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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-02-05

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Eight-Member Gang Broken Up
  • [02] World Markets Spooked
  • [03] Anti-Smoking Campaign in Schools
  • [04] Chrysohoides: "Policemen's Pension Rights Won't Be Affected"
  • [05] Greek Opposition Leader Meets the Ecumenical Patriarch
  • [06] Probe in Siemens Case Opened
  • [07] Greek PM: Concerted Attack on Euro Currency
  • [08] Farmers Suspend their Protests
  • [09] USA: 2010 Budget to Hit $1.56 trln
  • [10] Justice Deal Ushers North Ireland in New Era
  • [11] Suicide Hits Kill Dozens in Iraq's Karbala

  • [01] Eight-Member Gang Broken Up

    Friday, 05 February 2010 17:05

    An eight-member gang that had spooked the people of Thessaloniki, northern Greece, for two months, committing eight robberies, was finally broken up.

    The Thessaloniki police chief, Dimitris Tsaknakis, said the robbers had committed eight robberies. Among the arrestees were five Albanian nationals and three Greeks, aged 21 to 47.

    Dimitris Tsaknakis said that the robbers held their victims captive, until one of their accomplices stripped their bank accounts of their deposits.

    News item: 32968

    [02] World Markets Spooked

    Friday, 05 February 2010 15:57

    The euro currency hit a seven-month low against the dollar, spooking the eurozone, while concerns over Greece, Spain and Portugal being unable to manage their sovereign debts are mounting. Stock markets in Europe plummeted, while the Athens Exchange Market went down by 3.73%.

    French paper Le Monde, without citing its sources, read that the International Monetary Fund experts estimated that an effort to rescue Greece would cost up to 25 billion euros.

    A Deutsche Bank report underlined that the problems puzzling regional Europe could manifest what the future might have in store for the USA and Britain.

    Goldman Sachs described Greece as a major challenge, further adding that Greece is suffering from liquidity problems and is likely that it will need a financial aid in the coming months.

    Seeking to calm fears that Spain is "next Greece", the country's Deputy Economy Minister José Manuel Campa said, "Spain is in a solid position and we've had low deficits for 10 years - the deficit has grown now but we will be cutting it." News item: 32964

    [03] Anti-Smoking Campaign in Schools

    Friday, 05 February 2010 14:55

    The anti-smoking campaign in schools topped the talks held Friday between Greek Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou and the professor of Harvard's medical school, Gregory N. Connolly, and leading Greek experts. The Greek Education Ministry is considering including a special lesson in the high school curriculum.

    Anna Diamantopoulou said that the Greek Education Ministry, in collaboration with the Harvard University and the Greek universities, will launch an anti-smoking campaign in Greek schools.

    "Smoking is an enemy. It destroys lives, it kills people, it smashes the national health care systems. But it mostly affects the young and the children."

    Anna Diamantopoulou

    "We know that addressing a problem is a less effective measure. Prevention is the most important one," said Diamantopoulou.

    The meeting hosted in the Education Ministry was attended by Greek professors Dimitris Trihopoulos, Panagiotis Bechrakis and Giannis Tountas.

    : , -

    News item: 32960

    [04] Chrysohoides: "Policemen's Pension Rights Won't Be Affected"

    Friday, 05 February 2010 14:51

    Civil Protection Minister Mihalis Chrysohoides rest everyone assured that the police officers' pension rights will not be affected. He then added that the numerous petitions for retirement harmed the police force. Touching on the institution of neighborhood policing, Chrysohoides stressed that a crackdown on crime is a top priority for the government.

    Following a meeting with top-ranking police officers in Thessaloniki, the Civil Protection Minister underlined that crime has surged over the past years and noted that the police force has to organize itself in order to tackle the new conditions.

    "Our main concern is to make sure the citizens are safe," said he.

    "What matters the most is to stamp out crime," argued Chrysohoides, further claiming, "In the present tough reality, with the financial crisis plaguing the country, we are required to cement the citizens' safety and a regime of social peace."

