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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-28

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] 8.2 Earthquake in Sumatra
  • [02] Annan-Moliviatis Meeting in Positive Climate
  • [03] Asking Erinaios for Explanations
  • [04] New Anti-Populist Assault
  • [05] Konstantopoulos: "An Orchestrated Attack"
  • [06] Airplane Accident in Tokyo
  • [07] Suicide Attack in Baghdad
  • [08] Extortionate Policy Not in Plans
  • [09] Statements of Calmness
  • [10] Aposporis: "This is Our Last Chance"
  • [11] Albanian Football Team in Athens
  • [12] The Colour of Letters
  • [13] Bomb Explosion in Kabul

  • [01] Tsunami Nightmare Arises 8.2 Earthquake in Sumatra

    28 Mar 2005 20:26:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: Reuters- Associated Press

    A very strong earthquake, measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale, (8.5 as Tokyo reported), shook Sumatra in the evening, near the area in which the December 26 earthquake occurred. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an earthquake of such magnitude does not rule out the event of tidal waves. The tsunami-warning centre in the Pacific Ocean, with an announcement made, calls on the local authorities to be on full alert in order for the coastal areas to be immediately evacuated. The earthquakes depth was 30 km and its epicentre is located 200 km west, northwest of the town Sibolga in Sumatra.

    Earthquake Aftershock

    The alarm over an upcoming tsunami has sounded in Malaysia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. In Banda Aceh, where black outs have occurred, thousands of people have evacuated their houses, seeking refuge in higher grounds of the area. Panic has spread in the western shores of Malaysia, where on the scene witnesses stated that it was more intense in comparison to the December 26, 2004 earthquake. According to seismologist of the U.S. Geological Institute, Dale Grant, this is a strong aftershock of the previous earthquake in December, on the segment of the same fault. "We do expect aftershocks. An 8.2 is very large, but its not unusual as an aftershock," he stated.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Focus on Cyprus, Balkans and the Middle East Annan-Moliviatis Meeting in Positive Climate

    28 Mar 2005 20:24:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: NET RADIO 105.8- ANA

    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Petros Moliviatis described the meeting between UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan, in New York, as useful and constructive. Mr Annan and Mr Moliviatis, among other things, discussed the Cypriot issue, the Balkans, the Middle East and the crisis in Darfur, since Greece is a member of the Security Council for this term. Referring to the Cypriot issue, they stated the need of reunification of the island and the evaluation that all the interested parties are converging towards the above. From his side, Mr Moliviatis asked for the process of finding a solution through negotiations on the basis of the UN General Secretarys plan to recommence. "This time," he added, "it is very important to ensure that a new failure will not take place but that the process will result to a positive outcome." As far as the FYROM issue is concerned, Mr Moliviatis repeated the Greek sides position, in agreement with the UN General Secretary, for a commonly acceptable solution, which will allow the international community and the two countries to focus their attention to other problems of the area.

    Greece's Role in the Balkans

    According to sources, Mr Annan expressed his evaluation over the role and action of Greece in the area, especially in Kosovo, while there is a coincidence of views between Athens and the UN, to the importance of the achievement of criteria in Kosovo during the period, until the evaluation report. According to the report, the final status of the area will be investigated, given the position of the EU that a return to an era before 1999, of conditions is not feasible.

    In relation to the Middle East issue, the two sides agreed on the need of a full withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

    Moliviatis in the White House The last stop of the five-day visit of the Greek Foreign Minister in the U.S. is Washington. Mr Moliviatis, invited by George W Bush, will attend a special ceremony in the White House, where the National Independence Day will be celebrated, also attended the Archbishop of America, Demetrios and eminent figures of the Greek expatriate community. Last week, President Bush issued a proclamation for the March 25 anniversary, in which, among others he stated "long before the Greek National Independence, Ancient Athens had implemented the principles of democracy, which inspired the fathers of the American State and the love of America for freedom, derived from the Greek spirit." He also mentioned that "were are facing the challenges of the 21st century, Greece and the U.S. are allies in the advancement of freedom and democracy."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Backlash for Resignation Escalates Asking Erinaios for Explanations

