Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα citizens. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα citizens. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τρίτη, Δεκεμβρίου 23, 2014

France deploys extra army patrols in wake of attacks

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Tuesday said France had deployed 300 extra troops to patrol public areas over the Christmas period following a spate of attacks on police officers and shoppers.

In an announcement broadcast on live TV, Valls said he appreciated that the “deeply shocking” events had “understandably created great concerns”, but insisted that “each event must be treated separately”.

In a separate statement Tuesday, French President François Hollande urged citizens “not to panic” in the wake of the attacks.

The latest incident on Monday evening in the western city of Nantes saw a driver plough into a Christmas market, injuring 10 people before stabbing himself repeatedly. One person later died of injuries sustained during the attack, Hollande announced on Tuesday.

The incident came a day after a similar attack in Dijon, eastern France, which saw 13 pedestrians hurt.

And on Saturday, a man was shot dead after walking into a police station in the central town of Joue-les-Tours and attacking three officers with a knife, two of whom were seriously injured.

The man, a Burundian convert to Islam, reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest") during the assault and had recently posted a flag of the Islamic State group on his Facebook page, prompting concerns that the attack was motivated by Islamic extremism.

Attackers had ‘psychological problems’

In his live broadcast, Valls said that there were “concerns of copycat incidents” and that “mentally deranged people may be influenced by propaganda messages”.

Valls announced that “up to 300” extra soldiers would be deployed on anti-terrorist “Vigipirate” patrols in busy areas, adding to the large number of troops, policemen and gendarmes already involved in active operations across France.

Earlier on Tuesday, Valls told Europe 1 radio that there was "no link" between the incidents and that both car rampages appeared to have been committed by people with psychological problems.

"The best response is to continue to live peacefully with the necessary vigilance of course," he added.

‘Fear over Christmas’

While the motives behind the incidents remain unclear, the violence has jarred nerves after repeated jihadist calls for "lone wolf" action in France over its fight against Islamic extremism.

"Fear over Christmas" titled local daily Le Parisien, while Le Figaro newspaper wrote a front-page editorial headlined "enemies within”.

In September, the radical Islamic State group that controls swathes of Iraq and Syria urged Muslims around the world to kill "in any manner" those from countries involved in a coalition fighting its jihadists, singling out the French.

Among instructions detailing how to kill civilians or military personnel was to "run him over with your car”.

But while the probe into Saturday's knife attack is veering towards extremism the two car rampages appear to have been committed by "unbalanced" people.

Both prosecutors in charge of probing the driving incidents insisted they were not "terrorist acts".

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)


Παρασκευή, Δεκεμβρίου 05, 2014

Fresh lawsuit filed against planned restart of nuclear reactors in Japan

Nine residents filed for an injunction order on Friday to suspend the planned restart of four nuclear reactors in western Japan, local media reported.

The nine people, who are from Fukui, Kyoto and Osaka prefectures, claimed that there is an "actual and looming risk" of nuclear accidents, and requested the Fukui District Court to call off the planned restart of four reactors at Takahama and Oi nuclear plants.

Takahama and Oi nuclear plants are both located in Fukui Prefecture. Both plants' No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are currently undergoing safety screening of the Nuclear Regulation Authority for resuming operation.

The Fukui District Court ruled in May that the Oi nuclear plant shall not be restarted. But another district court made a contradictory ruling last month, rejecting a demand by citizens seeking suspension of possible resumption of Takahama and Oi plants.

Currently, all nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline. Power utilities are desperate to bring nuclear plants back online due to high costs of thermal power generation, while public concerns over nuclear safety are still strong.

 Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn


Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 27, 2014

Japanese court rejects citizens' demand for suspension of nuclear reactor restart

A Japanese court on Thursday rejected a demand by some western Japan residents seeking suspension of planned restart of nuclear reactors at Takahama and Oi plants, local media reported.

