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

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Nutritional Alarm
  • [02] Italian Centre Right Crushed
  • [03] Wangling over Economic Measures
  • [04] Papandreou Launches Severe Attack
  • [05] Eirinaios Meets with Ariel Sharon
  • [06] Panhellenic Exams on 21 May
  • [07] Concern for Blair
  • [08] Iraqi General Abducted
  • [09] Small Retreat for Black Gold
  • [10] Early Retirement for Farmers
  • [11] Solution to Omogenia Pensions
  • [12] Sifakis Leaves Ergotelis

  • [01] EU calls for controls Nutritional Alarm

    05 Apr 2005 11:44:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8, NET, ANA

    The alarm has sounded anew for dangerous substances in food, by decision of the European Union, which requests controls on various products, such as biscuits, chocolate and oils, in order to detect the carcinogenic substance known as "Sudan Red" which has been detected in two sauces which were also available in the Greek market. At the same time, toxic substances were detected in nuts originating from Iran, while in Crete an entire ship loaded with oil of questionable quality from Tunisia was discovered. The oil would have been illegally labeled as Greek. As for the honey, the producers will be responsible for withdrawing all honey containing the substance paradichlorobenzolium at levels greater than those permitted by the EU from the market. Representatives of the producers have criticized the former chairman of EFET, who opened the issue.

    "Greek Honey of High Quality"

    After his meeting on Tuesday with beekeepers, Deputy Minister for Development Giannis Papathanasiou stated that Greek honey maintains its high quality and that it is high time people stopped harming Greek producers.

    For their part, the producers stressed that honey produced in 2005 will not have a problem with the substance in question.

    At the same time, the representatives of the sector stated that the way in which the issue was raised, considering it has been known for the last two years and that the sector is investing in solving the problem, has caused them concern, and they are examining the possibility of suing the former chairman of EFET, Mr Katsaros.

    At the same time, checks in the market continue from Monday at an intense pace, while 25 types of honey from eight companies have already been withdrawn in order to be rechecked.

    Scientists reassure consumers that there is no cause for concern for public health.

    All the Ministrys actions were made with care and full transparency, stressed the General Secretary of Consumers Thanasis Skordas on NET 105.8, and he added that necessary action should be taken in order to restore the prestige of Greek honey.

    The President of the Federation of Agricultural Workers Nikos Kakkavas spoke of a lack of organisation in the sector of food control.

    Oil of Questionable Quality

    In Crete, a ship was discovered flying the flag of Georgia, loaded with oil of questionable quality from Tunisia, which was to have been illegally labeled as Greek.

    In a raid by SDOE (the Greek customs authority), the ships hold was found to contain about 1000 tonnes of olive oil and kernel-oil despite the captains reassurances that he was not carrying anything of the kind on his ship.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Honey is Coming Off the Shelves

    [02] Victory for Centre Left Italian Centre Right Crushed

    05 Apr 2005 10:07:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: BBC, Corriere della Sera

    The regional elections are developing into a Waterloo for the Berlusconi government, according to the initial results that confirm the exit polls. Of the 13 regions, Romano Prodis centre-left coalition leads in 11, while Silvio Berlusconis centre-right coalition leads in only 2. In fact, the government appears to be keeping its forces only in the Milan and Venice regions. It all appears as though the Italian prime minister has been dealt a severe blow, as the regional elections held on Sunday and Monday forewarn the general elections of 2006.

    Large Voter Turnout

    Before the elections, eight regions were controlled by the government coalition, and five belonged to the Opposition.

    "With this vote, Italians are asking us to prepare to govern the country," declared Prodi, former prime minister of the country and former president of the European Commission.

    For their part, political allies of Berlusconi tried to make light of the impressions in their statements.

    Despite the fact that the elections were held under the shadow of the death of Pope John Paul II, voter turnout reached 71%.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] After a Question by PASOK Wangling over Economic Measures

    05 Apr 2005 00:08:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Disputes arose in Greek Parliament on Monday night, following a question by PASOK for the economic measures. PASOKs MPs accused the Government of attacking the lower echelons, breaking down the revenue mechanism and supposedly curbing expenditure. In answering to the Opposition, Giorgos Alogoskoufis confirmed that the results of the governments efforts in the area of Economy will be visible soon. "The difficulties are temporary and we will overcome them," he stressed, underlining that reducing the deficit and the public debt, created by the PASOK governments, are national challenges for the Government and the aims will be achieved.

    Citizens Won't Be Burdened

    The Economy Minister admitted that the next couple of years will not be easy.

    However, he did stress that the government will keep its promises and the efforts being made today will bear fruit in the years to come.

    He further added that in every case, the dead-end policies of the last few years cannot and will not be continued, while it will be the state that will bear the brunt of the fiscal adjustment and not the citizens.

