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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-24

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Meetings Over Main Shareholder
  • [02] Expatriates' Wishes for Greece
  • [03] Bride Says "I Do" to Clay Pot!
  • [04] Rapid Developments
  • [05] Karamanlis' Contacts Over Growth Law
  • [06] The Great Escape
  • [07] Mystery Flight in Athens FIR
  • [08] Student Parade
  • [09] Olympiacos Qualifies to "4"
  • [10] Flight to Victory
  • [11] New Developments in Vavilis Case

  • [01] Pavlopoulos and Dimas at Maximos Mansion Meetings Over Main Shareholder

    24 Mar 2005 17:48:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The government is investigating its next actions, after the Commissions warning letter, in which it asks for changes in the main shareholder bill. This morning at Maximos Mansion, the PM met with Minister of Interior, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who received the Commissions letter late last night, and Greek Commissioner, Stavros Dimas, in order to discuss the latest developments. In the meantime, Minister of State, Thodoros Rousopoulos lashed out a harsh attack against the President of PASOK, and noted that the overwhelming majority of the Greek people approve of the fight against vested interest and corruption, and called on Giorgos Papandreou to answer if he supports the Constitution and the bill, who he and his party voted for. Also, the government spokesperson denied rumors of early elections. SYN President, Alekos Alavanos described the EU Commissioner and letter editor, Charles McCreevey as "not well informed."

    Rousopoulos' Attack

    "Unlike the previous government, this government defends the Constitutional bill, which clearly states that the state should take all measures for materializing the intention of the constitutional bill maker. We are fighting for transparency and against vested interest. The fight continues," stated Minister of State and government spokesperson, Thodoros Rousopoulos.

    Mr Rousopoulos also made reference to the McCreevey letter and stated that the Commission evidently "doubts the Constitutional reform." He expressed his satisfaction over the fact that two Left-wing parties support the fight for the defense of the Constitution and questioned "why PASOK does not support the bill, if it was the one that submitted it?"

    PASOK asks for the bill to not be implemented, as opposed to Left-wing parties that call on the government to not back down and to defend the Constitution.

    On the question of if the government has the will to seek a "common agreement" with the Commission on the main shareholder issue, Mr Rousoupoulos reminded that ND "accessed Greece in the EU," and noted "it would be unthinkable for the government to not participate in EU proceedings and the advancement of its views. The consensus proceedings are of top priority to the EU and the government responds positively to the above question."

    The government spokesperson observed that in the hypothetical question that "the government said that the bill will not be implemented, the case would not close since the Committee, for the past two years, has objections over the specific Constitution article," indicating that "the Commission had expressed its objections, even in PASOKs bill, which was more flexible and with more loopholes."

    In reference with the well-known practice of "surrender of sovereign rights" to the EU, which does not correspond with the "brave" defense of the Constitution, Mr Rousopoulos observed that there is not a general surrender, "since every country has its own Constitution. "Disputes and the attempt for EU community directives to be in force is a daily matter." As far as the danger of a cut of community funds is concerned, the government spokesperson underlined that "this government is aware and conscious of what the national interest is."

    From his side PASOK Press spokesperson, Nikos Athanasakis criticized Mr Rousopoulos statements and repeated Giorgos Papandreous eight-point proposal he had made last December for transparency and the counter of corruption.

    PASOK categorically rejects the arguments of the government, that the European Commission in its letter doubts the Greek Constitution. According to NikosAthanasakis, the Committee " in its purview clearly indicates to bill 3310/2005," of the main shareholder bill which was voted by the previous government and added that the Committee "does not doubt the logic behind main shareholder, or the logic of incompatibility," which are posed by the Constitution, but "the results of the measures which were adopted by the Greek authorities concerning the compatibility and their proportionality."

    The PASOK spokesperson accused the government of "continuing a process of lies and disorientation" to "cover its incapability."

    "We defend the Constitution," added Mr Athanasakis "but we cannot defend the governments incapability, the countrys ousting and the waste of valuable funds for a bill that was problematic and inapplicable from the beginning."

