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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-04

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Karamanlis Intervenes Over LAFKA
  • [02] Karamanlis Meets with Nano
  • [03] The Secrets of Fingers
  • [04] Still on the Alert
  • [05] Allies Put Pressure on Syria
  • [06] Political Thriller with Dead Former Minister
  • [07] Fatah Members Resign
  • [08] Hour Approaches for Kenderis and Thanou

  • [01] Pledges stand Karamanlis Intervenes Over LAFKA

    04 Mar 2005 12:37:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, NET, MNA

    According to information, the Prime Minister is expected to give a definitive, political solution to the LAKFA retrospective payments, independently of the judicial progress of the case. This intervention aims to put an end to the troubles of 900,000 pensioners, who will receive the retrospective payments in installments in 2006. Members of the government and DAKE endorse the political solution, while PASOK MPs floored a question on the matter in Parliament. In a question to the ministers for Employment and the Economy, the President of SYN, Alekos Alavanos calls for immediate legislation to be put in place, and the matter to be taken out of court. On Thursday, the pensioners will take to the streets once again, calling for the payments to be made.

    Second Court Case in Few Days

    Earlier, the alternate government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros repeated the governments pledge to implement all its commitments, to make the retrospective payments if the court rules in favour of even one pensioner, and recalled that in 18 days the case of another pensioner comes to court, as the first to have done so, pensioner and former director of the political office of the deputy Minister for the Economy Petros Doukas, Vasilis Goulas, withdrew his suit. The next case will be in court on 21 March and regards an Agricultural Bank pensioner, who had originally lost the case.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Political Solution Wanted for LAFKA

    [02] Focus on Kosovo Plain Karamanlis Meets with Nano

    04 Mar 2005 09:19:00 (Last updated: 04 Mar 2005 13:24:12)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    The future of the Kosovo Plain, and especially the preconditions set by the international community to achieve peace and stability in that region, as well as the situation for the Greek minority in Albania, were the focus of the meeting held on Friday morning at Maximos Mansion between Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and his Albanian counterpart Fatos Nano. This meeting brings the Prime Ministers cycle of contacts with leaders of Western Balkan countries to an end. Greece has taken the initiative in achieving a peaceful solution to the problem of the Kosovo Plain, in view of the Convention on Inter-Balkan Cooperation next May, which will be chaired by Greece. Following this, the Prime Minister met with the president of Athens 2004, Gianna Angelopoulos.

    No Deficit

    As she came out of Maximos Mansion, Gianna Angelopoulos stated that there was no deficit and that the financial review of the Olympic Games would soon be published.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    EU is Imperative for Stability

    [03] What do our fingers say about our characters? The Secrets of Fingers

    04 Mar 2005 12:08:00

    By Viki Keleri

    It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and that if you really want to know someone well, you have to know how to look into them in the right way. However, a study by Canadian scientists has come to overturn this centuries-long conviction and claim that personality and character features can be revealed by the fingers. A team of researchers at the University of Alberta claims that the length of our fingers can show if we are aggressive or not, and how much, while it could warn us if we have depressive tendencies.

    Testosterone Key Element

    The researchers mainly concentrated on comparing the index finger with the ring finger. After taking measurements from 300 people, they concluded that those whose index finger was much shorter than the ring finger were more aggressive than those with just a negligible difference.

    A key role in these differences is played by testosterone. Previous studies have shown that this hormone has a direct link with the length of fingers.

    In fact, among women the index and ring fingers are of almost equal length, while amongst men the ring finger is usually longer.

    The Canadian researchers found that the men whose index fingers were much shorter were more aggressive than the others, while the same did not apply to women who had similar differences in finger lengths.

    The research team is now attempting to discover other secrets hidden within our fingers.

    The first step along the way is to see whether men who have more "feminine" fingers, whose ring and index fingers are more or less the same length, are prone to depression.

    Psychology professor John Manning from the University of Central Lancashire described the findings as reasonable, adding that further research was required to confirm them.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] Worrying "messages" from Bulgaria Still on the Alert

    04 Mar 2005 10:09:00 (Last updated: 04 Mar 2005 13:20:12)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, MNA

    The support of the government for the residents of riverside areas in Evros was promised by the Minister of Defence, Spilios Spilotopoulos, who visited Evros yesterday. After having been briefed on the situation in the area, he stressed that the support and relief of residents was a priority for the government, noting that from the very first moments civilian and military groups joined forces to confront the crisis. The governments commitment to supporting afflicted areas was repeated in Alexandroupoli by the Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, at the same time expressing his support for the residents of the prefecture.In the meantime, the water levels in the Rivers Evros and Arda remain over danger points and the state mechanism is continuing the battle to reduce flooding, while there are fears that the problems may worsen over the weekend with the rise in temperature, which is melting the snow in Bulgaria, thereby freeing more water to flow into the rivers.

    Fears of Rise in Crisis

    Yesterday afternoon, the army blew up the dykes in the Lavara area, which resulted in the water level receding. However, 40 houses continue to face flooding, with incalculable damage to crops.

    According to the latest official analysis, damage has been caused to 14 houses and the same number of agricultural stores, while about 40 houses are still threatened with flooding.

