|Friday, 17 January 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 02-02-22
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 NEWS IN ENGLISHTHE VOICE OF GREECE
22/2/2002 1:23:00 ìì
- Weather forecast
- All electronic gamblig machines banned
- Division of Olympic Airways into smaller companies
- Alexandropolis-Ancara , natural gas pipeline
- Strike-sanitation workers
- IKA doctors
- Majority of voters favour Pasok, Left wing cooperation
- M.E developments
- Kidnapped American reporter killed by captors
- Three American soldiers killed in a helicopter crash
 Weather forecastCloud is forecast in all parts of the country, turning to rain in the west and storms in the Ionian Sea. It is also likely to rain in the north, centre and eastern Aegean islands later in the day. Winds southerly, moderate to strong. Scattered cloud in Athens that may turn to rain from late afternoon, with temperatures between 10C and 16C. Cloud in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 6C to 14C.
 All electronic gamblig machines bannedAt a meeting of the cabinet yesterday all electronic gambling machines were completely banned except for those operating at legally established casinos. The initiative followed days of accusations and counter accusations of alleged involvement by politicians in illegal gambling. Interior Minister Kostas Skandalidis stated that a draftbill will be tabled in the parliament at the beginning of March.
The measure was a tough one , said Government spokesman , Hristos Protopappas, but it was the only effective one , as ordinary electronic games could easily be converted into illegal games of chance by the owners of such facilities. Thousands of businessmen have been charged with running illegal gambling operations , after their premises were raided and the machines were examined by experts.
Prime-minister Simitis , who today starts a 2-day tour of the prefectures of Hmathia and Pella said yesterday that there was an attempt underway to distort reality for reasons of political expidiency while government spokesman spoke of fabrication of culprits by the mass media ignoring all means of deontology and efforst to create an image of decadence and corruption.
Commenting on the government´s decision to ban all electronic games, ND party government spokesman, Theodoros Roussopoulos said that this decision was admission by the Prime-minister and his ministers that the country is sinking into corruption and all illegals can act uncontrolled .
The President of the Coalition of the Left and Progress party, Nikos Konstantipoulos called for a revision of the overall government policy on gambling while the Athens Mayor, Dimitris Avramopoulos described the decision as slow-burning, taken in a state of panic.
 Division of Olympic Airways into smaller companiesDuring yesterday´s cabinet meeting , decisions were also taken about the Olympic Airways , for which a privatisation bid had recently failed after months of negotiations with an Australian-led consortium.
The national air-carrier will be divided into at least 4 separate companies , while about 2000 employees will be encouraged to retire , through financial incentives over a period of 2 years.
At the same time , OA administrators will seek to attract private investors to infuse some 150 million euro into the ailing airline.
 Alexandropolis-Ancara, natural gas pipelineDevelopment Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos is to visit Turkey at the end of February for talks with the neighbouring country´s energy minister on plans for a natural gas pipeline to be built between Alexandroupolis and Ankara.
The minister also told a news conference yesterday that he was due to visit Tehran to sound out cooperation in natural gas supplies from Iran on a transit basis
 Strike-sanitation workers-IKA doctorsContract workers employed by the sanitation department of the Athens municipality are set to begin a series of 48-hour rolling strikes today , insupport of their demands for permanent jobs and the immediate signing of a collective labour agreement for 2002.
The strike poses a serious threat to public health, as garbage will not be collected from city streets .The Interior Ministry has resorted to judicial action , applying for a court rule , declaring the strike to be illegal.
Labour Minister , Dimitris reppas committed himself that no IKA doctor will be laid off and that all doctors from now on will be hired on full-time basis .IKA doctors are to decide on their further stand.
The General Confederation of Greek Workers demands over 6% raises arguing with employers who have proposed 4,5% raises , 3-year labour contracts and 39-hour working week starting in 2004.
 Majority of voters favour Pasok, Left wing cooperationA poll conducted by the Kappa research for the television channel NET, indicates that the majority of voters are in favour of a government cooperation between the Pasok and the Left wing parties.
 M.E developmentsIsraeli Prime-minister Ariel Sharon laid out the full disarmament of the Palestinians and cease-fire as preconditions for the resumption of peace talks. He also announced his plan to set up buffer zones along the borders of Israel and Palestinian territories. Washingthon appears reserved over Sharon announcements while the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said that security measures alone would fail to quell Israeli-Palestinian violence without a political agaenda.
 Kidnapped American reporter killed by captorsWall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, kidnapped on January 23 in Pakistan while trying to make contacts with islamic militants, has been killed by his captors CNN television channel reported , qouting FBI sources.
 Three American soldiers killed in a helicopter crashAt least 3 of the 10 American soldiers on board a U.S special forces helicopter which crashed in the sea in the southern Filippines today were killed .
Television stations said that at least 3 others were believed rescued by fishermen , but there was no independent confirmation of the reports.