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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-26

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Another Step Closer
  • [02] Iraklis Preparing for the Crown
  • [03] Vavilis Case Set in Motion
  • [04] Fragile Balance in Kyrgyzstan
  • [05] Bill Over Rural Police Ready
  • [06] FYROM Name at Focus
  • [07] Celebration at Athens University
  • [08] Gloomy Atmosphere for Eirinaios
  • [09] Strong Explosion in Beirut
  • [10] Reactions from Nicosia
  • [11] Tours Qualifies for the Final
  • [12] Bronze for Petropoulos
  • [13] Full Steam Ahead for Victory
  • [14] Former British PM Lord Callaghan Dies
  • [15] Boxing: Set for Gold

  • [01] Reigning European Champions Win in Georgia Another Step Closer

    26 Mar 2005 21:23:00 (Last updated: 26 Mar 2005 22:49:34)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The Greek National Football Team managed to score a great victory tonight, playing in Locomotiv Tblisis pathetic pitch and an impregnable home turf, at least until today, against Georgia, which, as was the case with Greece, needed the victory to keep its hopes for qualifying for the World Cup in Germany alive. Although the reigning European champions found themselves trailing in the score from the 15, they scored two goals before the end of the first half and another one at the onset of the second, to win the three valuable points for the victory. Playing against Giresses tough and ambitious team, the Greeks eventually performed like champions, managing to stay in Group Bs second place and eyeing the first place, which leads straight to the qualifiers.

    They Played Like Champions

    Playing against the reigning European Champions is certainly a strong motive to fight for a win. In addition, a win that can increase a teams hopes for qualifying for the World Cup in Germany is another valid reason to play with passion and claim the three points.

    But is that enough? Well, up until the 42 of the first half it looked like it was.

    And why, one might ask, was that the case? Because, up until that moment, Georgia was leading in the score, demonstrating that it could achieve the desired result with its performance. The Georgians had scored a goal in the 21, with Asaniati, who caught the ball and kicked it to the nets, following a previous long kick by Kobiashvili, which was saved by Nikopolidis.

    Actually, with its fast players, Georgia managed to block the Greek team, which was afraid of receiving another goal.

    But yet another question arises: Is speed enough to score a victory and keep it?

    No, because, when a team is playing against the European Champion, it always has to bear in mind that the spirit and pride of the reigning champions might awaken, crushing everything in its path.

    But it looks like the players of Georgia did not consider that option.

    The Greek team not only concentrated on its defence, which was important seeing that a second goal would have been a tragedy, but also remembered that what shot them to the top in Portugal was their fighting spirit and their passion.

    And they were back! Two goals in two minutes and they snapped the lead.

    42 minute. Karagounis centred the ball from the left; Georgias defenders did not attempt to clear it, and it was received by Kapsis, who scored the equalizer, as well as his first goal playing for the national team.

    44 minunte. Basinas kicked the ball long and Giannakopoulos headed it to Vryzas, whose subsequent header caught Lomaia unprepared for a second time.

    It was the beginning of Greeces comeback, while Georgia hit the slumps.

    For the Greeks, all they needed was to set the wheels in motion, to the dismay of the Georgians.

    53 minute. Zagorakis centred from the right, Vryzas intercepted the ball and Lomaia was once again unable to block it, as Giannakopoulos was scoring the third goal for the Greek team.

    From that point onwards it was all caution and prudence, Greeces motto. They controlled the ball, blocked off all the avenues and waited.

    When a team is leading by two goals, the only thing remaining is to stay calm and collected, so as not to receive a goal and start running to avoid a tie.

    So, the Greek National Team scored top marks from the 53 to the 90, playing a well-thought out game. That is also why it achieved a victory in what was an impregnable home turf, at least until today.

    A piece of advice for the Greek squad? Boys keep your cool until Wednesday, for a victory against Albania, as we are another step closer to qualifying.

    Referee: Roberto Rossetti (Italy)

    Yellow Cards: Mzhavanadze, Khizanishvili, Goumas

    The Lineups

    GEORGIA (Alain Giresse): Lomaia, Khizanishvili, Khizaneishvili, Kaladze, Mzhavanadze, Kobiashvili, Gogua (46΄ Tskitishvili), Kvirkvelia, Asatiani, Arveladze (60΄ Iashvili), Demetradze.

