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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-04-14

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Dialogue Starts
  • [02] Labour and Insurance Issues at the Focus
  • [03] Radical Aggravation Avoided
  • [04] Is Religion Our Guardian Angel?
  • [05] Panathinaikos Goes to Moscow
  • [06] Nimitz Proposal a Base for Negotiations
  • [07] Serbian Foreign Minister in Athens
  • [08] Insecurity Among Consumers
  • [09] Three Justices Struck Off
  • [10] Final Farewell to Iakovos
  • [11] Oil for Food Bribes
  • [12] No Increase in Tickets
  • [13] Psatha Takes Bronze in Europe
  • [14] Treatment Brings Hope
  • [15] Dolly's "Cousin"
  • [16] Video Game Against Hunger
  • [17] Call the Police, There's a Terrorist Around!

  • [01] On insurance and labour issues Dialogue Starts

    14 Apr 2005 17:12:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    A two-speed dialogue on labour relations and insurance was announced on Thursday by the Minister for Development, Panos Panagiotopoulos. The labour question is to go through a fast pace, as the government wishes to open the question of a flexible eight-hour working day and the payment of overtime. On the other hand, with a letter from the Ministers of Development and of the Economy, the insurance issue is to be referred to the Economic and Social Committee, with a government pledge that until the end of the four-year term there will be no generalized changes to the age limits and the sums paid. In a statement, KKE spoke of an escalation of a predetermined attack on insurance and labour rights, while the President of SYN opposed the changes.

    Competitiveness and Productivity

    At the same time, Mr Panagiotopoulos stressed that the government guarantees that pensions will be paid with no problems and the Insurance Organisations will be funded, while as for the dialogue on labour relations, he underlined that the conditions for dismissal are not to change, collective work contracts and the minimum wage will not be abolished, and uninsured work is not to be introduced.

    The aim of these processes is to achieve competitiveness and increase productivity, while it was stressed that small and medium businesses must become more productive.

    Speaking in turn, deputy Development Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos stated that 3746 businesses have moved to Bulgaria, and he repeated that there is reliable data regarding the reduction of unemployment from 11.3% to approximately 10.2%.

    After stating that there is no question of there being time limits on the dialogue on the insurance issue which will be the responsibility of OKE, the deputy minister charged with social security Nikos Angelopoulos recalled the debts that awaited the government when it took over the rule of the country last March, debts which he estimated to be 9.208 billion euros.

    Besides this, IKA chairman Mr Vartholomaios underlined that IKA has no financial problems and will not have any in the future, that it currently has a surplus of 38-39 million euros, against 600,000 euros as estimated in the past, and underlined that IKA is proceeding in combination with other bodies to cross check data submitted to them by businesses.

    At the same time, Mr Vartholomaios recalled that 3 May is the deadline to settle debts to IKA, which started last autumn, and as he said there will be neither an extension nor leniency.

    Reactions from SYN and KKE

    On the other hand, KKE stresses that the government is escalating a predetermined attack against insurance and labour rights of workers.

    The party is calling for anti-labour laws (as it calls them) from PASOK and ND to be abolished and calling on workers to give a direct and determined response.

    SYN Opposes Changes

    Alekos Alavanos warned that if the government moves towards making pension cuts, decreasing overtime payments, a flexible eight-hour working day and increasing the age of retirement, then the dialogue requested, at least regarding the Left will not take place in Parliament so much as on the street.

    He also recalled that the same thing happened during the last governments term in office, with an attempt to overturn all that workers had gained in the insurance issue.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Labour and Insurance Issues at the Focus

    [02] GSEE-Alogoskoufis Meeting Labour and Insurance Issues at the Focus

    14 Apr 2005 14:04:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8 - ANA

    On Thursday, the leadership of GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) asked the Economy Minister to compensate workers for nay loss of income due to the readjustment of VAT. GSEEs administration seemed willing to participate in a dialogue over the insurance issues, however, it warned that the workers would not accept any changes to their rights. With regard to the labour issue, GSEE repeated that it would not discuss any flexibility. On the other hand, Giorgos Alogoskoufis guaranteed the funding of IKA, while he stressed that directives have already been issued to stamp out contribution evasion. In its announcement, KKE spoke of an escalation of a predetermined attack against the insurance and labour rights of workers, while SYN President opposed to changes. Furthermore, the Economy Ministry proposed a dialogue to set the parameters and problems in the insurance sector, with the Economic and Social Committee as coordinator.

