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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-02-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece Condemned for Olympic Airlines
  • [02] Bakoyannis-Rice Talks on FYROM
  • [03] Bush in Favour of Wiretapping
  • [04] Support to the Fire-Stricken
  • [05] Fears of Retaliation against Israel

  • [01] Greece Condemned for Olympic Airlines

    14 Feb 2008 15:24:00

    Sources: , NA

    The European Court condemned Greece as it had not retrieved financial aid amounting to 493.5 million given to Olympic Airlines from 2002-2004. As per the ruling, our national air carrier will have to return to the Greek State hundreds of millions of euros, which it had received as illegal subsidies.

    Vice-President Jacques Barrot, Commissioner in charge of transport, said in a statement: I take note of this ruling, which follows several rulings by the European Courts and decisions by the Commission in this dossier. It confirms the urgent need for a viable and legally sound solution to this file. This is in the interest of the European aviation sector, of Greek consumers and tax-payers, but also of the employees of Olympic Airways Services and Olympic Airlines and is indispensable in order to preserve a continuity of service to remote areas in Greece. Should it be the case that swift compliance is not achieved, I would have no choice but to propose to the College to file a new action with the Court of Justice, asking for the imposition of fines and periodic penalty payments.

    Hatzidakis: "Viable Solution Necessary"

    Transport and Communications Minister Kostis Hatzidakis described the ruling an unpleasant development that would encumber further developments in the Olympic Airlines issue.

    In a written statement he reiterates the governments determination to find a just and viable solution for the national air carrier in 2008, analyzing the three main priorities to that direction.

    He stresses that negotiations with the European Commission should continue, so as the best possible solution is found, the companys profile should become compatible to the European legislation, in order to attract credible investors and finally Olympic Airlines should keep its name and sign and get rid of its problems and debts.

    Alternate government spokesman described the ruling unpleasant for the developments in Olympic Airlines, reiterating the importance of a just and viable solution.

    In an announcement issued by PASOK cadre Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou on behalf of PASOK, she holds the government responsible as it had not negotiated in an effective way with the EU and downrated Olympic Airlines deliberately in the last years. She also adds that the government should continue its negotiations in Brussels.

    From her side KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga stated that KKE does not acknowledge the right to the EU to dictate the governments moves, while SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) President Alexis Tsipras spoke of cooperation between the government and the European Commissioner that aims at dismantling Olympic Airlines.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [02] Bakoyannis-Rice Talks on FYROM

    14 Feb 2008 22:51:00

    Sources: NET

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis and her American counterpart Condoleezza Rice discussed the FYROM name issue in Washington on Thursday. After the meeting, Ms Bakoyannis stated that negotiations on the issue would continue. She stated that the Greek side had the opportunity to present its positions to the American side, adding that the negotiations would continue under Mr Matthew Nimetzs mediation. Furthermore, she reported that no proposed names were discussed at the meeting, adding that she had only come there to present the Greek positions on the issue. In parallel, she stated that Skopjes accession to NATO and the EU will depend on a mutually accepted solution on the FYROM name issue. The two ministers also discussed developments in the Balkans, as well as Kosovos future status. Their face-to-face meeting lasted 25 minutes and then the two delegations discussed the Kosovo issue and energy routes issue in the region. The American side made it clear that it wishes NATOs enlargement to take place in the next summit meeting in April.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [03] Bush in Favour of Wiretapping

    14 Feb 2008 21:51:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ANA-AFP

    US President George W. Bush on Thursday urged Congress to pass legislation on a controversial wiretapping program and said he could delay a planned trip to Africa if it could help get the measure passed. "I am prepared to delay my departure and stay in Washington with them if it will help," Bush told reporters on the eve of a planned five-nation trip to Africa. Congress is about to go on recess and the current legislation is set to expire on Friday.

    [04] Support to the Fire-Stricken

    14 Feb 2008 20:22:00

    Within the framework of the IRIS programme, a group of Doctors of the World will visit inhabitants of fire-stricken areas in the prefecture of Ileia. The Mobile Ophthalmologic Unit will be in Ileia from 15-17 February 2008 to diagnose cases encountering ophthalmologic problems and offer its help. The unit will visit the Municipality of Alifeira from 15-17 Febaruary, where the doctors will examine the locals and inhabitants from neighbouring Vrestos, Amigdalies and Livadidi.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Fears of Retaliation against Israel

    14 Feb 2008 19:06:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ANA-AFP

    Israel went on alert on Thursday after Lebanons Hezbollah accused it of responsibility for the murder of Imad Mughnieh in Damascus. The Israelis had described Imad Mughnieh as the greatest terror threat against the Jewish state. The governments anti-terrorist office also urged Israelis abroad to take extra precautions over their movements, so that abductions are prevented.

    Translated by John Crystallidis


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