The residents, from Shiga Prefecture, claimed that there are many geological faults around the two plants which might cause earthquakes and tsunamis, and that severe nuclear accidents might occur such as in the 2011 Fukushima crisis.

The Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture rejected the residents' demand for suspension of restart of the reactors, and said it is "unlikely" that the safety regulator will make a hasty decision to allow the reactors to restart.

Takahama and Oi nuclear plants are both located in Fukui Prefecture, which lies to the north of Shiga Prefecture. Both plants' No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are currently undergoing safety screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority for resuming operation.

Kansai Electric Power Co., operator of the two plants, said the court decision is "reasonable" and it will seek to restart the nuclear plants "as soon as possible" after safety confirmed by the regulator.

  • Currently, all nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline. Power utilities are desperate to bring nuclear plants back online as their earnings are deteriorating due to high costs for thermal power generation, while public concerns over nuclear safety are still strong.
Judicial rulings on the nuclear plants' operation have been divided since the Fukushima crisis. In May, another district court in Japan ruled that the Oi nuclear plant shall not be restarted. Kansai Electric has appealed this ruling.
 Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

Δευτέρα, Ιουλίου 28, 2014

University of Colorado Boulder Scientists Link 10,800-Foot-Deep Fracking Wastewater Well to More Than 200 Earthquakes

When the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ordered NGL Water Solutions to stop fracking wastewater injection operations a month ago, a team of University of Colorado Boulder researchers began conducting its own investigation.

NGL, formerly known as High Sierra Water Services, was given permission to resume its activities at a 10,800-foot-deep well a few weeks later, but the CU findings suggest that shouldn’t have happened. Anne Sheehan and her team found that the well is linked to more than 200 earthquakes, the geophysics professor in the CU Department of Geological Sciences told Boulder County Business Report.

She said the group found “quite a few” earthquakes with epicenters within two miles of the well.

Two earthquakes—with magnitudes of 3.4 and 2.6—took place within mere miles of the well. Shemin Ge and Matthew Weingarten, also of CU, also found that activity within fracking wastewater injection wells likely caused earthquakes in central Oklahoma.

NGL operates 11 of the 29 fracking wastewater injection wells in Weld County, CO. When the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission allowed NGL to resume activities, it began injecting 7,500 barrels per day at maximum pressure.

“We’ll continue to closely monitor and accumulate all available information at this location,” Colorado Department of Natural Resources spokesman Todd Hartman told the Report, “and work with partners to continue understanding how best to limit and prevent potential seismic impacts related to deep injection generally.”



Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 02, 2014

Kurdish President: Conditions Favorable for Independence. (The Kurds tried to help build “a new Iraq.”)

As Iraq’s attempts at building a new government failed on Tuesday, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani said he would push for a referendum on independence for Kurdistan.

Barzani spoke with VOA's Persian service on Tuesday in Irbil, the largest city in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The Iraqi army has struggled against offensives by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Islamic militant group that has captured large sections of Iraq’s north and west.

When the Iraqi army abandoned the city of Kirkuk, Kurdish peshmerga stepped in to defend the city, as well as other northern towns deserted by Iraqi forces.

The Kurds are exerting control over a larger part of the region, which is behind an increased push for independence.

“This is a natural right that must be achieved,” Barzani said, adding that he hopes to conduct a referendum within months. “ I believe now the conditions are also favorable for independence. … Once achieved, we will help our brethren in Iraq, within our capabilities, to help Iraq maybe surmount the current crisis.

“But this does not mean that we will set aside the independence of Kurdistan,” he added. “A referendum in Kurdish areas will determine our ultimate decision. We will implement whatever the people decide.”

'A new Iraq'

As far as what the future holds for Iraq, Barzani said, “I doubt if Iraq will go back to what it was. Maybe only God knows what will happen.”

He said that in 2003, with the downfall of former Iraq President Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime, the Kurds tried to help build “a new Iraq.”

An Iraq “in which everyone’s rights and duties were well defined … in order to build a democratic, federal, multi-party Iraq,” he said.

