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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-03-07
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Bloody Elections in IraqSunday, 07 March 2010 12:11
Iraq's parliamentary election has been hit by multiple attacks, with at least 35 people being killed and 60 injured. Iraqi Prime-minister Nouri Maliki called on voters to turn out in large numbers, saying that participation would boost democracy. This is the second parliamentary election held after the fall of Sadam Husein. Election procedure is considered a crash test in view of withdrawal of US troops.
Hail of Attacks
It seems that Iraq is at war, border with Iran closed, an immense security operation mounted, and a car ban in force. Two bomb attacks were reported in Baghdad, one in the northern part of the city, killing 12 people and injuring 8 while 5 people were killed in the second attack. Dozens of mortars were also fired in different sections of the capital and there were mortar attacks and roadside bombs in other cities including Salahudin, Mosul, Falluja and Mahmudiya.
Iraqis Elect 325 Deputies
Some 19 million Iraqi citizens are expected to cast their vote to elect 325 deputies. Polling stations are to close at 16:00 Greek local time. In his statements to BBC, Iraq's prime-minister,Nouri Maliki called on people to ignore hail of violence and turn out in large numbers, predicting that attacks would not achieve their target , to threaten Iraqi people.
Source: BBC News item: 34072
 Measures Necessary Say Senior Government OfficialsSunday, 07 March 2010 10:46
High ranking government officials underline the need for additional fiscal measures in the mid of increased concern within the PASOK party and strong reactions by the opposition. "economic measures are extremely painful and not pleasant for anyone but we must realize that there is no alternative option", stressed deputy president Theodoros Pangalos. The Ministers for Economics and Education Louka Katselis and Anna Diamantopoulou backed the new measures and stressed their necessity. After confrontation in the Parliament between PASOK deputy Hristos Papoutsis and Ph. Sahinidis Finance undersecretary, deputy of the ruling party Kostas Skandalidis, in an interview, calls for re-orientation of government's selections.
Th. Pangalos: "There isn't alternative option"
"Economic measures are extremely painful and not pleasant for anyone but we must realize that there is no alternative option", Th. Pagalos, deputy president.
From Rhodes, Theodoros Pagalos underlined the necessity for the implementation of measures, underlining that people should understand that there is no option for selection.
"It is our obligation to bring state deficit down otherwise we will fail to meet payments", said the deputy president, adding "This is an unhappy development since myself as any other politician would rather have money to allocate for public investments and social justice". He described measures proposed by ND party as groundless and untrustworthy while commenting on reactions within the ruling PASOK party he said "some would rather not resort to emotional approach", making also clear that PASOK does not face risk of division. Commenting on SYN president Alexis Tsipras statements about amateur economists, Mr. Pangalos stressed "the Greek people certainly do not believe that Mr. tsipras and his aides are professional economists after their attack against the unknown Soldier guards". In response to possibility of extension to private sector of 14th salary cut, he ruled out any link of measures for the public sector with the private sector. He, however, added that if these measures boost competitiveness it is an issue to be resoleved between employers and employees but expressed his belief that this measure did not boost competitiveness.
Louka Katselis:"Big reforms are necessary at present"
Minister for Economics Louka katselis backed the new measures underlining that big reforms are necessary for the country to change route.
"The government understands social reactions, we must, however, face the circumstances maintaining national solidarity and social cohesion" said Defense Minister E. Venizelos.
The recent measures were considered necessary to give a clear message to markets that fiscal purging will succeed despite difficulties in 2010, he added noting that the Greek people trusted the government to carry out the necessary reforms.
Education Minister, Anna Diamantopoulou, in an interview with newspaper "Eleftherotypia, described the measures necessary, adding, however, that society can not put up with further measures.
"The government's policy has no relation with PASOK and its pre-election campaign commitments" said K. Skandalidis and called on the Prime-minister to correct the wrong-doing.
Source: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA - ÌPA
News item: 34071
 Sarkozy Voices Support- Berlin Considers Creation of EMFSaturday, 06 March 2010 19:54
Prime-minister G. Papandreou concludes marathon diplomatic contacts in Europe with his meeting with French President Nikola Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace, on Sunday afternoon. France's President has already expressed his support to the Greek government with his statement that the Eurozone could not leave one of its member states to collapse. Former French President Valery Giskard d'Estaing also expressed his support to Greece in an interview with daily newspaper "Kathimerini". Earlier, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in an interview with daily "Welt am Sonntag" maintained the Euro region may need a European Monetary Fund.
Schaeuble: Rules out IMF Rescue Package for Greece
"For the internal stability of the euro zone, we need an institution that has the powers and know-how of the IMF," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
In his interview with daily "Welt am Sonntag", the German Finance Minister directly supported the creation of a European Monetary Fund and will soon publish his own proposals.
He ruled out any IMF rescue package for Greece underlining that the Euro region could solve its own problems by itself.
He characteristically said:
" IMF rescue package for Greece would be an admission that the euro region can't solve its own problems by itself." Furthermore, he supported a stronger coordination of economic policy in the EU and the euro region and called on his counterparts to clearly and sincerely state the problems of each euro region member state and publish their proposals.
The Bavarian wing of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mr. Schaeuble Christian Democratic party (CSU) as well as the Liberal party (FDP) of the ruling coalition supported the creation of a European Monetary Fund.
"We need a European Monetary Fund that commands the experience of the IMF and similar executive powers" said Alexander Dobbrindt representative of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria in an interview with Bild am Sonntag "We should now consider ways to better inspect euro region member states such as Greece and implement effective sanctions", he added.
N. Sarkozy Clear Support
Prior to Greek Prime-minister arrival to Paris, French President Nikola Sarkozy had clearly stated his support to Greece saying the euro region could not allow one of its members to collapse. "If we created the euro, we cannot let a country fall that is in the eurozone. "Otherwise there was no point in creating the euro. We must support Greece because they are making an effort" said N. Sarkozy during a meeting with French farmers within the framework of Agriculture Exhibition in Paris.
Former French President Valery Giskard d'Estaing expressed solidarity to Greece
"Greece made mistakes, however, France and Germany should give a hard blow to speculators who play games with its future, stressed former French President Valery Giskard d'Estaing, adding "when a member of a family faces problems it seems inconceivable the others to show him the exit".
German Article about Purchase of Greek Bonds by KfW
Newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that if needed Germany would be ready to instruct state bank KfW to buy Greek bonds on the condition that other EU states joined in the operation and that Athens implements its savings plans in full. Commenting German Finance Minister said:
"There is no question about provision of support tools. The Greek Prime-minister did not ask for any help during his visit to Berlin".
Reuters reported last month that the German coalition was considering using the KfW state development bank to buy Greek government bonds to ease Greece's financing problems.
News item: 34069