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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-03-01

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Olli Rehn: Greece Must Invest in a Different Manner
  • [02] Samaras Meets with ADEDY Board
  • [03] Inner Cabinet Discuss Acceleration of Judicial Procedures
  • [04] Deadly Storm Xynthia Kills More than 50 People in Europe
  • [05] New Package of Measures Announced
  • [06] ADM Acquires Skaramangas Shipyards
  • [07] Week of Developments

  • [01] Olli Rehn: Greece Must Invest in a Different Manner

    Monday, 01 March 2010 18:39

    At the Press conference EU Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn gave Monday in Athens, he said that both the measures included in the Greek stability plan and the additional ones unveiled Monday by the Greek Prime Minister are towards the right direction. Estimating that Greece has reached a turning point, Olli Rehn urged the people of Greece to offer their backing to the additional measures so that Greece can manage to regain its EU partners' trust.

    Source: ANA/MPA

    News item: 33891

    [02] Samaras Meets with ADEDY Board

    Monday, 01 March 2010 14:19

    The new financial measures taken by the government, the cuts in bonuses and the institutional changes in the public sector topped the meeting held between main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and the board of the civil servants' umbrella federation ADEDY. The ADEDY board expressed its concern over the lack of essential deliberations on the part of the government in view of the announcement of the new measures. Shadow alternate finance minister Christos Staikouras said afterwards that the government was holding deliberations in the absence of the social partners. He further stressed that the government's announcements have not been translated into actions.

    After the meeting, Christos Staikouras accused the government of holding deliberations in the absence of the social partners. He also blasted the Prime Minister for blaming the current state of the economy on New Democracy, the European Commission, speculators and rating firms.

    Touching on the income policy, he reminded that the Prime Minister had pledged to raise salaries up to 2000 euros above inflation, to gradually trim bonuses, however a fortnight after his pledge he spoke of a general wage freeze.

    "This government is to blame for nothing. However, five months after it took office, the only measures it has taken are in the direction of raising indirect taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and fuel on increasing taxes on real estate," Staikouras said, adding that all other measures are simply being announced, but not implemented, and constantly being altered towards the worse, and cited the incomes policy as an example.

    He said that ND once again calls on the government to put aside its incessant "measures-talk" and actually take measures and enrich its policies with "developmental breathers" that were recently proposed by ND, because the tolerance and endurance of the Greek society is not unlimited

    Source: ANA/MPA News item: 33878

    [03] Inner Cabinet Discuss Acceleration of Judicial Procedures

    Monday, 01 March 2010 08:46

    Prime-minister G. Papandreou chaired Ministers' Council on Monday, also attended by chief judges of the country's three Supreme Courts, centered on acceleration of judicial procedures. In his speech, Mr. Papandreou stressed "people should feel that Justice protects them and underlined there is a view that justice of the powerful and not power of justice prevails in the last years". He also called on chief justices to expound an honest view on a Justice that could meet people's expectations. Mr. Papandreou added that the government was determined to give an answer to all those issues and build up feeling that there is punishment of perjures and offenders of law.

    Feeling of justice is not satisfied while it is believed that Justice does not function to protect people from illegal practices. There is a feeling that no one is punished in Greece and one goes through a huge hassle to find justice.

    G. Papandreou

    Feeling of justice is not satisfied while it is believed that Justice does not function to protect people from illegal practices. There is a feeling that no one is punished in Greece and one goes through a huge hassle to find justice.

    Greek people and EU member state leaders wonder whether there is Justice in Greece, underlining that most often economic crime is never punished. The prime-minister referred to several examples to show that many verdicts were issued against people and fair distribution of Justice either due to inconceivable bureaucracy or minimum efforts to attribute justice.

    Mr. Papandreou said that the government was determined to achieve rapid and qualitative attribution of Justice as it is the foundation of democracy.he also spoke of manipulation of Justice by political power which has created serious questions regarding distinguishment of powers.

    Source: 105.8 News item: 33856

    [04] Deadly Storm Xynthia Kills More than 50 People in Europe

    Monday, 01 March 2010 09:15

    Deadly storm Xynthia has been sweeping western Europe since Saturday. It has claimed at least 52 lives, mostly in France, where several regions have flooded and at least 1 million houses have been left with no electricity.

    In France, the hardest hit from the storm, several coastal areas have flooded, tens of people have perished, while several others have been reported missing. The storm was France's deadliest since 1999.

    The trail of devastation was described as a 'national distaster' by prime minister Francois Fillon.

    President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and praised the work of rescuers. He is due to visit worst hit areas.

    Brice Hortefeux, the interior minister, said the French government had set aside one million euros in immediate relief aid, and said France will also ask the EU to release funds from its regional budget.

    Mr Hortefeux added: "By Monday morning, 47 people are known to have been killed and hundreds more are injured."

    After battering Portugal, where a child was killed, the storm hit Spain killing three people to the north of the country. The storm is now heading towards Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg.

    Source: ANA/MPA, Reuters, AFP, Telegraph.co.uk News item: 33859

    [05] New Package of Measures Announced

    Monday, 01 March 2010 15:15

    Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou announced a new package of measures so that Greece can lift its fiscal impasse, following his meeting with EU Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn. In the meantime, Prime Minister George Papandreou requested the people of Greece join the government's efforts, arguing "We are noting going to let the country sink." Olli Rehn, who is being escorted by a member of the European Central Bank, had consecutive meeting with the Greek Finance Minister. He is currently meeting with the Prime Minister. After their meeting, he will give a press conference.

