|Monday, 23 October 2017|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-01-22
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Roadblocks Enter 8th Day amidst ReactionsFriday, 22 January 2010 15:26
For an eighth day in a row, farmers of Greece are escalating their protests amidst strong reactions. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov is on his way to the Promahonas border crossing with Bulgaria to meet with a farmers' delegation. The European Commission requested to be briefed on the situation. Opposition leader Antonis Samaras met Friday morning with the reps of the farmers of northern Greece and got a close view of the problems puzzling them.
Farmers appeared disappointed, as they had hoped the Prime Minister would be more specific and would say something capable of diffusing the situation.
"We did not expect to hear something more," underlined farmer Dimitris Dimogiannis.
"We are not going to join the dialogue. We have made that clear. We will not attend a dialogue that will need nowhere," stressed Dimogiannis, further adding, "We are willing to take part in an essential dialogue. The agricultural issue cannot be solved within a few hours. If 200 farmers join an event with 700 guests, nothing will come out of it."
Bulgaria's Premier Visits Promahonas Border Crossing
The Bulgarian Prime Minister is on his way to the Promahonas border crossing to discuss the problem raised with the Greek farmers.
The Bulgarian government appealed Thursday to the European Court claiming a compensation amounting to 10 million euros.
European Commission Requests Clarifications
The European Commission is in constant contact with authorities in Greece, said a top EU official, stressing that after the Bulgarian Prime Minister's letter to the President of the European Commission, the competent EU agencies asked the Greece to explain itself.
The European Commission official said that compensation claims are but a bilateral affair, further arguing that unless the farmers leave their roadblocks by the beginning of the following week, there will be a meeting in Brussels with the Greek experts. News item: 32307
 Bad Weather Sets InFriday, 22 January 2010 09:59
A spate of bad weather has been hitting Greece since Thursday evening. Heavy showers, gale-force winds and snowfalls in the mountainous regions make up the wintery scenery across the country. Snow chains are necessary for those travelling in several areas throughout the country, while the strong winds blowing in the Aegean have seriously disrupted sea services.
Rio-Antirio Bridge Closed
The strong winds forced authorities to close the Rio-Antirio Bridge, thus halting sea services.
Earlier, the gale-force winds did not leave ship Prevelis to dock at the Halki port, ship Adamantios Korais never made it to the island of Serifos, while Blue Star could not dock at the island of Shinoussa.
Source: NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 32287
 New 5.1 Magnitude Quake Hits Western GreeceFriday, 22 January 2010 08:16
An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter hit the area of Evpalio, some 11km east of the city of Nafpaktos, following a 5.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the same area last Monday. The quake was felt in the Peloponnese and central Greece.
Experts in the Area for Damage Recording
Speaking on NET radio station, local governor Panagiota Laini-Koliali said that the earthquake caused upset for it was rather strong.
"The residents of the town of Evpalio were the ones that worried the most," added she, further adding that damage was caused to several houses.
Expert crews have been dispatched in the area since Friday morning to assess the damage caused. News item: 32285
 Greek Premier Urges Farmers to Leave RoadblocksFriday, 22 January 2010 12:27
Prime Minister George Papandreou called on farmers to pull out of roadblocks and join the talks. Replying to questions tabled by the leaders of the smaller opposition parties on the farmers' protests, Papandreou made it clear that Greece cannot afford to meet their demands, urging them to live up to the seriousness of the situation. KKE (Greek Communist Party) head Aleka Papariga blasted the government for taking the farmers' problems as a result of corruption. LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) President Giorgos Karatzaferis called for a political consensus, while Alexis Tsipras of SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) challenged the government to clash with the problems instead of undermining the farmers.
George Papandreou appealed to the patriotism of the farmers to pull out of the roadblocks and enter the talks on the new agricultural economy. He then noted that the roadblocks are hurting Greece's image in the international economy, stressing that "there is absolutely no margin for satisfying the demands that are put forward sporadically and unplanned".
"..The most effective roadblock against the problem is the participation in an honest dialogue, so that we can turn their reactions into a joint force for a better tomorrow..."
The government wants to put an end to the "money for guild-like arrangements, temporary solutions hold up for only a few months, with roadblocks appearing again, and again trade-offs with the government".
"The time has come for radical changes that give certainty and a future to the Greek provinces, to the farmers, to the villages. This is the bold battle we call on the farmers to wage with us, together. We do not want the farmers as co-culprits in a petty political exchange between us, but as participants in the great change," the premier said.
"I am not appealing to your patriotism to hide the problems, but the photographs are making the round of the world. Greece is in the target. This means we must be even more responsible. The lack of a patriotic effort will harm us all, and especially the weak," Papandreou stressed.
"It is better to see roads closed, than homes," blasted the KKE head, accusing the government of slandering the farmers' protests.
"You and the New Democracy party are politically responsible, because you have been implementing the Common Agricultural Policy for years. Apart from the political responsibility, you are also morally responsible, because you have allowed the slandering of the farmers' struggles. I can barely withhold my anger," said Papariga.
"If I did what you suggested,both the roads and the homes would have been closed," replied the Prime Minister, further underlining that focus should be directed on the farmers' real benefit and build the agricultural policy upon it.
LAOS head Giorgos Karatzaferis expressed his objection to the farmers' roadblocks, arguing, "The closed roads close the homes of others." However, he noted that the Prime Minister will fail to convince the farmers to leave the roadblocks, and proposed the setting up of a farmers' fund.
SYRIZA President Alexis Tsipras branded the dialogue as a parody.
"You said there is no money, yet we can propose a couple of zero-cost interventions. Check middlemen, stop the naturalization of products from abroad, smash the petty party politics and create new forms of collective financial organization for the farmers. You said you do not have the money. Do you have the guts for a new policy?" Tsipras asked the Prime Minister.
"Yes, Mr Tsipras. We are ready to clash with the structures of the agricultural economy and we want you by our side," replied the Premier.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 32293
 Cyprus Police a Step before Solving Hadjicostis KillingFriday, 22 January 2010 14:39
Authorities in Cyprus are nearing to solving the killing of Andis Hadjicostis, CEO of the family-controlled Dias media group and Sigma TV, following the confession of one of the three suspects. Journalist Elena Skordeli, 42, and her brother Tassos Krasopoulos, 37, are under eight-day detention. Their statement, read by their lawyer, said they would not appeal against their detention because they wished to contribute to the police probe.
It has been quoted that Krasopoulis and Skordeli wanted to kill Andis Hadjicostis, because the latter had been kicked out of the television station
Authorities said that one of the three suspects, who had already been under detention, said that he and the second suspects met twice with Krasopoulos and Skordeli, who asked them to kill Hadjicostis, promising them in return a job in Sigma TV.
Two days earlier, Elena Skordeli had said it feared for her life and has asked police protection for her and her family.
She claimed that her car had been sabotaged. Elena Skordeli had also said she would take legal actions against the media that implicated her in the assassination of Andis Hadjicostis.
Source: NET, ANA/MPA News item: 32298