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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] Retrospective Payments for All
  • [02] U.S. Ambush to Italian Hostage!
  • [03] Sgrena Released
  • [04] Talkative Baby
  • [05] Simitis Attacks Government
  • [06] Concern in the Trade World
  • [07] Wave of Preemptive Transfers
  • [08] Where Did Spring Go?
  • [09] Unending Violence in Iraq
  • [10] "No Deficit in Athens 2004 Finances"
  • [11] Rivaldo Injured
  • [12] A Week's Wait for Olympiacos
  • [13] Magic Tickets Run Out
  • [14] Cell Phones with Photographic Memory
  • [15] The Dress Code of Spring

  • [01] Karamanlis intervenes on LAFKA Retrospective Payments for All

    04 Mar 2005 13:38:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    An end to the furore created over the LAFKA retrospective payments has come from the Prime Minister, Mr Kostas Karamanlis. As he announced, the retrospective payments will be given to those who qualify in five six-monthly installments, the first of which will be paid in June 2006. Mr Karamanlis stressed that the retrospective payments would be made independently of the rulings in court cases. At the same time, he harshly criticized PASOK governments who kept the payment, stressing that New Democracy abolished it just a few months after the elections, as promised before the elections. "We are proving that we are taking initiatives in order to counter social problems," stated the Minister of Economy while the opposition parties reactions were strong and spoke of a ridicule of the pensioners.

    "Looking Towards the Citizen"

    As Mr Karamanlis stated, the LAFKA payments should have been abolished from December 1997. Nevertheless, PASOK governments voted in a law extending it until 2008. "They brushed the trouble under the carpet and postponed the solution for the future," said the Prime Minister, noting that New Democracy took on matters left unsolved for years.

    As he continued, Mr Karamanlis stated that New Democracy had pledged before the elections to abolish the payment, which they in fact did from 1 July 2004, and all pensions increased by 1-5%

    At the same time, Mr Karamanlis gave the example of the contract-workers issue and the fiscal deficit and stressed that the government is implementing all its pledges with determination, looking towards the citizen, without further burdening the Economy.

    "You chose a government that will tell you the truth," underlined the Prime Minister, stressing that the first step is transparency for the good of all Greeks.

    Opposition Reactions

    PASOK Press spokesman Nikos Athanasakis accused the government of deceiving pensioners. Mr Athanasakis stressed that the Prime Minister had tried to save his image, "throwing out" basic ministers and under the pressure of society. Finally, he accused the government and the PM of unreliability, temporary measures and confusion.

    "Greece is changing. PASOK remains the same," answered the Minister of State and government spokesperson Thodoris Rousopoulos to Mr Athanasakis. In a statement, KKE spoke about the governments real manoeuvre, which would not have taken place without the direct, dynamic reaction of pensioners, as well as the general outcry by workers. At the same time, the KKE noted that the government did not want to affect the huge profits of the plutocracy and called for immediate payment of the retrospective installments.

    Finally, SYN spokesperson for the Economy and Social Policy, Panagiotis Lafazanis described Karamanlis statement as deceptive, as the government decided to deposit less money than the returns warranted and to as few pensioners as possible.

    The LAFKA retrospective payments are estimated at 800,000,000 euros, and the first installment is expected to reach 130,000,000 euros.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Karamanlis Intervenes Over LAFKA

    [02] U.S. Ambush to Italian Hostage!

    04 Mar 2005 23:16:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The American soldiers intervention complicated the nearly successful release operation of Italian journalist Guiliana Sgrena, in Iraq. The journalist had just been released and was headed to the Baghdad airport accompanied by Italian secret services, when U.S. forces opened fire at the vehicle. This resulted to the death of one Italian agent, while she was injured on her shoulder and was transported immediately to an Iraqi capital hospital. From Rome, the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, clearly disturbed, asked for explanations from the U.S. and held them accountable over the incident.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Had Been Abducted a Month Ago Sgrena Released

    04 Mar 2005 20:07:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: Aljazeera- Reuters- ANSA

    Aljazeera Network has broadcast the release, without giving further details, of Guiliana Sgrena, the Italian journalist who had been abducted in Iraq a month ago. The above is also confirmed by Manifesto newspaper, in which Sgrena worked for. A few hours ago the journalists father stated to ANSA News Agency that he saw in his dreams that his daughter would be released.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Italian Journalist Released

