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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-01-28

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Contact with Christoforakos Denied
  • [02] Snow and Frost
  • [03] Farmers Remain in Roadblocks
  • [04] Bloody Clashes in Nigeria
  • [05] Greek Government Bond Yields Hit Record High
  • [06] Investigation into "Acropolis Securities"
  • [07] Greek PM: "Eurozone Is an Advantage"
  • [08] New ERT Board Announced

  • [01] Contact with Christoforakos Denied

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 14:48

    Rovertos Spyropoulos and Lefteris Zagoritis denied Thursday a press report whereby the names of the PASOK top-ranking official and the secretary of ND's Central Committee had been included in the agenda of the former SIEMENS HELLAS CEO, Mihalis Christoforakos. The government spokesman gave a full backing to Rovertos Spyropoulos.

    The press report cited entries from Christoforakos' agenda, which refer to telephone contacts he had with Lefteris Zagoritis and Rovertos Spyropoulos. It also said that the entries dated a few days before the 2007 elections.

    "With regard to the press report of Eleftherotypia daily, I assertively say that I did not have a telephone contact with Mr Christoforakos, nor did I meet him in person, as I have never been introduced to him," read an announcement issued by Rovertos Spyropoulos, the General Secretary of the Employment Ministry.

    "The government falls in line with Mr Spyropoulos' reply..."

    Giorgos Petalotis

    The government spokesman also offered the government's backing to Spyropoulos.

    "The government falls in line with Mr Spyropoulos' reply, and after all we cannot rely on copies of an agenda," commented Mr Petalotis, further adding: "We have to be cautious, and we, the PASOK members, are cautious when there is a pending situation going on. Therefore, we have to be on alert. The fact that a telephone number was found in an agenda does not mean anything."

    The ND secretary also denied the press report.

    "On the occasion of the "information" surfaced, I have to make it clear that I have not been acquainted with Mr Christoforakos, nor did I have any contact with him," stressed Lefteris Zagoritis.

    The release of pages from Christoforakos' agenda, as well as a thank you letter sent by former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis have triggered many talks, just a dew days prior to the opening of a new parliamentary inquiry into the cash-for-contracts scandal.

    A week after Karamanlis' letter went public, the party of ND offered its backing to the former prime minister. "Anyone can accuse the Karamanlis administration of wrongdoings, omissions or delays in the reform policy, which he himself acknowledged. However, no one can question the former Prime Minister's integrity," claimed ND senior official Maximos Harakopoulos. News item: 32571

    [02] Snow and Frost

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 10:45

    Harsh cold and snowfall is forecast for most parts of central and western Macedonia, Thessaly and Sterea Ellada, on Thursday. Temperatures dropped to minus -10 in some parts of the country but forecasters see gradual rise in temperatures starting from Friday. Motorists face some problems in Thessaloniki due to snowfall during the night while snow tires are required along provincial road network in central and northern Macedonia high ground. Schools in Sterea Hellada remain closed on Thursday due to heavy snowfall.

    Difficult road conditions for motorists driving in the northern part of Attica while snow chains are required on Parnitha Av. from the telefrique (aerial tramway) to the casino. Slippery frosty roads was the cause of accident involving 7 cars on the Athens- Lamia highway. Snow is falling from the 34km to 43km of the Athens -Lamia highway. Snow chains are required on the route from Lamia to Amfissa, Karpenisi , Domokos on Boiotia and Evritania high ground while heavy snow has fallen in Lebadeia, Lamia and Thiba. Provincial road network in Fthiotida prefecture is inaccessible while schools are closed except for schools in the Lamia municipality. Meteorological service has forecast heavy rainfall in Ionian, west Peloponnese, Sterea Hellada and Epirus and snowfall in Boiotia, Evoia, Thessalia. On Wednesday, temperatures dropped well below zero in many parts of the country while the lowest temperatures were recorded in: Ormenio: -10 C ┴lexandroupolis: -9C Parnassos : -7C Falakro: -6C Serres: -5C Kozani: -4C Soufli: -3C Kastoria: -2C

