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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-02-22

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] New Developments in Gangs
  • [02] Target: Strengthening of EU-US Relations
  • [03] Successful Operation
  • [04] Holy Fire from Kalavryta
  • [05] Papandreou Criticises from Crete
  • [06] Meeting with Dismissed Sailors
  • [07] Deadly Weather in California
  • [08] Australian Reinforcements in Iraq
  • [09] Main Shareholder in Brussels
  • [10] All Clear for Investments
  • [11] Road Tanker Owners Taken the Prosecutor
  • [12] Layec Blows the Whistle for Greece-Albania
  • [13] New Kitt Out on the Streets
  • [14] Separated Both in Life and Museum
  • [15] Ilia Refused the Right to Leave
  • [16] Findings Point the Finger at Officials

  • [01] New Developments in Gangs

    22 Feb 2005 21:09:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Whilst rumours abound on Apostolos Vavilis turning himself in, new evidence on his relations with the Patriarchal Seat in Jerusalem has come to light. As reported exclusively by NET, Patriarch Eirinaios testified to the Israeli authorities on the details behind his election and the roles of Vavilis and Triantafillakis. At the same time, new evidence has arisen on the Achimandrite Giosakis relation with the Archbishop. According to testimony voluntarily given by a high-ranking Appeals Court Judge, Giosakis has twice intervened in securing appointments for him with the Archbishop, while he was also present during the visits. The testimony in question has been submitted to the High Court Public Prosecutor, Giorgos Sanidas. In the meantime, late on Tuesday night, the Chairman of the committee receiving the polices wireless communications system, Police Director Vasilis Tarnaris, submitted his resignation. He appears to be implicated in the issuing of a counterfeit ID card for Vavilis.

    Scandal Photos of Timotheos Faked

    According to documents secured by NETs correspondent in Jerusalem, Panos Haritos, Patriarch Eirinaios testified that Vavilis himself had told him that the scandalous photographs in circulation before the election of the new Patriarch of Jerusalem showing Metropolitan Bishop Timotheos were made by photo montage.

    In fact, Eirinaios did not rule out that Vavilis or Triantafillakis could have been behind the montage. Asked whether he had ordered the photos to be created, Eirinaios became angry, saying that it is all lies.

    The Greek authorities are examining the possibility of issuing an arrest warrant for Giannis Triantafillakis. The warrant will be issued for harbouring a criminal with regard to his activity in making sure that Vavilis was not arrested. At the same time, moves are being made to confiscate the pistol he owns with a permanent licence.

    Cleric Colleague of Giosakis in Korydallos

    At the same time, in an announcement, the Patriachal Seat of Jerusalem expresses its "sadness and pain" at the articles in newspapers saying that Patriarch Eirinaios negotiates to sell land in Occupied Cyprus. The statement denies the allegations, speaking of an "unjust war."

    In the meantime, the cleric and close friend of Archimandrite Giosakis, Kyrillos Stavropoulos has been taken to Korydallos Prison, charged in connection with the theft of antiques from Thedoros Monastery in Kithira.

    Finally, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros clarified that so far there has been no official proposal from the Hierarchy on forming a Controls Board, and added that when the request is formally submitted, the government will take a stance after first examining the matter.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Bush hails cooperation decision Target: Strengthening of EU-US Relations

    22 Feb 2005 17:09:00

    By Viki Keleri

    The NATO Summit Meeting finished early this afternoon in Brussels. The leaders of the 26 member states pledged to strengthen cooperation in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. In this context, they agreed to contribute to the efforts to educate and equip Iraqi security forces, as is stated in the text of decisions, which was unanimously approved. According to information, the text notes that in future NATO will be the main negotiator, a development which marks the intention of the leaders to transform the Transatlantic Alliance into a policy-shaping body. "There is a lot more that unites us that divides us," stated Kostas Karamanlis. Following this, American President George Bush had a 90-minute meeting with the 25 leaders of the EU.

    Cooperation Message from Bush

    The meeting focused on the situation in Iraq, political tactics against Iran, European-Mediterranean cooperation, relations with Russia, the position of the EU in the international stage, cooperation between the US and the EU and the Balkans.

    After his meeting with the PM of Luxemburg, Jean-Claude Juncker, whose country currently holds the presidency of the EU, he stressed that the EU and the US are ready to organize an international convention to support reconstruction in Iraq.

    "The Iraqi government should invite us. Nevertheless, the EU and the US are preparing to host a convention on coordinating international support for Iraq," stated Juncker.

