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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-05-08

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] "Threat from Price Rises"
  • [02] ECB Meeting in Athens
  • [03] Berlusconi Sworn in
  • [04] Inflation Rate at 4.4%

  • [01] K. Karamanlis Speech in Zappio

    "Threat from Price Rises"

    08 May 2008 21:50:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA- 105.8

    Europe must not rest but on the contrary continue economic reforms stressed Prime-minister, K. Karamanlis in his speech during the official dinner in honor of the European Central Bank Administration Board, hosted at Zappion Mansion. As Mr. Karamanlis said "confronting with uncertainty, the eurozone continues enjoying the benefits of trustworthiness, moderation and wisdom we owe to the independent and healthy policies of the ECB, which proves invaluable in the present economic circumstances. Mr. Karamanlis stressed that crisis in the global financial markets, the slow down in the US economy as well as soaring energy and basic goods and food prices could not but have an impact on Europe. "There is no doubt that globalization provides for both opportunities and challenges. On any occasion, economies are better equipped to overcome challenges on the grounds of an improved macro economic policy framework as well as the positive impact of structural reforms. The ECB commitment to combat inflation, the revised Stability and Development Pact and the revised Lisbon Pact have contributed towards the achievement of healthy economic figures and the further shielding of the Eurozone" underlined Kostas Karamanlis. As he stressed "new boost to structural reforms has contributed to the creation of 6.5 million job posts in the EU during 2006 and 2007, dropping unemployment rate to its lowest rate in the last 15 years." Among others, the Prime-minister underlined the need for further efforts to improve business climate and give small businesses the opportunity to expand their potential. It is highly important to improve legislation in accordance to EU agreed targets and drastically reduce administrative expenses of businesses.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [02] Trichet Press Conference

    ECB Meeting in Athens

    08 May 2008 21:09:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA-

    In a press conference following a meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB)Administration Board, its President Jean-Claude Trichet appeared concerned over the insisting high inflation rate, however, they decided to maintain the current interest rate. Mr. Trichet expressed reserved optimism regarding international credit crisis as he described as encouraging the fact that some markets are returning to normal. He underlined, however, the unusually high level of uncertainty. In reference to prospects in the eurozone he predicted slow down in growth but remaining at satisfactory levels. The European Central Bank fears that unrest in finance markets will have a rather more negative impact on real economy than initially expected. He also predicted that inflation rate will stay above 2% in the next months and gradually drop during 2008. He sounded the bell, stressing the mandatory need to prevent high inflation rate from expanding into procedures to determine salaries and prices. He called on interested parties in the public and private sector to face their responsibilities in the determination of salaries taking into consideration developments in productivity and high unemployment rate in many states in the eurozone. The European Bank has also noted slow down in household loans in the last months which reflects impact of high interest rates and drop in the eurozone real estate market. However, loans in the private sector are increasing at 15% rate, considered satisfactory.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [03] Rome, Italy

    Berlusconi Sworn in

    08 May 2008 19:13:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA- 105.8

    Silvio Berlusconi was sworn in as premier Thursday, his third time as head of an Italian government, following his victory in elections last month. Berlusconi and his Cabinet Ministers-12 Ministers with portfolio and 9 Ministers without portfolio- signed the oath in front of head of state, President Giorgio Napolitano. Berlusconi kept his promise in reference to women in his Cabinet. The most well-known names are Mara Karfania- former show girl in his TV channels- Equality Minister and Stefania Prestiziakomo Environment Minister. Several of the key ministries, including those for foreign affairs, the economy and interior, which includes police and intelligence matters, are held by political allies who served in Berlusconis earlier governments. Former European Union Commissioner Franco Frattini was named foreign minister, and Giulio Tremonti was given the Finance Ministry portfolio. The Northern League, an anti-immigrant party and key Berlusconi ally, received several posts including the Interior Ministry( Roberto Maroni).Despite past health problems, Northern League leader Umberto Bossi is another veteran of Berlusconi governments. He is serving as reforms minister. The Justice Ministry, another sensitive post given Berlusconis legal woes and frequent attacks on Italian magistrates, went to another close aide, Angelino Alfano, a top party official in Sicily.

    The first Cabinet will meet in Naples, whose streets are still full of refuse and nobody can decide how the rubbish is to be collected. Silvio Berlusconi has promised that among the first measures are abolition of taxation on the transfer of property and taxation on overtime work.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [04] Inflation Rate at 4.4%

    08 May 2008 17:12:00

    Soaring oil prices are fueling global inflation rate. In Greece, inflation in April has remained for the fourth consecutive month at high level 4.4%. The soaring cost of many basic foods coupled with rocketing oil prices drain the family budget. In the last year the prices of the following products went up: sunflower oil 35.4%, butter 31.5%, pasta 22.4%, flour 19%, bread 17.3%, eggs and beans 14.2%, poultry and fruit 12.2% and rice 9.11%. Also natural gas went up by 455, heating oil by 38.6% and gas by 11.6%.

    The government has taken 41 measures to reverse the wave of price rises fueled by international economic developments. Alternate government spokesman, E. Antonaros said that the measures are being gradually implemented and bearing fruit.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

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