|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-05-15
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
(THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)
 Political party sessions- Pasok
The two-day sessions of the central committee of the ruling Pasok party on the issue of the party's enlargement and reorganization ended on Saturday. Addressing the meeting for a second time, the prime minister Kostas Simitis underlined the need for the renewal of Greece's political system through the procedures of dialogue and the party's enlargement. Mr Simitis made a detailed account of the government's work and pointed out that the government of Pasok was a guarantee for the country's smooth economic and social course. Meanwhile, the central committee unanimously approved the proposal of the prime minister Kostas Simitis and the executive office of the party to create a new coalition of power of the center-left forces.
- New Democracy
Speaking at a meeting of the New Democracy party political and social council in Thessaloniki, the New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, warned those seeking to weaken the party's activity that they would not succeed. Mr Karamanlis reiterated that the dividing lines of the past no longer existed and announced organisational changes in the structure of the party, launching at the same time a bitter attack on the government, accusing it of violating the rules of democracy.
- Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress
The two-day sessions of the central political committee of the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress party ended. The committee approved the proposal of the party's leader Nikos Konstantopoulos, which is calling on party members to rally, so that the party may follow an autonomous course. In his speech, Mr Konstantopoulos described as harsh and difficult the period the party was presently going through and underlined that all the doubts should be cleared up at the party's congress that will be held at the end of June. In response to criticism according to which the party's leadership was responsible for the withdrawal of the so- called group of modernizers, Mr Konstantopoulos replied that the Coalition was sending no one away, and was neither threatened with dissolution because certain members withdrew from the party.
 Greek president visits Israel and Palestinian territoriesThe president of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos started a four day official visit to Israel and the autonomous Palestinian territories. The Greek president is accompanied by the deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi, the national economy undersecretary Yannis Zafeiropoulos and many Greek businessmen. President Stefanopoulos will have contacts with his Israeli counterpart Ezer Weisman and the prime minister Ehud Barak, as well as with the president of the Palestinian authority Yasser Arafat.
 Greek national defense minister in PortugalNational defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos is in Portugal to attend the two-day conference of the Foreign and defense ministers of the West European Union and the Armament Group of Western Europe which opens in Porto today. The summit will deal with the issues of the West European Union seen under the light of the development of the European Security and Defense Identity and the Common European Political Security and Defense, as well as with the conclusions from the joint exercise of the Western European Union and Nato, code-named Crisex 2000.
 New plans on labourThe labor and social security minister Tasos Yannitsis, will table a national action plan on employment for debate in the Greek parliament. The plan provides for the creation of 60,000 new jobs every year. Meanwhile, negotiations resume today between the General Confederation of Greek Workers and employers' organisations aimed at the drawing up and signing of a new national collective labor contract.
 Reactions about the new identity cardsThe authority responsible for the protection of personal data will deal with the issue that has been raised about the inscription of the people's religion on the new identity cards. The president of the authority Konstantinos Diathermos believes that the inscription of the religion on the identity cards is illegal and anti-constitutional.
For his part, Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece has strongly criticised all those who are in favour of the inscription of the religion, considering it illegal and proposed that a referendum should be held on the issue.