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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-18

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Kenteris-Thanou Innocent
  • [02] Oil Prices on Fire Again
  • [03] Remarkable Discovery About Enceladus
  • [04] Deliberations Over Main Shareholder
  • [05] Swords Crossed over Health
  • [06] With Everyone's Wishes
  • [07] Vavilis Ready to Turn Himself In
  • [08] US Ambassador to Turkey Resigned
  • [09] Deficit in 2004 at 6.1%
  • [10] Kelesidou Eventually Earns Bronze
  • [11] UEFA Cup Quarterfinals
  • [12] The Four Champions League Battles
  • [13] Difficult Times for Bithikotsis
  • [14] A Divorcee or A Town Mayor?
  • [15] First Meeting With PASOK President

  • [01] Kenteris-Thanou Innocent

    18 Mar 2005 19:24:00 (Last updated: 18 Mar 2005 22:20:39)

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Olympians Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were finally vindicated over the notorious doping case. A while ago SEGAS disciplinary committee decided to acquit the two Olympians due to doubts, but the same rule did not apply for their coach Christos Tzekos. With a majority of 4-1 votes they penalized Mr Tzekos with a four-year ban from all athletic activities. If the SEGAS decision is ratified by the IAAF as well, then the two Greek athletes will regain their right to participate in athletic events as per normal.

    IAAF Announcement

    In an announcement issued a few minutes after the publication of the decision, the IAAF did not hide their surprise regarding the acquittal of the two Olympians by SEGAS.

    "The IAAF notes the decision to suspend the coach Christos Tsekos for a period of four years but was surprised to learn that the sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou have been cleared of charges that they tried to evade doping controls.

    The IAAF is now looking forward to receiving full documentation in English about this decision, and this will be carefully considered by our Doping Review Board.

    The IAAF will then decide whether to accept or reject the decision, and in the latter case it reserves the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Sport."

    Content About the Olympians

    Despite being penalized with a four-year ban by SEGAS, former coach of Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, Christos Tzekos, was rather pleased to hear the two Olympians were cleared of charges and said if nothing changes in the future, the two athletes will give more medals to Greece.

    "I do not know if there is anything more I can do about my case. On the other hand, I am very pleased because two major athletes continue their course and I believe that in the continuation of their athletic career they can offer more medals to Greece," stressed Mr Tzekos on MEGA channel.

    The Press Conference

    In the Press conference given, SEGAS president Vasilis Sevastis thanked the legal advisors of the federation for their precious contribution so that the decision could be fair and well evaluated.

    "The presence of Media here is an indication of the great interest of the Greek and the international public opinion regarding this very important decision. I would like to warmly thank all the members of the committee and especially the three gentlemen of Legal Science for their time, knowledge and precious experience so that this decision would be fair and well evaluated. I thank them all very much, as well as my colleagues, the Committee president, Mr Panagopoulos, and member Mr Dimakos for their efforts and time."

    Before proceeding with the announcement of the detailed decision, Committee president Mr Kostas Panagopoulos, stressed:

    "The full text of the decision will not be given to the Press today, because the Committee feels that for reasons of principle, it should be first sent to the IAAF in English. I would like to make clear that the SEGAS judicial committee was assigned with the task of judging whether or not there were accurate and particular violations of IAAF regulations, the ones that IAAF had given us addressing respective charges to the two athletes and their coach. Anything that diverges from these accusations could never constitute the object of this committee. It is clear that the committee proceeded with the ruling based on particular regulations and disciplinary laws. Impressions, views, estimations or anything else have no place in such a ruling."

    A Proper Chance to Kenteris

    Right after the announcement of the acquittal, the lawyer of the Greek gold Olympian, Grigoris Ioannidis, requested that his client Kostas Kenteris is given the chance to rebuild his career without any disgrace.

