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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-27

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Tiredness Cost Them the Trophy
  • [02] Illegal Hanging
  • [03] Rest After the Fight
  • [04] Pope's Moving Appearance
  • [05] DEKO Permanent Status Ends
  • [06] Third Place for Lokomotiv Belgorod
  • [07] Marburg Plagues Angola

  • [01] Tiredness Cost Them the Trophy

    27 Mar 2005 21:25:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    The curse of the favourite was cast upon Iraklis in tonight's final of the Men's Volleyball Champions League against French Tours, as they failed on home grounds to celebrate conquering the European crown. With an amazing defence and an impenetrable block, Roberto Sernioti's French, who also participated for the first time in a final, managed to find their way through the attacks of Guemmadi and Nikolov and claim victory with 1-3 sets (25-21, 29-31, 17-25, 25-23) and thus write their name with golden letters in the institution's history book.

    In a stadium packed with 9,000 fans, ie 1,000 more than in the semifinal, Iraklis opened the game with a strong serve and quick attacks by Stanley and thus managed to neutralize the French team's weapon, meaning its very good defence, and claim victory in the first set with Giourdas' block out. (1-0, 25-21).

    In the second set, the French counterattacked and gained control from the beginning. Taking advantage of Iraklis' non-existent block and their many mistakes while serving, they managed to keep a two-point difference with Bulgarian Nikolov's attacks, causing at the same time nervousness to Alekos Leonis' players. The Greek coach gave his cards a good shuffle, just like he did in the semifinal yesterday, and Iraklis reduced the score to 19-18 and then to 20-20, but after 5 set balls the French managed to tie the sets with Nikolov's block (1-1, 31-29).

    During the third set, the French's good block as well as their good luck in some points caused anxiety to the Greek players, who found themselves losing by 8-4 and 16-10, and forced them to retreat to a passive role. Henno's great defence and Nikolov's amazing skills gave both the set and the lead to the French team with summary procedures. (1-2, 25-17).

    From then onwards, both teams were after the fourth set for different reasons. After Tours took the lead with 8-6, the points were equally shared and the set was developing neck and neck until 21-21, at which point Kravarik gave Iraklis the lead with 22-21 but the Greeks did not have the chance to celebrate, as Nikolov tied the score once again at 22-22 and then Guemmadi with a block-out at 23-23. Finally, the French won their third set and the trophy.

    The Lineups

    TOURS: Nikolov 21, De Kergret 2, Boskan 9, Sloboda 15, Dessources, Guemmadi 16, Henno (libero, 60%), Gibert 4, Lavallez IRAKLIS: Gkiourdas 4, Kravarik 12, Baev 14, Ball 4, Hoff 10, Stanley 21, Brouks-Mpongko (libero, 67%), Kalmazidis, Barmpoudis 3, Ioannidis

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] Illegal Hanging

    27 Mar 2005 20:10:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The days and works of Banksy are notorious in Great Britain. He is street artist from Bristol, whose real identity remains a secret and whose preferred targets used to be trains and walls until he discovered museums and art galleries in his country. In 2003 he managed to smuggle and hang one of his works in London's Tate Gallery and a year later in the Louvre. However, as it seems, he decided to travel on the other side of the Atlantic and test his talent on US soil. He claims than on March 13 he "hit" four of the most prestigious and well-guarded museums in New York and conducted all four operations on a single day during opening hours. His victims were the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Metropolitan Museum, the Brooklyn Museum and the American Museum of Natural History, where his work remained hanging for several days before being noticed by the museum officials.

    The Art of Prank

    Security officials in the American museum really had a hard time with Banksy's action, which is in fact proved by photographs posted on the Internet at .

    There you can see the chronicle of his coordinated operations, which he performed with the use of a hat, a fake beard and the held of some friends-accessories.

    He first visited the MoMA, where he hang a work depicting a tomato soup can from Tesco's and not Campbell's.