    GREECE (Otto Rehhagel): Nikopolidis, Seitaridis, Goumas, Kapsis, Katsouranis, Basinas, Zagorakis, Giannakopoulos, Karagounis, Vryzas, Charisteas.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] Iraklis Preparing for the Crown

    26 Mar 2005 22:24:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    For the first time ever in the history of the club, Iraklis qualified for the final in mens Volleyball Champions League, overcoming the Russian reigning champion, Locomotiv Belgorod by 3-2 sets (22-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-19, 15-13), and will now aim for the Cup. Tomorrow at 19:00, Alekos Leonis squad will be playing against French Tours, which defeated Germanys Friedrichshaven in the semis by 3-0 sets (25-18, 25-21, 25-19).

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Investigations are Continuing, Even in Albania Vavilis Case Set in Motion

    26 Mar 2005 17:34:00 (Last updated: 26 Mar 2005 20:57:20)

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The investigations for the arrest of Apostolos Vavilis are continuing, while he remains at large. Actually, this coming Friday 1 April, Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos will meet with his Albanian counterpart, in order to ask for evidence linked to Vavilis activities in Albania, as well as his possible involvement in the pyramids scandal. This meeting was set up through the Albanian Ambassador in Athens. In the meantime, Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras repeated that Vavilis would receive a fair trial, just like any other citizen. However, through his lawyer Giannis Vlachos, the wanted man is denying all allegations against him and expresses his intention to turn himself in, but considers that now is not the time, due to the publicity surrounding the case. It should be noted that an interview Vavilis gave to reporter Makis Triantafyllopoulos a few days ago will be published tomorrow. According to information, the Athens Archbishopric will respond to Vavilis interview. An official bulletin will probably be issued by the Archbishoprics Press office on Monday morning. However, the Archbishopric avoided commenting on the parts concerning Mr Christodoulos. Furthermore, the first case against Aposolos Vavilis, for issuing false IDs and passports, will be tried in a few days, in his absence.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    New Developments in Vavilis Case

    [04] Presidential Elections on 26 June Fragile Balance in Kyrgyzstan

    26 Mar 2005 16:49:00 (Last updated: 26 Mar 2005 21:06:28)

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    As per the countrys leadership, the situation in Kyrgyzstan is under control today, although gunshots were being heard throughout the night on the streets of the capital Bishkek, while gangs kept looting and burning shops and houses. An official of the Opposition declared that three people were killed during clashes between police and protestors last night. This morning, Kyrgyzstans Parliament decided to hold presidential elections on 26 June, to replace Askar Asayev, who was overthrown. This decision was made without any arguments and was applauded by the MPs. Furthermore, they voted for an extension of its operations until the elections. A short time later, acting President and current PM Kurmanbek Bakiev announced that he would be running for President in the upcoming elections. Early in the afternoon, the Oppositions spokesperson, Yelena Buldakova, said that there is information at hand for a planned assassination attempt against Kurmanbek Bakiev. In the meantime, as per news agency Interfax, the Kremlin agreed to grant political asylum to former President Askar Asayev, following a relevant request by the latter. It should be noted that Russias President, Vladimir Putin, had declared he was ready to collaborate with Kyrgyzstans new leadership, which overthrew Akayev, however, he had also said that he would not deny a possible request by Akayev to flee to Russia.

    Late in the afternoon, the new leader of Kyrgyzstans security forces, Felix Kulov, declared that the demonstrators who were moving towards the capital, to protest against the overthrowing of the former government, cancelled their mobilizations, as they could not gain the support of the people. Kulov also mentioned that he would be meeting with representatives of the protestors to discuss their problems.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Akayev Speaks of A Coup

    [05] Bill Over Rural Police Ready

    26 Mar 2005 13:38:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The Minister of Public Order Giorgos Voulgarakis presented today the Rural Police Bill to PM Kostas Karamanlis during their meeting at the Maximos Mansion. As Mr Voulgarakis stated, the next step would be to present the Bill to the other ministries and gradually promote the relevant social dialogue, in order to establish this new service, the operation of which was included in ND's pre-electoral plan.

