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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-16

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Student Murdered in Arta
  • [02] Prime Minister in Brussels Today
  • [03] Premiere for the New Iraqi Parliament
  • [04] Time for Women's Volleyball Cup
  • [05] GSEE-ADEDY Join the Strikes
  • [06] Murderous Attack With One Dead in Peristeri
  • [07] Israelis Withdraw from Jericho
  • [08] Bloody Protest in Guatemala
  • [09] Italian Troops Withdraw
  • [10] Booby-trapped Car Exploded in Baquba
  • [11] Discussion Over Main Shareholder Postponed
  • [12] Wrangling over Trading Hours
  • [13] Accident at the Heart of Prague

  • [01] Student Murdered in Arta

    16 Mar 2005 09:46:00 (Last updated: 16 Mar 2005 11:37:54)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    An unheard-of murder of a minor was reported shortly before 08.00 on Wednesday morning at the village of Xirokambos in Arta. 44-year-old Dimitris Mazarakos from Megalochari, Arta, riding a motorbike stopped at a bus station, where a group of students were waiting, and murdered in cold blood with his riffle 17-year-old Christos Roumeliotis, student of the Technical High School of Arta. The 17-year-old student was taken to the General Regional Hospital of Arta where doctors simply confirmed his death. The police have launched a manhunt and it is estimated that the 44-year-old farmers arrest is a matter of time. According to the first information, the man had unsettled differences with the victims family. It should be noted that there are no reports on the injury of other students.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] Prime Minister in Brussels Today

    16 Mar 2005 08:47:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, NET Radio 105.8, ANA

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis will have significant contacts today and tomorrow as part of his two-day official visit in Brussels and Luxemburg. In the afternoon, Mr Karamanlis will meet with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and their discussion will focus on the fiscal prospect of the EU, the 4th CSF, the Stability Pact, as well as other issues of a more general interest in view of the Summit Meeting next week. It should be noted that the deputy government spokesperson Evangelos Antonaros, answering a relevant question, said that the Main Shareholder will not be under discussion. On Thursday, Mr Karamanlis will meet with the Prime Minister of Luxemburg and current President of the European Council Jean-Claude Juncker, while a meeting will follow between the delegations of the two countries. Following, the PM of Luxemburg will dine with Mr Karamanlis, who will later on return to Athens.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Explosions at the Green Zone Premiere for the New Iraqi Parliament

    16 Mar 2005 11:40:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    The first democratically elected Parliament of Iraq after half a century assembles on Wednesday in Baghdad, two years after the beginning of war that led to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The 275 Parliamentarians who were elected on 30 January by 8,000,000 voters will not assemble in the former Parliament House, but in the Convention Centre inside the Green Zone. The assembly session, which opened at 10.00 Greek time, was of symbolic nature as there was no vote to elect a new government for the country. In the meantime, at least three bombshells exploded at the heart of Baghdad, near the Green Zone.

    Shias and Kurds in Power

    "The final agreement over the offices of a president and two vice presidents, who will in turn appoint a government, is already been discussed outside the Parliament," stressed Iraqi Foreign Minister of Kurd descent Hoshiar Zebari. "These issues constitute the subject of discussion between the main political parties and we all hope that the process will be completed as soon as possible," he added.

    For the first time since the establishment of contemporary Iraq in 1920, the Kurds and the Shias the two communities that so far remained away from higher offices- will now have the opportunity to exercise power. The Kurds are expected to ensure the presidency of Iraq with the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Jalal Talabani, and the Shias the office of prime minister with Ibrahim Jaffari.

    The Sunni Muslims who held the reigns of power until now and massively abstained from the 30 January elections will be limited to secondary offices.

    The election of the presidential council demands a majority of two thirds in the new Parliament. The council will then appoint the prime minister based on the principle of unanimity.

    Despite continuous efforts however, the two major parties the Shia United Iraqi Alliance with 176 seats and the Kurdish bloc with 77 parliamentarians- have not yet reached an agreement. The party of the outgoing prime minister Iyiad Allawi has 40 seats and that of the Sunni Muslim president Gazi al Jawar just five.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Time for Women's Volleyball Cup

    16 Mar 2005 10:42:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    From tomorrow and up until 20 March, the Greek Womens Volleyball Cup will be decided in Keratsisni. This year once again, the event will commence from a Final 8 round and not a Final 4, which was the case when the event first started seven years ago. Many coaches, athletes and MVPs have left their mark in the Golden Bible of the Cup. A main motive for all 8 finalists that have already qualified, ie Panathinaikos, Filathlitikos, Appolonio Keratsiniou, Panellinios, Siris Serres, Vrilissia, Markopoulo and Aris Thessaloniki, is that by winning the trophy, they will be qualified straight for the European Cups. As per the schedule, the finals will commence at 18:00 with the game between the reigning champion, Vrilissia, and Markopoulo. The final, which will take place on Sunday 20 March, 16:30, will be televised live by ET1.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] GSEE-ADEDY Join the Strikes

    16 Mar 2005 00:34:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) and ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions), along with employees and pensioners, have called a strike for Thursday 17 March, protesting against unemployment, high prices, low increases, social security. Other issues include banks, contract workers, OTE, public school cleaners, LAFKA and extended trading hours.