However, that didn’t happen, Barzani said.

“If a democratic, federal, Iraq would have taken shape, and Kurdish rights had not been violated, no one would have thought about independence,” he said.

The country today finds itself split along ethnic and secular lines, as witnessed Tuesday in Iraq’s parliament session, which ended quickly after Sunnis and Kurds walked out.

They complained that the Shi'ites had failed to nominate a prime minister, a condition they had set for revealing their nominees for speaker.

Respect for Kurds

Barzani said there are conditions that must be met before the Kurds will help in supporting the current Iraqi government.

“The Kurds did not bring about the dangerous situation (that threatens) the integrity of Iraq,” he said. “We have not partitioned Iraq, rather, it was others who brought about this catastrophe and broke up Iraq into pieces. And that is why those who created this situation must resolve it as well.“

Barzani said that for years, Kurds have been treated as “second- and third-class citizens. That is why, from now on, we will not accept such treatment," adding that this is another reason he is pushing for independence for the Kurdish people.....................http://www.voanews.com/content/kurdish-president-conditions-are-favorable-for-independence/1949439.html


Σάββατο, Ιουνίου 28, 2014

Bulgarian authorities see illegal attempts to destabilize banking system

Bulgarian authorities on Friday saw illegal attempts to destabilize country's banking system amid queues of people trying to withdraw their money from cash desks....

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev told reporters that there has been an attack through the Internet and text messages via mobile phones to massively disturb people.

"We have found malicious and deliberate attempts to destabilize the banking system, and an investigation has been carried out in this direction since yesterday," Yovchev said.

This is an extremely serious crime and people who engage in such activity will suffer severe punishment, he added.

Meanwhile, Ivan Iskrov, governor of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) said in a statement that Bulgarian banking system has a good performance and is functioning smoothly, but in the last days an attempt is made to destabilize the country through organized attack on Bulgarian banks without any reason.

"Such criminal acts are directly directed against the savings of every Bulgarian citizen and against financial stability as an essential element of national security," he said.

BNB explicitly states that it will use all its means and resources to ensure people's savings, Iskrov said.

In turn, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev "strongly condemned sustained efforts to destabilize the banking system" and urged citizens "not to succumb to rumors and speculation."

"Bulgarian banking system is well capitalized and regulated and enjoys the trust of international markets," he said according to a press release sent by his press office.

Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 25, 2014

Colorado Regulators Halt Fracking Wastewater Injection Operation After Earthquake Strikes Area For Second Time in One Month

Thankfully, two earthquakes proved to be too many.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COOGC) has directed High Sierra Water Services to stop disposing wastewater into a Weld County injection well as a result of a 2.6 magnitude earthquake striking the area Monday morning, about five miles away from Greeley, CO, the Colorado Independent reported. The earthquake marked the second one in just one month.

High Sierra agreed to a 20-day halt after University of Colorado seismologists found evidence of low-level seismic activity near the injection site, including a 2.6-magnitude quake.

“In light of the findings of CU’s team, we think it’s important we review additional data, bring in additional expertise and closely review the history of injection at this site in order to more fully understand any potential link to seismicity and use of this disposal well,” COGCC Director Matt Lepore said.

To environmentalists, the connection between injection and earthquakes is as indisputable now as it was following the event on May 31.

“Better safe than sorry—injecting fracking wastewater has definitely caused earthquakes in other states and it could be the cause here too, so it’s smart of COGCC to halt this activity,” said Gary Wockner, an environmental activist based in Fort Collins, CO.

The COGCC will evaluate the baseline, historical seismic activity there, well injection rates, pressures and volumes and continue coordination with the team from Colorado University and the U.S. Geological Survey and Colorado Geological Survey. Other disposal wells in the area will also receive evaluation.

 There are more than 24,000 wells in Weld County. In the past 18 months, six cities with more than 400,000 citizens have approved fracking bans or moratoriums.