    Funding for IKA

    The Ministers of Economy and Development will be sending a relevant letter to all competent bodies.

    After his meeting with Mr Alogoskoufis, the president of GSEE, Christos Polyzogopoulos, said that the Confederation would take the initiative on the matter of structural increases, by submitting official requests to employers.

    GSEE is demanding a 1.5% structural increase, in order to compensate workers for the loss of income arising from the readjustment of the VAT.

    GSEEs leadership also asked the Economy Minister to secure the funding of IKA and to pay any outstanding debts, which, as per GSEE, amount to 9 billion euros. It further asked for the state to stamp out contribution evasion, which exceeds 1.8 billion euros annually.

    On the other hand, the Economy Minister said that no one was happy over the increases in VAT, but stressed they were the least unpleasant measures that could have been implemented.

    He also added that the government would continue to take initiatives, in order to solve the problems with consent, as is the case with the insurance sector.

    With regard to contribution evasion, Mr Alogoskoufis said that it is a matter that will be dealt with by IKA, while the government will contribute 1% of the GDP towards the Institution.

    SYN President warned that if the government should proceed with pension reductions, reductions in overtime payments, flexible working hours and increases in pension age limits, then as far as the Left is concerned, the dialogue they are asking will not happen in Parliament, but out on the streets.

    Mr Alavanos also underlined that the same thing happened with the previous government, attempting to completely overturn the workers' right regarding insurance policy.

    Protests to Economy Minister

    Furthermore, GSEE, OTOE and Attica Labour Centres submitted a letter of protest to the Economy Ministry, voicing their opposition towards the new tax measures.

    The letter mentioned that the increases in National Collective Work Agreements (EGSSE) were set based on previous facts and inflation rates. Back then (April 2004), the governments had issued reassurances that the inflation rate would drop.

    Unfortunately, however, the situation was overturned, due to the governments choices, including the increase in VAT, with negative consequences to the income or workers, noted the letter.

    GSEE demanded the withdrawal of the recent "tax collecting measures", the reduction of VAT in basic commodities, a 1.5% compensation for any loss of income, stricter controls on prices and the establishment of a "workers inflation rate" based on the real inflation rate.

    Finally, GSEE announced a 24-hour nationwide workers strike on 11 May.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Greek Economy Minister meets with GSEE

    Dialogue Over Insurance and Labour Issues

    [03] Foreign Minister Informed PM on Trip Radical Aggravation Avoided

    14 Apr 2005 11:52:00 (Last updated: 14 Apr 2005 20:43:35)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis informed the Prime Minister today on the results of his visit to Ankara, which he described as good and productive. Leaving Maximos Mansion, Mr Molyviatis stressed in reference to the Turkish challenges in Imia that "if we had left Ankara, there would have been a radical aggravation of the situation. Instead, today there is calm," and he went on to add that the necessary representations have already been made to NATO and the EU. Answering another question on the leaking of documents, Mr Molyviatis said "I am against leaks and they certainly did not help me." "We handled issues in the most suitable way, which showed that this Government can create such conditions that will not generate new crises in the Aegean," stressed Government spokesperson Theodoros Roussopoulos referring to yesterdays Turkish challenges. In the meantime, Turkish newspaper Sabah gives another dimension to the issue of Turkish violations and challenges, revealing that the Imia islands were given to Greece by Italy. PASOK submitted a proposal to Parliament for the discussion of the orientation and priorities of foreign policy. There were new Turkish provocatiuons in Greek airspace this afternoon.

    Opposition Reactions

    During the regular briefing of political journalists, Mr Roussopoulos underlined that the Government is trying in the best possible way to create conditions of trust and mutual understanding between the two countries. Answering a question if the Turkish side is just s understanding, the government spokesperson stressed that until a point they are, adding that in political discussions both sides have expressed their intention to proceed with a more peaceful future, that will have no challenges. "However, such intentions need constant proof," he concluded.

    In the meantime, PASOK submitted a proposal to the Parliament asking for the discussion of national affairs. As the proposal reads, "we are entering a period of developments over peace, security and cooperation of peoples, the European course of Turkey affects Greek-Turkish relations, the efforts of a mutually acceptable solution for Cyprus have to continue, while the briefing of political parties concerning the Nimitz proposal proved to be short and inadequate."

    "Compromises in the present conditions pave the way for a lot worse," stressed KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga. Lastly, SYN President Alekos Alavanos asked the assembly of the National Council for Foreign Policy and called the government to separate its stance from the US policy in the Balkans.

