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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-02-25

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Christodoulos Will not Resign
  • [02] Rapist Arrested
  • [03] 11,000 Euro Teabag!
  • [04] Weaponries Findings in Parliament
  • [05] Papandreou's Thorny Speech
  • [06] Short-Term Contract Workers Find Justice
  • [07] Pope's Health Improves
  • [08] French Minister Resigns
  • [09] Rift in Anglican Church
  • [10] OTE Redundancy from June

  • [01] The Archbishop's Interview Christodoulos Will not Resign

    25 Feb 2005 21:26:00 (Last updated: 25 Feb 2005 23:26:23)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8 - ANA

    During his wide-ranging interview to a private TV channel, the Archbishop claimed that catharsis is the only way to deal with the crisis in Church. He further revealed that he has considered the possibility of resigning, but has rejected the idea, as he believes that its does not from part of the problem. With regard to the resignation of the Metropolitan Bishop of Thessaliotida, Theoklitos, he said that he was aware of the fact since this morning. Furthermore, he repeated that he was in no way involved in sending Vavilis, Triantafyllakis and Nikodimos to Jerusalem. Actually, he also declared that he had met Vavilis in Jerusalem in 2001, when he posing as a security guard, but he does not recall ever having met him again, while he did not completely exclude the possibility. Moreover, he did not clarify whether he will be removing Press representative Epiphanios Economou from his post. Regarding Giosakis, he stressed that he was literally "surprised" when he saw him, but could not ask him to leave.

    Does not Consider Himself Part of the Problem

    "The Archbishop will not be resigning, he is being exterminated by his enemies," declared Mr Christodoulos earlier, upon exiting the Archbishopric.

    In the interview he gave to private TV channel Alpha, he spoke about the crisis that has erupted in the Church of Greece over the last few weeks, following the revelations concerning scandals and corruption.

    "You can imagine everything that has gone through my head, and a lot more that you cannot even begin to imagine," he stated, while he also pointed out that he has rejected the possibility of resigning, as he does not consider himself part of the problem. However, he stressed that he has to be in charge of the Churchs self-catharsis, with the support of the Hierarchy.

    Regarding the resignation of the Metropolitan Bishop of Thessaliotida, Theoklitos, he declared that the decision was reached after much thought, while the Bishop briefed him of his resignation on Friday noon.

    With regard to the Archbishoprics Press representative, Father Epiphanios Economou, the Archbishop did not say whether he will be removing him from his post. He added, though, that he is awaiting the findings of the investigation into the case. Father Epiphanios, who is on temporary suspension, was deceived by an unknown, who tried to sell him a tape that contained scandals by a member of the clergy.

    The Archbishop, though, did admit that he was informed of the event from Epiphanios himself, who told him that he had been deceived.

    Infamous Letter Was for Overseas University

    Asked whether he believed that the Ecumenical Patriarchate was behind the latest revelations, he declared that he cannot even begin to assume something like that.

    Referring to the statement by Patriarch Eirinaios representative, ie that the Archbishop had sent Vavilis to Jerusalem, he claimed that he had not sent any of them (Vavilis, Triantafyllakis, Archimandrite Nikodimos), however, he did not deny knowing Apostolos Vavilis personally. He admitted meeting him after his sentencing concerning a drugs case and his subsequent imprisonment.

    Actually, regarding the letter of recommendation that he wrote for Vavilis, he underlined that he had given it to him prior to his arrest. He further mentioned that he had drawn up the letter following the request by Vavilis parents and it was to be used for a University overseas. Moreover, still referring to Vavilis, he pointed out that when he knew him, Vavilis had not demonstrated any of the traits he later revealed.

    He also said that when he was the Metropolitan Bishop of Dimitriada, he had met Vavilis at Volos prison, where he had gone to console the prisoners. He also added that Vavilis had visited him after his release.

    As he said, the last time he saw Vavilis in full knowledge was in September 2001 during Jerusalem Patriarch Eirinaios enthronement. At the time, Vavilis was posing as a security guard and the Archbishop had assumed that he had been hired by the Patriarchate. He also declared that from then onwards he did not recall ever meeting him again, while he did not deny having seen him dressed in cassocks.