Τρίτη, Ιουνίου 10, 2014

Residents in Colorado Town File Class-Action Lawsuit Against State and Governor to Uphold Fracking Ban

Lafayette, CO residents passed a measure to ban fracking within city limits in November, yet they’re still fighting for clean air and water.

A month after elections, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association filed a lawsuit against the City of Lafayette to overturn the newly passed Community Bill of Rights. Now, residents are turning the tables back on the association, as well as the state and Gov. John Hickenlooper in a first-of-its-kind, class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in Boulder County District Court.

While the suit centers on fracking, it seeks to protect the citizens’ right to self-governance under the Community Bill of Rights. The residents allege that the Colorado Oil and Gas Act and the industry’s enforcement of it violate that right to local self-government under the U.S. Constitution.........http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/10/colorado-lawsuit-fracking-ban/


  • Les USA "nettoient" le marché de l'UE pour y vendre leur gaz de schiste...

Les Etats-Unis cherchent à affaiblir l'Europe et à "nettoyer" le marché européen pour y vendre du gaz de schiste américain, a déclaré mardi à Moscou le conseiller du président russe Sergueï Glaziev.
"Les Américains ont pour but d'affaiblir l'Union européenne, de provoquer la faillite de toute une série de banques européennes pour obtenir l'annulation de leurs dettes envers la Russie et l'Europe. Ils souhaitent affaiblir l'Europe et nettoyer le marché du gaz pour y vendre du gaz de schiste américain", a indiqué M.Glaziev lors d'une conférence de presse à RIA Novosti.
Selon le conseiller, les sanctions économiques que les Etats-Unis cherchent à faire adopter contre la Russie, serviront à affaiblir l'Europe ce qui permettra aux Etats-Unis d'imposer des conditions économiques désavantageuses à l'UE.
Fin mars dernier, le président américain Barack Obama a déclaré à Bruxelles que les Etats-Unis pourraient fournir plus de gaz à l'Europe qu'il ne lui en faut pour remplacer le gaz russe. En juin, les importations de gaz de schiste américain en Europe ont été évoquées lors du sommet du G7. Washington commencera à fournir du gaz de schiste à l'Europe à la fin de 2015, mais cela implique des investissements de plusieurs milliards de dollars.........................http://fr.ria.ru/world/20140610/201500541.html

Πέμπτη, Μαΐου 01, 2014

Job rich recovery and undeclared work, the focus of the Employment Ministers Meeting in Athens

Ministers for Employment and Social Policy of the European Union had the opportunity to exchange views and best practices on Europe 2020 Strategy core issues, issues that concern each European citizen. The contribution of these issues to the goal of economic recovery with more jobs and quality jobs and stronger social cohesion is crucial.
On 30 April, at the morning plenary session, the President of the Council, Minister of Labour, Social Security and Welfare of Greece, Ioannis Vroutsis, highlighted that Europe has entered a path to recovery. However, the goal is to lay strong foundations for enhancing the recovery, with special attention to those mostly hit by the crisis.