    He then highlighted the need to shape a new relation between the police and the citizens based upon effectiveness, democratic conduct, respect to human rights and civil liberties

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 32958

    [05] Greek Opposition Leader Meets the Ecumenical Patriarch

    Friday, 05 February 2010 12:02

    ND (New Democracy) President Antonis Samaras offered his most heartfelt backing to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in his meeting with the Patriarchate's prelate Bartholomew. The Ecumenical Patriarch congratulated Samaras on his being elected ND head and touched on the problems plaguing the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including the long-standing claim for the reopening of the Halki Seminary.

    "My acquaintance with the Ecumenical Patriarch dates back a great deal. And I was particularly moved to meet him and wish him strength in his work. A work which is of monumental significance to the Greek nation and the Greek Orthodox Church. We wished him strength and offered him yet again our full backing to his fights and hopes," commented Antonis Samaras.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 32944

    [06] Probe in Siemens Case Opened

    Friday, 05 February 2010 11:42

    Supreme Court Vice President Ioannis Papanikolaou's testimony before a parliamentary committee opened the new cycle of testimonies on the Siemens case. Journalists Aristea Bougatsou and Tassos Teloglou are to testify on Monday.

    Papanikolaou accused magistrate Nikos Zagorianos, who had handled the case, of cover-up, since he failed to include in the indictment felonies committed between 2004 and 2007.

    He also dropped hints at acting Supreme Court Prosecutor Ioannis Tentes, claiming that the latter's handling meant to silence Papanikolaou, since he had been asked to walk out of the disciplinary probe he was carrying out.

    The main opposition party of ND (New Democracy) said that Papanikolaou's answers proved that the previous government did not interfere with Nikos Zagorianos' work.

    Ioannis Papanikolaou will continue his testimony on coming Monday.

    Source: NET 105.8, NET News item: 32943

    [07] Greek PM: Concerted Attack on Euro Currency

    Friday, 05 February 2010 11:11

    The profiteering hits mostly on Greece, Spain and Portugal have sounded the alarm within the eurozone, since the risk of a domino effect capable of undermining the financial recovery is lurking. The euro currency hit a seven-month low against the dollar. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who is on an official visit to New Delhi, stressed he had drawn attention to the profiteers' games from the very first session of the Summit. Greece cannot convey a wrong message by calling for a euro bond, argued the Greek Finance Minister, stressing that such a move would equal to a mere confession that Greece cannot address its debt problems on its own. In the meantime, upset still remains in the bond market, with spreads being on the increase.

    G. Papandreou: "Greece Isn't an Isolated Case"

    The Greek head of government reiterated Greece's determination to address its fiscal problems.

    The profiteers have located other weak parties to deliver a blow to the euro currency

    George Papandreou

    George Papandreou said that the fiscal worries hovering Spain and Portugal demonstrated that Greece is not an isolated case. The problem has assumed European and international proportions, added he. the Greek Prime Minister underlined that he intents to bring up the matter in his meeting with the French President on Wednesday and in the emergency Summit scheduled for 11 February.

    Papandreou said that the developments vindicated him. With regard to Greece, he stressed, "We did everything we had promised. We took measures."

    At the official banquet of the world forum, George Papandreou dined along with the Prime Ministers of Norway, Slovenia and Lithuania, who wandered why Greece is under such attack.

    "Green development is a historic chance for Greece to leave recession behind," stressed the Greek Premier while addressing Friday morning the Forum. He then went on to touched on the historic responsibilities of the world leaders to shape policies capable of tackling the credit turmoil and promote policies capable of bridging green development with the people's everyday life.|

    Papakonstantinou: "We Will Make It on Our Own"

    Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou discussed the matter of euro bonds at the Greek House.

    Were Greece to claim the euro bond on its own, it would send a wrong message to the markets

    Giorgos Papakonstantinou

    The Finance Minister maintained that Greece does not need the issuing of such a bond, as it would mean that Greece cannot make it on its own. "But we can," stressed Giorgos Papakonstantinou.

    SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) head Alexis Tsipras blasted the government for adopting a weak stance towards the markets and the bankers. "The only message we will be echoing shortly is that of SOS," commented Tsipras.

