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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-04-01

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gmail is Growing
  • [02] IAAF Refers Kenteris-Thanou to Court
  • [03] Eirinaios on the Offensive
  • [04] Main Shareholder at the Focus
  • [05] Culture at the Focus
  • [06] Linos and Solachou Meeting
  • [07] New EFET Administration
  • [08] Policemen Kill Civilians
  • [09] OPAP Heading for Privatisation
  • [10] Rogue Re-Opens the File
  • [11] "Aimed at 1st Place"
  • [12] Culture at the Focus
  • [13] Better Late than Never

  • [01] Google Intensifies Competition Gmail is Growing

    01 Apr 2005 22:38:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Google seems set on breaking tradition and telling the truth on April Fools. On 1 April last year, the company announced that it was offering users one gigabyte of free e-mail storage and this year it surprised the market again, announcing that it was doubling its free e-mail storage, while it is planning to increase it even more. "Were doing it to anticipate what our users needs are and their needs grow over time," said Georges Harik, product management director for Gmail. However, just one year after its "birth", Gmail is only available to those the company has selected. As per Googles announcement, though, it is further intensifying competition, since two gigabytes is the largest free e-mail storage available.

    The Battle of E-Mails

    Gmail is expanding its storage just a few weeks after Yahoo announced that it was increasing its storage to 1 gigabyte for free accounts and 2 gigabytes for subscribers.

    However, up until now, Microsoft seems to be trailing behind, since Hotmail, its version of free e-mail service, has the smallest storage capacity, while 250 megabytes are only offered to a few of its users.

    The competition between Google, Yahoo and Microsoft is expected to peak with the launching of Gmail to the general public. And while everyone is awaiting the developments, over the last few weeks, Google has started offering free accounts to random website visitors, thus intensifying rumours that the trial period is close to an end.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:

    Hotmail

    Yahoo! Mail

    Gmail

    [02] IAAF Refers Kenteris-Thanou to Court

    01 Apr 2005 21:59:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou are now threatened to face a two-year ban from all official sporting events. After reviewing the decision of SEGAS (the Greek National federation), the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) decided to refer the athletes to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), considering the ruling of the Greek Sports Tribunal erroneous. As per IAAFs announcement, CASs decision in both cases will be final and binding, since they will nor be able to appeal. Up until then, the two athletes will be on suspension and will not be able to participate in any national or international sporting events.

    IAAF's Announcement

    "The IAAFs Doping Review Board has reviewed the decision received from the Greek National Federation to clear the Greek athletes, Konstantinos Kenteris and Ekatherina Thanou, of anti-doping rule violations under IAAF Rules.

    The Doping Review Board has concluded that the decision is erroneous and the IAAF will now refer both athletes cases to arbitration before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on a timely basis under IAAF Rules. The CAS decision in both cases will be final and binding.

    The Doping Review Board has also decided in accordance with IAAF Rules to suspend both athletes pending the outcome of the CAS decision".

    As per IAAF evidence, the two athletes are accused of three Non-Shows (Tel Aviv, Chicago and Athens) within the span of 18 months, as well as refusing to undergo a doping test in Athens. Their coach, Christos Tzekos, was accused of violating IAAFs Article 56.3 (assisting or prompting third parties to use banned substances) and Article 32.2 (attempting to or actually altering any part of the doping control procedure)

    The violations were also included in documents sent to SEGAS by IAAF on 2/12/04 and 22/12/04.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Increasing Pressures to Resign Eirinaios on the Offensive

    01 Apr 2005 20:04:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET

    The Greek Government is once again calling on the Patriarch of Jerusalem to respond to his future obligations. The Foreign Ministry is closely monitoring the developments, while Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis will be departing for Istanbul on Sunday to discuss the matter with the Ecumenical Patriarch. At the same time, the mood remains gloomy in Jerusalem. Four Synod Hierarchs are asking for Eirinaios resignation. Actually, in a relevant letter, one of them, the Metropolitan Bishop of Patra, Kornilios, asked Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis and Patriarch Bartholomew to intervene. Late in the afternoon, Patriarch Eirinaios went on the offensive, threatening to dethrone anyone asking for his resignation.

