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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-05-12
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Russia Signs Deal to Build Turkey's First Nuclear Power PlantWednesday, 12 May 2010 16:04
Russia and Turkey singed a multi-billion-dollar deal on the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant during Dmitri Medvedev's visit to Ankara.
The deal was signed between the Vice President of the Russian government and the Turkish Energy Minister and lays down the foundations for the construction and operation of the plant at Akkuyu, on Turkey's Mediterranean coast.
The strategic cooperation on energy affairs satisfied both sides, which has expanded their ties.
Wednesday's deal "is a very big contract," Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom, told reporters. "An approximate price of such a project is around 18-20 billion dollars."
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev hailed the strategic bonds between the two countries.
"Our talks today showed that Turkey and Russia are strategic partners not only in words but in deeds," Dmitri Medvedev
"This agreement opens a new page in our cooperation... Our talks today showed that Turkey and Russia are strategic partners not only in words but in deeds," Medvedev told a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the signing ceremony.
Turkish President Gul also expressed his satisfaction and argued that the two countries are determined to triple the volume of their transactions with a view to reaching 100 billion dollars in the coming five years, a goals which was termed as ambitious yet achievable by Medvedev.
News item: 36479
 Development at the FocusWednesday, 12 May 2010 14:56
The new development law, which was discussed at an informal inner cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, is expected to be submitted to Parliament in June. Amendments that will accelerate procedures with regard to major investments in Greece will be submitted on Tuesday, while amendments for investments in general will have been tabled to the House by September.
Development Law Submitted to Parliament in June
Shifting its attention to real economy, the government discussed the new development law which will be submitted to Parliament in June.
The provisions that mean to accelerate procedures with regard to major investments in Greece will be tabled to Parliament on Tuesday, while those relating to investments in general will have been tabled by September.
The Economy Minister stressed that the government, relying on the stability guaranteed by the support mechanism, will battle to support investments by issuing a new development law and simplifying the procedures required for the setting up of businesses. The government, she added, will fight a battle to have prices reduced.
The Economy Minister claimed that the prices did not go down because the indirect taxes were increased. "The government's goal, however, is to have the market absorb the tax hikes," added Louka Katseli.
She then went on threaten offenders with fines and stressed that the Ministry is struggling to prevent recession so there can be light at the end of the tunnel in one year's time.
Recession Stands at 2.3%
Given the fact that recession has been predicted to reach 4%, the promotion of the bill becomes especially important to the resumption of the economy. According to the Greek National Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), the Greek economy has posted negative growth rates since the beginning of 2010, while the GDP went down by 2.3% in the first quarter.
The negative growth rates resulted from the fall in investments and public consumption.
"We should stop fooling the people of Greece. We had better be happy if GDP falls below 5%, something which will mean that all of us should intensify our efforts," commented LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally).
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA
News item: 36470
 New 24-Hour Strike Scheduled for 20 MayWednesday, 12 May 2010 14:26
Greece's major umbrella unions, GSEE and ADEDY, decided to go out on a new 24-hour strike on 20 May. Exams in high schools will be affected, since teachers are to join the strike. The national-level exams for admission to tertiary education, though, won't be affected, as they have been scheduled for 19 and 21 May.
Unions have branded the pension reforms as anti-social and anti-labour. They have not ruled out holding new industrial actions.
...The party on the reserves which had been going on for years, tax evasion and uninsured employment are the key reasons why the system collapsed.
"GSEE and ADEDY strongly oppose the government's pension bill. It is a bill that shatters the fiscal mechanism of social security, undermines, brings down its nature, drastically shrinks the available resources, while the state shirks its responsibilities and abstains from the funding of the social security system, a move that will have an adverse influence on the future generations.
The party on the reserves which had been going on for years, tax evasion and uninsured employment are the key reasons why the system collapsed.
