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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-21

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Karamanlis-Erdogan Meeting
  • [02] Winds of Change in the UN
  • [03] "Digital" Witness
  • [04] Main Shareholder at the Focus
  • [05] New Coordinators for PASOK
  • [06] Criminal Proceedings Against Kalousis
  • [07] Beware of Double Parking
  • [08] Basayev Threatens Russia
  • [09] National Tourism Council in Session
  • [10] Terri Receives Extension to Live
  • [11] New Steerers Announced Today

  • [01] Underway Karamanlis-Erdogan Meeting

    21 Mar 2005 22:07:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are at the moment discussing the Greek-Turkish relations, the customs union protocol and the issue with Cyprus, over dinner. In Brussels "Villa Lorraine" restaurant, Mr Karamanlis is expected to remind Mr Erdogan of his obligation to fulfil all the commitments he made during the December Summit. In the meantime, the discussions during the meeting between the Greek PM, Kostas Karamanlis, and the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, in Berlin, focused on fiscal policy, the Stability Pact, Turkeys European prospects and the situation in the western Balkans, with emphasis on Kossovo.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Meeting Between Karamanlis and Schroeder

    [02] Annan's Report to the General Assembly Winds of Change in the UN

    21 Mar 2005 18:41:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC - Reuters

    The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, proposed an overhaul plan for the organization, the first since its creation in 1945, with a report to the General Assembly. Among other things, Mr Annan recommended the expansion of the UN Security Council from 15 to 24 members, the setting of clearer regulations concerning when the UN can authorise military force, as well as an agreed definition for terrorism. The UN must be brought in line with "todays realities", stressed Mr Annan, while he called on all the Member-State governments to act with courage, so that the changes in the structure and operation of the world body can become a reality. The main objective is the restructuring of the organization in three main areas: development, security and human rights. The report comes at a time when the organization faced criticism over the war against Iraq two years ago, while, as per a survey conduced by BBC, the Secretary-Generals proposals are widely supported by the international community.

    Interconnected Threats

    In his report, Mr Annan underlined the significant role that the UN are called to play against world threats, including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Actually, he stressed that these threats are interconnected and no country can protect itself on its own.

    Furthermore, the Secretary-General called on all Member-States to come up with an agreed definition for terrorism ("any action constitutes terrorism if it is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organisation to do or abstain from doing any act") and the creation of a new human rights body, to replace the current committee, which has been criticized for supporting dictatorial regimes, as well as sexual scandals involving Peace Corps members in Congo.

    In another part of his speech, the Secretary-General noted that we could not enjoy the benefits of development without security, nor security without development, while he said that both could not be enjoyed without respect for human rights.

    The reforms proposed by Mr Annan will be the focus of discussions during the UN Summit in New York, which will take place this coming September.

    Mr Annan concluded by saying he was submitting his report six months earlier, so that the governments would have ample time to study the proposals and hoping that the leaders would be ready to make the necessary decisions in September.

    International Support

    In the meantime, as per an opinion poll conducted by the BBC among 23,500 citizens of 23 countries between November and January, Mr Annan has the overwhelming support of the international community.

    The majority of those questioned in 22 of the 23 countries (69% on average) is in favour of expanding the Security Council to include Germany, India, Japan and Brazil.

    The strongest support for Annans plans came from Italy (86%), Canada (84%), Germany and Australia (both 81%).

    Finally, most of those asked declared that the members of the Security Council should be able to to override the veto power of the permanent members.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:

    United Nations

    [03] Sketches of Suspects in a Few Minutes "Digital" Witness

    21 Mar 2005 14:14:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: New Scientist

    Technology aims to offer new data in crime detection. New software, based on algorithms, created by British scientists, allows the Police to produce suspects sketches based on the witnesses or victims descriptions in a few minutes, as opposed to many hours as it is usually done. In a technology conference for the counter of crime in London, scientists from the University of Kent and Sterling presented the programs EigenFit and Evofit respectively, which contain a wide range of faces and features, such as eyes, chins and lips, and aim to conserve time for the policemen so the location of the culprits will be made sooner.

