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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-09-23
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Papandreou: "We are Building a New Greece"Thursday, 23 September 2010 12:50
"The government is determined to prove that the country is firmly on the path to growth", said the Prime-minister from NY where he will attend the opening of works of the UN General Assembly, on Thursday. Next, Mr. Papandreou will have meetings with foreign leaders and deliver a speech at the Foreign Policy Association. On Wednesday, the Prime-minister attended a reception in his honour at the Greek Consulate, where he received a warm welcome by the Omogeneia. In his speech, Mr. Papandreou referred to the measures taken to protect the country from default but also to make it strong and dynamic again. "We are building a new Greece, Greece of transparency, economic growth, social solidarity and more competitive", he said.
"Invaluable Contribution"of Greek-American Community
Mr. Papandreou thanked the Omogeneia in the US for the warm welcome he received and their invaluable cooperation in a difficult time for Greece. He also extended his thanks to Hellenes of the Diaspora for their contribution to efforts to build a new Greece.
The Prime-minister referred to his meeting with US vice- president Joe Biden, who supported Greece's efforts. Concluding he said the government was determined to win the fight against corruption and promote reforms. The prime-minister was welcomed by the Greek ambassador to the US, Basilis Kaskarelis.
The reception was attended, among others, by Archbishop of America Demetrios, who had a private meeting with G. Papandreou, Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, Foreign undersecretaries Spiros Kouvelis and Dimitris Lolis, greek ambassador to Washington Basilis Kaskarelis, Greek permanent representative to the UN, ambassador Anastasis Mitsialis, genral consul to NY Agni Balta and many Greek -Americans.
After his meeting with Cyprus President Dimitris Hristofias, Mr. Papandreou said: "Cyprus, with Dimitris Hristofias in the post of President has voice and credibility in our common efforts for the resplution of Cyprus issue, with reunification of the island within the UN resolutions and the European status quo. We are now making the necessary contacts to promote Mr. Hristofias initiatives, which if adopted will highly contribute to a new dynamic in the Cyprus issue. Greece is moving within this framework for the materialization of these efforts. Dear Mr. Hristofias you have my support in your efforts and we will certainly be in continuous contact and coordination".
On his part, the Cyprus President said: "it is not a form of speech if I say it is really moving the prime-minister's daily support and all the members of the government in our efforts for resolution of the Cyprus question. â¦ I deeply thank Mr. Papandreou for his daily support. In all his contacts, he places the Cyprus issue among his priorities".
Papandreou Meets Giul- Berisha -Hristofias-Ivanov
Greek, Turkish and Albanian leaders reconfirmed improvement in Gree-Turkish and Greek-Albanian relations after their meetings. Mr. Papandreou will meet with FYROM President at 18:00 Greek local time.
Sources: ÁNA-ÌPA, ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8
News item: 41182
 K. Karamanlis to Send Response LetterThursday, 23 September 2010 11:12
Former prime-minister Kostas Karamanlis will send a response letter next week regarding his summoning by the Parliament Inquiry Committee investigating the Batopedi case. GCP, LAOS and SYRIZA political parties have strongly reacted to this development insisting on his personal presence, which, however, will not be discussed as the majority of the Committee's members render as significant the fact that the former prime-minister honours the Committee with his letter.
The president of the Inquiry Committee, Dimitris Tsironis said "we prefered his personal presence, but he did not allow for any alternative, he was determined to send a letter". In response to criticism on the content of the letter, Mr. Tsironis underlined that nothing would have changed either if the content of the letter had been differently expressed. "It was a regular summoning within a spirit of respect to a figure that served in the country's highest post".
Reports say that the former Prime-minister, in his letter, will repeat his known positions he expressed in public when he was Prime-minister. At a meeting of his party's Parliamentary Group in December, 2008, Mr. Karamanlis had admitted: "it was a scandalous case which he had initially underrated and delayed to realize its dimensions".
In the meantime, former ministers Thodoros Roussopoulos and George Boulgarakis are to appear before the Parliament Inquiry Committee looking into the Batopedi case next Wednesday. Statements by head monk Efrem and monk Arsenios will precede on Tuesday while former ministers Alexandros Kontos and Evagelos Basiakos have also been summoned to testify on Thursday.
In another development, LAOS request to summon former prime-minister Kostas Simitis as witness over the Siemens was rejected.
