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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-02-07

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Committee Formed for Church Scandals
  • [02] Greece in the Freezer Once Again
  • [03] U.S. Intervention in the Middle East
  • [04] Video Game Protagonist
  • [05] New President of the Hellenic Republic
  • [06] Development Plan for N. Greece
  • [07] Italian Journalist Released
  • [08] Collaboration Over Tourist Development
  • [09] Relaxation on Stage

  • [01] Testimonies by Theoklitos and Stefanos Committee Formed for Church Scandals

    07 Feb 2005 14:59:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The Continuous Holy Synod presided by Archbishop Christodoulos, which decided to continue its work until the end of the month after the bombardment of revelations, which concern the ecclesiastical area, took place in an electrified climate. During the meeting, the formation of a Committee was decided upon which will be compromised by Bishops of Xanthi Panteleimonas, Elassonas Vasileios and Samos Efsevios, which will investigate the charges against archpriests while accepting new charges by citizens and Mass Media representatives. It asks of the Bishop of Trifilias Stefanos written explanations about indecent pictures published today in the Press, while tomorrow the Bishop of Thessaliotidos Theoklitos, who is accused of drug trafficking, is expected to send written explanations tomorrow. The Continuous Holy Synod accepted Kefalinias Bishop Spiridonas demand, which asked from the Synod to investigate economic scandals in which he is said to have participated in by Press articles. In the meantime sources of the Archdiocese categorically deny any relation, connection or communication with a shady figure named Vavilis or Fokas.

    Political Leadership Asks for Catharsis

    Alternate government spokesperson Evangelos Andonaros making reference to the issue, during a journalists briefing, stated the the PM has "a good and frequent contact" with Archbishop Christodoulos, saying that "frequent contact is not necessarily on a weekly basis." Asked about how the government reacts to the developments in the Church Mr Andonaros noted that "these phenomena, as long as it is proven in all its parameters that are true, is only natural to cause sadness to all of us," and stated that the government supports catharsis in the Church and if a relative legislature should exist, it will happen. "Phenomena that afflict societys institutions have to be wiped out and with transparent procedures, so the Greek citizens surprisingly watching the news have a feeling of justice and to retrieve the trust in the institutions," underlined Mr Andonaros. He reminded that last week the Holy Synod came up with a series of proposals, which the government will answer, as far as they receive them. In a question related to Mr Pagalos and Archbishops comments the alternate government spokesperson stated that he does not wish to comment of Mr Pagalos "inventiveness" nor the Archbishops comments.

    In reference to the 12 measures announced by the Justice Minister, Mr Andonaros made clear that "Mr Papaligouras initiative concerns the Justice and does not interfere with the Church issue," while commenting on PASOKs reaction observed that "PASOK goes forth with claims that have to relation to the truth." In reference to statements made by Thessalonica Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis that the Archbishop should be supported, Mr Andonaros refused to comment, while in a question concerning the governments reaction in the practice of tapped phone calls Mr Andonaros stated that the issue will be investigated by the relative bodies. Answering to a question concerning SYN President Alekos Alavanos statements "concerning a national dialogue for the separation of the Church from the State," and noted, "the government is not interested in the issue." Earlier the honorary New Democracy President Konstantinos Mitsotakis, commenting on the developments in the Church and Justice stated that he is saddened by the events and expressed the hope that this is a phase that will pass.

    Making reference to the subject European Commissioner Stavros Dimas spoke of a sadness affecting all Greek people and wished for a total catharsis to take place. The European MP Andonis Samaras stated that the society is roaring and that the institutions need an in-depth catharsis, "When this procedure will work it will be merciful for all," added Mr Samaras. PASOK MP Petros Efthimiou spoke of a need of self-catharsis in the Church, which will foresee the redefining of its role and accused ND that it "attempted to embrace the Church and now realizes the problems."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Biting Cold Tomorrow Greece in the Freezer Once Again