    [04] Two-Month-Old Boy Says Mama and Milk Talkative Baby

    04 Mar 2005 18:35:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The parents of a two-month-old baby boy in China were speechless when they heard him utter the word mama. The baby, as Mrs Wang states to ิhe Peking Times preferred not to cry but to say mama in order for her to bring its milk and a few days later said the word "nai," which in Chinese means milk. The babys abilities were confirmed by the Childrens Hospital in Beijing, stating that this is a rare phenomenon. A baby usually says "da" and "ma" at the age of 6-8 months. Double syllables like "gaga" and "dada" are said around its 10 months while at age one the baby can say simple words such as "cat" or "mom."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Second day of PASOK Convention Simitis Attacks Government

    04 Mar 2005 15:05:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ANA, NET 105.8, NET

    The second day of PASOKs Convention began with greetings from representatives of Greek and Cypriot parties. Harsh criticism of the government was voiced by former PM Kostas Simitis. "Time for Greece stopped in March 2004," said Mr Simitis, defending his policies, and he referred to the ideology that PASOK must give for the future. The former prime minister spent half of his speech making his attack against ND and claimed that the government has chosen and is implementing the "dangerous tactic of inaction," remaining indifferent to problems, only accusing its opponents. This morning, George Papandreou toured the Convention.

    "Indifference and Inactivity"

    As Mr Simitis stated, the government and ND are working on the premise that there is automatic pilot for everything, and especially in the European Union it has restricted itself to the role of messenger. In fact, he accused the government of selling out on the countrys right to jointly shape decisions in Europe to its benefit.

    At the same time, the former prime minister claimed that the governments main occupation lies in reinforcing its power for powers sake and spoke of a lack of clarity in aims and plans. He made special reference to the Pavlopoulos law, stressing that ND acted as "referee for ASEP," destroying a part of the institution and replacing it with the "back door method of the personal interview."

    Mr Simitis added that with the Convention, PASOK is making a new start, but regarding how quickly it will once again be in power, he stated that it depends on the members. He called for a battle for the values of progress, modernization and a patriotism that promotes the countrys prestige, and stressed that PASOK must show its new face on all issues.

    "PASOK does not have to prove that it can return to government, but that it wants to and fast," stated Evangelos Venizelos in his speech, presenting the text for the Movements new Charter. At the same time, he claimed that the PM "has lost control of the poltical and economic timeline and is thinking of early elections."

    Kostas Skandalidis referred to the long term in government for PASOK and criticized the government for a drastic reduction in the prosperity that had been created by PASOK governments. "Our duty is to regain the ideological and political leadership of our progressive proposal," he said, stressing that the party is judged directly by its everyday stance and tactics in Opposition.

    Party Greetings

    Bringing greetings from the Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis to PASOKs 7th Convention, ND secretary Vangelis Meimarakis noted the Movements contribution to the stability of the Republic and the area, the reinforcement of pluralism and underlined the need for consensus on major issues. "We have differences, but we are united by the obligation to respect each other and support citizens, regardless of their political and party preferences," stated Mr Meimarakis.

    KKE representative Thodoros Tziamtzis hailed the work of the Convention and noted that there is no third way, saying "you are either with the system or with the people."

    SYN President Alekos Alavanos criticized NDs government, speaking of a social winter. At the same time, in reference to the cooperation of left-wing groups, he underlined that this cooperation must be free of election vested interests, while he criticized Theodoros Pangalos, who in a recent interview doubted the future existence of SYN.

    Finally, independent MP Stefanos Manos described himself as a political migrant and condemned those who criticized him for cooperating with PASOK, speaking of "political racism" against what is different.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    New PASOK Image

    [06] Ministry of Development's Changes Provoke Concern in the Trade World

    04 Mar 2005 16:37:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: ANA- NET RADIO 105.8

    The announcements made by the Ministry of Development for the implementation of national working times for stores have caused strong reactions in the trade world. The employees representatives express their fears for the abolishment of Sunday since the adjustments foresee that the stores in tourist areas will be open on Sundays. From his side Deputy Minister of Development, Giannis Papathanasiou made clear that "the government will not meddle with Sunday and the employees day off."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Justice fortifies itself Wave of Preemptive Transfers

    04 Mar 2005 15:26:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    A large number of transfers of justices who have served for many years in the same areas is expected within the next few days. The transfers of approximately forty justices will be made preemptively in order for no dependencies to be created. Earlier today, as part of the investigation into the extrajudicial gang, testifying continued before Public Prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas. Reactions were triggered by the testimony to Mr Sanidas from the dean of Piraeus University, Vasilis Benos.