    Change of Features in Seconds

    The Police use large databases with hundreds of different faces, eyebrows and other features, which it shows to witnesses in order for them to create the sketch of the culprit. This process is extremely painstaking, its result may not be realistic and the witnesss memory fades as time passes.

    EigenFit and EvoFit, initially create nine random faces based on sex, race and hair type of the suspect. The witness chooses the one with the greater resemblance and this process is repeated.

    The software describes faces with 50 numeral parameters, of which each corresponds to a characteristic, such as skin color or wrinkles. When the witness results to a characteristic, this "locks" in the sketch and the rest of the face changes.

    The features change occurs within seconds with the help of genetic algorithms, which are used mainly in the mechanics of sketch production and the gradual alteration until its better version.

    The two programs seem to be especially effective. As the scientists announced in the conference, the volunteers in the experiements were twice more likely to recognize the faces created by the two softwares, as opposed to the traditional method.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:


    University of Kent

    [04] Pavlopoulos-Mccreevy Meeting in Brussels Main Shareholder at the Focus

    21 Mar 2005 20:38:00

    Sources: NET

    The Main Shareholder Act was at the focus of discussions during the meeting between Prokopis Pavlopoulos and the competent EU Commissioner this afternoon in Brussels. Following the meeting, the Commission announced that its objections for some of the regulations of the Act remain and that the provisional procedure would be followed. On the other hand, the Greek Interior Minister underlined that the Government would continue to support the clauses of the Constitution.

    Mccreevy Won't Change his Report

    Following his meeting with Commissioner Charlie Mccreevy, Greek Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos appeared determined to keep supporting the Main Shareholder Act.

    "We are not arguing with the European Union, but discussing," noted the Interior Minister.

    Speaking to the reporters, Commissioner Charlie Mccreevys spokesperson, Oliver Drewes, stressed that no new evidence that would allow a change in Mr Mccreevys report to the Commissioners College arose from todays meeting.

    He further added that on Tuesday, the European Commission will meet to discuss the matter, based on the report drawn up by Internal Market Directorate General, according to which, a warning letter will be sent to Greece that would have to be answered within 15 days.

    Antonaros' Statements

    Earlier, in answering to a question regarding Evangelos Vanizelos proposal to the Government to withdraw the Act and for the two parties to draw up a new bill jointly, Evangelos Antonaros claimed that the Government has a set position concerning the Main Shareholder Act.

    He then called on PASOK to answer whether it defended Article 14, Par. 9 of the Constitution, which had been jointly ratified by the two parties.

    Meanwhile, he described the articles in the Press that referred to conducting a referendum as "imaginative", underlining that all Acts are ratified by the Parliament and there is no need for a referendum to take place for every Act.


    However, this morning and while speaking on NETs show "Proti Grammi", (Frontline) PASOKs Secretary Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou declared that the Main Shareholder Act is contrary to the European law.

    "The Government has to defend the Constitution," declared KKE MP Lianna Kanelli.

    Furthermore, Nikos Konstantopoulos also intervened on the matter, who, in his interview in the newspaper Eleftheros Typos, noted that corruption should not be placed above the Constitution.

    As he mentioned, "It is a political paradox and a contradiction that those who voted for Article 14 regarding the incompatibilities and prohibitions set by the Act are now refusing the Act. In essence, it means that they wish for regulations in favour transparency and corruption. Corruption cannot be placed above the Constitution, and neither can transparency depend on petty-party or personal interests."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Loverdos, Floridis, Christofilopoulou Promoted New Coordinators for PASOK

    21 Mar 2005 19:51:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    George Papandreou appointed the new coordinators and alternate coordinators for PASOKs parliamentary group. Alternate coordinators Andreas Loverdos, Giorgos Floridis and Evi Christofilopoulou were promoted to coordinators, while Dinos Rovlias remained as alternate coordinator and Giorgos Anomeritis was left out of the group. Earlier today and on occasion of the International Day against Racism, George Papandreou met with migrants who are members of PASOKs National Council. During the discussion, PASOKs President sent a clear message against discrimination, stressing that the Opposition party will continue its efforts for their smooth reentry to the Greek society.

    Coordinators and Alternate Coordinators

    Following the election of the new members of PASOKs political council, there have been changes to the Parliaments coordinating body.

