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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-01

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Revelations in Theoklitos' Testimony
  • [02] Hostages of Polar Cold
  • [03] Complication in LAFKA Case
  • [04] Alarmbells from Garganas
  • [05] Three Shields Over Defensive Dogma
  • [06] Diplomatic Delegation for Stability
  • [07] London's Conference Commences
  • [08] Satisfaction Over Karami's Resignation
  • [09] Measures for Ports
  • [10] Kenteris, Thanou Lawyers' Joint Announcement

  • [01] Key Witness for Corrupt Justices Case Revelations in Theoklitos' Testimony

    01 Mar 2005 14:22:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: NET RADIO 105.8

    Thessaliotidos Metropolitan Bishop Theoklitos Koumarianos is a key witness in the extra-judicial group, centered on remand prisoner Archimadrite Iakovos Giosakis, who reportedly fixed trials and substituted judges. According to information by NET 105.8, in his testimony to Supreme Court investigator Christos Baltas, he admitted his relations with Giosakis, who with high rank justices and politicians of the Athens B Region, pressured him in order to persuade the Archibishop to appoint Giosakis as Head Secretary of the Holy Synod. Theoklitos testimony concerned his statement of false address in Piraeus, in order for his trial to take place there. Upon entering the Court he stated that he will testify to all which concerns him.

    Revelations Continue

    In his testimony Theoklitos claimed that he has evidence of trips planned by Giosakis with high rank justices and lawyers abroad. He also confirmed that in 2003 former investigator Antonia Ilia lend him 15,000 euros. Theoklitos deposited the money in a bank account without using her name.

    In the meantime, upon his entrance in the Supreme Court, Theoklitos accompanied by his lawyer Alexis Kougias, in a short discussion with the journalists stated that he has known him for 20 years and saw him last year or the year before when the latter asked him to intervene in order for him to become Head Secretary of the Holy Synod. Making reference to the case in question, he claimed that he gave a false address since he did not want the trial to take place in Karditsa as he had safety measures taken, in order for Press articles to not be published in the area in reference to the libel lawsuit against Ilias Metropolitan Bishop Germanos.

    Exiting the Supreme Court investigator Mr Baltas office at 14:15, Mr Theoklitos stated, "I came to the Supreme Court to tell the truth. And that is what I have done. Nothing more, nothing less."

    Group of Corrupted Justices Broadens

    At the same time, the procedures of a preliminary investigation for criminal charges against President of the First Instance Court Evangelos Kalousis, who has been anonymously accused of owning a bank account in a Swiss bank with more than 70 thousand euros are speeding up. The charges for bank accounts of justices and civilians possibly lawyers in Swiss banks are being investigated.

    A provincial judicial employee that leads a life of luxury, and does not conform, to his income is targeted by the Supreme Court investigation. For the same reason a judicial employee of Athens is also being investigated and has been reportedly gambling large sums in casinos.

    In the meantime a brief for the Interpol fugitive Apostolos Vavilis has been given to the Prosecutor in charge. According to Foreign Ministry files, during 2000-2004 a diplomatic or official passport was not issued to Vavilis, as alternate government spokesperson Evangelos Andonaros stated and noted that there is no reason of alarm over the national dimension of the issue with the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Pile-up of 85 Cars in Bavaria Hostages of Polar Cold

    01 Mar 2005 19:21:00 (Last updated: 01 Mar 2005 22:24:15)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Inhabitants in many areas of Germany and Spain welcomed the first Spring day with polar temperatures. In Bavaria temperature dropped to 44oC, while in Spain the thermometer dropped to unusually low temperatures, with Avilla, Segovia and Soria literally freezing at 13 degrees Celsius. Polar temperatures also prevail in Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey, where four people lost their lives to the biting cold. The frozen road surface and the fog caused two pile-ups in Bavaria, including 85 and 20 vehicles respectively. Both pile-ups occurred on highway A96 that links Munich to Lindau with only a few-minute difference and resulted in the injury of 40 people, 15 of which are seriously wounded.

    Bavaria Turned Into North Pole

    According to the police, the combination of fog and frost was responsible for the collisions, as well as the great speed of drivers who weren't aware that out of the blue they would lose visibility for at least fifty metres. Bavaria is however experiencing unusually low temperatures.

    In Oberstdorf temperature dropped to 25oC, while in Lake Pfudenzee temperature dropped to 44oC, only two degrees over the record temperature of 46oC, recorded so far in the area.

