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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-02-17

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] River Hazard in Evros
  • [02] Attica Bishop Launches Threats
  • [03] Vavilis Ready to Turn Himself In?
  • [04] Papandreou Criticises Economic Policy
  • [05] Avramopoulos in Hollywood
  • [06] Karamanlis Continues Meetings
  • [07] 30kg Plutonium Missing
  • [08] Russia Supports Cyprus
  • [09] Negroponte in Key Position
  • [10] USA Toughen Stance
  • [11] Ecofin's Proposals
  • [12] Sport at Maximos
  • [13] First for Karageorgiou
  • [14] Malesani: Panathinaikos Can Maintain the Title
  • [15] Bill on ESY and Public Health
  • [16] Provocative Visit in Occupied Territory

  • [01] State mechanism at the ready River Hazard in Evros

    17 Feb 2005 21:17:00 (Last updated: 17 Feb 2005 23:23:07)

    By Anna Kourti

    A state of emergency has been declared in Evros, as on Thursday afternoon, the water level in the river reached 6 metres 15cm, with the danger level at 5.70 metres. With his Bulgarian counterpart, Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis discussed controls in Bulgaria of volumes of water channeled from the River Arda into Evros. Teams in the prefecture proceeded to break up dykes in Lavara, Amorio and Pithio, as a controlled flood was conducted over an area covering 15,000 acres. Pumping equipment is at the scene, with loading machines and a consignment of 10,000 sacks to build up the dykes. The General Secretary of Civil Protection Panagiotis Fourlas is on his way to Evros, and he has called on those who work in areas close to the riverbanks to evacuate their machinery and animals.

    Measures to be Taken

    Emergency measures are to be taken to deal with the situation with the River Evros, after the meeting held on Thursday afternoon in Orestiada between the General Secretary of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace Michalis Angelopoulos, the Nomarchs of Evros and Andrianoupoli Nikos Zambounidis and Nusret Miroglu, mayors from river areas and delegates from services.

    In order for the Turkish side to have a full picture of the volume of water in the Evros area, which is likely to reach Andrianopoli in the next few hours, checks were made in the areas of the Kyprinos and Kastanies dykes.

    The following was decided in the meeting:

    By the Turkish side: to create an area of artificial barrier for the water on the Turkish side at the points of the villages Pithio, Petrades, Psathades, Mandra and Kornofolia.

    By the Greek side: to create a second artificial barrier for the water following that already made in the early hours in the Pithio area at about 07:30, this time at the villages of Lavara and Amorio, whose residents were warned in time by the Mayor of Orfeas Mr Vangelis Poulilios.

    The General Secretary of the Region Michalis Angelopoulos stated that "the safety of residents is paramount and the whole plan guarantees this."

    "The situation is exceedingly critical, and as the hours go by, the probability of a large flood gets stronger," stressed the Nomarch, Nikos Zambounidis.

    In the north of the Prefecture, 20,000 acres of agricultural land and grazing areas were flooded, while damage was caused to the road network.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Overflowing Rivers in Evros

    [02] One Day Before the Hierarchy's Assembly Attica Bishop Launches Threats

    17 Feb 2005 17:21:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Changes in the Church are radical one day before the critical assembly of the Hierarchy. The Metropolitan Bishop of Attica, who appeared earlier today before a three-member committee, did not accept to submit his resignation, which was allegedly asked of him to facilitate the entire situation, and counterattacked, threatening to proceed with accusations involving other Hierarchs if he is removed from office. At the same time, one more Metropolitan Bishop is under the Synods microscope, but his name and the charges against remain sealed for the time being. Earlier, a message, which appeared yesterday on the official website of the Church of Greece, has caused harsh reactions. Evangelos Antonaros stressed that he does not "feel a member of any circus," while Giorgos Papandreou said that the message, which referred to a "political-journalistic circus guided by unknown circles and turning against justices and politicians," questions the process of clean up in the Church.

