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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] EFET Directors Resign
  • [02] Pay Off with a Kiss
  • [03] Terri Schiavo Passes Away
  • [04] Economic Measures Apply from Tomorrow
  • [05] Clashes over Open Stadiums
  • [06] Parliamentary Wrangling over Contract-Workers
  • [07] Appeal for Blood 0 Rh-
  • [08] No DMT in Athens
  • [09] AEK Snapped
  • [10] Anti-Doping Measures in Football
  • [11] Sleep is a Saviour
  • [12] Eighty-eight-hour Speech!
  • [13] ERT Real Estate to be Developed
  • [14] Greek Tsunami Victims
  • [15] Permanent Contracts in ERT

  • [01] Public Prosecutor intervenes on the matter EFET Directors Resign

    31 Mar 2005 19:34:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Resignations were submitted today to the Ministry of Development by the President of EFET (Board of Food Safety) Nikos Katsaros and the General Director Christos Apostolopoulos, after the furore caused by the case of the contaminated yogurt from FAGE dairy company. The resignations were submitted and accepted in the meeting between the EFET directors and the leaders of the Ministry of Development. On Wednesday, deputy Minister for Development Giannis Papathanasiou stated that the entire case draws questions, and that those involved would be held responsible. Earlier today, the public prosecutor intervened in order to determine when and by whom the contaminated batch of yogurts was found, why FAGE did not immediately inform EFET and why EFET did not inform the Ministry for Development and consumers. Late in the evening, the European Commission intervened in the matter, requesting an immediate briefing in writing by tomorrow regarding the absence of danger to consumer health.

    In his statement, the spokesman for the Commissioner for Public Health and Consumer Protection, Markos Kyprianos, expressed sadness at the fact that the Commission was not informed of the case of the yogurts through the direct information system.

    He asked for written confirmation from the Greek authorities by tomorrow that there was no danger for peoples health and that no other member-states were involved.

    Delay, Not Cover-up, Says EFET

    On Wednesday, Papathanasiou clearly stated responsibility, raising certain questions.

    "Why did the company not inform consumers of the problem? Why did EFET also not inform consumers? Why were the political leaders of the Ministry not informed in time by EFET?" (The first telephone call was made on Tuesday evening, while the problem arose after allegations by consumers at the end of February.)

    The President of EFET stated that the Board had been informed of the problem at the end of February, and there had in no way been an attempt to cover up.

    Nevertheless, he admitted that there had been a delay.

    Issue in Parliament

    The matter was also referred to by PASOKs Press spokesman, while it also reached as far as Parliament.

    Nikos Athanasakis called for full explanations and full accountability, whosoever it may refer to.

    Earlier, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros stressed that the government had taken measures to face such cases.

    "There are independent control mechanisms. The important thing is that there is no danger to consumers. The amounts that should not have reached the market were withdrawn," he stressed.

    In Parliament, six PASOK MPs and independent MP Andreas Andrianopoulos submitted questions to the Minister for Development on the delay in informing the public by EFET.

    Mr Andrianopoulos in fact asked for the removal of the president of EFET Nikos Katsaros, after his stance, which was dangerous for public health.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Your wedding debts Pay Off with a Kiss

    31 Mar 2005 21:05:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The owners of a photography studio in China have come up with an original way to attract customers. Their target is newly-weds, who can see their love beginning to fade at the side of wedding expenses. So they thought of offering them a discount on their wedding album, on one condition: To kiss for as long as possible. Every extra second of kiss corresponded to a 1-euro reduction in the cost of their album. Of course, the owners of the business took care to have measures ready for couples who can hold out for a long time, to make sure that they dont harm the till! They stipulate that the reduction cannot exceed 189 euros. Already many people have responded to the studios challenge. However, there were also those who backed out at the last minute, because they were too embarrassed to kiss in front of other people!

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] Permanent vegetative state since 1990 Terri Schiavo Passes Away

    31 Mar 2005 19:10:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: BBC

    After 15 years in a permanent vegetative state, American woman Terri Schiavo breathed her last today, owing to serious brain damage caused by a serious heart problem. The feeding-tube had been removed from the 41-year-old woman, after judicial decisions and conflicts between her husband and her parents. "Terri Schiavo died a short while ago," announced Paul ODonnell, the pastor of the unfortunate womans family. American President George Bush and Congress had supported the womans right to life with medical technology. On the other side, the courts decided against this, in favour of her husband Michael Schiavo, who insisted that they must allow her to die, since, as he claimed, his wife would not wish to live in that condition.