    Source: ═┼ď 105.8 - ═┼ď - ┴NA-╠PA News item: 32554

    [03] Farmers Remain in Roadblocks

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 09:21

    Deliberations continue within efforts to de-escalate tension while representatives from 13 farmer blocks meet in Malgara, on Thursday to decide on their further mobilizations. Representatives of farmers union blocking Nikaia junction did not attend Wednesday's meeting in Velestino, stand decried by other farmers. But Nikaia farmers maintain that they were not invited. Platikambos farmers announced 3-hour blockades 12:00-15:00 of the Tembi roundabout route leading to Larissa coast from Thursday till Monday.

    In Thessaloniki, farmers have parked their tractors along the ring road but no traffic problem is reported. Vehicles ran unhampered through Prasina Fanaria, Halkidona junction and Malgara toll station during the night. Serres farmers remained all night at Kerdilia junction on the Egnatia road and the Promahona border crossing. The railroad crossing to Bulgaria is free but Promahonas border crossing is closed to lorries.

    Farmers will stage temporary blockades on Serres-thessaloniki highway at the Strimonikos junction during the day but the Amfipolis junction will remain open. Also Exohi border crossing in the prefecture of Drama was open during the night but farmers decide to block access from 09:00 on Thursday. Hrisoupolis Junction in Kavala as well as Nikaia and Mikrothibes junctions in Thessaly are closed while Tyrnavos and Ellasona junctions are open to traffic.

    Halkidiki farmers' tractors remain at Triglia junction but are not creating problems to traffic. Doiranis border crossing and Evzonoi customs station in the Kilkis prefecture were open during the night. No problems with access to Ormenio and Kipon customs stations in Evros prefecture as farmers have parked their tractors on the side of the road. Smooth movement of vehicles is reported along the Alexandropolisa and Orestiada road network despite deterioration of weather.

    Nikis and Krystalopigi border stations in Florina prefecture are open to motorists . In Grevena prefecture, 40 tractors remain at Egnatia highway junction while tractors are parked at Serbia bridge in Kozani prefecture but do not create problems to motorists.

    Source: ═┼ď 105.8 - ┴NA-╠PA

    Related Article: Searching for solutions- Farmers Wont's Leave Roadblocks News item: 32548

    [04] Bloody Clashes in Nigeria

    Wednesday, 20 January 2010 15:38

    Fighting between Muslims and Christians in the Nigerian city of Jos has claimed more 400 lives. The army said it regained control of the city. It was the erection of a mosque in a Christian quarter that triggered the clashes.

    Scores of Dead Since 1999

    The Human Rights Watch urged the Nigerian army to commit itself to the international rule on the use of violence.

    Nigeria's government decided Tuesday to dispatch more troops at the city of Jos and impose a curfew.

    The Human Rights Watch estimates that more than 13,500 people have been killed in clashes in Nigeria since the ousting of the military rule in 1999, noting that those responsible have gone unpunished.

    Source: Reuters, ANA/MPA News item: 32199

    [05] Greek Government Bond Yields Hit Record High

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 15:27

    Greek government bond yields rose Thursday at a record high. Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou, who is in Davos, told NBC television he will visit China. The government spokesman spoke of profiteering games. In the meantime, the spokeswoman for European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia branded a Le Monde press report, whereby France, Germany and the EU are working on a bailout plan for member states plagued by financial problems, as rumours. He then expressed the European Commission's conviction that Greece will survive the crisis.

    The spread of 10-year Greek government bonds reached a new record high of 405 basis points, despite Giorgos Papakonstantinous' statements that there was no deal on selling Greek government bonds to China.

    "...the Greek public sector is mostly targeting the European market to cover its borrowing needs..."

    Giorgos Papakonstantinou

    In his interview with NBC television, the Greek Finance Minister stressed that the Greek public sector is mostly targeting the European market to cover its borrowing needs, dismissing scenarios whereby China is to save Greece as ridiculous.