Afterwards, the key findings from the meetings held on 29.04.2014 were presented. The first meeting with the Social Platform focused on the role of minimum income schemes in economic recovery. The issue of labour market reforms on the way to job rich recovery was discussed at the second meeting with the Social Partners.
  • Two parallel workshops took place under the general title: “The Employment and Social Dimension of the Europe 2020 Strategy: Lessons Learnt and Future Orientations”.
The Italian Minister of Labour and Welfare, Giuliano Poletti, chaired the first Workshop with the theme: “Labour Market Reforms on the Way to Job Rich Recovery. Combatting the long-term unemployment and increasing the participation in the labour market. The role of wage setting systems and reforms on Employment Protection Legislation”. The Greek Minister of Labour, Social Security and Welfare, Ioannis Vroutsis, chaired Workshop II, the theme of which is “Economic recovery and social policies: the role of minimum income schemes”.
The afternoon plenary session, chaired by Mr. Vroutsis, focused on the issue of undeclared work. Ministers exchanged views and experiences on the topic: “Towards quality jobs: measures to prevent undeclared work”.
Ministers for Employment and Social Policy of the European Union, participating at the meeting, welcomed the initiative of the Greek Presidency to include this issue in the agenda of the Informal EPSCO meeting. Combating undeclared work is one of the Priorities of the Greek Presidency in the field of employment and social policy. 
The Greek Minister underlined that the issues of quality jobs and tackling undeclared work are crucial, for achieving both sustainable recovery and the main objectives of Europe 2020 strategy. He added that facing up to the challenge of undeclared work demands both preventive and repressive actions. 
During the closing session, the President made the following remarks:
Minimum Income Schemes should be designed in a way to provide adequate protection, broad coverage and be characterised by administrative simplicity. Furthermore, schemes should be accompanied by proper activation and training measures as well as the provision of services. While these systems provide for a social shield, we cannot forget that they should operate temporarily as a mechanism to tackle poverty and that the focus of all relevant policies remains the successful labour market integration. The aim is to prevent beneficiaries from being trapped by these schemes and to help re integrate them into the labour market.
It is necessary to remain on the path of reforms so that labour market performances be improved. These reforms must balance the need for improvement in the labour market functioning and quality of work. In order to achieve that, cooperation with the social partners is essential as well as responsible social dialogue, thus contributing to the enhancing of the social dimension of the EMU. 

Δευτέρα, Φεβρουαρίου 17, 2014

Right2Water urges privatisation ban in first EU Citizens’ Initiative debate

Organisers of the “Right2Water” campaign urged the EU Commission to guarantee access to water and sanitation as a human right, and give a legal undertaking that water services will not be liberalised in the EU, in the first European Parliament debate on a European Citizens’ Initiative in Parliament on Monday. MEPs shared the view that access to water is a basic human right, but some pointed out that rules on providing drinkable water remain the remit of EU member states.

The hearing, organised by the Environment Committee, in association with Development, Internal Market and Petitions committees, brought together representatives of the “Right2Water” Citizens Committee, MEPs and the European Commission, which will draft a response to the initiative by 20 of March.

“Parliament recognised that water is a shared resource of humankind and a public good and that access to water should constitute a fundamental and universal right in its the resolution of 3 July 2012 on the implementation of EU water legislation”, but “We need to do more to foster the participation of all actors of our society to make sure that the protection of water resources and of drinking water in particular is reflected into all our policies” said Environment Committee chair Matthias Groote (S&D, DE).

« We launched this initiative to get it on to the European Commission’s agenda. We wish to reiterate here that water provision and sanitation are essential public services for all » said Right2Water Citizens’ Committee chair Anne-Marie Perret. « It is important that citizens should be able to pay reasonable rates reflecting their needs, not those of distribution company shareholders. Today, they no longer hesitate to cut off the water of families in difficulty », she added.

“A milestone in the history of European democracy”

Hailing the first-ever hearing on a Citizens’ Initiative as “a milestone in the history of European democracy” Gerald Häfner (Greens/EFA, DE), of the Petitions Committee said “Today, we are switching to listening mode. The question now is how we can better legislate on an issue that is crucial. Water is a human right and should remain in public hands”.

« We are living in year one of the citizens’ democracy in Europe » said Corinne Lepage (ALDE, FR). « To listen is good, but to heed is better. The Commission absolutely must heed the ECI. We note its wish to pursue the route of liberalisation, which is not what citizens want”, she added.

« Not something you can shrug off »

« We ask for a clear legislative commitment that water services will not be liberalized in the European Union” said Citizens’ Committee Vice-President Jan Willem Goudriaan. “We shall have a reason to celebrate when the European Commission acts to show that the ECI is not something that you can just shrug off”, he added.      

Water services, public or not: a matter for member states…

«  Water should be accessible and affordable for all.” said MEP Richard Seeber (EPP, AT). “However this is organised, should be left to Member States”, he added.

