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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-05-01
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Pressure on BP Is Pilling up to Contain the SlickSaturday, 01 May 2010 17:14
Criticism of BP is mounting in the US over its handling of the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Calls for swifter action were led by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who urged BP to commit more resources to tackling the catastrophe. The British energy giant was also criticised by President Barack Obama and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
Mississippi and Alabama have joined Louisiana and Florida in declaring a state of emergency. Animal rescue groups have been receiving their first patients - seabirds coated in oil.
Worsening weather conditions have been hampering efforts to contain the slick, which is more than 200km long.
The homeland security secretary flew into Louisiana on Friday to deliver a stark message to BP, which had been leasing the rig.
Some 1,900 emergency workers and more than 300 ships and aircraft are being sent to the disaster zone, President Barack Obama has announced.
In a White House statement, he said BP was "ultimately responsible... for paying the costs of response and clean-up operations".
Source: BBC News item: 36127
 Blast Kills 30 in SomaliaSaturday, 01 May 2010 14:56
At least 30 people were killed another 100 were injured in two explosions at a mosque in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, eye witnesses were quoted as saying. The blasts were reported at the mosque in Bakara Market, close to the Abdalla Shideye mosque, where a person perished Tuesday in a bomb hit. The Bakara Market is dominated by members of the country's two main insurgent groups, Hizbul Islam and al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab.
"Many screaming people were piled up on each other, some dead, some injured. There were more than 30 dead," said a witness, estimating that over 100 people were injured.
"Al Shabaab armed men arrived and surrounded the mosque," he added.
No organization has claimed responsibility for the attack.
News item: 36123
 May Day Celebrated Amid Financial DevelopmentsSaturday, 01 May 2010 13:24
Greek workers celebrated May Day amid severe financial developments. Two separate demonstrations were held in central Athens. One was staged by GSEE and ADEDY, Greece's major umbrella unions for the private and the public sector, and another by PAME (All Workers Militant Front), which is affiliated with the Greek Communist Party (KKE). There were no ship or train services, while stores remained closed. The key slogan of the demonstrators was "The people owes to no one, the people won't pay for anyone."
PAME members marched towards the US embassy in Athens. The demonstrators, led by KKE head Aleka Papariga, formed a human river "of fight in favour of workers' rights."
Brandishing red flags, the protesters expressed their objection to the new financial measures, putting the blame on the USA, the EU and the Greek government.
The May Day demonstrations held in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, were turned into demonstrations against the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission. There were cases when rioters attacked expensive cars and ATMs in central streets.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 36121
 May Day Marked WorldwideSaturday, 01 May 2010 12:28
Workers worldwide celebrated Saturday May Day. A person was killed and another 21 were injured when a bomb went off during demonstrations in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic located in the North Caucasus.
In Germany, hundreds of leftists took to the streets of Berlin on Friday evening, protesting against the scheduled march of neo-nazi.
Dressed in black, they moved towards and pub frequented by nazi chanting slogans against them. Riots did not get out of control.
In Hamburg, demonstrators clashed with policemen. About nine people were arrested, while 17 policemen and a passer-by sustained slight injuries.
In Berlin, about 40 people were seized. As many as 5,800 police officers had been deployed in Berlin to preserve order during the May Day demonstrations.
Permanent working status, wage raises and social security were the key demands of the Japanese trade unions, which held demonstrations throughout the country.
The workers of the Philippines took to the streets demanding the government protect jobs. Requesting education, health and home to everyone, thousands of people marched in Manila and in other Philippine cities.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered at Taksim square in Turkey's biggest city Istanbul for the first May Day celebrations at the site after dozens were killed there 33 years ago. More than 22,000 police officers were deployed in the area. The demonstrators, brandishing flags and chanting slogan, started thronging the square early on Saturday morning under tight security.
May Day celebrations at Taksim Square were banned on 1 May 1977, when gunmen opened fire at the demonstrators, killing 34 people.
This year, however, Turkish authorities allowed the celebrations to take place. The Istanbul governor said the demonstrations could be taken as "celebrations" and not as a "political gathering."
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 36120
 Eurogroup Holds Meeting on SundaySaturday, 01 May 2010 12:02
The negotiations between the Greek government and the EU and IMF experts on the new harsh measures will wrap up within the weekend. Two demonstrations in Athens and in other Greek cities were held to mark May Day, with demonstrators expressing their objection. Eurogroup called an off-the-agenda sitting on Sunday evening to ratify the agreement and give thumbs up for the bailout package to Greece.
Sarkozy and Merkel Determined to Take Actions
After meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, the French Finance Minister said that the bailout for Greece should range between 100 and 120 billion euros.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated Saturday morning their determination to act promptly with regard to the support mechanism for Greece.
The Additional Measures
Information has it that the additional measures requested by the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund include, inter alia, the abolishment of the 13th and 14th wages in the public sector, the freezing of the collective work contracts and a rise in VAT rates.
In the meantime, following the statements by the German Finance Minister, whereby his country would agree on the support mechanism for Greece as soon as the German House gave green light on the following Friday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her interview she would welcomed the German private sector's contribution to the efforts to save the Greek economy.
The German Finance Minister called on German lenders to buy Greek bonds, while bank sources argued that a Deutsche Bank official was coordinating initiatives taken by the private sector with a view to supporting the bailout package. News item: 36119
 French President Arrives in ChinaWednesday, 28 April 2010 08:58
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has embarked on a three-day state visit to China, aspiring to ease tensions with Beijing caused by the different stance the two countries adopted on the Tibet issue. Nicolas Sarkozy will also try to earn China's support in the West's intentions to sanction Iran.
Meeting with the Chinese President
Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni arrived at the ancient Chinese capital city of Xi'an to visit the city's monuments.
They will then travel to Beijing, where the French President will meet with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.
Source: Reuters, ANA/MPA News item: 35959
 World Mass Media ReactionsSaturday, 24 April 2010 12:28
Greece's formal request for the activation of EU-IMF financial rescue package dominates in international mass media. The US welcomed this development while it was not a surprise move according to BBC programs. Quoting German Der Spiegel, Le Monde refers to German Chancellor Angela Merkel effort to gain time till May, 9 elections in Renania-Westfalia.
Focus on Decision for Activation of Rescue Mechanism
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner welcomed Greek authorities call for activation of rescue package during the G20 Finance Ministers' meeting in Washington.
BBC says Greece's request has come as no surprise to anyone and expressed concern of other Euro-zone members at possible extension of disruptions in the area.
"The proud son and grandson of Greek prime ministers, he was having to admit failure in his four-month crusade against market speculators and appeal for outside help to rescue his struggling economy from collapse" writes the Financial Times.
Quoting German Der Spiegel, Le Monde refers to German Chancellor Angela Merkel effort to gain time till May, 9 elections in Renania-Westfalia.
Liberation newspaper carries an article under the title: "Rescue Plan: Greece expresses its national need and Germany drags its feet".
"The euro rose against the dollar after briefly touching the lowest point in a year early in the day, but then dipped again amid uncertainty over the timing of the aid" says New York Times while Bloomberg refers to fears that Greece may be followed by Portugal and Spain .
News item: 35830