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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-01-31

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Justice is Fortified
  • [02] Turmoil in Church over Giosakis
  • [03] Target on Stamping Out Corruption
  • [04] Tractors Depart from Tempi
  • [05] "Explosive" Souvenir
  • [06] Offensive Stance over Defense Issues
  • [07] Bloody Operation in Kuwait
  • [08] Starting Off with a Loss in Handball
  • [09] Olympiacos Takes a Stance
  • [10] Aegean Airaft's Rough Landing
  • [11] New Evidence on Menidi Accident
  • [12] Decision Day for Farmers
  • [13] Metro Routes Stopped
  • [14] Rise in Taxi Cab and Truck Fares

  • [01] Karamanlis' Intervention on Corruption Incidents Justice is Fortified

    31 Jan 2005 17:12:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The Government declared that it is determined to put an end to corruption in public life. "Respect for the law is a necessary prerequisite for the operation of a well-governed Rule of Law," stressed Kostas Karamanlis referring to the corruption circles in Justice. Meanwhile, he called on all Greek judges to reject any corrupt colleagues. Earlier, Anastasis Papaligouras announced a series of strict measures for combating corruption in the area of Justice. Among other things, the Minister announced the conversion of the offence of judge bribing from a misdemeanor to a felony, the imposition of fines up to 1,000,000 euros and the fiscal auditing of justice officials.

    Karamanlis' Intervention

    Kostas Karamanlis described the latest revelations regarding the area of Justice as a blow to the institution that forms the foundation of Democracy. The PM invited the Greek judges, who in their overall majority honour with their ethos the integrity and scientific knowledge of the institution, to practice self-catharsis.

    "As part of the independent operation of Justice, the Greek judges ought to be the first to expel from their body their few corrupt colleagues," he mentioned, underlining that, "In order for the citizens to respect the law, the public officials ought inspire respect and trust."

    Transparency Measures

    Earlier, Anastasis Papligouras presented the measures for fortifying Justice, which will be promoted through Parliament in the next few days

    The Justice Minister announced:

    The conversion of the offence of judge bribing from a misdemeanor to a felony and the imposition of fines ranging from 100,000 to 1,000,000 euros. Furthermore, the act of offering a bribe to a justice official is also elevated to a felony The number of court inspectors will increase to include assistant inspectors and personnel from the Inspectors Secretariat The fiscal auditing of justice officials and the reinforcement of the relevant agency, as well as the fiscal auditing of previous tax returns The suspension of any judge who is under investigation for serious disciplinary offences The disciplinary control of any judge who delays to pass ruling for more than eight months, as well as taking from him the relevant briefs The introduction of the institution of an appellate judge to supervise interrogators, in Athens and Thessaloniki courts The re-inspection of all old serious disciplinary cases of judges that are on file and have indications of corruption The safeguarding of the draw for selecting judges in penal courts The non-replacement of any judge that has been selected as a member of a penal court The institution of stricter penalties for the offences of perjury and false charges being brought upon someone

    Apart from the above measures, a Committee, headed by the General Secretary of the Justice Ministry, has been formed, made up of high-ranked judges, which will study and propose effective measures for the management of big courts.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Turmoil in Church over Giosakis

    Target on Stamping Out Corruption

    [02] Giosakis Involved in Archbishop's Election? Turmoil in Church over Giosakis

    31 Jan 2005 18:46:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET

    The revelations concerning the activities of Iakovos Giosakis are taking new dimensions. The Archimandrite, who appeared before the Piraeus Examiner this morning, is alleged to also be involved in the elections for the Archbishop in 1998. According to the accusations by the Metropolitan Bishop of Thiva, Ieronymos, on Greek reporter Makis Traintafylopoulos show, Giosakis visited him on the eve of the elections and asked him to stand down from claiming the position of Archbishop. The Archdioceses reaction was immediate.

    They Blamed the Journalists

    Iakovos Giosakis appeared before the 7th Piraeus Examiner this morning, accompanied by two members of the clergy and two other people.

    The Archimandrite stayed in the Interrogators office for a few minutes and secured a 48-hour extension.