    Freezing Record in Spain

    At the same time, polar temperatures are also recorded in Spain, where snow and frost have caused great problems on national highways and mainly at the southern part of the country, as well as at airports with the cancellation of many flights from Madrid to Barcelona. Historically low temperatures have been recorded at Avilla, Segovia and Soria with 13oC, at Valladolid with 9oC, Pablona with 10oC, Toledo with 4oC and Madrid with 5oC. Meteorological services have announced a temporary recession of the weather conditions in the following hours, but have stressed that a new wave of bad weather is expected on Thursday.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Extension of Suspense for Pensioners Complication in LAFKA Case

    01 Mar 2005 18:13:00 (Last updated: 01 Mar 2005 21:53:30)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The sudden development in the case of LAFKA installments has caused insecurity to thousands of pensioners. The Public Sector pensioner who had started proceedings in 2001 withdrew his redress a little before a positive proposal by the Examination on his case. If the Examination Board adopted the proposal the road would open for the dispensation of installments to thousands of pensioners, since the government had committed that it will give the money if even one appeal is accepted.

    Doukas' Clarifications on NET

    Today the Public Sector pensioner Vasilis Goulas is Head of the office of Deputy Minister of Economy Petros Doukas.

    Government sources underline that no manipulation occurred stating that similar appeals are pending and if they are accepted the installments will be paid in full.

    Speaking on NET main news bulleting and to Maria Choukli, the Deputy Minister of Economy underlined that the pensioner's decision to withdraw his appeal was a personal choice, as was his decision to refer his issue to Justice.

    He also added that the essence of the matter does not change, as there is a series of other similar appeals, nor does the government's commitment. In fact, he estimated that this development will only stall the payment for a few months.

    LAFKA Appeal in Thessaloniki

    Speaking to NET Radio 105.8 Employment Law Professor Dimitirs Perpatatis claimed that in every case it is suggested that the pensioners submit a relative application since that it is the only way that they can assure their justification. The issue of LAFKA installments was discussed earlier today in the Administrative Courts of Thessalonica after a group appeal by private sector pensioners. A decision is expected soon.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Bank of Greece report in Parliament Alarmbells from Garganas

    01 Mar 2005 13:45:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Governor of the Bank of Greece Nikos Garganas described the public debt and the deficit as a weight around the neck of the Greek Economy, during the presentation of the report on Financial Policy for 2004-2005 to the Speaker of Parliament. Mr Garaganas recommended a fast decrease of both the public debt and the deficit and described the fiscal relaxation after 2000 as a great mistake, as he stated that it led last years central government deficit to 9.5% of the GDP, reminiscent of the past. At the same time, the Governor of the Bank of Greece sounded the alarm on the Insurance question, stressing that it should be reconfigured, otherwise in 2005, the system will absorb 25% of the GDP, and of course such a development is not viable.

    During the short meeting with Mr Garaganas, the Speaker of Parliament Anna Psarouda Benaki stated that according to the report, the Greek Economy is moving within satisfactory levels. The report will be distributed to the parties and be studied in parliament and by the Economic Affairs Committee.

    The report examines the configuration of the international economic environment, the progress of inflation and economic activity in the Euro zone in Greece during 2004, economic prospects for the current year.

    Furthermore, developments in the money markets, credits and capital in Greece are analysed, and the stability of the Greek monetary system is evaluated.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] FADC Over Defensive Policy Three Shields Over Defensive Dogma

    01 Mar 2005 17:44:00

    By Dimitris Kalantzis

    The Greek defensive policy remains orientated to dealing with dangers coming from the east, as "Turkey has not altered its policy," while the prevention of threats from the north and the contribution to Cyprus' defense are also reinforced, as per the Foreign Affairs and Defense Council decisions in the meeting today presided by PM Kostas Karamanlis. In particular, deputy government spokesperson Evangelos Antonaros stressed that the policy for the protection and fortification of Greece is governed by a perennial continuation and moves around three main guidelines, while he also stressed there are no new camps in Northern Greece.

    Defensive Policy Guidelines

    1. All necessary measures are taken in the North for the effecting handling of threats, like terrorism, weapons trafficking, international crime and instability.

    2. Improvement of relations between Greece and Turkey, which we support regarding its European perspective. However, the neighboring country has not altered its policy of questioning Greece's sovereign rights. Therefore, Greece has the obligation to preserve an efficient, preventive, reliable power.

