|Thursday, 20 February 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-07-10
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Papandreou Criticized Economic PolicyFrom the Island of Corfu, PASOK leader G. Papandreou launched a strong criticism against the government's policy, speaking of ‚tragic derailment‚ of the budget. He stressed that the country needs a new course speaking of an unprecedented rise in corruption. In a meeting with representatives of the tourist sectors, Mr. Papandreou underlined that there was no planning and vision for development in the tourist sector.
Mr.Papandreou described as tragic the situation of the Greek economy, particularly after today's release of the Bank of Greece report which literally describes fiscal derailment. He stressed that the Greek people demands change in order to revive hope, to draw a plan and ensure security for tomorrow and the future of the country.
After being briefed on the situation of Greece's tourism, Mr. Papandreou attributed the crisis in the tourist sector to the government's policy which lacks investments, planning and vision. He said that tourism is a vital sector for Greece's economy, underlining the need for quality tourism which not be unreservedly let to the free market rules and clientele management.
News item: 24689
 Blastos to Testify on MondayTestimonies of the first 10 suspects in Periklis Panagopoulos kidnap case concluded on Friday. There are charges against another six persons, of whom five including Panagiotis Blastos are serving prison sentences on other criminal activities and one still at large. They will start giving their statements on Monday. Panagiotis Blastos, believed to be mastermind in Panagopoulos kidnap, testimony is expected with high interest. All 10 suspects, including contractor George Trouboukis who played a leading role in the kidnap case, were remanded in custody after conclusion of testimony procedure.
In the meantime, after the director of Agias Prison, in Hania, the chief- guard of Alikarnassos prison was also relieved off his duties following decision of Justice Minister Nikos Dendias. Newspaper articles say that he had agreed to transfer Panagiotis Blastos from Trikala to Alikarnassos prison. Mr, Dendias has also asked Cretan Court Prosecutor to conduct an investigation to see whether the newspaper articles are grounded.
Source: ÕŇ‘ - ÕŇ‘ 105.8
News item: 24684
 Papandreou Calls for Changes in EducationAddressing an international conference organized by the University of Fraser Valley and the Ionian University on Corfu, PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) President George Papandreou touched on the new technologies and the reforms the educational system needs. Papandreou stressed that the new technologies can become the driving force towards a democratic revolution and schools can turn into centres capable of providing solutions and introducing innovations in the society.
Papandreou said that schools have no connections with everyday experiences, therefore, students get bored and find no reason going there.
The Socialist leader also referred to the need to incorporate new technologies in education, and spoke of the development and exploitation of an ocean of information. He then went on to suggest the creation of innovation centres, not only for the sake of the market, but as a social tool.
‚Let's use technology to resolve common problems,‚ said he, further adding, ‚the new possibilities will have a significant influence on the shaping and exploitation of people's talents.‚
After his speech at the conference, Papandreou joined a debate on open school in Greece.
News item: 24678
 Amendment on Polls ‚ PASOK is 4.1% AheadAn opinion poll conducted by Metron Analysis gave the Socialists of PASOK opposition party a 4.1% lead, standing at 33.6%. The ruling Conservatives of ND trailed with 29.5%, KKE (Greek Communist Party) landed third place with 7.5%, LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) followed with 6.7%, the Greens with 3.9% and SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) with 3.6%. Prime Minister is still believed to be the most suitable person for the post, garnering 34.6%, as opposed to Socialist leader George Papandreou who trailed with 29.1%. However, 32.4% of the respondents said Papandreou is more capable in economy management, compared to 29% of those surveyed who opted for Karamanlis.
In the meantime, an amendment banning pollsters from releasing opinion polls results 15 days before an election was submitted to Parliament. Citing recent experience from the European elections, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that returning to the previous regime is better for reasons that relate to the quality of Democracy.
PASOK and SYRIZA have given a positive rating to the amendment, blaming, at the same time, the government for petty party expediencies.
Source: NET 105.8
News item: 24665
 Revealing Conversations and TestimoniesAnother five suspects of their participation in the gang that allegedly abducted shipping magnate Periklis Panagopoulos were sent behind bars after their testimonies. One of the suspects declined to testify, citing his right to remain silent.
Ringleader Panagiotis Vlastos even planned a jailbreak with helicopter, following into the footsteps of notorious criminal Paleokostas. The intercepted phone conversations between the gang members revealed they were planning to buy a helicopter and murdering rival Kostas Nastoulis and his mother.
In the meantime, Deputy Public Order Minister Christos Markogiannakis congratulated the Greek police for breaking up the ring. He then dismissed comments on his wife's phone conversation with the resigned Chania prison head, whose name has been implicated in the case.
PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) needs crystal clear answers to the alleged involvement of political persons, commented Giorgos Papakonstantinou.
Asked on the involvement of government officials in conversations with the arrestess, government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros stressed that those implicated have clearly answered to that, noting that people should not believe rumours and groundless claims.
News item: 24667
 Obama Shakes Hands with QaddafiNews
The handshaking between US President Barack Obama and Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi at the dinner held in honor of the world leaders that took part in the G8 Summit was termed as momentous, since it was the first time Qaddafi met with a US President. The two leaders were photographed together, while TV footage showed them sitting almost next to each other at the dinner, with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi being in between.
After several years of strained bilateral ties, with Washington accusing Libya for sponsoring terrorism, there has been a change in their relations. Mutual skepticism, however, is still there. The two nations restored their diplomatic relations in 200.
News item: 24658
 H1N1 Cases Soar to 222 in GreeceSix new H1N1 infections were confirmed Friday in Greece, raising the total number of the swine flu cases to 222. Of them, 102 have been fully cured. The increasing number of infections made experts estimate that 33% of the population will probably go down with the swine flu. Greek Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos advised calmness and vigilance, stressing that Greece can address a pandemic.
Symptoms remain mild, while all health agencies are on standby to address the new infections, said the Health Ministry, underlining that everything is under control. Avramopoulos said that there is a sufficient stockpiles of anti-virus medicines, while some 8 million vaccines have been ordered.
The strategic action plan includes the vaccination of four million Greek in October and February.
In Greece, said Avramopoulos, 78% of the infections has to do with travelers, however, there has been a rise in the infections recorded. Fearing that the increase rate might stand at 54% in autumn, the Greek Health Minister did not rule out deaths.
News item: 24668