    Then he visited the Brooklyn Museum, where he managed to smuggle under the guards' nose the oil painting of a colonial-era admiral, to which the artist had added a can of spray paint in his hand and anti-war graffiti in the background.

    In the American Museum of Natural History he preferred to exhibit a glass-encased beetle with fighter jet wings and missiles attached to its body. According to museum officials, the hi-tech beetle was removed after three days.

    The Metropolitan Museum housed for a single day the portrait of a woman wearing a gas mask.

    Banksy admitted he originally wanted to include the Guggenheim in his operations but decided to spare it after all. "I would have had to appear between two Picassos," he said. "And I'm not good enough to get away with that."

    Apart from his disguise he also use a couple of his friends who "staged a gay tiff (lovers' quarrel), shouting very loudly and obnoxiously," said the artist, declining to give his real name or any personal details beyond his occupation as a professional painter and decorator.

    "They've got their eye a lot more on things leaving than things going in, which works in my favour" said Banksy and added that his sister inspired him to do it. "She was throwing loads of my pictures one say and I asked her why. She said 'It's not like they're going to be hanging in the Louvre.' I took that as a challenge. I thought why wait until I'm dead."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Rest After the Fight

    27 Mar 2005 18:17:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    After victory comes rest. The Greek football team arrived in Athens on Sunday morning and after a few hours of rest, the players went to Agios Kosmas at noon for a loose training with rehabilitation exercises. Watching his players so tired, Otto Rehaggel decided to set a new training date for Monday at 19.00. Until then, the Greek footballers will be given the chance to rest and relax, before starting their preparation for the Wednesday match against Albania on home grounds (Karaiskakis Stadium). Almost 400 fans attended the mini-training to cheer and applaud for the players.

    With the Heart of the Champion Versus Albania

    The good thing about the European Champions is that right after the match and despite their victory and good appearance, they kept a low profile and reserved celebrations for after the match with Albania.

    Victory in this match is once more a one-way street, since gathering three more points could lead the Greek team at the top of Group B, as Ukraine and Denmark will be playing on the same day in Kiev and Turkey in Georgia.

    A lot will depend on the three results, both for the first and second place that will lead to a derby or a direct qualification, depending on the points of the second in relation to the second teams of the other groups.

    However, two months before the critical matches in June with Turkey on 4/6 and Ukraine in Karaiskakis, the Greek players have started realizing what most fans haven't yet. That they are the Champions of Europe.

    And it showed in yesterday's stunning appearance in Tbilisi.

    It wasn't just the fact that they turned the match in their favour before half time, but mainly the character and maturity they showed afterwards and without breaking a sweat they claimed three victorious points.

    If they keep up at this pace, with the spirit of the leader and the heart of the champion, then they have nothing to be afraid of. After all, that was Otto Rehaggel's clear message after the match.

    The German surely knows more than we do.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Pope's Moving Appearance

    27 Mar 2005 15:19:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Thousands of faithful filled Saint Peter's Square today in the Vatican in the hope of listening to the Pope blessing them. However, the Primus of the Roman-Catholic Church failed for the first time in 26 years to give his Easter blessing. Looking frail and clearly in discomfort, after having throat surgery last month, the 84-year-old Pope appeared at the window of his Vatican apartment and struggled to pronounce a few words. However, his ill health forced him to stop and he only managed to make the sign of the cross in the direction of the moved crowd.

    The Pope's fragile help did not allow him to take part in Easter celebrations.

    The Pope did not attend the Easter Sunday Mass which took place earlier in St Peter's Square, celebrated by Cardinal Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state, who later read out the Papal message "Urbi et Orbi" (To the City and the World). Through his message, the Pope called for peace in the Middle East and Africa, in a world "drenched in the blood of so many innocent victims of war", and asked the people to show solidarity to those "dying form poverty and hunger" and from fatal diseases or tremendous natural disasters.