    During a joint Press Conference with the General Secretary of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the American President gave out the message that the United States and its European allies should leave behind differences that arose over Iraq in the past.

    He stressed that the important point is for the 26 countries to concentrate on the future, where there are many international issues on which they must cooperate.

    Moreover, he described NATO as the most important alliance in the history of mankind and especially emphasized the fact that nine states that were members of the Warsaw Pact are now equal members of NATO.

    Common Ground with Kostas Karamanlis

    During the meeting of the 25 with George Bush, Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis made a brief intervention on the Balkans issue.

    Mr Karamanlis stressed that there is a need for closer cooperation of the EU with the US regarding the area.

    He added that democratic reform and free elections in these countries are EU policy and form the prospect of them participating in the European family.

    At the same time, he defended the European prospects of the Western Balkans, recalling the Summit of the EU and Balkan countries, held in Thessaloniki in 2000.

    Speaking about the Kossovo Plain, the PM noted that it is widely recognized that the situation in the area is temporary, and added that efforts are concentrating on the next stage, where plans will be evaluated.

    "We cannot return to the pre-1979 situation, but neither can we accept a situation that could once again lead to an unstable environment," he stated.

    Earlier, in a Press Conference in Brussels, Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis stressed that there is much more uniting the European Union with the USA than there is dividing them.

    He added that Greece is participating in Afghanistan with a medical unit and in Iraq by funding training programmes for Iraqis.

    Referring to the Middle East, he was optimistic, describing the peace prospects as auspicious.

    Regarding the Kosovo issue, he stressed that 2005 is a critical year, and repeated that as basic principles, Greece sets respect for democracy, minorities, religious freedoms and the multinational nature of Kosovo.

    Besides the NATO Summit Meeting, the PM had short meetings with Chirac, Schroeder, Zapatero, Bush, Blair, Erdogan, Juncker and Rasmousen. In addition, he will hold private meetings with the French President, the German Chancellor and the PM of Luxemburg.

    In the next few months, Kostas Karamanlis will visit Washington and Lonodn, having been invited by George Bush and Tony Blair.

    Answering a question on the meeting between Messrs Pavlopoulos, Rousopoulos, Folias and the General Director of Competition and Internal Trade Alexander Saub, the PM stated that the results would very soon be seen, saying that the government has pledged to work with transparency.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] To avoid non-beneficial surgery Successful Operation

    22 Feb 2005 16:40:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC

    Although operations on blood vessels can often be life-saving, sometimes they can cause even more problems for the patient or put him through an unbeneficial and painful procedure. Based on todays system, in order to "map" the patients blood vessels, a doctor can order a CT or MRI scan to get an idea of what the blood vessels look like and what is going on inside a patient, while the results of the operation can be predicted through experience. However, a new road is opening up in medicine with a program created by Dr Charles Taylor from Stanford University. The software uses pictures of blood vessels and the flow of blood circulation, which combined with scientific experience can to a great extent predict the outcome of the operation. In fact, Dr Taylor notes that the process could become standard, as is the case with X-rays.

    Answers to Sticky Questions

    In order to create the program, the research team at Stanford used data from animals and people before and after operations, so that the computer model could be used to test how well the software predicts real life outcomes. In fact, the scientists are continuing their research to find further data, in order to predict the outcome of blood vessel operations even more accurately.

    As Dr Taylor stresses, a scientist should know all the answers, especially to questions like "Perhaps it would be better not to do anything, perhaps there is another, more effective method of surgery" as he stresses that if a doctor performs surgery on the aorta, this can cause damage to other organs or create circulation problems for other vessels.

    The special program could help surgeons to locate possible problems and try out other, alternate solutions, without subjecting the patient to painful and unbeneficial surgery.

    "The point is to intervene first on the computer before going to the patient. We dont care if something bad happens to the computer model - it wont harm the patient," he said.

