CAIT TO HOLD ​MEETING​ WITH MAJOR​ BRANDS​ ON E COMMERCE FIASCO

13102014

                 CAIT TO HOLD ​MEETING​ WITH MAJOR​ BRANDS​ ON E COMMERCE FIASCO
CRUCIAL MEET OF STATES TRADE LEADERS ON MONDAY AT NEW DELHI

Being deeply concerned over the much low prices​ of large number of commodities​ ​on ​online retail​ portals​ comparing the offline market, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has decided to convene a ​meeting​ with senior officials of different prominent​ brand​ companies of various segments whose products are being sold on both online and offline market.  ” This is a serious issue which is adversely affecting the offline market to a great extent and therefore we have decided to hold direct talks with all such companies​ on this complex issue​ to understand as to how the online retailers are able to sell at a much lower price of the products of same brands”-said Mr. Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) which is spearheading the movement on current fiasco over e commerce. The representatives of the Consumer Associations and Retail Experts ​will​ also be invited to the said ​meeting​.

​Gauging the seriousness of the issue which has shocked the offline market all over the Country,​​t​he CAIT has convened a meeting of its National Governing Council on Monday at New Delhi​ at NDMC Convention Centre​ to take stock of the current situation and to decide future course of action on this controversial issue. The meeting shall be attended by prominent trade leaders of different states.

CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia informed that companies of segments like Electronics, Mobile and Mobile Accessories, Apparels, Footwear, Travel Luggage, Cosmetics, Kitchen Appliances, Home Furnishings, Consumer durables, Watches, Spectacles, Computers, Toys, Sports Goods etc. are being invited for the ​meeting​ which includes LG, Samsung, Sony, Phillips, Reebok, Puma, Park Avenue, Apple,​ HP,Titan, Casio, Tommy, Guess,​ etc. About 50 companies have been invited.​ The meeting is likely to take place after Diwali at New Delhi.​  A White Paper will be prepared from the discussion of the Conference which shall be submitted to Union Commerce Minister and other Authorities.​ There is an estimated loss of business in various segments from 20% to 35% in various segments in last six months and if the present trend continues,it is apprehended that the offline market will suffer a loss of about 50% business by the end of Diwali festival.​

” Such a Conference is necessary since we apprehend that either there is underpricing or influx of material from grey market or some sort of funding to sustain losses holding of such meeting  is in the mutual interest of both retail market and companies as well since selling products at much lower prices is also affecting the brand image of the respective companies”-said both Mr. Bhartia and Mr. Khandelwal.

Both trade leaders said that the traders are in favour of fair competition but based on fundamental of equal level playing field-​added both leaders.





ISBL Dehradun 12th October

13102014

ISBL Dehradun 12th October
Mixed day for hosts in DehradunDehradun, October 12, 2014: Basketball Federation of India (BFI) in
collaboration with IMG Reliance recently launched its two leagues,
designed for college and school students – Indian School Basketball
League (ISBL) and Indian College Basketball League (ICBL).
The Challenger League in schools concluded its second day here at
Doon International School with hosts winning one and losing one. The
girls took the court in the first half of the day. In the first
fixture, girls of Doon International School overpowered St. Thomas’s
College 41-11. Antima scored 14 to ensure her team was the dominant
side in the match.
Second match was between DAV Public School and St. Mary’s School.
Ashima’s 11 points ensured DAV won the match 21-11. St. Joseph beat
Aryan School 29-20 in the third match of the day while the fourth
match was won by Jaswant Modern School against Shigally International
Academy. The scoreline read 32-21 in favour Jaswant Modern School.
Meanwhile in boys, The Doon’s School outclassed DAV Public School
26-10 in the opening match. The second fixture was a see saw contest
between St. George’s School and Kasiga School. A late surge from
Kasiga wasn’t enough to overcome early lead taken by St. George. At
21-20, St. George clinched the close contest.
The last match was between The Doon International School boys and
Pestle Weed School. The host side couldn’t take home advantage before
losing 15-33 to Pestle Weed.

