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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-04-19

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Changes are One Way Path
  • [02] Makedonikos Doesn't Stay the Course
  • [03] "Yes" to the European Constitution
  • [04] 2007 Finals at Olympic Stadium
  • [05] What do Greeks Fear?
  • [06] Metropolitan Bishop of Leros Resigned
  • [07] Threat Against Condoleezza Rice
  • [08] Synod at Ecumenical Patriarchy
  • [09] Accidental Arson
  • [10] Parliament Passes EU Constitution
  • [11] "Aim is A United Europe's Progress"
  • [12] Organ Reconstruction Possible
  • [13] Internet for the Blind
  • [14] Extrajudicial Gang Case Continues
  • [15] Exaggerating Trafficking Problems
  • [16] Third Chance for Immigrants

  • [01] Karamanlis speaks at Economist convention Changes are One Way Path

    19 Apr 2005 21:46:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    Speaking this evening at the Economist Convention, the PM noted the important placed by the government on development and structural changes. Kostas Karamanlis stressed that the new situation, and the trends developing in the world make the changes and reforms a one-way path for Greece and European leaders. At the same time, he sent a message to the people of Greece that the most important aim for the government is financial improvement and prosperity for citizens. "Our concern are the citizens, especially those facing difficulties," he stated.

    Mature and Responsible Politics

    With special references and comparative data, even from 1980, Kostas Karamanlis said that the public debt was enormous, today in excess of 110% of the GDP.

    To pay off the interest, in 2004, Greece paid 9.5 billion euros, the same amount as public investment.

    Referring to the deficit, he underlined that it is five times greater than what was said and three times greater than the most extreme estimation made by ND during discussion of the budget in 2004.

    "This is the truth, and this truth means an intensive and multifaceted effort, it means responsible and mature politics," he underlined. Referring to the recent economic measures adopted by the government, he stated: "We took difficult decisions that we would have liked to avoid, and they certainly would never have been needed if past irresponsibility had not been beyond all extreme limits."

    At the same time, he called on political forces and social partners, businessmen and citizens to contribute to the effort to put the state back on its feet.

    Clearly criticizing the attack on the government by vested interests and Media, Kostas Karamanlis underlined that "Greece has no room to waste time, it does not have the right to persist in the preservation served by deception."

    Regarding national issues, he repeated his position on a direct solution of the problem with FYROM, while he called on Turkey to respect the rules and international treaties, noting that its progress towards Europe directly depends on the relations of a good neighbour, as well as its stance against the Republic of Cyprus.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Makedonikos Doesn't Stay the Course

    19 Apr 2005 23:10:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Despite their heroic efforts in the last quarter, makedonikos did not manage to bring the 13th blue and white trophy to Greece, as the team from Kozani was defeated 78-74 in the final of the Uleb Cup, in Charles-le-Roi in Belgium by Lithuanian team Lietuvus Ritas. In their first European appearance, Argiris Pedoulakis team did not manage to fight back their first-time nerves, and from the start they gave the Lithuanians the opportunity to dominate in the rebounds and set their pace, although in the last few minutes their hearts raced at the excellent performance of the Greek team. Besides the Cup, the Lithuanians have also secured their chance to participate in the Euroleague in the next season.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] Voted in by Parliament "Yes" to the European Constitution

    19 Apr 2005 20:58:00 (Last updated: 19 Apr 2005 21:25:11)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The sixth member-state of the EU to have officially accepted the European Constitution is Greece, as of Tuesday afternoon. With 268 votes in favour, 17 against, and 15 abstentions, Parliament has ratified the European Constitutional Treaty. With the announcement of the adoption of the European Constitution, MPs from ND and PASOK rose to their feet to applaud. Immediately following the open vote, the three parties of the Opposition submitted a proposal on holding a referendum. The proposal was signed by 155 PASOK MPs, 12 from KKE, six from SYN as well as independent MPs Andreas Andrianopoulos and Stefanos Manos. The proposal is expected to be discussed immediately after Easter (1 May), while 180 votes are required in order for it to be accepted. The European Constitution has been ratified by the parliaments of Lithuania, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy. In a referendum, Spain voted in favour of the European Constitution, although Parliament still has the final say. In the remaining countries of the EU, there will be referenda, with the first in France on 29 May.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Parliament Passes EU Constitution

    [04] 2007 Finals at Olympic Stadium

    19 Apr 2005 19:39:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    The Olympic Stadium in Athens will host the final of the 2007 Champions League, as officially announced a short while ago by UEFA. The executive committee of the European Federation decided that the renovated Olympic Stadium should host the ultimate stage of Europes greatest inter-club tournament, which means that after 13 years, the lights of international football will once again turn to Athens. The last final hosted in Marousi was in 1997, when Barcelona played Milan, with the latter winning 4-0.

