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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-09

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Giosakis and Kalousis in High Court
  • [02] Strong Explosion Rocks Baghdad
  • [03] Initial Acceptance for Health Bill
  • [04] Strange Movements by Turkish Warships
  • [05] Syria: "Withdrawal Before Lebanese Elections"
  • [06] European Equality Institute Created
  • [07] Payments for Private Sector Pensioners

  • [01] Giosakis and Kalousis in High Court

    09 Mar 2005 07:30:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    Archimandrite Iakovos Giosakis, who has been remanded in custody, is today to testify to the High Court, before Inspector Christos Baltas on charges relating to the extrajudicial gang. Explanations are also required today from First Instance Court Justice of Chania Evangelos Kalousis, who has been referred on the question of definitive dismissal for human trafficking, while access to his bank accounts has shown that he is implicated in a bribery case. On Tuesday, Apostolos Vavilis was indicted on four charges, along with seven members of his close environment, who face charges of harbouring a criminal.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Proceedings Against Vavilis

    [02] At least two dead and 27 injured Strong Explosion Rocks Baghdad

    09 Mar 2005 07:17:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ANA, Reuters

    At least two dead and 27 injured is the tragic result so far of an explosion that rocked the capital of Iraq early on Wednesday morning. The explosion was caused by a rubbish-cart packed with explosives which was detonated near Sadir Hotel, which is used by the Iraqi police and by foreign educators, and near the Ministry of Agriculture. According to the police, the suicide attack destroyed twenty cars, while shrapnel flew to a distance of 400 metres from the scene. Eye-witness accounts say that the attack was preceded by two rocket attacks.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] On restructuring Health System Initial Acceptance for Health Bill

    09 Mar 2005 08:36:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    The Bill on the restructuring of the National Health System was voted in on Tuesday by the government majority, in the relevant Parliamentary committee. The Bill was rejected by the parties of the Opposition. The Minister of Health Nikitas Kaklamanis spoke of a "landmark in the Health sector," noting that with the new provisions, NDs pre-election pledges are implemented, social injustices are corrected and, at the same time, money is saved. Positive comments on the provisions of the Bill came from the President of the Greek National Federation of People with Disabilities, Ioannis Vardakastanis, and the President of Hospital Doctors, Vasilis Laopodis. The discussion on the Bills articles continues today.

    Tough Criticism from the Opposition

    A bureaucratic, ineffective and wasteful Bill, that establishes tight party intervention was how PASOK described the Bill, while KKEs spokesperson said that it amounted to privatization in the sectors of Health and Welfare.

    SYNs spokesman referred to exaggerated proclamations and spurious efforts, while independent MP Stefanos Manos stressed that the Bill may be included in the grand announcements regarding restructuring of the National Health Service, but that the conditions for this to happen have not been kept to.

    Answering Opposition criticism, both Mr Kaklamanis and the deputy Minister of Health, Giorgos Konstantopoulos, noted that for the first time a national system of health and solidarity was to be created.

    "Two thirds of the Bill regard social welfare. For twenty years, the situation in social care has been a quagmire. In a sector where the governments sensitivity is clear," stated Mr Kaklamanis.

    At the same time, he noted that a report from the general treasurer speaks of a reduction in annual funding of 3.5 million euros, which is a great saving in funds.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related Links:

    Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity

    [04] West of Limnos Strange Movements by Turkish Warships

    09 Mar 2005 07:52:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    The alarm was sounded at midnight on Tuesday, when strange movements by Turkish warships and submarines were observed to the west of Limnos. As it turned out, the Turkish ships were in fact six frigates which were participating in an exercise. The exercise was watched discreetly by the Greek gunship Eleftheria, which also asked for other ships to join it when they saw the large number of Turkish craft. Added to this were the Turkish submarines, which were stationed at various disparate points in the Aegean. In any case, military sources are reassuring, noting that there were no incidents.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Syria: "Withdrawal Before Lebanese Elections"

    09 Mar 2005 09:13:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: BBC, ANA

    A few hours after the major demonstrations in Lebanon, which opposed western interference in the matter of Syrian troops in the country, speaking on television network CNN, the Syrian Ambassador to the US, Imad Mustafa implied that Syria will have completed the redeployment of its troops in Lebanon before the parliamentary elections in May. The information regarding the redeployment of Syrian troops from northern and southern areas of the country was confirmed by the Lebanese Minister of Defence, Abdul Rahim Murad, who stated that the redeployment of the approximately 6000 troops to the Bekaa Valley would take ten days.

    US Continues Pressure

    "I would like to thank President Bush for his interest in the Lebanon and its free and fair elections. Now President Bush can turn his attention to the truly terrible occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel, because we are now withdrawing our troops," stressed Mustafa, answering in this way to the continuing pressure to withdraw the 14,000 troops and members of the secret services.

    "Lebanon will be dominated by freedom," stressed American President George Bush, speaking from Washington, adding that a full withdrawal should have finished before the elections in May, in order for the elections to be "free and fair."

    Mr Bush did not comment on the pro-Syrian rally organized by Hezbollah, which brought tens of thousands of people out onto the streets of Beirut. However, the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, expressed his satisfaction with the fact that there were no incidents. Just 300 metres away from the site of Hezbollahs demonstration, supporters of the Opposition gathered, calling for the withdrawal of Syria from Lebanese soil.

    Apart from the US, who has described the redeployment as a "half measure," a call for the withdrawal of Syrian troops has also come from France, Germany, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Hezbollah on the Streets

    [06] European Equality Institute Created

    09 Mar 2005 12:11:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    To celebrate International Womans Day, the Commission adopted a proposal to form a European Institute for Equality between Men and Women. The European capital that will host the Institute has not yet been chosen, and it is the European Commissions intention to found it in one of the ten new countries. "The Institute will mark a significant determined stage in equality policy," stated the President of the Commission, Jose Manuel Baroso, at a joint Press conference he held with the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Vladimir Spidla.

    The Institutes mission, which will be funded with 52.7 million euros for 2007-2013, as Mr Spidla explained, "will be to collect, analyse and disseminate information to the relevant authorities. Greater promotion will be given to issues of equality and their consequences. It will be a centre where we will be able to make experiences available on the Internet, through various studies that will become mutual for the 25 member states."

    ND MEP Maria Panagiotopoulou-Kassiotou underlined the usefulness of the Institute. Mrs Panagiotopoulou-Kassiotou is the Chairperson of the Inter-party Committee for the Family and the Child and a member of the Womens Committee.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Payments for Private Sector Pensioners

    09 Mar 2005 10:23:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, NET 105.8

    Pensions from IKA-ETAM, ETEAM and special funds for main and supplementary insurance are to increase by 4%, with retrospective payments from the start of the year, in accordance with a decision by the Minister for Employment, Panos Panagiotopoulos. The increases will be calculated on the pension sums paid at the end of last year, while they are expected to be deposited at the end of the month.

    According to the new provisions, the lowest pension stands at 428.2 euros, the average at 566.8 euros and the highest at 1967.6 euros. For the widow and dependants pension, the lowest sum increases to 376.4 euros, the average to 385.4 euros and the highest to 1483.4 euros.

    Furthermore, the amounts and income criteria for the Social Solidarity Benefit for Pensioners (EKAS) for 2005 are to be reviewed.

    In a ministerial document, Mr Panagiotopoulos asked the administrators of insurance funds to do their duty in order for pensioners who come under the aforementioned funds to receive what they are entitled to as soon as possible.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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