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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-29

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Measures Over Deficit
  • [02] The Overachievers
  • [03] Fold-Up Beds are Disappearing
  • [04] Miltos Sahtouris Passed Away
  • [05] Hopes for an Agreement on Banks' Social Security
  • [06] M. Triantafyllopoulos Testifies
  • [07] Lebanese PM is Stepping Down
  • [08] EU to Quiz Wolfowitz
  • [09] Ankara Will Sign the Protocol
  • [10] Without Fanaticism
  • [11] Arrested Man Will Face Prosecutor
  • [12] Greek U21s Remain Hopeful
  • [13] Piercing Seriously Damages Gums
  • [14] Microsoft Gives in to the EU
  • [15] A Bit of Caning a Day

  • [01] Increases in VAT, Cheap Cigarettes and Spirits Measures Over Deficit

    29 Mar 2005 16:31:00 (Last updated: 29 Mar 2005 22:14:32)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Limitation of public overspending and increase of public revenues, without harming the welfare state, are the two main aims for reducing the fiscal deficit, as announced by the Minister of Economy, Giorgos Alogoskoufis. With these new measures, the VAT is readjusted by 1% and indirect taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages increase. As for overspending, the aim is to reduce it to 49% of the GDP (currently 50.4%) in the next ten years, "with the least possible side-effects for citizens." Mr Alogoskoufis described the reduction of the deficit as a "national challenge", and attributed responsibilities for the fiscal derailment to the previous governments, while he excluded all tax increases. The measures to reduce the fiscal deficit were earlier approved by the government committee, while the Opposition, GSEE and ADEDY reacted immediately.

    "No Harm to Social Expenditure"

    With the revised Growth and Stability Programme, the Economy Ministry aims to reduce the deficit to under 3% of the GDP in 2006, thus meeting the ECOFIN criteria. The optimistic prediction for growth is to fluctuate from 3.9% to 4.2% in the next three years, while the pessimistic prediction is that it will slow down to 2.9-3%.

    The VAT will be readjusted to 19%, 9% and 4.5% (instead of 18%, 8% and 4% respectively), while it will remain as is in areas where reduced coefficients apply. The measures will come into force on April 1.

    Regarding cigarettes, the minimum price of the so-called cheap cigarettes will increase to 1.40-1.50 euros, instead of 0.70-0.80 today.

    For alcoholic beverages, the Special Consuming Tax will increase by 20%, while the increase is limited to half for ouzo, tsipouro, tsikoudia , and alcoholic beverages consumed on the Dodecanese.

    The measures of the Economy Ministry are expected to yield approximately 2.5 billion euros by the end of 2006, while as Mr Alogoskoufis clarified, there will be no additional measures to boost revenues and the effort will mainly focus on limiting public overspending.

    So, the government is planning to implement an effective public expenditure control system, better use of Community funds and Public property, promotion of a new generation of privatizations, a new framework for the operation of DEKOs and the simplification of legislation for the establishment of new businesses, while there will be no more privileges for state officials (like credit cards, cars and bodyguards).

    'The policy of mild adjustment will continue," stressed Mr Alogoskoufis, while the government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos moved on the same wavelength. At the same time, Messrs Alogoskoufis and Roussopoulos criticized the policies followed by the former PASOK governments, which led to the increase of the fiscal deficit.

    On the other hand, Vangelis Meimarakis declared, "The measures implemented relate to a mild adjustment during a crucial two-year period and do not affect low incomes."

    Reactions by Opposition and Trade Unions

    The situation of the Economy was assessed today at the PASOK meeting, chaired by George Papandreou. He described the measures as "a testimony of failure," while he attributed personal responsibilities to the PM, as well as Mr Alogoskoufis, stressing that their policies are deeply burdening Greek taxpayers and families. "The Government is calling on the Greek people to pay for its failures," noted Mr Papandreou.

    "Rather than using long-winded expressions, Mr Papandreou should first apologise for the policies which he, as a Minister, helped shape all these years," responded the government spokesperson.