    Threatens with Dethronements

    As per the announcement issued by the Patriarchs legal advisor, Alexis Kougias, who resumed his duties, four Synod Hierarchs are asking for Mr Eirinaios resignation.

    "Out of the 18 members of the Holy Synod, only Kornilios, Christodoulos, Palladios and Damaskinos asked for the Patriarchs resignation, and no others," noted the announcement.

    However, for a motion of censure to be passed, a 2/3 majority plus 1, ie 13 Synod Hierarchs, is needed.

    Meanwhile, through his legal advisor, the Patriarch threatened to dethrone anyone asking for his resignation and showing disrespect towards him.

    In Jerusalem, however, the situation remains tense, while todays scheduled Holy Synod was postponed.

    Criticism against Eirinaios

    Earlier, Evangelos Antonaros confirmed the existence of a letter by the Metropolitan Bishop of Patra, Kornilios, asking for the PM and Patriarch Bartholomew to intervene, in an effort to resolve the matter. He further underlined that the Greek state is interested in preserving the Greek character of the Patriarchate.

    Furthermore, earlier today, the Education Minister harshly criticized Patriarch Eirinaios.

    Speaking on radio station NET 105.8, Marietta Giannakou posed the following questions, "Does the Patriarch believe that he can deal with such a crisis on his own, without harming Greek interests? How did he become a Patriarch? If Greece hadnt gotten involved in the case, would the Patriarch have been Greek Orthodox? Let us not be disillusioned, these matters cannot be serious."

    Aleka Papariga also attributed blame to Patriarch Eirinaios, underlining, "He has been completely exposed concerning the matter of selling and leasing Palestinian territories."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Reactions Over Eirinaios' Stance

    [04] Tension in Parliament Between Pavlopoulos-Rovlias Main Shareholder at the Focus

    01 Apr 2005 13:33:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Today tension was apparent in Parliament during the discussion of a question over the main shareholder that was submitted by PASOK MP, Dinos Rovlias. Minister of Interior, Prokopis Pavlopoulos described the bill as a prototype, noting that it fights vested interest that PASOK had initiated with Venizelos bill. From his side, Mr Rovlias insisted on the publication of public banks, which are considered of vested interest, based on the law of main shareholder. In the meantime, in a relative article published in Eleftherotipia newspaper, PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos notes that the government has created a great problem misinterpreting the Constitution and burdening it with its bill. Mr Venizelos described the government as "a prisoner of demagogical impressions that it wished to create," and accuses it of not understanding the community reality.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Culture at the Focus

    01 Apr 2005 13:22:00

    By

    On Friday morning, cultural issues were at the focus of Prime Minister and Minister of Culture, Kostas Karamanlis meetings. The Prime Minister met with Director of Lyon Opera Ballet and Dance Director of Cannes Film Festival, Giorgos Loukos who will preside the Athens Festival. Following, Mr Karamanlis met with film director Pantelis Voulgaris and Thanasis Valtinos who was appointed Director of the Greek Film Centre.

    Optimism Over Future Actions

    Upon his exit from Maximos Mansion, Mr Loukos stated his joy with the meeting he held with the PM, for the discussed plans and for "his love of Greeces culture."

    "I am optimistic and prepared to work together. To return and work," stated Mr Loukos making known that he was proposed the seat of Director of the Athens Festival which he described as a "great institution," for which he will work in order to reinforce and promote our country abroad.

    "We are expecting much and promise much more," stated Mr Voulgaris after his meeting with Mr Karamanlis promising that the new Board will continue "the performance and efforts of Theodoros Aggelopoulos and Michel Dimopoulos," since cinema is "collective work."

