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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-11

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Presidential Change
  • [02] Olympiacos in the Final
  • [03] Greece Celebrates
  • [04] Escape from the City
  • [05] Seats Change in Parliament
  • [06] Karamanlis Speaks to Spanish Newspaper
  • [07] New Proceedings Against Judges
  • [08] PSAT Condemns Bajevic and Karageorgios
  • [09] Filippidis Resigns
  • [10] Unrest at Zefiri over Suspension
  • [11] Asbestos Schools to be Demolished
  • [12] Antonaros Questions Destruction of Documents
  • [13] Mayor Starts Hunger Strike

  • [01] Papoulias' Inauguration on Saturday Presidential Change

    11 Mar 2005 15:47:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ANA

    Kostis Stefanopoulos had his last meeting as President of the Hellenic Republic with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. In an emotionally-charged climate, the Prime Minister thanked the outgoing President for the impeccable way in which he had gone about his duties during his term in office. Shortly earlier, Mr Stefanopoulos met with the Speaker of Parliament Anna Psarouda Benaki, who, as he stated, expressed her deep esteem for him and underlined the exceedingly positive presidential term. A farewell visit to Mr Stefanopoulos was also paid by the Minister for Development Dimitris Sioufas and the Deputy Minister for Development Giannis Papathanasiou. The presidential baton will be passed to Karolos Papoulias in less than 24 hours. The inauguration of the new President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias will be celebrated on Saturday at 11am in Parliament, and can be watched live on NET.

    Moving Climate

    "I visited the President of the Republic in order to express Im sure on behalf of all Greeks our thanks for the impeccable, exemplary way in which he has carried out his duties," stated Mr Karamanlis as he left the Presidential Palace, adding: "In his ten-year term in office as President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Stefanopoulos served with a high feeling of responsibility for the State, the institution, the country, Hellenism in general, and for this reason, I believe that he justly won the esteem and respect of all citizens.

    The PM presented Mr Stefanopoulos with a gift of one of the first editions of Cavafys poetry, while in the conversation between the two, they reminisced on some of the most important moments of the Presidents term. The meeting lasted for 25 minutes.

    Earlier, Mr Stefanopoulos had a warm and emotional meeting with the Speaker of Parliament Anna Psarouda Benaki.

    After the meeting, Mrs Benaki stressed that she had had the chance to express to Mr Stefanopoulos the deep feelings of respect that she holds for him and to underline the exceedingly positive term in office and wish him all the best for the future.

    The outgoing President honoured the Speaker of Parliament with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, while he was pleased to accept from Mrs Psarouda-Benaki a leather-bound book containing texts related to Greek mythology, titled "The Temple of the Muses."

    "We considered it our duty, together with the deputy minister for Development Giannis Papathanasiou to officially bid farewell to and thank the President of the Republic Mr Stefanopoulos for all he has offered to our country while in office. He responded to his duties in an exemplary way. We wish a good term in office for the new President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias, for the good of our country and of Hellenism," stated Mr Sioufas, after visiting the outgoing President.

    In the meantime, from 10am to approximately 1pm, there will be restrictive traffic measures in force for cars on the roads around the Parliament building.

    "Magnificent Politician"

    Speaking on a special programme on NET 105.8 concerning the presidential election, former PM Georgios Rallis stressed that despite the fact that the President of the Hellenic Republic now has less authorities following the 1986 legislative reform, Mr Stefanopoulos "represented the State, both within Greece as well as overseas, encouraged when necessary and remained a low-key president. I wish that in the future he may continue to have a productive public life."

    In his statements to NET 105.8, the former President of the Republic of Cyprus, Glafkos Kliridis underlined Mr Stefanopoulos vision and stability regarding Cyprus stance as well as his support to Cypriot Greeks. "He is a truly magnificent politician and a great President," added Mr Kliridis.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Olympiacos in the Final

    11 Mar 2005 22:36:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Olympiacos makes its date with history, qualifying to the end of the Final-4 of the Mens Top Teams Cup, defeating Dukla Liberec from the Czech Republic 3-0. In the last match before its second European trophy in nine years, Olympiacos will be called at 18:30 tonight to defeat Dutch team Neselande, who in the semi-final won 3-0 against Omniworld.