    3. The accession of Cyprus in the European Union has created new perspectives for the Cypriot issue and the efforts of finding a stable and viable solution for the reunion of the island as per the UN. Until the situation is settled, Cyprus will have the undivided and multi-leveled support of Greece, which will actively participate in Cyprus' security affairs.

    The deputy government spokesperson, Evangelos Antonaros, also stated: "There are no plans of establishing new military camps in Northern Greece," and went on to add that "the national defensive policy is governed by persistency and stability."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Karamanlis' Two-Day Visit Diplomatic Delegation for Stability

    01 Mar 2005 16:57:00

    By Dimitris Kalantzis

    The government is in favour of implementing the decisions that bind the international community, stressed the deputy government spokesperson Evangelos Antonaros, answering a question posed a few hours after the PM had departed for his tour in Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo and Croatia, for the government's position regarding the Balkans and the eventuality of an independent Kosovar state, and separate states in Serbia and Montenegro. Speaking for the Prime Minister's trip, the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Mr Koumoutsakos stressed that it constitutes a continuation of a coherent and effective Greek diplomatic activity in the wider Balkan area.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] London's Conference Commences

    01 Mar 2005 13:44:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The International Conference over the fund dispensation to the Palestinian Authority in order to promote the economic, political and institutional reforms within the country, took place under heightened security measures, on Monday morning in London. Twenty-three Foreign Ministers, among them the U.S. and Russia, EU Chief Xavier Solana, officials of six International Organizations and the new President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas attended the meeting. Israel on the other hand did not participate and stated that the issues being discussed do not concern them.

    "Decided to Put Order in Internal Affairs"

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair commenced the Conference stating that the aim is to promote the idea of two countries in the Middle East, a safe Israel and a viable and independent Palestinian state.

    "The importance of this issue does not concentrate on Israel, Palestine and the Middle East. It concerns all the countries represented today," said Mr Blair adding that the Palestinian and Israeli conflict is quite possibly the issue that extremists use and abuse in order to receive support.

    The Palestinian attempts to reform have to be supported by the political progress in the peace process with Israel, stated Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas from his side.

    "Experience has shown that the attempts in the security are collapsing if they are not accompanied by a serious political process," stated to enforce his arguments and asked for the support of the attempts for the application of the road map in the Middle East.

    As far as the reorganisation of the Palestinian security forces, which is one of the most important reforms which is asked from the international community from the Palestinian Authority, but Israel was condemning. "We have decided to go forth, to put an order in our internal affairs and to respect our commitments. We have taken a final decision for the unification of the security forces. We have only one demand, the mutuality in the frame of the application of the major points of the road map," stated the Palestinian leader.

    UN General Secretary Kofi Annan praised Abbas and stated that Palestine took brave measures for the restriction of violence, and noted the improvement, which has been observed by the Palestinian side towards a peace solution after Yasser Arafats death.

    Plea to Israel for Calmness

    The U.S. Foreign Secretary Condoleeza Rice made a plea to Israel to not take actions that could lead to a failure of the peace attempts in the Middle East.

    Mrs Rice called on the Arab countries to take specific measures for the strict counter of extremist bodies that attack Israel and to end the diplomatic seclusion of the Israeli state.

    The U.S. Foreign Secretary made the U.S.s intent known, which is to help the Palestinian Authority, in funding and technology issues in order for internal reforms to take place.

    In a Press conference given with the French Foreign Minister Michelle Barnier it was made known that the procedure of an international convention for the Middle East during the second semester of 2005 will take place.

    At the same time from Ramallah Palestinian PM Ahmed Querei stated that he is awaiting positive results from the conference for the Palestinian reforms.

    Palestinians will Gain

    According to Reuters, and information based on a document in its disposal, the Palestinians will gain from the conference since the reassurance will be given for the creation of a Palestinian state and funds so that they can counter terrorist attacks against the Israelis.

    The news agency broadcast that the international community will promise help and the process of the Palestinian elections and the reassurance of order when Israel withdraws its people from the occupied Gaza Strip. In exchange the Palestinians promised to continue the reforms in the security forces, to have elections in July as planned and to fight corruption.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Satisfaction Over Karami's Resignation

    01 Mar 2005 12:45:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Amidst rallying of thousands of civilians that demand the retreat of Syrian troops from Lebanon, the political leadership in Beirut seeks the new PM that will lead the country to elections in May, after PM Omar Karamis government resignation, which was welcomed by the opposition. At the same time from London where the Conference for Palestine is taking place, U.S. Foreign Secretary Condoleezza Rice and French counterpart Michelle Barnier asked of Syrian troops to retreat from Lebanon and for "free and just elections" to take part in the country.