    "Could Not Tell Him to Leave"

    The Archbishop then referred to Iakovos Giosakis visit to the Archbishopric, along with other judicial officers. He stated that he was not aware of whether any of the officers who visited him back then are now accused of corruption. He further added that he was literally "surprised" to see Giosakis waiting in line, but could not tell him to leave. Furthermore, he denied ever having any dealings with Justice, or ever having any interest in clearing judicial cases involving the Church.

    Finally, he denied owning any kind of assets or property, inviting anyone interested to perform audits under the name Archbishop Christodoulos Papakevaidis.

    Theoklitos Announced his Resignation

    Tonight, in a very heavy atmosphere and in front of his congregation, the Metropolitan Bishop of Thessaliotida, Theoklitos, announced he will be handing in his resignation on Tuesday. He actually said that he reached this decision, not because he is guilty, but in order to save the Churchs prestige, in view of the latest torrent of defamations and untruths regarding himself and other members of the clergy.

    In justifying his resignation, the Metropolitan Bishop stressed, "I do not want anyone to say that my spiritual father favoured me, while at the same time he drove other Metropolitan Bishops away from their cathedrals. I reached this decision with much pain. I am not being sacrificed, because I am not worthy of being sacrificed."

    He also added that he wished his successor to come from the same region.

    His announcement shocked his congregation, who started shouting "Worthy" inside the church. In addition, dozens of believers stayed outside his house until late at night, asking him to reconsider his decision.

    Next Tuesday, Mr Theoklitos will hand in his resignation to the Hierarchy.

    Mr Theoklitos had been appointed Metropolitan Bishop of Thessaliotida and Fanariofarsala on 14 October 1999.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Sharp Fall

    [02] Had Raped Mother and Daughter Rapist Arrested

    25 Feb 2005 20:33:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Following a long investigation, the rape and robbery case, involving a 35-year-old mother and her 12-year-old daughter at a construction site in Galatsi, has eventually been solved. The police announced that the perpetrator is 28-year-old Albanian Petrit Andemi, father of two. The man was identified by the victims and then confessed, without being able to provide any excuses for his heinous act. DNA analysis assisted in the identification and arrest of the rapist, since a bottle of beer found at the crime scene had the perpetrators genetic material on it. Furthermore, there are sentences pending against the man for theft, with a 23-month imprisonment term. As per police, the 28-year-old is not connected to another criminal, who attempted to rape women in areas around Athens city centre with the use of a screwdriver, while there were many complaints filed in November for similar incidents. The authorities believe that those were copycat criminals.

    Heinous Act

    The perpetrator, who was living in Greece legitimately and was working as a builder, was taken to the police station last night.

    The two women were attacked by the 28-year-old while walking down Syrakouson Street in Galatsi. The man used a screwdriver to threaten them, and then led them to a nearby construction site, where he proceeded with his monstrous acts. Following the atrocious crime, the mother was in a state of shock, while the daughter was transferred to the childrens hospital, Agia Sofia, in a critical condition.

    The attack took place at a time when the rapists wife was away in Albania, where she had just given birth to their second child.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Rape of Mother and Daughter

    [03] 11,000 Euro Teabag!

    25 Feb 2005 17:31:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The British tea company PG Tips has found an extremely original and somewhat pricey way to celebrate their 75th birthday. In collaboration with Boodles Jewellers, they created the most expensive teabag in the world, decorated with diamonds woth approximately 11,000 euros! To create the tasty but expensive ornament, it took three months of painstaking handcrafting work, while it contains 280 diamonds. "As its our 75th birthday, we wanted to do something special to remind people just how much they love the great British cup of tea," stated the companys spokesman, Pete Harbour. The diamond teabag will be used as prize in a draw to raise money for Manchester Childrens Hospitals. Whoever gets it will probably not want to enjoy the taste!