    Articles in Turkish Press Today

    In the meantime, articles in the Turkish Press today are extensive both regarding the visit of the Greek Foreign Minister to Ankara and the episode at Imia, while the article featured in Sabah recalls the Imia crisis in 1996 with the then Turkish deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Onur Oimen.

    The newspaper cited that "the then Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini had sent his Turkish counterpart a note regarding the history of the islets in the area. As per the note, Italy ceded the islets in question to Greece. However, Baykal never read the note, because Oimen had hidden it. And since Oimen had hidden the note from the then Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal and the then PM Tansu Ciller, Turkey continued claiming the islets."

    Sabah also wrote that "the Greek Press turned ordinary incidents that occurred during the Greek Foreign Minister's visit to Ankara into a crisis."

    "The two countries got over the Imia crisis with an agreement signed between the Foreign Ministers for mutual withdrawal of Coast Guard crafts from the area."

    Most Turkish newspapers also include the statements of Turkish Deputy Chief of General Staff General Ilker Basbug, who underlined that an eventual expansion of the Greek territorial waters in the Aegean, as a reason for war, "is state policy, which is still in force."

    Milliyet's headline was "Molyviatis' Visit Sabotaged in Imia?" The newspaper reported that "Turkish officials stated that the violation was due to the Greek side and that the visit of Molyviatis to Ankara was in favour of the problem's solution."

    The newspaper also reported that the two Ministers agreed upon the mutual withdrawal of Coast Guard crafts from the area of Imia, but also noted that "the crafts withdrew yesterday morning because of a delay in the coordination between both countries' military and political."

    "Turkish-Greek Comedy" was the front-page title of Radikal today, which said that "the climate of Spring in the bilateral relations stumbled upon an Imia storm." The newspaper also read that the Imia crisis "was solved with difficulty, despite the agreement of Foreign Ministers for mutual withdrawal from the area."

    "Imia Shadow Cast Upon Visit" was the title of Cumhuriyet, which reported that the "Measures of Building Up Trust announced during the Greek Foreign Minister's visit to Ankara were overshadowed by the Imia crisis."

    Lastly, citing a "high ranking diplomatic source" Vatan reported that "the agreement in Madrid reads that for as long as Greece does not proceed with any territorial expansions, then Turkey will not use force." If we read it backwards, then it means that if Greece does proceed with territorial expansions, then Turkey will use force. We are talking about casus belli. The fact that Greece violated the Madrid treaty during the critical meeting is alarming. It is almost a provocation."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Faith is the guardian angel of our health Is Religion Our Guardian Angel?

    14 Apr 2005 22:18:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    American and Canadian researchers come with studies to touch on the issue of religion and spirituality from a different viewpoint. As they discovered, faith in God acts beneficially on a persons health, fortifying him against diseases such as Alzheimers and depression. Two thirds of medical schools in the US teach classes on faith and spirituality, and students are called to learn that beyond the medical record of a patient, there is also a spirituality record.

    Perfect Anti-Stress and Tranquiliser

    A study by Canadian scientists, presented at the American Academy of Neurology, which was conducted on 68 people with Alzheimers disease, showed that those who went to church or were involved in other religious activities, had less cognitive decline.

    On the same wavelength, researchers from the University of Chicago found that African Americans with strong faith in God were much less likely to suffer depression than non-believers. According to the university psychologist, John Cacioppo, faith in God seems to help African Americans to get over the marginalisation they suffer owing to their colour.

    Dr Harold G Koenig of Duke University claims that religion, through messages of hope, peace and tranquility, can reduce the stress that harms peoples health.

    Previous research carried out by the same university showed that the mortality rate among the elderly who went to church and believed in God was lower in comparison with that among those who believed less or not at all.

    Furthermore, those with strong faith in God had lower blood pressure and a stronger immune system, while those who prayed (all adults, regardless of age) and read the Bible were less likely to suffer from alcohol addiction.


    At the same time, however, there are those who hold opposite opinions.

    Among them is Dr Richard Sloan of the University of California, who claims that by saying that religion is good for the health we harm those who do not believe in God, creating the impression that their disease can be blamed on their lack of creed. Religious Teachings in Medical Schools

    Despite the tension, Medicine, at least in the US, appears to have faith in the role religion plays in the health. It is indicative that two thirds of the 125 medical schools have now included courses on spirituality and faith on their programmes (in 1992, only three schools offered such courses).

    According to John Templeton Foundation, which funds studies into the role of religion in peoples health, there are already students who learn that apart from the usual medical histories, they should check their patients religious beliefs.

