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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] The 25 Agreed on Deficits
  • [02] Focus on the Economy
  • [03] Clash Over Main Shareholder
  • [04] Life Park at Elliniko
  • [05] Crisis Deepens in Jerusalem Patriarchate
  • [06] Warning Letter on Main Shareholder
  • [07] Revelations from Continuous Holy Synod
  • [08] The Michalopoulos Trial Continues

  • [01] Karamanlis-Papadopoulos Meeting in Brussels The 25 Agreed on Deficits

    22 Mar 2005 21:42:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The EU Summit Meeting in Brussels has officially ratified the new reformed Stability Pact, which is related to the fiscal deficits of the EU member-states. The revision of the Lisbon Strategy on employment and competitiveness will also be at the focus of discussions that will continue on Wednesday. As part of the Summit and after the meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis also met with the Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos to discuss the next moves of Athens-Nicosia regarding the Cypriot issue. Earlier, Mr Karamanlis participated in the assembly of the European Peoples Party, while he held meetings with the President of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell and DISI President Nikos Anastasiadis.

    Ankara Protocol at Focus

    During talks with Mr Papadopoulos, the PM informed the Cypriot President on the meeting with Tayyip Erdogan, which was held in a friendly climate. Kostas Karamanlis and Tassos Papadopoulos went over the latest developments of the Cypriot issue and agreed that what comes first is the reunion of Cyprus based on the Annan plan, as well as on the principles and values of the EU.

    According to diplomatic sources, all bilateral issues were discussed during the two PMs' meeting. Indicative of the friendly atmosphere is that Mr Karamanlis accepted the invitation to visit Ankara and the exact date will be set via the diplomatic way. What is more, the two PMs will inaugurate together a natural gas pipeline in Evros, as soon as works are completed.

    In the meantime, according to government sources, the European Commission is seeking for a formula to complete the process of signing the Ankara Protocol. The signing of the Customs Union of Turkey with the ten new member-states of the EU, including Cyprus, will definitely occur prior to 3 October, according to the relevant decision of the Union.

    However, the ratification of the Protocol by Turkey is likely to take longer than expected and the interest of the Commission is focused on that aspect. According to the same sources, the Commission has two "thoughts": the Protocol does not require ratification by the Turkish Parliament because it is not a commercial agreement and a specific timeframe should be given to Ankara so as to fully adjust.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Focus on the Economy

    [02] In the EU Summit Meeting Focus on the Economy

    22 Mar 2005 12:22:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET RADIO 105.8- MPA

    During the Brussels Summit Meeting, the 25 European leaders will ratify the review of the Stability Pact, while the review of the Lisbon Strategy will also be discussed. The Prime Minister, who will be present in the Summit Meeting, described the treaty of the Ministers of Economy, for the flexibility of the Stability Pact, as very positive. Earlier, Mr Karamanlis will participate in the European People's Party meeting, in which Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend, for the first time, as an observer. This evening, Mr Karamanlis will hold meetings with President of the Cypriot Republic, Tassos Papadopoulos and President of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell.

    "Duty for Deficit Decrease Still Stands"

    As the Minister of Economy, Giorgos Alogouskoufis stated the Pact will become more flexible and better applicable, while the main Greek positions were accepted, such as the extension of the deadline to recover, in the case of a fiscal derailment.

    However, the Minister made clear that the review of the Stability Pact does not negate Greeces duty for the decrease of fiscal deficit under 3%, until the end of 2006.

    The Summit's Program

    In the letter, which the President of the European Council sends to leaders of EU countries and governments, the PM of Luxemburg invites his European counterparts to the meeting with President of European Parliament, Josep Borrel, this afternoon. Following, short proceedings will take place on the reviewed Stability Pact, where Jean Claude Juncker will make a detailed reference to the political agreement accomplished in the Ecofin Council on Sunday.

    The discussions of the countries and governments leader and Foreign Ministers will continue in the official dinner, where the issues posed by the Ministers of Economy will be discussed, among them the election of the new President of the World Bank. The agenda for the dinner of the Foreign Ministers will include issues concerning current developments.