    "This decision means that Mr Kenteris has been acquitted from highly damaging and groundless accusations, that have greatly harmed his career. He insistently supported his innocence, which has been proved by further evidence we were in the position of handing over to the committee, after January's hearing. These evidence prove that Mr Kenteris was never asked to be submitted to an IOC doping control, therefore he could not have been found guilty for deliberately avoiding the test. They also prove that he has nothing to apologize for. Mr Kenteris should now be given the chance he deserves to rebuild his career without any disgrace. He has suffered greatly during this ordeal, which put a lot of pressure on him and his family."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] More Expensive Than Unleaded Gasoline Oil Prices on Fire Again

    18 Mar 2005 18:22:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    For the first time oil prices have exceeded unleaded gasoline prices in Greece, as a result of the continuous increase in the prices of black gold. Despite the fact that OPEK has decided to increase daily production, the oil price increase seems to have no end, thus triggering fears for new increases. In Greece, the wild course of oil prices is expected to have a serious impact, given that oil is used by taxis and trucks and more importantly by industries and enterprises. The Ministry of Development estimates that the market is operating as per normal. However, control crews daily check for profiteering cases, while the key to lower prices lies in the hands of consumers, as they are called to do a little market research before deciding on their fuel supplier.

    OPEC Expected to Increase Production

    The new price increase was triggered by the news that oil reserves in the USA are depleting, which overshadowed the announced of oil producing countries.

    It should be noted that on Thursday OPEC president, Sheikh Ahmad Fahd al-Sabah, stated that if prices continue to go up, then the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will proceed with immediate talks over the increase of production.

    On Wednesday, OPEC countries had agreed to increase production by half a million barrels per day in order to meet the growing needs in petroleum.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    New "Black Gold" Record

    [03] Brought to Light by the Cassini Orbiter Remarkable Discovery About Enceladus

    18 Mar 2005 17:14:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: BBC

    There seems to be no end to the remarkable discoveries brought to light by NASA spacecraft, Cassini. A few days ago the special magnetometer on board the Cassini orbiter located the existence of an atmosphere on Saturn's moon Enceladus, thus evoking the scientists' surprise, given that the satellite's gravity is too weak to hold on to the atmosphere surrounding it. So scientists concluded that the atmosphere must be being replenished. The factors creating it may be volcanic eruptions, geysers or various gases released from the surface of the satellite.

    The first time a spacecraft discovered an atmosphere on Enceladus was on 17 February and then on 9 March, when the Cassini flew near Enceladus.

    It is worth noting that in 1981 the Voyager spacecraft flew by Enceladus at a distance of 90,000km but did not detect an atmosphere, which led scientists to conclude that either the Voyager was not properly equipped for such a measurement or something may have changed since 1981.

    Cassini's magnetometer is specially designed to measure the magnitude and direction of magnetic fields surrounding Saturn and its moons.

    The way ionized gas molecules moving away from the satellite were interacting with and dragging on the local field lines led scientists to the conclusion that there is a layer of water vapour shrouding around Enceladus.

    "You see the field bending as though the lines are being draped over the moon," explained Professor Stan Cowley, who said if there was no atmosphere the lines should pass straight through the moon.

    Apart from scientists' estimations regarding new discoveries, it seems that the Cassini has yet to discover important secrets of the planet with the impressive rings.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Three Days Prior to the Meeting in Brussels Deliberations Over Main Shareholder

    18 Mar 2005 16:34:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ANA - NET 105.8 - NET

    The Greek PM and the government spokesperson repeated the Governments determination to combat corruption, just three days before the meeting in Brussels between Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and the competent EU Commissioner, Charles McCreevy, for the main shareholder. "We have made a commitment to fight for transparency," stressed Mr Karamanlis in Parliament, in answering to a comment by George Papandreou, who said he was saddened to see the Greek PM coming and going to Brussels. Furthermore, Mr Karamanlis said that he defends the Constitution, including Article 14, which had been voted in favour by everyone. "Each can decide with whom they ally and whom they support with their stance," he said. During the briefing of the reporters, Thodoris Roussopoulos clarified that the Commission is lodging objections for Article 14, Paragraph 9 of the Greek Constitution and not for the executive Acts.

    Ongoing Deliberations

    As per the government spokesperson, the deliberations between the Greek Government and the European Commission are continuing. Actually, for this reason, Mr Roussopoulos refused to answer to a question regarding whether the Government aims to amend the law. "You dont discuss such matters when you are negotiating. You defend your national interests and your national Constitution," he stressed.

    Meanwhile, Mr Roussopoulos claimed that some interests, and not the Government, are in a tough spot, while he denied rumours that the government officials are expressing opposing views over the main shareholder issue.

    Regarding the implementation of the Act, the government spokesperson noted that we are going through a transitional stage, while with regard to a relevant question concerning the possibility of extending this transitional time limit, Mr Roussopoulos again referred to the pending matter of negotiations and did not answer.

