|Saturday, 16 December 2017|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-01-27
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 13yo Girls Survived Building Collapse in BelgiumWednesday, 27 January 2010 17:30
A 13yo girl was recovered alive from the rubble of a six-storey apartment building which collapsed overnight in Liege. An explosion had preceded the collapse. Officials said the explosion was probably caused by a gas leak. The little girl was pulled to safety after remaining 12 years in the ruins.
So far, 23 people have been recovered alive. Two of them have been seriously burnt. Rescue workers and sniff dogs continued to searching for survivors trapped in the ruins.
News item: 32531
 Searching for Solution-Farmers Won't Leave RoadblocksWednesday, 27 January 2010 15:18
The Greek Prime Minister invited yet again the protesting farmers to a dialogue. "Road blocks cannot solve the problems, but dialogue can," stressed George Papandreou, further assuring that the government has the will to carry out major reforms that require everyone's contribution. In the meantime, both the cabinet and the farmers' fronts are examining ways to put an end to the demonstrations. The Agricultural Development Minister announced measures in favour of new farmers. She is currently meeting with reps of stockfarmers from all over the country. The farmers are working on a joint agenda in an effort to stand as one against the government. However, they do not seem to have the intention of leaving the road blocks. The European Commission is to probe the Hatzigakis package of 425 million euros Greece gave to the farmers in 2008-2009.
Both the government and the protesting farmers are searching for a patent capable of lifting the deadlock, with the latter remaining in the road blocks and trying to stand as one against the government and decide on the future of their demonstrations.
"...40% of the deposit will have been given by late March..." K. Batzeli
George Papandreou reiterated Wednesday his government's will to hold open talks, while the Agricultural Development Minister said that the government will have given 40% of the deposit to those who join the relative EU programme by they end of March.
The Minister also blasted the previous leaders of the Ministry, claiming that it had heralded two relative programmes whose cost amounted to 287 million euros, while the original budget and the available funds stood at about 100 million euros.
"All possibilities will be exhausted lest there should be delays or situations that may upset certain groups of farmers. However, there is no new money," said the Vice-President of the Greek Government, Theodoros Pangalos, after a bipartisan meeting. He then added that of the 11 goals George Papandreou had set with regard to the agricultural affairs, nine have already been accomplished, while five of the seven grievances by the farmers have also been met.
"The farmers are not against us. We want them by our side for the reorganization of the agriculture sector," commented government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis.
"The government, the traders and the party of ND who demand the farmers leave the road blocks are to be held responsible for the despair the poor farmers have sunk into and for the expensive products. The farmers have the right and duty to set up road blocks against the policy that aspires to enslave the agricultural sector to the cartels," said KKE (Greek Communist Party).
SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) Alexis Tsipras called on the government to stop playing games with the farmers. He stressed that the government should immediately have its pre-election pledges met.
"The government and Ms Batzeli keep saying there is no money for the farmers, however, they managed to earmark 1,000,000 million euros for the businessmen to settle their insurance contributions. This is a great controversy," stressed Alexis Tsipras.
In the meantime, Vaggelis Boutas, a leading figure in the farmers' movement in central Greece, said Wednesday that the protests will continue. He stressed that the package of measures unveiled by Agricultural Minister Katerina Batzeli includes nothing but the money they are already entitled to. News item: 32513
 PASOK & ND Support K. Papoulias Re-electionWednesday, 27 January 2010 12:44
Prime-minister, G. Papandreou expressed his support for the re-election of President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias during their meeting on Tuesday. "It is a pleasure and honour to meet you today to propose your re-election to the post of President of the Republic", said Mr. Papandreou.
Continuing, the prime-minister underlined that the largest majority of Greek people believe that Mr. Papoulias has honoured the post and strengthened the feeling of security and democracy. "The country is facing difficulties, as you can see also in the agriculture sector. Road blockades can not be resolve problems only dialogue and willingness for big reversals. Furthermore, we are making strong efforts at international level to restore the country's credibility and your assistance will be most useful Mr. President".
