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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-31

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Open Stadiums
  • [02] Erinaios Declares He Holds Office for Life
  • [03] Children Starving in Iraq
  • [04] Humanitarian Aid Amid Aftershocks
  • [05] HIV Patients Ask for Cheap Drugs
  • [06] Panathinaikos Qualified to the 8
  • [07] Rehhagel, "Important Victory"
  • [08] Patience Led to Victory

  • [01] Olympic Spirit Celebration Continues Open Stadiums

    31 Mar 2005 13:23:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The ambitious programme "Open Stadiums The Celebration of the Olympic Spirit Continues" premiered this morning n the presence of the PM and 2,500 students from 19 Attic schools, who flooded the Olympic Indoor Pool. The programme aims to introduce the Olympic sports and facilities to the students. In his opening speech, the Prime Minister stressed that "in 2004 we were united and therefore successful. We dont play defence, we play offence." Kostas Karamanlis urged for the exploitation of the Games' amazing legacy. "The Greek summer of 2004 was only the first half of our efforts. Our aim is to keep excelling on all levels. We have proved that when coordinated we can achieve great things, which are considered out of our reach," ended the PM, thus signaling the beginning of the programme.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] Will Not Resign Erinaios Declares He Holds Office for Life

    31 Mar 2005 09:21:00 (Last updated: 31 Mar 2005 12:23:28)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Patriarch of Jerusalem Eirinaios appears determined to remain in office, in a letter that was made public earlier today. The Patriarch declared that he holds his office for life, thus reacting to yesterdays findings by Greek Foreign Ministry experts, as well as the Greek Governments interventions, which basically pointed to the door. The report probed into allegations concerning sales and long leases of Patrairchate real estate in Jerusalem to Israelis. Eirinaios contented with apologizing to his congregation and the nation for omissions that may have been made unbeknown to him, while he sent a clear message to the Greek Government, telling them not to intervene in the internal affairs and operation of the Patriarchate.

    Ultimatums from Jordan and Palestine

    However, he makes no mention in his letter of the Jordanian Government or their 72- hour ultimatum, demanding that he provides explanations in writing. He also did not mention the Palestinian Authority, or the letter by their PM Ahmed Qorie, who asked for explanations within 48 hours.

    Furthermore, ten Hierarchs, six of whom are members of the Holy Synod, also demanded his resignation.

    Eirinaios' Statement

    Patriarch Eirinaios statement, in answering to what has been publicized lately regarding the Patriarchate, mentioned:

    "On the occasion of the harshly critical recent articles in the Press about the current situation in the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate, following the confusion that arose concerning the matter of the so-called sale of Patriarchate real estate in the Old City (a fact that has never been confirmed) as per the report of the team of Foreign Ministry experts who visited the Holy Land, after being invited by His Beatitude Patriarch Eirinaios, His Beatitude issued the following statement:

    We are pleased to realize that the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, on behalf of the Greek Government, acknowledged that its initial concern is to protect the institution of the Patriarchate and preserve its moral prestige, while he declared that it practices what is required by its historical duty, that is "to support the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem." The fixed position of the Greek State should be not to intervene in the internal affairs or the operation of the Patriarchate. The Greek Government has to remain a bastion of Orthodoxy and Hellenism. As a lifetime Leader of the Holy Sepulcher Brotherhood, and responding to by debt towards the institutions of the Patriarchate, my Congregation and the Nation, I apologize for any omissions that may have been made unbeknown to me or due to my trustworthiness. Keeping the Greek flag in the Holy Land, preserving the status quo and restoring the peace in my Congregation are of vital importance. I have been fighting for those ideals for the 50 years I have been in the Holy Sepulcher Brotherhood and I declare that I will continue to fight with all my strength for the Holy Sepurcher and to support my spiritual children-members of the Holy Sepulcher Brotherhood and the faithful of the Sion, Mother of all Churches."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Eirinaios in Dire Straits

    [03] As per the UN's Report Children Starving in Iraq

    31 Mar 2005 09:24:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: BBC

    The number of children under five that are chronically undernourished in Iraq has doubled, as a result of the war in the country. At least that is what Swiss professor Jean Ziegler is claiming in a report he will be presenting at the annual meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. As per the UN official, at the moment, approximately 10% of Iraqi children are threatened to die from malnutrition. Jean Ziegler declared that the USAs policies in the country are directly responsible for this tragic development. In his report, he also expressed his concerns for N. Korea and Darfur. It should be noted that approximately 17,000 children die all over the planet daily of illnesses linked to lack of food.