    Employees of the Federation of Civil Aviation Authority Unions (OSPA) which means that only one flight per destination will be taking place OTE, OSE, DEI, ELTA, tax offices, banks and public hospitals will also be participating in the 24-hour nationwide strike. Furthermore, High School teachers, employees in the private sector, as well as public transport employees in Attica will proceed with a 4-hour work stoppage from 12:00 to 15:00.

    Employees of tutorial colleges and foreign language schools have also scheduled a 24-hour strike on the same day. A demonstration will take place at 1pm in Pedion Areos Park, while the protestors will then march to the Economy Ministry.

    A large number of Employment Centres, including those of Thessaloniki, Patras and Heraklion, will also be participating in the 24-hour strike.

    The President of GSEE, Mr Polyzogopoulos, stressed that these mobilizations form a message towards the government that no more tolerance margins exist and employers are strongly reacting and will react ever more. The President of ADEDY, Mr Papaspyros, underlined that the insistence for neo-liberal policies leads to the aggravation of problems, while he spoke of a new wave of privatizations, as well as the reversal of stable employment in the public sector.

    The protests will escalate on Saturday 19 March, with an anti-war rally in Syntagma Square at noon, on the two-year anniversary since the commencement of the war in Iraq.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Kurds Shot at Apartment Murderous Attack With One Dead in Peristeri

    16 Mar 2005 07:28:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Shortly after 22.30 on Tuesday night, on 10 Pelasgias street in Peristeri, Kurds of Iraqi descent raided a ground floor apartment where other Kurds were living resulting in the death of one person and the injury of five. According to evidence so far, the attackers threw Molotov bombs in the apartment and the residents were trapped in the inside. According to police estimations, the attack was in retaliation for the injury of one person during an episode between Kurds two days ago in Egaleo. The police have already proceeded with arresting suspects, while they are also running a preliminary hearing on the case.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Obstacles Removed Israelis Withdraw from Jericho

    16 Mar 2005 10:17:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    The transition process of the city's control over to the Palestinians has started with the removal of cement obstacles from the main entrance to Jericho. The removal of obstacles from the main road artery linking Jericho to Jerusalem will facilitate the circulation of vehicles, even though the presence of Israeli soldiers is not past tense yet, as the whole process is expected to last for several weeks. In the meantime, an Israeli was slightly injured by Palestinian fire on Tuesday night in Chevron, according to the Israeli army radio station.

    In the Hands of Palestinian Forces

    The agreement for the transition of the city's control was completed on Monday night in ameeting between the Israeli Defense Minister Saul Mofaz and the Palestinian Interior Minister Naser Yusef.

    Based on this agreement, the Israeli army will also remove an outpost on the road artery linking the city with Ramallah to facilitate the circulation of vehicles.

    This agreement also gives the possibility to Palestinian security forces to deploy with their weapons in the city of Jericho and the village of Otzia, which is 7km away.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Rage Over Ambiguous CAFTA Agreement Bloody Protest in Guatemala

    16 Mar 2005 09:48:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    At least one man was killed and many others were injured on Tuesday in Guatemala by the police who opened fire against demonstrators. The people's rage has been triggered by the terms of the agreement with the USA for the creation of a "free trade zone" (CAFTA) in Central America. Demonstrators, including teachers and farmers, had cut off a road 290km north of the City of Guatemala, at the borders with Mexico. The governments of Central American countries support that the CAFTA agreement will benefit their economies via the reduction or elimination of duties and taxes regarding their financial transactions with the USA and the distribution of their products in the US market.

    The Poor Will Get Poorer

    However, the enemies of CAFTA support that this agreement will limit the access of the poorer to medication on which their life could depend, while it will eliminate farmers with little land who cannot keep up with the technologically advanced agriculture of the USA.