    Upon exiting, he appeared angry and did not wish to make any statements to the Press.

    Those accompanying him also appeared quite angry, while one of them threw a bottle of water to the TV crews.

    The Archdiocese's Response to Ieronymos

    In the meantime, the accusations by the Metropolitan Bishop of Thiva, Ieronymos, concerning Iiakovos Giosakis have caused turmoil in the Church.

    While appearing on Greek reporter Makis Traintafylopoulos show, the Metropolitan Bishop of Thiva said that Giosakis and another acting, high-ranked justice official visited him on the eve of the 98 elections and asked him to withdraw his candidacy for the position of the Archbishop.

    The Archdioceses reaction was immediate.

    In an announcement issued by its Press office, it was noted that Archbishop Christodoulos was not aware of such a visit by Iakovos Giosakis.

    It is also underlined that, contrary to the accusation by the Metropolitan Bishop of Thiva, they hold a written denunciation by Russian Holy Deacon Igor, which reveals that close ties existed between Metropolitan Bishop Ieronymos and Iakovos Giosakis.

    At the same time, the Metropolitan Bishop of Attica, under whose jurisdiction Iakovos Giosakis falls, called a Holy Synod in order to appoint a clergyman as an interrogator.

    His request will be considered during the Continuous Holy Synod, which will convene on Thursday.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] In all Aspects of Public Life Target on Stamping Out Corruption

    31 Jan 2005 08:36:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    The strict decision of the new government is the elimination of non-transparency and corruption phenomena in all aspects of public life, and especially in the Justice department. This is what PM Kostas Karamanlis stressed in his statements on Monday noon, shortly before the announcement of measures for the stamping out of corruption and the fortification of Justice by Minister A. Papaligouras. At the same time, witnesses continue to testify before the Supreme Court for the corruption in Justice, while the courts President is expected to decide today upon the dismissal of four justices.

    "Perjures Should Be Dismissed"

    On Monday morning, the PM announced from the Maximos Mansion that there are going to be strict measures for the smooth operation of justice under conditions of complete transparency.

    Mr Karamanlis, speaking about revelations and accusations which cast a heavy shadow over Justice, thus affecting an institution-corner stone of democracy and society, underlined that respecting the laws is an indispensable condition for the operation of a righteous rule of law. However, for citizens to respect the law, the people serving it should be able to inspire respect and trust, added the Prime Minister.

    Mr Karamanlis urged Greek judges, who, as he said, in their overwhelming majority honour their oath and the institution of Justice, to dismiss the few perjuring judges from their body in order to help the independent attribution of justice.

    Measures to Fight Corruption

    According to sources, the offence of judge bribing will be converted from a misdemeanor to a felony, while the number of inspectors will increase, and their responsibilities will be reinforced. Furthermore, a special crime unit that will be set up by the Supreme Court, which will conduct the judges fiscal auditing, while judges who delay on passing ruling will be removed from those cases.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Justice Ministry Tightens Reins

    [04] Situation to be Reassessed on 24 February Tractors Depart from Tempi

    31 Jan 2005 20:32:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    This afternoon, Larissa cotton growers decided to suspend their protests for a month, since 24 February is the deadline for the hearing of the objections, while it is also expected that the Rural Development Ministry will announce the official results of the audits at the same time. During their meeting, the cotton growers unanimously agreed on departing from Tempi, as well as all the other areas, by 11am tomorrow. Furthermore, the farmers coordinating committee will be touring the villages in the next days in order to brief the farmers on the situation, as well as the matter with the reassessment of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which is also a sore point with the farming population. In the meantime, farmers belonging to the Agricultural Workers Movement (PASY), a faction of KKE, joined in the protests today.

