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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-03-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Loverdos: "Bonuses Won't Be Cut in Private Sector"
  • [02] ND Satisfied at Sarkozy Support Statements
  • [03] Brownish Haze over Athens
  • [04] Prime-minister in Washington
  • [05] Rehn's Proposal for European Monetary Fund
  • [06] Low Interest Loans to Pay Taxes & SS Contributions
  • [07] The Hurt Locker Dominates

  • [01] Loverdos: "Bonuses Won't Be Cut in Private Sector"

    Monday, 08 March 2010 17:16

    Employment Minister Andreas Loverdos assured Monday that the government's measures to fix Greece's fiscal problems won't be implemented in the private sector. Sounding on the same wavelength, GSEVEE (Hellenic Confederation of Professionals Craftsmen and Merchants) head Dimitris Asimakopoulos stressed that no GSEVEE head will sign a suggestion to have 14th salary in the private sector.

    Never did the EU recommend the wage cuts decided be implemented in the private sector, reiterated Monday Andreas Loverdos, who is in Brussels to attend a meeting of the EU's Employment Ministers.

    Loverdos reassured that neither EU Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn nor the experts of the European Commission, Eurostat and the European Central Bank called for such measures.

    The Greek Employment Minister also stressed that the he had the opportunity to brief his counterparts on Greece's struggle to deal with the crisis and the speculators.

    Andreas Loverdos then highlighted the need for Greece's herculean effort to that it earns EU support both at political and institutional level.

    In the meantime, reacting to the new measures taken by the government to address the financial crisis, employees have scheduled more strikes and demonstrations.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA

    News item: 34109

    [02] ND Satisfied at Sarkozy Support Statements

    Monday, 08 March 2010 15:13

    ND party hailed French President Nikola Sarkozy statements on his support to euro currency and fight against speculators following his meeting with Greek Prime-minister G. Papandreou. ND spokesman P. Panagiotopoulos underlined that possibility to refer to IMF is clearly fading away after G. Papandreou meetings with N. Sarkozy and Angela Merkel. The opposition party, however, will voice its positions after the conclusion of Mr. Papandreou contacts, including his meetings with US President barrack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. ND party leader will address an event organized by ND women members, on Monday afternoon.

    "We hail French President Nikola Sarkozy statements. These statements strengthen political cohesion among members of euro region and show the necessary picture of solidarity, which not only Greece needs but all euro region members" said Mr. Panagiotopoulos. He described as positive N. Sarkozy positions concerning creation of institutions for the protection of the euro currency against speculators.

    News item: 34102

    [03] Brownish Haze over Athens

    Monday, 08 March 2010 12:06

    Deterioration of weather with gale force winds, heavy rain and storms, snowfall on high ground in the continental shelf, Parnitha and Thessaloniki where snow chains are necessary in provincial road network in Florina, Katoria, Larissa and Rodopi provinces.

    In the meantime, a yellowish haze from African dust has spread over Athens and other regions of the country. Schools in Kastoria, Florina, Grevena and Kozani will remain closed on Monday. Gale force winds have disrupted sea and air transport. Passengers scheduled to travel today are advised to call local port and airport authorities.

    Source: NET-NET 105.8-NA-PA

    News item: 34093

    [04] Prime-minister in Washington

    Monday, 08 March 2010 10:18

    Prime-minister G. Papandreou, who is paying a 3-day official visit to US, arrived in Washington at 06:00 (Greek time), on Monday. Mr. Papandreou flew from Paris where he met with French President N. Sarkozy. The Prime-minister, who is accompanied by Finance Minister, G. Papakonstantinos and alternate Foreign Minister, D. Droutsas, will meet with US president Barrack Obama and State and Treasury Secretaries Hillary Clinton and Timothy Geithner as well as high ranking officials in US Congress.

    Prime-minister's Agenda

    Greece's Prime-minister is scheduled to meet with US President, at the White House, on Tuesday to convey Yunker, Sarkozy, Merkel as well as his initiative for a coordinated intervention of the world community concerning bonds' market and particularly the cost of insuring government debt on which speculators invest. G. Papandreou will ask for US President support and his mediation in the G20.

    The Prime-minister's Monday agenda include a speech at Brookings Foundation, next a meeting with US State Secretary Hillary Clinton while he will also attend dinner in his honour hosted by Blair House.