    How does the brain work during prayer?

    The Foundation soon aims to carry out research into the value of prayer and the operation of the brain whilst a person is praying.

    In this context, MRI brain scans will record the operation of the brain whilst some nuns are praying.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Panathinaikos Goes to Moscow

    14 Apr 2005 21:48:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    With the support of 14,000 fans, in a heated but not extreme atmosphere, Panathinaikos managed to earn its ticket for the Final 4 in Moscow, winning for the second and last time against Turkish team Efes Pilsen 84-76. In Moscow, from 6 to 8 May they will first try to beat Maccabi, and afterwards (if they qualify) either Tau or TSSKA Moscow, to sit on the throne of the best basketball team in Europe for this year. The last time Panathinaikos got to the finals and took the precious cup was in 2001 in Bologna, against Kinder, with a score of 89-83. The green team have another two European cups in their collection, the first won in 1996 in Paris and the second in Thessalonica in 2000. They can also be proud of the fact that this is the seventh time that they will be participating in the finals of the Euroleague.

    Numb Start, Explosive Match

    The numb start for Panathinkos players did not affect the amazing atmosphere in the stands at the Olympic Stadium. The 9-1 in the Turks favour, at the hands of Kouko and Domerkand (Efes top player in the first half with 12 points) simply made the greens dig their heels in still further: Mike Battiste and Jaka Lakovic sparked of a 13-0 series, with which Panathinaikos went into the lead, 14-9. The second three-pointer by Domerkand did not go unpunished by Kutluwai and Alvertis, 22-14, but the American increased the three-pointers to three, reducing the difference to 17-22 at the end of the first quarter.

    Panathinakos +5 was destined to be the last time that Efes followed at a close distance. With Kalaitzis undertaking the marking of Solomon and the captain, Alvertis, standing by the 6.25 line, and with 3/3 three-pointers setting the 33-21, the Turks stared at defeat.

    Shortly afterwards, with an amazing three-pointer by Skepanovic, Panathinaikos shaped the 38-23, taking the difference to +15. Obradovics players, scoring with nine out of thirteen three-pointers, closed the first half with 48-39.

    Relaxed at the End

    With Oktai Mahmouti insisting in defence, and Obradovic trusting the hands of his players, Panathinaikos started out in the second half with a further three three-pointers, by Lakovic, Kutluwai and Diamantidis, taking the difference to +20, 61-41.

    The fourth and unsporting foul by Prkacin against Imbo gave the greens the right to break away with +24, 67-43.

    From then until 3.25 before the end, Panathinaikos relaxed the pace, and in 37 were confronted with an unpleasant surprise. Dusan Ketchman chipped away at the difference, and with the goal by Solomon, the team from Istanbul reduced the difference to 67-74.

    Femerling missed two throws, and Solomon took the score to 69-74, waking up the green fans. Panathinaikos, however, took the situation in hand when Kouko committed his fifth foul.

    A follow by Tsartsaris and a two-pointer by Lakovic gave them nine points of breathing space, 80-71, 34 before the end. Domerkands three-pointer, 82-76, seconds before the end, did not change anything and the greens waited to hear the final whistle, the qualifying whistle!

    The quarters: 22-17, 48-39, 72-52, 84-76

    PANATHINAIKOS: (Zeliko Obradovic) Alvertis 11 (3), Kalaitzis 2, Papanikolaou, Lakovic 22 (3), Battiste 7, Femerling 7, Hatzivrettas, Tsartsaris 4, Diamantidis 6 (1), Skepanovic 8 (2), Sakota, Xanthopoulos, Kutluwai 15 (3), Baxter 2.

    EFES PILSEN: (Oktai Mahmouti) Arslan 5 (1) Solomon 12 (2), Prkacin 10, Abi 8, Nikolic 2, Pecker 2, Ketchman 15 (2), Kouko 5, Domerkand 17 (3), Demir, Sahan

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] Molyviatis states Greece's position Nimitz Proposal a Base for Negotiations