    Since the Pope was submitted to throat surgery, he has a tube in his throat to help him breathe. Since 13 March, when he left the hospital, he has made six public appearances: four from his window and two via video link.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] DEKO Permanent Status Ends

    27 Mar 2005 16:32:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis set this Fall as a period of changes for the working status at DEKOs (public enterprises which are classed as public services and utilities) admitted in the ATHEX. In an interview in Apogevmatini tis Kyriakis the minister of Economy announced the end of the permanent status, as for new employers the private sector status will gradually come in force and they will be insured at IKA. "There are companies, former public businesses, that have been admitted to the ATHEX, operate in competitive fields and will have to gradually adopt the rules and regulations of private competition," said Mr Alogoskoufis and went on to add that whatever changes will be gradually implemented without affecting the rights of employees.

    Over Institutional Changes

    Speaking about the way of hiring employees, he set the example of the National Bank, where the Public sector has no direct shares and spoke of an expected disengagement from ASEP, which however "they still need and use."

    Referring to DEKOs, where the Public sector has a significant part of shares, he noted that "it would not be wise to abolish ASEP, because we would directly create an image that the government is trying to open windows and promote hiring based on other criteria and certainly not meritocratic."

    Over Economic Policy

    Answering questions regarding the economic policy of the government, he stressed that the main aim is to limit deficit below 3% by the end of 2006.

    Questioned about alleged raises in certain products, such as alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, he did not exclude such a possibility: "Nobody can make definite statements on the subject," stated Mr Alogoskoufis.

    What is more, he noted that all changes in real estate taxation, as well as VAT and new objective values, they will come into force as of 1 January 2006.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Third Place for Lokomotiv Belgorod

    27 Mar 2005 17:43:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Last year's trophy holder Locomotiv Belgorod occupied third place in this year's Indesit European Volleyball Champions League. The Russian team easily prevailed by 3-0 sets over German Friedrichshaven, which put up a strong fight only during the last set. Gennady Shipulin's team gained control of the game from the very beginning and were in no way threatened by Friedrichshaven's players, who seemed to have come to Thessaloniki just for the experience. The sets: 19-25, 18-25, 22-25.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] At Least 120 Fatal Cases Marburg Plagues Angola

    27 Mar 2005 16:12:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The spread of the Marburg virus, which is in the same family as Ebola, has taken on uncontrollable dimensions in Angola and has cost the lives of 120 people since October. Returning from a two-day tour in the northern Uige province, which has been most affected by the killer virus, the Angolan deputy minister of Health Jose Van-Dumer described the situation as critical. "Things are more than serious, there is need of tough precautionary measures to limit the disease's outbreak." Today it has been known that fatal Marburg cases appeared in one more Angolan province. A group of 30 experts from various health organisations, including the WHO, Doctors Without Borders and the Epidemic Control Centre are on their way to Angola to provide their help in dealing with this critical situation.

    Mostly Affecting Children

    The group includes doctors, epidemiologists, hygiene and disinfection experts. What is more, the government is in close cooperation with the WHO for the creation of a special lab that will monitor the disease, which will be operational in June.

    The epidemic broke out in Angola in October 2004 and has severely deteriorated over the past three weeks with 117 dead in Uige, two in Luanda and one dead woman in Cabida.

    According to the World Health Organisation, 75% of the victims are children under 5, but the virus has cost the lives of many adults as well, including six people working in the health department.

    The vice president of the Hemorrhagic Disease Centre of the WHO expressed her optimism that the epidemic can be limited "within a few weeks time" as it has been recognized and proper measures can now be taken.

    At the same time, the medical staff training programme has started in Luanda.

    The victims of the disease, which is transmitted through bodily fluids and not air, suffer from diarrhoea in the early stages, stomach aches, nausea and vomits. Acute pains follow in the chest and lungs, while there is also coughing with blood.

    In many cases, there is serious bleeding from the fifth day of the virus' incubation in the gastrointestinal system, the lungs and sometimes throughout the body.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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