Challenger League: Results:
ISBL
Girls: Doon International School (Antima 14) beat St. Thomas College
(Vaishali 7) 41-11; DAV Public School (Ashima 11) beat St. Mary’s
School (Vanshika 5) 21-16; St. Joseph’s School (Srishti 19) beat
Aryan’s School (Chhani 14) 29-20; Jaswant Modern School (Banita 10)
beat Shigally International Academy (Sangay 13) 32-21

Boys: Doon International School (Rohit 7) lost to Pestle Weed (Arjun
12)  ; The Doon’s School (Janvir 10) beat DAV Public School (Aahan 3)
26-10; St. George (Bisheshank 13) beat Kasiga School (Prakhar 10)
21-20

About the Basketball Federation of India

The Basketball Federation of India or BFI is the governing and
controlling body of basketball in India, and is responsible for the
development and promotion of the sport at all levels. BFI has been
involved in conducting camps, clinics, events, and training sessions
at its academies for the development of basketball. BFI came into
being in 1935 and took complete control over Indian basketball in
1950. Prior to that time, the Indian Olympic Association handled the
conduct of Indian basketball championships. Since 1950, the BFI has
been conducting various such championships, from the grassroots to
senior team participation in international tournaments. In addition,
the BFI has been responsible for the establishment of strong
sub-junior and junior level programs. The BFI has to its credit
produced several international players of repute, among them 17 have
been bestowed with the honor of Arjuna Award. More information
atwww.indiabasketball.org

About IMG Reliance

IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd., is an equal joint venture between Reliance
Industries Limited (RIL), India’s largest and most recognized private
sector company, and IMG Worldwide (IMG), the world’s leading sports
marketing and management company. The joint venture company will
develop market and manage sports and entertainment in India. Its
current assets include India’s premier fashion event, Lakmæcopy; Fashion
Week and South Asia’s only ATP World Tour event, the Aircel Chennai
Open. IMG Reliance has entered agreements with the Basketball
Federation of India (BFI) to create a new professional basketball
league and manage all aspects of the commercial rights to the game in
India and the All India Football Federation (AIFF), to improve,
popularize and promote the game of football throughout India, from the
grassroots to the professional level. IMG Reliance has also created a
scholarship program to identify and train talented young Indians from
sports including – basketball, soccer and tennis at IMG’s world-class
sports training facilities at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida.





31st Youth National Basketball Championship – Day Six:

13102014

Haryana_s_no._9__Lalit__in_blue___with_the_game_winner_in_the_final_minute_against_Rajasthan__in_maroon_

#10: 31st Youth National Basketball Championship – Day Six: Haryana wins a thriller to go through to semis

 

(Vishnu Ravi Shankar) Chandigarh: 12th October 2014: The knockout rounds began with some dramatic events on the morning of day six of the 31st Youth National Basketball Championship here in Chandigarh. The day started with three pre-quarterfinal matches taking place simultaneously at the 3 courts being used for the tournament. The Andhra Pradesh girls comfortably defeated Punjab 67-41 to advance to the quarterfinals where they will face a strong Tamil Nadu girls team. The Haryana girls also cruised to an easy victory against Delhi 60-36 to reach the quarterfinals. However, they were routed by the Kerala girls team 70-21 in a lopsided contest later in the day.

 

In an unfortunate incident today morning, the Chhattisgarh girls team coach, Mr. Rajesh Patel, suffered an epileptic fit in the third quarter of the quarterfinal match between Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. He was immediately rushed to the hospital and his current status is stable and out of danger. The match continued with the Chhattisgarh girls playing with heavy hearts and being led by the assistant coaching staff. This match was tightly contested all the way and went down to the wire. The Maharashtra girls finally edged past Chhattisgarh 66-64 to advance to the semi-finals. The Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh girls squared off in their quarterfinal matchup today afternoon and Karnataka came out on top despite a 35-point display by Sakshi Pandey. Lopamudra top scored for the Karnataka girls with 26 points. Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra have thus far made it to the semi-finals in the girls category.

 

The first pre-quarterfinal for the boys saw Chhattisgarh beat neighbours Madhya Pradesh 76-61. Chhattisgarh will now face a formidable opponent in Delhi later today evening in the quarterfinals. The other pre-quarterfinal for the boys was between Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. The largely one-sided contest, which had Tamil Nadu leading for most of the way, ended in an ugly brawl on the court. The official referee decision was to end the game as it stood, disqualify the Maharashtra team for initiating the disturbance and award the game to Tamil Nadu. Needless to state that Tamil Nadu, being up 20 points with 7 seconds left in the game, would have picked up the win either way. This may be a game that would be remembered for the wrong reasons, but it should be noted that Tamil Nadu have created a new tournament scoring record putting up 113 points.

