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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-08-24
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 "End" to Reshuffle ScenariosTuesday, 24 August 2010 17:19
The Prime-minister put an end to reshuffle talks with his intervention during the Ministers' Council informal meeting on Tuesday. Reports say that Mr. Papandreou said characteristically government reshuffle talks should end, adding that any changes would be made to fill in posts in the event government members participate in local administration elections. He referred to structural reforms in the Ministers' Council and the Premier's Office, which he disengaged from government reshuffle. The 4-hour meeting of the Ministers' Council centered on the government's priorities in the next period. Emphasis was placed on citizens' day life and dealing with problems in the Athens historical and commercial center.
Issues discussed during the Ministers' Council included closed professions, education, development of Athens historical center while Health Minister Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou briefed on the mosquitoes carriers of West Nile virus and smoking ban in all indoor public sites.
Athens Historical Center: Measures, timetables and amount required for the development of the Athens center were discussed after proposals by Protection of Citizens minister and undersecretary Mihalis Hrisohoidis and Spiros Bouyias respectively. The prime-minister said Athens must become the pilot for interventions by local administration and the state and the center of the capital must be linked with entrepreneurship and tourism.
Closed professions: Till the end of August Ministries should respond to vice-president Th. Pangalos letter asking: which closed professions are in their competence, which are the obstacles, what international practices say and what legislation says.
Finance Ministry circles reminded that opening of closed professions is linked with EU regulation #123.
A dialogue with interested sectors will follow while relevant draft-bill will be tabled till the end of October.
Finance Ministry staff said that there is no need for talks on memorandum 1 and memorandum 2 , clarifying that there is only one memorandum which is revised every three months. Measures that have been taken out in each revision and reference is specified on remaining issues. As example, the Railway Company(OSE) was referred where the memorandum in May had only 5 lines while now it has specific regulations on the issue and the same happens for the energy sector.
Sale of DEH plants is not in the memorandum but procedures in the revised text will be tabled to the Parliament Economic Committee for discussion.
In response to a question regarding additional measures, Finance Ministry sources said that transfer of some products to the VAT 23% scale from the VAT 11% scale is included in May memorandum but the government maintained that it could raise revenues from other measures bearing the same result. The same circles added, however, that other measures with equivalent results have not been found so far.
Furthermore, they ruled out additional measures in 2010, explaining that 2011 measures are included in the memorandum and will be referred in the budget plan to be submitted on October, 4 and will be taken next year.
Finally the same circles said the Prime-minister will speak about the government's growth plan at the Thessaloniki International Fair.
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA
News item: 39723
 Inner Cabinet Informal MeetingTuesday, 24 August 2010 11:50
The Inner Cabinet, chaired by the Prime-minister, is holding an informal meeting centered on the government priorities in the next months. They will also discuss the situation in the Athens historical and commercial center. In the meantime, government spokesman G. Petalotis announced significant changes in the Ministers' Council structure and the operation of the Premier's Office. He underlined Prime-minister G. Papandreou is assessing proposals for better promotion and coordination of the government's work.
Mr. Petalotis cited that the government places emphasis on policies and not individuals and disengaged planned structural changes from the issue of substitution of Ministers' Council members in the event of their participation in local administration elections.
On his part the Prime-minister, in his article in the government's website , stresses that reforms that will change the state and combat corruption are the government's priorities.
George Papandreou reassures that he will materialize all his commitments for radical reforms, saying that in the 10 months since elections in October the government has done much more compared to any other government in the past.
Source: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8
News item: 39715
 Manhunt to Find Armed RobbersTuesday, 24 August 2010 14:50
Police have launched a manhunt to arrest the two armed robbers of a National Bank branch on the island of Alonisos. They stormed into the bank at 08:00 in the morning and managed to escape on a motorcycle with â¬1.000.000 firing against policemen and a port officer.
While riding away they crashed on a lorry and not only lost the bag with money but they had to abandon the motorcycle. Seeking to escape they stole another motorcycle from a passerby rider under the threat of the gun. They sailed to Skopelos island on an inflatable boat which they left there. Police went to the site where the boat was abandoned to look for fingerprints.
Local police and port authorities chased the robbers but they managed to escape firing against them luckily without injuring them though.
SOURCES: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA
News item: 39719
 National Exams Results to Be Announced on WednesdayTuesday, 24 August 2010 14:29
National Exams results are to be announced on Wednesday putting an end to suspense of thousands of candidates for tertiary education. Ones interested can be informed either by a special program broadcast by state television channel NET, ERT special website (http://www.ert.gr/exams/). Exam results will be also posted on the Education Ministry relevant website (http://www.minedu.gov.gr). Candidates have to enter their 8 digit code (9 digit code for foreigners) and the four initial letters of their personal data (surname-name-father's name-mother's name). Ones who have no access to Internet can request information by dialing 1500, the Citizens' Service Center.
The results will be sent to Secondary Education Offices where name lists with the names of successful candidates will be printed an distributed to schools.
SOURCES: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA
News item: 39718
 Society Shocked by Gruesome Murder of 11YOTuesday, 24 August 2010 10:16
An 11yo girl from Bulgaria was killed in the village of Elaiohori, in Arcadia. Details of the unprecedented murder are bloodcurdling. The body of the girl was found in a well , where a 41yo Albanian, living in the same village, had thrown her still alive after sexually abusing her as the necropsy showed. A dog helped in the efforts to find the girl said Mr. Yiannopoulos, president of the "Child Smile"
Reni Traikova 11yo was playing with her friends at the village square till late. Around 01:20 she was on her way back home when the Albanian, resident in the same village, offered to drive her home.
As he admitted during police interrogation, the 41yo Albanian drove her 7km far from the village where he sexually abused her and next threw her alive in a 10m deep well. The girl had arrived in the village 10 months ago and lived with her family who worked trying to make ends meet.
Authorities rapidly mobilized while the murderer had taken part in the search.
Now psychologists are supporting the family of the girl and the other children in the village who are shocked by the abhorrent crime.
News item: 39707
 O. Rehn Optimistic over Greece's EconomyTuesday, 24 August 2010 15:02
EU Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn, in his article in Wall Street Journal, appears optimistic over the course of Greece's fiscal adjustment program. Greece has proven its critics wrong and labels as groundless rumours and concerns abour restructuring of Greece's debt.
Greece has proved the doubters wrong
Greece has proven its critics wrong by implementing an ambitious and front-loaded fiscal adjustment program stresses EU Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn in his article in Wall Street Journal entitled "Greek Renaissance". He, however, underlines that Greece has to continue on this path rigorously implementing reforms to regain investors' trust.
"The Commission's first review of the program's implementation shows that, so far, Athens has proved the doubters wrong. Greece's ambitious and front-loaded adjustment program is on track to deliver a return to macroeconomic and financial stability, and stronger and more balanced growth in the medium-term".
He describes as unfounded concerns that Athens might yet be forced to restructure its debt because of the following reasons:
the program is ambitious but it is also realistic
impressive progress with structural reforms
debt restructuring would be extremely damaging not only for Greece but for the euro area and the European Union as a whole
Reforms of fiscal governance have advanced, for instance:
In tackling tax evasion,
With easing labor-market rules
By raising retirement age
By cutting pensions
By improving the business environment by cutting red tape.
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA News item: 39720