    A Minute's Silence

    Members of the Senate of Florida observed a minutes silence for the unfortunate woman.

    Schiavos parents demanded that an autopsy be performed to confirm whether her brain was indeed non-operational, while they stated that they would sue all those responsible for her death.

    Finally, the clashes are ongoing between her parents and her husband, as the parents wish her to be buried in Florida, where they live, while her husband wishes her to be buried in Pennsylvania.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] Increases on cigarettes, alcohol and VAT Economic Measures Apply from Tomorrow

    31 Mar 2005 17:40:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Increases on cigarettes and alcohol and the new VAT system come into force from tomorrow. The Ministry of the Economy circular gives instructions and clarifications to professionals to adapt electronic systems and tills based on the new VAT system, underlining that revenue officials will be lenient towards problems in adapting. From 16 April there will be new retail prices on 8000 medicines. "The aim is to fight VAT evasion and fuel smuggling, with intensified checks and institutional changes," stressed Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis on NET 105.8.

    Deficit Below 3%

    Furthermore, Mr Alogoskoufis noted that the recent measures are the most moderate that could be implemented and give a realistic hope of reducing the deficit to below 3% in 2006, while he estimated that any price rises after the increase in VAT would be within the limits of inflation. "The government announcements regarding VAT on real estate from 1 January, with a reduction in inheritance tax, will be made at the beginning of June," stated the Minister for the Economy.

    Regarding the governments taxation measures, PASOK Press spokesman Nikos Athanasakis stressed: "all that the government has to show in the sector of the Economy is falsehoods and incorrect policies."

    In answer, government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos stressed: "Over 80 taxes and a deficit of about 8 billion, along with a reliability deficit for the country were the legacy of the PASOK government. These cannot be covered, however much propaganda is launched by the Opposition Press spokesman."

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Swords cross over OAKA event Clashes over Open Stadiums

    31 Mar 2005 22:25:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Political clashes were triggered by the event held in the Olympic Stadium in order for schoolchildren to get to know the Olympic venues, attended by PM Kostas Karamanlis. PASOK Press spokesman Nikos Athanasakis described the event as a set-up and presented a document from the Ministry of Culture, which, among other things, stated that "with the event today we must create a feeling amongst the public that the government is making an important and coordinated effort to develop the Olympic sites." Nikos Athanasakis was answered with a written statement from the alternate Minister of Culture Fani Palli Petralia. Mrs Petralia accused PASOK of making barren and fruitless criticism, adding that the lack of policy and internal problems within the Opposition do not allow it to seek creative participation in political dialogue.

    Swords Cross

    The Culture Minister stresses in her statement "This is a mean-hearted and small-minded opinion expressed by PASOKs spokesman, and I am sorry about that. It is an internal note, with no other significance."

    She notes that "the well-known basketball player, PASOK member and former MP Panagiotis Fasoulas was invited to speak and present the sport to the children."

    Earlier, PASOKs Press spokesman accused the government of organizing such events in order to serve its image, even using schoolchildren with special needs.

    He presented an excerpt from the leaflet that stated "in order to give a kinder dimension to the event, a school for children with special needs is also participating."

    On the matter, the KKE released a statement saying "Giving tours around Olympic venues, which are supposed to belong to the countrys youth, while they are surrendered by the government to capital as well as the supposed interest of the government in developing sport, cannot hide the grey reality."

    Late in the evening, Nikos Athanasakis answered the statement from Mrs Palli-Petralia.

    PASOKs Press spokesman said that with her statements, the Culture Minister admits the existence of the document, and requested an answer as to the cost of the events, which ministry is to pay and which advertising company has taken on the matter.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] Between Pavlopoulos and Papaioannou Parliamentary Wrangling over Contract-Workers

    31 Mar 2005 17:32:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    Tensions ran high in Parliament today during the discussion of the proposed laws from PASOK and SYN for short-term contract-workers. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos confirmed that any contract-workers who cover long-term and constant needs would have their contracts made permanent, while he added that the remainder would be awarded points. At the same time, Mr Pavlopoulos criticized the previous government, saying that they created loopholes and held contract-workers hostage. In answer to this, PASOKs parliamentary spokesman Miltiadis Papaioannou accused the government of deception in all sectors, with the prime minister himself at the forefront. Synaspismos blamed the situation on both the main parties.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] For 14-year-old Girl Hospitalized in Agia Sofia Appeal for Blood 0 Rh-