…but also trade negotiations and “Troika” adjustment measures

Evelyne Gebhardt (S&D, DE) agreed that water should not be governed by market rules and voiced concerns that trade negotiations under way between the EU and third countries could lead to liberalisation through the back door.

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL, EL) stressed the citizens’ opposition to « attempted privatisation » of water distribution in Athens and Thessalonika, among the measures allegedly imposed by the ECB/European Commission/IMF “Troika”.

“Water issues can create or exacerbate conflicts” in the world

“There is a very long way to go before the universal human right to safe water and sanitation will be universally enjoyed” said Michèle Striffler (EPP, FR), of the Development Committee. “Ensuring sustainable access to safe drinking water, as well as basic sanitation for all is, among other things, good conflict prevention policy."

“Citizens have shown a very clear proof that this instrument of participatory democracy works, that they would like to have a direct say and to communicate with EU institutions on how its agenda should be shaped” said European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič.

Πέμπτη, Αυγούστου 01, 2013

Minorities in Turkey tagged by ‘race codes,’ official document reveals

An official document penned by the Istanbul Provincial Education Directorate has surfaced, revealing that Turkey’s population administration system has been recording citizens who have Armenian, Jewish or Anatolian Greek (Rum) origins with secret “race codes.”

The Armenian-Turkish weekly newspaper Agos published as its headline story on Aug. 1 a report on an official document that openly states “citizens with Armenian origin are coded with ‘2.’” 

The implementation is reported to have been in place since 1923, the foundation year of the Turkish Republic.

A Turkish citizen’s mother whose origin is Armenian requested to register her child at an Armenian kindergarden, but the school responded by asking her to prove she had the “2 code” in order to check that she had not changed religion, according to the document. In Turkey, only minority communities’ members can register their children at minority schools, according to the education law.

The document, sent from the Istanbul Provincial Education Directorate to the Şişli District National Education office, stated that “since 1923, the secret code of Armenians is ‘2’ on identity registration certificates,” according to the Agos report.

“Since 1923, identity registration certificates have a secret ‘race code,’” the document added.

The family’s lawyer, İsmail Cem Halavurt, said the struggle to register children at the Armenian kindergarden was still continuing.

“We are now waiting for an official document saying, ‘Yes, your race code is 2, you can register at an Armenian school,’” Halavurt told the Agos.

Interior Ministry officials were not available for comment when approached by the Hürriyet Daily News, and referred reporters to the Directorate General for Population and Citizenship Affairs, which is a body working under their own ministry.

An official from the population administration told daily Radikal that the practice was being conducted “to allow minority groups use their rights stemming the Lausanne Treaty,” signed between Turkey and Western countries, which led to the establishment of the modern Turkish Republic.

As part of the practice, Greeks were coded 1, Armenians were coded 2, and Jews were coded 3. Other minorities or groups are not coded, the official told daily Radikal.

While there was no immediate official response to the report, opposition parties’ lawmakers harshly criticized the alleged document.

“If this is true, it is fatal. It must be examined. I will bring this onto Parliament’s agenda,” Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Altan Tan, a deputy of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), stated that there had long been such allegations, but they were always denied by the authorities. Tan urged Interior Minister Muammer Güler to make a statement on the issue.

“If there is such a thing going on, it is a big disaster. The state illegally profiling its own citizens based on ethnicity and religion, and doing this secretly, is a big catastrophe,”

Παρασκευή, Μαΐου 17, 2013

China offers 4-point proposal on furthering cooperation with Greece .... Greece will play a constructive role in helping address trade disputes between China and the EU

