|Tuesday, 21 January 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-07-06
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Y. Papathanasiou in BrusselsNews
Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou is expected to brief competent EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia on the new taxation measures on the sidelines of the Eurogroup meeting held in Brussels on Monday. EU Sweden presidency will present its priorities during the Ecofin meeting while six countries are expected to be placed under excessive deficit status.
Mid and long term prospects regarding potential growth pace in the EU and implementation of Stability and Development Pact in Austria, Belgium, Slovakia and Slovenia are to be discussed during Eurogroup Finance Ministers' Council to be held in Brussels.
EU Finance Ministers' Council (ECOFIN) meet on Tuesday to discuss means to deal with global financial crisis, employment and long term growth.
EU Sweden presidency is prepared to take additional initiatives, if necessary, to successfully deal with the financial and credit crisis. The Ecofin meeting will also prepare the G20 Summit Meeting to be held in September in the US.
In the meantime, the EU has proposed relevant deadlines for correction of excessive fiscal deficits indicated in 2008 fiscal reports of Lithuania , Malta, Poland, Letonia and Rumania.
Finally, mid term targets linked to increase in future expenditures due to aging population will also be discussed.
News item: 24500
 DNA Tests Identified Two KidnappersPolice are continuing intensive investigations on the members of the 16-member gang involved in the kidnapping of shipping magnate Periklis Panagopoulos as well as several criminal acts including contract killings. In the meantime, DNA tests on objects, used from the moment of Periklis Panagopoulos kidnapping till his release, identified two of his kidnappers Apostolos Petrakis and Haralambos Moustakas. Petrakis and Moustakas are two of the 4 men present in his kidnapping.
Search to find the hide out of the 16-member gang and the β¬30 million ransom paid for his release also continues. Hellas police officers are examining two specific confessions while convict Panagiotis Blastos, serving life-sentence, is believed to be the mastermind in the kidnapping case.
Four of the 16-member gang are already held in prison, one is still at large and the others are facing criminal charges. They have asked for postponement till Wednesday and Thursday to give their statements. Government spokesman described the arrest of the members of the gang as big success of the Hellas Police.
Justice Minister Nikos Dendias said that 2 of the 214 cell phones confiscated in prisons are likely to have helped trace the gang. Mr. Dendias said that a pilot program to find illegal cell phones have been introduced in 6 prisons. He also left open extension of witnesses protection program.
Commenting on the dismantling of the 16-member gang involved in Periklis Panagopoulos kidnapping, PASOK spokesman George Papakonstantinou said that utilization of infrastructure and know how bears fruit.
Mr. Papakonstantinou said that Police should consolidate feeling of security , lost in the last period. Referring to the fact that the gang's activities were coordinated from prison, he described as ineffective the government's measures in disciplinary institutes.
Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ΑNA-ΜPA
Σχετικό άρθρο: Συνεχίζονται οι έρευνες
News item: 24499
 Greek PM Meets New Justice ChiefsGreek Premier Kostas Karamanlis welcomed Monday the new Justice chiefs at Maximos Mansion. He initially met with the new Supreme Court President and Vice Presidents and then with the State Council President and Vice Presidents. Justice Minister Nikos Dendias , who also attended the meetings, stressed he told the Prime Minister that the National Council of Justice will hold its first sitting in the days to come.
New State Council head P. Pikrammenos said that the Prime Minister assured them they will have a fertile cooperation.
News item: 24494
 Police Search ContinuesThe police search to locate the hideout of the gang that masterminded the abduction of shipping magnate Periklis Panagopoulos, as well as the ransom given for his release.
The testimonies of the two women implicated in the abduction are viewed as particularly important. Ten of the defendants will be referred to the magistrate on coming Wednesday and Thursday facing heavy charges. Justice Minister Nikos Dendias, on his part, met with the new Justice leaderships and commented on the use of mobile phones in jails. Dendias stressed that 214 mobile phones have been seized in three prisons in the last six months. The two of them are believed they helped in breaking up the ring that kidnapped Panagopoulos.
News item: 24487
 Development on Siemens Case AwaitedAuthorities in Greece are waiting for Munich's prosecutors to decide the extradition of Michalis Christoforakos. The former Siemens Hellas CEO, who allegedly wishes to stand trial in Germany, said he has evidence that prove the money laundering. In Athens, the political parties are awaiting the results of the investigation before shaping their stance.
The government reiterated that the ruling party of ND (New Democracy) never received money from Siemens, while PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) keeps insisting on the setting up of an inquiry committee to probe the case.
In the meantime, the testimony given by former PASOK deputy Theodoros Tsoukatos has triggered several discussions. His lawyer stressed in his interview with Kathimerini paper that the official books is one thing and the reality of the party's finances is another.
Source: NET, NET 105.8
News item: 24484
 Hundreds Killed in China RiotsNews
Clashes in the capital of China's volatile Xinjiang region have claimed at least 140 lives and injured more than 800. State-run media said that protestors brandishing knives, bricks and batons spun out of control smashing cars and stores and attacking police. Hundreds of people have been arrested. China blamed the rioting that erupted in the city of Urumqi on Sunday on Uighur exiles, a separatist ethnic group accusing China of exploiting their resources and twisting their culture. Uighur exiles said the violence started only after police began violently cracking down on the peaceful protest.
Xinhua said that everything had been brought under control. However, the Xinjiang government imposed a curfew in the capital to avert similar clashes.
According to information, the people of Urumqi took to the streets demanding a probe into a fight between Uighurs and Han Chinese workers at a southern China factory last month.
Source: Reuters, ANA/MPA
BBC: Scores killed in China protests
News item: 24461
 G8 Focuses on Food CrisisNews
In view of the forthcoming G8 meeting in the earthquake-devastated town of L'Aquila in Italy, Angela Wauye, food rights coordinator at ActionAid Kenya, urged the G8 to do more this year since it failed to help over one billion hungry people. In 2008, the G8 had promised to stamp out the food crisis, however, the number of the hungry has soared by 100 million, added Wauye, who stressed that the poor cannot eat promises.
Italy, the hosting country, has come under fire for missing its aid targets, while the nations that have offered the most are France, Britain, Germany, Japan, Canada and the USA.
Clashes were reported on Sunday between protesters and police, while street protests have been heralded to take place in several Italian towns.
Source: NET, ANA
News item: 24459