    Distance from the Archdiocese

    The Archdiocese clarified that the particular message does not reflect its views and was posted without its approval. "Neither the Holy Synod, nor the Athens Holy Archdiocese were aware of the existence of the message, which appeared yesterday in the newsletter Pronaos and was posted on the Churchs website. Its content does not reflect its views, or have its approval," stressed the head of the Archbishoprics press office, Charis Konidaris. The journalistic group of the Church's website chose the particular message and posted it on the page under the section News, from where it was permanently retracted a few hours later.

    Panteleimon Won't Resign and Launches Threats

    At the same time, preparations for tomorrow's emergency assembly of the Hierarchy are feverish. The Metropolitan Bishop of Attica, Panteleimon, for whom the Holy Synod has proceeded with harsh penalties, appeared today before the three-member committee and pleaded with them to let him serve, even in some remote areas.

    In fact, according to NET radio 105.8 information, he threatened to proceed with revelations involving other Hierarchs, if he is dismissed. As he claimed, he has evidence from the time he served as a secretary and minute taker of the Holy Synod in the 70s.

    At the same time, he sent a letter to all the Metropolitan Bishops, in which he spoke of a war stirred by centers familiar to all which operate at the St Efraim Monastery and are masterminded by Metropolitan Bishop Nikodimos Gatziroulis. Investigation on Koulousousa Freezes

    What is more, it appears that the Holy Synod will not go ahead with investigating the case of Serafeim Koulousousas, who resigned from the Archbishop's private office, as according to his own statements he is not a clergyman any longer.

    Speaking in Eleftherotipia, Koulousousas stressed that his decision not to remain in the Church was intentional and legal. The former Archimandrite refuted the alleged suicide (publicized in Avriani ), an issue for which they had asked Metropolitan Bishop Theoklitos of Thessaliotida to provide explanations.

    He also revealed that his immediate plans include going into the army, getting a job and having a family.

    New Supportive Statements by Mitsotakis

    In the meantime, Konstantinos Mitsotakis made new statements today in favour of Archbishop Christodoulos. ND Honorary President expressed the hope that the Hierarchy will support the measures proposed by Christodoulos and referring to the issue of separation between the State and the Church, he underlined that no such step can be taken for the time being. "Such a thing is a distanced target," he added.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Trailing the ghost-man Vavilis Ready to Turn Himself In?

    17 Feb 2005 21:40:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Apostolos Vavilis intends to turn himself in to the police, according to journalist information. Speaking on NETs programme, "The Colours of the Spectrum", the Minister of Public Order, Mr Voulgarakis, expressed the certainty that Vavilis would be arrested and guaranteed his safety if he should decide to hand himself in. At the same time, information is coming in stating that Vavilis is alleged to have sent a letter to the High Court Public Prosecutor asking for guarantees of a fair trial.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] During a Press Conference Papandreou Criticises Economic Policy

    17 Feb 2005 16:05:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    The president of PASOK launched a harsh attack on the government during a Press conference. Mr Papandreou stressed that the inventory taken by Messrs Alogoskoufis and Karamanlis as well as their management of fiscal matters have had disastrous consequences on the Greek economy, and that problems are continually intensifying. He said that the Greek economy is now under observation and that causes additional problems for low-income strata and pensioners.

    PASOK Aims to Create an Open Party

    Besides this, Mr Papandreou claimed that PASOK would soon return to power and raised the question of whether the government can get through their four-year term. He stressed that a reshuffle is not going to solve the essential problems of the Greek citizen, stating that if it is to happen, it will be to make an impression and to avoid further pressure from parties stating that the Prime Minister and the government should do something.

    At the same time, he noted that PASOK exercises responsible, serious and substantiated Opposition, and that the party is now bouncing back after its defeat in the elections.

    "On the occasion of the convention, PASOK is becoming reconnected with society and ordinary people. Our aim is an open party, with a new face. PASOKs new leaders will come from new, collective evaluation processes. Our aim in the next elections is to bring hope back to Greece," underlined Mr Papandreou.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Collaboration with the cinema Avramopoulos in Hollywood

    17 Feb 2005 20:51:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    With a complete plan to attract American producers in his luggage, Dimitris Avramopoulos is to visit Hollywood, the heart of the American film industry, in the first few days of March. The aim of the visit is to develop tourism through movies, which will be filmed in Greece and then take images of Greece all over the world. This is a recipe for success, if one takes into consideration the incredible increase in foreign tourists visiting Cephallonia, after the making of the film "Captain Corellis Mandolin".