    31 Mar 2005 13:00:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The "Hamogelo tou Paidiou" childrens organisation addresses an emergency appeal for blood of the rare group 0 Rh- for 14-year-old girl Despoina Sgourou, who will undergo surgery to remove a tumour in her spinal cord. Little Despoina is hospitalized in Childrens Hospital Agia Sofia. If anyone belongs to this rare blood group and can give blood, please contact the Childrens Hospital Agia Sofia in order to be informed on blood donation hours: Tel. +30 210 7467000, the "Hamogelo tou Paidiou" organisation: +30 210 3306140, the Social Service: +30 210 7609550, SOS Line: 1056.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] No DMT in Athens

    31 Mar 2005 18:43:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA

    No samples from athletes who took part in the Athens Olympic Games tested positive for the substance DMT, stated IOC President Jacques Rogge from Brisbane in Australia, where he is currently visiting in view of the Oceania Olympic Committee meeting, to be held over the weekend. The until recently known substance, called desoxy-methyl-testosterone, or DMT, which was discovered by Canadian scientists, caused all the samples taken last summer in Athens to be reexamined. DMT is similar to THG, or tetrahydrogestrinone, a drug at the heart of the BALCO steroid investigation in California, alleged to have been used by track and field athletes, such as American sprint champion Kelly White and Briton Dwain Chambers, European 100m champion.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] AEK Snapped

    30 Mar 2005 22:42:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    The aim was undoubtedly hard to get, as victory inside Abdi Ipekci over Efes Pilsen is not an easy thing to achieve and although AEK really tried hard, they were finally defeated by 69-62 and their adventure in the Euroleague came to an abrupt end. Fotis Katsikaris' players did not lose touch from Efes Pilsen but still did not manage to take the lead in score, since they made several mistakes at critical points for the outcome of the match. As for the start, it was a true nightmare for the Greek team. The atmosphere inside the stadium was fanaticised and gave wings to the Turks, who quickly increased the difference to double figures. Despite all, AEK recovered from their primary shock and reduced the difference to one basket. In the second period Efes was ahead by 38-33, but in the third period the many Greek mistakes increased the difference once more.

    It All Came Down to the Last Minutes

    At that point, Domercant who was blocked by AEK players in the first half, managed to penetrate into the Greek defence systems and achieved a 6-0 run and in the 24' the difference was up by 11 points (44-33). In the next five minutes, Fotis Katsikaris threw Kus into the game (since Zisis had already made three fouls) and the Croat proved his right. With five points in the last two minutes AEK managed to crunch the score again and the third period ended with 54-46. Kus' offensive success continued in the last period as well, as with a three-pointer and with seven more points turned the match into a true nightmare (59-56). However, two minutes before the end, Efes kept their cool and with Domercant having taken the lead they prevailed over AEK with the final score of 69-62.

    Ten-minute periods: 17-10, 38-33, 54-46, 69-62

    EFES PILSEN (Oktay Mahmuti): Prkacin 14, Arslan 9 (1), Nikolic 8, Domercant 18 (3), Solomon 4, Abi 2, Yilmaz, Kecman, Peker 1, Kuqo 13.

    มลส (Fotis Katsikaris): Lollis 10, Bouroussis, Pelekanos, Hatzis 12 (2), Zisis 10 (1), Nikolaidis, Glyniadakis 2, Bailey 6, Nicevic 6, Tsiaras, Antic 3 (1), Kus 13 (1).

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Anti-Doping Measures in Football

    31 Mar 2005 17:13:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    New measures to deal with doping in football were announced today in a joint Press Conference by deputy Minister for Sport Giorgos Orfanos and the president of EPAE Alexandros Likourezos. As per the new announcements, there will be doping checks at all matches in the first division of the football league and at two in the second division, while the aim of the State is for the measures to be extended into the third division too. Two or three footballers from each team will undergo urine and blood tests.

    Ministerial Decision in Ten Days

    The relevant ministerial decision will be ready in ten days, and within its 24 articles there will be a detailed description of all points of taking samples, disciplinary control of those in violation and the penalties to be imposed.

    At the same time, Mr Orfanos stated that the ministerial decision would include the matter of surprise testing, as well as sports that come under ESKAN. The deputy minister for Sport also announced that doping checks would be extended to school leagues.

    Mr Likoureos underlined that with the new decision the State will try to ensure the health of players and reinforce the sports principle, that is deeply injured with the use of anabolic substances.