"The President of the Republic honoured the country's highest post with a deep feeling of national obligation and right thinking in a period when institutions were doubted this is why I consider proposal for his re-election self-evident and I am certain that our decision will meet a broad consent by political parties and the Greek people". On his part, the President of the Republic said that safeguarding and development of democratic institutions is the top duty.
In a letter to the Speaker of the House, Filippos Petsalnikos ND party leader Antonis Samaras supports renewal of Karolos Papoulias term in the post of Presidency of the Republic as the ND party spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos said. News item: 32506
 Farmers Meet to Decide on Further StandWednesday, 27 January 2010 10:52
Farmers are holding meetings to decide on a common stand ahead of new developments in progress. Tyrnavo farmers are holding a meeting at 11:00 while they will close the road from 12:00 to 14:00 on Wednesday. Vice-President Theodoros Pagalos chaired a meeting at the Maximos Mansion, on Tuesday. The government insists on its position for a dialogue and calls farmers to assume their responsibilities regarding society in general.
Farmers estimate that several institutional interventions are in a positive direction but they believe that the total of their demands has not been met.
From Strasbourg, on Tuesday, the Prime-minister recognized the problems of farmers: " I wished we could solve the farmers long standing problems. Farmers should channel their dynamism to reverse the system in the agriculture field". On her part, Agriculture Development Minister K. Batzelis presented institutional interventions and deadline of reforms. Mrs. Batzelis is scheduled to meet with stock breeders representatives at noon.
On Wednesday morning, Thessaloniki farmers gathered at road junctions (Prasina Fanaria, Malgara, Halkidona) but have not hampered transport so far. In Thessaly, Nikaia and Mikrothibes junctions are closed but there is no problem in transport through Elassona and Platikambos where farmers meet at 19:00 to decide on their further stand. Grevena farmers will block the Mersina junction on Egnatia highway for an hour starting at 14:00 and next they will hold a meeting to decide on their further moves. In the prefecture of Ebros, farmers have gathered at Ormenio and Kipoi customs stations while in the prefecture of Drama farmers closed road leading to Exohi customs station at 09:00. Another group of farmers will close Serres- Thessaloniki national road from 11:00 to 15:00. Xanthi farmers close the Nestos bridge periodically every day. Alamana, Kastro and Elateia farmers have rejected measures announced so far describing them as inefficient without substantial commitments even for the institutional measures so they could not consist base for talks. They will hold a new meeting at 19:30. Promahonas customs station is closed to private cars and buses since early morning.
Alexis Tsipras, president of SYRIZA P.G met with representatives of the Panhellenic Union of Young Farmers on Wednesday morning.
Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA News item: 32490
 Circle of International Interventions on EconomyWednesday, 27 January 2010 10:30
Prime-minister, George Papandreou is to make interventions at world level, specifically at the International Economic Forum, held in Davos, in Switzerland on Thursday and Friday aimed to restore the country's credibility. Next he will have contacts with European leaders.
In his address to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on Wednesday, Mr. Papandreou referred to Greece's determination to fend off the economic crisis. "We are determined to put our house in order and we will do it. The government has a long way of systematic work ahead in order to achieve the country's exit from the crisis". From Strasbourg, Mr. Papandreou announced tightening of Greece's relations with India, China, Brazil and Russia aimed to attract investments.
Greece's government plan to sale state bounds mounting to 25 billion euros to Chinese investors is described as "Movement underlining China's rising economic power" says Chinese website http://business.sohu.com.
The Finance Minister, however, belied stories in the newspapers Financial Times and Wall Street Journal about sale of Greek state bonds to China, underlining that there is no such agreement. Mr. Papandreou will meet with President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias on Thursday, at 12:45 to brief him on the current domestic and foreign developments. Next, he will meet with the Bank of Greece governor George Probopoulos at 14:00 at the Maximos Mansion, the government's headquarters.
Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA
Relevant Articles: Strasbourg: Απαντήσεις G. Papandreou responses on economy- Greek-Turkish relations
News item: 32486
 Haiti: Aid Distribution Hampered-6.1 Magnitude AftershockWednesday, 20 January 2010 11:09
The humanitarian aid is still slow to reach survivors in Haiti some eight days after the devastating earthquake, while a strong aftershock measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale sending screaming people running into the streets. Due to the congestion at the airport of Port-au-Prince, the US army decided to distribute supplies on helicopter, while Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said its cargo plane with 12 tonnes of medical supplies had been turned away from the congested Port-au-Prince airport three times since Sunday.
Eight days after the devastating earthquake, chances of pulling survivors to life are slim. On Tuesday night, American rescue workers and Haitian firefighters recovered a 25-year-old girl from the ruins of a super market.
Earlier, an old woman had been saved from the ruins of a church, with the words of a Mexican rescue worker manifesting the greatness of life:
"We were digging non-stop, but we could not reach her. When she grabbed my hand and squeezed it in her palm, I felt it was God who squeezed it..." News item: 32177
 Democrats Lose MassachusettsWednesday, 20 January 2010 09:26
Brown's win robbed Democrats of the crucial 60th Senate vote they need to pass the healthcare bill and sent shudders of fear through Democrats facing tough races in November's congressional elections.
What once seemed an easy Democratic victory turned into a desperate scramble in the last few weeks as Brown surged ahead of Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley on voter fears over the economy, the healthcare bill and Obama's agenda.
Brown, a Massachusetts state senator, said he would be the pivotal 41st Republican vote against the healthcare overhaul in the 100-member Senate.
"People don't want this trillion-dollar healthcare plan that is being forced on the American people," Brown told cheering supporters at a Boston hotel who chanted "41" and "Seat him now."
He said voters rejected the closed-door deals that were driving the healthcare debate, and he took satisfaction in proving the experts and Democrats wrong.
"They thought that they owned this seat. They thought that they couldn't lose," Brown said. "You all set them straight."
Brown's upset with 52 percent of the vote in heavily Democratic Massachusetts raised the specter of large losses for Democrats across the country in November and left the party scrambling to find answers.
News item: 32169
 Boosting Liquidity and TransparencyWednesday, 27 January 2010 15:25
The law on market liquidity is now available for businessmen, while a draft law on households weighed down by debts is to be tabled to Parliament in the coming days, said Economy Minister Louka Katseli. She then claimed that the draft-bill on transparency in the services offered by the insurance companies.
Katseli noted that the Ministry is closely monitoring the market, while it is examining additional interventions with a view to boosting transparency in the market.
She also said that a third draft-bill on transparency in banking transactions will be discussed in two months' time. The bill aspires to promote transparency and competition. There will be a wide range of provisions aiming to boost transparency.
News item: 32518
 Interest & Denials on Greek State BondsWednesday, 27 January 2010 14:35
Greece is seeking to raise 3 to 5 billion euros. Finance Minister, George Papakonstantinou told an international news agency that Grece was planning to sell up to 10 billion worth of state bonds to Asian markets. Scenarios on Greek state bonds are front page articles in international press with Financial Times writing that China shows interest in buying β¬25 bilion state bonds, which the Finance Ministry has denied. Bank of Greece governor George Probopoulos expressed optimism on the course of the economy after his meeting with the Prime-minister on Wednesday morning. In his statements, Eurogroup president Jean Claude Yunker made clear that there is no danger for Greece go bankrupt or leave the eurozone.
Athens denied reports about explicit or implicit agreement of the Greek government regarding the purchase of Greek bonds or Greek assets from investment funds in China or elsewhere".
Furthermore the Finance Ministry denied mandate to an investment bank to negotiate in this direction on behalf of the Greek government. "Smooth and unhampered answer to state debt is the government's top priority.."
Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ΑNA/ΜPA News item: 32510