    "Ultimately, I believe it will be part of standard care. Surgeons would check the computer model before going to the patient," concludes Dr Taylor.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] Christodoulos is to Blame, Says Amvrosios Holy Fire from Kalavryta

    22 Feb 2005 13:25:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: Apogevmatini Newspaper

    Turmoil in the Church continues as there are new revelations every day at the same time when there are endless scenarios on the surrender of Vavilis if he receives guarantees for his safety. In the meantime, in an interview published in Apogevmatini today, Metropolitan Bishop Amvrosios of Kalavrita launched direct accusations against Archbishop Christodoulos, saying among other things that Christodoulos is responsible for the crisis in the Church, as he is the leader. Amvrosios expressed fears that the Vavilis case is a time bomb with evidence that affect national matters, while regarding archimandrite Iakovos Giosakis, who is in custody, Mr Amvrosios said that he was meant for chief secretary of the Holy Synod. "The Hierarchy should grab the bull by the horns," underlined Amvrosios.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] He described the government's work as tragic Papandreou Criticises from Crete

    22 Feb 2005 19:22:00

    By Viki Keleri

    The President of PASOK George Papandreou has been in Crete since this afternoon, on his two-day tour of the island. He started his visit in Chania, where in his speech he launched a harsh attack on the prime minister and the government. He stressed that the people had chosen New Democracy in the belief that the party would take the country forward. However, eleven months after the elections: "in the country there is a climate of pessimism, defeat and disappointment and this climate is also apparent among those who voted for New Democracy." Mr Papandreou added that instead of dealing with the countrys problems, the government is involved in giving a bad name to PASOK, which means giving a bad name to the Greek people and to Greece.

    Focus on agricultural and foreign policy

    The president of PASOK described the governments work so far as tragic and disastrous, while he made accusations of a lack of policy in the agricultural sector, saying that the government only makes promises, and he disputed their ability to successfully negotiate the 4th CPF.

    Mr Papandreou was especially critical with regard to the governments foreign policy, saying that they have set standards very low, so that they consider a success in foreign policy to be a meeting between Petros Molyviatis and Condoleezza Rice or between Mr Karamanlis and Mr Bush.

    Satisfied with Intra-party Elections

    Regarding internal party matters within PASOK, Mr Papandreou expressed his satisfaction with the turnout at the party elections last Sunday to choose convention representatives.

    "The elections the other day united generations, united the old with the young and locals with immigrants. When we work with rules and values," he added, "theres room for everyone, and on Sunday there was room for 303,000 members and friends of the Movement," he stated.

    Finally, when he was presented with a Cretan knife as a gift, Mr Papandreou stated that it is well known that Cretan knives are sharp, but the sharpest thing for PASOK are democratic values.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] Alavanos Commits to Problems Meeting with Dismissed Sailors

    22 Feb 2005 15:07:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The President of SYN, Alekos Alavanos with a delegation held a meeting with dismissed sailors of Royal Olympic Cruises (ROC), this morning in Piraeus. The sailors, which remain unpaid for over five months are performing a lock-up in the companys ships, posed the severity of their problem to Mr Alavanos. The President of SYN committed himself that he will pressure the government for the resolution of the problem and aims to plan a meeting with Minister of Mercantile Marine, Manolis Kefalogiannis. Making reference to the Church and Justice scandals, the President of SYN stated that the file of Justice links to big employment should also open.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Deadly Weather in California

    22 Feb 2005 09:23:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Floods and mud have covered many areas of southern California after a wave of heavy rainfall. It is noted that since Thursday afternoon until yesterday night the rain that fell in the centre of Los Angeles reached 20 cm. Three people were trapped from the mud in the suburb of Hacienda Heights, in the outskirts of Los Angeles, while several houses were evacuated in the areas of Hunting Beach, Long Beach and Glendale, which turned into huge lakes. The bad weather also made the inhabitants of the high-class suburb of Bel Air to evacuate their houses, since three homes were buried under the mud, after landslides.

    The meteorologists state that the rainfall this year was the strongest that has been recorded in the past 22 years. Unfortunately many people lost their lives due to the bad weather. A 16-year-old girl was crushed when rocks fell in her parents apartment in Silverado, a county-worker fell in a 9 m hole filled with water, which was created from the rainstorm in Sun Valley, while a 63-year-old was killed by a mudslide at his house in Woodland Hills.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] With A Decision by the PM Australian Reinforcements in Iraq

    22 Feb 2005 09:02:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: Reuters- BBC

    The PM of Australia, John Howard announced his decision of sending an extra expeditionary force of 450 men in Iraq. As he explained, their mission is the protection of Japanese mechanics in the southern part of the country, a task that up to now was handled by Dutch soldiers, which will soon be withdrawn from their country. Mr Howard acknowledged that there will be reactions over his decision, however he described it as correct. "I believe that this is the right decision. It will contribute importantly to the Alliances attempt for the reconstruction of Iraq," the Australian PM stated. Australia stood by the U.S. in the beginning of the Iraq war, sending 2,000 soldiers, which caused the biggest anti-war rallying in the country since the Vietnam War. At this time 800 Australian soldiers are in Iraq.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Messages of Optimism Main Shareholder in Brussels

