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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-02-20
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Karamanlis' Speech at the Finance Ministry"Reforms Lead to Solid Economy
20 Feb 2008 22:52:00
Greeces Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis reconfirmed his commitment to a reform policy while inaugurating the "Panagis Papaligouras" hall at the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday evening. "Only through reforms we can lay the foundations for a solid economy, capable of supporting an effective economic policy," stressed Karamanlis. "Policies are vindicated when they yield tangible results in the citizens living conditions," Karamanlis said. Referring to Panagis Papaligouras, a former Finance Minister, the Greek Premier underlined he ranked among the pioneers who committed themselves to the grand vision of Greeces accession into the European family.
Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, on the other hand, touched on the 17 ministers that were appointed to lead the Ministry of Finance since 1974, when democracy was restored in Greece, and on the pivotal role they played in having the Greek economy stabilized and ushering Greece into the EU.
The "Panagis Papaloigouras" hall has been decorated with the portraits of all the Greek Finance Ministers, in recognition of their contribution to Greeces economic growth.
Translated by Areti Christou
 No Damage Was ReportedStrong Quake Jolts Methoni Anew
20 Feb 2008 20:56:00
A strong earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale struck the town of Methoni, to the southwest of Greece, on Wednesday night. Calling it a strong aftershock of the 6.5 magnitude quake that hit the area on 14 February, experts appeared reassuring. The earthquake was felt throughout the Peloponnese.
Translated by Areti Christou
 Reactions by POE-OTA, GSEE, ADEDYPension Bill Almost Ready
20 Feb 2008 18:54:00
The Governments planned pension reform will not be influenced by the opinion of the Court of Auditors, whereby retirement age limits of men and women should coincide, argued Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia. The Minister also made it clear that the reforms put forward do not concern social provisions. The pension bill is expected to be discussed at the Cabinet inner meeting in the coming week.
In the meantime, the Panhellenic Federation of Workers Associations of the Local Government (POE-OTA) sent a letter to the Ministers of Interior and Finance, requesting the Government not take into account the opinion by the Court of Auditors and put to vote the provisions pertaining to the arduous and unhealthy occupations. Otherwise, POE-OTA warned of strike actions.
Following suit, the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) and the Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants of Trade Unions (ADEDY) called on the Government to not back down to the pressures exerted by the European Commission, the European Court and the Court of Auditors.
 A. Papaligouras' Office Attacked20 Feb 2008 18:42:00 (Last updated: 20 Feb 2008 21:41:18)
Sources: NET, ANA/MPA
A homemade bomb went off on Wednesday evening outside the law office of former Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras. His office is located on the third floor of a building in central Athens.
The bomb had been planted at the offices doorstep, without anyone taking any notice. A woman, who was on the second floor, sustained only minor injuries, while the fire that broke out was immediately put out by the Fire Service. Anastasios Papaligouras was not at his office the time of the attack.
A never-heard-before group named "Conspiracy of the fire cells in Athens-Thessaloniki" claimed responsibility for the attack. The perpetrators called private television networks and claimed the attack was an act of retaliation for the arrest of a youth after a bank robbery in Athens. The anti-terrorism squad is investigating the case.