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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-04-28
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From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Cultural Organizations Document Register IntroducedWednesday, 28 April 2010 14:29
Transparency and meritocracy will be the key pillars of the Culture Ministry's activities, stressed Pavlos Geroulanos while unveiled the new rules governing the subsidy of cultural bodies and organizations. He also announced the closure of the National Theatre and Dance Centre.
While introducing the Cultural Organisations Document Register, the Culture Minister said that his ministry has given priority to transparency and meritocracy for two reasons.
The first has to do with "the money of the Greek taxpayers. Neither is there a goal nor an organization that justifies the spending of the Greek taxpayers' money. It is the government's obligation to make sure that the taxpayers' money is wisely used."
The second reason is that unless transparency and meritocracy are achieved, then Greek creation will suffer, since, in a period when each single euros matters, there is no place or personal or petty party policies."
Geroulanos also argued that the state should and cannot be the only source of culture and that the state aid should not be earmarked based on personal or party criteria.
Introducing the Document Register, he hailed it as the first step towards transparency in subsidies.
"It is mechanism assigned to record and monitor the work and the progress of the subsidized organizations so that we can judge their work based upon transparent and consistent criteria"
Only registered organization will be entitled to a state subsidy.
Before signing any subsidy, we should have at our disposal the file of the subsidized organization, as well as the recommendations of the relevant directorate, assisted by a small group of people combining knowledge, integrity and a fresh look on things.
Source: NET, ANA/MPA News item: 35986
 Strike Fever AheadWednesday, 28 April 2010 13:07
Greece's major umbrella union trades for the public and private sector ADEDY and GSEE have scheduled for a 24-hour strike for 5 May, stressing that this year's May Day sees both the employees and the Greek society having come up against an unprecedented attack on their key and fundamental social rights. In the meantime, the Hellenic Union of Radio Technicians has been on a 48-hour strike since Wednesday. The primary school teachers' association has called for four-hour work stoppages starting from 3 May and a 48-hour strike on 4 and 5 May.
Source: NET 105.8, NET
News item: 35979
 Greek Economy Tops World MediaWednesday, 28 April 2010 12:07
Greece and its debt-ridden economy have yet again topped world media, after ratings agency Standard & Poor's slashed Greece's sovereign debt to junk status. Media coverage and press reports have focused on the immediate impact the said move had on the world markets and the fear that more EU nations will be struck by similar crises.
"Global shares have tumbled after the credit rating agency Standard and Poor's downgraded Greek debt to "junk" on Tuesday. The concern among investors now is that the loss of confidence in Greece could spread to other weak eurozone economies," said BBC.
The Washington Post read that Greece's debt was given junk status. The paper also hosted an interview given by a Morgan Keegan analyst who stressed that it is too late to install a fire alarm while the house is already on fire.
The International Monetary Fund is planning to raise its contribution to the bailout for Greece, said Britain's Financial Times, amid fears that the 45 billion euros of the bailout won't be enough.
Greece is feared to default before its EU partners raise the money for its bailout, reported CNN, further commenting that the junk status given to a eurozone economy could trigger a domino reaction, with Portugal being the first in line.
French paper Le Monde's article read that Greece and Portugal are spooking the markets. The Greeks resist to the austerity measures, holding street protests in public transport, reducing everything in the country to a crawl, underlined Le Figaro paper, focusing on the problems tourists in Greece have come up against.
Trying to ease tensions, La Reppublica paper read that the EU says negotiations are on good track.
Source: NET News item: 35971
 Monk Efrem: "Take Everything Except the Lake"Wednesday, 28 April 2010 12:00
Upon their own request, monks Efrem and Arsenios, involved in the Vatopedi scandal, have been testifying before the inquiry committee investigating the case since Wednesday morning. Efrem, who was chief monk at the Vatopedi Monastery, reiterated that the Monastery won't give up on the Vistonida lake. "Take all our real estate and leave us alone. But you should let the lake to us," said he.
Source: ANA/MPA News item: 35972
 Thai Troops Fired Warning ShotsWednesday, 28 April 2010 11:36
Thai troops fired warning shots against a car convoy carrying anti-government supporters en route to a mass demonstration on the outskirts of Bangkok. At least five people were injured in the clashes that followed.
