|Friday, 15 December 2017|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-04-09
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Opposition Leader Lashes out at the GovernmentFriday, 09 April 2010 16:06
Main opposition New Democracy head Antonis Samaras lashed out at the government, holding it accountable for the upward spiralling of the bond spreads. He also accused it of making mistakes.
"The upward spiralling of the bond spreads do not only show the attack waged by the speculators. It also reveals the government's failure [...] PASOK is trying to hold the previous government responsible for its own mistakes. However, the bond spreads shot up during its rule. When PASOK came to power, the bond spreads stood at 130 basis points. They have exceeded 400. Greece was attacked by speculators during PASOK's rule. Greece's reputation was tarnished during PASOK's rule," commented Antonis Samaras.
The ND President blasted his party's governance for failing to eradicate the deficits when it had the chance to do so, and noted: "There have been mistakes and omissions. But such blunders, such inactivity, such delays have never been reported. PASOK is now adopting everything that it used to blast."
He then added that the government's only plan is how to deliver a blow to ND and is trying to put the blame on the Karamanlis administration.
"Greece, during the ND governance, was hit by the financial crisis. It was hit, but it was not brought down to its knees. It was then hit by another crisis inflicted by PASOK, which pledged everything to everyone before coming to power. However, as soon as it took over, it increased deficits even further due to it amateur practices, irresponsibility and inability.
Commenting on the austerity measures aiming to fix Greece's fiscal problems, he stressed that they are going to suffocate the market, leading to never-ending sacrifices.
´╗┐Source: ANA/MPA, NET 105.8 News item: 35261
 Greek Volunteer Returns to Greece in Two DaysFriday, 09 April 2010 12:41
Greek volunteer teacher Thanasis Lerounis, who had been held captive by Taliban fighters since last September, thanked the Greek Prime Minister for the government's painstaking efforts to free him.
A helicopter transferred the Greek volunteer from northern Pakistan to the Greek embassy.
With their faces filled with tears of joys, the Prime Minister's special envoy to Islamabad Dimitris Dollis and Greek ambassador Petros Mavroides welcomed Thanasis Lerounis.
"Greece's success was great. Six months of painstaking efforts had a happy ending," stressed Dimitris Dollis.
Having addressed several touch cases in the past, Dollis underlined that patience, persistence and close cooperation with Greek ambassador Petros Mavroidies led to Thanasis Lerounis' release.
"Thanasis' Lerounis shows how we should handle delicate matters regarding human live," argued Dollis.
Thanasis Lerounis is expected to arrive in Greece in about two days' time.
Source: ANA/MPA News item: 35251
 Trichet: "Default Is not an Issue for Greece"Friday, 09 April 2010 11:54
Default is not an issue for Greece, European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet reiterated, further highlighting the importance of the implementation of the austerity measures announced by the Greek government. Trichet's reassurance blocked the upward spiralling of the bond spreads that amounted to 456 basis points on Thursday. In the meantime, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said yet again that the EU nations are ready to intervene if the Greeks ask them to. The deficit of Greece's state budget has gone down in the first three months of 2010. The Finance Minister argued that the deficit fell by 40% compared to the first three months of 2009. Giorgos Papakonstantinou rest everyone assured that the country will keep borrowing. There is no need for the support mechanism to take effect for now, commented government spokesman G. Petalotis, further adding that the implementation of the stability plan is what matters the most.
Meeting at Maximos Mansion
The Ministers of Finance and Economy briefed Friday morning Prime Minister George Papandreou on the progress of the stability plan.
In his statements, Giorgos Papakonstantinou spoke of positive figures with regard to the implementation of the state budget and the stability plan, noting that nothing has been won yet, as Greece is fighting is battle day in day out.
The Finance Minister said that the cabinet will discuss the denationalization programme in the coming week. He then added that the support mechanism does not need to take effect for now and estimated that the interest rates of the bond spreads will go back to normal in the near future, since the efforts made by the Greek government to fix its fiscal problems will finally convince both the markets and the EU nations.
In the meantime, deficit fell by 39.2% in the first three months of 2010, amounting to 4.3 billion euros as opposed to 7.1 billion euros last year. Greece's net revenues increased by 9.7%. Spending went down by 3 %.