    22 Feb 2005 14:48:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Ministers of Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos, of State Thodoros Rousopoulos and alternate Minister of Economy Christos Folias held a meeting with EU Chairman Alexander Schaub over the main shareholder bill, on Tuesday at noon, in Brussels. "We are departing in a state of calm," stated a governments source underlining that the government chose to appear and explain to the relevant European services, as opposed to the past government, based on article 14, of paragraph 9 of the Constitution. "There is not an issue of suspension of funding or penalties to Greece for the implementation of the main shareholder bill," stated alternate government spokesperson Evangelos Andonaros.

    "No Change in Bill"

    In the next two weeks the Greek authorities will sent supplementary information concerning some basic bill provisions while for the time being the European Union is not reviewing the prospect of adopting a decision over the subject.

    According to government sources, the Greek government explained that the Constitution requires the institutionalization of transparency regulations and that the law does not come against Community law and does not place obstacles for entrepreneurship, competitiveness and the start of proportionality.

    The same source insisted, "There is no reason for a change in bill."

    In closing, he denied information that penalty warnings and suspension of payments from the EU were made for works that were funded, adding "there is no reason for concern, since the government is not rushed."

    Statements by Andonaros

    Alternate government spokesperson Evangelos Andoros stated that he is not aware if objections from European companies in the relevant community bodies on the basic shareholder bill, addin that "this does not concern the Greek government but the European Commission." Making reference to information which stated the dispensation of funds in our country from the EU due to the implementation of the law for the main shareholder and stated that these are imaginary scenarios "The law agrees with the Greek Constitution and the European Law," Mr Andonaros concluded.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Government's Decisions Next Week All Clear for Investments

    22 Feb 2005 14:52:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Ministers of Economy, Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Development, Dimitris Sioufas stated their confidence that within March hundreds of investment plans, for the funding through the new development law, will be submitted. As Mr Alogoskoufis explained, the necessary common government decisions will be eight and ready by next week. The Minister of Economy described the development law and the Community Support Framework as "Tools mainly for the development for the Prefecture," while from his side Mr Sioufas stated that the new bill is "powerful and aggressive." For the promotion of the bill Mr Sioufas has started a tour in the Prefecture while Mr Alogoskoufis will be promoting it in Ipiros on March 4-5.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Road Tanker Owners Taken the Prosecutor

    22 Feb 2005 13:03:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Seventeen road tanker owners were committed to the Prosecutor for not abiding to petrol transfer regulations. Tax violations were observed in six of the cases. The following findings emerged from the 147 checks that were performed by the Ministry of Development crews:

    In three cases, the quantities found in the tanker did not agree with the ones they should have after the delivery to the client, while in nine the fuels quantity did not agree with the receipts.

    In three cases the absence of a petrol traffic book was recorded while in two cases the indications in the retail receipts of heating petrol were not stated.

    In four cases they exceeded the fault limit in the fuel meter and three did not have sealed volume meters.

    All the above cases have been committed to the Prosecutor in charge, while the checks, as it was announced by the Ministry of Development, will continue in concentrated efforts and with extra employees.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Layec Blows the Whistle for Greece-Albania

    22 Feb 2005 16:52:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    French referee Bertrand Layec and his Lithuanian colleague Paulius Malzinskas have been appointed by FIFA to referee the matches with the Greek national football team and the Under 21s against Albania respectively. The National teams match in preliminary group 2 of the 2006 World Cup will be held on 30 March at Karaiskakis Stadium, and Layec will be assisted by his compatriots Christian Toisson and Claude Martinez, while the 4th referee to be appointed is also a Frenchman, Herve Piccirillo. In the Under 21s match with the corresponding team from Albania, which will be held on 29 March, the assistants to Lithuanian referee Paulius Malzinskas will be his countrymen Arturas Pipiras and Algimantas Kodvainas, and the fourth referee will be Gerdiminas Mazeika. The Under 21s match will be held as part of the preliminaries for the European championship.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [13] It Detects Everything! New Kitt Out on the Streets

    22 Feb 2005 14:19:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Kitt, David Hasselhoffs car as a Knight Rider, used to be the dream of every four-wheels lover. Those among you still desiring a car that could talk, give you driving advice and help you reach your destination safely, now is the time to own it with the amount of 30,000 euros, more or less. Its name is Senso, the latest creation of Swiss engineers. Senso, which runs on natural gas and has a futuristic design, determines the drivers mood by measuring biometric data and then adjusts the environment accordingly. If it detects an increase in heart rate or erratic driving it uses a selection of relaxing colours, music and even fragrances to help calm the driver down.

