|Sunday, 9 August 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-06-25
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Barroso-Talat Meeting in CyprusThe opening of the Limnitis barricade on Cyprus' northwestern region was brought up at the meeting held Thursday between European Commission President Jose Barroso and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. The latter hoped the barricade would soon open. He noted though that it is up to the leaders of the two communities to decide on that. The Turkish-Cypriot chief termed Barroso's visit to Cyprus as positive, arguing that it reflected the EU's wish to see the row solved.
Barroso, on his part, reiterated that the current period is a crucial moment for the solution to the standoff. He also said he encouraged Talat to commit itself to addressing the row.
News item: 24070
 Iran: Opposition party Insists on Disputing PollNews
Iran's reformist opposition leaders vowed to press on with legal challenges to an election they say was rigged, although the hardline government appeared on Thursday to have largely crushed mass street protests.
The unrest has exposed unprecedented rifts within Iran's clerical establishment, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who normally stays above the political fray, siding strongly with anti-Western President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The turmoil has also dimmed prospects for President Barack Obama's outreach to Iran over its nuclear programme, with Tehran blaming Britain and the United States for fomenting violence.
Obama has ramped up his previously muted criticism, saying he was "appalled and outraged" by the post-election crackdown.
Khamenei has upheld the result of the June 12 presidential poll that returned Ahmadinejad and has warned opposition leaders they would be responsible for any bloodshed.
About 20 people have been killed in the demonstrations, but police and militia have flooded Tehran's streets since Saturday, quelling the majority of protests after the most widespread anti-government unrest since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Source: Reuters, BBC, Associated Press
News item: 24049
 Tickets Sold Out in Acropolis Museum's First DayNews
Tickets for the museum's first three days are sold out. As part of the visitor-friendly policy, they are priced at ‚¨1 until the end of this year, rising to ‚¨5 in 2010. The new Acropolis Museum received yesterday Monday hundreds of visitors eager to explore its vast collection of sculptures and artifacts from ancient Greece. Tickets sold through internet exceeded 25.000! What must be stressed is that art critic Rowan Moore stated that Britain should consider returning the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.
"Now Let's Return the Elgin Marbles"
In his article "Now Let's Return the Elgin Marbles", Moore stresses: "The new Acropolis Museum, built to house both sculptures from the Parthenon and other treasures from the Acropolis, sets out to show that Athens can make a place more fitting than is possible in the grey light of Bloomsbury. The new building has only arrived after decades of abortive effort, four different architectural competitions, protracted wrangling about its location and, according to the museum's architect, ‚about 100 lawsuits. To be more mundane, keeping the marbles will now be terrible PR for Britain. Each person who visits the new museum will see the same story: here is a great family of sculptures kept apart by the grouchy Brits, still exercising their imperial rights of loot and pillage. Most of all, the Greeks have shown, by building the museum, how much the marbles mean to them. The British Museum should, with generosity and grace, hand back the marbles. They should do so without conditions, except one. They should demand that the Greeks show that they care for their own heritage, by saving those 20th-century apartment blocks."
Source: ANA, http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/article-23711774-details/Now+let%27s+return+the+Elgin+Marbles/article.do
News item: 24046
 Former Siemens Hellas Manager ArrestedWanted for bribery and money laundering, Michalis Christoforakos, former Siemens Hellas manager was arrested in Germany.
Christoforakos had cited health reasons to avoid travelling to Athens to testify after an international arrest warrant pending against him since 20 May. He is suspected of bribing employees of Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA, known as OTE, when he was at Siemens.
Antonaros' Comments on Christoforakos' Arrest
Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said that the first information he got on the arrest was unofficial. ‚The Greek government has made it clear that it is interested in having the case fully solved. The government has done everything it was allowed and was required to do so that independent Greek Justice can investigate the case to the full. The Greek government has taken all the necessary steps to have Christoforakos extradited and that was the reason why an international arrest warrant was issued. We are interested in shedding light to the case. Whatever contributes to that end is definitely positive.‚
Former Socialist deputy Theodoros Tsoukatos was given until Wednesday to testify on the money he had said he received from Siemens on behalf of the Socialist party. ‚I will fight to prove the truth,‚ said he.
Another 10 people charged with bribery and money laundering were given until 2-8 July to testify. PASOK is closely watching the developments and will take a stand if necessary, said Maria Karaklioumi. In the meantime, the First Instance Prosecutor proposed the bail imposed on Christos Karavellas' daughters be trimmed.
News item: 24043
 Interministerial Committee Convenes on EconomyNews
According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in its six-month "Economic Outlook" report on the Greek economy, the Greek economy is expected to shrink by 1.3 percent this year and grow by 0.3 pct in 2010. The Paris-based orgranisation also projected that Greek inflation will total 1.3 pct this year, rising slightly to 1.7 pct in 2010, while the country's fiscal deficit would total 6.1 pct of GDP in 2009, and 6.7 pct of GDP in 2010. The Interministerial Committee on the economy, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, convened on Thursday at the Maximos mansion (government headquarters).
These measures are part of the first package of a series of proposals which will be submitted to Parliament for vote. Minister of Finance Giannis Papathanasiou will table a bill that will provide rise of fuel taxation, rise of mobile phone charges, taxation of profits coming from lottery, imposition of special taxation on luxury cars and pleasure crafts.
Opposition socialist party PASOK will also convene under the presidency of its leader Giorgos Papandreou on economy. The discussion will focus at the government's financial policy as well as at the new taxation measures. PASOK commented that the situation prevailing today in Greek economy is the result of the government's false political choices.
News item: 24042