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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-05-17
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Iran, Turkey and Brazil Sign Atom Fuel DealMonday, 17 May 2010 17:04
Iran agreed with mediators Brazil and Turkey on Monday it would send some of its uranium abroad, abruptly ending its refusal to countenance such a deal just as the U.N. Security Council readied tougher sanctions.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Ahmadinejad clinched the agreement after hours of talks in Tehran, Iranian state media reported.
A mediation offer by Turkey and Brazil, both non-permanent Security Council members, had been seen as the last chance to resolve the dispute and avoid a fourth round of U.N. sanctions.
Iran said it had agreed to transfer 1,200 kg (2,646 lb) of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey within a month in return for higher-enriched nuclear fuel for a medical research reactor.
No more than one year later, Iran will get 120 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium under an arrangement involving the IAEA, as well as the United States, France and Russia.
Iran, which says its atomic program is purely for peaceful purposes, had earlier insisted any such exchange must take place simultaneously and on its territory.
The deal enables Iran to meet Western terms without dealing directly with major powers. Erdogan, who took a stand against Israel over the war on Gaza in 2008, is a much more palatable figure for the Iranian establishment to deal with and sell a deal at home.
"Iran expressed its readiness to deposit its LEU within one month. On the basis of the same agreement the Vienna Group should deliver 120 kg fuel required for Tehran research reactor in no later than one year," a joint declaration said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran's LEU would be under IAEA supervision in Turkey. The IAEA would be notified within a week about the swap deal, he said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on six world powers to start new negotiations with his country.
"They should welcome the major event that took place in Tehran and distance themselves from the atmosphere of pressure and sanctions to create an opportunity for interaction and cooperation with Iran," Ahmadinejad said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hailed the deal as a "historic turning point." Erdogan said there was now no need for the world to consider any further sanctions against Iran, echoing a statement by Brazil.
News item: 36626
 Ecofin and Eurogroup Seek to Defend EuroMonday, 17 May 2010 15:19
Ecofin and Eurogroup are meeting Monday and Tuesday in Brussels to discuss ways to defend the euro currency in the south EU nations. During the meetings, Spain and Portugal are to unveil the additional fiscal measures they took. In the meantime, the EU will elaborate on the operation and the financing of the European stabilization mechanism. Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is expected to outline Germany's positions.
Message of Unity and Fiscal Monitoring
The Finance Ministers of the countries sharing the euro currency mean to show the markets their determination to promote the economic governance, as well as to give priority to fiscal consolidation.
The European Commission proposed last Wednesday that EU governments submit their budgets for review by their counterparts in other euro-zone countries before they are approved by national parliaments.
According to EU sources, the draft of the conclusions to be discussed Monday at the Eurogroup and be adopted Tuesday by Ecofin will offer its backing to the European Commission's proposal.
The Eurogroup will also discuss the punitive measures the European Commission advocated for countries that flout the EU's existing budget rules.
Germany will suggest measures to avert fiscal crisis in the single currency union.
The Stability and Growth Pact is not enough to avert fiscal crisis not only in Greece but also in other eurozone countries, said a spokesman for the German Financial Ministry.
Mild Recovery for European Markets
In the meantime, the euro currency stabilized after sliding to a four-year low on Monday on sovereign debt worries.
Markets are waiting for the conclusions of the Eurogroup meeting scheduled to take place late on Monday in Brussels.
Earlier, Asian markets had fallen sharply in early trading on Monday over fresh concern at Europe's debt woes, with the Tokyo market dropping by 2.17% and Hong Kong by 2.14%.
"The formula implemented in Greece is now moving to Portugal and Spain. It is a policy that won't put a stop to the crisis. It will deepen it, instead. The time for joint actions on the part of the people of Greece, Spain and Portugal against the implemented policies has arrived," commented SYN (Coalition of the Radical Left).
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 36619
 Acquitted for a Third Time on DEKA CaseMonday, 17 May 2010 14:53
The former president and the board members of the Public Company of Transferable Securities S.A. (DEKA S.A.) were unanimously acquitted for the third time, for there was no evidence to support the charges against them.
They had been accused of purchasing stocks in order to help the Athens Stock Exchange to rise in view of the forthcoming general elections. The purchase, however, was detrimental to the state.
The case went back to the court for a third time last February, after the Supreme Court had annulled the previous two acquitting rules.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 36617
 GSEE & ADEDY Prepping Themselves Ahead of StrikeMonday, 17 May 2010 14:45
Greece's major umbrella unions, GSEE for the private sector and ADEDY for the public one, are getting ready for the 24-hour strike they have scheduled for 20 May. In a press conference the two unions will give on Tuesday, they will outline their positions on a socially effective and financial viable pension system.