    14 Apr 2005 18:04:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The stable Greek position on starting negotiations based on the Nimitz proposal regarding FYROM was repeated by the Foreign Minister Mr Petros Molyviatis. He stressed that for the first time, Greece has managed to overturn the unpleasant atmosphere against it. The latest developments in the issue of the name of FYROM will be discussed in the contacts that deputy Foreign Minister Giannis Valinakis is to have in Berlin, Strasbourg and Brussels. He will have successive meetings with EU High Commissioner Javier Solana, German deputy Foreign Minister Klaus Scharioth and alternate Minister of European Affairs of Luxemburg, Nikola Schmidt. In the meantime, by a great majority, the plenary session of the European Parliament rejected two proposals, one from the Greens and one from the Liberals, the first one asking for FYROM to be recognized by the name "Macedonia", and the second for it to be recognized by its constitutional name. Besides this, during his contacts with Greek political leaders, the Serbian Foreign Minister stated that his country would support a mutually acceptable solution.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Meeting with Papoulias, Karamanlis and Molyviatis Serbian Foreign Minister in Athens

    14 Apr 2005 14:54:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Foreign Minister of Serbia-Montenegro Mr Draskovic held successive meetings with the President of the Hellenic Republic, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister Mr Molyviatis, while at 16:00 he will meet with the president of PASOK George Papandreou. The talks agenda was dominated by the issue of Kosovo, FYROM and the further improvement of commercial relations between Greece and Serbia. In statements after their meeting, Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis referred to the FYROM question and repeated that Greece is ready and has an honest intention to work in a constructive spirit on the Nimitz proposal. Mr Draskovic underlined that his country will support any mutually acceptable solution. "Braveness and determination is needed to change what we can and must change, strength to deal with what we cannot change and wisdom to distinguish between the two situations." As for Kosovo, Mr Draskovic noted that his country wishes for something more than autonomy and something less than full independence, and he clarified that "there is no likelihood of returning to the extremist positions of 1999." Mr Draskovic asked for guarantees of the safety of the Serbs, the right of return for 200,000 Serb refugees to their homes, democracy of European standards and protection for churches and monasteries.

    Serbia's European Progress

    On the same matter, Mr Molyviatis stressed that Greece supports the efforts being made in the context of the United Nations. Finally, the two men discussed the European progress of Serbia-Montenegro and especially the relatively positive evaluation report from the EU.

    Regarding his countrys European progress, Mr Draskovic stressed that after the release of the European Commissions positive report, Serbia and Montenegro have no excuse for delays or failure, and he thanked Greece for its support.

    Concerning Kosovo, Mr Molyviatis stated that Greeces position both within and outside of the European Union is that Serbia-Montenegro must have the possibility of a stable road to approaching European institutions. "Such progress would have a positive effect on the developments in Kosovo. What is of primary importance is the increasing response to the criteria of a democratic and effective government as well as to the respect of minority rights, which have been set as a precondition by the international community," noted Mr Molyviatis.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] Checks intensify in view of Easter Insecurity Among Consumers

    14 Apr 2005 19:44:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Greek consumers do not feel secure about the quality of food products on the shelves of supermarkets and shops, following the latest revelations regarding beans relabeled as "Greek" while they were imported. A survey by KAPA Research on behalf of Flash radio station showed that 61.3% of consumers do not feel secure with the quality of foods, and 97.6% call for protection from the relevant bodies (stricter legislation, checks and fines on those who break the law". In view of Easter, EFET, in collaboration with other controls authorities has scheduled systematic and intensive checks on all points of mass movement and sale of foods.

    Greek Labelling Profitable

    At the same time, in a statement, the Board reminds consumers that they must be especially careful with their choices, and check the suitability stamps on lamb and goat and the expiry dates on eggs and chocolate eggs.

    The survey by KAPA Research showed that an exceedingly high percentage of consumers (71.3) consider that they pay high prices for poor quality products, while 61.3% say that they are ready to participate in a price boycott.

    In the meantime, significant profits are brought by relabelling products as Greek while they are imported.

    Example The wholesale price of potatoes from Egypt is 45 cents per kilo, while the Greek takes 52. A difference of 7 cents per kilo translates into 700 euros per tonne, which means that some people label the potato as Greek and illegally pocket 700 euros.

    The feeling among Greek consumers is that Greek products are safer (81.5% according to the KAPA Research survey), a feeling which is fully exploited by profiteers.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] By unanimous decision of the High Court Three Justices Struck Off

    14 Apr 2005 16:02:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Three justices have been struck off the judicial body, following a unanimous decision by the disciplinary plenary session of the High Court. First Instance Justices Fotini Keladidou and Leonidas Stathis have been struck off due to unprincipled behaviour which harmed the prestige of Justice, while Athens First Instance Judge Konstantinos Barberis has been dismissed for inadequate service. Mr Barberis was condemned for the fact that for the past two and a half years he had not issued a ruling in 219 cases, although his principles as a judge were not in question, and the judges ruled that his principles were beyond reproach. In the meantime, the case of Apostolos Vavilis and three of his co-defendants regarding the issuing of a false identity card in the name Apostolos Fokas in 2000, has been postponed until 25 October.

