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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-06-09
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Greece and Libya Sign Memorandum of UnderstandingWednesday, 09 June 2010 17:40
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi signed a strategic memorandum of Understanding on matters pertaining to energy, constructions, agriculture and tourism. The signing of the Memorandum confirmed the excellent ties the two countries share.
The Greek Premier held Wednesday morning successive meetings with his Libyan counterpart Al Mahmoudi and the Libyan President who later on hosted a working lunch.
Related News: Papandreou Pays Official Visit to Libya
News item: 37466
 No Railway & Underground Services on ThursdayWednesday, 09 June 2010 15:42
There will be no railway services in Greece on Thursday after OSE (Hellenic Railways Organization) announced a 24-hour strike. OSE employees are protesting the plan to have the Organization restructured. There will be no underground services either.
Source: NET News item: 37459
 Optimism on Economy Course-Deficit Dropped 35%Wednesday, 09 June 2010 14:58
Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou appeared optimistic that the country would fully meet the targets set in the memorandum. Mr. Papakonstantinou made clear that Greece will meet all targets and timetables set in view of inspection by Troika delegation next Monday. He also underlined that there was no question about debt restructuring and return to drachma currency and called for an end to talks spreading fears. Bank of Greece announcement today says that budget deficit in the first 5 months was 9.5 billion euros, showing a drop of 35%. In the meantime, Hellenic Statistics Agency report says that growth dropped to negative territory -2.5% in the first quarter in 2010.
Sources: ÍÅÔ-ÍÅÔ 105.8-ÁNA/ÌPA
Related News: "Catastrophe Scenarios Are Groundless"
News item: 37456
 T.Mantelis: "I'll Fight to Prove My Innocence"Wednesday, 09 June 2010 14:00
Tasos Mantelis, the former minister who admitted that he had accepted money from Siemens while he was a member of the PASOK government, appeared determined to remain in Greece and prove his innocence. The former minister reiterated that the money he received was a pre-election donation and denied having committed an offence, claiming that the charges against him lack legal grounds and that there is no evidence. He said he quitted his work in Azerbaijan so as to assist Justice's work and to be vindicated. The Athens Appellate Council is due to issue its decree within this week. Appellate Kostas Hatzikos has requested the exit ban be ratified, arguing that the embezzlement charges are not subject to the statute of limitations for ex-ministers.
"It is my decision to stay in Greece and fight to prove my innocence" T. Mantelis
Tasos Mantelis testified Wednesday morning before the Appellate Council which held a sitting to decide on the exit ban imposed on the former minister.
Exiting the sitting, Mantelis said he assured the Council that he intended to remain in Greece and therefore he quitted his job in Azerbaijan.
According to the memo he submitted to the Council, the embezzlement charges against him are associated with the deposition of 200,000 marks to a bank account in Switzerland in 1998.
As for the second pack of money in 2000, he told reporters he was not sure it came from Siemens and reiterated it was a pre-election donation.
He also stressed that the bribery charges are subject to the statute of limitations and bear no relation to the contracts signed with OTE in 1997.
He further underlined that, under a law voted in 1996, contacts were approved by a special committee of the Development Ministry. They were then okayed by the Transport Ministry, which was not entitled to negotiate or alter the terms of the said contracts, which had been given thumbs up by the OTE board.
In his statements, Mantelis claimed that he testified to the council exactly what he had testified before the parliamentary committee investigating the Siemens case and stressed that the charges, whereby he was bribed with 10 million marks in 1997, were completely groundless.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 37454
 Inquiry Committee on Siemens Continues InvestigationWednesday, 09 June 2010 13:28
Parliament Inquiry Committee looking into Siemens "black money" scandal continues its works with statements by Hellenic Railways Company executives and representatives of Skaramaga shipyard employees. General secretary of Financial Crimes Investigation Service (SDOE), Yiannis Kapelleris briefed the Committee on the bank account covering the corporations expenses for trips and gifts. Former Transport Minister Tasos Mantelis appeared before the Appeals Council on Wednesday. During Tuesday's meeting of the government interinstitutional body, the Prime-minister underlined the need for restoration of feeling of justice referring to the scandal cases.
In the meantime, the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee has asked Financial Crimes Investigation Service (SDOE) to continue investigation placing emphasis on the wealth of ones involved in the Siemens scandal as well as on the 150 boxes in Siemens offices confiscated by special investigator N. Zagorianakos.
Also, ND party honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis said he was willing to give a statement if summoned by the Committee. In another development LAOS deputies withdrew from the Committee.
M. Hristoforakos' Secretary Statement
Katerina Tsakalos, M. Hristoforakos former secretary made statements to the Inquiry Committee on Tuesday. Mrs. Tsakalos, under her new position executive in Siemens transparency and interior inspection department, referred to Hellenic Railways and ARMENTEL cases and revealed names of all individuals-politicians and natural persons- that had meeting with Hristoforakos. She said nothing about content of their talks underlining that she was not present.
From the very first moment the Inquiry Committee was set up, the GCP with responsibility, sobriety and consistency tried to cooperate in the investigation of responsibilities said the GCP spokesman Thanasis Pafilis.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8
News item: 37453
 "Renewal" Deputies Resigned from SYRIZAWednesday, 09 June 2010 11:29
In a letter to the Speaker of the House, SYRIZA deputies Koubelis , Lebentis Tsukalis and Psarianos announced their resignation from the party's Parliamentary Group. It was stressed, during the meeting of the Parliamentary Group held in a highly moving climate, relations between SYRIZA Parliamentary Group deputies and independent deputies would be neither confrontational nor competitive. They agreed that they can coexist and co-formulate positions both at parliamentary and local administration levels.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8 News item: 37441
 T. Mantelis to Face Appeals CouncilWednesday, 09 June 2010 10:56
Former Transport Minister Anastasios Mantelis will appear before the Council of Appeals on Wednesday. The Council is to decide whether to ratify or not the Prosecutor's Office order banning his exit from the country.
In a letter to the Athens Bar Association Disciplinary Council, Mr. Mantelis insists that Siemens sponsored his pre-election campaign.
Mr. Mantelis refutes accusations of undignified behavior maintaining he did not violate election legislation when he received from Siemens 200.000 and 250.000 marcs in 1998 and 2000 respectively as pre-election sponsorship. The Disciplinary Council will examine whether to file an indictment or leave the case in archives.
Source: ÍÅÔ105.8 News item: 37437
 Gunmen Kill Seven in PakistanWednesday, 09 June 2010 09:12
At least 7 people were killed in gunmen attack against military convoy carrying supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan. Gunmen set 12 trucks alight -in the closest such attack so far to highly guarded Islamabad, capital of Pakistan.
The overnight assault occurred in Tarnol, 15km outside the capital. A dozen gunmen stormed the depot on the outskirts of Islamabad en route to the north-western city of Peshawar and towards the NATO supply route into Afghanistan "Seven people are confirmed dead and 4 injured. There is no report about arrests", a police official said.
Local mass media said that the fire department moved immediately to bring fire under control while there were several explosions in fuel depots.
Sources: ÍÅÔ105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA News item: 37435