    "We hope that the days to come are days of opportunity for the young film makers Greek and foreign, since the Festival is international," concluded Mr Voulgaris.

    Thanasis Valtinos, who was appointed Director of the Greek Film Centre, seemed optimistic over the work that will be done. Mr Valtinos expressed the hope that the finances of the Centre will be taken care of, and believes that the actions taken in the future have to concentrate mainly on young talents.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Vavilis Case Also Discussed Linos and Solachou Meeting

    01 Apr 2005 16:23:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The main issue discussed in the meeting between Supreme Court Prosecutor, Dimitris Linos and Albanias General Prosecutor, Thodoris Solachou and other Albanian officials, was the advancement of the justice collaboration between Greece and Albania. The countering of economic crime and the pyramid scandal were at the focus of the meeting, while the mutual briefing and coordination between the Prosecutions of the two countries was decided upon. The case of fugitive Apostolos Vavilis, who press articles state that he is reportedly involved in bank scandals in Albania, was also discussed. As the Albanian General Prosecutor stated, his countrys authorities do not have any evidence for the above actions. What has emerged is that Apostolos Vavilis owes 200,000 euros, based on a contract with a central illegal bank for the supply of security systems. However, according to Albanian Prosecution Authorities, this incident occurred in the context of his business activities and does not constitute a punishable action.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] After Yesterday's Resignations New EFET Administration

    01 Apr 2005 15:49:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Professor of the Veterinary School of the Aristotle University of Thessalonica, Ioannis Vlemmas has been proposed by the leadership of the Ministry of Development for the position of President of EFET. Head of the Food Technology of Athens TEI, Evangelos Lazos was proposed for the position of Vice-President, while the General Director position will be announced as the legislature foresees. Until the new President takes on his duties in EFET, General Director of the General Chemical State Laboratory of Greece Dionisis Mandelis will be appointed as temporary President. The cause for the above changes in the EFET Board were the unfortunate handlings in the case of FAGE contaminated yogurts. Due to the reaction caused, the Ministry of Development asked and received the resignations of President Nikos Katsaros and General Director Christos Apostolopoulos.

    Unnecessary Belatedness

    The Ministry of Development accepted the resignations of the administration of EFET as there was unnecessary belatedness in the necessary checks, while the public and the political leadership of the Ministry were not informed.

    On Monday, the new EFET Directors Board will decide on the penalties that will be given to FAGE, who earlier with an announcement apologized to the consumers.

    The issue exposed the country to European regulations. From his side resigned EFET President, Nikos Katsaros stated that the body was informed of the problem at the end of February, and there was not a case of concealment. However, he admitted that a certain delay did occur.

    On Thursday, the Prosecutor also intervened in the issue in order to conclude when and by whom the contaminated yogurts were discovered, why FAGE did not immediately brief EFET and why EFET did not inform the Ministry of Development and the consumers.

    Commission Asks for Explanations

    The European authorities also intervened in the issue. The European Commission asked for written explanations stating that there was no danger of the consumers health.

    The Commissions spokesperson of public health and consumer protection, Markos Kiprianos expressed the dissatisfaction over the fact that the Commission was not informed over the contaminated yogurts through the immediate warning system.

    In the questions sent by the Commission concerning the contaminated yogurts, the written explanation that the Ministry of Development is preparing to send states the following:

    There was no danger over public health from their consumption The Ministry of Development was not immediately informed by EFET Once the omissions were made known the administration of EFET was replaced

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    EFET Directors Resign

    [08] Massacre in Rio de Janeiro Policemen Kill Civilians

    01 Apr 2005 16:55:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA- Reuters

    A massacre took place on Thursday night in Rio de Janeiro, where 30 people, among them three children, were killed by armed men. According to Security Deputy Minister, Mr Itagiba the armed men were possibly members of military police and were aboard two vehicles. After they killed 15 people in the neighborhood of Nova Iguacu, an hour later they arrived in the town of Quiemados, where they shot and killed several others. Mr Itagiba evaluated that this action could be retaliation after the imprisonment of eight policemen charged with the murder of two people.