    This morning, the water level at the measuring station in Pythio stood at 5.26 metres, with the danger level set at 5.70 metres, in Ardas 4.70m with 5.20m, in Kipi 4.10m with 4m and in Feres 6.15m with 6m.

    The alarm could be sounded again over the weekend, as according to the latest information from the Bulgarian authorities, owing to the rise in temperature, large volumes of snow in areas along the Bulgarian Greek borders are expected to melt, thereby creating a large quantity of water.

    A statement from the Civil Protection Authority for the Prefecture of Evros repeats advice to residents not to approach dangerous, flooded areas.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Alarm in Evros

    [05] Russia also in favour of withdrawal Allies Put Pressure on Syria

    04 Mar 2005 08:18:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA, BBC Greek

    Saudi Arabia has been added to the list of Arab voices putting pressure on Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon, whilst Washington is once again threatening Damascus with sanctions if it does not change its policy against Beirut. The Saudi Arabian position was clarified during the visit of the Syrian leader Bashar Assad to Riyadh for talks with Prince Abdullah. However, the pressure on Damascus has become stronger since the change in position on the part of Russia, an ally of Syria, who advised Damascus that it must withdraw its troops from Lebanon. If not, American officials state that Washington and its European partners will be in position for immediate action, probably a tough decision by the UN and further sanctions.

    Saudi-Syrian Relations Under Threat

    The Saudi Prince told Assad that "Syria must soon begin the withdrawal of its troops, otherwise the relations between Saudi Arabia and Syria will face difficulties."

    Syrias official news agency reported that "the talks were constructive and took place in an exceedingly friendly atmosphere."

    "Syria must withdraw from Lebanon, but we must all ensure that this does not upset the fragile balance that continues to be the case in Lebanon," stated the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

    In Isolation

    According to analysts, Damascus is currently totally isolated, not only from the US and Europe, but also from its traditional allies.

    In any case, according to Arab diplomats, Syria is not likely to consent to a full withdrawal of its troops and will insist on keeping about 3000 soldiers in Lebanon as well as warning stations in the event of an Israeli attack.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] He died shortly before he was to testify Political Thriller with Dead Former Minister

    04 Mar 2005 11:03:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Reuters, ANA

    The former Interior Minister of the Ukraine was found dead in his country home near Kiev. He had been called to testify before the Public Prosecutor in the case of the murder of Ukrainian reporter Georg Gongadzhe. As Russian news agency Interfax reports, Kravchenko is likely to have committed suicide, although the police is conducting an investigation into the death circumstances of the minister. At the time when Gongadzhe was murdered, Kravchenko was the Minister of the Interior, and he was expected to testify, as he was thought to have been behind the reporters murder.

    Kuchma Also Accused

    Gongadzhe worked on the webpage of the Ukrainian Opposition. His headless corpse was found one month after he had disappeared (Autumn 2000).

    The new President, Viktor Yushchenko has stated that the serving of justice against those responsible for the murder of Gongadzhe "is an ethical priority."

    Furthermore, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko stated that the murder of Gongadzhe had been solved and that three policemen had already been arrested, while the authorities are searching for a fourth man.

    The former President of the Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma was accused of involvement in the death of the reporter, as one of his former bodyguards had allegedly taped his discussions. Kuchma himself has always denied any involvement in the case, while no evidence was found to indicate his guilt.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Protesting stance of longer standing members Fatah Members Resign

    04 Mar 2005 07:47:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    Thirty-two members of Fatah, who belonged to the younger generation of the Palestinian organisation in the West Bank, submitted their resignations in a show of protest against bad management by longer standing members. This group resignation is considered to be a means to press for reform in the ranks of the organisation, in order for it to maintain its reception amongst Palestinians, many of whom are turning towards the radical Hamas, which led the second Intifada. In the meantime, unidentified attackers opened fire on the residence of the Palestinian Minister of Social Affairs, Jamil Tarifi in Ramallah, as the Palestinian official himself told reporters. Only material damage was sustained in the fire.

    "To Save the Organisation"

    Hamas did not take part in the Palestinian elections to choose the President, thereby facilitating the election of Fatah veteran Mahmoud Abbas. However, in the local elections that followed, Hamas candidates won the majority in municipal councils. The results of the local elections are considered an indicator of what Hamas could do in the parliamentary elections which are scheduled for July.

    "The younger generation has decided to take the initiative in order to save Fatah," stated one of the members who resigned, Ahmed Gneim, warning that "otherwise, Hamas will win the parliamentary elections, just as happened with the local elections in Gaza."

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] Hour Approaches for Kenderis and Thanou

    04 Mar 2005 11:46:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    On Monday, the Greek Athletics Federation is to announce what is to happen with Kostas Kenderis and Katerina Thanou. The two Greek athletes, who are facing a provisional ban from all athletics events, after what happened at the Athens Olympic Games, will find out in three days whether or not the two-year ban stands. Along with them, their former coach Christos Tzekos has also been banned from all athletic activity for two years.

    Evidence For Kenderis

    In any case, the lawyer for the Greek sprinter, Grigoris Ioannidis, will hold a Press Conference in London immediately following the announcement of the decision. A few days ago, Mr Ioannidis called for all the charges against the Greek Olympic medallist to be withdrawn.

    This is because he claims that evidence has been found to overturn the case and exonerate his client.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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