    Sounding on the same page, government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said that profiteering games are being played at the expense of Greece's economy.

    "The Finance Ministry's handling was not wrong," stressed Petalotis, further underlining that there is always way for profiteers and for games at the expense of Greece's economy.

    "The lack of credibility is followed by problems. If we prove that our economy can take blows and have prospects, then they will stop and we will manage to restore the country's credibility," added he.

    At the same time, Joaquin Almunia's spokeswoman Amelia Torres rebuffed a Le Monde press report, whereby France, Germany and the European Union are getting ready to issue bilateral bonds to back the EU nations with high deficit, including Greece.

    "...The European Commission believes that Greece will meet its goals..."

    Amelia Torres said that the European Commission refused to comment on imaginary press reports, reiterating that Greece's goal is to have its fiscal deficit reduced and that the European Commission's work is to make sure that the ambitious goals of the Greek stability plan come off.

    The Greek government has to demonstrate the necessary political will and determination to fix its domestic fiscal situation, said she, further adding that Greece has a long way to go and that the Commission is convinced that the Greek government will meet its goal to bring the deficit down.

    German also dismissed the French paper's press report, stressing that the German government has not intention of lending a helping hand to Greece to survive its fiscal situation. News item: 32578

    [06] Investigation into "Acropolis Securities"

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 11:36

    Write off of 5.5 billion euros fine to "Acropolis Securities" for its involvement in the structured bonds case has been referred to the Prosecutor's office for investigation. The case was revealed during Wednesday's meeting of Parliament Economic Affairs Committee. Specifically PASOK deputy Dimitris Kouselas said that FAEE ( Office of Taxation of Commercial Corporations) wrote off the fine in 2008. Former Finance undersecretary has given a different interpretation.

    Finance undersecretary Filippos Sahinidis said that the case is subject to prosecutor's office investigation. However, former Finance Minister Antonis Bezas, in an interview with state channel NET on Thursday, denied write off of fine, stressing that "collection of fine was suspended" due to the company's reference to Justice. In the meantime, Mr. Kouselas, in an interview with state radio channel 105.8, insisted on his initial position of debt write off, charging "Acropolis Securities" of more irregularities.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA News item: 32558

    [07] Greek PM: "Eurozone Is an Advantage"

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 11:15

    "We are determined and we believe that the eurozone is an advantage to Greece and Europe alike," argued the Greek Prime Minister while addressing the world financial forum in Davos, Switzerland. George Papandreou attended a panel with the European Premiers, the EU President, Jos├ę Luis Rodr├şguez Zapatero, and the President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet. The Greek head of government held talks with political leaders, as well as with former US President Bill Clinton. He will give interviews in a bid to restore Greece's credibility.

    The Greek Premier's Speech

    "The eurozone, despite its hardships, has been very important to Greece," stressed Papandreou in his speech.

    The Greek Premier underlined that the eurozone cannot be held responsible for the situation of the Greek economy

    "I held all of us responsible. It's not my intention to sound like practicing petty political expediencies, but there has been extensive wrongdoing during the previous administration," commented the Greek Premier.

    "We have created corruption in higher posts and we failed to take the necessary structural measures to change economy and make it more competitive," said he, further underlining that "the global credit turmoil made those problems worse."

    He then stressed that Greece did not ask for the EU's contribution, neither has the country petitioned for a bilateral loan. News item: 32557

    [08] New ERT Board Announced

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 17:09

    Giorgos Gabritsios, electrical engineer by profession, was appointed Thursday new President and Managing Director of ERT, the Greek national broadcaster. The rest board members are: lawyer Thanassis Papageorgiou, Foreign Ministry expert Christos Avraam, Law Professor and writer Lena Divani, lawyer Gergandreas Zannos, journalist Stelios Kouloglou, Human Resources Advisor Ilias Mosxonas and economist Stelios Stefanou.

    Two reps of the employees, as well as an OKE representative remain in the ERT board.

    The new board members will attend a hearing by the Greek National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV). News item: 32588

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