    Accusations of Summary Executions

    This is one of the worst massacres of the last decade in Brazil. In 1993, 21 people were killed in the neighborhood of Vegario Geral from a "death battalion" which was formed by men of the military police.

    International organizations of human rights protection have repeatedly condemned Rios police forces that have been accused of summary executions.

    The Brazilian city is being plagued by a crime wave, since rival drug trafficking gangs control slum areas, also known as favelas.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] OPAP Heading for Privatisation

    01 Apr 2005 17:07:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The Greek public sector will proceed with making shares of the company OPAP SA (Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics) available to domestic and foreign investors. As a result the public sectors ownership percentage will be reduced from 51% to 34%. The relevant legislative reform will be submitted to Parliament today, while, according to the announcement by the Ministry of Economy, the Bi-ministerial Privatisation Committee will make the necessary decisions concerning the timeframe and terms of sale, after assessing all the parameters for their successful sale.

    Holds Right to Appoint Board

    The same announcement mentioned that the legislative reform will include a clause, securing the right of the Greek public sector to appoint the majority of the members of the companys Board of Directors, for as long as the exclusivity contract, or any renewals, apply.

    This way, as per the Ministry, the Greek public sector will better safeguard both OPAPs shareholders, as well as the citizens who trust it.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Rogue Re-Opens the File

    01 Apr 2005 14:07:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Jacques Rogue stated that if Kenteris and Thanou want to participate in the 2008 Peking Olympic Games, the event that the IOC will re-investigate their case is not being ruled out. The statements made by Mr Rogue give a new perspective to the issue of the two Greek Olympian athletes and their involvement in the anti-doping scandal.

    Awaiting the Verdict

    SEGAS acquittal decision concerning the Greek Olympiads case, Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, seems to have not ended for the IOC. Jacques Rogue who is in Brisbane, Australia in the context of the yearly General Assembly of the National Olympic Committees of Oceania stated that the international sports opinion does not agree with the verdict, and awaits the final decision of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that stated "surprised" from SEGAS verdict and the event of placing an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS) is not ruled out.

    More specifically, the President of the International Olympic Committee said "we are waiting for the IAAFs decision within two weeks. If the case is closed by the IOC, then there is always the event of re-investigation, since Kenteris and Thanou have expressed the wish to compete in Peking."

    Decision Sent to IAAF

    The prototype verdict of the Court Committee on the issue of Kostas Kenteris, Katerina Thanou and Christos Tzekos, signed by all of its members, according to SEGAS has been sent to the IOC on March 29.

    SEGAS has also sent IAAF six other documents that were submitted by the lawyers of the accused, during the hearing of the case, which played an important part in their acquittal and were not included in the case file that the IAAF had not sent SEGAS.

    In the letter SEGAS informs IAAF General Secretary Istvan Gyulai that in the coming days the hearing sessions documents, around 125 pages, which is already being translated together with the document proof of the case, lawyers referendums etc will be sent.

    SEGAS' Announcement

    "On March 29, 2005 SEGAS sent a letter to IAAF General Secretary Istvan Gyulai in which the following were included:

    A. The full prototype verdict of the Court Committee in Greek and English signed by all its members. B. Six documents that were submitted in the Court Committee from the lawyers of the accused that played an important part in the Committees verdict and were not included in the case file that IAAF sent to SEGAS.

    In the above letter, SEGAS reminds Mr Gyulai that the documents of the hearing session which is composed by nine 90 minute tapes and transcribed in 125 A4 pages, is already being translated and will be sent together with the rest of the documents in the following days. The official translation of the verdict document, ratified from the relevant department of the Foreign Ministry, as well as supporting documents, lawyers referendums and all the evidence of the verdict, upon its conclusion will be sent to the IAAF.