    The cooperation of Messrs Karamanlis and Voulgarakis moved around all issues of the ministry of Public Order. In this context, they also examined the activation of the traffic control chamber, which was operating during the Olympic Games for the better coordination of circulation in the capital.

    What is more, they also discussed the Bill in relation to the Road Safety Study Centre, while at the same the Prime Minister was informed on the departments of the national highways traffic police, which are already in force for their positive contribution to the reduction of traffic accidents.

    Lastly, Mr Voulgarakis informed the PM on the reorganization of the Police and the Fire Brigade, as part of this new plan.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] FYROM Name at Focus

    26 Mar 2005 10:08:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    In the meeting he had yesterday with UN mediator Matthew Nimitz, the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Petros Molyviatis, expressed Athens' firm will to accelerate the process of finding a mutually accepted solution over the issue of FYROM's name.

    Mr Molyviatis underlined the rightness of the Greek position and stressed that a mutually accepted solution equals to the improvement and reinforcement of stability in the area, which will facilitate the course of FYROM to the Euro-Atlantic institutions.

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed the hope that the other side will have the same constructive, European stance and will not remain trapped in an "entrenched intransigence."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Celebration at Athens University

    26 Mar 2005 12:51:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias attended the celebrations for the National Anniversary of 25 March at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens. In his salutation, the University Dean, professor Giorgos Babiniotis, warmly wished Mr Papoulias for exercising his duties and praised his great interest over Education. The Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Sotiris Chatzigakis and many representatives of the University community also attended the celebrations of the Athens University.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Disapprovals Climax Gloomy Atmosphere for Eirinaios

    26 Mar 2005 14:54:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Orthodox Arabs continue to disapprove of Patriarch Eirinaios of Jerusalem. Mass demonstrations against him will be held today in Bethlehem and Amman, Jordan. At the same time, according to information, apart from Archbishop of Konstantini Aristarchos, other members of the Holy Sepulcher Brotherhood are expected to ask for Mr Eirinaios resignation. What is more, the Head Secretary of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem answered to accusations launched by the Patriarchs lawyer. As Mr Aristarchos stressed, Nikos Papadimas has increased powers and under the order of Mr Eirinaios he received a Protocol number for a power of attorney to sell Patriarchate property.

    Awaiting Letters for his Resignation

    Orthodox Arabs are determined to escalate demonstrations against Eirinaios. Protests are also expected to be held tomorrow, Sunday. In particular, tomorrow at 10.00 hundreds of faithful have scheduled a rally towards the Nativity Church in Bethlehem, while two more rallies have been scheduled in Nazareth and Jericho.

    In the meantime, two more letters are expected to be issued by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, one by the High Priests and the other by the Archimandrites, with which they will be asking for Mr Eirinaios' resignation. According to reliable sources, almost 30 Archimandrites have signed the letter so far, while almost eight are the High Priests who are taking a stand and also request for the Patriarch's resignation, as they hold him responsible for the situation in the Patriarchate.

    At the same time, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Panagiotis Skandalakis, speaking on NET radio 105.8, stated that during his contacts with ambassadors to other states, he was reassured that the Greek character of the Patriarchate is not being doubted, nor is the Holy Sepulcher Brotherhood in Jerusalem. Mr Skandalakis suggested that everyone should keep their calm and a low profile, as this is a national matter in which Greece and another three states are implicated.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] Five People Injured Strong Explosion in Beirut

    26 Mar 2005 22:53:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: Reuters

    A car bomb explosion in the Dikwanah, an industrial suburb in Beirut, on Saturday night spread fear and panic. As per Reuters, at least five people were injured, while according to security sources, the blast was recorded close to a commercial centre. Meanwhile, fires broke out in two buildings nearby, and the thick smoke forced residents to flee their homes. Fire fighters, ambulances and rescue crews rushed to the scene immediately after the explosion.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Reactions from Nicosia

    26 Mar 2005 16:28:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8 FM, ANA

    The rumours concerning Ankara and Brussels having reached an agreement on the Customs Union Protocol with the 10 new Member-States, including Cyprus, with a text that omits the clause for its immediate implementation in Turkey, have prompted Nicosias reaction. Turkish Media and Reuters, both quoting a Turkish official, broadcast the news today. Without getting into any details, Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan declared that he is awaiting the commencement of the official procedure of exchanging letters with the EU. However, the Cypriot Government has not been officially briefed yet, since all Brussels agencies are closed today due to Catholic Easter. Commenting on the matter, the Cypriot Foreign Minister clarified that signing the Protocol does not necessarily constitute the establishment of diplomatic relations. Furthermore, he spoke of non-existent victories by the Turkish side, as well as creating impressions aiming to prepare the Turkish public opinion in view of the upcoming signatures.