    Paris Celebrates

    In the meantime, in 2006 the final will be held at the Stade de France in Paris, and will be on an anniversary, as the tournament returns to the place where it all started exactly fifty years ago. In 1956, Real Madrid defeated Reims 4-3 in Paris, and in 2006 the winner of the trophy will again be decided in this beautiful city. Since 1956, Paris has hosted the Champions League final another time, in 2000, with Real once again taking the title from Valencia. If in 2006 Real Madrid manages to qualify again to the final, apart from having history on their side, it will be an amazing event.

    UEFA in Eindhoven and Glasgow

    Along with the Champions League, the cities where the finals of the UEFA Cup are to be held have been decided. Philips Stadium in Eindhoven will host the final of the next season, and in fact, as UEFAs statement announces, the name of the stadium will change for the occasion, while in 2007, the final of Europes second cup will be hosted at Hamden Park in Glasgow, the stadium which hosted the 2002 Champions League final.

    "We were Outsiders but We Did it!"

    Shortly after the 2007 Champions League Final was awarded to Greece, the President of the Greek FA, Vasilis Gagatsis stated on a radio station: "We were the outsider, but weve done it. Its a great success both for Greek football and the Greek federation. I believe that UEFA and FIFA trust us to host such events. Weve done a great job. I would like to thank the Minister of Transport Michalis Liapis for his enormous contribution to this effort, the deputy Minister for Sport, Giorgos Orfanos, because he guaranteed the waiving of double taxation requested by UEFA. The Mayor of Athens Dora Bakoyanni, who helped us a great deal, and I would like to thank her publicly. The mayor of Marousi, Mr Tzanikos, the administrators of the Olympic Stadium and Eleftherios Venizelos airport who swiftly signed all the documents requested by UEFA. We hope that in 2008-9 we will have the chance to host the final of the UEFA Cup. Our fist aim was the Champions League, and we all understand how significant this was, with such a great response as this tournament has."

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Study by Kappa Research What do Greeks Fear?

    19 Apr 2005 20:34:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: NET 105.8, NET

    Greeks feel less insecure than other European citizens, according to a survey by Kappa Research. As the study shows, 78% of citizens consider Greece to be a safe country. In comparison with other countries, 41% of interviewees consider Greece safer and 25.6% equally safe. There is also a high degree of trust in the security forces, with the Fire Service coming out on top, trusted by 97%. On the other hand, Greeks are afraid of an economic crisis, earthquakes and Internet exchanges, while the vast majority of those asked considers that the State should make it a priority to stamp out crime and strengthen National Security, as well as to improve road safety.

    Vote of Confidence for Security Forces

    The security forces enjoy a high degree of trust from Greek citizens. According to the study, 97% trust the Fire Service, and this is followed by the Army with 80%, the Police with 66.4% and Civil Protection with 61.7%.

    So-called petty crime, theft and burglary continue to concern society. One in three families state that a member has been a victim of criminal activity, while one in four citizens consider it a strong possibility that they will become victims of theft or burglary. At the same time, one in two say they are very little or not at all safe walking on city streets.

    The fears of Greek citizens are also recorded in the study. 56% of citizens consider it highly likely for a serious economic crisis to occur in the next 12 months, while 28% of interviewees fear a great, disastrous earthquake during the same time period.

    At the same time, Greeks have no confidence in insurance companies, health control services and the Internet, which they do not consider reliable for financial business.

    The study by Kappa Research was conducted on 15-16 April on a sample of 609 people and presented on Tuesday during a convention on matters of security.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] Nektarios and Eirinaios crisis in Fanari Metropolitan Bishop of Leros Resigned

    19 Apr 2005 19:24:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Today, the first day of the Ecumenical Synod, has closed with the resignation of Metropolitan Bishop Nektarios of Kalymnos and Astypalaia and with the decision that the Ecumenical Patriarch would become actively involved in the crisis of the Patriarchy of Jerusalem. The resignation of Metropolitan Bishop Nektarios was accepted by the Synod and will come into force after 3 May. The resignation, along with the way in which the Ecumenical Patriarchy is to intervene in the crisis in Jerusalem, are to be officially announced tomorrow (Wednesday).