    Announcing a new package of measures is just a matter of time, with the Prime Minister stating that the government is willing to give its answer to the crisis the country is experiencing.

    "... We are asking the people of Greece to join the efforts to save our country and the overwhelming majority of the citizens are willing to do so..."

    George Papandreou

    "Our country is living through a really deep crisis. You are all aware of that. As I have repeated several times, the crisis in Greece is not reduced to our fiscal problem. This is just the tip of the iceberg. However, addressing it is an emergency, because it has assumed mammoth dimensions, as it is menacing to strip us of our ability to be the ones to determine our fate. And we will do so," stressed Papandreou while addressing the cabinet. He then urged the people of Greece to join the campaign to save the country.

    "We are asking the people of Greece to join the efforts to save our country and the overwhelming majority of the citizens are willing to do so. Despite the cost, despite the burden, everyone says 'yes'. The Greeks who do not evade by hiding their incomes are ready to contribute to the salvation of our country.

    In the meantime, EU Commissioner Olli Rehn who is visiting Greece requested additional measures.

    It is the risk of the stability plan that makes the taking of additional measures an imperative, commented Olli Rehn after meeting with Giorgos Papakonstantinou. He recognized though that the fiscal and structural measures that have already been taken are being implemented.

    After urging the Greek authorities to announce additional measures in the coming days, Rehn stressed that the efforts will be painstaking, yet trimming both its deficit and debt is necessary and it will help to improve economy.

    "The government will do whatever it takes, including taking additional measures, so that the goal set by the stability plan can be met," assured the Greek Finance Minister.

    Meeting with Katseli

    Olli Rehn met with Economy Minister Louka Katseli and discussed measures capable of enhancing the market and thawing economy.

    Katseli briefed Rehn on her Ministry's key policies.

    "Fiscal consolidation goes hand by hand with growth and competitiveness," stressed Katseli. She then argued that there will be closer cooperation with the European Commission. News item: 33881

    [06] ADM Acquires Skaramangas Shipyards

    Monday, 01 March 2010 14:06

    The Greek government hailed a decision by shipbuilding group Abu Dhabi Mar to invest in the Greek shipbuilding and repair sector by acquiring the majority stake in the Hellenic Shipyards S.A. at Skaramangas.

    A Communications and Information General Secretariat announcement said that the new consortium scheme to be headed by ADM (with 75.1 percent of the Skaramangas stake), which also includes ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS, with a 24.9 percent stake), "has the complete approval of the Greek government".

    The new consortium scheme will offer a lonh-term sustainable solution in the framework of the national strategy on growth in the shipbuilding industry, also commented the announcement.

    Source: ANA/MPA

    News item: 33876

    [07] Week of Developments

    Monday, 01 March 2010 08:36

    This week is considered crucial for developments in Greece's economy in view of EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Oli Rehn visit to Athens on Monday. Particular weight has also been placed on Prime-minister G. Papandreou meeting on Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr. Rehn will meet with the Prime-minister in the afternoon while he will have successive meeting in the morning with the political leadership of the Ministries for Finance, Economics and Employment as well as with the governor of the Bank of Greece. The European Commissioner is to be briefed on the additional measures to cut down deficit so he can promote the European support plan.

    "Solidarity message" is to be conveyed to Greek Prime- minister by the President of the European Parliament Socialist Group, Martin Schultz.

    There is no German bail out plan for Greece.

    . erkel

    In an interview with Germany's state television channel, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is to meet G. Papandreou in Berlin, on Friday, maintained that there was no German bail out plan for Greece and underlined that Athens had to indicate big courage to restore its credibility.

    The Government is determined to take new measures

    The government appears determined to raise 4-5 bn euros

    The new package of measures to be announced this week will most likely include rise in VAT, special tax on fuel, alcoholic drinks and cigarettes and cuts in benefits.

    The Finance Ministry seems to have decided on a new system for the proof of source of income aimed to make over 1.5 million self-employed to declare higher incomes.

    New objective criteria are to be implemented for the use and maintenance of assets. A least income to be declared will be calculated on the addition of expenses for the maintenance of assets, private school tuition, house help and others.

    14th Salary

    The EU exercises strong pressure for the abolition of collective labour contracts, lift of permanent job status in the public sector and lift of lay off limit in private sector. An up to 50% reduction in the 14th salary appears to be the most likely scenario as the alternative solution is to raise the equivalent funds for further cuts in operational expenditures and benefits.

    Minister for Economics, Louka Katselis said "Extraordinary measures are taken in extraordinary circumstances". She expressed the belief that the 14th salary would not be abolished and forecast revival of the economy from autumn.

    The Speaker of the House, Filippos Petsalnikos proposed the setting up of a fund to support Greece and expressed objection to abolition of 14 th salary and collective labour agreements.

    ADEDY (civil servants' union) president S. Papaspirou described as "cause of war" abolition of 14th salary. We support people's struggles said the gen. sec of the GCP Aleca Papariga.

    LAOS president George Karatzaferis foresees clear danger for the country's prospect.

    Source: NET, 105.8 News item: 33855


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