    He made reference on the differentiation of certain members of the government, such as Mr Souflias and Mr Dimitrakopoulos, and SEVs opposing Manager of the National Bank of Greece, Mr Arapoglou in the reforms of the new bill of the main shareholder.

    Alavanos: "McCreevey Not Well Informed"

    President of SYN, Alekos Alavanos described the editor of the warning letter Charles McCreevey as not well informed. "It is a shame that a Commissioner is not well informed and is not familiar that based on the principle of "epicurean," briefing issues, culture and education belongs to the power of the member states," stated Mr Alavanos.

    The SYN President asked for the advancement of a legislative bill, which will reform issues "not touched by the main shareholder bill, such as the issue of Mass Media belonging only to a few." Making reference to the relationship between the Constitution and community law Mr Alavanos stated, "I believe that the Commission has made a mistake" in the Balkenstein directive for the release of services.

    This morning, Minister of Interior, Prokopis Pavloupoulos after his meeting with the PM at the Maximos Mansion stated, "the government knows how to defend the Constitution and lawful order and it will move in that direction." He also stated that in the discussion process with the EU "the ones that defend their positions with arguments and bravery win, while the ones that keep silent and not take up responsibility lose. This is the tactic of others and not of Karamanlis government," underlined Mr Pavlopoulos.

    From his side, Greek Commissioner, Stavros Dimas, stated that the issue has to be set in its correct dimension, to not be dramatized and said "a legal solution has to be found, which respects the Constitution and has to be compatible with community law for the foreseeable aims." On the question of if he thinks that he was justified on the main shareholder issue, Mr Dimas answered, "it is not a justification issue, but I had a view concerning legal problems, that the specific legislature had."

    Mr Dimas seemed not worried about the prospect of a cut of community funds due to the bill, saying that "there is a relative conjecture to the community legislature but it is out of time and not possible."

    The Commissioner denied information which was broadcast that he didnt defend the country in the discussion which was made in the "Commissioners College" for the prospect of fund cuts, noting that such an issue is not recorded in the discussions agenda, nor was there a relative discussion. He added that the Commissioners, on main principle, defend EU Committees interests but stated, "I am a Greek Commissioner with a long political history and my countrys rights are important."

    From his side ND General Secretary, Vangelis Meimarakis spoke of the bill on NET Radio 105.8 and criticized PASOK on its stance. "We do not seclude someone that is a contractor and wants to provide the Public Sector. We seclude Mass Media owners, and this is what bothers Europe. The ones that are reacting are the Mass Media, SEV and PASOK," stated Mr Meimarakis.

    "No one has given the right to the EU to go forth with arbitrary changes in the Constitution of member states," added Mr Meimarakis and accused PASOK that is has formed a specific economic scene.

    Praises from Marshall

    Speaking to Athens International Radio, the foreign program of Athens 9.84 radio station, Director of the European international organization for transparency and the counter of corruption, Miklos Marshall described the main shareholder bill as a pioneering initiative in an international level.

    Marshall speaks of a very interesting attempt to close the gap between public provisions and companies with great interest in the Mass Media.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Aiming to Defend the Constitution

    [02] Expatriates' Wishes for Greece

    24 Mar 2005 22:08:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    The Mens and the U-21 National Football teams arrived in Tbilisi Airport, in view of the matches against the respective Georgian teams. The Greek teams were welcomed by Ambassador, Konstantina Mavroskelidou, who in a brief discussion with President of HFF, Vasilis Gagatsis, coach Otto Rehaggel and team captain, Thodoris Zagorakis stated the expatriates expectations and desires for a win. Kostas Katsouranis (AEK) and Aggelos Basinas (Panathinaikos) are possible substitutes in the place of injured Traianos Dellas. In tonights training session Vasilis Lakis suffered a sprain and will possibly not participate in the game, while the players were dissatisfied by the bad quality of the terrain.

    "We Will Win for the Greek People"

    "The expatriates are anxiously waiting for you. We are expecting a great win for Greece, just as you accomplished in Portugal this summer. We want you to glorify our country," were Ambassador's Konstantina Mavroskelidou's first words to the players. The children's faces that were waiting patiently for autographs gave courage to the players and Thodoris Zagorakis committed himself that "we will try our best to give joy to all Greeks."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Bride Says "I Do" to Clay Pot!

