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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-03-17
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Strong Dispute over Draft-bill for Selection of Public Sector SupervisorsWednesday, 17 March 2010 14:38
Parliament debate on draft-bill providing for requirements for the selection of supervisors in the public sector sparked strong dispute between the government and the opposition ND party. The ND walked out of the debate while its Parliamentary spokesman Konstantinos Tzavaras spoke of a draft-bill included in the framework of a miserable partisan system that PASOK is trying to establish. Responding, Interior Minister Yiannis Ragusis described accusations unacceptable, adding that the draft-bill is a historical decision and decisive step for the modernization of Public Administration.
The draft-bill provides for an absolutely meritocratic and objective system for the selection of executives in Public Sector. He also stressed that the main opposition party assumes big responsibility for voting down such draft-bills.
News item: 34417
 Papandreou-Barroso Crucial MeetingWednesday, 17 March 2010 10:48
Prime-minister G. Papandreou , who on Tuesday left open possibility to refer to IMF unless EU support is specified, is having a crucial meeting with European Commission President on Wednesday afternoon. Discussion on support to Greece's economy was referred to the EU Summit Meeting on March, 25 after Germany's refusal despite recognizing that Greece has taken the necessary measures. ND party leader Antonis Samaras, who met with euro region Finance Ministers in Brussels, expressed his objection to possibility of Greece's recourse to IMF. A significant development , however, is Standard & Poor's announcement taking Greece off its "negative credit watch," lowering the threat of a downgrade. But it has not ruled out need for additional measures.
EU Summit to Make Crucial Decisions
Athens is expecting the forthcoming meeting of the European Council to specify financial support to Greece in order to proceed to its next moves.
Prime-minister, George Papandreou on Wednesday will meet with the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, in Brussels and on Thursday deliver a speech on European Economic Government to European Parliament.
On Tuesday from Budapest, George Papandreou left open prospect of Greece's recourse to IMF in the event decisions about a mechanism to intervene in markets and speculators are not reached.
He stressed need for EU instrument of solidarity and asked for EU partners direct response on support so that Greece could implement Growth and Stability Plan and borrow under similar terms as other eurozone countries.
Ratings agency Standard & Poor's removed Greece from CreditWatch, though the country's outlook is still negative. It also said Greece was on track to meet its near-term budget goals.
"Europe to See Political Aspect of Issue"
Finance undersecretary Stavros Arnautis, in an interview with state radio NET 105.8, spoke of inefficient European leadership, adding that Europe should leave bureaucracy behind and see the political aspect of issues. He also said that there would not be additional measures in 2010.
GCP underlines that the new storm of measures to burden people has been decided by Brussels, International MONETARY Fund and the government.
SYRIZA blamed the government of having fully adopted to prevailing logics and leading society to bankruptcy.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 34406
 Israel Lifts West Bank ClosureWednesday, 17 March 2010 11:34
Israel has lifted West Bank closure in force since March, 13. At least 3.000 security forces are on alert, particularly in Jerusalem east section fearing renewed outbreak of violence. After many days of disputes and strong pressure by US politicians and pro-Israeli organizations , the US administration has tuned down pressure.
Dispute is centered on Israeli government announcement about construction of 1.600 houses in the Arab section of East Jerusalem. Despite Washington pressure, it is believed that the Israeli government could not do much at this point. On the one hand, if the Israeli prime-minister withdraws plans recently announced , he will most likely face domestic political problems and on the other hand no one knows how peace negotiations can be carried out. On their part, Palestinians call for a halt to the new Israeli settlement plan before the resumption of negotiations.
Source: ÍÅÔ, ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 34408