    Wait a Few More Months!

    If the central computer establishes any symptoms of sleepiness in the driver, electric motors integrated in the seat will shake him awake by vibrating.

    Senso is not a family car, as it only has room for three passengers, the driver sitting alone in the middle of the front row, flanked behind by two passenger seats.

    The Senso comes from Rinspeed Design and is due to be released at the Geneva motor show next month. Depending on industry interest the car may go into production as early as next year.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [14] Separated Both in Life and Museum

    22 Feb 2005 13:16:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Madame Tussauds museum of waxwork figures will have to pay the tab for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's split, as they have to separate one of their most famous exhibits: the celebrity couple in moments of marital bliss. The separation of the joint waxwork figures will cost the museum almost 15,000 euros, as executives considered that since the two stars are not together in life, they shouldn't be together in the museum. However, unlike the actual separation, the wax split will not be bloodless, as both figures will be damaged. Jennifer will have to have a whole new torso while Brad will get away with only one new arm. They will re-enter the museum in the same area but with some distance between them. And although many fans want to see the famous couple back together, the incident has made museum bosses think twice, as it will take time and a lot of money to put the figures back together.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [15] Intensive Investigations on Corrupt Justices Ilia Refused the Right to Leave

    22 Feb 2005 14:25:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The surrender of notorious Apostolos Vavilis to Greek authorities appears to be a question of days or even hours, if he receives guarantees for his safety, after yesterdays meeting between retired army official Ioannis Triantafyllakis, Supreme Court Public Prosecutor Dimitris Linos and Athens First Instance Public Prosecutors Head Dimitris Papagellopoulos. In the meantime, First Instance Judge Antonia Ilia testified before examiner Ioanna Micha for not submitting a declaration of assets in the last four years. Mrs Ilia supported that this was done by accident, while her assets during the last 4 years her assets did not change. Mrs Micha enforced that the accused cannot exit the country.

    Lyberis Case Under the Microscope

    Ilia was referred to the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court on the question of definitive dismissal for moral and official inefficiency, as well as for favourable decisions in cases involving archimandrite Iakovos Giosakis, which she handled repeatedly. The case of psychiatrist Petros Lyberis and the Kastalia clinic with the illegal prescriptions, also handled by Ilia, is also investigated as part of the wide investigation held by the Supreme Court regarding corrupt justices.

    What is more, monk Igor Klopotin, to whom Ilia had adjudicated 480 thousand euros for damages after a car accident, testified before the assistant prosecutor of the Supreme Court. In fact, Appellate Assistant Prosecutor Nikos Athanasopoulos provided explanations to Supreme Court Judge Christos Baltas.

    In the meantime, Assistant Prosecutor of the Supreme Court Giorgos Sanidas has been order to go through all examination cases handled by former first instance judge Konstantina Bourboulia regarding the Stock Exchange.

    Arrest Warrant for Triantafillakis At the same time Police authorities are investigating the event of issuing an arrest warrant for retired Police Officer Giannis Triantafillakis. The warrant will be issued on the charges of abetting a criminal in relation to Triantafillakis actions and to assure Apostolos Vavilis in order to avoid arrest. A court order subpoena was served to Triantafillakis at his mansion in Rafina, for his presence, together with another Police officer in court at March 7, over the issuance of false identification for Vavilis from the Kapandriti Police Station. Also the weapon he owned with a legal permit will be confiscated.

    On the matter of Apostolos Vavilis, it has been made know that Policemen are searching for him throughout Greece, where with the help of Metropolitan Bishops searches in monasteries were performed, but he was not found. A process through Interpol has been initiated in order to arrest him if he is found abroad.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [16] For the Accident in Kornofolia, Evros Findings Point the Finger at Officials

    22 Feb 2005 14:22:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: NET, NET radio 105.8

    Three army officials are referred to military justice for the findings they drew up regarding the tragic accident at the Manitsa watch post in Kornofolia, Evros, where five soldiers lost their lives to electrocution last April. The supplementary Official Inquiry revealed that the unfortunate soldiers were following orders by their superiors and the officials are charged for omissions. In particular, the five soldiers were ordered by their superiors to lift the metal mast of the flag, which touched electricity wires. The three officials are accused of trying to relieve their colleagues of accusations and lay the blame on the dead soldiers.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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