    "Signing the Protocol: a One-Way Street for Turkey"

    Earlier, the President of Cyprus, Mr Papadopoulos pointed out the perils of broadcasting messages from Turkey.

    The Cypriot Foreign Minister, Mr Iakovou, described the signing of the Customs Union Protocol by Turkey as a one-way street.

    In Athens, speaking on radio station NET 105.8, the Deputy Foreign Minister, Giannis Valinakis, stressed that signing the Protocol had been agreed since the December European Summit.

    "There is certainly a difference between signing an agreement and implementing it. The December decision speaks of signing the Protocol; from that point onwards we all wish for things to progress and quite naturally we will insist on Turkey to proceed further from just a simple signature. What is imperative is to smooth out the relations between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus. We believe that Turkey will gradually start adjusting to the terms and conditions that apply and will move forward. We believe that a road towards the customs union between Turkey and Greece is starting to open," said Mr Valinakis. Meanwhile, he confirmed an impending visit by the Greek Prime Minister to Ankara, without clarifying when.

    In the occupied territory, leaders of the Turkish-Cypriots along with Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat declared that a solution to the issue with Cyprus can be found prior to 3 October, since Ankara will be facing this problem in very step during accession talks between Turkey and the EU.

    Commenting on these statements, Mr Iakovou declared that the Greek-Cypriot side does not link solving the issue with the 3 October deadline.

    Mr Iakovou further added that the element missing right now is a commitment by Mehmet Ali Talat and Turkey that they do wish to negotiate a solution based on the Annan Plan.

    With regard to the EUs stance on the latest developments made public today, opinions will not be heard until Tuesday, at which time the EU agencies will start operating again.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    EU-Turkey Agreement

    [11] Tours Qualifies for the Final

    26 Mar 2005 17:32:00 (Last updated: 26 Mar 2005 19:17:09)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The French team Tours demonstrated its strength after defeating Germanys Friedrichshaven by 3-0 sets in less than 90 minutes, and so became the first team to qualify for the final of the mens Volleyball Champions League, which is being held in Pylaias Indoor Hall, Thessaloniki. The French champions were only slightly challenged during the second set, which ended in 25-21. The first set was literally a walk in the park, as it ended in 25-18, while in the third, Tours slowed down a bit, winning it by 25-19.

    Serniotti, "I Was Expecting to Qualify"

    After the end of the match, the Italian coach of Tours, Roberto Serniotti, appeared confident that his team would have qualified.

    During the Press conference, Serniotti declared, "I think we achieved the best possible result in this semifinal by playing well. My players were more experienced, while the Germans are a new team with a great future ahead. They made errors and the main thing was that we received well."

    In answering whether he has a preference for one of the two opponents in tonights second semifinal, Mr Serniotti underlined, "Although both opponents of the other semifinal are tough teams, I would prefer Iralkis as our opponent in the final, as in the past I did coach in Greece for two months and I am aware of the reality in Greek volleyball."

    The captain of the French team, Thiebaut De Kergret, spoke next and declared that he would also prefer Iraklis as his opponent in tomorrows final, although he was aware of the teams abilities, as well as those of Locomotiv Belgorod. He also added that if Iraklis were in the final, there would be a great atmosphere in the hall, something that both himself and his teammates would like.