"Since the bill promoted by the government runs contradictory, GSEE and ADEDY have scheduled a 24-hour strike for 20 May and a demonstration in central Athens," said a statement issued by the two unions. News item: 36616
 KEDKE Holds Extraordinary Meeting on "Kallikratis"Monday, 17 May 2010 14:33
The Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) is to hold an extraordinary general assembly on 19 May to discuss the government's plan for redrawing the map of Greece's local government, known as "Kallikratis."
KEDKE head Nikitas Kaklamanis will open the general assembly. In the end, there will be a secret ballot before decisions are made.
Source: ANA News item: 36615
 Samaras-Papariga MeetingMonday, 17 May 2010 14:18
Main opposition New Democracy President Antonis Samaras met Monday with Greek Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga and discussed Greece's current affairs. The meeting lasted for an hour and was held in Parliament.
Need for National Unity
Samaras drew his attention to the need for national unity, blasting the isolation of the left parties.
"Understanding does not necessarily mean agreement, whereas agreement does not equal to isolation. Each political party has its own positions on how Greece's future should be," commented Antonis Samaras.
"We [ND] have major differences with KKE. Street protests are one of them. However, this does not mean that some political parties do not wish to see Greece standing on its feet. But the meeting with Ms Papariga was useful and constructive," added he.
New Measures Predicted
KKE head Aleka Papariga, on her part, said new tougher measures would be taken. That's why, she went on, her party meant to brief the people so that they can be the ones who determine the developments.
Papariga stressed: "The people's intervention is a democratic element. The government has associated the street protests with violence."
Touching on the nationwide strike scheduled for Thursday, the KKE head argued: "Provocations have nothing to do with the street protests. We cannot satisfy the provocateurs by remaining indoors. The workers themselves have to shield their demonstrations from any form of provocation."
Source: NET 105.8, ANA News item: 36613
 Ecofin and Eurogroup Seek to Defend EuroMonday, 17 May 2010 10:54
Ecofin and Eurogroup are meeting Monday and Tuesday in Brussels to discuss ways to defend the euro currency in the south EU nations. During the meetings, Spain and Portugal are to unveil the additional fiscal measures they took. In the meantime, the EU will elaborate on the operation and the financing of the European stabilization mechanism. In the meantime, the euro slid to a four-year low on Monday on sovereign debt worries.
Reactions by Opposition Parties
The financial measures have no growth prospects and a policy shift is demanded because the situation will get worse and the people will be asked to make new sacrifices, stressed main opposition New Democracy President Antonis Samaras. He then blasted the government for being unreliable.
"We have to be prepared for a possible walkout from the eurozone," stressed LAOS head Giorgos Karatzaferis in his interview with FREE SUNDAY. SYN President Alexis Tsipras argued that the crisis in Greece is completely disproportional with the real financial problems and he suggested the country's public debt be revised.
Source: NET, NET 105.8 News item: 36605
 Greek PM Meets BusinessmenMonday, 17 May 2010 09:53
Having embarked on a communicative counter-attack, giving interviews to world television networks and newspapers, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is striving to brief the international community on the austerity measures his government has taken. George Papandreou is due in Madrid to attend the EU-Latin America Summit. He will then fly to Lebanon to attract investments. On Monday morning, George Papandreou met with Greek businessmen living abroad and discussed matters pertaining to investments.
Speech to Greek Businessmen Living Abroad
Addressing Greek businessmen living abroad, George Papandreou drew attention to the government's will to usher the country into a different growth track, by taking advantage of all possibilities are being obstructed by red tape, corruption and the educational system.
He then thanked the Greeks living abroad and especially the businessmen, who pledged to make investments and offer their know-how.
George Papandreou is due Monday in Madrid to attend the EU-Latin America Summit. On the sidelines of the Summit, he will hold talks with his Spanish counterpart.
He will then fly to Lebanon to address an economic forum.
"We cannot lead the people to live below the poverty threshold. That's why a part of the cuts constitutes a safety net. This will cost money, yet we have to do it"
In the meantime, the Greek Prime Minister has started giving interviews to major world television networks and newspapers with a view to briefing the international community on the measures the Greek government took to have its economy recovered.
In his interview with German paper Handelsblatt, Papandreou estimated that his government's programme can be implemented, further noting that all measures should be taken lest the weak should be led to poverty.
Speaking on CNN on Sunday, he drew his attention to the US lenders' role in Greece's fiscal problems. He also said that Greece could take legal actions against specific lenders.
"Greece is a proud nation. We made mistakes. We have claimed our responsibilities, but at the same time we request a chance to prove it," said Papandreou.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 36601
 Day Two of National Level ExamsMonday, 17 May 2010 08:48
On day two of the national level exams for admission to tertiary education, candidate students competed in Biology, Physics, Maths and History, with the first two subjects being more difficult compared to last year's exams. No problems were reported apart from the fact that clarifications were asked for the Biology exam. However, the exams' committee said there was nothing to be clarified.
Source: NET 105.8
News item: 36598