 

The two quarterfinal matches for the boys, thus far, saw Kerala breaking no sweat in beating Uttar Pradesh 77-33 to progress to the semis. Haryana and Rajasthan faced each other in the other quarterfinal match whose outcome was decided in the final seconds. A game winner by Haryana’s Lalit with less than a minute to go separated the two teams and Haryana sneaked past Rajasthan 78-75 to book a seat in the semifinals.

 

A complete list of results of the knockout matches held on 12th October 2014 up to 6.30 p.m. is as follows:

 

Girls:

 

  1. Haryana (Surya 23) bt Delhi (Gurkiran 10) 60-36 (13-13, 15-6, 13-9, 19-8) [Pre-quarterfinals]
  2. Andhra Pradesh (M. Lakshmi 22) bt Punjab (Prabhjot Kaur 16) 67-41 (13-11, 11-5, 14-18, 29-7) [Pre-quarterfinals]
  3. Uttar Pradesh (Pooja 15) bt West Bengal (Saheli 13) 52-24 (13-7, 15-2, 7-7, 17-8)
  4. Maharashtra (Shruti 25) bt Chhattisgarh (Gulabsha 15) 66-64 (22-17, 17-17, 11-17, 16-13)
  5. Karnataka (Lopamudra 26) bt Madhya Pradesh (Sakshi Pandey 35) 80-61 (15-17, 25-16, 25-11, 15-17)
  6. Kerala (Nivya Raj 23) bt Haryana (Meena 8) 70-21 (13-5, 13-6, 24-8, 20-4)
  7. Rajasthan (Mahima 28) bt Goa (Rachel 11) 58-31 (4-11, 19-5, 23-6, 12-9)

 

Boys:

 

  1. Chhattisgarh (Mithun 26) bt Madhya Pradesh (Rishabh 26) 76-61 (17-12, 17-6, 17-18, 25-25) [Pre-quarterfinals]
  2. Karnataka (Guru Prasad 23) bt Andhra Pradesh (Durga 12) 50-42 (20-12, 19-19, 7-4, 4-7)
  3. Tamil Nadu (J. Adarsh Prem 24) bt Maharashtra (Mearaj 35) 113-93 (26-17, 28-25, 32-16, 27-35) [Pre-quarterfinals]
  4. Haryana (Sonu 29) bt Rajasthan (Abbas Ali 33) 78-75 (20-10, 20-24, 17-22, 21-19)
  5. Kerala (Sudarsan 16) bt Uttar Pradesh (Dheeraj 9) 77-33 (22-7, 24-7, 19-11, 12-8)

All Results from 12-10-14

Girls:

 

Level 1 to Level 2 match:

 

  1. Uttar Pradesh (Pooja 15) bt West Bengal (Saheli 13) 52-24 (13-7, 15-2, 7-7, 17-8)

 

Girls loser’s final:

 

  1. Rajasthan (Mahima 28) bt Goa (Rachel 11) 58-31 (4-11, 19-5, 23-6, 12-9)

 

Girls pre-quarterfinals:

 

  1. Haryana (Surya 23) bt Delhi (Gurkiran 10) 60-36 (13-13, 15-6, 13-9, 19-8)
  2. Andhra Pradesh (M. Lakshmi 22) bt Punjab (Prabhjot Kaur 16) 67-41 (13-11, 11-5, 14-18, 29-7)

 

Girls quarterfinals:

 

  1. Maharashtra (Shruti 25) bt Chhattisgarh (Gulabsha 15) 66-64 (22-17, 17-17, 11-17, 16-13)
  2. Karnataka (Lopamudra 26) bt Madhya Pradesh (Sakshi Pandey 35) 80-61 (15-17, 25-16, 25-11, 15-17)
  3. Kerala (Nivya Raj 23) bt Haryana (Meena 8) 70-21 (13-5, 13-6, 24-8, 20-4)
  4. Tamil Nadu (Mirudharan 12) bt Andhra Pradesh (Sharon Biju 18) 44-30 (19-7, 3-9, 14-8, 8-6)

 

Boys:

 

Level 1 to Level 2 match:

 

  1. Karnataka (Guru Prasad 23) bt Andhra Pradesh (Durga 12) 50-42 (20-12, 19-19, 7-4, 4-7)

 

Boys pre-quarterfinals:

 

