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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-02-21
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Karolos Papoulias: "All Greeks will Contribute"Sunday, 21 February 2010 15:04
"High wealth rankings will contribute the most. Low ranks will give their share. We are all present in these difficult circumstances. We will all give everything for the country," said the President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias after the grand parade in Ioannina to mark the 97th anniversary of the city's liberation. "Nowadays we are facing a painful situation. We need the same virtues that led to results which amazed Europeans and put Greece forward to take a place in European developments. We will also overcome present difficulties", he added.
"Love for homeland is a life stance"
"This moment, the country is asked to make a historical transition and the challenge id to prevent social dissolution phenomena. In other words to cross the river without leaving anyone behind. This the crucial national target at present and I am certain that the Greek people will show their maturity" Karolos Papoulias
Mr. Papoulias referred to Economy in his speech at an official dinner in his honour at the 8th Army Division Officers' Club. In another part of his speech, the President of the Republic said: "Recall of struggles and sacrifices for freedom and national independence serve a deep national need, strengthening of patriotism that is invaluable at the present circumstances. The true meaning of patriotism is prevalence of collective good over individual good with a high feeling of responsibility for the next generations".
"Love for the homeland is a life stance, not rhetoric. It must be proved every day with actions and seen neither as a vehicle for political communication nor as self-evident reference. The worst global financial crisis in the last 60 years surfaced grave problems in Greece's economy and brought an end to Greek illusions", he stressed.
Earlier before the parade, during a short ceremony in his honor at the Prefecture authority office Mr. Papoulias sent his own message to German Chancellor Angela Merkel: " I want to convey my optimism that we will see the light. We will emerge from the darkness and fight. Since myself was an immigrant in Germany for many years, Mrs. Merkel will allow me to see her weak points. But there is no benefit in seeing the others weak points to make excuses for ourselves. Unity and strength is required from all, and I am certain that the future will be better".
Representing the government at the anniversary celebrations was National Defense Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, who also referred to Economy in his speech.
"Greeks are justified to be proud. No one at international level has the right to humiliate a country that assumes the responsibility of its problems but also has huge capabilities. The question is to give to the Greek economy and the country the prospect and dynamism it deserves. We can achieve it united and with a plan", said Mr. Venizelos.
Three day events marking Ioannina liberation concluded on Sunday with a grand parade in the presence of the President of the Republic.
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΑNA-ΜPA
News item: 33591
 Customs Officials Hold Meeting on SundaySunday, 21 February 2010 12:40
Supply of petrol stations is gradually returning to normal as customs clearance of gasoline is being carried out also in Attica since Sunday morning. An Athens court ruled customs officials strike illegal on Saturday. The court ruling came after the Finance Ministry had requested an interim injunction against the strike. The union of customs officials meets at 15:00 0n Sunday to decide on its further moves.
Reports say that customs officials are considering different form of mobilizations such as 24 hour rotating strikes. Customs officials in Thessaloniki and Crete had suspended mobilizations prior to court ruling on Saturday.
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8 Related article: Customs Officials Strike Ruled Illegal News item: 33590
 "Greece Is not Looking for Bail out"Sunday, 21 February 2010 10:50
Greece is not looking for bailout but it needs political support to implement its Stability and Growth Plan to cut its debt levels effectively said Prime-minister G. Papandreou in an interview with BBC's Andrew Marr Show broadcast on Sunday morning. In the meantime, a delegation comprised of EU Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund officials are flying to Athens in the next days to monitor measures for fiscal purging.
"Greece Is Giving a Battle"
Prime-minister G. Papandreou again expressed his determination for full implementation of Stability and Growth Plan. Open remains possibility for additional measures but the government has drawn a red line on the 14th salary.
"Greek people are not imprudent, they support efforts for the country's survival"
Speaking to BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr. Papandreou once again underlined that Greece was asking for political support and time. "Give us the time, give us the support - and I'm not talking about financial but political support - in order to show you that what we're saying is being implemented and we are credible again," he said.
"We don't have at this point a need for borrowing. Our borrowing needs are covered until mid-March. What we're saying is simply that we need the help so we can borrow at the same rate at other countries, not at the high rates that undermine the possibility for making the changes [to Greece's deficit]."
Papandreou said that despite street demonstrations against austerity measures his government has taken to tackle the debt crisis, he believed there was broad support in Greek society for painful economic reforms. "Even though there are austerity measures and they do hurt, the government has the support right now of around 50% to 60% of the population," Papandreou said.
"What we're seeing here, and I haven't seen this except during the Olympic Games in 2004, is a real sense of unity by the Greek people of wanting to make a change," he said.
"Let us together with the EU authorities, the Commission and the European Central Bank, let's sit down, let's look at how our progress is doing, how we're doing in the stability and growth plan that we have tabled," he added. "We're on target, beyond target on January statistics so we're doing well. If we do need extra measures, we will take extra measures in order to reduce our deficit this year by 4% in 2010. We're ready to do so if necessary," concluded the Prime-minister.
Determined for Tough Reforms
In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, which is out on Monday, Mr. Papandreou emerges determined to implement tough economic reforms, stressing that measures are painful but they concern the country's survival. Papandreou said his government has "wide support" in Greece for its austerity plans and referring to strike mobilizations underlined that trade unions know it. He expressed certainty that combat of corruption would significantly contribute to cut deficit down. He repeated Greece needs political support to enable it to borrow money at the same interest rate as other countries.
Meanwhile, the German magazine, quoting German Finance Ministry source, says it has drafted a plan for eurozone countries to provide Greece with aid worth up to 25bn euros in the form of loans or guarantees. Der Spiegel said each country would pay according to its proportion of capital in the European Central Bank. However a German finance ministry spokesman "completely rejected" the speculation.
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA-ΜPA Related Articles χετικά άρθρα: Greek PM Determined for Tough Reforms
News item: 33580