|Saturday, 24 February 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-03-24
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Tax Bill Submitted to ParliamentWednesday, 24 March 2010 16:12
After amending provisions relating to the interests of home loans, the taxation of firing reimbursements and the withholding of tax relief, the new tax bill was submitted Tuesday to Parliament. The Parliament's relevant committee will discuss the bill on Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday, while the Parliament's Plenum will start discussing it as of 8 April. It appears, though, that more corrections will be made during the debate.
G. Petalotis: "Nobody Will Be Excluded"
"We will make no exceptions," stressed government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis, who admitted that there are parts of the public sector that may have special needs. "However, due to the urgent situation the country and its economy have plunged into, mostly because of the ND policies, no one can be excluded," argued Petalotis. News item: 34722
 Tough Negotiations for a Mixed SolutionWednesday, 24 March 2010 16:12
Prior to the opening of the 25 March EU Summit, tough talks are underway among the 27 EU leaders with a view to brokering a deal on the setting up of a safety net for member-states plagued by fiscal problems. It is estimated that the agreement will include the International Monetary Fund's involvement, as requested by Germany. EU Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn called for a political decision on the support mechanism governed by the single currency bloc. Otherwise, as he claimed, the eurozone might be hit by turmoil. He also offered his backing to the proposal made by France and Spain. The two EU nations called for an emergency eurogroup meeting before the EU summit.
Rehn: Support Mechanism Is Necessary
EU Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn forecast serious implications in the eurozone, in case the European Union fails to come up with a solution. Rehn called for a support mechanism monitored and controlled by Europe.
A few hours ahead of the crucial EU Summit, Olli Rehn welcomed the proposal calling for a session of the Eurozone countries' leaders ahead of the EU Council Summit tomorrow so that a decision to be taken for the establishment of a mechanism to aid Greece.
The EU Commissioner claimed that the single currency union has found itself in a threshold where Greece will either cause serious problems or Europe will learn a lot from the crisis.
Eyes Fixed in Berlin
All eyes have been fixed on Berlin and Chancellor Angela Merkel's stance. A Di Welt report read that Germany is ready to offer its backing to an agreement on support mechanism to debt-stricken nations at the eurogroup meeting.
Berlin, however, does not have concluded on its moves, since the government coalition appears to be split. The Merkel administration wishes to see the International Monetary Fund have an active role in any aid package to Greece. However, the country's Finance Minister claimed that an IMF involvement could be detrimental to the single currency. News item: 34721
 European Socialists Preparing Support PlanWednesday, 24 March 2010 15:15
Prime-minister, G. Papandreou is having a heavy schedule in Brussels aimed to change correlations regarding EU Commission support mechanism for Greece. Reports quoting a source- asked not to be named- say that European Socialists are likely to outline their plans for the creation of a borrowing mechanism to support euro region member, adding that it was expecting the EU to show solidarity and political support.
European Socialists Support Mechanism
European Socialist leaders are expected to outline plans for the creation of mechanism to borrow Greece during their meeting on Thursday in the presence of Greek Prime-minister G. Papandreou.
The plan will be presented shortly before the EU Summit meeting and backed by Spanish Prime-minister and EU president Jose Sapatero. News agencies report under the plan for a so-called European mechanism for financial stability, a fund would be set up to borrow money in financial markets and lend it on to Greece.
In a report seen by Reuters, party officials who consulted with the EU's lending arm, the European Investment Bank, write: "The trustee fund can borrow on the markets, using the (European) Commission's expertise on bond issues."
"With the money thus raised, the fund can then lend money to the member state which needs it," they said. "The agreement details a credible medium term strategy, aimed at putting the recipient member state back onto the right track, with a solidarity support, but not with grants."
