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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-03-28
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Developments in Church Taxation IssueSunday, 28 March 2010 17:19
Significant developments regarding Greek Church taxation are expected to emerge next week. Coming out of Saint Dinisios Church, Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos made statements about inspections on church incomes which are also a response to SYN president A. Tsipras statements about the church taxation issue.
Archbishop Ieronymos said: "the Church is the clearest of all sectors. We invite you to carry out inspections which will prove that the Church is strictly inspected, while the Church's big treasure is coal. What we simply need is journalists, the Church itself and politicians to have a serious look into the issue. To see the truth and one doing and saying whatever one wants".
In the meantime, the Church is preparing for the debate of taxation draft-bill in the Parliament with a three member committee comprised of metropolitan Bishops Elassonas Basilios, Syros Dorotheos and Messinias Hrisostomos. The Church has already drawn a report containing its views which will be handed to the competent Ministries.
Source: ΝΕΤ, ΑNA News item: 34844
 K. Papoulias Visits MesologgiSunday, 28 March 2010 15:45
President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias visited Mesologgi to attend events to mark the 184 anniversary of the heroic exodus, which he described "an action of courage beyond human measure". Their action will remain live in our memories not only for the dimension of heroism and supererogation but also for the sparkling message they sent to the globe".
Mr. Papoulias went on to say:
The struggle for self-honour and freedom is the ultimate end for any unselfish person in all parts of the world. The sacrifice of the Free Besieged awoke consciences not only in Europe but worldwide. Uprising Hellenes found supporters sharing with the same passion the eternal principles of Justice and Democracy. Lord Byron who fought for Greek people's liberty and fell in Mesolonghi is a world example of solidarity".
Thousands of German philhellenes were shocked at the barbarity of immolators and sped to help the weak Greeks. Exactly the principal of solidarity should today be the foundation stone for the Europe we want to build. European vision was the most significant investment in peace, cooperation and growth and the most ambitious political effort for solidarity and unification in modern history.
Referring to current developments, the President of the Republic said: "Nowadays, the peoples of Europe call their political leaderships to overcome institutional deadlock and create the European Union of social cohesion and solidarity, convergence as well as respect of multiculturalism, environmental awareness, vital development and protection of workers and social justice.
This anniversary gives us an opportunity to see the essence of original patriotism.
"Patriotism is neither rhetoric nor sloganism. It neither a communication product nor political fireworks. It is an unselfish contribution to the country asking nothing in return. Love for motherland is action and participation. It is a personal commitment to hand a better country to the future generation. It is the feeling of justice for the weak and ones who are not heard".
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΑNA News item: 34839
 Tembi Road RestoredSunday, 28 March 2010 14:00
Restoration works in Tembi road have concluded while Transport Minister Dimitris Reppas said that road safety standard is much higher compared to last years. The Constructors Consortium is expected to give the green light for the opening of the road to motorists. In the meantime, Athens -Kalamata trip will be significantly shorter as the Athens-Megalopolis part of the road will open to traffic on Holy Wednesday.
Athens-Kalamata Distance Shorter
Dangerous curves along Athens-Korinthos-Kalamata road network would belong to the past as of Holy Wednesday.
The new 14km highway opens to motorists and shortens the distance from 10 to 15 minutes.
The new highway has two lanes for each direction separated by a concrete barrier. Motorist will drive through 1370m long tunnels.
Tembi Awaiting Decision to Open Road
In Tembi, all rubble on the road and loose rocks have been removed while workers are finishing placement of steel fencing on the cliff close to the road.
All provisions regarding road safety standards in the text for the restoration of the Tembi road have been observed leading to a clearly higher road safety standards , even higher to Switzerland road safety standards said Minister for Infrastructure Dimitris Reppas. However, the Construction Consortium is to give the green light for the opening of the road. News item: 34835
 Presidential Mansion Park Open to the PublicSunday, 28 March 2010 11:57
The 7 acres beautiful park surrounding the Presidential Mansion is open to the public as of Sunday. Following the President of the Republic decision, visitors are allowed to walk around the park with the rare species of plants after showing identity card or passport.