    Vavilis Case Postponed

    The court postponed the case until 25 October, in order to determine whether the place of residence declared by Apostolos Vavilis in his empowerment of his lawyer Giannis Vlachos is true and to confirm if it is legal.

    Also facing charges in the case are discharged police Brigadier Ioannis Triantafillakis, Archimandrite Ionas, whose secular name is Georgios Panteleimon Mourtos, and private sector employee Stefanos Bonakis. According to the brief, Vavilis co-defendants are said to have helped him to issue the false identity card at Kapandritiou police station. The document was then used for Vavilis to travel to Jerusalem. The charges in the case regard forgery with complicity, appropriation of false accreditation, false affidavit, harbouring a criminal, false witness and complicity in false certification.

    The court refused to give the adjournment requested by Vavilis lawyer, who cited health reasons on the part of his client. However, the postponement was agreed upon in order for the police to check to see if the residence declared by Vavilis in Volos in the empowerment given to his lawyer is in fact his main place of residence.

    In fact, for the same reason, the case was adjourned for three hours in order for the police to respond, which did not turn out to be possible within the day. Vavilis lawyer told the court of his clients wish to stand trial if circumstances should permit and be present at his trial, as this is not currently possible, given that he is receiving medical treatment abroad for a serious health problem, according to his lawyer.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [10] Expatriate Greeks Pay Homage Final Farewell to Iakovos

    14 Apr 2005 14:18:00 (Last updated: 14 Apr 2005 23:41:58)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Earlier, Expatriate Greeks in America paid their last respects to the former Archbishop of Northern and Southern America. The funeral service took place at Holy Trinity Cathedral of Manhattan, New York. The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Nikos Tsiartsonis represented Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and the Greek Government, while the Opposition was represented by Grigoris Niotis. Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens arrived in New York last night to attend the funeral and was welcomed at the airport by Archbishop Dimitrios of America and many expatriate Greeks. Crowds of the faithful flooded the Cathedral, where Iakovos body was exposed for public veneration.

    The Great Never Die

    Ethnic Greeks in the US bade farewell to the religious leader who had served for 37 years, the former Archbishop of North and South America, Iakovos. The first speaker at the funeral was Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens. The leader of the Church of Greece referred to the late Archbishop, saying that he was "a great and irreplaceable leader of Orthodoxy, a flagbearer of peace and a true Greek patriot, a defender of human rights."

    He paid especial attention to the "struggle to defend the Greek nature and conscience of ethnic expatriate Greeks," noting that "he also fought and worked regardless of which political party ruled Greece."

    Earlier, entering Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Archbishop stated that "the late archbishop was a pastor of the Church, a dynamic leader of Hellenism and expatriate Greeks here in America."

    He expressed the certainty that under the guidance of new Archbishop Dimitrios, the Church of America will continue the tradition of Iakovos.

    Archbishop Grigorios of Great Britain referred to the "values and ideals that characterized Archbishop Iakovos," while Metropolitan Bishop Kirillos of Imvros and Tenedos referred to the late hierarchs place of origin, Agioi Theodori on Imvros, noting that he "he was great, and great people never die."

    The Minister for Macedonia and Thrace, Nikos Tsiartsionis, stressed that Archbishop Iakovos was "a charismatic personality, a fighter for human rights, for freedom and international justice, with spiritual weight, gaining the respect of political leaders."

    He noted that "on the Cyprus and FYROM issues, he always intervened in his own way to defend our national rights."

    PASOK MP Grigoris Niotis underlined the "great contribution of Iakovos to the mobilizations in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus," noting that he "defended the ideals of Orthodoxy and Hellenism with dignity and boldness."

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg mainly spoke about Archbishop Iakovos struggle "for tolerance and co-existence of all peoples in the US."

    He recalled "his bold action in walking with Martin Luther King in Alabama in 1965."

    Following this Democrat Senator Paul Sarbanis spoke, referring to significant milestones in the life and action of the late hierarch, stressing that he was "a symbol of the Greek-American community and fought for great human ideals."

    Finally, Archbishop Dimitrios of America spoke, reading a message from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, which stated that the departed hierarch had international prestige and truly expressed Orthodoxy, honouring the mother Church.