    The second Session of the European Council is planned for tomorrow morning, and early at noon a meeting of the Presidency with the candidate accession countries will follow.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Greek -Turkish Relations

    Agreement for Stability Pact

    Related Links:

    European Union

    [03] Commission Requests Clarifications Clash Over Main Shareholder

    22 Mar 2005 19:36:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Main Shareholder triggered a new clash between the government and the opposition, after the EU Commission decision to ask for clarifications regarding certain provisions that seem to oppose Community legislation. G. Papandreou criticized the Government for their handlings, but received direct answer from the government spokesperson, who stressed that PASOK introduced the particular provision (article 14, paragraph 9), which was passed in 2001. At the same time, Left parties support that the Constitution outrivals Community Law. Earlier today, Evangelos Antonaros underlined that the issue of transparency and the fight against intrigue is non negotiable.

    Developments

    The Government appears to be determined to defend national interests and continue their fight for transparency and against intrigue, given that the law for the Main Shareholder, recently passed, executes the Constitutional revision of 2001. According to government sources:

    "The main aim for the government is transparency and the fight against intrigue. We are expecting particular positions from the European Commission and remarks on the total legislative framework of the country. In any case, what will prevail is national interest."

    Earlier however, there was harsh criticism from George Papandreou. PASOK President said Greece is being internationally exposed and that the government is leading the Economy to collapse.

    T. Roussopoulos reacted was immediate calling G. Papandreou to explain why he always rushes to make statements against his country and the Constitution, which has been also voted by PASOK.

    On the other hand, Nikos Athanasakis called on the government to withdraw the law and proceed to a dialogue with the other political parties in order to come up with a solution. At the same time, Left parties support the Constitution outrivals Community legislation.

    "KKE flatly rejects as unacceptable the EU proposal to send a letter to the Greek government, with which they ask for more explanations on the matter of the main shareholder," said a KKE announcement, while Alekos Alavanos underlined that with its stance, the Commission turns against the Greek Constitution.

    "The Constitution is above the Commission," stressed Nikos Konstantopoulos speaking on NET's show "Proti Grammi."

    Commission Requests Clarifications

    The Commission decision to ask for further clarification on certain provisions of the Main Shareholder law was the occasion of harsh political clash. The College of Commissioners asked for the revision of the main shareholder, a fact which means that the Greek government should answer within 15 days from the moment they will receive the letter.

    "'Such disputes happen," said E. Antonaros on the matter, underlining that this is not the first time a government has a divergence of views with the EU.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Benefits for Western Suburbs Too Life Park at Elliniko

    22 Mar 2005 21:15:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The Metropolitan Park of Elliniko will be the biggest in Europe with multiple benefits to the daily life and health of the people living in Attica. From a total of 5,000 sq km, 4,000 which will be filled with greenery, thousands of plants and tress, fountains, playgrounds and areas for outdoor artistic events. The Western suburbs will also benefit from the Metropolitan Park, as part of the revenues from the disposition of one part to private individuals will be given for restorations and infrastructure works at the western suburbs of Athens.

    Great Breath of Life

    On Tuesday, G. Souflias had a meeting with the Mayors of the areas around the Metropolitan Park. The Minister for the Environment underlined that from a total of 5,300 sq km, only 1,000 of them will be built, stressing that revenues will be disposed for the maintenance and management of the park, as well for restorations works at the western suburbs of Athens.

    Apart from the greenery and recreation areas that will cover the largest part of the park, 300 sq km will be used for athletic facilities and the rest 1,000 will be given to private individuals for commercial exploitation.

    The Park will keep several features from its old use as an airport. One of its runways will become a walking and sports zone. The old waiting halls will be turned into conference halls.

    In six months the park's form will be finalized, at which point the ministry will have the final architectural study in their hands.