    Film At the Services of Tourism

    The leaders of the Ministry of Tourism wish to open up to the international market.

    This means that after Dimitris Avramopoulos trip to the United Arab Emirates, where the first Greek agencies will open, he will also visit New York and Los Angeles, aiming to reinforce Greek tourism. In Los Angeles, more specifically in Hollywood, the possibilities offered by Greece to film production will be presented to large cinema companies.

    Presenting Greece through film is taken for granted and promises an increase in tourists choosing Greece as a destination.

    Strategic Moves

    These trips are among the strategic moves made by the Ministry to reinforce tourism.

    The Minister is optimistic about increases in Greek tourism, and as he says, for the first time this year, the advertising campaign for 2005 started in plenty of time last December and will finish at the end of May.

    At the same time, he announced that the much-desired creation of offices for convention tourism will soon become a reality, while especial weight is put on developing special kinds of tourism.

    Within the next few days, the Bill on health tourism will be ready and will be submitted to Parliament, while by the end of the month, the new eco-tourism organization will also be ready.

    Furthermore, the Hellenic Tourism Board is also creating a marketing director position.

    At the same time, at the offices of the Union of Foreign Press Correspondents, a library will be created with a centre for foreign language tourist and cultural reports, which will be funded with 43,000 euros from the Ministry.

    The new legislation regarding travel agencies is also in its final stages.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] With his parliamentarians Karamanlis Continues Meetings

    17 Feb 2005 17:33:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The Prime Minister is continuing his meetings with MPs in his party. Today, a further seven MPs crossed the threshold of Maximos Mansion in order to discuss the problems of their constituencies with Mr Karamanlis, while reference was made to current affairs. Mr Kostas Gioulekas, MP for Thessalonki A, told the PM of the problems faced by the Thessaloniki area, while he also referred to the ecclesiastic crisis, expressing the belief that autocatharsis would operate in the Church. MP for Evros Stavros Keletsis briefed Mr Karamanlis on the floods afflicting his Prefecture and the damage that has been caused, while he also noted that public administration and bureaucracy hinder development, on which point the Prime Minister also agreed.

    Focus on Church Crisis

    Following this, besides briefing the PM on the problems faced by his prefecture, the MP for Trikala Nikos Legas also discussed the progress of the 3rd CAP.

    On the other hand, the MP for Magnisia, Zeta Makri stressed that the old Constitution said that the ultimate leader should protect the dominant religion, and now that it is no longer in force (the old Constitution) the Church should perform autocatharsis.

    The MP for Halkidiki Vasilis Pappas briefed the Prime Minister on the problems of unemployment as well as the matter of Halkidiki mines. Finally, commenting on reports on the archbishops webpage, the MP for Kavala Giorgos Kalantzis stressed that if it were referring to politics, the curtain would be certain to fall tomorrow.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Experts are Concerned 30kg Plutonium Missing

    17 Feb 2005 13:36:00

    Sources: ANA

    As per an article on Thursdays The Times, approximately 30kg of plutonium, a quantity sufficient to manufacture seven to eight nuclear bombs, has disappeared from Britains major nuclear site. The British government is claiming that it could be an auditing problem, while they added that are no indications that the material has actually disappeared. The plutonium, which is highly radioactive and toxic, is missing from the Sellafield plant in NW Britain, where it was being kept. Many of the experts quoted in the article have expressed their concerns. The government is expected to proceed with an official announcement regarding the validity of the article by the end of the day.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:

    The Times

    [08] Ready to contribute to a solution Russia Supports Cyprus

    17 Feb 2005 22:11:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Receiving the credentials of the new Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus in Moscow, Leonidas Pantelidis, Vladimir Putin underlined Russias willingness to contribute actively to a solution to the Cyprus problem. "We are ready now and in the future, to contribute actively to achieving a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on United Nations Security Council resolutions," stressed the President of Russia, underlining that there are long-term traditions of friendship with the Republic of Cyprus. Answering a relevant question earlier today, the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, Mr Koumoutsakos, stated that there can be no estimations as to when a new initiative on the Cyprus problem will start. He added that for such a possibility, the conditions and framework of the discussions will have to have been established.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] US Chief of Intelligence Services Negroponte in Key Position

    17 Feb 2005 19:43:00

    By Viki Keleri

    As announced by American President George Bush, John Negroponte has been appointed to the position of Chief of National Intelligence Services. This is a new position, created as part of the reforms in American intelligence services. "Johns appointment comes at a historic moment for our countrys intelligence services. In the war against terrorists who target innocent civilians and are still trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction, the intelligence services are the first line in our defence," declared Bush.