Trichet Appeared Reassuring
In his interview with Italian paper Il Sole 24 Ore, Trichet expressed his conviction that default is not an issue for Greece. Responding to those who want to kick Greece off the single currency union, he claimed that entering or exiting the eurozone is not like getting on and off a bus.
CNN said that the European Central Bank President sent Thursday a support message to Greece.
Bloomberg, on the other hand, claimed that the Greek crisis has delivered a blow to Trichet's capacity as "Mr Euro."
Van Rompuy: EU Ready to Intervene If Greece Asks It To
The EU nations are ready to intervene if Greeks asks them to, argued Friday EU President Herman Van Rompuy.
Van Rompuy added in the interview with Le Monde that the EU would be forced to take tough measures to tackle the problem of budget deficits within the eurozone.
German magazine Spiegel blasted Angela Merkel's policy, dismissing her success as deceiving. Angela Merkel posed as a winner, however, Germany will have to finance the loan the International Monetary Fund will give in case the support mechanism agreed in Brussels comes into force.
New street protests were staged Thursday in Athens against the austerity measures taken by the Greek government, reported BBC, further adding that the markets are growing more and more sceptic over Greece's ability to fix its fiscal problems.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 35249
 Cypriot Foreign Minister in AthensFriday, 09 April 2010 10:51
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met Friday with Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou in view of the former's visit to Cyprus on Monday.
The topic that topped the meeting was the preparation of the Greek Premier's visit to Cyprus, a few days prior to the elections in the Turkish-occupied part of the island.
"Greece's support to Cyprus is unquestioned and our coordination is absolute," commented D. Droutsas while exiting the Maximos Mansion. Markos Kyprianou, on his part, hailed the cooperation between the two Foreign Ministers, as well as the cooperation between the Greek Prime Minister and the Cypriot President.
"The pullout of the Turkish troops is a key prerequisite for a solution. These are the messages I sent to Ankara"
Kyprianou briefed the Greek Prime Minister and the Deputy Foreign Minister on his contacts in the USA and his meeting with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Droutsas, on his part, briefed the two men on his talks in Ankara.
Reiterating Greece's firm stance, which was also expressed at his joint press conference with the Turkish Foreign Minister, D. Droutsas stressed that the Greek-Cypriots and the Turkish-Cypriots should negotiate their common future in the EU and the Cypriot Republic can function effectively in the EU. This means, he added, that the European acquis should be fully respected.
Speaking on a Turkish paper some three days again before visiting Ankara, D. Droutsas touched on the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Cyprus, arguing that such a move would be a clear political act proving Turkey's determination to leave the two communities to agree on their own future within the EU, which can guarantee for all the people of Cyprus.
The talks with the Turkish side mean to mark the limit of the continental shelf, said Fridau the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister, reiterating that the Greek government does not discuss its sovereign rights.
Athens and Ankara, added he, have developed confidence-based relations. Referring to the Turkish provocations, Droutsas said that Turkey recognizes that it raises obstacles in the effort to smooth ties.
The Cypriot Foreign Minister, on his part, said he briefed the Greek head of government on the decisions of Cyprus' national council, as well as on his contacts in the USA. He then claimed they discussed the preparation of Papandreou's travel to Cyprus.
Source: NET, ANA News item: 35245
 Russia Recognizes Kyrgyzstan's Interim GovernmentFriday, 09 April 2010 08:40
Moscow recognized Kyrgyzstan's interim government led by opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva, while the toppled President, who has fled to the south of the country, refused to step down and suggested talks with the opposition leaders that have taken over.
Russian Troops in Kyrgyzstan
Russia dispatched troops in the Asian nation to protect the Russian citizens and its military base in Kyrgyzstan. Kremlin said that the Russian troops will be responsible for the safety of the Russian citizens and their families, the Russian embassy and other diplomatic buildings. It did not elaborate, though, on the exact number of soldiers.
In the meantime, Roza Otunbayeva, the head of the interim government, ruled out negotiations with toppled President Mr Bakiyev.
Otunbayeva blasted Bakiyev, who fled to the south of the country, for trying to come to power.
Bakiyev Won't Step Down
Toppled Kyrgyz President Bakiyev said he refused to believe that Russia could have orchestrated the demonstrations and the uprising that led to his being ousted.
Bakiyev confirmed he is in south Kyrgyzstan and that he does not intend to quit. He suggested talks with the opposition leaders.
News item: 35237