    An honour guard in the Cathedral was a group from the Greek Presidential Guard who participated in the parade last Sunday and remained in New York following a request.

    On Thursday night, the body of the hierarch will be taken to Holy Rood Theological School chapel in Boston, and on Friday morning (local time) he will be buried in the grounds, on the Hill of Hope.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Three charged with bribery Oil for Food Bribes

    14 Apr 2005 21:11:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC, Reuters

    According to the US prosecuting authorities, three people face charges relating to millions of dollars in bribes to Saddam Husseins regime. Those to be in the dock are Texan businessman David Chalmers, British oil trader John Irving and Bulgarian expatriate Ludmil Dionissiev, who lives in the US. In fact, two were arrested on Thursday afternoon, while the US has announced that they will ask for Irving to be extradited. The money given in bribes was intended to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Iraq, as, in accordance with the UN Oil for Food programme, the Hussein government, which was under an embargo, could sell black gold to the international community in exchange for food and medicinal goods.

    Oiling Saddam's Wheels

    The indictment charges that the defendants, who face 62-year sentences, played "a pivotal role" in shaping the prices of oil sold by Iraq based on the UN programme.

    As lawyer David Kelley stated, the defendants transferred the money, which should have been deposited in a UN account to buy humanitarian aid, to accounts of companies and banks designed and controlled by Saddams government.

    Also involved in the scandal is a South Korean citizen, Tongsun Park, who is charged with conspiracy to act in the US as an unregistered Iraqi government agent.

    An independent UN inquiry into the Oil for Food scandal is currently underway and is expected to report in mid-2005. The son of the UN Secretary General, Kojo is also alleged to be involved, although he has not been charged, while recently the committee investigating the case exonerated Kofi Annan.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Annan Comes Clean

    [12] Five candidates for Olympic Airlines No Increase in Tickets

    14 Apr 2005 15:28:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    In their meeting on Thursday, the Ministers of the Economy and Transport agreed on an effort to limit funding so as not to be forced to increase the prices of tickets on urban transport. As regards Olympic Airlines, next week the evaluation of the committed offers made by the five interested buyers for Olympic Airways will be completed so that negotiations may begin.

    Offers Evaluated

    There will be no increases to tickets on urban transport, at least until the end of the year, stated the Minister of Transport and Communications, Michalis Liapis, after his meeting with Mr Alogoskoufis.

    Mr Liapis stated that the issue will be under discussion again at the end of the year, and recalled that government policy aims to encourage citizens to use means of public transport.

    During the meeting, the general works on transport were discussed, and as the Minister for the Economy stated, the use of the transport means has improved, while he added that all the possibilities of reserving funding on transport will be exhausted.

    Finally, regarding Olympic Airways, the two ministers stated that there are five committed offers, that these will be evaluated and that the governments aim is for there to be the best result possible.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [13] Psatha Takes Bronze in Europe

    14 Apr 2005 19:18:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The bronze medal in the 48 kilo category in the European Womens Wrestling Championship, held this year in Verna in Bulgaria, went to Fani Psatha. In the repechage final the Champion in 4th place in 2003 won 6-2 (4-1, 2-1) against Ukrainian athlete Ludmilla Baluska and climbed on the third step on the podium, just as Mirsini Koloni did last year in Sweden in the same category.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [14] At an experimental stage Treatment Brings Hope

    14 Apr 2005 17:04:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The road to treating certain types of hereditary breast cancer has been opened by a new experimental method discovered by British scientists. According to the studies published in British medical journal Nature, the new method of treatment could contribute to an active therapy, with just a few side-effects, of breast cancers which are caused by genetic mutations. As stated by Professor Alan Ashworth, of the Institute of Cancer Research in London, the new method "could be a much more effective and less toxic replacement for chemotherapy," as it takes advantage of a specific deficiency in breast cancer cells. This new approach to cancer treatment, which has not yet been tested on people, but only on mice, could aim directly at cancer cells, with much less side-effects on the body in comparison with the usual chemotherapy.

    Cancer Prone with Gene Mutations

    5-10% of breast and ovary cancers are caused by genetic predisposition, and mutations in the BRCA genes (BReast CAncer) are to blame for 95% of family forms of breast and ovary cancer.

    A woman carrying a mutated BRCA gene runs an eightfold or tenfold risk of developing breast or ovary cancer by the age of 70. However, as scientists stress, 15-40% of these women do not develop breast cancer.

    Normally, these genes play a significant role in repairing DNA damage. Various flaws of these two genes hinder it from its corrective role and cause a tendence to breast cancer.