    Friedrichshavens Romanian coach, Stelian Mokulesku, whose team will be competing tomorrow at 4pm for the third place in the tournament, said, "Congratulations to the winners. They deserved to qualify for the final. We were stressed, because this was the first time that out team was participating in such an event and we paid dearly for our anxiety. Once again, congratulation to the winners."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Bronze for Petropoulos

    26 Mar 2005 21:00:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Yet another success for Greece and the Greek Boxing Team, as Kostas Petropoulos finished in third place and won the bronze medal for the 75kg category during the international "Α. Chowdhry Cup 2005" tournament, in Baku, Azerbaijan. He was defeated in the semifinal by Hacaranda from Georgia, although his loss was accompanied by a successful appearance by the Greek champion. This was the first time Petropoulos was competing in an international mens tournament, while his opponent was one of the best boxers to come out of Georgia.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Full Steam Ahead for Victory

    26 Mar 2005 15:11:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    A few hours remain before the European Champions face Georgia in what will be another crucial match on the way to German stadiums and the 2006 World Cup. The Georgian team will play versus Greece in front of 25,000 fans in Lokomotivi, Tbilisi. Otto Rehaggel asked his players to be really careful and victory will be by their side. Among the drawbacks is the absence of Traianos Dellas, and the uncertainty of Kapsis participation. The last minutes problem with Vasilis Lakis, who suffered a sprain in the ankle in training two days ago, was finally solved as the Greek midfielder trained as per normal yesterday and is now at Otto Rehaggels disposal. Two more drawbacks for the Greek Football team are low temperature and the bad terrain.

    Otto Is Waiting

    Otto Rehaggel will most likely use the Euro recipe regarding the play system, ie 3-5-2, but he must wait and see the players he will use. In defence, Otto's main problem, Michalis Kapsis' participation or not needs to be clarified as soon as possible. The international defended is still in pain and his use is still questioned. However, in any case Otto will have to wait and see. If Kapsis will not be able to play, then Rehaggel will have to improvise and quickly come up with a solution. He is therefore thinking of using Angelos Basinas as libero and Katsouranis and Kyrgiakos as centre backs. As for the place of Panathinaikos' player, it will be filled by Giorgos Karagounis.

    All OK With Lakis

    The good news for the German coach came after yesterday's training session. Vassilis Lakis trained as per normal throughout the session, demonstrating that he has overcome the sprain he suffered on Thursday night. So Otto will be able to use him, although the player will have some trouble. The only things that seem to concern the head coach of the Greek team now are the low temperatures in Tblisi, which reached just -2, as well as the bad condition of the pitch. All the rest of the squad trained as usual and declared they are prepared for the challenge.

    "Thank you Greeks"

    In another note, in its front page today, Georgia's largest sports newspaper Sports, printed a photo of Otto Rehhagel with the title "Georgia Welcomes the European Champions." The paper also printed an interview by Rehhagel, who referred to the Georgians in very flattening words, while he also mentioned his previous visit to Tblisi in 1987, when he was coaching Verder Bremen and played against Dinamo Kiev.

    Meanwhile, Kahi Kahiasvili will also be watching the game from the stands tonight. The Greek golden Olympian, who is in Tblisi these days, visited the Greek squad and wished the players and their coach the best of luck.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [14] At the Age of 93 Former British PM Lord Callaghan Dies

    26 Mar 2005 20:33:00

    Former British Labour Prime Minister Lord James Callaghan, passed away today at the age of 93, as per BBC. Callaghan became PM in 1976, following the surprise resignation of Labour leader Harold Wilson. During the three turbulent years that Callaghan resided in 10 Downing Street, he paved the road towards the free market revolution, under Margaret Thatcher, of the Conservative party, which stayed in power for 18 consecutive years. Callaghan was the only politician in the history of Britain who held the major offices of Chancellor, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister during his career, while he was his partys MP for 32 consecutive years, both while it was in Government, as well as in the Opposition. Lord Callaghan would have been 93 tomorrow, as he was born on 27 March 1912.

    [15] Boxing: Set for Gold

    26 Mar 2005 16:05:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Greek Boxing has achieved yet another distinction. The year 2005 started off very well, while another medal has been added to the teams collection. Greek boxer Kostas Petropoulos has secured the bronze medal for the 75kg category, during the international "A. Chowdhry Cup 2005" tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan, after defeating Egyptian Mohammed Hamed today. Tomorrow, the Greek champion, who belongs to the club Olympiacos, will fight against Hatsaranda from Georgia, who won the bronze in the Athens Olympic Games, and if he does win, he will qualify for the final, where he will have the chance to fight for the gold. On the other hand, Greek Odysseas Saridis (57kg) was defeated by Ispranov from Azerbaijan, while another Greek, Gerasimos Dimatos (81kg) lost in the second round to Mintsayem from Azerbaijan.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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