    "The government's role is to rule. It has a fresh mandate and the people back are backing the measures which are necessary and fair," said the Finance Minister.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 32940

    [08] Farmers Suspend their Protests

    Friday, 05 February 2010 08:04

    Farmers participating at the farmers' association representing 14 roadblocks in northern Greece unanimously decided Thursday night to suspend their protests until 10 February. The farmers of Viotia are to decide Friday. In the meantime, the Promachonas crossing in the border with Bulgaria remains closed, as well as the intersections in Nikea, Tyrnavos and Mikrothives.

    Leaving the roadblocks does not equal to abandoning the demonstrations, since the farmers' association called on their colleagues to join the 10 February industrial actions organized by ADEDY and PAME.

    Anestis Kemanitzoglou, member of the farmers' association, said the farmers "are leaving the road blocks, giving the government six months to implement its institutional pledges."

    Speaking on NET radio station, farmers Vaios Ganis from the Alamana roadblock said: "We have been on the streets for 22 days. We are leaving the roadblocks in a gesture of good will and acknowledge the difficult situation the country has sunk into. We wish to open an honest dialogue with the government on our problems. If not, we will take to the streets again." News item: 32924

    [09] USA: 2010 Budget to Hit $1.56 trln

    Tuesday, 02 February 2010 08:52

    "President Barack Obama on Monday projected the U.S. budget deficit would soar to a fresh record in 2010, challenging his push for fiscal responsibility while driving to defeat double-digit unemployment.

    Obama is under pressure to convince investors like China that he has a credible plan to control the country's deficit and debt over time. Polls show voters are also worried by the state of U.S. finances, and he plans to create a bipartisan fiscal commission to figure out future options.

    Obama's budget for the fiscal year to Sept. 30, 2011, which must be approved by the U.S. Congress, predicted a deficit of $1.56 trillion in 2010, equal to 10.6 percent of the economy measured by gross domestic product (GDP), the White House said. This rise was partly due to spending associated with a package of emergency stimulus measures Obama signed last year.

    The deficit projection compares with a shortfall of $1.41 trillion in fiscal 2009. The funding gap was forecast to shrink to $1.27 trillion, or 8.3 percent of GDP in 2011, and fall to half that as a share of the economy when Obama's term ends in 2013, meeting a key White House pledge.

    Source: Reuters News item: 32756

    [10] Justice Deal Ushers North Ireland in New Era

    Friday, 05 February 2010 12:15

    Northern Ireland is to take full control of its own police and justice system under a deal marking one of the boldest steps since a 1998 peace pact and ending a row that threatened to bring down Belfast's government.

    An agreement that will give Belfast its first justice minister by April 12 was reached late on Thursday after nearly two weeks of talks between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the nationalist Sinn Fein.

    "This is the day we have secured the future, lasting peace and power sharing as it should be in Northern Ireland," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told a news conference at Hillsborough Castle, outside Belfast where he and his Irish counterpart Brian Cowen endorsed the accord.

    Failure to get a deal would almost certainly have triggered a snap election in the British province where former foes, the predominantly Roman Catholic Sinn Fein and the mainly Protestant DUP, share power.

    "This agreement is a sure sign that we are not going back to the bad old days," Northern Ireland's First Minister, the DUP's Peter Robinson said.

    "No future generation would forgive us for squandering the peace that has been so long fought for."

    Source: Reuters News item: 32947

    [11] Suicide Hits Kill Dozens in Iraq's Karbala

    Friday, 05 February 2010 13:42

    Local authorities of the central Iraqi shrine city of Karb blamed mortar bomb that killed 21 Shia pilgrims on Al Qaeda members and the Baath party, the outlawed political movement of executed dictator Saddam Hussein.

    Health Ministry sources said that 31 pilgrims were killed and another r150 were injured.

    Earlier the local governor had said, "Twenty-seven people were killed and 56 wounded. I accuse Al-Qaeda who are being supported by the Baath party."

    Source: Reuters, ANA/MPA

    BBC: Bombings hit Iraq Shia pilgrims in Karbala

    News item: 32950

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