    In an announcement, KKE spoke of a "new tax raid against peoples income" and described PASOKs arguments as mockery, since they attribute the new measures to the fiscal inventory.

    SYNs MP for Economic and Social policy, Panagiotis Lafazanis, described the measures announced by Mr Alogoskoufis as, "A harsh package of tax-collecting measures and expenditure cuts, which the Greek people will pay for dearly."

    GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) president Christos Polyzogopoulos spoke of "harsh taxation policy with an antisocial nature and anti-labour content" and announced that trade unions will convene within the following days to determine their stance.

    The president of the National Confederation of Greek Traders, Dimitris Armenakis, mentioned, "The measures announced could be accepted by businesses and citizens, provided public expenditure is curbed first."

    The president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, D. Fountoukakos, described the measures as necessary, while he also called on the government to immediately proceed with structural changes, privatisations and mergers of public sector services, in an effort to contain the fiscal deficit.

    Lastly, the steering committee of ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) accused the government of "enclosing real Economy in a situation of reverse readjustment and greater unequal distribution of income," while they foresaw continuous and increasing austerity.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Measures for the Economy

    [02] The Overachievers

    29 Mar 2005 23:47:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    With Manolis Papamakarios and Pete Michael as the star players, Makedonikos managed to perform a miracle, since they not only defeated Hemofarm in the ULEB Cups second semifinal, but also covered the 23-point deficit from the first game. So, they qualified for the big final on 19 April in Charleroi. They will now have to play against Lietuvos Rita, which defeated both Aris and PAOK. Actually, Argyris Pedoulakis players had a major disadvantage, as their coach was not on the bench, but in hospital, leaving Giannis Zafiropoulos and Stavros Pyrovetsis to provide directions and succeed in a very difficult task.

    Amazing Performance

    Makedonikos started off determined to cover the difference. They led by ten points just after the first 10 minutes of play and despite efforts by Hemofarm, which came close in the second period, the Greeks finished the third period with 70-47, demonstrating that they could make it. The final minutes were nerve-racking, with players chasing points all over the court; however, Papamakarios and Michael kept their cool and achieved the much-wanted victory.

    The score per period: 28-14, 47-38, 70-47, 96-65

    Makedonikos: Kafkis, Papamakarios 15, Charalambidis 2, Lukovski 16, Hudson 16, Rimac 9, Hisniak 11, Michael 32, Canak 2, Daliaris, Petroula, Gizogiannis

    Hemofarm: Bogavac 5, Bakic 7, Rakic, Hukic, Meeking 3, Popovic 16, Vasiljevic 5, Cummings 12, Dikanovic, Topic 17, Savivic, Misanovic

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] New Roster System Effective Fold-Up Beds are Disappearing

    29 Mar 2005 19:32:00

    By Vicky Ghionis

    Sources: ANA - - 105, 8

    The results following the three-month implementation of the pilot scheme for the new rosier system in Athens hospitals are quite satisfactory and encouraging. As per data released by Greek Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis, fold-up beds have been reduced by 96.22%. Actually, in Laiko Hospital, where the problem was quite acute, the reduction reached 97%. The success of the new roster system has given the green light to its continuation for another six months, while it will soon be implemented in Thessaloniki. Representatives of the Health Ministry will be visiting Thessaloniki to meet with the local Medical association and hospital doctors.

    Measures to Counter the Bird Flu

    Meanwhile, Mr Kaklamanis referred to the World Health Organizations warnings for an imminent spread of the flu, noting that Greece is implementing preventive measures.

    As per the international scientific community, there are fears that the bird flu virus, which broke out in China and resulted in the death of many people worldwide, might mutate.

    According to Mr Kaklamanis, the Health Ministrys action plan provides for the supply of 500,000 dosages of medicines against the virus, which will be distributed in case the pandemic hits Greece.

    These drugs may reduce the intensity of the symptoms, while they may also act as preventive.