    Attacking the Lower Echelons

    Earlier, PASOKs MPs claimed that the Government is tricking the Greek people, both for the progress of the revenues, as well as the supposed expenditure curbing, while the real cuts concern wages, social policy and the public investments programme.

    Referring to Economy Ministry documents, Nikos Christodoulakis declared that revenues fell from 2.2 billion euros during the first quarter of 2004 to 197 million euros this last quarter. Furthermore, her attributed this expenditure reduction announced by the government to stopping all investment activities in regional Greece.

    On the other hand, Giorgos Floridis spoke of an attack against the lower echelons.

    "If low-income earners smoke one pack of cigarettes a day, you are burdening them with 18 euros in tax per month, ie you gave them a 12-euro increase and you are taking six back. This is your social policy," he stressed

    He further added that the measures implemented for Greek tobacco resulted in tobacco company Phillip Morris making a 120 billion euros profit, at the expense of tobacco growers.

    Dragasakis Intervention

    SYNs representative, G. Dragasakis, mentioned that many PASOK MPs are criticizing the government from the right-wing, especially regarding privatizations, for which it asked the government to submit data in Parliament for the period commencing with Mitsotakis term in office until today.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] For Economy, Foreign Policy, Main Shareholder Papandreou Launches Severe Attack

    04 Apr 2005 15:47:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA - NET 105.8

    During his partys National Council convention, PASOKs President George Papandreou launched a severe attack against the Government for the Economy, foreign policy and the Main Shareholder issue. Referring to the new tax measures, Mr Papandreou spoke of a tax invasion of the lower echelons and unacceptable actions for combating high prices and public health. "PASOK sides with the workers for decent wages and decent working conditions and opposes any attempt to sell off Greek capitals," declared PASOKs president. The government spokesperson, Thodoris Roussopoulos responded by saying, "PASOK and their leader are losing their minds because of the thirst for the power they lost. Their rhetoric is not just contrary to reality. Even more so, they offend the judgment and intelligence of the citizens." In answering to Mr Roussopoulos, PASOKs spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis declared that ND is changing the country for the worse.

    Preparing for Battle

    During her first speech at the National Council, PASOKs new secretary, Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou stressed that the party is preparing of a battle, following the election of the committees, which will have been concluded at a regional and local level by June.

    "We are presenting a new vision for the country and we are creating new relationships of trust with society and the citizens," said Ms Xenogiannakopoulou, while she pointed out that PASOK will become a contemporary European socialist party, with open ideas, decentralized activities and regional character. Furthermore, it would become a party of democracy, transparency and democratic controls in its operations.

    The National Council proceedings were concluded with the election of members for the ethics, electoral processes and economic committees, as well as the members and friends ombudsman committee. PASOKs President proposed Giorgos Anomeritis to head the committee for articles and certification, Alekos Papdopoulos for the electoral processes committee, Tilemachos Chytiris for the economic control committee and Maria Arseni for the ombudsman committee. The latter was elected directly, as there were no other candidates.

    The election for the electoral processes committee had a few surprises, since the former Organization Policy secretary, Lefteris Katsikarelis, Nikos Bistis and Mr Papandreous associate in the Foreign Ministry, Eleni Koutsibou, were not elected. As per the results, those elected were: Alekos Papadopoulos, Nikos Salagiannis, Vasilis Geranidis, Antonis Kotsakas, Petros Efthimiou, Vasiliki Tsibida, Panagiota Gazi and Nonta Papadopoulou. The following were elected for the articles and certification committee: Giorgos Anomeritis, Panagiotis Sgouridis, Dimitris Kouselas, Pantelis Tserdikidis, Maria Papandreou, Giorgos Chalvatzoglou, Maria Kyriakopoulou, Katerina Koletsi and Maria Zervaki.

    Finally, those elected for the economic control committee were: Tilemachos Chytiris, Dimitris Chalkiotis, Panagiotis Antonakopoulos, Froso Stavraki and Mary Matsouka.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:


    [05] Eirinaios Meets with Ariel Sharon

    05 Apr 2005 11:05:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    On Tuesday, Patriarch Eirinaios will have a meeting with Ariel Sharon, as reported on Israeli radio. This is in order for the Patriarch to inform the Israeli PM of the Patriarchys financial situation. In the meantime, during his meeting on Monday with Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei, Patriarch Eirinaios was forced to accept a check by a group of advisers to the Palestinian Authority. After the check, the Palestinian team will compose a report which will be presented to the Patriarchy.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] Panhellenic Exams on 21 May

    05 Apr 2005 07:34:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The schedule of exams for pupils in the 3rd year of Lyceum was published yesterday, earlier than every other year, by the Ministry of Education. According to the plan, the process will start nationwide on Saturday 21 May with the exam for General Education history and will finish on 11 June. As for those attending evening Lyceum classes, exams for general education subjects begin on Monday 23 May. At the same time, the schedule of exams in special subjects, for those who already have their school leaving certificate and who wish to be candidates to enter Universities which require examinations in special subjects, has been announced.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Concern for Blair

    05 Apr 2005 08:26:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    In the final straight heading towards the start of the pre-election campaign period in Britain, and the Labour Party appears to be started out on the road towards the polls with reduced forces. The prime minister of Britain, Tony Blair, is expected to meet today with Queen Elizabeth to ask her to dissolve Parliament next Monday in order to hold the general elections, probably on 5 May.