    "We are awaiting the visit of the Minister and the experts. We will listen to the views of the Greek Government and we will then make a decision," declared the Cypriot EU Commissioner Markos Kyprianou, after his meeting with the PM.

    KKEs General Secretary Aleka Papariga also referred to the matter of the main shareholder, while speaking on NETs show "Proti Grammi" (Frontline). As she claimed, the countrys legislation should not be reconciled to the Community legislation, when we consider a policy correct. "Disobedience is also needed," noted Mrs Papariga.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Questions Triggered by Main Shareholder

    [05] Discussion among Political Leaders in Parliament Swords Crossed over Health

    18 Mar 2005 15:33:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Health and social solidarity were at the focus of the daily agenda discussion, which took place today in Parliament among political leaders, following the PMs initiative. Kostas Karamanlis announced a series of Bills, describing 2005 as a "year of reforms", which will bring about changes in the National Health System and will deal with transparency issues. Meanwhile, he harshly criticized the former governments policies. PASOK President George Papandreou spoke of inaction and lack of government policy, while he accused ND for never having believed in the public nature of the health system. KKEs General Secretary Aleka Papariga, as well as SYNs President Alekos Alavanos, also criticized the Government.

    Year of Changes and Reforms

    "We are putting the organized chaos in the area of Health in order," stressed the PM, while he announced the submission of Bills concerning primary healthcare, the Medical Ethics Code, the quality control of rendered services, the institution of measures for the protection of Public Health, the abolishment of the drug list, transparency in the contacts for the supplies of Health bodies, as well as the correct management of the Ministrys assets.

    Commenting on lack of policy and inaction by the State, Mr Karamanlis referred to the people with disabilities who are not receiving proper care, while he noted the governments interest for combating drugs, saying that he will personally participate in the campaign for the users reentry to the community.

    Meanwhile, he said he was in favour of a discussion on health and solidarity matters, without compromises to the "reactions of established interests" and aiming for all the citizens to have "easy access to high-quality health services."

    Finally, Mr Karamanlis spoke of the dismal situation left behind by the former government, providing as examples the hospital debts that reach 2.4 bil euros, the fold-up beds and the lack of transparency in contracts for supplies. As he said, in the year that went by, steps were made to cover the gaps and to create institutional measures to reinstate the problems, including the new opening hours for hospitals in Attica.

    Criticism by G. Papandreou

    PASOKs President harshly criticized the governments economic policy, which, as he said, would also impact the Health sector.

    "You had convinced us that you knew NDs pre-election programme well," said Mr Papandreou, commenting on the PMs speech, while he also added, "We will soon learn it ourselves and will be able to quote it."

    Mr Papandreou referred to the Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis, saying he was trapped in the governments downfall. "You have clipped his wings," said PASOKs President, while he noted that Mr Kaklamanis wants to disembark "NDs sinking ship."

    Meanwhile, the leaders of the Opposition spoke of unfulfilled promises and noted that the Government does not provide solutions to the problems, while it keeps fighting the National Health System (ESY) and its sets the Economy on fire. Commenting on Mr Karamanlis announcements, he claimed, "Everything that the PM has said is the continuation of PASOK governments decisions," while he gave an account of everything that was done during the time PASOK was in power.

    The PM then took the stand and answered to Mr Papandreous comments. "What we have set as a 4-year programmes will be concluded in four years," reassured Mr Karamanlis, while he also wondered about the criticism concerning the Health Minister, who, as he said, has asked some people to work harder. Finally, he accused PASOK of distorting the truth rather than showing consensus.

    KKE-SYN: Public Health System

    KKEs General Secretary took the stand next, stressing the need for a public health system, which would be free, complete and contemporary.

    "The ESY should not leave anyone out, irrespective of whether they work or not, whether they live in the city or the countryside and whether they are Greek or foreigners, while its services should not be based on ones wealth," said Mrs Papariga.

    She also accused the PM of following PASOKs Health policy, launching verbal rather than meaningful criticism against the former Government.

    On the other hand, the President of SYN described the Health sector as a "gravely ill" and admitted that the government has been making moves. Furthermore, he expressed his satisfaction for the initiative to hold a discussion, commenting, however, "It is an opportunity to see the Prime Minister in Parliament."