Sources: ÍÅÔ-ÁNA/ÌPA News item: 34720
 Karatzaferis -Simitis MeetingWednesday, 24 March 2010 12:58
LAOS president, George Karatzaferis had a meeting on Wednesday with former prime-minister Kostas Simitis within the context of his contacts with former prime-ministers. The meeting took place in Mr. Simitis office in the Parliament building and lasted 35 minutes. In his statements after the meeting, Mr. Karatzaferis said former prime-minister Simitis had clear views and ideas and was a reserve official who could be invited to express his opinion. G. Kratzaferis said he was satisfied at the outcome of the meeting, adding that Mr. Simitis could highly contribute with his knowledge for the resolution of the problem the country was facing.
In response to whether he would try to meet with Kostas Karamanlis, G. Karatzaferis described as unseemly behavior not to try to meet with Mr. Karamanlis after having met with the other two former prime-ministers. On his part, Mr. Simitis did not make any statements.
Source: ÁNA-ÌPA News item: 34709
 Students' Parade to Mark March, 25Wednesday, 24 March 2010 12:36
Customary students' parade in front of the Unknown Soldier to mark March, 25, 1821 national day took place in Athens, on Wednesday.
Athens students opened national day celebrations that culminate on Thursday with the grand military parade in the Athens center.
During the parade, a small group of teachers staged a demonstration in protest against the government's economic and educational policy.
"History is in our side" said Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou, adding "during this dramatic period for our country, we all have the duty to achieve and place we against I". Statements by representatives of opposition political parties were in the same line with all expressing optimism that Greece would overcome the present financial crisis.
Source: ÍÅÔ105.8 - ÍÅÔ News item: 34708
 Fresh Turkish Provocation in the AegeanWednesday, 24 March 2010 11:24
An unprecedented Turkish provocation occurred at the early hours on the eve of the national day. Specifically, a Turkish corvette in Greek territorial waters at 02:00, on Wednesday broadcast message to sailing near cargo ship "Archangel" asking the captain to give details of the route followed. Five minutes earlier Greek frigate "Krystallidis" closely monitoring the moves of the Turkish navy craft sent message that it was " violating the basic rule of innocent passage".
At 02:30, the Turkish corvette left Greek territorial waters and entered international waters south of the island of Chios. Only navy and port authority ships of the country to which territorial waters belong has the right to ask for sailing ship details.
Source: ÁNA-ÌPA News item: 34706
 G. Papandreou Visits OKANA Rehab CenterWednesday, 24 March 2010 09:33
Prime-minister G. Papandreou visited OKANA Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday morning. Health undersecretary, Fofi Gennimata, in an interview on Tuesday, described the situation as dramatic underlining that 6.000 drug addicts are on a waiting list for over 6 years hoping to join the rehabilitation program.
The leadership of the Health Ministry has denounced that the former conservative ND government had proceeded to mass hiring to man rehabilitation centers which had not been created. Mrs. Gennimata said for 2007 debts of Drug Abuse Prevention Centers mounted to 14 million euros and OKANA to 15 million euros.
Sources: ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 34700
 Obama -Netanyahu Meet at the White HouseWednesday, 24 March 2010 08:14
US President Barrack Obama and Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu met within closed doors on Tuesday, at the White House. The meeting came amid tensions between the two governments over Israel's decision to build new Jewish housing in disputed parts of East Jerusalem. The US President Obama is said to be angered at the approval of plans for construction of 1.600 homes in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as their future capital.
Crucial Period for US-Israel Relations
The two leaders did not make any statements after the two meetings they held at the White House. Netanyahu, after his first meeting with US President Obama, asked to have talks with his aides. One hour later he asked for a second meeting with Barrack Obama, who received him at the Oval Office.
The meeting- the Israelis describe in a "good atmosphere"- was held in a period particularly crucial on relations between the two allies, as Washington has strongly reacted to Israeli plans for construction of settlement announced last month.
"Jerusalem is not a settlement. It's our capital", said Netanyahu in a press conference after an event organized by pro-Israeli lobby in Washington one day before his meeting with US President.
Earlier, Mr Netanyahu had warned "US support to illogical and unreasonable Palestinian demands for freeze on settlement building could put the peace negotiations on hold for another year".
Sources: Reuters, ÁNA-ÌPA
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News item: 34696