Believing that the response should be immediate and dynamic, GSEE and ADEDY decided:
Á) to hold a general strike on 20 May so that the national level exams from admission to tertiary education go unhampered and to escalate their industrial actions soon after. After the strike the unions will hold new sittings to decide on their future actions,
Â) to give a press conference to unveil their positions and demands, and
Ã) to stage demonstrations in Greece's major cities.
Statement by GSSE Head Giannis Panagopoulos
"The unfair and anti-socials fiscal measures announced b the government were followed by an equally socially unfair bill on the pension system. A bill that attacks the system's nature and imposes austerity on the country's pensions and future pensioners transferring the burden to the future generations.
The unions greatly oppose the bill and are to give their first answer to it with the general strike scheduled for 20 May. Shortly afterwards, our boards will hold a new sitting to decide our future moves. "
Asked on the IMF's demands with regard to the private sector, the GSEE President said:
"Everybody knows what the role of the IMF is. The International Monetary Fund won't stop asking the workers to make sacrifices. Its recipes are destructive. The government has to reject them. It is not the wages in the private sector that adversely influence the Greek economy's competitiveness. It's the rigid product markets that earn businessmen more profits and raise inflation."
Source: NET, ANA News item: 36468
 "Beaches Accessible to All"Wednesday, 12 May 2010 12:26
Aiming to make the Agios Kosmas beach, which stretches for two kilometers, accessible to the residents of the Attica basin, authorities started Wednesday morning demolishing night club "Fantasia" which was not legally built. Prime Minister George Papandreou and Environment Minister Tina Birbili attended the works. After the demolition wraps up, a sports complex accessible to all will be created. "We are opening the beaches so that they can be accessible to all citizens," commented Tina Birbili. This is not the only illegal building to be demolished. More will follow so that all obstacles making the beach inaccessible to people will be removed.
Source: NET, NET 105.8 News item: 36462
 First Residential Real Estate to Be TaxedWednesday, 12 May 2010 10:09
Under the new tax bill, the money used for the acquisition of a first residential real estate, irrespective of its size, will be taxed.
Off-Shore Companies to Be Audited
A Finance Ministry crew has checked about 120 off shore companies which appear to have the same headquarters in Glyfada district.
Serious offences have been surfaced so far. The checks will continue.
In the meantime, the Finance Ministry is about to close down for a month about 60 popular night clubs in Athens and Thessaloniki after surfacing a number of tax offences. News item: 36457
 103 People Perish in Libya Plane CrashWednesday, 12 May 2010 10:00
As many as 103 people, both passengers and crew, perished in a plane crash in Libya. The only passenger to survive was an eight-year-old boy. The crash occurred early on Wednesday morning during the landing at the Tripoli airport. Being an Afriqiyah Airways airliner, the flight was en route from Johannesburg.
8yo Boy Survives
An eight-year-old boy from the Netherlands is the only survivor, the airport authorities said.
Afriqiyah Airways confirmed the crash, said that one of its planes crashed while landing at the Tripoli airport.
The airline company said the search and rescue operation was in full swing.
Source: ANA/MPA, Reuters
News item: 36456
 David Cameron Leads Coalition GovernmentWednesday, 12 May 2010 08:53
Conservative leader David Cameron took the reigns in Britain after Queen Elisabeth asked him to form the government. Cameron, whose party won majority in Parliament, succeeds Gordon Brown whose resignation put an end to 13 years of Labour rule.
Britain's new Prime Minister David Cameron said his goal was to form a full coalition government with the Liberal Democrats.
In a joint press conference in the Downing Street garden, Mr Cameron said the coalition government could mark a "historic and seismic shift" in British politics.
He said they had discussed having a minority Conservative government, supported by the Lib Dems on key votes but had concluded that was "uninspiring".
"Until today, we have been rivals: now we are colleagues," said Clegg â the surprise upstart of Britain's election campaign, who won a newly enhanced profile but saw his party lose seats in the vote.
Source: BBC, The Associated Press News item: 36454