    His Duties

    The American President stressed that Negroponte will "lead a united community," while the director of the CIA will also report to him.

    He will oversee 15 American information-gathering services and will brief George Bush on a daily basis.

    Negroponte has been US Ambassador to Iraq for less than a year. His appointment now has to be ratified by the Senate.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [10] On Syria USA Toughen Stance

    17 Feb 2005 12:24:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The USA ask for signs of change in Damascus policy, one day after Irans announcement to "help Syria on all grounds to confront threats." "Syria and Iran have to respect their commitments (towards the international community)" stressed the White House, while the date of US ambassadress Margaret Scobeys return to Damascus remains unknown. Mrs Scobey returned to Washington for "emergency consultations." It should be noted that before her departure, she had talks with the Syrian Foreign Minister, to whom she expressed "the USAs indignation" at the murder of Hariri. The US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, referred to the matter accusing Syria of harmful policy in the Middle East. In the meantime, Jordanian Foreign Minister Hani Al-Mulqi will travel to Damascus on Thursday to help scale back the tension between Syria and the USA.

    Tension After Hariri's Assassination

    At the same time, Washington is looking into the possibility of imposing sanctions on Syria for refusing to withdraw its 14,000 soldiers from the Lebanon. As for Syria, it claims the accusations against it regarding the murder of former Lebanese PM Hariri are absurd, while a top Syrian Minister said: "Accusing Damascus of a terrorist attack aiming to destabilize both Syria and Lebanon, is like accusing the USA of the 11 September terrorist attack."

    During his stay in Damascus, the Jordanian Foreign Minister will invite the Syrian leadership to "positively cope" with the UN Security Council decision, which provides for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. At the same time, he expressed his concern for the return of the American ambassadress to the USA, describing the relations of the USA with the Middle East as "very important."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Extension given to reduce the deficit Ecofin's Proposals

    17 Feb 2005 17:01:00

    By Viki Keleri

    Adopting a relevant proposal from the Commission, the Council of Economy Ministers and Currency Affairs of the European Union today decided to give Greece until the end of 2006 to reduce the fiscal deficit. The deficit should be reduced to below 3% of the GDP, as stated in the Stability Pact. Furthermore, Greece should postpone the approved stability programme in which it presents the economic measures to be implemented in the short and medium term until 31 March 2005. At the same time, Ecofin hailed the Greek governments pledge to continue efforts towards fiscal stabilizing.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [12] Sport at Maximos

    17 Feb 2005 20:01:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA

    Violence in stadiums, economic clean up in FCs and the post-Olympic progress of Greek sport in general were the main topics of Prime Minister Mr Karamanlis meeting with the deputy Minister for Sport Giorgos Orfanos at Maximos Mansion. The Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction with action being taken to combat violence as well as to clean up professional football, while his message was "the law will be strictly applied."

    Funding for Federations

    As was also stressed, another basic aim regards the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

    In the meeting, another matter under discussion was the infrastructure gained by Greece through hosting the Olympic Games, as well as school sports, in which the State takes especial interest.

    In the meantime, Mr Orfanos signed decisions with which all sports Federations will receive a preliminary sum as part of funding for 2005. The total of these initial grants is 10,285,000 euros.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [13] First for Karageorgiou

    17 Feb 2005 18:47:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Nikos Karageorgiou, who succeeded Austrian coach Rolf Fringer met PAOKs players for the first time today. Mr Karageorgiou, who in the past played for PAOK with an especially great career, has had just as successful a path as a coach, changing Xanthis face in the First Division, turning the regional team into one of the big players. Arriving at the training grounds, the experienced coach did not hide his joy at returning to his old team, at the same time asking to be given both time and support by the teams fans for the difficult task he is undertaking.

