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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-04-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Three New Programmes Aspire to Put a Break to Unemployment
  • [02] Opposition Forms Interim Government in Kyrgyzstan
  • [03] 17yo Eyewitness Ordered Be Brought to Hearing by Force
  • [04] State Subsidies to Institutions of Former PMs Suspended
  • [05] Turkish PM Due in Athens in Mid-May
  • [06] Speculators' Exert Pressure on Greek Economy
  • [07] Obama and Medvedev Sign ArmsTreaty

  • [01] Three New Programmes Aspire to Put a Break to Unemployment

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 18:36

    Three new programmes aspiring to create 120,000 new jobs are to take effect as of Friday. The programmes, as well as the one regarding 4,000 new freelancers, will be financed by national and EU funds. Apart from the unemployed, businesses will also be benefited, as insurance contributions are to be funded.

    The Employment Minister urged businesses to take part in the said programmes, in an attempt to put a brake to dismissals.

    Source: NET News item: 35222

    [02] Opposition Forms Interim Government in Kyrgyzstan

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 16:44

    The political turmoil Kyrgyzstan has plunged into continues following the deadly clashes that claimed 75 people and injured as many as 1000 on Wednesday. Opposition had seized power in the impoverished and strategically important Central Asian state, said Roza Otunbayeva, leader of the interim government, on Thursday. She also said that President Bakiyev fled to his hometown to the south of the country, which is believed to be a bastion of his supporters, in order to consolidate his position.

    The opposition head and former Foreign Minister, Roza Otunbayeva, dissolved Parliament and said she would remain in office for six months.

    Speaking to journalists after the uprising that left dozens of dead, she said that the government stepped down and the opposition demands President Bakiyev do the same.

    Russia Denies Involvement

    Russia dispatched about 150 parachutists to its military base in Kyrgyzstan, while Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged Roza Otunbayeva to not tolerate more violence.

    Putin also pledged humanitarian aid to the former Soviet republic to help it overcome the crisis and denied rumours whereby Russia was involved in the uprising.

    West Calls for Restraint

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday he is sending a special envoy on an urgent trip to Kyrgyzstan following violent unrest in the Central Asian nation.

    The EU's foreign relations chief, Catherine Ashton, in a statement on Wednesday urged "all sides to show restraint and resume ...dialogue." EU parliament chief Jerzy Buzek said "re-establishing the rule of law is the first precondition to restore peace" and offered condolences to the deceased.

    Shocked by the violent clashes in Kyrgyzstan, the German Foreign Minister urged all parties to do everything in their power to avert further violence. The country needs to shift to safety and stability as soon as possible, added the German Foreign Minister.

    Paris also called on all parties in Kyrgyzstan to denounce any form of violence.

    Source: NET, ANA/MPA, Reuters, AFP News item: 35218

    [03] 17yo Eyewitness Ordered Be Brought to Hearing by Force

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 16:21

    The court dealing with the killing of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos imposed an order that the victim's 17-year-old friend be brought to the hearing by force, as it yet again failed to show up and testify.

    In his letter posted on a website, the 17-year-old teenager made it clear that it chose not to show up in the court and wished defendant Epaminondas Korkoneas and his attorney Alexis Kougia luck.

    According to a police document, which was read by the court's president, the young eye-witness was not found in his house in Athens when the police went there to escort him to the court.

    The boy's father said that his son left the house and his family did not know his whereabouts, because his parents do not know his new phone number.

    Alexis Kougias, the attorney of the defendant, petitioned for the protection of his family and his office, because, as he stressed, he has been targeted by dangerous anarchists.

    He also requested legal actions be taken against the teenager and his parents for extortion, arguing, "Never in my life have I encountered such a disrespect for institutions."

    Source: ANA/MPA News item: 35215

    [04] State Subsidies to Institutions of Former PMs Suspended

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 15:17

    The Education Minister decided to suspend state subsidies to institutions founded by former prime ministers, as part of the Greek government's campaign to curtail public spending.