Sources: ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA-ÌPA News item: 41176
 All ERT Programs Turn DigitalThursday, 23 September 2010 12:33
Alternate Culture Minister Tilemahos Hitiris, responsible for Mass Media issues, attended ERT Administration Board meeting on 21/9/2010. He congratulated the members of the board for the work they have produced so far, made a special reference to former president-chief advisor George Gavritsos and spoke about a number of issues related to the role and prospects of state television. In his intervention, among others, Mr. Hitiris said ERT must strictly observe and project its actions, its public character and its difference making clear its distinctive role compared against the role of the other commercial Mass Media.
Mr. Hitiris made a special reference to the necessity of development in the new technological environment taking advantage of the capacities of modern digital culture and the internet.
Being more specific, Mr. Hitiris underlined that beyond reliability, objectivity ERT should develop links with society and intervention actions within social developments.
Following Mr. Hitiris visit to the premises of state television channel, ERT Administration Board reached the following decisions:
NET, ET1, ET3 Parliament channel for the regions of Attica and Thessaloniki will start their digital programs on September, 27, 2010. Trial programs will precede from September 22-26. ERA five radio programs (NET 105.8, Second, Third, ERA Sport and Kosmos) will be transmitted in the same frequencies. Initially, digital programs will use MPEG2 technology-fully compatible with receivers and MPEG4 decoder while transition to MPEG4 technology will come soon.
Frequencies of digital transmission of ÍÅÔ, ÅÔ1, ÅÔ3 programs and Parliament channel are the following:
Áttica: channel 52 UHF from Hymittos transmitter
Thessaloniki: channel 26 UHF from Hortiati transmitter
News item: 41181
 Cooperation Memorandum with QuatarThursday, 23 September 2010 16:33
Prime-minister G. Papandreou is expected to sign a cooperation memorandum with Qatar government, mounting to 5 billion euros with Emir of Qatar Khalifa al-Thani. The memorandum regards Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) plans that is mainly involved in the fields of energy, tourism, real estate and hotels.
Left wing parties strongly reacted to the memorandum as reports say that the agreement provides for investments in the site of former Hellinikon Airport.
"The government's plans for the building of casinos, marinas, luxury hotel complexes and private airports at Hellinikon area have no relation to the needs and problems of Attica residents" said the GCP and stressed that the memorandum is a typical example that investments in so called green development secure spectacular profits for international and domestic monopoly groups.
"We could not believe in articles writing that Mr. Papandreou signs a Cooperation Memorandum with Qatar to turn Hellenikon into an Arabian "Las Vegas", stressed SYRIZA that raised a question in the Parliament speaking of " unacceptable sale out of state land and wealth actually under fully intransparent procedures".
In response to a relevant question, government spokesman George Petalotis stressed "it is too early to speak about investments " and clarified that both sides will try to cooperate in several levels and apparently also in developmental" .
He also said that voting of "fast track"-predicting that it would soon be passed- is the most significant tool to overcome difficulties that averted attraction of investments.
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA
News item: 41191
 FinMin Forecast Lower Economic DownturnThursday, 23 September 2010 15:10
Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou, in his speech at a conference in Berlin, forecast economic downturn lower than predicted, referring to encouraging indications in basic economic indexes. In the afternoon, Mr. Papakonstantinou will meet with European Central Bank chief Zean Claude Triche in Frankfurt. On Thursday, EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner, Olli Rehn belied that there is a plan for extension of the rescue program.
No Concern over Revenues
Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou, in his speech at a conference in Berlin, forecast economic downturn lower than predicted 4% in 2010, referring to encouraging indications in basic economic indexes.
"We see encouraging signs in significant economic indexes that allow us to believe that economic downturn will be lower than predicted", said Mr. Papakonstantinou. Furthermore, he appeared relaxed over revenues, describing as excessive concerns over shortfall in revenues against target set by the memorandum.
The Finance Minister repeated that Greece plans to return to the market in 2011, stressing that specific time depended on the circumstances that will prevail.
Fight for Revenues
Regarding revenues, the economic staff is giving a battle against time to reverse its negative course and achieve its targets. Within this framework, the Finance Ministry political leadership has sent an emergency circular to all tax offices requesting real estate declaration form E9- submitted this year to be sent to Information Systems General Secretariat till Friday.
Furthermore, the economic staff has given the election body a deadline till November, 17 to complete temporary inspection of VAT for the period January, 1 2010 and so on.
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA News item: 41187