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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-04-07

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Greek PM Calls for Less Words and More Work
  • [02] Revenues from Fines to the "Green Fund
  • [03] Thai Premier Declares State of Emergency
  • [04] Greek FinMin Meets IMF Experts
  • [05] Fierce Clashes Kill Scores in Kyrgyzstan
  • [06] The Adventures of a Suitcase‚¶
  • [07] Visa Waiver Program Takes Effect
  • [08] Brazil: Floods and Landslides Kill 96

  • [01] Greek PM Calls for Less Words and More Work

    Wednesday, 07 April 2010 17:36

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who chaired Wednesday an inner cabinet meeting, urged his ministers to speak less and speed up the structural reforms. Outlining the key priorities of the government's work for the coming months, he termed the commitment to the government's obligations emerged by the stability plan as prime concern.

    George Papandreou, sending a crystal clear message to those who questioned the validity of the safety net Brussels agreed to offer to Greece, underlined that the said agreement is a success for Greece, as it manages to create a support mechanism not only for Greece but every other nations that could come up against similar fiscal problems.

    "We gained time and our credibility," said the Greek Premier and advised his ministers to stop paying attention to rumours and start solving the country's problems by suggesting changes.

    Papandreou claimed that Greece's campaign to restore its credibility requires an orchestrated and prompt promotion of major changes as soon as possible. Therefore, he called on businesses, the local authorities, the organizations and the youth to actively participate in the shaping of a new growth reality.

    The Greek head of state reiterated what he had said in a previous inner cabinet, whereby there are new proposals that will be discussed in the future for a better management of similar problems.

    Finally, Papandreou argued that the people of Greece proved that it is mature and is after changes provided they are ruled by the principles of credible governance, social justice, fair wealth distribution, transparency and collective efforts.

    Source: ANA/MPA, NET 105.8 News item: 35169

    [02] Revenues from Fines to the "Green Fund

    Wednesday, 07 April 2010 16:58

    The cabinet gave thumbs up for the establishment of a "green fund" where the revenues from fines paid by property owners whose balconies have no planning permission will be channeled into. Fines will range from 7% to 23% depending on the square metres of the property and its objective value.

    Source: NET News item: 35167

    [03] Thai Premier Declares State of Emergency

    Wednesday, 07 April 2010 16:05

    Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has declared a state of emergency in Bangkok after a month of anti-government protests that culminated in the takeover of the Parliament building and the commercial heart of the Thai capital. In his televised address, Mr Abhisit said that his move would help security forces restore order and arrest the opposition leaders who are fighting for the exiled former prime minister.

    Parliament Building Taken Over

    Emergency law gives sweeping powers to the security forces and in theory bans public gatherings of more than five people.

    Earlier, scores of anti-government demonstrators stormed the building housing the country's Parliament, forcing some ministers who were inside to flee.

    Security forces used tear gases against the crowds. Later on about 1,000 demonstrators rammed the front doors of the building and stormed in the building's yard.

    As soon as the Prime Minister declared emergency state, one of his ministers said that the authorities decided to push the demonstrators back and arrest the masterminds.

    The opposition party of UDD has asked the Thai Prime Minister to dissolve Parliament and call for elections.

    Source: Reuters, ANA/MPA News item: 35165

    [04] Greek FinMin Meets IMF Experts

    Wednesday, 07 April 2010 14:29

    Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou met Wednesday with IMF experts who are in Athens to offer their know-how to the Greek government. Exiting the meeting, which was also attended by Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sahinides, Papakonstantinou said that the two sides reviewed the implementation of the government's new tax bill, with the main focus being on the measures aimed at curtailing tax evasion, conducting extensive cross-checks and reorganizing the relevant services.

    With regard to the public spending, the Greek Finance Minister claimed they touched on matters pertaining to the establishment of a fiscal code and the committee meant to monitor the spending. Papakonstantinou claimed that the IMF panel, which will remain in Greece for about two weeks, did not suggest new austerity measures.

    Papakonstantinou-Provopoulos Meeting

    Greek banks, hit by a series of credit rating downgrades linked to the country's debt crisis, have asked the government and the Bank of Greece for more financial support. Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou added that the Ministry will lay down a series of procedures aiming to make sure that the aid given to the banks will be channeled into the market. He also said that he is to meet with the Governor of the Bank of Greece, Mr Provopoulos.