    Nerves at the Start

    With the support of about 5000 fans, Olympiacos started out slowly in the semifinal against Dukla Liberec and got ahead of the young Czech team, 8-5. However, the guest team then halted Olympiacos pace, and with great efforts on the offensive by Jeslinek and Zadral, they managed to bring the game on an equal footing, 10-10 and 13-13. Olympiacos managed to get two points ahead, but the Czechs fought back, 21-20. Subsequent mistakes in serves brought the match back to the balance, 22-22, but in the end, with Milinkovic, Olympiacos took the lead.

    The Great Markos

    The set under their belt cancelled out the stress for the host team, and under Markos Milinkovics lead, and with great blocks by Akis Hatziantoniou, they set the pace from the beginning of the second set, 8-3. Excellent in his position, Kournetas took Olympiacos to 12-5. Dukla risked a strong serve, but once again, the host team kept a safety net of points, 16-10. Even the stands started to lose interest, breaking out in chants against AEK, and Olympiacos took the second set 25-17.

    Relaxed into the Final

    In the last set, Dukla Liberec had its back against the wall and risked more in the serve, managing to lead 7-5 and 8-7. Quickly, however, Milinkovic gave the lead back to Olympiacos with 12-10 and 16-11. At this point, the Czechs gave it up, making one mistake after the other, which Olympiacos took full advantage of, qualifying with the win, 25-20.

    The sets: 22-25, 17-25, 20-25

    Olympiacos (Claudio Cuello) Kournetas, Salmon, Christofidelis, Tsakiropoulos, Milinkovic, Hatziantoniou, Dimitrakopoulos (libero), Drakovic.

    Dukla Liberec (Petr Brom) Dietrich, Tichashek, Biza, Jeslinek, Rejliek, Zadrazil, Kristof (libero), Tscherbak, Venkosvski.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] Greece Celebrates

    11 Mar 2005 20:34:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Celebrations with plenty of wine and music are included on the schedule for most Greeks over the bank holiday weekend. The heart of the Carnival is of course beating in Patra. Nevertheless, the rest of the country does not intend to stay behind when it comes to carnival events. Rural Greece knows how to experience the season, with revivals of customs whose roots are lost in the mists of time and with traditional music, as well as parades and parties all night long. The curtain falls on Clean Monday, with games and kite flying for children, and tables full of bean soup, halvas, seafood and other dishes allowed during fasting for adults.

    Party Till the End

    As with every year, Patra holds the reins and leads the dance. The parade with the King of the Carnival and the satirical floats, which this year take their inspiration from the "Thousand and One Myths" with a strong oriental style, will be seen at both the evening parade of the last Saturday and the grand parade on Sunday.

    In Xanthi, customs will be revived, as with every year, with dances and traditional costumes. The Thracian folk festivals will close with a firework display on Sunday night, with the burning of the "Czar", after the grand parade of floats.

    In Kozani the focus is on the fanoi and the ironic and vulgar songs. The fanoi , the great fires, are lit in the city from Thursday until Saturday. On Sunday, the thirteen fanoi are lit late in the afternoon and the celebration starts, taking the baton from the grand float parade.

    In Naousa, the season is synonymous with the Genitsaroi and Boules, a custom coming down through the ages, which is only for men. The custom, which includes ceremonial dressing of Genitsaros and a gathering of musicians who wander from house to house in the city, is revived on both the first and last Sunday of the season, ending with a grand celebration, that continues until the evening on Clean Monday.

    In Castoria, Sunday is lit up by boubounes, fires around which people enjoy themselves drinking wine, raki and eating halvas, olives and sausage. Another tradition is the haskaris. In every house, the head of the familywill tie an egg to the end of a rolling-pin with string and revolve it quickly from mouth to mouth. Whoever manages to catch the egg will be the winner. In Ioannina, the last Sunday of the season is the time to revive an ancient custom, the Tzamales , which has its roots in antiquity, and marked the end of winter and the start of spring, the start of new life and the summer farming work.

    In the heart of the Thessaly Plain, in Tirnavos, the festivities peak with the bourani on Clean Monday, a strongly Dionysian festival, dedicated to the fertility of the earth. Its features are the phalluses made from various materials and of various sizes and of course raki.