  1. Chhattisgarh (Mithun 26) bt Madhya Pradesh (Rishabh 26) 76-61 (17-12, 17-6, 17-18, 25-25)
  2. Tamil Nadu (J. Adarsh Prem 24) bt Maharashtra (Mearaj 35) 113-93 (26-17, 28-25, 32-16, 27-35)

 

Boys quarterfinals:

 

  1. Haryana (Sonu 29) bt Rajasthan (Abbas Ali 33) 78-75 (20-10, 20-24, 17-22, 21-19)
  2. Kerala (Sudarsan 16) bt Uttar Pradesh (Dheeraj 9) 77-33 (22-7, 24-7, 19-11, 12-8)
  3. Tamil Nadu (R. Hariram 20) bt Punjab (Rahul Mehla 32) 84-78 (19-16, 27-20, 17-24, 21-18)
  4. Chhattisgarh (Pankaj Pandey 15) bt Delhi (Arjun Pandit 16) 65-62 (17-15, 14-12, 17-15, 17-20)

Fixtures

13-10-2014  (MONDAY)

Court – 1

 

No Team “A” Vs Team “B” Group Timing
 LOSER  KNOCKOUT  FINAL

 

113 MIZORAM Vs HIMACHAL PRADESH BOYS 08.30 AM
 CLASSIFICATION  9th & 10th PLACE

 

114 DELHI Vs PUNJAB GIRLS 10.00 AM
115 MADHYA PRADESH Vs MAHARASHTRA BOYS 11.30 AM
 SEMI – FINALS
116 KERALA Vs MAHARASHTRA GIRLS 02.00 PM
117 CHHATTISGARH Vs KERALA BOYS 03.30 PM
118 TAMIL NADU VS KARNATAKA GIRLS 05.00 PM
119 TAMIL NADU VS HARYANA BOYS 06.30 PM

 

 

Court – 2

 

No Team “A” Vs Team “B” Group Timing
FOR 5TH, 6TH, 7TH & 8TH CLASSIFICATION
120 DELHI Vs UTTAR PRADESH BOYS 07.00 AM
121 RAJASTHAN Vs PUNJAB BOYS 08.30 AM
7TH & 8TH PLACE
122 L/O GROUP (C X D) VS L/O GROUP (E X F) BOYS 03.00 PM
5TH & 6TH PLACE
123 W/O GROUP (C X D) Vs W/O GROUP (E X F) BOYS 04.30 PM

 

Court – 3

 

No Team “A” Vs Team “B” Group Timing
FOR 5TH, 6TH, 7TH & 8TH CLASSIFICATION
124 HARYANA Vs CHHATTISGARH GIRLS 07.00 AM
125 MADHYA PRADESH Vs AP GIRLS 08.30 AM
7TH & 8TH PLACE
126 L/O GROUP (C X D) VS L/O GROUP (E X F) GIRLS 03.00 PM
5TH & 6TH PLACE
127 W/O GROUP (C X D) Vs W/O GROUP (E X F) GIRLS 04.30 PM





Leung: Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters have zeo chance

13102014

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters have an almost zero chance of changing Beijing’s stance and securing free elections, the city’s embattled Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in a TV interview today.

He has insisted China will not change its mind on the format for elections in 2017, despite weeks of protests. He said, the protests had spun out of control and did not rule out the use of force to end them.

The pro-democracy protests have brought thousands on to the streets paralysing parts of Hong Kong.

China has agreed to direct elections in 2017, but wants control over which candidates can stand. The protesters remained today with hundreds camping in lines of tents set up in the street overnight.





Chinese premier arrives in Russia 

13102014

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Moscow Sunday afternoon for an official visit to Russia, with a series of deals ranging from energy to people-to-people exchanges expected to be signed.Premier Li Keqiang will hold talks with his counterpart Dmitry Medvedev with an eye to bolstering bilateral cooperation. As many as 50 agreements are expected to be signed. This is a reflection of the continuing development of the two countries’ relations.