    Accusations Touch Piraeus University

    Giorgos Intihakis, who is serving a life sentence for drugs smuggling, and was examined by Antonia Ilia, who has been referred for dismissal, testified to the deputy Public Prosecutor.

    Serious charges against justices were made to Mr Sanidas by Vasilis Benos, dean of the University of Piraeus.

    Mr Benos alleged that justices, along with professors at the University, set up insurance cases and filed cases of mismanagement at the University of Piraeus.

    In the meantime, according to information, a justice from Athens is expected to be indicted within the next few days, while in fifteen days Iakovos Giosakis will be called to testify.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] Europe Dressed in White Where Did Spring Go?

    04 Mar 2005 17:38:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Europeans are out hunting for the lost season, trying to locate spring that should have arrived a few days ago. Many European capitals are dressed in white and the temperature has dropped many degrees below zero. In France, the heavy snowfall closed down the airports of Orly and Charles de Gaulle while the Eiffel Tower remained closed for the second day. In Great Britain 103 schools in Kent and 34 in Norfolk remained closed due to the snow while serious problems and flight cancellations took place in Stansted Airport. The temperature in London was -7&#186;C.

    Breaking Cold Records

    The last few days Europe has been experiencing polar frost and the picture that most capitals present is fairytale like.

    However the snow has caused many problems in transportation, road traffic accidents due to the frost, and even deaths as in Great Britain a 20-year-old nurse died from the frost.

    In the A15 Motorway in the Netherlands a great car pile up occurred, with several people injured but no deaths.

    In the southeastern areas of the country the temperature was -27&#186;C breaking the record of -18.7&#186;C recorded in March 1971.

    Many road traffic accidents due to the frost occurred in London while in the Port of Dover many serious problems were noted and resulted to huge lines of vehicles to be formed.

    Italy and Spain Amidst Snow

    In Spain, which is experiencing a wave of bad weather for the past week, at least 2,000 inhabitants of secluded villages remain closed off due to the snow.

    In Italy, and specifically in Torino the temperature was 8&#186;C and -23&#186;C in Umbria. In Genoa 30 cm of snow replaced the sand in the towns beaches.

    In Vienna the temperature was -4&#186;C while 350 snowploughs were used to clear the streets.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Bomb Attacks and Clashes Unending Violence in Iraq

    04 Mar 2005 18:42:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The bomb attacks and clashes in Iraq are a daily phenomenon. Today, seven Iraqi civilians were killed during bloody clashes and attacks in several different cities. Specifically, in Samara an Iraqi civilian was killed by a bomb placed on a street and was targeted at an American military convoy. In other parts of Samara, policemen found two bodies of Iraqis who had been shot. In the town of Hanita, 350 km west of Baghdad, three Iraqi civilians were killed and six injured during an exchange of fire between guerrilla fighters and American forces. In the town of Bakuba a civilian was killed from a booby-trapped car explosion. A Police Colonel was abducted in the motorway that connects the towns of Baiji and Mosul. At the same time the Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda which is lead by Abu Musad al-Zarkawi, in a statement in an Islamic website took responsibility of the two suicide attacks which occurred yesterday at the Interior Ministry, stating that the target was Minister Falah al-Nakib. In the meantime the interim Prime Minister Iyad Alawi stated to the journalists that he will remain in the race to head the new Iraqi government.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Meeting between Karamanlis and Angelopoulos "No Deficit in Athens 2004 Finances"

    04 Mar 2005 13:51:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    The President of the Athens 2004 Organising Committee Gianna Angelopoulos briefed the Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis on the finances of Athens 2004, shortly before the financial review of the Olympic Games is to be published. As she came out of Maximos Mansion, Mrs Angelopoulos stressed that she had briefed the prime minister on the completion of Athens 2004 dealings. In fact, regarding the 500 million that the government is to give to the Organising Committee to cover part of the Olympic works, an agreement made with the Simitis government, Mrs Angelopoulos stressed "Dont listen to everything that is said. There is no deficit. Be patient. We will inform you of all details regarding the finances." In fact, she stated: "we will soon be in a position to make a public financial report of the company, with full details," adding; "we are doing very well and will finish mush earlier than everyone else," meaning former Olympic Games hosts.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [11] Rivaldo Injured

    04 Mar 2005 20:29:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    The Brazilian football star Rivaldo will play in the critical game on Sunday in Touba against PAOK. Rivaldo, a little before the end of the training session in Rendis suffered a sprain on his left ankle, which caused a shock to his team mates and the training session team. Dusan Bajevic included the Brazilian in the team roster in Thessalonica since he is waiting to see what will happen in tomorrows last training session and in the case his situation gets better.