    Murder of Innocent People

    "The silent daily massacre by hunger is a form of murder - it must be battled and eliminated." Jean Ziegler

    The 53-year-old Swiss expert told the UNs 53-member Human Rights Commission that malnutrition rates in children under five have almost doubled since the US-British operation in Iraq. He further added that another major problem leading to the death of many infants was the lack of clean water, due to the compete destruction of the countrys technical infrastructure. Jean Ziegler concluded by saying they have received complaints that in the cases where drinkable water reserves are available, the US army does not distribute it, following a specific strategy aimed at curbing the Iraqis morale.

    Ziegler also asked of the immediate withdrawal of foreign forces form Iraq.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Rescue Crews Continue Searches Humanitarian Aid Amid Aftershocks

    31 Mar 2005 07:50:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    The strong aftershocks on the island Nias in Indonesia continued on Thursday, while international aid flowed in and rescue crews pulled survivors out of the rubble of buildings that collapsed following the 8.7 Richter earthquake on Monday. At least three tremors rocked the area off the west coast of Indonesias Sumatra island, one of them measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was due to arrive in the area on Thursday morning. As per the latest estimates, the death toll will exceed 2,000, while 518 have already been confirmed killed.

    Searching for Survivors

    Early on Thursday morning, French firefighters managed to pull out a woman from the rubble of her home alive, 48 hours after the earthquake hit.

    Australian medics have also arrived on the island, while more aid is expected to arrive from Canberra, as the Australian Foreign Minister spoke of a "significant humanitarian crisis." Furthermore, he announced that the number of Australian citizens missing after the earthquake has been reduced to 3 from 15.

    Three Singaporean Chinook helicopters are also participating in the efforts, carrying the worst injured off the island to the Sumatran mainland.

    The US Navy hospital ship Mercy and supply ship Niagara Falls, which carries three helicopters, are expected to arrive off Nias in about six days.

    Japanese medics are also due soon.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Lament and Despair in Indonesia

    [05] Change in Legislation due to CAFTA HIV Patients Ask for Cheap Drugs

    31 Mar 2005 08:31:00 (Last updated: 31 Mar 2005 09:52:20)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    HIV patients in Guatemala, many with paper bags over they faces to protect their identity, protested on Wednesday for a law that robs then access to medicines. Under pressure from the United States, Guatemala approved a new law offering greater protection from cheap competition to drugs marketed by international pharmaceutical firms. The new law was ratified to facilitate approval of the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, regional trade deal. Of an estimated 80,000 HIV-positive Guatemalans, only 3,600 receive life-prolonging antiretroviral treatment.

    Following Pressures

    Pharmaceutical companies can now protect drug trial data for five to 10 years, slowing the rate at which cheaper generic copies of brand medicines are made. "If a medicine is protected for five years and it's the one I need to buy, what will happen? I'll die," said Rosa, a protester from eastern Guatemala, where AIDS deaths are often attributed to witchcraft. In December, Guatemala relaxed the rules governing generic drugs, but revoked the law amid pressure from the US government.

    "It's outrageous to see a government intervening to that level in a decision of Guatemala, especially where a law had been passed with overwhelming majority and signed by the president," said Stephanie Weinberg of aid group Oxfam. Pharmaceutical companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb, which makes an HIV medicine protected in Guatemala under the new rules, say the changes are needed to protect innovation.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Panathinaikos Qualified to the 8

    30 Mar 2005 23:01:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    After prevailing over Climamio Bologna with 78-55 in OAKA, Panathinaikos ensured first place in their group and qualified for the Euroleague round of 8. The Greens achieved their second aim as well, which was the great difference in points and now Tau ranks second in the group. In the next round, Panathinaikos will play against Efes Pilsen, which defeated AEK and ranked second in their group, behind Benetton. Top player for Obradovic's team was Jaka Lakovic with 26 points and Dimitris Diamantidis was equally good with 15.