    07 Feb 2005 20:17:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Problems caused by the wave of bad weather, which dressed the largest part of Greece in white, are gradually restored, although temperatures will remain low despite todays sunshine. Speaking on NET radio 105.8 meteorologist Dimitris Ziakopoulos stressed that temperatures will remain very low until the end of the week. In fact, the thermometer in northern Greece will even drop to 17oC tomorrow. At the same time, dozens of villages remain snowbound in Evros, Evritania, Ioannina, Ilia and Evia, while snow chains are necessary in many parts of the regional road network in Evia, Viotia, Evritania, Fthiotida, Magnisia, Ioannina, Thrace and Macedonia. In Lasithi, Crete, there is frost, while in Attica the road to Parnitha from the cable-car up remains closed. Drivers traveling to Dionysos, Stamata, Varnavas, Afidnes and Thrakomakedones should be extremely carefull. In Samothraki, which has been hit by the bad weather over the past days, roads are gradually opening and electric supply is restored. All schools in Souli, Didimoticho and Orestiada will remain closed tomorrow.

    Transportation Problems

    All ships bound for the Dodecanese have docked at the port of Piraeus, while only closed ships perform routes to the Argosaronic islands. In Evros, OSE only performed routes from Alexandroupoli to Diaka and vice versa, while flights and shipping routes between Alexandroupoli-Samothraki are performed as per normal. Many areas of Greece experience polar temperatures. In Florina the thermometer showed 18oC, in Kozani 8oC, in Serres 10oC, in Ioannina 7oC, in Kavala, Agrinio and Alexandroupoli 5oC, in Thessaloniki, Larisa and Lamia 4oC. As for Athens, temperature did not exceed 6oC. Low temperature will be tomorrow's feature as well, and it will drop even more as of the morning.

    Because of the bad weather conditions many schools remained closed. Throughout Evros, apart from Alexandroupoli and Traianoupoli, students remained in the warmth of their homes. Schools also closed in Lasithi, Crete, in Attica, Dionysos, Stamata, Varnava, Afidnes, Markopoulo Oropos, Thrakomakedones, as well as in Anoixi. All schools in Souli, Didimoticho and Orestiada will not open tomorrow.

    She Died of Cold

    In the meantime, a woman in Achaia suffered a heart attack because of the heavy cold and died, while a 60year-old man, Konstantinos Tsokanakis, is missing since Friday night from the village of Gemisti in Evros. What is more, in Vrussi village a woman needs to be hospitalized, but access to provide help is impossible.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Gradual Improvement of Weather

    [03] U.S. Intervention in the Middle East

    07 Feb 2005 18:27:00 (Last updated: 07 Feb 2005 22:00:33)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Tomorrow Abbas and Sharon will hold the first Summit Meeting under the aegis of Egyptian President Hosni Mumbarak at Charm al Sheich, in the Red Sea, during which they will focus on security measures for the stabilization of a de facto truce. In fact, as stated the Palestinian minister and head of negotiations Saeb Erekat, the two men will most likely announce the much wanted truce. In the meantime, US President George W. Bush invited Mahmoud Abbas and Ariel Sharon to the White House, as Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice stated. According to the Secretary, who held discussions with the two men concerning the peace process in the Middle East, they accepted the invitation and are expected to visit the White House in the spring. Furthermore, the USA stationed as special delegate, Lieutenant General William Ward, to help Palestinians in security issues, while they also promised to grant the Palestinian Authority with 40 million dollars.

    Abbas Seeks Peaceful Cohabitation

    The US Secretary of State is visiting the Middle East and Europe as part of an international tour, while today afternoon she arrived in Italy, where she is expected to meet her counterpart Gianfranco Fini tomorrow, as well as the Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi.

    In the meantime, the President of the Palestinian Authority in a joint Press conference with Rice in Ramallah stated that he supports the creation of a Palestinian state that will peacefully cohabit with Israel. "We will do everything for the application of a plan and we hope that the Israelis will do the same because this is the only way for a viable, independent Palestinian state that will peacefully cohabit with Israel," underlined Abbas while stating that he approves of the US intervention. He also expressed the hope that tomorrows meeting with Sharon will be positive in the developments.

