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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-11-24
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Papandreou: "2011 Tough & Demanding"Wednesday, 24 November 2010 14:20
"The government has three years of hard work ahead to complete its titanic mission", said the Prime-minister in his speech at the opening of the 2-day meeting on "Kallikratis" plan. Mr. Papandreou described 2011 a tough and demanding year and underlined the need to safeguard political stability. "The government's willingness to move forward with total reforms in local administration and the sate is a national issue as these reforms incorporate principals and values", said interior Minister Yiannis Ragusis within the two day conference on the new local administration authorities.
The Interior Minister made an extensive description of the operation and further potentials of the new "Kallikratis" municipalities.
ND leader A. Samaras will meet today with the newly elected regional governors and regional deputy governors supported by the ND party.
Prime-minister G. Papandreou opened the two-day conference on "Kallikratis", held at a central Athens hotel with the participation of newly elected mayors and regional governors. The conference is organized by the Interior Minsitry, KEDKE, and the Local Administration Institute.
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA-ΜPA
News item: 48946
 ND Deputy G. Kontoyiannis IndependentWednesday, 24 November 2010 12:07
ND party deputy George Kontoyiannis, in a letter to the Speaker of the House Fillipos Petsalnikos announced his decision to run as an independent deputy. His speech at the Parliament Plenum had preceded. He launched a strong attack against the ND party leadership, blaming it for refusing to agree with the government on the self-evident and placing ahead petty partisan interest at difficult for the country circumstances. The ND speaks of an organized plan to weaken the main opposition party, depicting Doara Bakoyianni while its leader A. Samaras underlined people see, understand and punish .
Mr. Kontoyiannis accused the ruling PASOK party of dividing employees in green and blue camps amid the financial crisis. He stressed the ND leader Antonis Samaras followed the same logic leading, in crucial times, "the party to division and fractionalism having adopted the camps' logic for personal benefits and not for Greece's interest".
Mr. Kontoyiannidis said: "we are all soldiers for the salvation of the country and in this battle the country tops personal interests and we are all responsible before the people and history".
"We should agree on the self-evident, just elementary consent, to the present government, what Mr. Papandreou refused to give Mr. Karamanlis in 2009 because it is a national demand" said Mr. Kontoyiannis. He called ND party leadership to request national understanding for the country's exit from the crisis, otherwise he concluded: "my activity in politics does not allow me to identify with tactics of the so called new New Democracy.
Yesterday, Heraklio deputy Lefteris Avgenakis was also written off from the party. Report say both deputies are close to the new party Democratic Coalition founded by Dora Bakoyiannis on Sunday, November, 21.
Commenting on Mr. Kontoyiannis resignation, the ND party said it did not surprise them, adding: "Certainly each one is judged on his selections".
Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8 - ΑNA/ΜPA
News item: 48917
 Sean Penn Receives Prize in DubaiWednesday, 24 November 2010 10:28
Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn will receive a lifetime achievement prize at this year's Dubai Film Festival.The star, whose career spans nearly three decades, has starred in more than 45 films including the 2008 movie "Milk", for which he won an Academy Award. Festival Chairman Abdulhamid Juma called Penn "an outstanding and versatile actor, gifted director and accomplished producer".
Penn will receive the trophy at the opening ceremony on 12 December.
Sean Penn received his first Oscar in 2003 for "Mystic River". He has also starred in "Dead Man Walking", "Sweet and Lowdown" and "I Am Sam".
BBC: Sean Penn to receive film honour at Dubai festival
News item: 48816
 German Chancellor Praises GreeceWednesday, 24 November 2010 15:21
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel , in her speech at the German Parliament, praised the Greek government's efforts for the country's exit from the financial crisis, which were approved as she said by the results in the recent local administration elections. Mrs. Merkel insisted on the need for the creation of a permanent rescue mechanism after 2013 with the participation of private investors.
Υπέρ της διαμόρφωσης ενός μόνιμου μηχανισμού στήριξης του ευρώ μετά το 2013, τάχθηκε η Γερμανίδα Καγκελάριος, Άγγελα Μέρκελ μιλώντας στην Ομοσπονδιακή Βουλή εμμένoντας ωστόσο με έμφαση στη συμμετοχή σε αυτόν των ιδιωτών επενδυτών.
In her speech to German Parliament, Angela Merkel supported creation of a permanent rescue mechanism after 2013, placing emphasis, however, on the participation of private investors.
She added that this is the most significant decision in macro-economics politicy for economic convergence. It is a landmark decision for social market economy in the 21st century and restores politics over markets.
Citing Greece's example and the government's effort for fiscal stability, Mrs. Merkel praised efforts for Greece's exit from financial crisis, stressing that Greek people have approved the tough measures and policies in the recent local administration elections.
In the meantime, the German Chancellor strongly criticized the main opposition social-democratic party for its "complicated decision" to allow Greece's admission to the euro region and its abstention stance during the German Parliament voting of the bail out package for Greece last spring.
In reference to Ireland's case, A. Merkel said Berlin approves financial support to Ireland under terms while she called European leaders to have the courage to set borders to markets and agree with private investors participation in a future rescue mechanism.
Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΑNA/ΜPA
News item: 48952
 Ireland to Draw up 4-year Austerity PlanWednesday, 24 November 2010 09:45
The European Union and the International Monetary Fund will give Ireland a loan worth β¬85 billion aimed to recapitalize the banks and fund public finances, said Irish radio-television network RTE- although Finance Ministry spokesman said that a team of experts is still studying the future plan. The Irish government has agreed to present a 4-year austerity plan on Wednesday and approve 2011 state budget on December, 7, preconditions for the financial support "The package would see the level of capital in the Irish banks being increased from eight to 12% in a move to bolster confidence of depositors in the financial system", says Irish broadcaster RTE .
In a particularly tense Parliament session, Ireland's Prime-minister Brian Cowen draft-bills on materialization of 2011 state budget will be ready in February, thus rejecting his backbenchers and Greens request for elections in January which would postpone ratification of 2011 state budget, a precondition for the financial support.
On Tuesday, the EU Commission exercised pressure on Ireland to approve austerity measures in order to open road for the country's rescue plan amid concerns that political crisis would derail efforts to adopt it. EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said it is essential that Ireland passes the Budget in the timeline foreseen, adding this would be best done sooner than later. He said every day lost increases uncertainty and economic and social cost. He added that Ireland needs to adopt the Budget, get it out of the way and move on.
In the meantime, "Financial Times" newspaper says that the Irish government will take a majority stake in Bank of Ireland , but both the Irish Finance Ministry and the Bank of Ireland declined to make any comments.
Dutch Finance Minister said that neither Ireland should leave the eurozone nor the euroregion divided in "zones" because a chain of repercussions would follow such as on his country's exports.
In London, Nobel prize winner Michael Spence, - fear grows for spreading of the financial crisis in the region- suggests closer cohesion in the euro region so to exercise a common monetary and taxation policy because patience and confidence of stronger countries is fading away.
Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8 - ΑNA-ΜPA - RTE
Related News: RTE: β¬85bn fund for banks and public finances
Related News: RTE: Four-year plan expected to cut social welfare
News item: 48810