    In Thiva, there is the Vlach Wedding , a remnant of Dionysian tradition, where of course the bride is a man. The custom is completed on Clean Monday with a party.

    In Galaxidi, Fokida, the Carnival takes place in multicoloured mist, as after the parade it is time for the notorious, merciless alevromoutzouromata . This consists of a "fight" in the alleyways, with weapons made of flour, ash, blue and yellow paint, to the sounds of drums and violins.

    On Syros, on Saturday, they celebrate with Zeibekia. Dances and songs until the Arapis steals the wife of the first captain. A chase ensues through the beautiful alleys of the island, until the "criminal" is caught and "sentenced."

    On Skyros, shepherds with bells around the waist, ribbons and traditional costumes take centre stage.

    So, go out there with a good appetite, and have fun!

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] Escape from the City

    11 Mar 2005 18:51:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The weather may be changeable, but this does not deter Athenians, who are preparing their luggage and getting ready for the great escape from the city, heading for fresh air and greenery for the three-day weekend of Clean Monday. The best-prepared are already on the road. The same apples to the Traffic Police, who are on the alert, ready to make any interventions necessary to facilitate those going away for a weekend break.

    For those traveling on Saturday morning, it would be a good idea to set out early, as the residents of the Municipalities of Grammatikos, Marathon and Varnavas have scheduled a protest rally at 11am at Afidnon Toll Gates, protesting the creation of a refuse dump at Mavro Vouno Grammatikou.

    On Friday and Saturday in the city, from 3 to 9pm, lorries over 1.5 tonnes are banned from traveling on motorways out of the cities, and on Monday from 3 to 11 from motorways into the cities. The traffic police are stationed at various points along the motorways to discourage and avert traffic violations. And as the break must finish with a safe return, drivers are reminded of the importance of the use of the security zone, of keeping the Highway Code, and that drinking alcohol and driving must never be combined.

    For Those Staying at Home

    Of course, for those who do not intend to take a weekend break away, the news isnt bad. All the large Municipalities in Greece have planned events with Lenten dishes and parties. In Athens, the Municipality has scheduled a series of events in all districts of the city, starting from tomorrow.. For those who prefer to spend their festivals with families and friends, Varvakios Market is full of good things. The fish-market will remain open from 10pm on Sunday for midnight shopping, and close at 1pm on Monday. Prices remain at last years levels, with the exception of certain products that vary. Open-air markets will operate as normal on Monday.

    Changeable Weather

    The weather will remain overcast and locally miserable. On Saturday, it is expected to be initially clear, but in the afternoon in the west it will become cloudy, with localized rainfall in the northwest. The wind will blow from the north, medium, and in the southeastern Aegean strong, gradually turning to medium. The temperature will rise during the day. During the night, however and early in the morning, it will be icy. On Clean Monday, the weather will be fair throughout Greece.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Blank votes to be counted Seats Change in Parliament

    11 Mar 2005 19:02:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    The Electoral Court accepted an appeal by alternate ND MP for Pella, Parthena Foundoukidou, and from now on, as decided by majority in the Electoral Court (6-5), blank votes must also be counted to determine the electoral result. This means that Mrs Foudoukidou takes the place of former minister and PASOK MP for Pella Giorgos Paschalidis. Out of Parliament is B Thessaloniki MP from ND Kostas Zacharakis, and his seat is won by Charis Tsiokas from PASOK, while in Serres, PASOK MP Efstathios Koutmeridis loses his seat and Achilleas Karamanlis from ND enters Parliament. The decision by the Electoral Court is expected to be published within the next few days. PASOK Press Spokesman Nikos Athanasakis described the decision as a judicial irrationality.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] To ABC newspaper Karamanlis Speaks to Spanish Newspaper

    11 Mar 2005 17:14:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis referred to the recent developments in Greece, the matter of the economy and the Church in an interview to Spanish newspaper ABC, which was published on Friday. Mr Karamanlis also spoke about terrorism, stressing that Greece participates actively in the mutual struggle aiming for peace and stability in the international system. "We scored a very significant victory against terrorism in Greece," stated the PM, referring to the arrest of the members of 17 November and ELA terrorist groups, noting that the members of 17N were tried and sentenced according to the charges against them.

