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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-04-02

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] "Zero Hour" for Skopje Issue
  • [02] Social Security Issue Debated
  • [03] Equal Opportunities for Disabled Children
  • [04] Clinton Leading
  • [05] Zimbabwe: Results not Announced Yet

  • [01] Bucharest: NATO Summit Meeting

    "Zero Hour" for Skopje Issue

    02 Apr 2008 21:24:00 (Last updated: 02 Apr 2008 23:58:08)

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NET-NET 105.8-NA-PA

    The crucial dinner of NATO member-state leaders has ended in Bucharest. Greek Prime Minister presented the Greek arguments, as per which FYROM should not be invited to join NATO. Meanwhile, as per Reuters, NATO leaders will postpone inviting FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) to join NATO. The leaders, who attended todays dinner concluded that FYROM cannot be invited to join NATO in the present phase as Greece cannot consent to its entry unless the name issue is resolved first. As per diplomatic sources, NATO leaders have not decided to give the Ukraine and Georgia a candidate status. Meanwhile, US President George Bush appeared optimistic over the Afghanistan issue. However, he appeared reserved over NATO's expansion.

    Meanwhile, a nationalistic organization has staged a protest rally in Skopje today in support of the countrys constitutional name.

    The final details on the Greek stance were decided in Athens in the morning at a meeting between the PM and the Foreign and Defence ministers.

    Acting government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros reminded that any solution that will be mutually accepted it will have to be approved by the UN Security Council.

    From his side, PASOK (Socialists) Secretary Giannis Ragousis argued that Greeces veto would prove a negative development for Greece. At the same time, Portuguese Prime Minister Jos&#233; S&#243;crates appeared to understand the Greek positions, adding that there is room for the FYROM name issue to be resolved in a mutually accepted way.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Decision Time

    [02] Social Security Issue Debated

    02 Apr 2008 21:13:00 (Last updated: 02 Apr 2008 23:27:13)

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: 105.8, NA

    A roll call vote will decide in Parliament at 23:00 whether a referendum will be declared on the Social Security System. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos accused PASOK (Socialists) of lacking any arguments on the Social Security System. He described the S.S.S. socially just, wondering whether every time the government deals with the Social Security System a referendum should be held. In parallel, he added that if that is the case then PASOK should have held a referendum when (1990-1992) tripartite financing was being debated.

    In her speech Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia stressed that the debate on the Social Security reform proved the lack of communication between the political parties, which think of their political cost and petty party interests.

    Ms Petralia described the proposed referendum a highly apolitical act, adding that the civilians would be asked to choose between a yes and a no instead of two political decisions. Finally, she reported that it is the governments responsibility to reform the Social Security System.

    PASOK MP Evi Christofilopoulou and PASOKs Head of Economy Louka Katseli supported the idea of the referendum, while KKE (Greek Communist Party) Parliamentary representative Spyros Halvatzis stated that the ND party and PASOK do not believe that a referendum should be held on fiscal issues, which in this case is the Social Security issue.

    LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) President George Karatzaferis reported that if no funds are found for the Social Security System, then no solution will be found, proposing 1,000 of the biggest companies to be additionally taxed with 2%, while an 8% cut should be implemented in ministries, so that the money saved is channeled to the Social Security System.

    Trade Unions staged a rally outside the Parliament in Wednesday afternoon. GSEE and ADEDY representatives presented the President of the Parliament with the signatures of 424,889 people, who are in support of the referendum. From his side, ADEDY President stated that the majority of the employees reject the bill, while the Trade Unions will annul it. Finally, GSEE President Giannis Panagopoulos stated that the number of signatures proves that society is denouncing the governments policy.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Strong Dispute on Referendum

    [03] Equal Opportunities for Disabled Children

    02 Apr 2008 16:16:00

    As per the bill of the Education Ministry, which meets a longstanding request of the disabled, education for disabled children will be obligatory and their certificate will be equal to those of high schools.

    Presenting the bill at Zappeion Mansion, Education Minister Evripidis Stylianidis said it expresses the political will for the social integration of the disabled.

    The new bill upgrades the Diagnosis and Support of Special Educational Needs Centres renaming KDAI to KEDDY.

    Moreover, he reported that measures will be taken to allow accessibility of the disabled pupils and students to schools. Moreover, 56 school units for special education across Greece will be materialized. The budget of the programme amounts to 100,440.579 euros.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [04] Clinton Leading

    02 Apr 2008 18:06:00

    Sources: NET-ANA

    Hillary Clinton compared herself to Rocky, the scrappy underdog boxer from Philadelphia memorably depicted in the 1976 Oscar-winning film. Even if Rocky did lose his first big fight. The latest poll from American Research Group taken on 3/27 shows Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama by 51 to 39% with 8% unsure. On 3/24, Rasmussen Reports had Hillary Clinton leading by 49 to 39% with 12% unsure. Clinton, who lags Obama in national polls, must win Pennsylvania by a significant margin to remain in the race.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Zimbabwe: Results not Announced Yet

    02 Apr 2008 20:06:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ANA-MPA AFP

    Zimbabwes opposition claimed victory on Wednesday over Robert Mugabe in presidential elections, as official results showed the veteran leaders ruling party had lost its parliamentary majority. The two MDC factions now have a combined total of 105 seats while an independent candidate, Mugabes former information minister Jonathan Moyo, also retained his seat. ZANU-PFs total currently stands at 93. However, all are expecting the results for an additional eight seats to be announced, while the electoral committee has not announced that results of the presidential elections yet. The enlisted voters were about 5.9 million. However, no information on the turnout has been released. In Washington, US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack meanwhile said: "We dont think that there is a reason why ...the announcement of all the electoral results should be delayed."

    Translated by John Crystallidis

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