    Briefing the boards of the institutions, the Education Minister urged the boards to accept the Ministry's decision not only because it is necessary given Greece's major fiscal problems but it is also consistent with the institutions' goals. News item: 35211

    [05] Turkish PM Due in Athens in Mid-May

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 14:27

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Athens in mid-May, it was announced on Thursday after a meeting in Ankara between visiting Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    Up until then, ten ministers from the two side will be holding bilateral talks with a view to laying down the grounds for an agreement favouring the setting-up of a Cooperation Council between the two sides. The said agreement is to be signed by the two Foreign Ministers during Erdogan's visit to Athens.

    The two ministers unveiled another five confidence-building measures pertaining to joint educational programmes, lectures in army academies and joint scientific activities.

    The issue of mutual cuts in armaments was also brought up. However, Dimitris Droutsas touched on the midair Turkish provocations and stressed that respecting national sovereignty and the rules of international law is a prerequisite.

    The two men also exchanged their views on the Cyprus row, underlining, though, that it does not constitute a bilateral issue. The Greek Deputy Minister added that Cyprus has to act effectively as an EU nation, following a mutually acceptable solution.

    The Greek side did not miss bringing up the matter pertaining to the protection and the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    In joint comments, the two ministers announced the organization of a business forum during Erdogan's visit in the Greek capital.

    In his interview with a Turkish paper, Dimitris Droutsas called on the neighbouring nation to change its policy on the Greek-Turkish affairs and the Cyprus standoff and put an end to their provocations in the Aegean. He then went on to underlined that Greece's goal is to keep discussing the thorny issue of condinental shelf, without saying no to the Hague court in case there is no breakthrough in good time.

    Source: NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 35205

    [06] Speculators' Exert Pressure on Greek Economy

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 12:03

    Speculators are yet again exerting pressure on the Greek economy with yield bonds having reported a spiralling trend. The yield bonds of the ten-year bond amounted to even 456 basis points, with the interest rate standing at 7.5%. In the meantime, the European Central Bank is expected to hold a sitting to discuss, among others, the Greek fiscal problems. On Wednesday, both the Greek government and the European Commission dispelled rumours whereby Greece questioned the safety net agreed to be cast over the ailing Greek economy.

    Awaiting the ECB Sitting

    The European Central Bank is estimated to keep its interest rates at 1%, because it is feared that that the battle Greece is fighting to tackle its fiscal problems under the given circumstances is to have an adverse influence on the euro currency and the Greek bonds.

    Financial analysts believe that the fragile financial recovery means that the European Central Bank will keep interest rates intact until 2011.

    After the sitting, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet will give a Press conference.

    "Stability under Threat"

    According to press reports by Frankfurter Rundschau German paper, Bundesbank expressed its scepticism over the bailout plan offered to Greece, focusing on the threats posed to stability, threats that should not be undermined.

    Wrangling in Parliament

    The rise in yield bonds triggered wrangling in Parliament, where deputies were discussing the tax bill.

    "The country borrows money and it will keep borrowing, while we are in the middle of a serious stability plan, the meticulous implementation of the state budget and a program of pretty serious structural changes. We are closely monitoring the developments, however, our objective is not the daily ups and downs of the interest rates, but to restore the country's credibility and usher Greece into a viable growth track. It is a pity that they are concerned now and not back in 2009 when economy started derailing," stressed Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou.

    Conservative deputy Theodoros Karaoglou spoke of unprecedented rally of the yield bonds and called on the ruling party to get serious and track down the 'official' who spread the rumours.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 35199

    [07] Obama and Medvedev Sign ArmsTreaty

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 08:44

    US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev signed a new nuclear disarmament treaty in Prague today, replacing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that expired in late 2009.

    By signing the new treaty, the two sides pledged to reduce their nuclear arsenals from 2,200 deployed warheads for each country to 1,550 over seven years, a 30 percent reduction from the last treaty.

    In his statements, Obama underlined that the signing of the new treaty ushered the ties between the two countries into a new era. He then went on to add that the USA and Russia will now work together to sanction Iraq.

    The Russian President, on his part, argued that his country still questions the US anti-missile shield. He voiced, however, his conviction that a compromise between the two sides can be achieved.

    During the joint Press conference, Medvedev invited other nuclear powers to follow suit and hoped the START treaty would be ratified within 2010.

    Source: NET 105.8, ANA News item: 35187


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