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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-06-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] European Shipwreck
  • [02] Towards A Failure
  • [03] Obesity Threatens China
  • [04] Rice Visits Middle East
  • [05] Police Chase Ends Tragically
  • [06] No Winner in Iran

  • [01] Disagreement over EU Budget European Shipwreck

    18 Jun 2005 00:52:00 (Last updated: 18 Jun 2005 11:15:37)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: Reuters- Associated Press- AFP- ANA

    The latest developments indicated that a failure was expected in the discussions regarding the Community Budget for the years 2007-2013. After continuous discussions, negotiations and many hours of bilateral contacts, the leaders only agreed on disagreeing about the EU Budget. The hopeless efforts of the Presidency of Luxemburg in order to achieve a compromising solution, found no response, due to the adamant stance of the United Kingdom on the issue of rebates and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Objections to the final compromising proposal by Luxemburg, which PM, Jean Claude Juncker put on for a vote, were made by the following countries: Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland and Spain. In the Press interview, Mr Juncker officially announced that an agreement was not feasible and evaluated that "Europe is in a deep crisis," while he accused certain Member-States of lack of political will for the finding of a commonly accepted solution. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis spoke of an "unfavorable and complicated negotiating climate," adding that a new Summit Meeting in the near future has not been planned, while he noted that Greece voted for Luxemburgs proposal, as it thought it was advantageous.

    Main Points of Friction

    Indicative of the intransigent stance that the UK had decided to follow was the fact that the discussions did not achieve to end in an agreement, beside the fact that the new Member-States, in a final attempt for a compromising solution, proposed a decrease to the funds, which were expected to be received.

    It is noteworthy to say, that Mr Juncker commenting on the stance of the 10 countries, after the end of the Summit Meeting, said that he is "ashamed" of the fact that the poorest countries agreed to back down in order to satisfy the richest.

    Mr Juncker also stressed that it will take at least nine months before EU members succeed in achieving an agreement over the EU Budget.

    Earlier, diplomatic sources spoke of a programmed failure that could only be overturned only with a miracle."

    The great "gladiators" of the Summit Meeting were the UK and France, with the main friction points being the rebates from the UKs contributions to the EU, and agricultural funds.

    France supported that the privilege of rebates, which dates back to the era of Margaret Thatcher, should be restricted with a decrease of money, which will be returned to the UK.

    On its part, the UK supports that the sums given to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should be decreased, and by which mainly France benefits from.

    The demands of the Dutch and the Swedes over the restriction of their contributions to the "25" fund were added to the aforementioned main objections. Analysts claim that the disagreement over the EU Budget deepens the crisis that began after the double "No" to the Euroconstitution, while the notion that the EU has lost its direction and consent has been reinforced.

    United Kingdom Stands Accused

    German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was critical of the "inelastic stance" kept by the UK and the Netherlands, to which he put the blame for a failure of an agreement.

    "I believe that an agreement could have been achieved. The fact that it didnt is solely due to the inelastic position of the British and the Dutch," he said in a Press Interview after the end of the Summit Meeting, and added: "They have a duty to the European history. I feel sad. It is very sorrowful event."

    Czech Prime Minister, Jiri Paroubeks statements were along the same lines. Mr Paroubek appeared critical of the tough stance that the UK kept during the procedure of the negotiation, while he stated that this is a bad example for the new EU Member-States and expressed his pessimism over another agreement in the future.

    Blair: "It is not Our Fault"

    On his part, British PM Tony Blair in the Press Conference said that the main dispute did not concern the rebates issue but how we perceive Europe to be in the future, adding that talks should be focusing on a Europe of reforms.

    Furthermore, he explained that he rejected the Budget because it would cost the British people 18 billion euros during the years 2007-2013. He further added that issues that do not concern Europe were also discussed, and he voiced his belief that the Summit Meeting demonstrated the failure of the scheme under which negotiations took place.

    Finally, Mr Blair also spoke of a "deep crisis" within the EU which "must be solved with the best way possible."

    Britain will give a battle to achieve an agreement on the EU Budget during the British presidency, said the British Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jack Straw.

    "No Problems with the Financing Even After 2006"

    After the end of the Summit Meeting, the Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis avoided making future predictions over the Budget issue, and stated that Greece will not encounter any problems with the financing process even after 2006.