    Press Conference Tomorrow

    "I feel pleased to be in the place where I once served as a player. I want to believe that I will go through happy moments here again," were the first words of the new coach of the northern team.

    He went on to say: "It is not good for footballers to hear instructions from three different coaches in just one year. We all have to work for PAOK to do better. I want the teams fans to give me time. I want to turn the smoke into a flame overflowing with optimism and for smiles to return to PAOK."

    Tomorrow (Friday) at 13:00, PAOK FC will officially present Nikos Karageorgiou in a Press conference in the Press Room at Toumba Stadium.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [14] Malesani: Panathinaikos Can Maintain the Title

    17 Feb 2005 14:40:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    During his official presentation by Panathinaikos, the new coach, Italian Alberto Malesani, asked Totis Fylakouris (Pananthinaikos coach until yesterday) to become his associate if he wishes so. Mr Malesani expressed his content for coming to Greece and underlined that his new team most known in his country than any other Greek team- can maintain their title this year. At the same time, the Italian coach did not hide his admiration for Panathinaikos' strength in yesterday's match against Sevilla for the UEFA Cup round of 32. PAO President Argiris Mitsou expressed his optimism for the team's future and the long collaboration with the Italian coach, whom he praised.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [15] Karamanlis-Kaklamanis Meeting Bill on ESY and Public Health

    17 Feb 2005 13:59:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    At the Thursday meeting with the Minister of Health, Nikitas Kaklamanis, the Prime Minister gave the green light to two Bills. The first regards the reorganization of the National Health System (ESY) and Social Solidarity and will be submitted to Parliament next Monday or Tuesday. The second regards the establishment of measures for the protection of public health. What is more, a draft Bill on primary health care was submitted to the Health Minister. "All these and another three Bills already announced, mean that by the end of 2005 80% of the ND pre-electoral programme on health will have been completed," said Mr Kaklamanis.

    Public Dialogue and Collaborations

    Regarding the Primary Health Care, the Minister underlined that a wide-range public dialogue is imperative. "This Bill," said Mr Kaklamanis, "is not going to be ready before September-October 2005," while he underlined the collaboration with Employment Minister, as the IKA Health sector will be integrated in the ESY. What is more, Mr Kaklamanis spoke of a series of Bills regarding the quality of Health, protection measures for poorer families, exploitation of the ministry's property, pharmaceutical policy the last in collaboration with Development Minister- which will be promoted soon. The Minister refuted articles which claimed that employees' representatives would not participate in Hospital Board meetings, underlining that the participation will be increased. Lastly, regarding the ecclesiastical crisis, he said that "the PM has taken an official stand on the issue and the ministers share the same opinion."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [16] By a US Business Delegation Provocative Visit in Occupied Territory

    17 Feb 2005 15:11:00

    By Viki Keleri

    The delegation of US businessmen in the Occupied territory of Cyprus escorted by the US Commercial Attache in Ankara has caused the harsh reaction of the Cypriot political world. The president of the Turkish-Cypriot chamber of commerce Ali Erel welcomed the business delegation, mainly including Turkish businessmen and representatives of US companies in Turkey, which he described as a good start and a "clear message that there are no obstacles for business activities in the occupied areas." The Legal Committee of the Cypriot House of Representatives and the President of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, condemned the visit.

    Protest Letter to US Ambassador

    At the same time, the chairman of the House Standing Committee on Trade and Industry, Lefteris Christoforou, sent a protest letter to the US Ambassador to Nicosia, Michael Klosson.

    "We are deeply amazed that this evidently provocative action by US businessmen is held under the tolerance and perhaps the consent of your government and is favoured by your support," said Mr Christoforou.

    He also stressed that "with your activities you are provoking the Cypriot people's sense of righteousness and do not assist in finding a solution to the Cypriot issue.

    In the meantime, according to information broadcast by RIK, the manager of the US company Oracle, in a letter to the Cypriot Foreign Minister, said that his company was not informed and therefore had nothing to do with the visit of its Turkish representative in the occupied territory.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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