    Intervention in Crisis in Jerusalem

    According to information, the question of sending a delegation to Jerusalem has not been ruled out, given that the information arriving in Fanari is contradictory. On the one hand, there is the letter sent by hierarchs from the Patriarchy to Fanari, in which they ask for the Synod to convene, and on the other hand, over the telephone to Patriarch Bartholomew, Patriarch Eirinaios paints an entirely different picture.

    Earlier today, Patriarch Bartholomew was briefed on the situation in Jerusalem by Archbishop Theofanis of Gerason and an archimandrite, who visited Fanari.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Anonymous bomb threat Threat Against Condoleezza Rice

    19 Apr 2005 18:26:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: Reuters, BBC

    A "warm" welcome awaited the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Russia. An anonymous phonecall was made to a Moscow hotel where the Secretary was to have gone, warning of two bombs, one in the hotel and one in a nearby street. The Russian authorities sounded the alarm and the hotel was thoroughly searched, while Ms Rice was forced to change the schedule of her visit and traveled to the residence of the US Ambassador to Moscow. After a two-hour delay, the Secretary returned to the hotel, as the Russian authorities confirmed that there was no danger. During the 24-hour visit, the US Secretary will meet with Russian officials, and try to create political and economic relations that will satisfy both sides. As she stated during her journey, despite the many problems faced by the Russian Federation, the country does not seem to be returning to its totalitarian past. After Moscow, Ms Rice will travel to Lithuania, where she will take part in a NATO Foreign Minister Summit.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] Delegation likely to be sent to Jerusalem Synod at Ecumenical Patriarchy

    19 Apr 2005 17:00:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The issues of Jerusalem and of the Metropolitan Bishops of Kalymnos and Astypalaia, Leros and Nektarios were today discussed by the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchy in Fanari. Regarding the matter of Archbishop Eirinaios of Jerusalem, the question of sending a delegation to Jerusalem has not been ruled out, given that the information arriving in Fanari is contradictory. On the one hand, there is the letter sent by hierarchs from the Patriarchy to Fanari, in which they ask for the Synod to convene, and on the other hand, over the telephone to Patriarch Bartholomew, Patriarch Eirinaios paints an entirely different picture. Regarding Metropolutan Bishop Nektarios, in the report compiled for the Patriarchy, it states that it has become exceedingly difficult for him to remain in the Metropolitan diocese, owing to his poor relations with the local community. The Ecumenical Synod will continue tomorrow.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] Woman Confessed Over Paris Tragedy Accidental Arson

    19 Apr 2005 11:56:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A woman has confessed that she was responsible over the fire in the Paris Opera Hotel, where 22 people lost their lives, among them 11 children, African immigrants in their majority, while another 27 are still hospitalized. The young woman, who was arrested yesterday and held in custody, confessed that she is responsible over the fire, as the police Chief Pierre Mutz stated, while making clear that this was an accident. The 30-year-old woman is the girlfriend of a night guard of the hotel, who is also among the injured.

    The Paris Opera Hotel offered board to 79 homeless, in their majority African immigrants, and it held a permit for the board of 61. The fire turned the spotlight on the living conditions of the immigrants, which was condemned by the French Press and the rights to shelter unions.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Woman Suspect Over Deadly Fire

    Tragedy in Paris Centre

    [10] With a Nominative Vote Parliament Passes EU Constitution

    19 Apr 2005 16:17:00

    By Anna Kourti

    A special meeting for the ratification of the treaty for the European Constitution will take place today in Parliament with a nominative vote. For its adoption an overwhelming majority of the body is required, which is 151 votes. ND and PASOK support it, while KKE and SYN will vote against the treaty. The opposition parties will submit a proposal for a referendum. On Tuesday morning, Alekos Alavanos accused the President of the EU Commission Jose Barroso "forgot" to meet with SYN and KKE, because as he said "they oppose the EU Constitution."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Barroso Gives Top Marks to Greece

    [11] Papandreou Speaks at ECONOMIST Conference "Aim is A United Europe's Progress"