    However, the Minister clarified that the whole plan, as well as its distribution, will depend on the intensity of the outbreak of cases in Europe.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Satisfaction with Hospital Shifts

    Hospital Shift System Changing

    [04] Miltos Sahtouris Passed Away

    29 Mar 2005 16:28:00

    Miltos Sahtouris, one of the most prominent contemporary Greek poets, died aged 86. He was born in Athens in 1919, while his family was originally from the island of Hydra and his great-grandfather was an admiral during the 1821 Greek Revolution. He studied Law, but soon abandoned the legal profession to dedicate his life to poetry. His poems were first published in 1944 in the literary magazine Nea Grammata. In 1962 he received the 2nd State Prize for Poetry and in 1987 he received the 1st State Prize for Poetry, while in 1995 he was presented with the Commander of the Order of the Phoenix. His poems have been translated in many languages

    Translated Works

    In German:

    Gedichte []: Andrea Kapsaski. Koln: Romiosini, 1990. 102p. ISBN: 3-923728-45-X

    In English:

    With face to the wall: selected poems []: Kimon Friar. Washington, D.C.: The Charioteer Press, 1968. 40p.

    Selected poems []: Kimon Friar. Old Chatham, N.Y.: Sachem Press, 1982. 128p.

    Quicklime []: John Stathatos. London: Oasis Books, 1974. 20p.

    Strange Sunday: selected poems 1952-1971. []: John Stathatos.

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

    From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>

    In French:

    Poemes. []: Michel Vokovitch. Paris: Les Cahiers Du Confluent, 1985. 31pp.

    Cing poemes de Miltos Sachtouris []: Socrate Zervos, illustres par Alecos Fassianos, edites par Fata Morgana et Mimnermos, 1988

    Poemes 1 (1945-1960) []: Michel Volkovitch, Paris, Desmos, Cahiers Grecs, 1995. 48pp.

    Poemes 2 (1960-1986) []: Michel Volkovitch, Paris, Desmos, Cahiers Grecs, 1995. 48pp.

    In Greek - French:

    Face au mur: 50 poemes []: Jacques Bouchard. Athenes - Montpellier: Institut francais d Athenes et Fata Morgana, 1990. Frontispice d Alecos Fassianos 118pp.

    In Italian:

    Quando vi parlo: poesie 1945-1990. []: Paola Maria Minucci Roma: Fondazione Piazzolla, 1993. 222p.

    In Greek - Dutch:

    Het hoofd van de dichter: en andere gedichten []: Bernadette Wildenburg. Groningen: Styx Publications, 1993. 104p. ISBN: 90-72371-72-0

    Translations in Foreign Journals

    In English:

    "Modern European Poetry, Miltos Sachtouris", []: Kimon Friar, Bantam Books, n.s.A. 1966, pp253-257

    "Poems by the Post -War Poets", []: Kimon Friar, N. York, The Charioteer, An Annual Review of Modern Greek Culture, published by Paranassos, Greek Cultural Society, 1974. pp. 74-74.

    "Six Modern Greek Poets", []: John Stathatos, London, Oasis Books, 1975, pp. 41-54

    "Contemporary Greek Litrerature", []: John Stathatos, Descant, Editor Karen Mulhallen, 1977, pp. 33-35.

    "Contemporary Greek Poetry", []: Kimon Friar, Athens, The Greek Ministry of Culture. 1985, pp. 94-101

    In French:

    "Chant de la Grece, Anthologie de poesie grecque contemporaine, Miltos Sahtouris" (Traduits par Georges Zografakis), Paris, Editions Caracteres, p. 163.

