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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-06-10

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Power Rates Down by 20% for Low-Income Earners
  • [02] EU Considers Extending Bailout Fund
  • [03] Separate Paths after Political Divorce
  • [04] Greek PM: "We Have Overcome the Dangers"
  • [05] Depositions on Siemens Case Continue
  • [06] Turkey & Brazil Blast Sanctions Imposed on Iran
  • [07] Dutch Premier Resigns after Election Defeat

  • [01] Power Rates Down by 20% for Low-Income Earners

    Thursday, 10 June 2010 15:51

    Power rates will go down by up to 20% for low-income earners, said Thursday the Environment Minister. Tina Birbili also said there is not going to be any rises in power rates in 2010, apart from those in the fee for renewable energy sources.

    The cheaper power rates to come into force to support the low-income earners require some preconditions, which are:

    * The annual income should be below the tax relief threshold. * The four-month consumption should range between 200kWh and 800kWh. * The power should be consumed to cover the power needs of the permanent house.

    Those entitled to the cuts should submit a petition to the Public Power Corporations (PPC) or to the Citizen's Advice Bureaus (KEP).

    In the meantime, the Environment Ministry dismissed rumours whereby power rates were about to go up. They only fee to increase, said the Ministry, is that of the renewable energy sources. Domestic consumption won't be burdened with that rise in that fee, though.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA

    News item: 37509

    [02] EU Considers Extending Bailout Fund

    Thursday, 10 June 2010 15:30

    A near trillion-dollar bailout fund for debt-burdened euro nations will be increased if required, the European Union's appointed president said in an interview published on Thursday.

    Herman Van Rompuy -- who is in Berlin to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel seven days from an EU summit dominated by disputes over how to install new cross-border economic governance -- told Belgian business magazine Trends-Tendances that the 750-billion-euro EU-IMF fund of loan guarantees could be extended.

    "Is it enough? Today, there is not even the hint of anyone asking to put this rescue plan into action.. If the plan proves insufficient, my answer is simple: in this case, we will do more. We knew that Greece was going to pose a problem, but no one expected the blaze to spread like a bush-fire and threaten Europe and practically the whole world. The real stakes involve the imposition of adequate reform in the real economy. That is indispensable to give coherence to the eurozone's economic and political development. That's the real mission. It's not enough to clean up public finances, we also have to boost growth and improve competitiveness. Lots of countries are looking at pension reform. We won't be able to avoid this debate in Belgium," said Herman Van Rompuy.

    In the meantime, the talk between unions and employers in Spain fell flat, with the former not ruling out industrial actions. Source: AFP News item: 37507

    [03] Separate Paths after Political Divorce

    Thursday, 10 June 2010 14:52

    SYN head Alexis Tsipras termed the decision of four SYN deputies to walk out of the party as negative, unexpected and cursory. He reiterated his astonishment over their decision to distance themselves from the party, since, as he claimed, no major agreement on policy and strategy affairs came up.

    Tsipras highlighted the need for unity, blasting former SYN leader Alekos Alavanos for not coming to terms with the fact that he did not have the first say in the party. Touching on the issue of parliamentary seats, Tsipras claimed the seats should be returned to the party, arguing that whoever is elected under the umbrella of a certain party is obliged to represent that party. "Those who claim that we should quit our parliamentary seats for the sake's of SYRIZA are politically naïve," commented Fotis Kouvelis, one of the deputies who left the party.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8 News item: 37499

    [04] Greek PM: "We Have Overcome the Dangers"

    Thursday, 10 June 2010 14:27

    Addressing an OKE session in southern Greece, Prime Minister George Papandreou rest everybody assured that the country has overcome all major dangers and has entered the path of fiscal stability. George Papandreou spoke of tough yet necessary decisions taken to save Greece, further adding that the government can now commit itself to promoting changes lest the country should find itself in such a gloomy financial situation. Papandreou denied anew scenarios whereby Greece is likely to leave the eurozone and return to its national currency, branding such scenarios as "hilarious and dangerous."

    "We are in the path of financial and fiscal stability having left all major dangers behind," assured the Greek Prime Minister while addressing an OKE meeting in the southern Greek city of Tripoli.

    Papandreou referred yet again to the "detrimental and groundless" default scenarios, dismissing them as hilarious and "extremely dangerous" that do nothing but spread panic among the Greeks and deliver a blow to the efforts and sacrifices of the people of Greece.