    The above process is expected to be completed in the coming week and will be sent to the IAAF."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] "Aimed at 1st Place"

    01 Apr 2005 16:26:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    In the group of the Greek National Football team for the 2006 World Cup preliminaries it is anyones game. Giannis Topalidis, assistant of coach Otto Rehaggel stated that the aim is first place that corresponds to a straightforward qualification to the finals of the World Cup in Germany. As he said "we have to be logical and to also think of second place."

    "With Soul and Logic"

    Topalidis is aware of how surprising the group is, meaning that from one moment to another one can stand from first to third place. Besides the above, what is needed is to "function with soul and logic."

    "The aim is first place. The last two wins against Georgia and Albania proved very important, since the Ukraine and Turkey also acquired a win. The truth is that we expected Denmark to be more powerful. I believe that it is the best team of the group but the results did not work positively for it. This is how football works, the best team does not always win."

    Referring to Turkey, Topalidis described it as a good team. "The results it acquired earlier, such as the tie in Georgia and the defeat by the Ukraine in its home turf, quite possibly caused it to make changes in some figures. The players that are in the team roster have participated in many international events. The most changes were made by the team that conquered third place in the 2002 World Cup." As he stated the Turkish team has many weaknesses that Otto Rehaggel has observed and "we will try to take advantage of them." In closing, he made mention to Thodoris Zagorakis absence in the specific game. The captain of the Greek team will not play in Turkey due to the number of cards he has received and as Topalidis stated "he will be surely missed, but as Mr Rehaggel has stated, there are always going to be absences. We have other players that can lead the team such as Dellas and Vryzas, but the absolute leader definitely is Zagorakis."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Culture at the Focus

    01 Apr 2005 13:22:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    On Friday morning, cultural issues were at the focus of Prime Minister and Minister of Culture, Kostas Karamanlis meetings. The Prime Minister met with Director of Lyon Opera Ballet and Dance Director of Cannes Film Festival, Giorgos Loukos who will preside the Athens Festival. Following, Mr Karamanlis met with film director Pantelis Voulgaris and Thanasis Valtinos who was appointed Director of the Greek Film Centre.

    Optimism Over Future Actions

    Upon his exit from Maximos Mansion, Mr Loukos stated his joy with the meeting he held with the PM, for the discussed plans and for "his love of Greeces culture."

    "I am optimistic and prepared to work together. To return and work," stated Mr Loukos making known that he was proposed the seat of Director of the Athens Festival which he described as a "great institution," for which he will work in order to reinforce and promote our country abroad.

    "We are expecting much and promise much more," stated Mr Voulgaris after his meeting with Mr Karamanlis promising that the new Board will continue "the performance and efforts of Theodoros Aggelopoulos and Michel Dimopoulos," since cinema is "collective work."

    "We hope that the days to come are days of opportunity for the young film makers Greek and foreign, since the Festival is international," concluded Mr Voulgaris.

    Thanasis Valtinos, who was appointed Director of the Greek Film Centre, seemed optimistic over the work that will be done. Mr Valtinos expressed the hope that the finances of the Centre will be taken care of, and believes that the actions taken in the future have to concentrate mainly on young talents.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] Better Late than Never

    01 Apr 2005 18:35:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    How many times have you sent a loved one a letter and anxiously waited for a reply? During World War II, A Czech man sent a card to his parents, that not only did it not reach its destination but also 60 years later was returned in the post! The cards long trip began in April 5, 1945 from an American prisoner camp in France where 79-year-old Carel Brozda was held captive. Mr Brodza was forced to join the German Army in 1944, during Czechoslovakias occupation, while in 1945 he deserted the military but was arrested by American forces. "Who knows about its whereabouts for the past 60 years," wondered the 79-year-old, adding that his parents never received the card since they died 20 years ago.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou


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