    Andreas Loverdos was appointed coordinator in the Education Affairs sector, with Evaggelia Schibnaraki as alternate coordinator. In the Defense and Foreign Affairs sector, Michalis Chrysochoidis was appointed coordinator and Giannis Magriotis alternate coordinator. In the Economy sector, Girogos Floridis was appointed coordinator and Kostas Spiliopoulos alternate coordinator. In the area of Social Affairs, Evi Christofilopoulou was appointed coordinator and Tonia Antoniou alternate coordinator. In the area of Public Administration, Miltiadis Papaioannou was appointed coordinator and Dinos Rovlias alternate coordinator. Finally in the Production and Trade sector, Rodoula Zisi was appointed coordinator and Christos Protopappas alternate coordinator.

    The new coordinating body will convene on Tuesday for the first time, while both new and old members will be attending the meeting.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Intensive Investigation Over Antonia Ilia Criminal Proceedings Against Kalousis

    21 Mar 2005 13:24:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET RADIO 105.8- ANA

    The Appellate Court Prosecutor, Kiriakos Karoutsos on behalf of Supreme Court Vice-Prosecutor, Giorgos Sanidas, indicted felony and misdemeanor charges against First Instance President, Evangelos Kalousis. He was also charged with legalizing income from illegal activities, malpractice, bribery, attempt of blackmail as well as trafficking foreign women. In the meantime, the issue of preventive transfers of 88 Judges and 15 Prosecutors around the country will be discussed in the meeting of the High Court Council of the Supreme Court. The decision of the Council is expected to be announced next month. In the next days Mr Sanidas will be focusing on the case of First Instance Judge Antonia Ilia.

    Will Accounts be Opened in Switzerland?

    Charges for bribery and malpractice, in relation to the Kalousis case, were indicted to nightclub owner Efstratios Valirakis and Thessalonica lawyer, Giorgos Nikolakopoulos, former lawyer of Iakovos Giosakis.

    The brief, possibly within today, will be transferred to Appellate interrogator Mr Sideris, who will call all the involved parties to testify. In the coming days Greeces demand is expected to be transferred to the Swiss authorities for opening bank accounts that are reportedly owned by Kalousis in a Swiss bank.

    As far as the case of Ilia is concerned, it is expected to last several days, since more figures are involved and many cases are being examined, such as favorable decisions on the account of Giosakis, and also cases of release from prison for drug case convicts.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Patrols Have Started Beware of Double Parking

    21 Mar 2005 11:32:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET- NET RADIO 105.8

    The Municipality of Athens is beginning a campaign against illegal parking, in the citys centre. The Municipal and Traffic Police will be performing patrols from 8:00 until 10:00, in all the municipal departments and especially at the parts that OASA has indicated, where cars illegally park, obstructing the traffic of busses and the trolley routes in street corners, in a double line but also in handicap ramps. The violators will be punished with the removal of license plates from 10 to 20 days and with fees of 34.5 and 65.5 euros respectively, while there is a chance that cars that have double-parked will be towed.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Warns of Renewed Attacks Basayev Threatens Russia

    21 Mar 2005 17:47:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ANA - Reuters

    Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev blamed Moscow for the death of Aslan Maskhadov and warned of renewed attacks against Russia, via an online interview, published by the Swedish TT news agency. "Nobody can prevent me from responding to violence with violence," stressed Basayev, while at the same time he accused the Russian forces of killing Maskhadov. The Chechen warlord also clarified he had made a commitment to Maskhadov that he would not derail negotiations between the militants and Moscow, while he concluded by saying, "Maskhadov was killed as a result of the Russians deviousness, because of his exaggerated peace efforts and I am now released from my commitments."

    "The Kremlin Declared War"

    As per Basayev, Moscow is solely responsible for the peace process in the area, as it was the one that declared war on Chechnya ten years ago.

    "We fight only against Russia and so far only on its territory. You can expect acts of sabotage, not acts of terror, only in Russia and Qatar," added Basayev, who is accused of a series of terrorist acts, including the massacre in Beslan, while Russia is offering a reward of $ 10 million for his capture.