    Giovanni and Castillo Eveready

    As opposed to Rivaldo who might not participate, his fellow countryman Giovanni and Uruguayan Castillo will play in the game. The 19 players that the Serb Greek coach selected for the game are the following: Nikopolidis, Giannou, Mavrogenidis, Pantos, Schurrer, Anatolakis, Vallas, Kostoulas, Stoltidis, Kafes, Maric, Georgatos, Djordjevic, Filipakos, Castillo, Giovanni, Okkas, DAkol.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] A Week's Wait for Olympiacos

    04 Mar 2005 16:14:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Olympiacos FC submitted an appeal to the initial decision of one match behind closed doors, which was imposed after the fans incidents in the game against Ergotelis. The Sports Judge of the Hellenic Association of Football Clubs (EPAE) had imposed that charges and the "reds" turned to the Appellate Court of the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF) against the first instance decision, which will be made known next week.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] Magic Tickets Run Out

    04 Mar 2005 14:22:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    As usual, the fans of the red and white team were waiting outside Karaiskaki Stadium from the early hours of the morning in order to get a ticket for the UEFA Cup match against the Magpies. And yet again, the magic slips of paper were sold out within two hours. At the stadium ticket booths it was the same story as usual, with both actual tickets and online sales going at dizzying speeds. This means that once again Karaiskaki Stadium will be filled to 100% capacity to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the founding of the club.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [14] Work Only When They See You Cell Phones with Photographic Memory

    04 Mar 2005 18:24:00

    By Viki Keleri

    Up to now you protected your privacy by using a personal pin on your cell phone and by putting extra security settings. Besides that you had the fear that someone might trick your settings and enter your cell phones data. A new Japanese invention comes to succumb that fear. It is a cell phone able to recognize its owner, thanks to the biometric technique of face recognition they are equipped with. The cell phone through the built-in camera keeps the owners face in its memory. Every time that someone tries to use the device, the cell phone compares the characteristics of its owner and decides to give access. It will be soon released in Japan and is expected to have soaring sales. Lets hope that someday we will also be lucky enough to own one.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [15] Designers Proposals The Dress Code of Spring

    04 Mar 2005 15:06:00

    By Viki Keleri

    With March just in its beginning, springtime takes its first steps and shyly enters our life. This is evident by the storefronts, which have put away winter clothes. Thus it is unavoidable to be besieged by the first stylistic worries over springs dress code. This seasons secrets lie in two words: fantasy and femininity. This combination will get us through spring and be a guide to our choices. Lace is the main protagonist this season together with feather creations while polka dots are in the front line. The main inspiration for the designers is wood and its many formations and the sea.

    Allure and Fantasy

    Alluring, mysterious and aristocratic lace is this springs main ingredient in the creations of many haute couture houses. Among them Nina Ricci, Tuleh and Temperley which chose to use beige and wear it on top of solid pastel hues which brings out its unique elegance.

    From their side Jill Stuart and Sari Gueron insisted on the see-through version of lace, adapting it on vintage evening dresses with draping necklines.

    Sonia Rykiel preferred the black version of alluring feminine fabric creating dresses that bring out a complete antithesis worn against white skin.

    From the femininity of lace let us go the fantasy of polka dots. This year the designers seemed to love the familiar playful polka dots and used them as the main decorative print in dresses, skirts and shirts.

    Bill Blass, Luca Luca and Palmer Jones decided to place polka dots with arithmetic accuracy on their creations while Luis Vuitton and Peter Jensen chose to place them disorderly on their clothes.

    Wood as a material and form influenced many designers. Both Giles Deacon and Maurizio Pecoraro, inspired by nature in their collections used wood ring formations as a basic print on dresses, trousers and tops.

    Marni, Costume National and Roberto Cavalli used wood as the main material in their accessories. Wooden earrings and bracelets give a certain dynamic and an originality to your look. In the same way Alessandro Dell Acqua chooses to bond wood with stone for more impressive results.

    The most eccentric point of this season are Tara Subkoff and Robert Cary-Williams proposals who created rag dresses with strips of material. The nautical element was the basis of the collections of Tommy Hilfiger, Stella McCartney and MaxMara.

    Ann Demeulemeester and Undercovers necklaces were made with nautical knots while Marni and Peter Som used the same pattern for belts on jackets and skirts.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Spring in your Wardrobe

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