    The treatment, which has been tried out on mice with cancer cells that contained faulty BCRA2 genes, aims to block to a great extent the correction of the genetic code, in order for the cancer cells to have no other choice but to embark on their own destruction.

    Cancer Cells Die

    The researchers chose to observe the action of an enzyme on the cells in question. The enzyme is also involved in DNA correction and is known as PARP. Hindering the action of PARP, the DNA protected within the cancer cell nucleus is severely affected and cannot correct itself correctly, owing to a BRCA2 deficiency. The experiments on mice showed that the cancer cells die and the development of the cancerous growth declines, while in the case of one rodent, a complete cure was recorded.

    Hereditary forms of breast cancer are generally caused by a hereditary deficiency in one of the two copies (mutations inherited from the mother or the father) of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Throughout life, however, the researchers add, the operational mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 is lost on some cells, allowing new growth to develop. This new approach to cancer treatment, which will soon be tested on women, will aim especially at cancer cells, with very few side effects in comparison with the usual chemotherapy. Breast cancer is the most common malignancy to affect women.

    At least a million cases are recorded every year all over the world, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in France.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [15] French and Italian geneticists have cloned a horse Dolly's "Cousin"

    14 Apr 2005 19:28:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC

    The birth of the second cloned horse was announced by French and Italian geneticists. Its name is Pieraz-Cryozootech-Stallion, a healthy and beautiful brown horse, that will be two months old in 11 days, on 25 April. Its "godfathers" are the French genetics laboratory Cryozootech and the Italian LTR - CIZ.. Young Pierazs feature is that he is a clone of a horse that was castrated, and consequently was unable to reproduce. As the geneticists note, the beautiful horse is the fruit of their research into how far problems such as the inability to reproduce can be overcome through cloning. They note that the experiments will continue with sheep and pigs. As part of this research, the same scientists created the first cloned horse, Prometea, in 2003.

    Clones for Sport

    Pieraz-Cryozootech-Stallion is an exact copy of a legendary race horse, Pieraz, who reached the peak of his performance in 1994 and 1996.

    The supporters of cloning claim that clones could be used in events that use animals, such as horse racing, where frequently the animals are castrated at a young age or face reproduction problems.

    On the other hand, there are many people who express their opposition to the new creation of the geneticists, just as with the notorious cloned sheep, Dolly. In fact, they note that racehorses are rarely castrated, while the top performers are sent to stud farms at the end of their careers.

    In any case, Cryozootech has a bank of genetic material from 30 horses who were stars in jumping and dressage.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [16] UN Initiative Video Game Against Hunger

    14 Apr 2005 16:06:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Each year, more people die of hunger, than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. For this reason, the United Nations released a video game which aims to teach children about global hunger. The game is called Food Force and was developed after an initiative of the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), which fed over 100 million people last year. The video game is aimed at children aged 8 to 13 and is written for PCs and Macs. You can download it for free at

    Crisis Management

    According to Neil Gallagher, WFP's Director of Communications, "children in the developed world don't know what it's like going to bed threatened by starvation" and this is exactly why Food Force was developed.

    The challenge for players is to complete a series of missions, guided by a team of WFP characters. Originally, the player is briefed by a Food Force character on the mission ahead. Then the player has to complete it before proceeding with the next task.

    Depending on the speed and accuracy of decisions, players are awarded respective points. The missions which have to be completed range from dropping food parcels to aiding the rebuilding of a country's economy. At the end of each mission, the players watch a video explaining how the UN's World Food Programme would have handled the situation.

    Children can also compare their scores with other players across the world on the Food Force website. Food Force was developed by Deepend, a computer design studio based in Rome, and game developers Playerthree in London. The video game will be first released in English, but translation into other languages has been planned.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [17] Call the Police, There's a Terrorist Around!

    14 Apr 2005 13:56:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    A German actor sparked a terrorist alert after he forgot to take off his replica gun before leaving the set of his new action movie. Alexander Scheer, 28, was in a hurry to catch a train and forgot he still had the fake gun strapped in a holster under his camouflage suit. The weapon was spotted by a ticket inspector as he clambered on the train home to Hamburg. The frightened conductor immediately called the police who got on the train at the next stop and dragged Scheer off despite his claims to be a famous actor. A spokesman for Deutsche Bahn said the actor was soon allowed to proceed with his journey after his story was checked out. "In a case like that we have to play it safe and the ticket inspector took the correct action," said a railway spokesman.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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