    28 Mar 2005 16:42:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET RADIO 105.8

    Tension in the Jerusalem Patriarchate escalates and Erinaios is in a tough spot, since protests by the Arab Orthodox communities continue. Twenty Holy Sepulcher Archimandrites also ask for the resignation of Erinaios, while according to information from NET Radio 105.8, a relative demand will be made during the day by Metropolitan Bishops. An indication of the bad climate surrounding Mr Erinaios is the fact that while he had been invited in Amman by King Abdullah today, in the end he only met with the Interior Minister of the country. According to sources, the Jordanian government asked for explanations for the sale of Jerusalem Patriarchate real estate to Israel. According to information, the Jordanian government has asked for explanations over the sale of Jerusalem Patriarchate in Israel. Also it states that the cooperation between Greece, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority is satisfactory, in order for the institution in the Patriarchate to remain as is, and for shadows to not be cast over the Greek presence. In the meantime, articles of the Jordanian Press strongly criticize Mr Erinaios. However according to diplomatic sources Mr Erinaios is enjoying the trust of the majority the synodical of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

    Patriarchate is A National Issue

    In the meantime, the Deputy Foreign Minister, Panagiotis Skandalakis and PASOK Steerer of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Michalis Chrisochoidis, who met today in Athens, agreed on the need to support Orthodoxy in Jerusalem, while diplomatic sources state that Greece does not wish for the diplomatic peace with Israel, Palestine and Jordan to be interrupted.

    Mr Skandalakis stated that the Patriarchate constitutes a "light house for Hellenism and Orthodoxy and we have to maintain it that way," stating that this is a national issue, and has to be faced with discipline in order to achieve a positive outcome.

    From his side, Mr Chrisochoidis stated, "everything that has been taking place or has been revealed, concerning the Greek Orthodox Jerusalem Patriarchate, causes great concern. I would say that our first non-negotiable priority is the Patriarchates institution to remain Greek-Orthodox," and added that the Jerusalem Patriarchate has to be a factor of stability and peace and to serve all the interests of the followers, regardless of their nationality.

    Mr Skandalakis is expected to brief KKE General Secretary, Aleka Papariga and SYN President, Alekos Alavanos.

    Tomorrow morning the verdict of the specialists who arrived in Jerusalem to investigate the evidence that concern real estate rental to Israelis will be given to the Deputy Minister. According to sources, neither the Palestinian Authority nor Jordan has asked for the removal of the Patriarch.

    However, the problem is serious and there is fear over possible tension in view of the Orthodox Easter. The same sources state that the Patriarchate issue is faced by our country in a two-party basis.

    Alavanos Asks for Erinaios' Removal

    President of SYN, Alekos Alavanos and the Palestinian Authoritys diplomatic attach&#233;, Ismat Sabri asked for the removal of Erinaios from the Patriarchate the soonest possible.

    Mr Alavanos called on the government to intervene, stating that there is no ecclesiastical matter but a foreign policy issue of Greece. He also asked for the sale of real estate to Israelis to be annulled and for the transfer of agents thought the Patriarchate to stop in order for the trust to Orthodox Christians to be reinstated.

    From his side, Mr Sabri stated that the sale of Palestinian land to Israelis is on the verge of treason and said that there is no issue of the Patriarchate becoming controlled by Arabs and the lowering of Greek flags.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Asking for Eirinaios to Resign

    [04] Aleka Papariga's Press Conference New Anti-Populist Assault

    28 Mar 2005 15:27:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8 - ANA

    During a Press Conference today at noon, KKEs General Secretary, Aleka Papariga, called on the Government, as well as the political and social powers, to disobey the EU, while commenting on the results of the Spring EU Summit. Referring to the decisions of the recent Summit, Mrs Papariga invited the Greek people to prepare for a "new anti-populist assault," while she pointed out that the Stability Pact did not become more flexible and does not serve Greeces interests. Furthermore, she referred to the Vavilis case and the Churchs responsibilities, while she harshly criticized PASOK, saying, "It has driven us crazy with the main shareholder and the fiscal inventory, while if it really wanted to practice opposition it should have focused on the tax and growth laws." Actually, with regard to the main shareholder, she noted that the people are being misinformed, while she predicted that the Government would lose the case with the EU.