    The agreement has already been approved by Guatemala, the Honduras and Salvador. In the USA, CAFTA has triggered clashes in Congress, where the Bush government is trying to promote it as soon as possible.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] As of September Italian Troops Withdraw

    16 Mar 2005 09:35:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Speaking on state television RAI on Tuesday, the Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi announced that Italian soldiers will start withdrawing from Iraq as of September. According to the White House spokesperson, this decision is not linked to the death of agent Nicola Calipari, who was killed by US fire during the liberation operation of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena. At the same time, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer said "it is high unlikely" his country will send troops in Iraq. It should be noted that after the USA, Great Britain and South Korea, Italy has at the present the fourth largest military corps in Iraq, consisting of 3,000 soldiers.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Booby-trapped Car Exploded in Baquba

    16 Mar 2005 09:34:00 (Last updated: 16 Mar 2005 10:56:25)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Only a few hours after the first assembly of the newly elected Iraqi Parliament, a booby-trapped car exploded at an Iraqi army checkpoint in the town of Baquba, northeast of Baghdad. At least threee soldiers were killed and several were injured, said a police offiicial. As per eye-witnesses, the injured were taken to a US military base to receive proper treatment.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Following Letter to Competent EU Commissioner Discussion Over Main Shareholder Postponed

    16 Mar 2005 08:02:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    As it was known by government sources late on Tuesday night, State Minister Thodoros Roussopoulos has asked for the postponement of the scheduled for today, Wednesday, discussion by the College of Commissioners. According to the same sources, Mr Roussopoulos sent a letter to the competent EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy asking for the postponement of the scheduled discussion so there can be proper time for further discussing the matter with regard to article 14 paragraph 9 of the Constitution and its laws and their compatibility to Community Law. On Tuesday noon, deputy government spokesperson Evangelos Antonaros had said that the government "is proceeding with all necessary actions to close the case in favour of Greek interests," meaning "to protect the Greek Constitution," while he also repeated that during todays meeting between the PM and the Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso the matter of the Main Shareholder will not be under discussion.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] Wrangling over Trading Hours

    15 Mar 2005 21:46:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA - NET 105.8

    Although 7 out of 10 consumers, as per a relevant survey by the General Secretariat for Consumers, see the possibility of extended trading hours are positive, the matter seems to be creating friction between SMBs and the Government, which insists on its decision to implement the measure. The relevant bodies have been asked to submit their proposals to the Development Ministry within 15 days, in an effort to find a solution that would satisfy both the public and the shop owners. As per Development Minister Dimitrs Sioufas, it is unacceptable to have non-uniform trading hours for every prefecture in Greece, while according to the Deputy Minister, Mr Giannis Papathanasiou, the proposal concerning nationwide uniform trading hours will lead to increased employment opportunities and investments.

    On the other hand, representatives of unions and trade organizations (GSEE, ADEDY, GSEVEE, SESME, OIYE) strongly opposed the measure. During a joint Press conference, they spoke of a deadlocked, destructive measure that would increase unemployment, exhaust employees and SMSs and crush trade to the advantage of a few large multi-national companies. They also noted that medium-sized businesses employ over 70% of the Greek workers and asked for the withdrawal of the relevant Bill, while they announced that they would proceed with demonstrations.

    Destructive Measure

    Speaking on behalf of the traders, the President of GSEVEE (Greek General Confederation of Small and Medium Sized Business), Mr Dimtris Asimakopoulos, presented data from countries where extended trading hours have already been implemented. In Spain, 34,000 to 65,000 jobs have been lost due to this measure. In France, the stores expenses increased by 15% and sales only by 0,5%, while just 4.7% of the consumers took advantage of the extended trading hours.

    The Vice-President of SESME (Association of Greek Supermarket Enterprises), Mr Manolis Apostolou, repeated the Associations opposition to Sunday trading and stressed that the extended hours would signal the increase of operational costs, but not the increase of employment positions or profits.

    The President of OIYE (Federation of Greek Private Sector Employees), Ms Metaxia Stekoulea, mentioned that during the last three years, trade has been saturated and the extended hours would only lead to further elastic employment relations.

    Plans for Mobilizations

    The extended trading hours issue has been added to the list of demands for the mobilizations that GSEE and ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) will be organizing from 17 to 19 March. The representatives of SMBs declared that they would be participating in a 4-hour work stoppage, organized for Thursday from 12:00 to 16:00, and warned that the demonstrations will escalate if their demands are not met.

    Traders from Patras, Mesologgi and Nafpaktos will also be joining in the strikes, as they will not be opening their stores on Wednesday 16 March. They will participate in demonstrations and will block the Region of Western Greece building, on the Patras-Corinth National Highway. They also claimed that they might even block the roads leading to the Rio-Antirrio Bridge.

    Shop owners from Trikala, Larissa and Karditsa are also planning demonstrations for Tuesday 29 March.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Information, Consumers' Shield

    [13] Accident at the Heart of Prague

    16 Mar 2005 09:40:00

    By Anna Kourti

    At least two people lost their lives and many were injured when a tram derailed and fell on the people waiting at the tram station in Charles Square one of the most frequented places of the Czech capital. Tram routes in Prague are very often and operate generally well, although many lines are very old.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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