    In Italian:

    "Poesia Greca del 900", A cura di Mario Vitti, Milano, Guanda, 1957, pp. 346-149

    In Polish:

    "Nowe przestrzenie Ikara, Antologia poezji greckiej XX wieku" []: Nikos Chadzinikolau, Poland, Poznan, 1972. 197-202 pp

    "Nowe przestrzenie Ikara, Antologia poezji greckeij XX wieku" []: Nikos Chadzinikolaou, Poland, Poznan, 1980, pp. 244-251

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Meeting between OTOE and EET Hopes for an Agreement on Banks' Social Security

    29 Mar 2005 22:40:00

    During todays meeting between OTOE (Hellenic Federation of Bank Employee Unions) and EET (Hellenic Banking Association), the possibility of an agreement is imminent. OTOE spoke of a small progress, while on the other hand, the Banks announced that, provided a unified solution is agreed on, it would discuss securing the social security rights of those who were employed up until 31/12/92. However, they expressed their reservations as to whether such a solution "could expand the protected rights of those who entered the field after 1/1/93." OTOE described todays discussion as a positive step, underlining, however, that a long way lies ahead until the conditions of the agreement are completely established. Meanwhile, it noted that it would not be negotiating cuts in protected social security rights for the employees and it would insist on the incorporation of all banking employees in IKA TEAM for their main pension.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] For the Interview with Vavilis M. Triantafyllopoulos Testifies

    29 Mar 2005 18:39:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ANA - - 105,8

    Greek reporter Makis Triantafyllopoulos was testifying for more than two hours today before the First Instance Prosecutor, Eleni Sotiropoulou, concerning the interview he took from elusive Apostolos Vavilis, while he also submitted the relevant tapes. According to sources, the reporter was asked many questions relating to the circumstances under which the interview took place, as well as for any evidence at hand for the case. Actually, Mrs Sotiropoulou allegedly asked Makis Triantafyllopoulos for any information he might have relating to the bank account of the non-government organization "Magna Grecia" in the Bank of Cyprus in Cholargos. Apostolos Vavilis allegedly deposited amounts up to 90,000 euros, given by the Jerusalem Patriarchate to the organization in southern Italy.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Cannot Form National Unity Government Lebanese PM is Stepping Down

    29 Mar 2005 23:40:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Lebanese PM, Omar Karami, announced his decision to resign, as he could not persuade the anti-Syrian opposition to form a national unity government. As per the Lebanese public network, Karame will be handing in his resignation to the countrys President, Emile Lahoud. Rumours about his resignation started circulating this morning, however, the confirmation came late at night. Speaking to the reporters, Karame declared that it was impossible to form a government without the participation of the countrys Opposition.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] EU to Quiz Wolfowitz

    29 Mar 2005 20:25:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: Reuters

    Paul Wolfowitz will meet with Luxemburgs PM Jean-Claude Juncker and development ministers of the "25" on Wednesday in Brussels. However, some European governments have reservations concerning George Bushs nominee for the presidency of the World Bank, and architect of the US-led war in Iraq, leading an institution whose main mission is fighting poverty. For this reason, European officials are expected to quiz him during tomorrows meetings, in an effort to establish the policies he will be following on matters concerning development and assistance towards weaker populations of the planet.


    Analysts believe that the Europeans concerns stem from two reasons.

    Primarily because Paul Wolfwitz will be defending the USs strategic economic interests, against those of the European Union and secondly, because he was chosen out of the extremely conservative circle of Bushs associates.

    However, the speculation concerning Wolfowitzs nomination has not been expressed openly, since, at the moment, no one wishes to rock the afflicted relations between the USA and the EU, especially when efforts are being made to bridge the gap.

    France and Germany's Stances

    The one person who did utter public scepticism about the nomination was German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, who said enthusiasm in Europe was not exactly overflowing.

    Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, however, said that he would not oppose the Americans nomination.

    On the other hand, as per a recent article in the French newspaper Le Monde, France was in favour of a Vice-President nominated by the EU alongside Wolfowitz.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Contentment in Nicosia Ankara Will Sign the Protocol

    29 Mar 2005 17:48:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Ankara has responded positively to the European Commission, with regard to signing the customs union protocol between Turkey and the EU. The matter will now be at the focus of discussions at the Foreign Minister Council and the European Parliament, while it has to be ratified by the Turkish National Assembly before being implemented. In his statements, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul claimed that it was a technical matter concerning the free distribution of goods and not services. "Airports, ports and transportations are not included in the agreement." He stressed in an interview to newspaper Hurriet . On the other hand, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos expressed his contentment, following Ankaras decision to sign the protocol.