    U.S.: Opportunity for Lebanon

    Mrs Rice expressed her satisfaction over the developments in Lebanon proposing for the U.S. to help the Lebanese people in the process of free and just elections.

    The resignation of the Lebanese government constitutes a chance for the country to acquire a government which expresses its diversity, stated the White House spokesperson Scott McClellan adding that the new government should be free from any foreign intervention, hinting at Syrias meddling in its internal affairs.

    "We will do our best to support the Lebanese people," continued Mr McClellan underlining that the popular reactions that lead to Omar Karamis resignation depict the desire of the Lebanese for "free and just elections."

    From Budapest, the Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom stated that the "Syrian occupation of Lebanon has to end."

    Syria has kept its distance and stated that Karamis resignation is solely Lebanons issue.

    Lebanese and Israeli Press Support Resignation

    Lebanons Press welcomed the so-called win of the opposition that drove the pro-Syrian Karami governments fall but expressed its concerns over the nature of the next government.

    "On February 28, in Martyrs Square the government fell," writes Al Nahar newspaper in its front page adding, "the win of the opposition and the revolt for independence is the beginning of an exit from the crisis but not the end of the crisis. The problem of forming a new government is just as important as the resignation of the government," states the newspaper.

    The Israeli Press welcomed the win of the Lebanese opposition who pressured the pro-Syrian government of Omar Karami to resign after the daily mass protests in Beirut.

    "Overthrow in Lebanon" states Yediot Achronot in its front page and notes, "for the first time a peaceful protest forced the government of an Arab country to resign."

    The newspaper evaluates that these developments "brought optimism to Israel, which considers that Karamis resignation is the first step for the end of Syrian occupation in Lebanon."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Lebanon's Government Resigned

    [09] Apostolos Glezakos New Port Authority Chief Measures for Ports

    01 Mar 2005 15:36:00

    By Dimitris Kalantzis

    The development of infrastructure works at the major Greek ports and the improvement of island facilities where at the focus of the Government Committee meeting presided by PM Kostas Karamanlis at Maximos Mansion with the participation of Ministers of Mercantile Marine Manolis Kefalogianniss and Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis. The committee also decided upon the appointment of a new Port Authority Chief, Apostolos Glezakos. As Mr Kefalogiannis explained after the end of the meeting, the Government gives priority to Mercantile Marine and naturally to the necessary investments.

    Development Programmes

    Mr Kefalogiannis said that "the money existing today can help the development of Greek economy. There are major development programmes for Greek ports, which we believe can give a big boost to Greek economy in general."

    The are twenty major investments plans at the Ministry of Mercantile Marine regarding the ports of Piraeus, Thessaloniki and Patras.

    Mr Alogoskoufis stressed the necessity of new funds and the implication of private initiative. "Mercantile Marine is a field, he underlined, where private initiative can be really helpful so that infrastructure is upgraded and ports are exploited in the best possible way."

    Especially for the Greek number one port, Piraeus, its exploitation as an international naval centre is among the immediate plans of the Ministry.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Kenteris, Thanou Lawyers' Joint Announcement

    01 Mar 2005 20:11:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    In a joint Press conference they gave today, the lawyers of Greek Olympians Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, Grigoris Ioannidis and Nikolaos Kollias respectively, underlined that articles or statements that have been occasionally publicized by the Press do not reflect the truth nor their clients' opinion. At the same time, regarding the IAAF charges for the thee Non-Shows, the two lawyers underlined in their announcement that the SEGAS Judicial Committee has not issued an official announcement yet regarding the date of the ruling.

    The full context of the announcement signed by lawyers Grigoris Ioannidis and Nikolaos Kollias reads as follows: "Rrelevant articles and statements by third parties with regard to the possible date of the ruling do not reflect the truth, nor do they express the official stance of Mr Kenteris and Mrs Thanou. No official announcement has been provided by the SEGAS Judicial Committee regarding the date of the ruling and we hereby stress that the athletes' official views are expressed only via Mr Kenteris' lawyer (Grigoris Ioannidis) and Mrs Thanou lawyer (Nikolaos Kollias)."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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