    Mr Alavanos supported the public nature of the Health system and described the ESY as collective, referring to the hospital administrations that have been appointed based on political criteria, which hinder the scientific and medical work of the doctors. In addition, he mentioned the tendency to commercialize the Health system, which could prove disastrous.

    Finally, SYNs President called for a discussion in Parliament concerning the issue of unemployment, while his proposal was accepted by the PM.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Focus on Health

    [06] With Everyone's Wishes

    18 Mar 2005 19:36:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The entire political leadership, members of the Cabinet, the ecclesiastical leadership, parliamentarians and European parliamentarians, representatives of judicial and diplomatic delegations, the leadership of the Armed and Security Forces and representatives of productive classes attended the ceremony at the Presidential Mansion today afternoon in order to congratulate Karolos Papoulias. During salutations, the new President of the Hellenic Republic, smiling and happy, exchanged warm wishes with the almost 600 guests. "Good luck with your work and may you have us all united with the help of God," wished PM Kostas Karamanlis, while Mr Papoulias returned the wishes for good luck in his work and in the upcoming meetings. Throughout the ceremony, circulation of vehicles was not allowed in Irodou Attikou street and the nearby roads.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Claimed His Lawyer Vavilis Ready to Turn Himself In

    18 Mar 2005 16:13:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, NET radio 105.8

    Apostolos Vavilis intends to turn himself in to the Authorities when the "media storm" is over, claimed his lawyer Giannis Vlachos, adding that he has been ready to do so for quite some time now. As Mr Vlachos supported, Vavilis wants to turn himself in but fears for his safety, while he stressed that his client will not negotiate with anyone. He also said that Vavilis' role is smaller than what the media show. At the same time, the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Public Order are in cooperation to coordinate the moves in the Vavilis case, while judicial authorities estimate that Vavilis is constantly on the move from country to country to avoid being arrested and urge him to turn himself in.

    Speaking on NET, Vavilis' lawyer supported that his client has worked with the Narcotics Squad but was never a secret agent.

    However, there has been no clear indication so far on the whereabouts of "the man with the thousand faces", despite pervious optimistic estimations that his arrest was simply a matter of time. In fact, judicial sources described rumours that Vavilis has fallen into the hands of the police as "science fiction."

    Lastly, the same judicial sources estimate that now is a good time for Vavilis to turn himself in, since as they underlined the only case pending against him is a 2004 warrant regarding an old case of drug possession, for which he has already being convicted to 13 years of imprisonment with a 15yearlong suspension.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] "Personal Reasons" US Ambassador to Turkey Resigned

    18 Mar 2005 22:36:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The US ambassador to Turkey, whose tenure coincided with a tense period in bilateral ties caused by US policy in Iraq, left his post and retired from the foreign service. A US embassy spokesman said on Friday that Mr Endelman said a letter of resignation to US President George Bush, while he will leave Turkey in June. The announcement clarified that "this is a personal decision. It has nothing to do with U.S.-Turkey relations and with what is happening in the country right now," adding that Mr Edelman, career diplomat, who arrived in Turkey in August 2003, has not decided whether to join another government agency or enter the private sector after leaving Ankara.

    Unwanted Person

    Earlier this week, Edelman provoked fresh criticism in the Turkish media when he urged Ankara to join the "international consensus" behind a U.N. Security Council resolution urging Syria's immediate withdrawal from Lebanon.

    Turkey said it was already part of the international consensus on Syria and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer made clear he would go ahead with a planned trip to Damascus next month, despite U.S. concerns that this might send the wrong signal. Endelman's suggestions were described as interference to Turkey's internal affairs, while many asked Turkish authorities to declare him an unwanted person.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] "Legacy of PASOK" Deficit in 2004 at 6.1%

    18 Mar 2005 13:33:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    The fiscal deficit of Greece for 2004 is 6.1%, up by one percentile unit, according to data announced by Eurostat. The fiscal deficit last year was calculated at 110.5% of the GDP, without the expenses of the Olympic Games having been finalized. The Ministry of Economy, on the occasion of the fiscal data announced by the European Statistical Service, underlines that the data announced are the legacy of fiscal disorder left by PASOK governments.