    The meeting will signal the start of the pre-election race, in which, however, the Labour Party appears to have a five point lead (39%) against the Conservatives (34%), according to a poll by the MORI institute for the Financial Times.

    A further two opinion polls show an even greater closing of the gap. ICM, on behalf of the Guardian, gives the Labour Party 37% against 34% for the Conservatives. The Times newspaper has published a poll from Populus institute, in which the two parties are just two points apart (37% and 35%) respectively.

    In a further opinion poll by NOP on behalf of the newspaper Independent, the Labour Party stand at 39%, giving them three points less in relation with the survey conducted by the same company just three weeks ago. The percentage for the Conservatives is also smaller, just 33%.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] Iraqi General Abducted

    05 Apr 2005 11:35:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    This morning in Baghdad, a high-ranking member of the Iraqi army fell victim to an abduction. General Mohammad Jalal Saleh, commander of the special armoured brigade of the Interior Ministry, was abducted by an armed gang along with his bodyguards in the Monsur district of the Iraqi capital. The incident occurred immediately following a bomb explosion at a guard-point near Baghdad airport. According to the French News Agency, Salehs brigade, which numbers 1600 men, was one of the first to reassemble following the declared end of the war, for operations against rebels and gangs. So far no organisation has taken responsibility for the abduction.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] Small Retreat for Black Gold

    05 Apr 2005 12:28:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Oil prices are showing a retreat after the new historic record seen yesterday, reaching 58.28 dollars a barrel. The sudden gallop in prices was triggered, among other things, by last Thursdays evaluations by Goldman Sachs, which spoke of the probability of prices rising sharply in the future to as high as 105 dollars a barrel. In any case, in Asian markets today, black gold fell to below 57 dollars a barrel.

    At the same time, in Greek retail, the average price of unleaded saw a 2.16% increase. According to monitoring by the Ministry of Development, between 24 March and 1 April, petrol rose from 0.835 euros a litre to 0.853 euros per litre. Regarding heating oil, during the same time period, the average price on a nationwide level rose from 0.484 euros per litre, the price on 24 March, to 0.497 euros a litre. In the Attica area, the retail price reached 4.84 euros a litre.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Oil Prices are Soaring

    [10] Early Retirement for Farmers

    05 Apr 2005 10:40:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The Minister for Rural Development Mr Basiakos approved the admission of 2336 interested parties who had submitted applications last January to the programme of Early Retirement for Farmers. Annual compensation per person is set at 3733 euros and increases to 4402 euros for the residents of remote regions and East Aegean islands. The compensation will be paid for 15 years and until the recipient reaches age 65.

    According to the Ministry for Rural Development, the programme gives farmers of a certain age the chance to stop agricultural activity if they should wish. At the same time, it aims to develop a renewal in age of the agricultural population and transfer farming to younger generations of farmers, which will lead to the creation of new, widened, economically viable business in the agricultural sector.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [11] Solution to Omogenia Pensions

    05 Apr 2005 08:57:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: Ministry of Employment and Social Protection

    The two governments are in the final straight moving towards reaching an agreement between Greece and Australia on the transfer of the pension rights of hundreds of thousands of Greek emigrants who have lived and worked in Australia. This development is the result of successive meetings held in Paris by the Ministers of Employment and Social Protection of the two countries, Panos Panagiotopoulos and Kay Patterson, in the context of the Summit meeting of the Ministers of Social Protection of the member states of the OECD, which was hosted in Paris. The two ministers agreed that over the next few weeks they would compose the final text of the agreement, which would then be signed.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [12] Sifakis Leaves Ergotelis

    05 Apr 2005 10:33:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Coach Mironas Sifakis is now past tense for the bench of Ergotelis, as the defeat at the hand of fellow Cretan team OFI led to the dissolution of his contract by mutual consent. Late last night, in an impromptu club meeting, the Administrative Council of the Football Club decided to part with the Greek coach and remove him from the wheel of the team, while it was decided that Sifakis should be replaced for the last matchdays of the league by the man who was until recently his assistant, Vangelis Kostakis.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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