    Demanding Answers from Minister

    In an announcement issued by the cotton growers, regarding the suspension of their demonstrations, the farmers called on Mr Basiakos to provide answers with regard to the co-responsibility returns on the amount of unsold cotton, following the completion of the audits, as the Minister had committed to finding a solution. Furthermore, they asked him to provide answers on the reduction of production costs, the essential function of the Farmers Registry, the commitment regarding planning and implementing policies to counterbalance losses of income, the implementation of the new CAP as of 2006 and finally, the commitment regarding the completion of irrigation works in Thessaly.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Decision Day for Farmers

    [05] "Explosive" Souvenir

    31 Jan 2005 13:52:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    It was a cold night in Frankfurt, when three friends were discussing the trips they taken around the world. One of them remembered the carefree times he spent, ten years ago, in Bosnia and wished to show the others the souvenirs he purchased. He opened a drawer, and bragged about the three hand grenades he had bought at a bargain price from an open-air market. The discussion had fired up and the alcohol was going around plenty, when the two friends doubted that the grenades were real. The 36-year-old decided to prove them wrong. He opened the window, pulled the pin and threw one of the hand grenades in the street! The grenade exploded and caused panic to the by-standers but also the Polices quick intervention to the scene. The other two souvenirs were confiscated, while the 36-year-old was arrested and faces charges over illegal possession of explosives.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Offensive Stance over Defense Issues

    31 Jan 2005 14:59:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The PASOK Head of the Interior and Defense Department, Anna Diamantopoulou and alternate Coordinator, Andreas Loverdos, attacked the government in reference to defense issues. They accused the leadership of the Ministry of Defense as being "fully insufficient" and the handling of matters described as "a great danger and a source of constant insecurity for the country," while they spoke of a parastatal in the Armed Forces. Mrs Diamantopoulou criticized the foreign policy of the government, accusing it of lack of strategic direction and idleness when "at the same time Turkey is trying to persuade that whatever happens in the Aegean has nothing to do with its European future."

    "Problems Which Cause Concern in PASOK"

    Mr Diamantopoulou wondered what the defense dogma of the country is and spoke of an awry conception of the Armed Forces development and mentions issues, such as announcements of benefits for soldiers and retired staff, which are a source of concern in PASOK. She made special reference to issues concerning the defense industry, in which there is no specific frame of development, stating that soon a relative interpellation will take place in Parliament.

    Mrs Diamantopoulou stated that in the last eleven months a work contract has not been signed with the defense industry, and accused the government of announcing a large number of hires, when at the same time when 50% of the personnel is under-employed.

    In closing, she spoke an unprecedented attitude by the Ministry of Defense against the journalists and the Mass Media.

    On this issue, Andreas Loverdos added that is clear that "the restraint of journalists movements is connected to a free circulation of mediators in the Ministry, as Mr Zorbas stated in the Enquiry Committee for the weaponries."

    He also said the leadership of the Ministry has been "subdivided and that during the last period parastatal mechanisms are being used between them for their monitoring."

    In closing it was announced that PASOK, shortly, will publicize its first frame of future Defense policy, while in the coming month will visit all the units of defense industry.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Aiming at "Terrorist Hideout" Bloody Operation in Kuwait

    31 Jan 2005 10:24:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    At least five Islamist militants were killed and four were arrested on Monday, during a police operation at a "terrorist hideout" in the al-Qurain area, south Kuwait, according to a police announcement. Amer al-Enezi, identified by state TV as an Islamic militant leader linked to the al Qaeda, was among those captured. On Sunday, three suspected militants and one policeman were killed in a shoot-out in Kuwait City, where western embassies have warned of new attacks.

    Police Followed Tip

    Kuwaiti security forces launched the operation early on Monday morning to capture suspects participating in terrorist attacks at the southern part of the emirate.

    Police had surrounded a safe-house in the al-Qurain area, 25km south of Kuwait City, as they had a tip that suspected terrorists were hiding there.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Starting Off with a Loss in Handball

    31 Jan 2005 19:00:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    They might have wanted to repeat their first round performance in the mens World Handball Championship, however, the beginning of the main round was not as successful. The Greek team was defeated in the first match against Slovenia and now will have to keep its hopes of qualifying alive in the next two matches. Without being able to avoid some very decisive errors and without staying focused until the end, Ulf Schevferts players were constantly trailing in the score and did not manage to close the gap, irrespective of how much they wanted to. Some counterattacks resulted in reducing the difference at times, but they did not keep this up and as a consequence they lost by eight goals.