    Close Cooperation

    The government is closely cooperating with the European Commission, in the context of political transparency, which it follows steadily for countering past pending matters, concerning the documentation of incoming community funds, non-confirmation of hospital debts of the previous years, and the expenses of the Olympic Games.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:


    [10] Kelesidou Eventually Earns Bronze

    18 Mar 2005 17:43:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Although it is four years later, Greek Tasoula Kelesidou will officially add a bronze medal for discus from the World Championship in Edmonton to her trophies. IAAFs general secretary, Isvan Gyulai, officially confirmed the good news with a letter sent to SEGAS (Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics). In January, IAAF decided to strip Russian Natali Sandova of her gold medal, following her 68.57m discus shot, as it was discovered that she had used banned substances. As a result, the Greek champion, with a shot at 65.50m, moved a spot up from fourth to third and eventually stepped on the podium. As per Mr Gyulais letter, the medal will be sent to Kelesidou soon and it will be her third medal, following the two silver in Seville (1999) and Paris (2003).

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] UEFA Cup Quarterfinals

    18 Mar 2005 15:01:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    The most significant quarterfinals match for the second most important European football trophy is the one between Newcastle and Sporting. In the other matches, Austria will play against Parma and CSKA Moskva against Auxerre. Finally, Alkmaar will find out which team it will be playing against, following the rematch between Steaua and Villarreal on Sunday. The first matches will be held on 7 April and the rematches on 14 April.


    1 Steaua (Romania) or Villarreal (Spain)-Alkmaar (Netherlands)

    2. CSKA Moskva (Russia)-Auxerre (France)

    3. Newcastle (England)-Sporting (Portugal)

    4. Austria (Austria)-Parma (Italy)

    Semifinals (The first games will take place on 28 April and the rematches on 5 May)

    Winner 4- Winner 2

    Winner 3- Winner 1

    The teams that will qualify for the final will battle it out for the UEFA Cup trophy on 18 May, in Lisbons Jose Alvalade Stadium.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] The Four Champions League Battles

    18 Mar 2005 13:34:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    The quartet of the Champions League Quarterfinals has been decided, following the draw in Nyon, Switzerland. They consist of an Italian, an English-Italian, a German-English and a very close battle. The match between Milan and Inter is expected to steal the limelight in Italy. The third Italian team in this round, Juventus, will battle it out with Liverpool, while Murinhos team, Chelsea, will play yet another tough game, following the one against Barcelona, as it will come face-to-face with Bayern. The fourth and final combat consist of two newcomers to the institution, Lyon and Eindhoven.


    1. Liverpool (England)-Juventus (Italy)

    2. Milan (Italy)-Inter (Italy)

    3. Lyon (France)-Eindhover (Netherlands)

    4. Chelsea (England)-Bayern (Germany)

    Semifinals (The first matches will take place on 26-27 April and the rematches on 3-4 May)

    Winner 4- Winner 1

    Winner 2- Winner 3

    The teams that will qualify to the finals will battle it out for the Champions League trophy on 25 May in Istanbuls Ataturk Stadium.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Next Days Critical Difficult Times for Bithikotsis

    18 Mar 2005 20:05:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Grigoris Bithikotsis is once again in the intensive care unit of a private hospital. According to the announcement of the doctors treating him, the popular Greek singer has high fever, as he is suffering from pulmonary infection, which in combination to his respiratory deficiency and his heavy medical history, has caused the intense concern of the doctors, who said the following days are critical.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [14] A Divorcee or A Town Mayor?

    18 Mar 2005 14:46:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The mayor of Romanian town Breaza was faced with a big dilemma. Stefan Gramada used his position in order to hire his wife Elena as an accountant in the Town Hall. Everything was going according to plan, until the day Mr Gramada was informed that according to law, one of the two had to resign. However the couple, who struggle to make a living whilst raising two children, decided to divorce in order to conform to the legislature. So, Mr Gramada will remain in his position as Mayor as will his 48-year-old wife as an accountant. "My husband demanded the divorce not to conflict with this incompatibility law," said the Mayors wife, and added " This divorce will not change anything between us except that we wont be legally bound."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [15] First Meeting With PASOK President

    18 Mar 2005 18:49:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    PASOK President George Papandreou met on Friday noon with the new Secretary of the party's National Council, Mrs Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou. Mr Papandreou expressed his certainty that the new Secretary will live up to expectations and her new duties and asked for hard work. As for Mrs Xenogiannakopoulou, she thanked the National Council for the trust they put in her face and pledged to do her best to support this "new era" of PASOK.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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