    24 Mar 2005 20:12:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    It seems that Savita, a young bride from India, was decided to marry her sweetheart. Everything was set for the glorious ceremony and the bride-to-be would exchange vows of eternal faith with her groom, who was an army officer. However, duty called and the groom could not attend his wedding, since he was stranded due to heavy snowfall at a mountainous area. Savita was left alone at the altar and did not want to postpone the greatest day of her life. So a clay pot took the place of the groom and the ceremony took place as planned. Savita exchanged vows of eternal love with the pot that had her sweethearts picture on it. Maybe the wedding was not a typical one, however we do not know if the pot accompanied Savita to the wedding reception!

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Synod Meeting in Heavy Climate Rapid Developments

    24 Mar 2005 15:38:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET

    On Thursday, the Holy Synod reviewed the latest developments after the sale of real estate to Israeli investors, while the climate in the Jerusalem Patriarchate remains heavy. Patriarch Eirinaios described the letter of attorney with which Nikos Papadimas made the sale of two hotels and stores to Jewish companies as false, while from his side, Head Secretary of the Patriarchate, Aristarchos asked for the Patriarchs resignation. The issue has caused intense reactions in the Arab Christian population and in Palestine. Specialists of the Foreign Ministry are in constant contact with the Patriarchate and are being briefed on its financial status in order to resolve the crisis. The event of common actions for the resolution of the crisis by Greece, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Israel is not ruled out.

    "Let My Hands be Cut Off"

    Mr Eirinaios stated that he will turn to justice in order to prove the falsification of the letter of attorney.

    "If I have signed the document, let my hands be cut off," said Mr Eirinaios who also read a short message in Arabic, while he made known that he has been invited to Amman by King Abdullah and is willing to accept any investigation and audit to the Patriarchates documents.

    Answering to a relative question, Mr Eirinaios stated that he never thought of resigning.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Eirinaios in a Tough Spot

    [05] With Alogoskoufis and Sioufas Karamanlis' Contacts Over Growth Law

    24 Mar 2005 13:20:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The preparation for the implementation of the growth law was at the focus of the PMs contacts with the ministers of Economy and Development Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Dimitris Sioufas. As per Mr Sioufas, the beginning of submitting investment plans will open next week, while the Bill for the upgrading and reorganization of the Competition Committee will be submitted to Parliament in the following days. What is more, the programme for Stability and Development for the next three years will also be presented next week, stressed Giorgos Alogoskoufis.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Three-Day Weekend Mass Exit The Great Escape

    24 Mar 2005 19:06:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ANA- NET

    There is increased traffic in the national roads towards Lamia and Corinth but without any problems, since holidaymakers are leaving city centers in masses. KTEL Busses has programmed extra routes while OSE Railroad has been running its routes with extra carriages. The traffic in Eleftherios Venizelos Airport and ports is on the increase, especially for the Aegean islands. The Traffic Police is in full alert, while the traffic of trucks has been banned in the national road network and specifically in the exit lane, from 15:00 until 21:00 and on Sunday in the entrance lane, from 15:00 until 23:00. The weekend will be filled with sunshine and a rise in temperature, while fog will be apparent in the mornings so drivers should be careful.

    Planes, Ships and Automobiles

    Most of the holidaymakers chose their vehicles to venture on their journey. On Thursday evening, until 16:30, around 30,000 vehicles passed through the Elefsina tolls, while from the Afidnes tolls towards Thessalonica more than 25,000.

    Starting today and until Sunday night, Traffic Police crews will be placed all along the national roads, performing alcohol tests and immobilizing vehicles which violate the speed limit or road signs, do not wear a seatbelt or helmet and drive dangerously.

    The traffic at the ports is also increased. The ships sailed filled with passengers for Paros, Naxos, Santorini, Syros, Mykonos and Crete.

    On Friday, seven extra ship routes will be made from Piraeus. If you wish to travel make sure you book a return ticket since there are no seats for the popular island destinations.

    In KTEL bus routes, there is increased traffic which is countered by extra routes, thus you will find a seat easily.

