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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-05-26
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 ND Leader Addresses Event on People with DisabilitiesWednesday, 26 May 2010 20:22
Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras' speech at his party event on people with disabilities was two-dimensional, as he touched on matters pertaining to the current political affairs, as well as on matters relating to people with disabilities.
"The social integration of people with disabilities is not restricted to party expediencies," commented the ND President, heralding the setting up of a new Secretariat for people with special abilities.
"As a political party, New Democracy's policy has two dimensions. Firstly, to make the routine of those people easier, to restore their rights in social life and social contribution. Secondly, to give people with special abilities the opportunity to make the best of them. Not just to help them become like the rest. We should support them to become better than the rest," continued Antonis Samaras.
Blasting the government policy on the people with disabilities, the ND President stressed:
"The first thing we should do is to fix the injustices they have suffered from lately: disability pensions were taxed as 'income.' Lack of compassion competes stupidity."
Source: NET 105.8, ANA
News item: 36960
 Focusing on Denationalizations and CompetitivenessWednesday, 26 May 2010 18:31
The Greek government is drawing its attention to a denationalization project, giving priority to the sectors of energy, infrastructure and tourism. The lists including the companies to be sold will be made public in the coming week. Touching on competitiveness, the Prime Minister objected the prevailing European logic that favours cheap working force and trimmed pensions. Instead, he argued that speculative capitals should be controlled so that growth, which is key priority for Greece, can go unhampered.
OECD Appears Optimistic-It Requires Reforms
Although it appears slightly more optimistic than the EU and the IMF, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development insisted that the pension system, the labor market and the public sector should be reformed so that public expenditure can be further trimmed.
In its report, the OECD predicted growth to stand at -2.5%, unemployment to rise to 14.3% and the deficit to amount to 7.1%.
Competitiveness Topped Cabinet Meeting
"The issue of competitiveness, which is a key issue for Greece, cannot be addressed with the logic of cheap labour and trimmed pensions, as Europe believes. Competitiveness will be addressed with the quality of our products, the quality of the human resources, our transition to another development model and the investments in green technologies," commented George Papandreou
News item: 36956
 EU Seeks to Prevent Future BailoutsWednesday, 26 May 2010 17:44
Banks should pay a levy to help prevent future bailouts and shield taxpayers from the burden of multibillion euro (dollar) rescues, the European Union's top financial chief proposed Wednesday.
European governments are currently battling a debt crisis that has caused the euro to slide sharply against the dollar. The crisis was partly caused by the huge price states paid to rescue their financial systems over the past two years.
EU Financial Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said Wednesday it is "not acceptable" that taxpayers should pay for costs that should be borne by banks.
He suggested that banks should pay a charge toward a fund in their country that would help pay for the costs of unwinding a bank on the edge of collapse. Such costs can include financing for bridging loans, transferring assets, creating a "bad bank" to take on problem assets and paying for lawyers, administrators and advisers.
Fees charged by law firms and others working on the messy unwinding of Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers have reportedly amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The EU's proposed levy would not pay directly to bail out or rescue banks from bankruptcy. Rather, it would pay for the creation of a "resolution fund" and rules to handle bank insolvency may allow troubled banks to seek help at an earlier stage and avoid the need for state help to keep them afloat.
"We're not talking here about last-minute rescue or bankruptcy, we're talking about well before the disaster," said Barnier, calling for regulators to more closely watch banks and intervene â and even demand management change â if their collapse was likely to pose a risk to the financial system.
Source: The Associated Press
News item: 36952
 World Stock Markets RecoverWednesday, 26 May 2010 17:22
Global stock markets bounced back on Wednesday after heavy losses the day before, with Asia leading the recovery.
Shares had fallen on Tuesday on worries about continued weakness in the euro economy, and Korean tensions.
Wall Street gave a further boost to values, with the Dow Jones index up 0.71% as European markets closed.
In Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 index finished up 1.97%, Germany's Dax index was 1.55% higher, while France's Cac 40 index ended with a rise of 3.22%.
Shares had risen earlier in Asia. In Japan the Nikkei index rose 0.7%, South Korea's Kospi index added 1.4% and Australia's main index climbed 1%.
Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Indonesia and Taiwan also closed higher.
Source: BBC News item: 36950
 Mantelis Admits His Involvement in Siemens CaseWednesday, 26 May 2010 16:38
Socialist deputy and former Transport Minister Anastasios Mantelis admitted Wednesday his involvement in the Siemens case. He said to the committee investigating the mater that he got 200,000 marks from Siemens in 1998. Mantelis argued the money was deposited to a bank account in Geneva.
Statement by Tsougranis
Earlier, businessman Giorgos Tsougranis, who is Mantelis' best man, had testified that Anastasios Mantelis had asked him to open a bank account in 1998 for sponsors from abroad.
Tsougranis testified that the 200,000 marks came from Siemens.
Reactions by Political Parties
In its announcement, main opposition New Democracy stressed: "At a time when PASOK is trying to play the part of the prosecutor, Tsoukatos' revelations were followed by Mantelis'."
LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) spokesman Kostis Aivaliotis commented: "Only an in-depth investigation into the case, followed by the release of the names of those who were bribed could save the prestige of the political world."
Source: NET, NET 105.8 News item: 36946