    "The irresponsibility of those adopting such rumours makes me wonder. Even serious MME have adopted them, probably due to competition, despite the fact they have access to valid information coming from the Greek government and the EU itself," said the Greek Premier. He then stressed that "Greece has nothing to fear, apart from fear itself."

    He then went on to place emphasis on the government's determination, explaining that the names of those responsible for corruption surfaced for the first time.

    Touching on the scandals, George Papandreou reiterated that the feeling of justice has to be cemented among the citizens because this is what the people demand. He then added he had told Kostas Karamanlis when his was a Prime Minister that "First we the politicians should be responsible to clear up cases lest we should let the corrupted ones free to do what they want."

    The Greek PM admitted that the measures his government had to take were pretty tough. Referring to the pension reforms, he underlined, "the decisions we took do not mean just to reform the pension system, but they also mean to support its sustainability so that our children can draw their pensions in the future."

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 37497

    [05] Depositions on Siemens Case Continue

    Thursday, 10 June 2010 14:26

    With the investigation into the Siemens case being in full swing, the secretary of former Siemens Hellas CEO Mihalis Christoforakos, was called to testify before the parliamentary committee probing the case again. In the meantime, former Siemens executive Prodromos Mavrides, who has been seriously implicated in the case, exercised his right to remain silent. Dionysis Dendrinos, also a high-profile Siemens executive who was in charge of the security project for the Athens Olympics, is now testifying to the committee too. His attorney has said his client will not testify. The inquiry committee has request access to the bank accounts of 25 brokers and businessmen, who, according to the brief, were given money from Siemens. Whether Mihalis Christoforakos is going to testify or not is still open.

    Members of the inquiry committee investigating the case is likely to move to Germany to get statements by two former Siemens officials, while efforts will be made so that Mihalis Christoforakos can testify.

    Former Siemens official Prodromos Mavrides charged with bribery exercised his right to remain silent.

    Katerina Tsakalou, Christoforako's secretary testified before the inquiry committee for a third time. According to her attorney, Tsakalou revealed the names of the politicians her boss had held meetings with.

    In the meantime, authorities raided the Siemens offices and confiscate 21 telephones and a laptop belonging to Mihalis Christoforakos, as well as the hard disc from his secretary's computer.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 37502

    [06] Turkey & Brazil Blast Sanctions Imposed on Iran

    Thursday, 10 June 2010 10:51

    The UN Security Council's unanimous decision to sanction defiant Iran anew was hailed as a US diplomatic victory and a crystal clear message to Iran. In the meantime, Turkey is getting more and more internationally isolated, since the USA literally ignored it after the Turkish Foreign Minister's strong reaction during his visit to Washington just a few days after the Israeli deadly raid on the Turkish aid ship.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister, who suggested the Security Council be reformed, argued that the tripartite uranium agreement Iran, Turkey and Brazil signed on 17 May in Tehran safeguarded everything that the USA had asked for from Brazil and Turkey.

    The Brazilian President, on his part, kept blasting the new sanctions imposed on Iran. He slammed the Security Council for stubbornly sticking to sanctions instead of urging Iran to negotiate.

    He then branded the UN Security Council resolution as wrong, accusing the Security Council of throwing away a historic chance to hold talks with Iran on the latter's nuclear programme.

    Speaking Wednesday evening on a Turkish television, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that his country is not just any Security Council member. It is the only Security Council member state sharing its border with Iran, stressed he, further noting that sanctions on Iran would influence Turkey, as well.

    He argued that Ankara wants to see the past sanctions imposed on Iran abolished as well, underlining that trade relations between Turkey and Iran amounts to 10 billion US dollars and that if the said sanctions are lifted, the benefits from their trade relations could climb to 30 billion dollars.

    Source: NET, 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 37485

    [07] Dutch Premier Resigns after Election Defeat

    Thursday, 10 June 2010 09:33

    Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende resigned as his party head late Wednesday after his Christian Democratic Appeal suffered a crushing defeat landing the fourth place in the parliamentary elections held in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

    Balkenende accepted full responsibility for the party's poor results, which saw it slide to 21 seats in Parliament from 41.

    He will continue to serve as prime minister until a new government is formed. News item: 37483


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