    Panathinaikos' Stadium

    Mayors voiced objections for the funding of other areas, while they disagree on the eventuality of constructing there the new Panathinaikos stadium. Referring to the issue of the stadium, the Minister for the environment stressed that "it should be transferred from Alexandras Avenue and it should be taken somewhere, perhaps at Elliniko."

    "Some don't want it here, others don't want it there, where do you think we should take it, to Evia?" he added.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Pressure for Patriarch Eirinaios' Removal Crisis Deepens in Jerusalem Patriarchate

    22 Mar 2005 16:28:00 (Last updated: 22 Mar 2005 20:09:45)

    By Anna Kourti

    The Palestinian Legislative Council convened on Tuesday noon mainly focusing on the charges regarding the sale of Jerusalem Patriarchate property to companies of Jewish interests. The Council decided to ask the Summit Meeting of the members of the Arab League to solve the matter on an international level and the Investigative Committee formed in the past few days to take action. What is more, they have proposed a poll within the Palestinian Authority to pass a law that will provide for the lowering of all Greek flags from monasteries and property of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In the meantime, pressure for the removal of Eirinaios increases, after charges on Patriarchate property sold to Israeli investors. As for Patriarch Eirinaios, in a letter he sent to the Summit Meeting of Arab countries in Alger, he stated that never had he given orders for selling land.

    "The Position of the Patriarch Has Become Very Heavy"

    In the meantime, intense behind-the-scenes discussions between Palestinians, Jordanians and Greek diplomatic authorities in order to resolve the crisis continue.

    The Jordanian government has allegedly called the Palestinian Authority to say they will support their any choices. At the same time, a committee of specialists from the Foreign Ministry is in the area in order to investigate the accusations.

    The Patriarchate should be a factor of stability and peace in a crucial area between Israel and the Palestinians, underlined PASOK spokesperson, adding that "Patriarch Eirinaios bears de facto responsibility for it."

    "The position of the Patriarch of Jerusalem has become very heavy, just like the climate against him," stated the president of the Interparliamentarian Orthodoxy Assembly, Stelios Papathemelis.

    The General Secretary of the Islamic Meeting Parliamentarian Union Ibrahim Ahmed Aouf said that "the sale of property opposes international legality and the Patriarchate should reconsider."

    PLC Decisions

    The decisions of the Palestinian Legislative Council are as follows:

    To ask the Summit Meeting of the members of the Arab League to solve the matter on an international level. To propose a poll within the Palestinian Authority and to pass a law providing for the lowering of all Greek flags from monasteries and the property of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in general. These constitute a proposal, which should be voted for. However, according to Palestinian officials, the Palestinian Authority does not seem willing to proceed with such a measure. Detail investigation of all documents indicating land sales to Jewish companies and ask for the contribution of special legal advisors for the possibility of contesting the contracts. The Legislative Council supports and insists that action should be taken by the Investigative Committee, which was formed a couple of days ago.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Tension in Jerusalem

    [06] Andonaros: "Transparency is Non-Negotiable" Warning Letter on Main Shareholder

    22 Mar 2005 13:54:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET RADIO 105.8

    The Commission has asked for explanations from Greece on the main shareholder issue. The European Commissioners accepted the proposal of Commissioner for internal market issues, Charles McCreevey, to send Greece a letter with questions, while the Greek government has to make its official position on the issue known within 15 days. As the Commissions spokesperson stated, in the case that the Greek arguments are rejected then the Committee will have to pass to the next stage of the process which foresees the "justifiable opinion," which is a pre-court process. The issue caused an intense dispute between the government spokesperson, Theodoros Roussopoulos and leader of the opposition, Giorgos Papandreou.

    "Government will Defend Constitution"

    In the first meeting of the new PASOK Steering Committee, Giorgos Papandreou harshly criticized the government noting that our country is being defamed internationally and that the government is leading the economy to a collapse. From his side, government spokesperson Theodoros Rousopoulos called on Mr Papandreou to explain why he is in a rush to say things against our country and our Constitution, which was also voted by PASOK.