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] Tension between Spiliotopoulos and Venizelos Weaponries Findings in Parliament

    25 Feb 2005 14:40:00 (Last updated: 25 Feb 2005 19:55:33)

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The findings of the inquiry committee on weaponries were discussed in the Plenary Session of Parliament. In statements, the Chairman of the Committee, Giannis Tragakis did not rule out the possibility of forming a penal committee to deal with punishable offences in the matter of weaponries, as he said that they are awaiting access to bank accounts in Switzerland and the United States. During the discussion, tensions arose between the Minister for Defence Spilios Spiliotopoulos and PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos. Mr Spiliotopoulos accused Mr Venizelos of working as a representative of Russian company Rosoboron Export, thereby sparking a violent reaction from the PASOK MP, who answered that Spiliotopoulos had deceived Parliament and criticized him for not receiving the Russian weapons systems that have been at the airport since Christmas. Spiliotopoulos answered that no contract had been signed, and that that was the reason why he had not received the weapons in question. Actually, the Defence Minister mentioned that he is very close to closing a deal with the Russians, concerning them issuing bank guarantees for any new contract signed in the future. On the other hand, PASOKs parliamentary representative, Charis Kastanidis, doubted whether the deal was in the interests of Greece.

    Interventions from MPs

    Referring to the supplies investigated by the committee, ND representative Christos Zois said that both competition and the matter of guarantees were struggling.

    PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos claimed that the case had turned into a boomerang for the government majority, which, motivated by small-party intentions had reached the point where it undermined the defence of Cyprus and its international credibility.

    KKE speaker Giannis Patsilinakos spoke of large sums spent by the two main parties on weaponry and accused them of a cover-up operation.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] At PASOK's National Restructuring Council Papandreou's Thorny Speech

    25 Feb 2005 20:27:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    George Papandreou harshly criticized the Government and the Churchs leadership, whilst speaking at PASOKs National Restructuring Council. Mr Papandreou escalated the conflict by pointing out the ideological differences between PASOK and New Democracy. Meanwhile, he launched a personal attack against the Prime Minister for inaction and inability to problem solving, accusing him of trying to shift the blame to PASOK for everything that has come to light lately concerning Vavilis case. Mr Papandreou also criticised the Churchs leadership, without referring to the Archbishop personally, while he proposed once again the separation of Church and State. Finally, he engaged in self-criticism regarding PASOKs governments, while the partys secretary announced the details concerning the Convention, which will take place between 3 and 7 March.

    "Political Games with the Church"

    Referring to the crisis in Church, the President of PASOK claimed that ND is attempting to personally gain from it and use it for its political games, while he also mentioned the pre-election leaflets against him.

    The Opposition leader did not criticize Archbishop Christodoulos personally, however, he wondered "Who spoke of the Lords Right?" and "Who kept saying, luckily times are changing?"

    Meanwhile, he stressed that the PM, "Got in line to sign in favour of the issue with the IDs, following the Supreme Administrative Courts ruling, thus deceiving the believers."

    Finally, Mr Papandreou criticized the fiscal inventory once again, pointing out that ND is leading the country towards a financial crisis and cannot hide its conservative, anti-populist policy. "The Greek right-wing does not change," he concluded.


    Mr Papandreou also engaged in self-criticism, concerning PASOKs progress and the reasons behind their loss in the elections, while he also provided hints regarding his policies.

    "Neither our people, not ourselves want to return to Government as we were and continue from the same point and in the same way," he stated, while he added, "PASOK is becoming the countrys reformist force."

    As per the partys secretary, Michalis Chrisochoidis, the Convention proceedings will commence next Thursday, 3 March, at 6:30pm with Mr Papandreous opening speech. On Friday, the Convention will be split up into two groups: the first will discuss the proposal for the open party and will conclude with voting the new memorandum of association, while the second will deal with the political positions and the declaration.