    The score per 10-minute intervals (Greece first): 4-7, 9-12, 13-17 (halftime), 19-25, 24-32, 29-37.

    GREECE (Schefvert): Kafatos, Chrysopoulos, Voglis 3, Vasilakis 1, Zaravinas 1, Samaras 5, Balomenos 3, Kokolodimitrakis, Grammatikos 2, Zivulovic 3, Chalkidis 3, Sanikis 2, Alvanos 6, Karypidis

    SLOVENIA (Ivezic): Skof, Podpecan, Kozlina 2, Backovic, Jovicic 7, Kozomara 2, Kavticnik 3, Ostir, Natek 3, Spiler 1, Brumen 6, Rutenka 8, Ficko 1, Zorman 4.

    The overall score so far: Russia 4, Tunisia 3, Greece 3, Czech Republic 2, Slovenia 2, France 1.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Olympiacos Takes a Stance

    31 Jan 2005 16:35:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    With the rumours regarding the Brazilian football aces intention to leave the team flying high, Olympiacos FC issued an announcement, stating that no such issue exists. Last night, Rivaldo, being unhappy with coach Dusan Bajevics decision to substitute him after halftime in the match against Aris, expressed the desire that he wanted to leave the club. Despite all this, the clubs officials spoke of false articles circulating in the Press, in an effort to calm the situation.

    The Announcement

    "With regard to articles that appeared toady in the Press and which spoke of a problem in the relations between our footballer Rivaldo and out teams coach Dusan Bajevic, Olympiacos FC wants to clarify that no such issue exists.

    Regarding Rivaldos absence from todays training session (having received permission from the technical staff), it was due solely to a family matter.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] On Route to Santorini Aegean Airaft's Rough Landing

    31 Jan 2005 17:16:00

    By Anna Kourti

    An Aegean Airline RG100 aircraft, with 23 passangers and four-member crew aboard, which was on route from Athens to Santorini encountered a problem. The Aegean Airline officials stated that during landing it came into abrupt contact with the tarmac, but finally landed without any of the passengers being harmed. A second aircraft arrived in Santorini and collected the passengers. It is noted that last Friday, another Aegean Airlines aircraft, during landing in the Rhodes Airport, dragged its wing on the tarmac, due to the strong gales on the island. The aircraft did not land and the pilot, for security reasons, returned to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. The incident is being investigated by the Committee of Accidents and Flight Safety Investigation (EDAAP), and the findings are expected to be made public.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] New Evidence on Menidi Accident

    31 Jan 2005 16:14:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The coroner in charge, after the post mortem, ruled out the event of the Ioannina KTEL bus drivers death was caused by pathological reasons. According to the report, the serious contusions on the head, spinal cord and thorax resulted to the mans death, and not pathological reasons. It is reminded that the man, who was driving the bus, crashed yesterday afternoon, in Thrakomakedones with another ten vehicles, and resulted to his death and of four other people. The coroner ruled out the event that the driver had a stroke while on the wheel, a point which was under investigation after witnesses testimonies. The possibility of mechanical damage is also being seriously taken into consideration. The results of the histological and blood tests will indicate if the man had heart problems. In the meantime, the bus wreckage is being investigated by Traffic Police specialists in order to see if there was a mechanical problem in the vehicle. According to sources the verdict will completed at a much later date.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Awaiting the Findings

    [12] Farmers Meet in View of Mobilizations Decision Day for Farmers

    31 Jan 2005 15:31:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The cotton producers have lined up their tractors along the National Highway, without closing-off the road, and have assembled in order to define their course of mobilizations. Larisa farmers will meet at 5 in the afternoon, while at this time the Macedonia producers are assembling. The Agricultural Workers Movement, a faction of KKE (PASY) will hold a demonstration from Evros to Crete. In Achaia the tractors have blockaded the roads. The Minister of Rural Development, Evangelos Basiakos, repeated that he cannot violate EU rules and dispense national funding, while the government spokesperson Thodoris Rousopoulos stated that "the government stands next to the farmers."