    Finally, Basayev commented on Russian President Vladimir Putins remarks about bin Laden being Basayevs commander. "I know one thing, he cannot be a bad man, because in all the pictures I have seen of him his face radiates a strong light," said Basayev.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Chechen Militants Launch Threats

    Chechen Leader Maskhadov Killed

    [09] Avramopoulos is Optimistic National Tourism Council in Session

    21 Mar 2005 19:11:00

    By Anna Kourti

    During the first meeting of the National Tourism Council, Tourism Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos noted that most of the southern European countries of the EU (Spain, Portugal, Italy) demonstrate a drop in the 2005 tourism period, while Greece is expecting an increase. Mr Avramopoulos also referred to the Ministrys activities for boosting Community tourism, which is taking on different dimensions this year. The Tourism Minister described the adverting campaign as successful and in tune with the trends of the international tourism market.

    New Development Law

    Furthermore, while presenting a report of his Ministrys activities so far, the Tourism Minister mentioned the initiatives that would render Greece the main destination of foreign tourists, referring to the actions taken in an effort to make Greece a place for major investments in the next few years, based on the new development law. "We are sending a message to the international community that Greece is gradually changing, overcoming all those obstacles that held the country back in terms of development," stressed Mr Avramopoulos.

    The Priorities

    Following the recent approval of the government committee for tourism, it was decided that new and large investments should take place in the area of Greek tourism.

    The Ministrys priorities for the next period mainly concern legislative interventions for upgrading and expanding tourism. In detail these include:

    Modernizing the legislation for granting permits to hotels and tourism lodgings Legislative reforms for town planning interventions to hotels and conducting a planning survey for tourism Lifting of saturation in the tourism market and provisions for withdrawing hotels Institutional framework for large tourism investments and formation of a biministerial body for composite investments Legislation for marinas and recreational ports Legislation for tourism holiday homes Upgrading of airports and ports Converting military airports to civil during peak tourism periods Upgrading the facilities and extending the opening hours of museums and archaeological sites Establishing a code for Tourism conduct

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Terri Receives Extension to Live

    21 Mar 2005 15:02:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET - ANA - BBC

    The public opinion the USA seems to be split with regard to the case of Terri Schiavo, the woman who has been in a vegetative state for the last 15 years. The Florida court ruled in favour of removing the feeding tubes, however, US President George Bush singed a Bill, allowing the woman to continue living. "Today, I signed into law a bill that will allow federal courts to hear a claim by or on behalf of Terri Schiavo for violation of her rights relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life," Bush said in a written statement, while he added, "our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favour of life." If the feeding and medicine tubes are not reattached, the 41-year-old is expected to die in 15 days.

    Her Husband Wants Euthanasia

    Terri Schiavos husband, Michael, who has since started a family with another woman, petitioned to let her die. Michael Schiavo is her legal guardian and claimed that his wife would not want to be kept alive in her current condition.

    However, the Bill singed by Bush, who cut his holidays in Texas short, takes the case away from the jurisdiction of the Florida civil courts and allows Terris parents to take the case to Federal Court.

    The family of the unfortunate woman welcomed Bushs intervention, as opposed to her husband, who declared he was furious with the fact that the government intervened in a clearly family matter.

    Political Disputes

    The Terri Schiavo case has been in court for the last seven years, while the feeding and medicine tubes have been removed and reattached twice, due to the public opinions reactions to euthanasia.

    The case, however, seems to have split the USA. Those in favour of euthanasia speak of an unacceptable intervention by the government in the citizens private affairs, while others feel that the State ought to intervene.

    The Sciavo case has also caused disputes within the political world. The Republicans claim that if they agree to euthanasia, it would be like taking Terris blood in their hands, while on the other hand, the Democrats accuse their opponents, saying the State should not play doctor or God.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Papandreou Meets with Immigrants New Steerers Announced Today

    21 Mar 2005 12:45:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Giorgos Papandreou is expected to announce the formation of the PASOK Parliamentary Steering Committee, and will meet with immigrants who were voted members of the National Council of the party, in Charilaou Trikoupi Street. In the meantime, the new Secretary of the party, Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou spoke on NETs television show "Proti Grammi" about her new duties.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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