    Mrs Rice stated that the role of the US in the relations between Israel and Palestine will be especially active. After the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian-Israeli-US relations have entered a different orbit, as the USA and Israel considered Arafat as an obstacle to the peace process. In fact, Rice called Abbas President, while the USA used to call Arafat chairman of the Palestinian Authority.

    Sharon's Historical Decision

    The Israeli Defense Minister Saul Mofaz, speaking on Israeli radio after his meeting with Mrs Rice, stressed that Israel is in favour of diplomatic pressure so that Iran will not acquire nuclear weapons, while he also noted that "for the moment efforts should focus on a diplomatic level." The way to act, the most acceptable way both for us and the Americans is to use to diplomacy and bring the matter before the UN Security Council so that sanctions can be imposed," noted Mofaz. As for Condoleeza Rice, she has underlined last week that the USA do not plan a military attack against Iran. Yesterday, the US Secretary of State met in Israel with Ariel Sharon. In fact, she said Sharon's decision to withdraw colonists from Gaza is historical, but she also reminded him that he must stick to the "road map."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Auditions Have Started Video Game Protagonist

    07 Feb 2005 15:41:00

    By Viki Keleri

    Sources: BBC

    Did you always want to become an actor but the chance was not given to you? Maybe the time has come to make your dream a reality. Technology, which will open wide the door to a new career, is a helper in this attempt. A reason for this was new generation video games in which digital actors are necessary. In order for the protagonists to be convincing and to attract the users, the manufacturing companies decided to create them using faces of real people as prototypes. With this rationale video games manufacturing company Bioware has already started an audition to find people to depict the games heroes. Whoever will be selected will be paid with the salary of a professional actor.

    3D Life Replicas

    The only requirement to enter the audition is to be 18 years old.

    As the companys producer Shauna Perry stated, Bioware is not searching for models for the characters but common people that will suit the roles profiles.

    In order for 3D replicas to be created the companys specialists will take hundreds of pictures of the people that they will chose.

    "The digital model will be exactly the same with the prototype," notes Perry.

    However from the moment that someone will be selected to give the image of their face as a mold for the creation of a digital actor, they do not have any power over it. The decision on how the electronic clone will be used and what role it will be given depend strictly on the manufacturing company.

    From her side Perry assures that care will be taken that in every video game the characters in use will acquire different roles.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] New President of the Hellenic Republic

    07 Feb 2005 19:01:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Tomorrow will be a historic day, as the ten-year cycle of Kostis Stefanopoulos' successful term in office will come to an end. His successor as President of the Hellenic Republic will be Karolos Papoulias, who will be elected by the Parliament with an open vote early on Tuesday night. The choice of Mr Papoulias' candidacy by PM Kostas Karamanlis is in accordance with PASOK. The 282 Parliamentarians of the two major political parties are expected to vote in favour. Although KKE and Synaspismos have not proposed a candidate, their Parliamentarians are also excepted to cast a positive vote. According to regulations, the Parliament presidium will visit Mr Papoulias at his home after the end of the open electoral process and officially announce the results. The new President will assume his duties on 12 March.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Network of Macedonia's three regions Development Plan for N. Greece

    07 Feb 2005 13:58:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    The development plan for northern Greece for the next decade was discussed by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and the Minister for Macedonia and Thrace, Nikos Tsiartsionis on Monday at Maximos Mansion. Regarding the new role to be played by the ministry in the region of the south eastern Balkans as well as in Macedonia and Thrace itself, Mr Tsiartsionis underlined that it is definitive and aims to coordinate activity in order for there to be development in the region. Moreover, the minister stressed that a strategic plan is currently underway for the next decade regarding development in northern Greece and at the same time a close observation of the plans for the 4th Community Support Framework.