    Airplane tickets are restricted. The companies increased their routes for popular destinations. Traffic in Eleftherios Venizelos peaked with 506 flights, as opposed to 349 last Thursday.

    Trains are also packed with passangers. The available seats have increased by 15 to 20% and if you havent booked a ticket the chances of doing so are slim.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Fighter Planes Follow It Mystery Flight in Athens FIR

    24 Mar 2005 14:00:00 (Last updated: 24 Mar 2005 17:17:45)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Alert sounded at the headquarters of the Air Force shortly after 14.00, when a private US aircraft entered the Athens FIR coming from Italy and its pilot did not obey air traffic controllers on the course he was supposed to follow. At this hour the aircraft is being guided outside the Greek airspace, escorted by two Mirage 2000 fighter planes. As it was ascertained, there was a problem with the radio and this is why the pilot and co-pilot could not follow the scheduled course.

    Bound for Cyprus

    The Mirage directly lifted off from Skyros. In particular, the pilot could hear the controllers' directions, but they couldn't hear him back. In fact, when the private aircraft was over Rhodes, the pilot communicated with the tower control.

    The craft lifted off from Rome bound for Cyprus, but for unknown reasons so far did not follow the course it had stated to Greek Authorities.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] "Day of Remembrance for Those who Fought" Student Parade

    24 Mar 2005 12:41:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Circulation of vehicles has been restored at the Athens centre, as the student parade for the 25 March anniversary ended. The Minister of Education Marietta Giannakou congratulated students and teachers, stressing that "the national anniversary is a day of remembrance for those who fought." The Traffic Police are on alert to facilitate drivers on their way to a three-day break.

    Giannakou: "Effort to Reduce School Curriculum"

    "Students, regardless of nationality, religion and race, have the right to hold the Greek flag, a measure which will continue to be in force," stated the Minister of Education Marietta Giannakou, who visited the intercultural High School at Vathi Sqaure and watched the school ceremony.

    What is more, Mrs Giannakou underlined that the Ministry is making efforts to reduce school matter, remove useless information and equip students with useful knowledge, so they do not panic with a huge volume of school curriculum.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] Olympiacos Qualifies to "4"

    24 Mar 2005 21:03:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Olympiacos sealed its qualification in the Greek Cups semifinals with a triumphant way, since its distinct ease turned over the aggregate score of the first game 2-1, and dominated its opponent 5-1, in a fan-less Giorgos Karaiskakis Stadium. The next obstacle of the "reds" towards the title is AEK. The goals, which were all scored in the first half were put by Stoltidis (3), Okkas (9, 24), Taralidis (14) and Georgatos (31 penalty). The goal for Kastoria was scored with a header by Athanasiadis in the 86.

    Olympiacos Crushes Kastoria

    Olympiacos started the game offensively and in the 3 Stoltidis with a strong kick that bounced on the visitors defender scored 1-0.

    With this goal the home team qualified to the next round but before Dusan Bajevics players realized it Okkas doubled the "reds" goals. In the 9 Georgatos, in great from, entered from the left and with an assist shot in the heart of Kastorias defense, the Cypriot player with training session pace scored 2-0.

    Kastoria watched the home team prance around Simonidis nets and in the 14 Taralidis, after passing the goalkeeper scored 3-0.

    The fierceness of the goals against Kastoria did not seem to end, who seemed to have thrown in the towel a long time before, forgetting the least motive for qualification. In the 24 Anatolakis with a centre shot found Okkas and with a nice header violated Simeonidis nets for the second personal time and the fourth for his team. The Kastoria goalkeeper seemed to be praying for the nightmare to end as soon as possible. God wanted to test his faith further and in the 31 send Kiskabanis who trip Maric over in the goal area. The referee showed the white spot and Georgatos with an incredible penalty shot exposed Simeonidis scoring 5-0.

    Kastorias first good opportunity took place in the 39 when Athanasiadis, in a good position, kicked the shot offside, thus the two teams headed to the changing rooms 5-0.

    In the second half, Olympiacos slowed down, Kastoria took advantage and in the 86 Athanasiadis, after a centre shot by Yochitz scored 5-1.