    Following the members speeches, the proceedings will culminate on Sunday 7 March with the voting for the elected members of the National Council, which will replace the Central Committee.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Rethymno Court opens the door Short-Term Contract Workers Find Justice

    25 Feb 2005 13:09:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The road to justice for thousands of contract workers has been opened by a decision of Rethymno First Instance Court. The court ruled that 160 contract workers, who had signed short-term contracts can return to work, as they covered long-term, continual needs. In the decision it is even underlined that the transformation of the contracts from short-term to indefinite term is not in conflict with the Constitution. "First Instance Courts appear to be the only hope, as the majority of them have ruled in favour of contract workers," stressed Professor of Labour Law, Alexis Mitropoulos, who handled the case, on NET 105.8. He added nonetheless that the decision of the Plenary Session of the Supreme Administration Court is definitive.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Breathing without mechanical support Pope's Health Improves

    25 Feb 2005 14:35:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The Pope has been able to breathe without mechanical support since Friday morning. On Thursday night he successfully underwent tracheotomy surgery, owing to respiratory problems. The doctors treating him are very satisfied with the response of the Popes frial body to the operation, as stated by Gianni Leta, a senior advisor to the Italian Prime Minister. Optimistic messages are also coming from the Vatican, as it was announced that there is no indication of the Pope having an infection in his lungs, and his heart is in good condition following the operation. However, he will not be able to speak for a few days, while doctors consider that he is likely to remain for some days in hospital.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Pope's Health Worsens

    [08] Scandal Involving Economy Minister French Minister Resigns

    25 Feb 2005 17:55:00 (Last updated: 25 Feb 2005 22:22:39)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    French PM Jean-Pierre Raffarin accepted Economy Minister Herve Gaymards resignation, which was prompted by an article in the Press concerning his state-paid luxurious apartment. "I am aware of having made blunders and a serious error of judgment concerning the conditions of my official accommodation," declared Mr Gaymard in his announcement, while he added that he put an end to the situation immediately. The 44-year-old politician was under pressure to resign after the revelation that he and his family live in a 600sq.m. apartment in the heart of Paris, with a rent of 14,000 euros per month, paid for through state funds. Mr Gaymard is denying the accusations, however, his declaration of assets contained contradictory information. Following the PMs proposal, France Telecoms CEO Thierry Breton will be taking over the Economy Ministry.

    Accusations over his Assets

    It all started ten days ago, when various articles in the Press claimed that the 44-year-old politician lived along with his wife and eight children in one of Paris most expensive districts on state money, while he owned a large apartment in the French capital, which he was renting out.

    However, in an interview to a French magazine, Mr Gaymard said that his income was not that great, as is the case with all French politicians, while he did not have any private assets, being the son of a shoe repair man.

    And while his popularity was on a downward trend, a new revelation in Fridays Liberation delivered the final death blow. As per the newspaper, the minister also owned another five homes in various areas around France.

    After this revelation, Mr Raffarin asked Mr Gaymard to provide explanations within the next two days, while many Government and Opposition MPs asked for his resignation.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Over homosexuality Rift in Anglican Church

    25 Feb 2005 16:58:00


    The Anglican Church appears to be one step before schism, over the issue of homosexuality. Thirty-eight Anglican bishops called on the Churches of the US and Canada to withdraw from the Anglican Consultative Council until 2008, confirming the deep rift after the appointment of homosexual bishop Gene Robinson in New Hampshire in 2003 and the decision made by the Church of Canada to bless homosexual relations. The Archbishops statement stresses that Anglican teaching on homosexuality is being undermined by the decisions of the two Churches, who have been required to give explanations. As analysts note, the Archbishops decision provides time to solve the issue. Nevertheless, it is seen as a victory for conservative elements within the church and is a sign that the two Churches are to leave the Anglican family. The Anglican Church counts a 450-year history and has 77 million followers in 164 countries.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [10] Necessary to clean up the company OTE Redundancy from June

    25 Feb 2005 16:29:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    This morning, the Ministers of the Economy and Transport and the Executive of the company briefed the Prime Minister on the details of the programme of voluntary redundancy from OTE. The programme, which will start to be implemented in June 2005, will be funded by the Greek public sector. Giorgos Alogoskoufis described the programme as necessary to clean up the company, adding that the Ministry for the Economy will give financial support to the programme, which is expected to reach 1.6 billion euros. Michalis Liapis claimed that private sector financial criteria should be kept in OTE.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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