    Development and Competitiveness

    Furthermore, the Minister for Macedonia and Thrace stated that a network of the three areas of western, central and eastern Macedonia is being created, in order to respond to the large size and create conditions of development and competitiveness against the regions of neighbouring countries which are also taking their own steps.

    Mr Tsiartsionis underlined that in 2007 Bulgaria will also be a member of the EU, which is why preparation is underway, while he noted that with the right management, the ministry will respond to economic needs, although he underlined that there are no problems with funding for his ministry.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Italian Journalist Released

    07 Feb 2005 21:42:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Islamic Jihad announced on the Internet that they will release Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian journalist who was abducted on Friday while covering a story on the streets of Baghdad. The group announced that the journalist will be released in the following days, as it is evident that she was not a spy for the "unfaithful of Iraq." Earlier today, the Italian President of the Republic spoke on the phone with Sgrena's father and expressed his support to the family.

    Relief in Italy

    The journalist of left newspaper "Il Manifesto" was kidnapped on Friday by unknown men at gunpoint, while she was interviewing people in Baghdad. Unknown men asked her to step out of her car and follow them. A few hours later Islamic group Jihad assumed responsibility for the kidnapping. Earlier on Monday, Jihad had sent a message that they will not release Sgrena if Italian troops will not withdraw from Iraq.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Between the Ministry of Tourism, ENAE and KEDKE Collaboration Over Tourist Development

    07 Feb 2005 18:50:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The tourist development of Greece remained at the focus of today's meeting between the Tourism Ministry leadership, the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) and the Single Prefecture Government of Greece (ENAE). Mr Avramopoulos asked for the coordination of all Local Government bodies so there can be a single advertising and promotion campaign in order to maximize tourist revenues. Today's meeting was the first held as part of the newly established special Committee, which consists of the ministry's leadership, the Greek National Tourism Organisation's leadership, and ENAE and KEDKE representatives.

    Significant Role of ENAE and KEDKE

    Mr Avramopoulos stressed the need of tourism for the balanced development of regional Greece and underlined that a "presupposition for the successful application of the new tourism strategy on a national level is a joint effort by the central leadership and the local governments." As he also said, "in the past there was neither structured nor coordinated policy over tourism, improvisation and off-handedness were dominating."

    At the same time, he invited all prefects to assume their share of responsibilities and contribute to the "tidying-up" of the country (in areas like cleanness, aesthetics, environment etc.), so as to proceed with the ministry's strategy for a "qualitative revolution" in tourism. He also asked them to promote the advantages of their areas and promised to help them.

    Deputy Minister Anastasios Liaskos stressed that "the new administration of the Tourism Ministry links the tourist policy from regional Greece to the Prefecture and the Municipality so that we can have an effective and single tourist policy, which translates into a single identity for our tourist product." The deputy minister underlined that partial programmes for the promotion of the Greek tourist product need to be integrated into a single policy so as to maximize their effectiveness. He also urged prefects to put emphasis on the promotion of special forms of tourism, so as to enrich the Greek tourist product, while he also promised to help them via the National Tourism Organisation.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] With Massage and Aromatherapy Relaxation on Stage

    07 Feb 2005 13:35:00

    By Viki Keleri

    A theatre group from Chile found a bizarre way to reach its audience. In order to not frustrate the audience with deep messages and difficult allegories they chose to do something simpler, to put them to sleep. Specifically the plays actors choose 40 people from the audience to share a large bed with them, which is the only prop on stage. The pampering does not stop here. The 40 lucky people close their eyes and relax while the actors massage them with scented oils. According to the artists the aim of this special procedure is for unknown emotional sensations to arise. From its side the audience responds enthusiastically to this particular proposal.

    Beneficial Results

    In their majority the viewers exit the theater pleased and rejuvenated.

    Many stated that they felt that they were living moments from their childhood while others claim that they felt healed from their childhood traumas.

    We have nothing else to say but that we hope that the theatre group will visit Greece in order for us to experience the beneficial results.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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