The China-Russia relationship is at its all-time best, since the two neighbors established diplomatic ties 65 years ago.
For a second consecutive year, Chinese President Xi Jinping chose Russia as the destination for his first overseas trip of the year. In February, President Xi attended the opening ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympics in Sochi.
At the meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the two leaders would meet five times this year. In November, he will come to Beijing to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

During his current visit to Russia, Premier Li Keqiang will also hold talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Meetings between the two countries’ prime ministers have become a regular mechanism for diplomacy over the past 19 years.reports media agencies





The severe cyclone “Hudhud” hit the east coast 

12102014

The severe cyclone “Hudhud” hit the east coast of India with winds of almost 200 kmph, said officials media. The strong wind pulled down electricity poles, shut road and railway transport, and forced tens of thousands to take refuge in government camps in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.>Three persons were killed in rain-related mishaps in Andhra Pradesh, two of them by falling trees. “Two died after trees fell on them and one in collapse of compound wall,” Andhra Pradesh chief secretary I.V.R. Krishna Rao told the media.

Meawhile, two people were killed in Kendrapara and one in Puri in Orissa, said the state’s special relief commissioner P.K. Mohapatra.

East Coast Railway said 35 trains were canceled and 31 diverted, while the South Central Railway said it canceled five other trains.Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam city and neighbouring areas bore the brunt due to the very sever Cyclonic storm, Hud Hud, which is passing through the city. The affect of the cyclonic storm will remain over the city till this evening.

Three persons were killed due to cyclone related incidents in Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts. NDRF teams have rescued people, who were stranded in River Nagavali. The quantum of damage is yet to be assessed even preliminarily. Telecommunications and Electricity supply systems have reportedly suffered losses beside a huge number of trees falling down due to cyclone. The Radar, which gives all details of cyclonic path, time and speed remained non functional leaving the administration helpless. The quantum of damage is yet to be assessed even preliminarily. The port city was paralyzed for the past few hours with all communication systems failing and all kinds of transportation coming to a halt. The road, rail traffic and also private vehicular traffic are yet to resume.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is leading the relief activities and asked the entire state administration to join the activities that will be initiated on a war footing. Stating that despite several preventive measures, three persons died due to cyclone related incidents, he said huge losses incurred to properties. He assured people that all measures will be taken to bring back normalcy at the earliest and asked people to send information of losses through crowd sourcing technology so that the officials will act upon the information. He said the state government has requested ISRO to prepare mapping relating to cyclone distraction and a provision has been created to upload photos and videos relating to cyclone damages at the http://www.bhuvan.nrsc.gov.in . He appealed to people of Visakhapatnam to remain indoors till evening.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi enquired about the situation with the Chief Minister and assured all kinds of assistance. The Chief Minister also expressed that the state is for the first time getting all kinds of assistance. The Chief Minister will be visiting Visakhapatnam at the earliest to monitor the relief activities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Home Minister Rajnath Singh to have a close look on the cyclone Hudhud, so that the relief and rescue operations proceed smoothly. He also instructed the Home Ministry to maintain close contact with the Chief Ministers of the states and coordinate with officers who are involved in relief operations.

Centre has assured all possible assistance and cooperation to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to tackle the situation after the landfall of Hudhud cyclone. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had telephonic conversations with Chief Ministers of two states this morning and took STOCK of the situation. Home ministry has also started 24×7 control rooms for cyclone assistance. The helpline numbers for Delhi is 011-23093563, 011-23093566 and for the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh is 1948, and 1949.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth said that centre is in touch with the state governments and will provide all possible assistance. Speaking to media after the meeting of National Crisis Management Committee in New Delhi, he said that the next stage will be restoration of critical resources and then rehabilitation will be taken care of.

The National Crisis Management Committee, presidedover by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth is again meeting at 5.30 P.M in New Delhi to review the situation in the wake of Hudhud cyclone hitting eastern coast at Vishakapatnam this morning.

 Hudhud cyclone made its landfall north of Visakhapatnam earlier Sunday, bringing wild rains and wind.
 local authorities and residents are fighting to control the damages from the storm to the minimum.
 India Meteorological Department said even after landfall,” Hudhud” would maintain the intensity of very severe cyclonic storm for six hours and gradually weaken into a cyclonic storm.
The Indian navy and air force has kept warships and aircraft on standby in storm-hit areas, while relief teams have been sent to the spots to help people.
Nearly  400,000 have been evacuated to safe places by the government.





France’s Patrick Modiano wins literature Nobel 

11102014

France

Patrick Modiano of France, who has made a lifelong study of the Nazi occupation and its effect on his country, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday.

The Swedish Academy gave the 8 million kronor (USD 1.1 million) prize to Modiano “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”Modiano, 69, whose novel “Missing Person” won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1978 was born in a west Paris suburb two months after World War II ended in Europe in July 1945.His father was of Jewish Italian origins and met his Belgian actress mother during the occupation of Paris.