BEIJING, May 16 (Xinhua) --

 Chinese Premier Li Keqiang offered a four-point proposal on boosting the country's cooperation with Greece on Thursday.
The proposal was raised by Li during his talks with his visiting Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds talks with visiting Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Beijing, capital of China, May 16, 2013. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
  • Highlighting the robust growth of bilateral relations over the past 41 years, Li suggested that first, the two nations should work together more closely to formulate a packaged plan on expanding their pragmatic cooperation in many fields, promote balanced trade cooperation, strive to double the volume of bilateral trade by 2015, and deepen cooperation in their investment in infrastructure and new energy.
  • Second, strengthening cooperation in sea transportation and stepping up investment in and support for major cooperation projects.
  • Third, he called on Greece to further simplify visa procedures for Chinese citizens.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with visiting Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras during a welcoming ceremony held before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, May 16, 2013. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
  • Finally, the Chinese premier also suggested that the two nations boost their exchanges and cooperation in the humanitarian sector and adopt various means to cultivate people-to-people exchanges to help the people of the two countries increase their mutual understanding.
He said that China has all along regarded Greece as a reliable good friend and partner, calling for joint efforts to further push forward their comprehensive and strategic partnership.
In regards to China-European Union relations, Li said China highly values the role played by the EU, expressing his hope that when Greece assumes the rotating EU presidency, Greece will continue to play its unique role in helping China foster its cooperation with the EU.
China is greatly concerned about the EU's anti-dumping investigations into mobile telecommunications equipment and solar panels imported from China, and it hopes the Greek side could play a positive role in combatting trade protectionism and helping to maintain the overall development of China-EU trade cooperation, Li said.

Echoing Li's views on bilateral relations, Samaras expressed his admiration for the achievements China has scored in social and economic development, calling the country a true friend of Greece.
He said Greece is looking forward to deepening bilateral cooperation in fields such as trade, marine transportation, tourism and culture, and it welcomes Chinese companies to invest and establish businesses in Greece.

  • Greece will play a constructive role in helping address trade disputes between China and the EU, as well as further promoting the development of EU-China relations, Samaras pledged.h After the talks, the two prime ministers also witnessed the signings of bilateral cooperation agreements, including those regarding trade, investment sea transportation and agriculture.
At Li's invitation, Samaras arrived in Beijing Wednesday, kicking off his five-day official visit to China.

Τρίτη, Απριλίου 16, 2013

Ten years since the signature of the Treaty of Athens

Ten years ago, on April 16, 2003, the Treaty of Accession to the European Union of 10 European countries – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia – was signed in Athens. This historical event took place during the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union and is enshrined forever as one of the most important documents of the reunited Europe.Later, on May 1, 2004, all our countries became fully fledged members of the reunified European family comprising 25 member states at that time. It was the largest single expansion since the Paris Treaty of 1951, the forerunner of the EU, in terms of population, number of states and territory.
Moreover, it was the symbolic completion of the vital strategic goal of all the acceding member states to finally put an end to the post-World War II period by returning to the common space of freedom and stability, democracy and prosperity. The signature of the Treaty of Athens opened a new era for the acceding countries, for their citizens and ultimately for the whole of Europe.