    In the meantime, during yesterdays meeting with the Commissioner, Interior Minister, Prokopis Pavlopoulos insisted on his views stating, "the government will defend the Greek Constitution and transparency which is non-negotiable." This is not the first time that a government has different views from the EU," stated alternate government spokesperson Evangelos Andonaros, adding "such disputes occur."

    He also noted, "Yesterday the Minister of Interior, Prokopis Pavlopoulos presented the arguments of the Greek government," and added "Mr Pavlopoulos is a very competent politician."

    He also said that the bill was submitted in Parliament by the Ministers of State, Justice and Interior and was signed by all the Ministers of the government.

    Mr Andonaros also stated that the view of the Greek government is well known and will defend the Greek Constitution until the end.

    The alternate government spokesperson said that the problem was not created by the main shareholder bill that the ND government brought in Parliament, and submitted a letter by Mr Schaub dated 17.12.2004 (before the bill was submitted) that mentions that the European Committee services state that there are problems with article 14, paragraph 9 of the Constitution and by the executive bill, which was in implementation and was voted by PASOK.

    Making reference to the main shareholder issue, former SYN President, Nikos Konstantopoulos speaking to NET said "a political and economic lobby in Brussels is pressuring Greece, in order for article 14 of the Constitution to not be applied."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Main Shareholder at the Focus

    [07] Announcement for the Course of Clean Up Revelations from Continuous Holy Synod

    22 Mar 2005 17:39:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Continuous Holy Synod has publicized a report on the course of clean up in the Church so far and is now looking into new accusations. The detailed announcement of the Hierarchy refers to twelve cases that have been looked into as part of the Churchs decision for clean up. "The Continuous Holy Synod is systematically and firmly continuing the effort for clean up in combination to the additional 30 measures decided by the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy, which are materialized with the sense of responsibility," is among other things stressed in the announcement. In the meantime, the Synodical Hierarchs have called the metropolitan bishop of Attica, Panteleimon, who is suspended from duty for a period of six months, to provide explanations until April 5 for his involvement in off shore companies, necessarily submitting a relevant written memo. The metropolitan bishops of Zakynthos and Peristeri were also asked to provide explanations for the charges pending against them.

    Decisiveness for Full Clean Up

    In particular, the announcement underlined the six-month suspension of the Metropolitan Bishop of Attica, the interrogations against archimandrite Iakovos Giosakis, the further investigation of the former metropolitan bishop Theoklitos of Thessaliotida's case and the explanations asked by the metropolitan bishop of Trifylia.

    What is more, the Hierarchy referred to the order for an audit at the archbishopric of Kefallinia after a relevant request of the local metropolitan bishop Spyridonas, the interrogations against archimandrite Farmakis and the explanations provided by the metropolitan bishop of Chios on publications according to which he allegedly had banks deposits in the USA.

    Lastly, the announcement also referred to the cases under way and in particular to the cases of metropolitan bishops of Peristeri and Zakynthos, from whom the Hierarchy has asked written explanations, to the case of metropolitan bishop Kallinikos of Piraeus for whom they have appointed an examiner and to the cases of metropolitan bishops of Didimoticho and Corinth, from whom they have asked for written explanations.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Holy Synod Press Release

    [08] Marianna Latsi Testifies The Michalopoulos Trial Continues

    22 Mar 2005 14:13:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET RADIO 105.8

    The trial of editor, Grigoris Michalopoulos is continuing in the Three-Member Criminal Court of Appeals with the testimonies of witnesses. The editor is accused of extorting four businessmen and Zakynthos Metropolitan Bishop, Chrisostomos receiving money in order for them not to become targets of terrorist group17N. Marianna Latsi, completing her testimony stated that Mr Michalopoulos newspaper, Eleftheri Ora, and the books he published were his extortion tools, while she also answered to questions asked by the accused. Theodoros Angelopoulos was also present in court today. In the coming days, Zakynthos Metropolitan Bishop is also expected to testify.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Burning Testimonies against Michalopoulos


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