Jewishness, the Nazi occupation and loss of identity are recurrent themes in his novels, which include 1968’s “La Place de l’Etoile” later hailed in Germany as a key Post-Holocaust work. Modiano owes his first big break to a friend of his mother’s, French writer Raymond Queneau, who first introduced him to the Gallimard publishing house when he was in his early twenties.

He has published more than 40 works in French, some of which have been translated into English, including “Ring of Roads: A Novel,” ”Villa Triste,” ”A Trace of Malice,” and “Honeymoon.”

He has also written children’s books and film scripts and made the 1974 feature movie “Lacombe, Lucien” with director Louis Malle.

He was a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000.

Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy said time, memory and identity are recurring themes in Modiano’s works.

“His books speak to each other; they are echoes of each other,” Englund told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

“That makes his work in a way unique. You could say that he is sort of a Marcel Proust of our time.”

Modiano, who lives in Paris, rarely accords interviews.

In 2012, he won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. Last year’s prize went to Canadian writer Alice Munro for her mastery of the short story.





EU calls for greater international cooperation against IS

11102014

EU calls for greater international cooperation against IS

The European Union has called on for greater international cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State group after the jihadists seized the headquarters of Kurdish fighters defending the Syrian border town of Kobane.
We are deeply concerned by the security and humanitarian situation in Kobane and the rest of the Syrian Kurdish self-proclaimed autonomous region after three weeks of siege and fierce fighting,” said the statement from the office of EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton on Friday.

“The people of Kobane have demonstrated to the international community their resolve to use all means to protect their fundamental rights and values and to resist oppression.”

“The EU remains committed to play its role to the full in the fight against ISIL and in solidarity with all people suffering from ISIL actions,” the statement said, using an alternative name for IS.

It called for the EU, Turkey and other regional and international partners “to work together more, to isolate and contain the threat of ISIL.”

It raised concerns about recent deaths in Turkey, where Kurds have launched a wave of violent protests against the government’s refusal to cross the border and engage militarily with IS fighters.

“The EU is seized of the urgency of the situation and is working on the details of a significant further package of additional support,” the statement added.

UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura warned on Friday that some 12,000 civilians still in or near Kobane, including 700 mainly elderly people in the town centre, “will most likely be massacred” by IS militants if the town falls.

Kobane was “literally surrounded,” except for one narrow entry and exit point to the border, de Mistura said.





Greek governing coalition wins confidence vote

11102014

Greek governing coalition wins confidence vote

Greece’s coalition government on Saturday won a confidence vote it called for in a bid to build support among its backbenchers and ease fears of political instability ahead of a crucial presidential vote early next year.

All 155 lawmakers in the conservative-socialist coalition backed the motion, while 131 opposition lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament rejected it and two said they were voting neither way.

Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras sought confirmation of his economic reform policies halfway through his four-year term amid opposition calls for snap elections, insisting that the prospect of renewed political risk could spook international MARKETS as the bailed-out country tries to exit a punishing six-year recession.

“Early elections would be a disaster and would cancel all the effort that’s been made” to revive Greece’s finances, he said during the debate.

After the vote, Samaras insisted that the next parliamentary election would be held when the government’s mandate expires in 2016.

However, the coalition will still need opposition support so far unforthcoming to avoid a stalemate and snap election in February when parliament chooses the country’s new president, with any candidate requiring a minimum 180 votes to be elected.

During the three-day debate, even independent lawmakers strongly criticized Samaras’ government, and the leader of a small center-left party that took part in the coalition for nearly a year argued Friday that there was a “vital need” for the government to change.

The main opposition, the left-wing Syriza party, is leading opinion polls by promising to renegotiate the tough terms of Greece’s USD302 billion international bailouts, which have kept the country afloat since it lost MARKET confidence in 2010 and nearly went bankrupt.

In exchange for the emergency loans from its European partners and the International Monetary FUND, Greece imposed tough income cuts and repeatedly increased taxes, in an austerity drive that worsened a deep recession and led to about a million job losses.

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras insisted in parliament yesterday on the need for a sweeping solution to the country’s debt problems.

“We are asking for most of the debt to be written off,” he said, adding that repayment of the remaining part should be linked with the pace of Greece’s expected future economic growth.

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