|Monday, 20 May 2013|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-03-17
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Amid Strike ActionsPension Bill in Parliament
17 Mar 2008 20:38:00 (Last updated: 17 Mar 2008 22:32:49)
By Katerina Ioannidou
The debate on the social security bill commenced Monday at the Parliaments Plenum. The debate is drawing to its end on Thursday. Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia stressed that the Government will undertake the political cost if there is any and is implementing this major reform that means to cement the pension rights of the pensioners and guarantee those of the new generations. Commenting on PASOKs rapporteur Christos Papoutsis, who claimed that his party will offer its support to the employees, Petralia said that the Government has no intention of assigning the title of the employees champion to anyone. She then went on to blast the main opposition party for doing nothing during its 20-year rule. She also underlined that the Greek peoples mandate for the reforms the nation need is still quite young and that the Government will claim responsibility for the reforms political cost.
Tensions Run High
PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) rapporteur Christos Papoutsis demanded the bill, which has forced employees to take to the streets, be scrapped. He argued there had been no social dialogue and no OKE (Economic and Social Council of Greece) report, and claimed that PASOK would abolish the ruling partys provisions after the forthcoming elections. He also urged the Prime Minister to shoulder his share of responsibility and stop hiding behind judges extremes actions.
KKE (Greek Communist Party) rapporteur Achilleas Kantartzis accused the Government of trying to get over with it and demanded anew the abolishment of the bill, as well as the abolishment of the previous bills on the same issue.
No parliamentarian can vote for that bill ignoring the peoples will, commented SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) deputy Giannis Dragasakis, also noting that never before had a government said that it will cut subsidiary pensions and mature pension rights and increase the age retirement limits.
The social dialogue was brief and typical, said LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) rapporteur Vaitsis Apostolatos, who claimed that the pension bill favours the few.
PASOK was watching the Funds debts accumulating for 20 years and did noting, argued the Conservative rapporteur, Panos Panagiotopoulod. He even slammed the main opposition party for its interest in the new generations while it is very well aware of the fact that they would not get pensions in twenty years time.
Roussopoulos' Statements on the Pension Reform
Asked whether the Government intends to modify, even slightly, the pension bill, State Minister and Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said he had already answered that a couple of times since the day the bill was submitted to Parliament. Roussopoulos stressed that were to be constructive proposals that would agree with the bills key points, the Government would not say no. Drilled what makes the Government claim that there is a social alliance on the pension reform, since several employees disagree, the Government spokesman said that every government that respects itself and the citizens ought to proceed with reforms that will help the pension system survive. "This is what the pension system is about. To not let the pension system collapse, so that the generations to come can be certain that they will enjoy the same social security provisions with the previous ones," he added. Asked whether the Government thinks that the strikes are masterminded by organized unions, he said that the Prime Minister has already answered since the bill was debated within the competent Parliament committee, and reminded what the Prime Minister had said: "I am aware that I will be pleasant, but I prefer to be useful with this pension reform." Asked whether he believes that the voting of the pension bill will put an end to the strikes, Roussopoulos said to ask the strikers.
 Halle Berry Gives Birth to Baby Girl17 Mar 2008 22:05:00
Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry has delivered her first child, a girl, People magazine reported on Sunday. The location and the babys name were not disclosed, but the report quoted a spokeswoman for Berry as saying that the 41-year-old actress was "doing great." The father is Gabriel Aubry, a 32-year-old model. Berry, who won an Oscar in 2002 for her lead role as the lover of a white prison guard in"Monsters Ball," adopted the daughter of her second husband, singer Eric Benet. The couple broke up in 2003 after less than three years of marriage.
 New Round of TalksIsraelis-Palestinians Meeting
17 Mar 2008 20:49:00
By Nasos Bratsos
Sources: ANA, AFP
The meeting held between Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie seems to be ushering the two sides into a new round of talks. The meeting, on which there were no comments, was held on Monday evening and lasted for two hours, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying. The peace talks were suspended on 19 February, when the Israeli troops launched a military incursion in response to the rocket attacks against Israeli targets.
Translated by Areti Christou
 In TurkeyErdogan Says No to Snap Elections
17 Mar 2008 19:22:00
Turkeys Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out holding snap elections, after prosecutors launched a case to shut down the ruling AK Party. In a Press conference, he said that elections would take place as planned. He also added that Turkey enjoys stability and trust and that he would not allow having them jeopardized. The AK Party is accused of allegedly Islamist activities that run contrary to the states secular nature. A top prosecutor asked the Constitutional Court on Friday to close the AK Party and ban Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and some 70 other party officials from politics for five years on the grounds that they are trying to build an Islamic state.