    "Recognizing the Cypriot Republic Is not an Issue"

    "This development constitutes a significant step towards smoothing out the relations between Cyprus and Turkey," declared the President of Cyprus, stressing that Turkey should proceed with implementing it promptly.

    Meanwhile, he hinted against the President of the DISY party, N. Anastasiadis, who had declared that the EU document spoke of signing, but not implementing the protocol.

    "What is amazing is that the statements made by Turkey and some Turkish officials are being repeated in Greek by people in the Republic of Cyprus," he mentioned.

    In Turkey, speaking to the parliamentary group of the governing party, Justice and Development, the Turkish Foreign Minister claimed, "Since recognizing the Greek-Cypriot Republic is not an issue, Turkey will keep its stance and continue to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus."

    He further added, "With regard to the distribution of goods within the Republic of Cyprus, this will be taking place based on the current borders of the Greek-Cypriot Republic."

    The Commissions Clarifications

    Earlier, however, the Press spokesperson of the competent Enlargement Commissioner, Oli Rhen, stated that, as far as he was aware, there were no footnotes mentioning that Turkey will not be recognizing the Republic of Cyprus.

    He did mention, though, that, following the December Summit, the Dutch Presidency had said that by signing the protocol, Ankara would not necessarily be recognizing the Republic of Cyprus.

    Asked whether Turkey would have to implement the protocol prior to the commencement of accession talks, he said that the December Summits conclusions only mention signing the protocol.

    Speculation over the Implementation

    Referring to the matter of the protocols implementation, Cyprus government spokesperson, Kypros Chrysostomidis, declared that two views prevail in the EU.

    The first refers to signing and implementing the protocol, which is being shared by the Cypriot Republic, as well as various other European countries.

    The second refers to just signing the customs union protocol, which is considered sufficient for the commencement of accession talks, a view is not shared by the Cypriot Republic.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Without Fanaticism

    29 Mar 2005 16:05:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    In the Press conference he gave today, in view of the match versus Albania tomorrow for the preliminaries of the 2006 World Cup, Otto Rehaggel was in a good mood, but restrained in his statements as always. The head coach of the Greek football team spoke almost on all subjects concerning his players, but refused to elaborate on his tactics and stressed both the importance and the seriousness of the match, a fact which automatically abolishes fanaticism and reinforces enthusiasm and support. "Surely the fans will have to support the team, but they should behave like they did in Portugal, underlined Rehaggel and went on to add "Yes to enthusiasm, NO to fanaticism! We need to stay focused on how to play and win this match. This is our sole care. And we really need to be careful in this match, because FIFA will have their eyes set on us and improper behaviour could be harmful to our team."

    3 Points and Nothing More

    Answering a question on what could consist an extra motive in the particular match, the German coach sufficed to stress that the only motive is claiming victory and three points. "The only motive is the 90 minutes of the match and claiming the three victorious points. When a match begins, you need to be 100% ready. Nothing more," he said and added "In essence, the match versus Albania signals the second round. And the points of each team show the difficulties ahead," were his first words. "All players are ready, except for Dellas, who did not play in the last match. The footballers who played in Georgia are in perfect shape and therefore we are facing no problem. I hope we will play well tomorrow, with a lot of enthusiasm, and claim victory."

    No Problem With Nikopolidis

    When asked about Antonis Nikopolidis, coach Otto Rehaggel gave a clear and straightforward answer, "I will not further elaborate" he said and added, "all players are equally good and all I want is for them to perform to the best of their abilities tomorrow." As for the five players who are definitely included in the lineup, these are Seitaridis, Kapsis, Vryzas, Charisteas and Giannakopoulos.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Arrested Man Will Face Prosecutor

    29 Mar 2005 20:57:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Following the episodes today with the Albanian flag during the U21 match between Greece and Albania, the HFF issued a relevant announcement, which read, "The Hellenic Football Federation condemns this act of disrespect towards a countrys national symbol and publicly apologizes to the Albanian Football Federation for the inappropriate behaviour of a small group of fans during todays match between the U21 teams of Albania and Greece. These types of episodes can only lead to negative outcomes, with grave consequences for our national teams. Football does not produce violence, but can neither be accused for problems of a social nature, which at times are manifested inside the sports venues. In view of the match between the National teams of Greece and Albania, the Hellenic Football Federation calls on all the fans to demonstrate the behaviour befitting the fans of the European Champions and not to tolerate actions that discredit and harm Greek football."

