.
Mr. Rakitzis filed a 35 page report which among others refers that a person without driver's license was hired to fill post of driver and a person with experience in cooking to fill post of safety inspector.
TRAM S.A personnel numbered 192 people till the end of March 2004. Personnel increased by 250% numbering 637 persons from April, 4 till September, 2, 2009 without any extension of tram network. In 2009 alone 154 people were hired without official proclamation of relevant posts, in other words only after decision of administration board. The report also underlines that 62 people, after a short meeting of the evaluation committee, were hired one day before proclamation of elections.As a result cost of salaries is double the company's total income.
Last administration board of TRAM S.A has not expressed any official reaction while Hristos Anastasopoulos chief executive till March, 2009 said that there was no illegal hiring during his term as there was decision that the company would proceed to hirings after its extension to Piraeus. News item: 32147
 Farmers Escalate Their ProtestsTuesday, 19 January 2010 14:36
Farmers continue their protests erecting more road blocks throughout Greece's national highways and refuse to join the dialogue on agricultural matters before their grievances are met. The road leading to the Promahonas customs office remains closed, while tractors have been gathered at the roads leading to the border crossings of Doirani, Evzonon and Exohi. The protests forced the Thessaloniki Prosecutor to order police to arrest those hampering transport and the movement of products.
"We are escalating the fight against the policy's agricultural policy which followed the one implemented by the previous government obeying the EU directives," stressed Giannis Katsaros, member of the farmers' union.
KKE (Greek Communist Party) head Aleka Papariga asked the Prime Minister to outline the measures his government will take to protect domestic production.
SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) leader Alexis Tsipras called on the government to understand the problems of the farmers, stressing that farmers do not demand wages amounting to four million euros per year, nor 28 billions like the bankers.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 32135
 Somali Pirates Clash over Ransom Paid for Greek-Flagged TankerTuesday, 19 January 2010 11:29
Four people were killed in central Somalia in overnight clashes in the town of Haradhere over the sharing of a ransom paid for the release of Greek-flagged supertanker Maran Centaurus. The gun battle broke out on Monday a day after the record ransom of $7 million was paid to the pirates. The money was airdropped on Sunday on the tanker's bridge.
"The situation in Haradhere is little bit calm this morning because local elders are engaging to mediate between them," said a local official, further adding that three pirates and a civilian were killed and another three were injured.
Source: ANA/MPA News item: 32123
 New Road BlocksTuesday, 19 January 2010 10:07
Travelling on Greece's national highways has been turned into an odyssey due to the road blocks erected by farmers. The road leading to the Promahonas customs office remains closed, while tractors have been gathered at the roads leading to the border crossings of Doirani, Evzonon and Exohi. The Thessaloniki Prosecutor ordered the arrest of those who hamper traffic in the Thessaloniki Prefecture. Bulgaria and Romania are to request the European Commission step in for the opening of the border crossings. "The farmers' protests are against the previous government," Deputy Finance Minister Markos Bolaris told NET radio station.
Source: ANA/MPA, NET, NET 105.8 News item: 32122
 Papandreou-Gutierrez Meeting on ImmigrationTuesday, 19 January 2010 14:30
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Gutierrez at Maximos Mansion in Athens. Papandreou will then host a dinner in honour of the UN High Commissioner. Earlier, Gutierrez met with Civil Protection Minister Mihalis Chrisohoides and discussed immigration matters.
Gutierrez said that the UN backs the Greek positions and the initiatives taken for the creations of mechanisms capable for monitoring the influx of illegal immigrants to Europe through Greece.
"We have sent a crystal clear message to everyone that Greece will not allow illegal immigration, nor will it become the venue for those who wish to illegally move to Europe"
The Greek Minister, on his part, stressed that the people of Greece are not threatened by the second generation of legal immigrants, as they have received the Greek culture and have become part of the Greek society.
Chrysohoides also said that Greece has closed entry points and will protect the country's border in the most effective manner..
He further added that his French counterpart and he will undertake an initiative to monitor the situation with Turkey. "We will bring the subject up at the informal Council scheduled to take place in Spain in the following month and we will try to convince Turkey to commit itself to the existing agreements," commented Chrysohoides.
Chrysohoides then went on to claim that Greece is in the middle of modifying the criteria governing the provision of political asylum, clarifying, at the same time, that Greece is determined to protect the human dignity of the immigrants leaving in the country.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 32133
 Tempi to Reopen by Easter TimeTuesday, 19 January 2010 14:11
Infrastructures, Transports and Networks minister Dimitris Reppas on Tuesday anticipated that the Athens-Thessaloniki national highway at the Tempi Valley intersection, along the Malliakos Gulf 'horseshoe' in north-central Greece, may reopen by Easter (in early April).
The Tempi section of the country's main north-south highway has been closed to traffic since December 17, 2009 following a massive landslide, which claimed the life of an Italian engineer who was project director of a bridge being constructed at the site while arriving to inspect damage caused by falling rocks.
Traffic is currently being diverted along other routes, while the government is mulling the idea of using a rolling highway to bypass the blocked Tempi valley, at least for heavy goods vehicles.
"We believe that by Easter the road will be ready to reopen for traffic if the works begin immediately," Reppas said, adding that he was awaiting the finalised proposal of the construction consortium that holds the concession for the Tempi project, which will be immediately evaluated by the three co-authoritative ministries for speedy approval to enable the relevant works to begin.
He added that according to a preliminary proposal submitted to his ministry by the consortium on January 15 outlining the framework of the works required, an estimated 16 weeks are required before the Tempi intersection may reopen.
News item: 32132
 Damage Assessment after Quake Hit in Central AthensTuesday, 19 January 2010 12:06
The 5.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Monday the Fokida Prefecture sent experts in the area assess the damage caused. Damage was reported in the building housing the primary school of the village of Monastiraki, as well as in 15 old houses in the mountainous regions of the prefecture. Seismologists appeared reassuring. Tens of aftershocks followed the earthquake.
Source: NET 105.8, NET
News item: 32126
 Socialists Enjoy 11% LeadTuesday, 19 January 2010 10:36
The ruling Socialists of PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) enjoy a 11% lead as suggested by a GPO poll released Monday. PASOK gained 40.3%, trailed by ND (New Democracy) with 29.3%, KKE (Greek Communist Party) with 7%, LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) with 5.5% and SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) with 4.2%. The same poll showed that the majority of the respondent (54%) gave a positive rating to the government's first 100 days in power.
The majority of those surveyed also approved the government's decision to grant citizenship to the immigrants' children provided that at least on of their parents has legal documents.
Finally, about 60% of the respondents welcomed the new administrative reforms.
Source: NET 105.8 News item: 32121