About 450 troops and policemen set up a checking post outside an air force base on the outskirts of Bangkok and some of the troops fired warning shots.
The Thai protesters, who are pushing for early elections, left Wednesday the city centre where they have camped, and marched on trucks and motorbikes.
Source: Reuters, ANA/MPA News item: 35969
 Short Selling Ban at the Athens Stock ExchangeWednesday, 28 April 2010 11:26
Greece's Capital Market Commission announced Wednesday a two-month ban on short selling at the Athens Stock Exchange, with a view to putting a brake on speculators. In the meantime, Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou met Wednesday with reps of German's SPD party.
Scultheiss: Greece Has Taken Brave Measures
The meeting was also attended by German ambassador to Greece Wolfgang Scultheiss, who argued that Greece has taken bold measures to address its fiscal problems and that the Greeks have realized the seriousness of the problem.
Scultheiss then went on to add that he will convey the message to the German Parliament, reiterating that Germany will not let Greece down.
Source: NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 35970
 Cyprus President in AthensWednesday, 28 April 2010 10:13
Cyprus President, Dimitris Hristofias will address a speech on course of negotiations regarding solution of Cyprus issue at the "Economist" magazine conference held in Athens on Thursday. The Cypriot President will arrive in Athens on Wednesday afternoon and later will attend dinner hosted by Prime-minister George Papandreou.
Source: ÁNA-ĚPA News item: 35966
 Obama: The US Immigration System Goes BankruptWednesday, 28 April 2010 09:29
US President Barack Obama said the country's immigration laws have fallen flat and invited Americans to support his campaign to persecute those companies which deliberately hire workers lacking legal documents to trim the American workers' wages.
He then added that the US Congress should work on a legislation taking into consideration both the protection of the US borders and the humanitarian worries over the millions of illegal immigrants living in the USA.
Source: ANA/MPA News item: 35961
 Thai Military Operation to Clear DemonstratorsMonday, 19 April 2010 08:31
Thailand's embattled prime minister put his army chief in charge of security in the capital Friday after a bungled raid on a hotel where leaders of the Red Shirt protest movement were holed up.
Authorities are turning up the heat again on anti-government demonstrators after a lull in tensions between the two sides, whose standoff descended into the country's deadliest civil unrest in two decades last weekend.
The military said it was planning another operation to disperse the thousands of protesters from Bangkok's commercial district but the timing had not yet been decided.
"There will be an effort to retake the area. We can't allow protests there because it damages the country," army spokesman Sunsern Kaewkumnerd told reporters.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said that he was replacing his deputy as head of security operations in the capital, giving army chief Anupong Paojinda broader powers to tackle "terrorism".
"The government reassures you that we will restore normalcy," he said in a nationally televised address.
Experts said the move suggested the authorities might be preparing another crackdown, following last Saturday's bloody clashes that left 23 people dead.
It also came after commandos earlier Friday stormed a Bangkok hotel where leaders of the Red Shirt protest movement were hiding, but the mission ended in dramatic failure after the suspects managed to flee.
Source: AFP News item: 35576
 Thousands of Grieving Poles Bid Their President FarewellSunday, 18 April 2010 18:40
Tens of thousands of grieving Poles took to the streets of Krakow to attend the state funeral of President Lech Kaczynski and his wife. The Polish president and his wife were killed in a plan crash last Saturday. Another 94 high-profile Poles perished in the same accident.
Several world leaders, however, were forced to cancel their trip to Poland due to the huge cloud of volcanic ash that has tightened its grip over much of Europe. Among the leaders who abstained from the funeral were US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Instead, the funeral was attended by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and his counterparts of Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Georgia, acting Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek. The Polish President was buried in Wawel Cathedral, the final resting place for Poland's kings, poets and statesmen, including Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski, the exiled World War II leader who died in a mysterious plane crash off Gibraltar in 1943.
Source: NET News item: 35569
 Iran Celebrates Army DaySunday, 18 April 2010 18:24
Celebrating the Army Day, Iran displayed its military strength holding a parade. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad watched as Ghadr, Sajjil and Shahab-3 missiles, the longest-ranged surface-to-surface missiles, were brought out for display.
In his statements, the Iranian President that the country's army forces have so much power that "no enemy will harbor evil thoughts about laying its hands on Iranian territory."
Source: NET News item: 35568
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