Ten years after the signature, as members of the European Union, we all can state that it was the right decision. This was the overwhelming choice by the people. It was not only based on the perspective of future benefits of the common economic area, or the single market offering free movement of capital, goods and people; it was also founded on the understanding of inevitable internal structural reforms that had been carried out along the integration path toward the European Union.The 2004 EU enlargement would not have been feasible without the strong and sincere support of all EU member states. The prospects of EU membership acted as a catalyst and the main driving force for positive changes in the social climate, economic growth, better living standards, higher incomes, more jobs and more development. However, among the most important aspects of this change was the hope to share and enjoy those European values that our societies had missed for so long. Our citizens, the real players in establishing the foundation for societies, made it possible for all 10 new EU member states to have a successful journey. Today, they continue to serve as an example and motivation for those candidates who wish to join the EU in the future.As an inseparable part of the EU, we contribute to strengthening the European project, to keeping its values alive and to spreading them in our neighborhood in the East and the South. Moreover, all 10 members actively participate in the shaping of European policies, and seek to make the EU more competitive and technologically and innovatively more advanced. They contribute to making the Union better prepared for future challenges in the current globalized world as an active player in dynamic international affairs. Above all, the main task to be addressed is to ensure that the EU continues to be a reliable and safe place to live in. If necessary, all member states have to offer solidarity based on the genuine efforts of all of us to show the necessary responsibility for the benefit of the whole EU.Looking back at those events 10 years ago, one is struck how appropriately the Greek EU Presidency chose the venue for the solemn act of signature by heads of states, prime ministers and foreign ministers from all the member states. It took place in the Stoa of Attalos at the Ancient Agora of Athens, in the cradle of democracy that the Athenian philosophers developed in ancient Greece. Democracy still prevails as the best form of government, offering guarantees for free and open societies and nations.As such, the Treaty of Accession to the European Union in Athens of these 10 European countries remains a symbol of the heritage of democracy being extended from the very place where it was born.Hana Sevcikova, Ambassador of the Czech RepublicAndres Talvik, Ambassador of EstoniaJoseph Joseph, Ambassador of CyprusIvars Pundurs, Ambassador of LatviaAlfonsas Eidintas, Ambassador of LithuaniaEszter Sandorfi, Ambassador of HungaryWalter Balzan, Ambassador of MaltaMaciej Krych, Ambassador of PolandRobert Basej, Ambassador of SloveniaPeter Michalko, Ambassador of Slovakia

Σάββατο, Δεκεμβρίου 01, 2012

Heavy snowfall severs Russia: 40km jam clogs major freeway (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Hundreds of drivers were caught by surprise in a 40km traffic jam after an unexpected snowfall and heavy winds. They are waiting in long lines on the federal freeway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg, the country’s biggest cities.

­Russia’s European part endured heavy snowfall since Wednesday, culminating in massive precipitation on Friday. The situation was aggravated by strong winds and a thaw, which made the snow more difficult to clear.
The M-10 road, which is used by many tricksters delivering their cargo from St. Petersburg ports inland to Moscow, experienced problems over Thursday. By Friday, freighters and passenger cars choked up the route, forming a kilometers-long jam near Tver in central Russia.
Emergencies ministry dispatched some 175 rescuers and 100 snow-cleaning vehicles in response to the natural disaster. But by Saturday, when they managed to open one lane for traffic, the jam was 40km long, and it would take more time for it to disperse.
Authorities are also providing drivers with hot food, shelter, medical help and fuel.
The problems also spilled out into neighboring parts of the road network. Tver, a city of some 410,000 residents, banned all trucks from its streets, because they occupied the sides of the road and prevented clearing crews from doing their job.
The city declared an emergency and asked volunteers and the military to give a hand with manpower, which is needed to alleviate the traffic collapse.

A screenshot from youtube.com/Roman_Groznyi
A screenshot from youtube.com/Roman_Groznyi
A screenshot from youtube.com/Roman_Groznyi
A screenshot from youtube.com/Roman_Groznyi
A screenshot from youtube.com/Roman_Groznyi
A screenshot from youtube.com/Roman_Groznyi
A screenshot from youtube.com/Roman_Groznyi
A screenshot from youtube.com/Roman_Groznyi

Πέμπτη, Οκτωβρίου 18, 2012

Time for climate action, 'to build the world we like' | EurActiv

It is time to empower citizens to lower their carbon footprint, writes EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, who has launched a new educational campaign: A world you like. With a climate you like.
"With daily media reports about record CO2 emissions, record ice melts, record droughts, record rainfalls, record food prices, it is no wonder that people get frustrated and concerned about climate change.
When the Commission polled 27,000 Europeans last year, people across the continent responded that they were more worried about the climate challenge than they were before the big climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009. No surprise, in fact.
Of course most people realise that the climate problem wasn't kind enough to disappear, just because we got busy handling the economic crisis.........Time for climate action, 'to build the world we like' | EurActiv

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...