    The Institutions Corrupt the People

    Referring to the Vavilis case, she underlined that it is not the people who corrupt the institutions, but rather the institutions, which are orientated towards profiteering, that corrupt the people. Regarding the Church, she stressed that it has responsibilities both because of its role, as well as because of the great assets owned by the cathedrals and which they appropriate without control. Actually, Mrs Papariga mentioned that the Churchs leadership has frequently overstepped its boundaries by taking on political roles.

    However, she did not ask for the Archbishops resignation, as that would lead to a cover-up of the problems, but was in favour of the separation of Church and State.

    USA's "Blatant Blackmail"

    Referring to Greeces foreign policy, she spoke of "blatant blackmail" by the USA concerning the adoption of the Annan Plan. Furthermore, she expressed her concerns for Kossovo, saying that the matter is interconnected to the issues with Cyprus and FYROM, since, as she mentioned, the USA is asking the Greek Government to support Kossovos independence and the Annan Plan, in exchange for FYROMs name.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Will Answer with Lawsuits Konstantopoulos: "An Orchestrated Attack"

    28 Mar 2005 18:16:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET RADIO 105.8

    The former SYN President, Nikos Konstantopoulos visited the Supreme Court Prosecutor, and condemned the actions of parastatal groups, not only in the Justice, and in the Church but in other areas, stating that "I will continue to fight and defend myself against these actions, and against these groups." Also, Mr Konstantopoulos submitted a relative question in Parliament, to the Ministers of Justice and Public Order, over the actions of the parastatal groups. In the meantime, concerning the publications over his relations with his ex-wife, Foteini Tomai, he underlined that it was an orchestrated attack against him, and blamed people that are after his eradication. He also stated that he will answer with lawsuits. In the meantime, the party of Synaspismos, in an announcement made today, states its solidarity towards Nikos Konstantopoulos and speaks of an unacceptable personal, moral and political attack.

    Disciplinary Checks of Justices

    In the meantime, the Supreme Court Prosecution, after a relative complaint by Mr Konstantopoulos ordered the disciplinary checks of Justices, which with their decision interjected the 13-year sentence of a prisoner for antiquities and narcotics trafficking, due to a so-called health condition and admitted him to a public hospital from which he escaped.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Forty-Seven Injured from Turbulence Airplane Accident in Tokyo

    28 Mar 2005 19:31:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Forty-seven passengers of Taiwanese airlines Eva Air were injured today when the aircraft experienced turbulence at the time it was approaching Japan, coming from Taipei. As the authorities of the airport stated, the A330-200 aircraft aboard with 267 passengers, including the crew made an emergency landing, without any problems, early this afternoon in the Narita Airport in Tokyo. From the injured, 12 have serious fractures on their back and shoulders, while 27 are more lightly injured. The passengers who were not wearing seatbelts and on whom baggage fell upon were more seriously injured. The aircraft is investigated in order to see if serious damage has occurred. It is noted on March 18, a Boeing 474 made an emergency landing in the same area, while at least four of its passengers were seriously injured.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Seven Dead and Nine Injured Suicide Attack in Baghdad

    28 Mar 2005 11:22:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Seven people lost their lives and nine were injured from a suicide attack with a car packed with explosives that occurred at noon, south of Baghdad. The attack took place in a busy street which connects the town of Hillah, 100 km south of Baghdad, with Karbala, where followers have been starting to gather for the end of the yearly mourning ceremonies which take place this week in the holy town of the Shiites. Earlier, two policemen were killed in Najaf, from an explosion of a car trapped with explosives near a police station.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] "Standard of Living for Greeks will Improve" Extortionate Policy Not in Plans

