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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-04-17

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Anti-Terror Probe Continues
  • [02] Volcanic Ash Keeps Planes Grounded
  • [03] Ecofin Met in Spain
  • [04] Demonstrators Arrested Over Sodexo Case
  • [05] Goldman Sachs Charged with Fraud

  • [01] Anti-Terror Probe Continues

    Saturday, 17 April 2010 14:09

    The anti-terrorist squad is waiting for the forensic results on suspects believed to be involved in the guerrilla group Revolutionary Army. In the meantime, police is still searching for the group's hideout and weaponry. Another two suspected members of the guerrilla group, Christoforos Kortesis and Evangelos Stathopoulos, were detained Friday after their depositions before the magistrate.

    Stathopoulos blamed his being implication in the case to his political activities, arguing that he had been unable to move for large periods of time due to serious car crashes he had, while Kortesis just made a typical statement.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8 News item: 35551

    [02] Volcanic Ash Keeps Planes Grounded

    Saturday, 17 April 2010 11:03

    The consequences of the severe disruption of flights across Europe have been incalculable, with Eurocontrol claiming that the disruption could possibly last for several days.

    The problems were caused by the volcanic ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland, with the World Health Organisation raising fears over the danger posed to people with breathing difficulties.

    Travellers are advised to contact their airline company. On Friday, as many as 90 flights were cancelled from and to the Athens International Airport. Inconvenience remains on Saturday, while about 13 flights from the Macedonia Airport, northern Greece, have been cancelled.

    The British Airways decided to keep its fleet grounded on Sunday, while the Netherlands' air carrier, KLM, cancelled Saturday all flights from and to the Amsterdam airport. News item: 35542

    [03] Ecofin Met in Spain

    Saturday, 17 April 2010 15:12

    Ecofin held a sitting Saturday in Madrid, while experts from the European Commission, the Central European Bank and the International Monetary Fund are due Monday in Athens to hold talks with the Greek authorities on the technical details of the loan Greece could possibly take out.

    EU Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said the Greek stability plan was not brought up at the Ecofin meeting, since Greece has entered the excessive deficit procedure. Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou argued that legal processes approving aid to Greece are ready should the latter wishes to activate the support mechanism.

    An informal Eurogroup session preceded Friday, where the Finance Minister reached an agreement on the setting-up of a permanent support mechanism to address crises. Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou briefed his counterparts on the progress of the Greek economy, as well as on the new pension and tax provisions. Papakonstantinou's letter to the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund does not constitute a call for aid, commented Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker. European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet said that that liquidity state of the Greek lenders could deteriorate

    Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou, in his interview with Newsweek magazine, did not close the option of using the EU-IMF support mechanism

    Papandreou's exact statement was the following: "We haven't taken an official decision yet. All we're saying is let's prepare so that if we have to push the button, it's ready. The preparations may take a few days or a few weeks for the details of both the terms and the way this mechanism will work. That's being worked out between Greece, the EU, and the IMF now. Once this happens, we will have to assess the situation in a calm and organized fashion."

    "We have already entered the excessive deficit procedure," underlined Friday the Greek Premier, putting the blame on the previous Conservative government. He also added that the EU-IMF support mechanism constitutes a safe shelter for Greece and its being activated does not equal to default.

    Main Opposition Leader Blasts the Government

    Addressing a pre-congress event in the southern Greek city of Nafplio, main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras slammed PASOK arguing: "There was a deficit crisis when New Democracy was in power. However, the borrowing crisis was created during PASOK's rule. In 2009, the borrowing cost stood at 4.2%. In 2010, the borrowing cost nears 6%. There were no high spreads during the ND governments. The spreads have been rising for months ever since PASOK came to power and this happens in Greece only."

    The ND President also said: "The world markets did not panic in the beginning. Things were still manageable. That's why spreads stood at 130 points in early October and rose to 170 as soon as the two-digit deficit was announced in mid November. It was proved that the government did not know. Prior to the elections, PASOK believed there was money to give to everyone. But after the elections, it kept saying that Greece is about to sink just like the Titanic."

    However, it was wrong both times. There was no money, but we are not allowed to let Greece sink. We [ND] have to convince the people that we have overcome our problems and the mistakes of our own past. Being better than PASOK is not enough. We have to show that we are better than the recent ND administration. We have to prove that we have a plan to address the crisis. Because it was proved that PASOK had none."

    Reactions

    "The workers, the young and the women should not be afraid of the government and its partners, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. They have the power to fight against the new anti-labour measures. The successful 48-hour strike staged by PAME should be the starting point of new and promising struggles for the future of our children and not for the rich," read an announcement issued by KKE (Greek Communist Party).

    "Admitting that we cannot fulfill our obligations without the IMF involvement means that Greece has defaulted," commented LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally).

    "No PASOK voter imagined when voting for the current government that it would led them to the disastrous IMF choice, that it would ask them to work for 50 years to get a pension, that it would pave the way for mass dismissals. The working class has to fight to reverse this policy," argued SYN (Coalition of the Radical Left).

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA News item: 35552

    [04] Demonstrators Arrested Over Sodexo Case

    Saturday, 17 April 2010 10:02

    Street protests, tensions and arrested were reported Friday outside the US headquarters of French company Sodexo. A numerous group of demonstrators, including actor Danny Glover who was among the arrestees, blasted the company for union-bashing practices, Sodexo made 16 unionists redundant.

    "We're here today to say no more to deplorable pay and working conditions," said Glover to the crowd.

    The demonstrators chanted in French, while the arrests took place because their crossed the dividing line designed by the police in front of the company's offices.

    The company, on the other hand, denied having employed union-bashing practices and blamed the demonstrations on the rival union trades.

    Source: ANA/MPA, AFP News item: 35539

    [05] Goldman Sachs Charged with Fraud

    Friday, 16 April 2010 23:30

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc was on Friday charged with fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the structuring and marketing of a debt product tied to subprime mortgages.

    The SEC alleged that Goldman structured and marketed a synthetic collateralized debt obligation that hinged on the performance of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities, and which cost investors more than $1 billion.

    "For one of the most highly respected banks in the world to be hit by this news is going to have serious ramifications as fear sets in that they may not be the only one to have misled investors. The revelations of the fraud, made in relation to sub prime mortgages nonetheless, come at a time when bankers' popularity is at its lowest ebb and now it will only get lower."

    "The SEC has come out swinging, going after the biggest, most recognized name on Wall Street with regard to alleged abuses in the credit derivatives market. This will be a difficult case to prove, particularly to the laymen on the jury, as even supposed experts on Wall Street with years of experience in this area are still scratching their heads trying to figure out who did what to whom and when."

    Source: Reuters News item: 35537


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