Identification Card or Passport Requested
Presidential Mansion Park will be opened to the public on week days ( except for holidays) from 10:00 to 14:00. People will have access only after showing identification card or passport from Bas. Georgiou B' 2 St.entrance. Group, schools and societies should call 210 72 83 289 and 210 72 24 939 to set date of visit.
Source: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8
News item: 34832
 Local Elections Test for Berlusconi PopularitySunday, 28 March 2010 09:23
See video Italians are casting ballots in regional elections Sunday and Monday to elect governors in 13 out of 20 regions. Regional elections is seen as the biggest test for Premier Silvio Berlusconi popularity since his return to power two years ago.
Barometer for Conservative Government Coalition
Political analysts have forecast low turnout.
Pollsters say voters top concerns are rising unemployment and the economy reeling from its worst post-war recession while a corruption scandal and an investigation into Berlusconi alleged attempts to influence TV coverage-he categorically denied- has also eroded his popularity.
The Italian Premier has been also blamed for turning elections into a show as in many cases he has selected candidates from beauty contests and modeling, that several journalists say would have a negative impact in his political career. A defeat for Berlusconi's People of Freedom party might alter the balance of power within his coalition with the Northern League, especially if the premier's allies do well.
Northern league leader Umberto Bossi will try to secure first place in Venice and Lombardi. He has already announced that he would request another minister post and municipality of Milan in the event of his party's success.
Source: AFP - BBC
News item: 34828
 Test on Markets' MoodSaturday, 27 March 2010 21:26
Greece's return to the markets in the next days will test whether speculators have received the message from EU Summit in Brussels. Finance Minister G. Papakonstantinou told Reuters that Greece will borrow when necessary and expressed optimism that EU 27 member states accord would lead borrowing rates down. Greek Premier G. Papandreou, in an interview with "Kosmos tou Ependiti" refers to the struggle for Greece's rebirth and survival, citing that we have the support of our EU partners.
Next Loan Is the First Challenge
After having secured EU support, the government has placed priority on promoting the necessary structural reforms and Stability Plan.
Return to the markets is one of the big challenges to avert recourse to the EU and IMF while Finance Minister G. Papakonstantinou told Reuters that Greece has reached a final decision on when to issue a bond. Finance Ministry sources made clear that Greece would borrow when it is considered necessary and conditions matured.
From Brussels, George Papandreou spoke about the markets stand.
"Today, I make a clear statement. Don't play with Greece, markets have already begun responding", stressed the Prime-minister.
In an interview with newspaper "Kosmos tou Ependyti" speaks of a struggle for Greece's rebirth and survival with the support of our EU partners.
Furthermore, he says that the old model for the operation of the state and the economy has closed its circle, citing that the country needs new principles and models to lead to substantial redistribution of income in favour of the low groups of people.
On his part, Finance Minister G. Papakonstantinou, in an interview with newspaper "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia" speaks about the role of IMF.
"IMF involvement is complimentary and in no occasion its involvement means additional measures" said G. Papakonstantinou.
Although Greece's Finance Ministry has left open date for the issue of next bond, the head of the Public Debt Management Agency, Petros Hristodoulou told newspaper "Financial Times" that Greece would like to return to the markets at the beginning of the Holy Week.
Greece is expected to issue either a three-year or seven-year bond, to be followed in April by a similar-sized issue to raise 5 billion euros.
Borrowing interest rates is the basic factor to determine date to issue new bonds as spreads on 10-year bonds are down but still over 300 basis points.
βΆ 24/3/2010 : 333 basis points βΆ 25/3/2010 : 313 basis points βΆ 26/3/2010 : 302 basis points Satellite "Safari" for Secret Assets
While date for return to the markets remains open, the government is giving another battle to combat tax evasion. It has resorted to modern technology and Google Earth to locate secret real estate assets such as pools, villas and large properties.
Sources: ΝΕΤ News item: 34827