    28 Mar 2005 20:05:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET RADIO 105.8- ANA

    "The government is not planning to enforce an extortionate policy, however it calls to resolve the deficit problem that PASOK has left behind," stated alternate government spokesperson, in view of the tomorrows Government Committee meeting. Evangelos Andonaros stated that the direction remains the same, which is a strict application of the budget and immediate aim for the decrease of deficit without it burdening the Greek people. "What is important, is that current sacrifices should not pass unharnassed, as it has in the past," stated Mr Andonaros, adding "all the Greek people contribute in their own way to the recovery of Greek economy and the redraft of the fiscal situation that PASOK has left behind." He also underlined that the increase of the deficit is not due to ND, while he stated, "we will remain faithful to our commitments, while the living standards of the Greek people will improve and obstacles will be overcome."

    Reactions Over New Measures

    Tomorrow, the Minister of Economy will present the reviewed Stability and Development Program for Greece for 2004-2007. On Wednesday, Mr Alogoskoufis is expected to announce the measures that the government committee will decide on the decrease of deficit under 3% until the end of 2006.

    From its side KKE General Secretary, Aleka Papariga expressed the fear that the new measures that will be announced will be a burden for the working people, while SYN, Alekos Alavanos, asked of the government to support the pensioners and to give the back payments of LAFKA immediately.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Statements of Calmness

    28 Mar 2005 18:04:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    The game of Greece against Albania is of special importance and of course the aim is a win that will raise the qualification chances, however the opponent will make it quite difficult, something which the Greek players are aware of. In the short statements they made in the official website of the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF), in view of the game, they mentioned the issue of the fans who they called on to support the team in the best way. "If we should take up our role then the win will be ours," stated Zisis Vrizas and added, "I expect a good atmosphere in the stadium without extreme incidents. The determinative games are against the teams that are after the qualification." On the other hand, Takis Fissas stated "just because we won in Tbilisi, that does not mean that we will acquire the three points against Albania. Our team owes to win, and the players will do their best to give joy to the fans. The Greek team will qualify, as it is a very good team and its performance becomes better in the course of the games." Aggelos Basinas stated: "our aim in these two games was the obsolete. The game with Albania will be difficult, but if we play as good as we did with Georgia we will receive the three points. The attitude that has been shown by the fans up to now has been exceptional. We all want for them to warmly support the team on Wednesday and nothing else."

    "The Fans are No 1 Player"

    "I usually hear that the fans are the twelfth player, but this time they have to be the first and the best, not only in Karaiskakis stadium but throughout Greece," stated Vasilis Tsiartas and added, "we are European Champions and this is the behavior we ought to have. Every game has the according seriousness, or else you can be found in a tough spot. Our aim is to overcome the Ukraine in the standings and to conquer the first place. "From his side, Giannis Goumas stated: "It is a difficult game and we have to win in order for our win against Georgia to not be a lost game . The fans have to be respectable and to show everyone that we are civilized. The qualification will be played until the end." In closing, Michalis Kapsis stated "the game against Albania is not going to be easier than the one against Georgia. It is our duty to appear serious in the stadium and with the support of the fans to acquire a win. There are three teams in the group that are chasing the qualification, the Greek team included. The fans have to be by our side and support the team and all I ask of them is patience."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Aposporis: "This is Our Last Chance"

    28 Mar 2005 17:43:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    The Greek U-21 team has only one choice, which is to win Albania in order to keep its hope for a qualification in the finals of the European Championship. This is what the U-21 coach, Stelios Aposporis stated in a Press conference and asked of his players to make a start for a turn-around.

    "A Win Will Show Us the Way"

    The U-21 coach stated that after the tie on Friday with Georgia where "we were unlucky, since we could have won the game after all the opportunities we lost," the chances have become less and this win is a one-way street.