    Autocatharsis in the Church in the Right Direction

    Referring to the economy, Mr Karaman;is stressed that the basic aim of the government is a new economic policy, with 2010 as the horizon. Among the basic goals of the governments economic programme are the reinforcement of productivity and competitiveness, achieving a dynamic and self-perpetuating growth above 5%, reducing unemployment to below 3%, and the conforming of salaries and pensions with the EU average within the next eight years.

    "We have a difficult task, especially in the next two years. We want to do well for Greece, and we are optimistic of managing this," underlined Mr Karamanlis.

    The Prime Minister also referred to the developments in the Church and the Justice sector.

    "A just state is a non-negotiable value. In the Justice sector, the changes are visible. With a personal statement, I requested that autocatharsis proceed within the Church to restore the prestige of the institution and the trust of the faithful. This is now underway and is moving in the right direction," stated Mr Karamanlis.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Magistrate to appear before Supreme Court New Proceedings Against Judges

    11 Mar 2005 16:44:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    Yet another judicial officer is to appear before the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court, following Supreme Court Chief Justice Giorgos Kappos request for permanent dismissal. The officer in question is a magistrate who is under investigation for unacceptable behaviour and unjustifiable delays. At the same time, Mr Kappos will be issuing personal orders for the transfer of 70 First Instance and Appellate Judges from courts throughout Greece, who have already been issued with preemptive transfer papers, due to their long-term service in the specific offices. At the same time, another fifteen prosecutors will be transferred as a precaution.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] PSAT Condemns Bajevic and Karageorgios

    11 Mar 2005 18:49:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The unprofessional behaviour of Olympiacos coach, Dusan Bajevic, who after his teams match against PAOK refused to make any statements to representatives of the Press, owing to an article in a Thessalonica newspaper, was today condemned by the Executive Council of the Hellenic Union of Sports Writers (PSAT). PSAT also condemned the stance of PAOKs coach, Nikos Karageorgios, who followed the example of his colleague, and withdrew from the Press room. The Sports Writers trade union proceeded with this action after receiving a letter signed by 30 Sports Writers from Thessalonica.

    Sports Paper Also Condemned

    At the same time, PSATs Executive Council also condemned the article in the sports newspaper, which it stated "pours oil on the fire."

    It also advises its members to keep to the principles and rules, and contribute to developing the spirit of sports-loving behaviour and reducing violence in stadiums, educating the younger generation, while PSAT also states its opposition to any kind of "provocative front pages."

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] Filippidis Resigns

    11 Mar 2005 18:19:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sudden developments at OPAP, as the chairman of the company, Anestis Filippidis submitted his resignation to the deputy Miniter for Sport Mr Giorgos Orfanos, who accepted it. The reason for this was the statements made by the former Chairman on a radio station in Thessalonica, regarding set up games in the Greek league, and the position he took over the refereeing of the game between PAOK and Olympiacos, speaking of authorized action by the referee, Zografos, aiming to favour the leader in the rankings. Mr Filippidis submitted his resignation in person and in writing to Mr Orfanos, who in a statement thanked him for "the services he offered and his good cooperation."

    Statement from OPAP

    Besides this, in a statement today, the administration of OPAP confirmed for the executive board of ATHEX that "it has never come to the knowledge of the executive board, as a collective body, nor to the knowledge of any of the members constituting it, or any members or services, evidence or even information about the possibility of pre-deciding, which, directly or indirectly, affected even one match among those included on PRO-PO and PROPO GOAL coupons, or Football Betting coupons."

    The companys Board expressed the certainty that "both the investment community and those who participate in competitions surround the company and its activities with their trust. The activities are always within the provisions of the law and the needs of the business."

    The same statement notes that OPAP is one of the most profitable businesses in Greece, with pre-taxation profits for 2004 of 736 million euros.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [10] Light damage caused to buses Unrest at Zefiri over Suspension

    11 Mar 2005 20:35:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    The anger of gypsies in Zefiri was triggered by the announcement of the suspension of the sentence of Z Team Policeman Giorgos Tilianakis, who three years ago fatally shot 22-year-old gypsy Marinos Christopoulos, because he did not stop his car at a police check. The Court sentenced the former policeman, who was discharged from the Police after the unpleasant incident, to 13 years imprisonment, but the appeal for suspension by Tilianakis infuriated the relatives of the 22-year-old man, who note that the former policeman did not spend so much as one day in prison. This afternoon, in a show of protest, about 80 residents of the area closed off the crossroads of Ethnikis Antistaseos Road and Panagias Grigorousis Road, near the scene of the incident. The rallies caused light damage to four buses, while they threw rocks against policemen who arrived on scene. Finally, at around 6.30pm, they dispersed and traffic returned to normal.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [11] All asbestos schools to be replaced Asbestos Schools to be Demolished