    Bad Start, Quick Awakening

    Panathinaikos got off to a bad start, and if we wish to be more precise, Bologna got off to a good start when Vujanic scored a few quick points and gave his team the lead. Missed shots was the only thing on Obradovic's mind, however Panathinaikos quickly got over their problem with Lakovic taking the lead. In the second period, Vujanic lost his touch and that only gave Panathinaikos more space to increase the point-difference and gain control of the game, as Lakovic gave an outstanding performance and gave his team the lead with 38-26 in half-time. In the rerun, Panathinaikos launched a new attack with Kutluay and sky-rocketed the difference to +18 points, ie 48-30, but Climamia answered back with a 5-0 run thanks to Smodis' free throws and Mancinelli's three-pointer. Vujanic may have silenced, but Jasmin Repesa saw Smodis scoring six points in the third period. Batiste and Kutluay scored five points each for Panathinaikos, but the Italians crunched the difference to 55-42 when Douglas came to the rescue with a three-pointer in the 30'. Towards the end, Climamio Bologna reduced to 11 points, but Alvertis and Lakovic drilled a bomb which made Panathinaikos win the game with a final 23-point difference.

    Ten-minute periods: 21-17, 38-26, 55-45, 78-55


    PANATHINAIKOS (Zeljko Obradovic): Lakovic 26 (3), Batiste 9, Alvertis 5 (1), Diamantidis 15 (1), Kutluay 7 (1), Tsartsaris 5 (1), Kalaitzis, Femerling 1, Scepanovic 10 (1)

    CLIMAMIO BOLOGNA (Jasmin Repesa): Belinelli, Mancinelli 3 (1), Rombaldoni 3 (1), Bagaric 2, Basile 2, Vujanic15 (1), Smodis 21 (1), Pozzecco 2, Lorbek1, Douglas 6 (2)

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Rehhagel, "Important Victory"

    31 Mar 2005 00:24:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Otto Rehhagel opted to keep a low profile, despite the fact that the victory over Albania was the teams fourth consecutive win. During the Press conference, the Greek National Teams coach said, "Todays victory was very important, especially since both Turkey and Ukraine won in their respective games. We knew that our opponent would play offensively. We wanted to apply pressure, but with patience and intelligence. We also wanted to have possession of the ball and we achieved that. The next crucial games are in two months and we hope that Dellas will have recovered, as Zagorakis will miss the game." The German coach was not asked many questions. Primarily he was asked whether a lot of lost ground had been covered since the beginning of the second round. Rehhagels response was, "The group is open and we are not where we would have wanted to be, since our rivals won." He was then asked to comment on the bad start of the Greek team, to which he answered, "Our minds are on the next two games and that is what I want my players to focus on."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Closer to Germany Patience Led to Victory

    30 Mar 2005 23:22:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The Greek football teams trip to Germany continued once more with a victory. With patience, Otto Rehaggels footballers managed to break through Albanias multileveled defence twice and add three more precious points to their scoreboard, thus remaining in second place of Group B. Charisteas golden header in the 30 and Karagounis diamond kick in the 80 gave Greece the precious victory, which now leaves the team with two matches in June (Turkey-Greece, Greece-Ukraine) that will clarify qualification to the finals of the World Cup. Be patient until summer arrives, for the road is long.

    The Defeated Tiredness Too

    The Greeks are not famous for their patience, we all know that. Luckily though, the Greek footballers taught by a German, Otto Rehaggel, managed to surpass this aspect of their nature and reach the other side.

    They were perfectly calm and focused, and when the game was not what they wanted it to be, they were patient enough to go after a goal and achieve it.

    And at least in the first half of the match versus Albania, they seemed to know their lesson well.

    Especially when they were playing against a team, which didn't want to play ball, but keep their defence impenetrable, then patience becomes a most valuable tool to achieve one's target.