    In the meantime, it was announced that the young man who was arrested today in Nea Smyrni will be appearing before the prosecutor tomorrow. Furthermore, the government spokesperson, Thodoros Roussopoulos, referred to the matter by saying, "Acts of intolerance and fanaticism are completely foreign to the spirit of sports. The overwhelming majority of the Greek people outright condemn todays offences by a small group of fans."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Greek U21s Remain Hopeful

    29 Mar 2005 18:49:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Unfortunately, all hopes of anything bad not taking placing in tomorrows match between Greece and Albania dwindled, following todays game between the countries respective U21 teams. Despite the 2-0 victory by Stelios Aposporis boys, some wrongdoers stole the limelight yet again in the worst possible way. The beginning of the match was marred by a prior attack against an Albanian motorcyclist, outside Nea Smyrnis stadium, while the culmination came during the half-time break, when some youngsters bent the pole of the Albanian flag, which they then shredded. As a result, the Albanian team declared that it would not be playing in the second half unless the flag was not replaced, which was done a few minutes later, amid protests and curses by some hoodlums.

    A Breather

    As far as the game is concerned, the Greek U21 team was definitely more respectable and impressive that the episodes taking place outside the pitch. It took an early lead in the 19, with a goal by Mantzios, and from then onwards it took control of the game, doubling its score in the 75 with a beautiful effort by Pappas. Aposporis players entered the game much stronger than their opponents and as a result had plenty more opportunities to score, including a header by Mantzios in the 9, which went wide.

    In the second half, the Albanians were the ones to threaten first, when a free kick by Salihi went over Sifakis crossbar. Although the pace was much slower, Greece was once again in control, while the visitors resorted to counterattacks, without much luck, though. Albania had another opportunity to score in the 65, when a free kick just missed the post. Finally, in the 75, Pappas excellent kick beat Llani at the nets, making the score 2-0. The Greek team finished the game with 10 players, as in the 86 Papazacharias was shown a yellow-red card for a harsh tackle. This victory helped keep the Greek U21 teams hopes for qualifying to the finals of the European Championship alive, as it climbed up to third spot in the Group with 11 points.

    Referee: Malzinskas (Lithuania)

    Yellow Cards: Muca, Petkakis, Dreka, Papazacharias, Pliagas, Kraja Red Card: Papazacharias (Yellow-Red)

    GREECE: Sifakis, Leontiou, Papadopoulos, Papazacharias, Tziolis, Pliagas (69 Pappas), Goundoulakis (89 Fytanidis), Mantzios (71 Liapakis), Samaras, Lagos.

    ALBANIA: Llani, Vangjeli (34` Kraja), Muca, Dreka, Barka, Mile, Boshnjaku (76` Bega), Hallaci, Salihi, Kapia, Muzaka.

    Group Standings

    In the other games of the group, Turkey scored an away win over Georgia by 2-0, while Denmark defeated Ukraine by 1-0.


    Denmark - 7 - 19 Turkey - 7 - 14 Greece - 7 - 11 Ukraine - 7 - 10 Albania - 7 - 5 Georgia - 6 - 5 Kazakhstan - 5 - 0

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Can Cause Tooth Loss Piercing Seriously Damages Gums

    29 Mar 2005 14:01:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Scientists are sounding the alarm for those who have pierced their lips, as they stress that both jewelry and brilliant smile dont go together. According to the Ohio University in the USA, which conducted a research studying the cases of 58 young adults, people with lip piercings were far more likely to have receding gums than those without piercings. In fact, the British Dental Association stressed that tongue piercing hides the same risk. What is more, oral piercing can cause life-threatening infections and reactions.