    11 Mar 2005 19:48:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    The School Buildings Organisation (OSK) will demolish 44 schools which were constructed with asbestos within one year. A the same time, during the same time-period, in a further 237 schools, parts made of asbestos during construction will be replaced. The total cost of the works is 25 million euros and will be covered by the OSK. The process of demolishing, removing and transporting the asbestos will be conducted by specialist companies and the entire operation will be monitored by the University.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [12] Regarding Vavilis Antonaros Questions Destruction of Documents

    11 Mar 2005 19:12:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    Vavilis relations with secret services and the irregular destruction of documents with the NIS, which related to his activities in March 2002, return to the news after the investigation carried out by the Ministry of Public Order. The results of the investigation were submitted to Justice on Thursday. On a question regarding an article, according to which NIS documents concerning Vavilis have been destroyed, the alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros clarified on Friday that the article came from an official statement released yesterday by the Ministry of Public Order. Implying things does not amount to political wrangling, stated PASOKs Press Spokesman, Nikos Athanasakis, commenting on yesterdays statements by the Deputy Minister of Public Order, Mr Markogiannakis, and statements today by the alternate government spokesman.

    Irregular Destruction of Documents

    According to the statement, "following an investigation conducted by order of the Minitser Mr Voulgarakis, the Director of the NIS Mr Korantis found that the published documents and various others were destroyed on 13 March 2003 in circumstances outside of regulations. The Director of the NIS presented the report to Mr Voulgarakis on 9 March 2005, and the findings were sent to the Director of Athens Public Prosecutions."

    Mr Antonaros also recommended that the conclusions be included, with emphasis on dates.

    On a question as to whether this was known to the previous government, Mr Antonaros observed that "this is a matter of investigation," adding that he submitted the data from the investigation which have been submitted to the Public Prosecutor, observing that he can neither accuse nor condemn anyone.

    On questions regarding the "intention" or "political responsibility" of the previous government, Mr Antonaros stated that the investigation should be completed in order to draw conclusions, which can in any case be drawn by reporters, as he said, emphasizing that "the documents were destroyed in unusual circumstances."

    "They Don't Tell it Like it Is"

    Mr Athanasakis accused the two members of the government of implying things, as they are not used to telling things like they are and do not want to take responsibility for what they say. If they make things specific, the implications will become slander, he added.

    He also stressed that todays ministers can and should conduct any investigation thoroughly and tell the whole truth. He added that PASOKs position is that everything regarding this case should be made known to the Greek people.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [13] Rearrested and released Mayor Starts Hunger Strike

    11 Mar 2005 18:10:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    The Mayor of Kaisariani Thanasis Bartsokas has started a prolonged hunger strike, with many residents of the area on his side. He is protesting the hindering of constructing a monument to National Resistance at Skopeftirio (rifle range). Since this morning, tensions have been running high in the area. In fact, locals and members of the Municipal Council gathered this morning at Skopeftirio in order to clean up the site and proceed with the monument to National Resistance. Feelings ran high when the police tried to stop them from entering the site, which belongs to the Hellenic Rifle Club. In fact, the mayor of Kaisariani Thanasis Bartsokas was arrested and taken to the police station, although he was released shortly afterwards without charge. Riot police remain in the area, while an open meeting of the Municipal Council was held, in which the mayor and municipal leaders decided to begin a hunger strike. On Clean Monday (this coming Monday) a delegation of residents and municipal authorities will demonstrate outside the PMs residence in Rafina.

    Question in Parliament

    In a statement, the Local Union of Municipalities and Communities in Attica Prefecture (TEDKNA) expresses their disgust at the incidents and requests the State to investigate the matter.

    PASOK MP Christos Protopapas and SYN MP Giannis Dragasakis, who were at Skopeftirio this morning, stated that they will submit a question to Parliament.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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