    For thirty five minutes the Greek footballers showed unique calmness. They turned the ball around, made quick passes, were in search of the right spot to kick a goal somewhere between the twin Albanian defensive lines outside the area and in front of Lika's post. They came close to scoring twice.

    Once in the 12' when Katsouranis turned Basinas' corner-kick into a header which hit right on the bar and in the 30' when Vryzas' strong kick passed between two defenders but hit against the post of the Albanian team.

    And as the saying goes "third time lucky", this was the case for Greece. All it took was Angelos Charisteas' amazing header, which sent the ball right into the nets.

    Although well guarded, in the 34' Ajax's striker, always the right man at the right time, managed to avoid Albania's defenders who were trying hard to prevent him and turned specialist Basinas' free-kick into a scoring header, thus opening the score 1-0.

    In the 46', twelve minutes after the goal, Albania's German coach proceeded with a substitution, Rraklli for Muka, aiming to give a boost to his team.

    However, things did not turn around for Hans Peter Briegel and Albania. In the 56' the first noteworthy attempt of the second half was once more made by Greek feet. Basinas was awarded another free-kick, which he executed perfectly, but Vryzas' header went slightly over Lika's crossbar.

    In the 56', Briegel proceeded with his second substitution. Tare took the place of Bogdani, but in vain, since Greece applied too much pressure and the Albanian defence remained cornered.

    On the other side of the pitch however, Rehaggel saw that his players were not giving it all out. Tiredness from the trip and the match in Georgia had started to come down heavy on their feet.

    The patience of the first half had turned into good, but not adequate attempts. The German coach, however, did not make any substitutions, but insisted on his original lineup. It is evident that he has faith in the potential of this team, of these players, and his faith proved him right.

    Vryzas missed one more chance in the 74', in the 79' Giannakopoulos' goal was correctly cancelled because he was in an offside position, but in the 86' with a powerful kick from close range Karagounis scored the second goal for the Greek team and finished the match before its end.

    Rehaggel calmed down and gave Amanatidis the chance to play in the 87', while in the 89' Fanis Gekas had his first kick wearing the National colours.

    The match ended with Vryzas missing one more scoring attempt in the 90' and 33,000 Greeks fans cheering and applauding.

    Referee: Bertrand Layec (France)

    Yellow Cards: Zagorakis, Kyrgiakos, Giannakopoulos, Lala, Cana Lineups

    GREECE: Nikopolidis, Seitaridis, Katsouranis, Goumas, Kyrgiakos, Basinas, Zagorakis, Karagounis, Giannakopoulos (87' Amanatidis), Vryzas (89' Gekas), Charisteas.

    ALBANIA: Lika, Beqiri, Osmani, Cana, Skela, Lala, Muka (46' Rraklli), Duro (83' Dalku), Bogdani (65' Tare), Haxhi, Lici.

    *There was a last-minute problem with Michalis Kapsis, who was included in the original lineup, but shortly before entering the pitch felt pain in his adductors and did not manage to follow the brief training. Otto Rehaggel substituted him for Kyrgiakos.

    *Greece will play in Istanbul versus Turkey without Thodoros Zagorakis, since the captain of the European Champions reached his limit of yellow cards.

    Incidents of Fanaticism

    Unfortunately, incidents of fanaticism could not be avoided as some people couldn't keep a cool head in Karaiskakis Stadium. Despite pleas for proper behaviour all these days by the Greek players and coach Otto Rehaggel, the overwhelming majority of the crowd booed the national anthem of Albania.

    There were of course Greek fans who respected the moment and in fact applauded in the end, but were unfortunately overshadowed by the majority, which made sure to expose Greek hospitality once more.

    Before the beginning of the match, there were only two incidents. The first was a motto that does not befit the Champions of Europe and the second was when the Albanian players entered the pitch to warm up and spectators booed.

    At that moment, speakers were urging fans to behave properly, adding that the Champion of Europe welcomes Albania.

    Things calmed down a while later, when music filled the stadium.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Group B Standings

    Rehhagel, "Important Victory"

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