    Causes Gum Recession

    According to findings, gum recession for those who have a lip piercing happens two times faster than those who haven't. Dr Dimitris Tatakis and his team presented their findings at a conference of the International & American Association for Dental Research.

    However, British scientists as well stress that people who wish to pierce their mouth should reconsider.

    The problem is mainly caused because the metal of the lip stud is physically rubbing over the gum at the neck of the tooth causing the gum to recede. "Once this has happened, you don't get the gum back and it often becomes more difficult to clean and therefore even more prone to gum disease in the future," said Mr Tatakis.

    "The effect is quite localised so it will only be one or two teeth affected, but they are front teeth, so not ones you want to lose."

    Mr Tatakis stressed however that it was only really a problem for long-term wearers. He said taking the stud or ring out at night time and making sure the teeth were really clean would help reduce the risk of complications.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [14] To Protect Competitiveness Microsoft Gives in to the EU

    29 Mar 2005 15:46:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Reuters

    Giant IT group Microsoft eventually gave in to the European Commissions recommendations and renamed its operating system "Windows XP" to "Windows XP Home Edition N," with N meaning No Media Player included in the software. Last year, the Commission had imposed a 500 million euros ($650million) fine on Bill Gates company, as it ruled that Microsoft had abused the near-monopoly of Windows to crush competition and ordered it to release the operating system without Media Player. As per the company, Microsoft has agreed to adopt all the main changes requested by the European Commission, so as to open the market for alternative software to play films and music, including RealNetworks, Apple and others. Actually, Microsoft had submitted 10 names to the Commission for the new operating system, which were all rejected, and so it decided to use the name suggested by the EU.

    Windows XP without Media Player

    "Earlier today we contacted the Commission and informed them that we have accepted all the main changes they have requested we make to the version of Windows without Media Player," said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsofts top lawyer in Europe.

    The modifications include technical changes to "registry settings," and removing references in product documents and packaging warning that certain products wont work without Media Player.

    Microsoft has also agreed to create a software package allowing consumers to replace absent media files.

    In the meantime, another pending matter pertains to the Commissions second order, whereby it asks Microsoft to share information with rival makers of servers and the appointment of a trustee to monitor Microsofts compliance.

    Microsoft could ultimately face fines of up to $5 million a day if the Commission finds it is refusing to comply with its decision.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [15] A Bit of Caning a Day

    29 Mar 2005 17:05:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Are you feeling depression? Do you feel like its time to get rid of the excess pounds that have troubled you for so long? Do you need three of four drinks to get you started? No need to worry anymore; there is a solution to all of your problems and a simple one indeed. And dont go thinking we are talking about therapy, acupuncture and hypnosis. If you follow some Russian scientists advice, your problems will be solved in the split of a second. At most, it could hurt a bit, but who knows? You might end up enjoying it! According to Russian scientists at the Novosibirsk Institute of Medicine, all you need is a bit of caning on your naked buttocks, because findings showed that it releases endorphins, the bodys natural "happy chemicals" that lead to feelings of euphoria. To cut a long story short, endorphins also reduce the appetite, release sex hormones and enhance the immune response. They also have a similar to drugs effect on pain, such as morphine and codeine, but do not lead to addiction.

    You'll Get Used to it in Time

    According to Dr Speransky, head of the Novosibirsk Institute of Medicine, corporal punishment as a treatment truly works. "I'm not sadistic, at least not in the classical sense, but I do advocate caning," he underlined. Dr Marina Chuhrova who also took part in preparing the report said she had 10 patients she caned regularly. She added: "At first they didn't like it, but when they started to feel the benefits they kept asking for more."

    The scientists recommend a standard treatment course of 30 sessions with 60 canings, delivered on the buttocks by a person of average build. In Russia, each session costs almost 83 euros, but I am sure that you can definitely find someone to deliver the treatment for free!

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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