    Mr Karamanlis stated that regarding the proposal on EU expenditures on the 1% of the average community Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the corresponding amount for Greece would stood at 2 billion euros, which "after coordinated efforts based on the Presidencys proposal for 1.06%, the aforementioned amount would exceed 20 billion euros."

    Referring to the European Constitution ratification process, Greek PM noted that the 25 leaders reflected on the choices that were left open after the recent referendums in France and the Netherlands, and that they decided that "the ratification process must continue in combination with a recollection period."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Towards A Failure

    Great Britain is Intransigent

    Compromise Proves Hard

    EU Constitution Freezes

    [02] 25 Leaders Are Not Agreeing Towards A Failure

    18 Jun 2005 00:29:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    As it all seems and taking into consideration the latest developments, the discussions between the European leaders are headed for failure. Diplomatic sources state that such a result was in the plans, and that a miracle is needed for an agreement to be reached. The main differences are the smaller contribution to the "25" fund, which the Netherlands and Sweden are seeking after, as well as the "No" that the United Kingdom has said to the two proposals by France and Luxemburg, in relation to the freeze of rebates, since that is its main interests, and has asked for the dialogue to recommence and reforms to take place in the Common Agricultural Policy of the Union.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Great Britain is Intransigent

    [03] Obese People Exceed 90 million Obesity Threatens China

    18 Jun 2005 12:10:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA - BBC

    Within a decade, at least 200 million people will suffer from obesity in China, a country which witnesses a rapid economic growth as well as changes in eating habits, since diet is becoming richer in meat, as per official Chinese media sources. As a matter of fact, most worrying trends concern children, as senior doctor Chen Chaogang in Guangdong province reported to "New China" News Agency. "10% of the children are obese with their number being increased by 8% annually," Doctor Chen Chaogang said. "New China" News Agency reports that obese people exceed 90 millions, and they weigh 20% more than the accepted level.

    Fast-Food Culture

    Rapid changes in the way of life has resulted in Chinese people adopting "western values" that are coupled with more sedentary lifestyles set around computers, television cars and of course fast-food.

    Due the official family policy dictated by the Chinese government, which discourages couples from having more than one children, many Chinese families often have a boy or a girls receiving the attention of six adults: two parents and four grandparents.

    However, with China being a country which suffered mass starvation a few decades ago, grandparents cannot be easily convinced to give less food to their grandchildren.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] "For the Promotion of the Peace Process" Rice Visits Middle East

    18 Jun 2005 10:04:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA - BBC

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Saturday morning starting her eight-day tour in the Middle East, during which she is expected to visit Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Rice aims at the precipitation of the peace process between Israel and Palestine, as well as at the successful withdrawal of the Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip as the Road Map dictates.

    Democratisation and Reforms

    Rice is expected to meet with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian PM Ahmed Korei in Rhamala early on Saturday.

    In the evening, talks with Israeli officers in Jerusalem have been scheduled, when she will be meeting with Defence Minister Shaoul Mofaz.

    On Monday, the US Secretary of State will meet with the Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and her Israeli peer Silvan Shalom.

    Contoleezza Rice will then visit Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The meetings to be hold there will be focusing on democratic reforms.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] At Kifisos Avenue Police Chase Ends Tragically

    18 Jun 2005 10:59:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8 - ANA

    A police chase that occurred on Friday night at Kifisos Avenue in the area of Renti ended tragically. A car driver ignored the policemens sign to pull over and be checked, and tried to escape using the opposite traffic lane resulting in a head-on collision with a taxi cab. The taxi driver and his client suffered minor injuries and are hospitalised at Tzaneio Hospital. The name of the dead has not yet been announced. As per information, an arrest warrant on theft was pending against him.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Run-off on Friday No Winner in Iran

    18 Jun 2005 10:37:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: REUTERS

    Iran heads for a run-off next Friday, since the Saturdays elections did not give an outright win to any of the candidates, as announced the Guardian Council advisory body which monitors the election process. Official results based on 24.09 out of 23 million of votes cast, give the lead to Rafsanjani with 20.72 %, followed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with 19.39% and Mehdi Karroubi with 17.32%. The two leading candidates will participate in the run-off, while the official results are expected on Saturday at the latest. It is noted that the turnout reached 68%, and according to estimations many young people including women voted, despite the fact that women have no right to run for elections.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Second Election Round in Iran


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