    Mr. Papandreou first meeting on Tuesday is with Nancy Pelozy, Speaker of the House of Representatives, meeting with US President Obama will follow. Next he will meet with US Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geither and visit Congress to have talks with Senate Democrats majority leader Harry Reid and Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell. Greece's prime-minister will return to the White House to attend celebration of Greek Independence Day in the presence of US President, Archbishop of America Demetrios and prominent members of the Grteek-American community.

    On Wednesday, G. Papandreou will meet with Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Senator John Kerry and other members of the Committee. During his stay in Washington, the prime-minister will give a number of interviewsand have contacts with Us mass media.

    Source: 105.8 - NA-PA

    News item: 34087

    [05] Rehn's Proposal for European Monetary Fund

    Monday, 08 March 2010 15:20

    In an attempt to draw lessons from Greece's fiscal crisis, the EU is seriously considering setting up a European Monetary Fund that could tackle the default of a member state or force a country to cut its deficit before it got out of hand.

    "The European Commission is willing to make a proposal on this instrument relating to a possible European Monetary Fund" before the end of June, Amadeu Altafaj, spokesman for EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, told reporters.

    However, Altafaj declined to give more details, since the plan, as he stressed, is still in its infancy, with the European Commission holding talks with the euro-zone countries and the European Central Bank.

    He finally added that the setting up of a European Monetary Fund will take time, therefore, its goal will be to improve financial management within the single currency union and not just tackle the Greek crisis.

    Source: ANA/MPA, NET News item: 34104

    [06] Low Interest Loans to Pay Taxes & SS Contributions

    Monday, 08 March 2010 14:19

    The Economics Ministry announced two new TEMPME ( Credit Guarantee Fund for Small and Vey Small Enterprises) programs will take effect to provide low interest loans to middle-sized businesses to help them pay off taxation and social security obligations. Some 100.000 middle-sized businesses will be benefited by the two new programs whose budget total 2 billion euros. The new measures provide low interest loans of 5% to 6% , guaranteed by the state, to pay off obligations to tax office and social security funds and purchase. Minister for Economics, Louka Katselis hailed the moves and initiatives of business' organizations to promote actions so to absorb all or part of increase in VAT.

    Top priority is placed on survival of businesses during this crucial period , protection of job positions, boosting of market liquidity as well as increase in tax office and social security funds incomings.

    Details on the terms of the programs will be determined on March, 15. Mrs. Katselis, however, said the new programs include all forms of companies employing up to 50 people and their annual turnover is not over 10 million euros. Also the highest amount of loan is 100.000 euros. For businesses employing up to 5 people the ceiling of loan is 40. 000 euros, from 5-20 people loan up to 70.000 and 20-50 people up to 100.000 euros . To cover obligations to suppliers sum of loan ranges from 5.000 to 300.000 euros .

    The general secretary of the Hellenic bankers' Union Christos Gortsos expressed Greek banks intention to continue TEMPME programs, underlining over 5 billion euros have been channeled into the market through the banking system.

    L. Katselis Satisfied at Businessmen Initiatives on VAT

    Mrs. Katselis hailed the moves and initiatives of business' organizations to promote actions so to absorb all or part of increase in VAT

    "It is particularly important to support real income and not pass rise in VAT to products. Furthermore, we are making all necessary moves, activating inspection mechanisms and consumer organizations as well as adding new products and services in the Price Observatory", stressed L. Katselis.

    On his part, GESEBEE president D. Asimakopoulos said that rise in VAT could not be passed to products during this period as drop in turnover is so big, not only forbidding rises in products even if they are justified but leading to drop in prices.

    News item: 34097

    [07] The Hurt Locker Dominates

    Monday, 08 March 2010 10:41

    "The Hurt Locker", that follows the dangerous daily existence of an Army bomb defusal team, earned six Oscars (including best film, best director, best original screenplay, best sound and sound effects, best montaz).Kathryn Bigelow, who is one of only four women to be nominated for the best director prize, beat her ex-husband, Avatar director James Cameron who earned three awards, to win the award, considered one of the most coveted in Hollywood. First-time winners took all four acting prizes: Sandra Bullock as best actress for The Blind Side, Jeff Bridges as best actor for Crazy Heart, Austria's Christoph Waltz as supporting actor for Inglourious Bastards, and Mo'Nique as supporting actress for Precious.

    Germany's big Oscar hope "The White Ribbon" missed out in the best foreign film category to Argentina's The Secret in Their Eyes (a thriller about a 25-year-long manhunt) that pulled off a surprise win for foreign-language film.

    "Up" won the best animated movie Oscar.

    The Cove, an investigation into grisly dolphin-fishing operations in Japan, directed by National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos, won the Academy Award for best documentary. News item: 34088


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