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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-05-10

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Progress Made on Power-Sharing in Britain
  • [02] Deficit Reduced - Banks Take Measures to Help Their Clients
  • [03] Merkel's Coalition Suffers Crushing Blow
  • [04] Pension Bill Unveiled to Inner Cabinet Meeting
  • [05] Breeze of Euphoria in Athens Stock Market and Europe
  • [06] K. Papoulias: "The Crisis Is Deeply Political Too"
  • [07] Political Leaders Meet under Karolos Papoulias
  • [08] A.Samaras: "ND Should Have Taken the Measures in Summer"
  • [09] Disbursement of First Part of IMF-EU Aid Commences in the Coming Days

  • [01] Progress Made on Power-Sharing in Britain

    Monday, 10 May 2010 17:43

    A coalition of Britain's Conservatives and Liberal Democrats is highly likely to rule Britain. Information has it that the two sides made progress on Monday at talks to reach a power-sharing deal. However, both parties declined to confirm the information, just saying there had been progress in their talks. Nick Clegg held talks not only with David Cameron but also with Gordon Brown, with the Conservatives claiming they had no idea.

    The rival parties in Britain agreed on a coalition government, said Sky News. The negotiators of the two sides will submit their proposals to their parties, reported Sky News, without citing any source, though.

    Light at the End of the Tunnel

    However, reps of the two sides declined to make any comments. Earlier on Monday, high-profile officials of the two sides expressed their optimism with the resumption of the talks.

    The talks are progressing and will go on so that specific ideas and proposals are put on the table, argued the Conservative negotiator.

    Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats, on the other hand, claimed that his party's officials are working to clarify the situation as soon as possible.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 36401

    [02] Deficit Reduced - Banks Take Measures to Help Their Clients

    Monday, 10 May 2010 17:17

    The figures released by the Bank of Greece suggested that deficit was reduced to 7.7 billion euros in the first quarter, falling by 28.4% as opposed to last year's first quarter. Revenues rose by 5.1%, while spending shrank by about 10.5%. In the meantime, the Hellenic Bank Association decided to offer it backing to the civil servants by restructuring their bank loans.

    Bank Loans Restructuring Programme

    The Hellenic Bank Association said its members decided to lend a helping hand to civil servants who have difficulty paying off their instalments.

    To this end, they will forge bank loans restructuring programmes with a view to prolonging the payment and trimming the monthly instalments.

    Each bank will shape their own policies and inform their clients.

    Source: ANA/MPA News item: 36399

    [03] Merkel's Coalition Suffers Crushing Blow

    Monday, 10 May 2010 17:00

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel's policy was suffered a crushing blow at the regional elections held in North Rhine-Westphalia. The sharp fall in support for Mrs Merkel's party means her national coalition will lose its slim majority in the upper house of parliament.

    Christian Democrats put their defeat down to the aid to Greece and the uncertainty hovering over the eurozone nations. Furthermore, many cities in NRW are on the brink of bankruptcy.

    "It's a warning shot for the governing parties," commented Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who is also vice-chancellor and leader of the Free Democrats.

    Source: ANA/MPA News item: 36398

    [04] Pension Bill Unveiled to Inner Cabinet Meeting

    Monday, 10 May 2010 16:25

    Employment Minister Andreas Loverdos is unveiling the pension bill to an inner cabinet meeting. After being approved, it will be tabled to Parliament. The bill includes, inter alia, the merger of the pension funds, re-imposes the LAFKA levy on pensions exceeding 1,400 euros and revises the list of hazardous occupations.

    Source: NET, ANA/MPA News item: 36393

    [05] Breeze of Euphoria in Athens Stock Market and Europe

    Monday, 10 May 2010 15:47

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPAThe agreement on a massive euro750 billion EU and International Monetary Fund safety net for troubled eurozone countries functioned as a breather, with the Athens Stock Market climbing to 9.5% and the spreads of the Greek bonds falling to about 540 basis points from 1000 they were on Friday. World markets have also significantly risen, while the euro currency extended its gains, rising above $1.3000 against the US dollar on Monday."