    The Governor of the Bank of Greece briefed the Finance Minister on the qualitative figures of the 2009 results and the liquidity of the Greek lenders.

    Greek Government Denies...

    In the meantime, the Greek government denied rumours whereby Greece was after renegotiating the rescue plan agreed in Brussels. The said rumours shot yield spreads up, triggering nervousness in the markets.

    ...and So Does the EU

    European Commission spokeswoman Amelia Tores dismissed the rumours as groundless, noting, at the same time, that the European Commission refuses to comment on such press reports.

    Touching on the procedures followed in similar situations, she argued that the member-states are obliged to release their estimates on their fiscal deficit and the public debt by 1 April each year. Their estimates are then processed by Eurostat. All 27 member-states have done so, commented Tores.

    The European Commission spokeswoman maintained that in case questions are raised, the national governments are called on to provide the requirement clarifications. Amelia Tores reiterated that Eurostat will release its estimate on the deficit and the debt of the 27 EU nations on 22 April.

    Source: ANA/MPA, NET, NET 105.8 News item: 35162

    [05] Fierce Clashes Kill Scores in Kyrgyzstan

    Wednesday, 07 April 2010 14:00

    A wave of anti-government protests has fuelled fierce clashes between demonstrators and police in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where at least 17 people have been killed. Demonstrators stormed the offices of the state-run television. Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov declared a state of emergency, while Russia called for restraint. In the meantime, three of the opposition leaders, including former presidential candidate Almazbek Atambayev, were arrested and charged with serious crimes.

    Deadly Clashes

    The clashes broke out between police and the opposition supporters in Bishkek on Wednesday morning, with police using tear gases to disperse the hundreds of anti-government supporters who gathered in the capital city.

    Journalists said that about 3,000 demonstrators, who want President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to step down, set off from the opposition's seat and marched towards the presidential mansion.

    During their march, demonstrators took over tanks and stripped policemen off their guns, eye witnesses said.

    In the meantime, 10 leading anti-government politicians have been arrested, including former prime minister and presidential candidate Almazbek Atambayev. Information has it that the rest opposition leaders are hiding.

    The opposition says it has lost control of the situation, because it is unable to control and guide the demonstrators.

    News item: 35155

    [06] The Adventures of a Suitcase‚¶

    Wednesday, 07 April 2010 11:27

    The Melbourne police will press charges against a couple who refused to return a used suitcase it had bought. The suitcase contained 100,000 dollars!

    But let's see how the story goes. The suitcase was sold to a charity organization by a woman who had no idea that her husband had hidden 100,000 dollars in it. Of course, she did not bother to ask her husband before selling it. But couldn't he find another hideout for his money?

    When the couple discovered what had happened they went mad. They rushed to the charity organization, but the suitcase had already been sold.

    Finally, the new owners of the suitcase were found along with the money which had been deposited in two bank accounts. It goes without saying that the new owners refused to return the money. Authorities will now take legal actions against them because the kept something they knew wasn't theirs.

    Source: ANA/MPA News item: 35145

    [07] Visa Waiver Program Takes Effect

    Wednesday, 07 April 2010 10:24

    Visas will no longer be required for Greeks wishing to travel to the USA. However, as is the case in all countries, Greek citizens will have to follow some procedures prior to their departure to the USA.

    According to an announcement issued by the US embassy in Athens, those wishing to visit the USA will have to fill in the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) application at least 72 hours before their travel.

    The ESTA application, which is valid for two years, can be used for entertainment or business travels to the USA.

    The Visa Waiver Program applies to the holders of eligible Greek passport and has issued after 26 August 2006.

    For more information, visit the website of the US embassy.

    Source: NET 105.8 News item: 35142

    [08] Brazil: Floods and Landslides Kill 96

    Wednesday, 07 April 2010 09:18

    At least 96 people perished in the worst showers and landslides that hit Rio de Janeiro in the last half of the century, as authorities in Brazil said. About 40 people have been reported injured.

    The mayor said that chaos ruled the city until late on Tuesday following the showers that started on Monday evening and are still flooding the area.

    Thousands of firefighters have been deployed in the city of 12 million inhabitants. Several drivers left their vehicles sank in waters, while others were trapped inside them for hours. All key road arteries have been closed.

    The governor of the Rio de Janeiro state has declared a three-day mourning.

    Source: NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 35138

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