    Referee: Vasileiou (Ilia)

    Yellow card: Aggos

    Olympiacos: Giannou, Mavrogenidis (56 Vallas), Pantos, Anatolakis, Kostoulas, Stoltidis, Taralidis, Maric, Okkas (63 Castillo), Giovanni (76 D Acol), Georgatos.

    Kastoria: Simeonidis, Kapetanopoulos, Kiskabanis, Mironidis, Gouletas, Lazaridis, Panteliadis (35 Aggos), Da Silva (60 Vekopoulos), Taxiarchis, Yochitz, Athanasiadis.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Flight to Victory

    24 Mar 2005 12:35:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The Greek National Football team flew to Georgia this morning aiming at victory that will bring them closer to qualifying for the final of the World Cup in Germany. Antonis Nikopolidis is officially included in the delegation, after surpassing his injury, and is now at the disposal of coach Otto Rehaggel. The delegation also includes: Kostas Chalkias, Panagiotis Fyssas, Theodoros Zagorakis, Zisis Vryzas, Giourkas Seitaridis, Giannis Amanatidis, Giorgos Karagounis, Aggelos Charisteas, Michalis Kapsis, Sotiris Kyrgiakos, Stelios Giannakopoulos, Vasilis Lakis, Vasilis Tsiartas, Aggelos Basinas, Pantelis Kafes, Giannis Goumas, Kostas Katsouranis, Dimitris Papadopoulos, Loukas Vyntra and Fanis Gekas. Injured Traianos Dellas was after all not included in the delegation.

    Rehaggel: "We Are Not Afraid"

    However, yesterday Otto Rehaggel did not hide behind his finger regarding the opponents' potential, as well as the difficulties his players will face in frozen Tbilisi. The German coach appreciates Georgias football and knows that his team is in view of a very tough game. However, it doesn't mean that he is afraid of the match's outcome:

    "Georgias national team has players abroad, mainly in Germany. In the past, many of Georgias players played in the USSR national team. It is a team that plays technical football with combinations. I have told my players that our opponents performance is up to us. Whoever is aware of the points, knows that on Saturday we will have to acquire a good result, in order to go after qualification. If for example our opponents are better, draw will be just as good. Our team should not be afraid of anyone, as we have proven in the past."

    Takis Fyssas moved on the same wavelength and stressed shortly before departing for Gerogia: "Georgia is a good team, but everything is up to us. Victory will definitely give a boost to our hopes for qualification. I believe in qualification and consider that everything will end well."

    Given the absence of Traianos Dellas, Otto Rehaggel is looking for his replacement with Kapsis and Katsouranis, Goumas and Kyrgiakos flirting with the three positions of centre backs.

    However, it will all come down to the last training sessions in Georgia.

    Georgians Are Also After Victory

    As it seems, there is passion for victory on the other side as well and coach Alain Giresse of the Georgian team said the meeting with Greece is crucial and hoped his team is ready to give a fight for occupying second place in Group B. "The matches with Turkey and Greece are very important to us. Our aim is to win six points. If this aim is achieved, then I will be happy," stressed the French coach. In an interview for Goal news newspaper, Georgian defender Kaha Kalatze asked his fellow players for seriousness from the first to the last minute of the match and spoke for Saturday's match between Georgia and Greece: "The match with Greece will be a tough one, which means that if we want to win we need to be serious from the first to the last minute. We need to stand firmly on our feet. For my team things are crystal clear. We are after victory, as there is no room for failure. Of course, we need to have luck on our side, since our opponents are tough. Our aim is to play good football and claim the three points. I believe that it will all come down to the details," stressed the experienced defender.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Prisoner Accuses him of Ambassador's Murder New Developments in Vavilis Case

    24 Mar 2005 12:05:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    A mans letter, who is imprisoned in Trikala Jail on charges of procuring, claims that Apostolos Vavilis is the culprit of a Turkish diplomats murder, for which Dimitris Koufodinas was indicted for. He also claims that he has evidence about "Anna," who reportedly belongs to terrorist organization 17N. The letter was given to the Supreme Court Prosecutor, Dimitris Linos by ND MP, Panagiotis Kammenos.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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