    News item: 36388

    [06] K. Papoulias: "The Crisis Is Deeply Political Too"

    Monday, 10 May 2010 15:41

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias intervened in Greece's current affairs while presiding over a meeting of the political leaders. Karolos Papoulias called on the three political leaders who attended the meeting to search for consensus so as to deal with a crisis beyond belief. "It is really important that the EU gave a strong respond to the speculators attacking the euro currency. The Greek problem is the symptom of an ailing global fiscal system and the lack of political integration within the eurozone," added he.

    "We Have to Win the Battle against Tax Evasion"

    The President of the Republic stressed, "The crisis is not merely financial, but deeply political too because the political system collapsed. Our borrowers imposed their terms."

    "Most of them don't believe we will make it. We have to prove them wrong. But in order to do so we have to shape the appropriate political conditions. One of them is to win the fight against tax evasion to restore social justice, since it is part of the economical problem," argued Papoulias.

    The President then went on to note, "The political world is under criticism and we know why. The abolishment of immunity and the change in the ministers' liability law, transparency in the parties' finances and the change in the electoral law should be given priority."

    Karolos Papoulias also touched on the death of three bank workers, saying "The sorrow and grief over the horrible death of three young people who fell prey to repulsive violence is insurmountable." He then added, "Demonstrations cannot be used for the commitment of such illegal actions. We have to put an end now."

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 36390

    [07] Political Leaders Meet under Karolos Papoulias

    Monday, 10 May 2010 11:15

    Presided over by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, the political leaders' council wrapped up Monday noon. The meeting, which was help upon Prime Minister George Papandreou's request, was attended by main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) head Giorgos Karatzaferis. Left leaders, Aleka Papariga of KKE and Alexis Tsipras of SYRIZA, abstained from the meeting. Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou was also invited to attend the meeting. In his staments after the meeting, the Prime Minister thanked the President of the Republic for his contribution to the meeting, further stressing, "We will fight the battle to rescue the country and we will be victorious."

    Major Changes Are Necessary

    After the meeting, George Papandreou said: "I requested this meeting so that we can have the chance to discuss the major changes the country needs, and I want to thank the President of the Republic for his solid presence and contribution to our discussions."

    "Greece has huge potentials so that we can build a viable and fair economy. However, changes are required," said Papandreou, further underlining, "We should put an end to injustice, corruption and lack of meritocracy. We should put an end to a political system that serves special interests and not the greater good."

    "But we should rescue Greece first, before being able to change it," stressed the Prime Minister. He then went on to add, "Our struggle was vindicated, because the sacrifices of the Greek people and the battle we fought in Europe and beyond helped us safeguard a support mechanism for Greece and its economy."

    Exiting the Presidential Mansion, the LAOS head stressed the meeting, which was held in a cordial climate, touched on financial matters, as well as on a string of affairs, which, if they come into being, the current crisis will be turned into an opportunity for Greece."

    Prior to the council, the Prime Minister stressed, "The markets are our [Greece's] foe."

    The Prime Minister underlined the need for structural and political changes, placing emphasis on a change in the electoral law and the law on ministers' liability.

    Source: ANA/MPA News item: 36383

    [08] A.Samaras: "ND Should Have Taken the Measures in Summer"

    Monday, 10 May 2010 10:54

    "The government is looking for accomplices, not for support," stressed main opposition New Democracy President Antonis Samaras in his interview with Ta Nea paper. He admitted, though, that former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis should have implemented an austerity package instead of calling snap elections. "We [ND] should have taken the measures last summer. They would be milder than the ones taken now and they would promptly give the right message to the markets. We should have taken the appropriate measures back then no matter the cost," said Samaras.

    He then went on to blame the government for requesting the House give a carte blanche and vote for "non-specific measures," and for not accepting to call a political leaders' council before signing the measures.

    Source: NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 36382

    [09] Disbursement of First Part of IMF-EU Aid Commences in the Coming Days

    Monday, 10 May 2010 10:13

    Disbursement of the first tranche of the total 110 billion euros EU-IMF aid package for Greece will commence in the coming days. Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou said that Greece and the European Commission signed Sunday the loan agreement for the 80 billion euros support mechanism for the Greek economy.

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn: The Greek Programme is Credible and Ambitious

    The 5.5 billion euros to be earmarked from the IMF along with the aid from the EU will be the first fund, amounting to 20 billion euros, to be given to Greece, stressed the IMF.

    Although tough, the Greek stabilization plan is credible and ambitious, commented IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

    Source: NET 105.8 News item: 36379

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