    The win against Albania will constitute a start for Greeces continuation, since the team will reenter the qualification game. In order for this to take place, the Greek coach stated that "if we win Albania then we can play for the qualification with the games with Turkey and the Ukraine. The fans that will come to the stadium have to help our team in a civilized context. In order to keep our hope we want three wins in the corresponding games in our home turf, a win abroad with Kazakhstan and to not be defeated in Turkey. Luck is also needed, which was not on our side in the games with Denmark and Georgia."

    In closing, as far as Liapakis and Mantzios is concerned, who have been injured, he stated that their condition is not serious and they will be in the team roster for the game tomorrow, which will take place in the Nea Smirni stadium at 16:15.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Albanian Football Team in Athens

    28 Mar 2005 14:49:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    The national football team of Albania, which arrived in Athens today, departed from Eleftherios Venizelos Airport accompanied by police forces, in view of the game with the Greek national team, on Wednesday for the 2006 World Cup preliminaries. The opponents of Otto Rehaggels players stated that they consider Greece as the favorite and as the German coach said "Albania has come to just play football, since it has nothing to lose." In his statements, Albanian goalkeeper Fotis Strakosha, in reference to the incidents during the previous game, underlined that "football should unite and not divide."

    Briegel: "Greece is the Favorite"

    Albania will play against Greece, on Wednesday at 21:30 in Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, with a different formation due to some players being injured. The coach of the Albanian team and fellow countryman of Otto Rehaggel, Hans-Peter Briegel, stated that all results are welcomed except for a defeat: "Albania has arrived in Athens to play a game and has nothing to lose. Every result except for a defeat is positive for us. In reference to the game we fear nothing. I cannot use some players because of their injuries. The team of Albania will be different from the previous games," stated Mr Briegel.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Discover Synaesthesia The Colour of Letters

    28 Mar 2005 13:45:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: BBC

    For most of us, words are just combinations of letters and music of sounds. However, there are people who "see" colours when they look at letters, while for others musical notes translate into "flavours". It is an extraordinary condition called synaesthesia, in which the five senses intermingle, but up until now its causes baffled scientists. However, a new study by American researchers aims to shed light into synaesthesia. As per scientists of the University of San Diego, California, research so far demonstrated that the condition is due to cross-activation between adjacent areas of the brain involved with processing different sensory information.

    When the Letter 'A' Glows Red

    The reason for this cross-wiring might develop by a failure of the "pruning" of nerve connections between the areas as the brain develops while still in the womb.

    For example, a person with synaesthesia might see red when they look at an ordinary figure 5 drawn in black ink on a white background, because the red colour perception area of their brain is stimulated at the same time as the number recognition area. In addition, the people with synaesthesia had activity in colour perception regions and could perceive colours better.

    Furthermore, the condition seems to make people more creative. As per researcher Vilayanur Ramachandran, "It is not an accident that the condition is eight times more common among artists than the general population."

    At the same time, Dr Julia Simner, who has been studying synaesthesia at the University of Edinburgh along with colleagues at University College London, said the findings were supported by similar work looking at people who see colours when they hear sounds.

    Actually, they found that many people with synaesthesia demonstrated trends in their preferences. So, the letter A usually is red, while S is yellow and Z is black.

    Scientists, though, are stressing that this is just a first step, noting that there is need for further research into this rare condition.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Four Injured Bomb Explosion in Kabul

    28 Mar 2005 14:52:00

    By Anna Kourti

    At least four people were injured from a bomb explosion, east of Kabul. According to a spokesperson of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, two of the injured were aboard a Canadian Embassy vehicle. The other two were Afghan civilians who were aboard another vehicle. The explosion occurred on a street between Kabul and Jalalabad, which ISAF frequently uses for their transport. The bomb was placed in a fruit stall at the side of the street and exploded at the time when the vehicles were passing by.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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