    Demonstrations and Symbolic Blockades

    Due to the bad weather, the meeting of farmers in Trikala, has been cancelled, while in the Karditsa Delta, producers held a demonstration while tomorrow they will determine their further stance.

    In Chania, PASY producers gathered in the Market Square. The people symbolically closed-off the road in front of the main square of Chania for 30 minutes, and after approving a vote with their demands, drove their tractors in the towns roads. A similar demonstration took place in Kerkira.

    In Evros, the farmers lined up their tractors at six parts of the Prefecture; at the customs houses of Ormenios, Kastania and Kipoi and at the sugar factory in Nea Orestiada, at Ermis Hotel in Didimoticho and Kornofolia. The farmers are not ruling out the event of road blockades.

    Until February 2, Serres farmers will remain at the blockade at Promachonas. In the meantime, two members of the Coordinating Committee resigned, since their proposal to not close off the road, was rejected.

    The farmers, who are gathered in the Chalkidona interchange, closed-off the road from 12:30 until 13:30, while the Imathia farmers closed-off the Alexandria interchange from 13:00 and is expected to last until 15:00.

    In the meantime, rice producers from Chalastra, Thessalonica, lined up their tractors in the Thessalonica-Athens National Road, at the Chalastra interchange, leaving a free lane per direction, hindering the traffic of vehicles.

    In closing, the Achaia farmers closed-off the roads at two parts, in the old and new Patra-Pirgos National Road, at the industrial zone outside Patra and the new Corinth-Patra National Road, at Aigio.

    "The Government Stands Next to the Farmers"

    Mr Rousopoulos during the briefing of journalists stated "the government stands next to the farmers and has proved it by the battles given in Brussels for the funding and with the dispensation of the delayed debts from the previous government."

    The governments spokesperson mentioned as main examples the following: from the 36 agricultural cotton unions, only four are protesting and 32 are satisfied, and that funding has increased from 0.07 to 0.08 eurocents, since for the first time re-audits occurred and ELGA compensations were increased by 34%.

    "We did not see the same interest from Mr Papandreou," hinted Mr Rousopoulos, giving as a prime example that the previous government did not succeed in the Brussels negotiations for cotton.

    In closing, as far as the wheat produce is concerned, the goverments spokesperson stated that the total dispensation of funds has increased by 15% of the previous year.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Farmers in Session

    [13] Metro Traffic Reinstated Metro Routes Stopped

    31 Jan 2005 15:20:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The Metro routes of Monastiraki-Doukisis Plakentias, were stopped for security reasons, from 13:50, since an unknown man entered the tunnel in Panepistimio Station and headed towards Syndagma. The incident occurred in the Panestimio Station, when a mugger, who was being chased by Metro Security men, jumped in the rails and started running towards Syndagma Station. Immediately, the people in charge of the Metro cut the power on Route 2 and following in Route 3, since underneath Syndagma is the point where the networks cross. The traffic on Route 2 was reinstated at 14:00, while on Route 3, from Monastiraki to the Airport, at 14:20.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [14] Meeting Between Alogoskoufis and Liapis Rise in Taxi Cab and Truck Fares

    31 Jan 2005 13:59:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET

    The Ministers of Economy, Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Transport, Michalis Liapis, decided on a rise of 8% in taxicab and trucks fare. As the Ministers stated, issues of common interest, mainly transport and the escalation of prices for trucks and taxicabs, were discussed. Mr Alogoskoufis stated that contacts concerning Olympic Airways are continuing. Earlier, the Minister of Transport proposed to the representatives of private trucks, during their meeting on Monday, rises in truck fares of 4% immediately, and 4% by June 2005. After the gratification of their demands, the truck organizations will not go through with their mobilizations, as announced, on Sunday. The owners will take definite decisions will be taken, in general assemblies within the week.

    Intensification of Inspections

    The Ministry of Transport is trying to put in an order to the 40,000 trucks that circulate in Greece.

    More specifically:

    Inspections in the National Highways are intensified, The truck drivers working hours will be adjusted according to European legislature, The ban of trucks in the National Highways, is extended, every Friday from 4 in the afternoon until 10 at night, Fares are increased by 8%, in two installments.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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