    He also announced the formation of a Committee to fight doping, chaired by Stavros Hantzos, who expressed his gratitude at being given the chance to "strike at the plague of doping."

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [11] Sleep is a Saviour

    31 Mar 2005 14:12:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Reuters

    Its well known that sleep nourishes babies, but its healing properties are not restricted to the very young, but also regard adults. Lack of sleep does not only cause dark circles, but also has consequences on a persons social life. According to a study by the American National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep can cause various problems, ranging from work to relationships. In fact, according to the study, 75% of the 1500 adults who participated in the study had sleep problems (such as sleep-walking or snoring), but very few admit to them and they prefer to ignore them. In addition, most of them admitted that they do not have a sex life, they have problems in their marriage, and frequently make serious mistakes at work, simply because they feel drowsy. Its indicative that 25% of those who are married or in a stable relationship have a problematic sexual life, owing to lack of sleep. According to the director of the Foundation, Richard Gelula, only half of Americans can say that they have had a good nights sleep.

    Problems in Social and Personal Life

    According to the American scientists, an adult must sleep from seven to nine hours.

    Lack of sleep can sometimes prove disastrous, as those asked who have sleep problems admitted to having driven at least once in a state of drowsiness last year, while 4% of them had, or almost had a traffic accident as they were sleepy behind the wheel, while 30% of working people who participated in the study admit that the lack of sleep makes them take time off work.

    Furthermore, 77% of those surveyed stressed that they are irritated by the way their partners sleep, especially if they snore.

    In fact, as Dr Meir Kryger, one of the directors of the Foundation stresses, this causes many couples to sleep apart, which can often have unfortunate consequences on their relationships.

    Over 30% of the people who do not sleep well admit that drowsiness affects their relationships, while the relevant percentage of those who sleep well is 8%.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [12] Eighty-eight-hour Speech!

    31 Mar 2005 17:03:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The 45 minutes of a school lesson are surely not enough for one to analyse the meaning of democracy. And that is what a 20-year-old African lecturer at the University of Krakow in Poland thought, and he gave a lecture on democracy that lasted for longer than three days. The young lecturer had set a goal of outdoing himself and rewriting the record book for the longest ever lecture. The young man, who teaches political science, held the previous record of 62 hours and 30 minutes, but this time he broke the barrier of 88 hours. Every eight hours he stopped to eat, to go to the toilet and close his eyes for a short time, but he soon when on inexorably. The negative point in the case is that all this effort had no audience, as the students soon went to sleep. Only the cameras watched him unceasingly, so that experts from the Guinness Book of Records can check to decide if he is to be given the record.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [13] ERT Real Estate to be Developed

    31 Mar 2005 22:59:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET

    Minister of State Theodoros Rousopoulos met with radio-television reporters. Mr Rousopoulos answered positively to the question of whether ERTs real estate is to be developed, and noted "We are not considering selling ERTs property, but going into the market with new business activity. We will under no circumstances accept a downgrading of ERT, on the contrary we will do whatever possible to help it to increase in strength and quality. If some people do not want the State radio and television company to operate competitively, then they must get used to the idea that it will operate competitively."

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [14] Bodies of 2 Greeks recognised Greek Tsunami Victims

    31 Mar 2005 20:19:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The aftershocks from the recent quake of 8.7 on the Richter scale that struck the island of Nias continue to cause unrest in Indonesia. At the same time, memories of the tragedy caused by the tsunami on 26 December have reawakened. Today, the bodies of two Greek women, who had been missing in the Indian Ocean region after the 26 December tsunami, were recognized. The bodies of the two unfortunate women, which were washed ashore on Kao-Lak Beach, were recognized through DNA testing. Relatives are in the area to transport the bodies. In the meantime, a further three Greek women are still missing.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [15] "An end to two classes of employee" Permanent Contracts in ERT

    31 Mar 2005 18:53:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    In a Press Conference this afternoon, the President of the company, Christos Panagopoulos, announced that 1,403 temporary contracts would be made permanent in ERT. The 1,403 are workers in all sectors (reporters, producers, musicians, translators, electronics technicians, etc) and work in Athens, ET3 and about 130 in ERT regional stations, Mr Panagopoulos clarified. "We are putting an end to two classes of employees, they now all have the same rights, the same pay, and we will therefore have the same expectations," he stressed. A total of 1081 applications were submitted, of which 388 were not approved, as they do not fulfill the 2-year criteria, while ten were beyond the deadline. The list with all the applications will be sent to ASEP next week.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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