    19 Apr 2005 16:04:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: NET- ANA

    Giorgos Papandreou spoke at the ECONOMIST Conference about the development of Europe, the EU Constitution and the growth of its member states. The President of PASOK noted that solidarity, a thorough examination of the institutions and values constitute a condition for the progress of a united Europe. "The ghost of Euroskepticism wanders around Europe and the political leaders should not pour oil on burning water," said Mr Papandreou. However, he stated that the EU is a lighthouse where no Euroskepticism is noticed in our area, but on the other hand the countries of our area are optimistic. He also supported a common and acceptable solution to the FYROM name issue, while he evaluated that Cyprus accession in the EU will help resolve the Cypriot issue. In relation to the Turkish provocations in the Aegean, he underlined that they do not correspond to the values and conditions for the European prospect of the neighboring country. In his speech, SEV President, Odisseas Kiriakopoulos underlined the need for flexibility and changes in the employment market and noted that structural reforms in economy, with emphasis on the reinforcement of competitiveness and business opportunities should take place.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Barrosos' Message to FYROM and Turkey

    [12] Successful experiments on animals Organ Reconstruction Possible

    19 Apr 2005 15:59:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    New hopes of extending the lives of patients with kidney diseases come from a technique that Australian researchers announced that they have perfected. This technique will allow the reconstruction of inner human organs. As the scientists from the University of Queensland stress, this process, the first in the world to be used, uses the abdomen as a kind of "bio-reactor" in order to grow organs or veins from cells taken from bone marrow. They have already created new tissues in the abdomens of rats and dogs, which they later used to replace diseased tissues, with no danger of infection or rejection.

    Flexible Tissues Restructurable

    Clinical trials of this method are soon to be carried out by researchers Julie and Gordon Campbell. Julie Campbell, of the Biomedical Sciences School, stressed that this technique uses the natural reaction of the bodys defence against a foreign body, an infection. The scientist clarifies that the process takes two or three weeks, during which time the foreign body, around which the healthy cells from the bone marrow collect, retracts, and the tissues regrow. "The type of organ that could regenerate is a kidney, a heart or a brain, but also flexible tissues, such as arteries, veins, a womb or a bladder. It is a bit like a grain of sand that goes inside an oyster. The cells that grow are like the pearl that forms around the grain of sand," stated the researcher.

    Especially Useful for Blood Cleaning

    Medical circles hailed the research, noting that the method could give new hope to replacing blocked blood vessels, or vessels which have suffered damage, while it could also prove useful for people who suffer from kidney diseases and need to cleanse the blood. Especially in the latter case, patients blood vessels are harmed by needles after a long period of treatment. In fact, according to statistical data, almost 920,000 patients around the world undergo blood cleansing, and this number increases 7%-9% annually. In Greece, there are over 7000 such patients. The increase in their numbers is mainly due to the increase in cases of diabetes, which is the main cause of kidney failure.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [13] Aspiring Program Internet for the Blind

    19 Apr 2005 13:18:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC

    The Internet opens the information doors up wide, but unfortunately does not allow many other people to do the same. Targeted at the minimization of digital seclusion, Queens University in Belfast, Ireland, is starting a program aimed at vision-impaired people. The program is a part of the Enabled initiative and is funded with 3.8 million euros from the EU, while 13 other bodies from around Europe will also take part. Professor Alan Marshall is the Head of the program and states that he will undertake trials with groups of blind people in order for them fully use the Internet. According to the Professor "researchers from the Virtual Engineering Centre would be joining forces with the Sonic Arts Research Centre to work on the projects." Special computers will also be manufactured, which will include touch screens and will accept directions by sound. In Mr Marshalls plan are also mobile devices that will function as sound guides for the blind users.

    Guide Devices

    According to Mr Marshall, the mobile devices will guide the blind in public areas i.e., a shopping centre, as they will receive data from other devices placed in the areas.

    The trials will be taken out in Belfast from Queens University, with the cooperation of 13 other universities and bodies around Europe as well as in conjunction with the Blind Centre for Northern Ireland and the Royal National Institute of the Blind. The companies of BT and Siemens will also take part in the program.

    As Mr Marshall states, the aim is for the blind and vision impaired people to fully use the capabilities of the Internet, accessing information, communicating with friends or relatives, making online purchases, paying bills through the Internet, or even attending courses. The Professor states that if the problem of access for the specific part of the population is not solved, then digital seclusion will grow.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    Queen's University, Belfast

    The Blind Centre for Northern Ireland

    [14] Athanasopoulos before Sanidas Extrajudicial Gang Case Continues

    19 Apr 2005 19:17:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    Today deputy Appeals Court Public Prosecutor Nikos Athanasopoulos testified before the Public Prosecutor of the High Court Giorgos Sanidas in the case of the extrajudicial gang. Mr Athanasopoulos testified as a suspect in dereliction of duty and participating in a gang. The Appeals Court Prosecutor is alleged to have served the interests of detained archimandrite Iakovos Giosakis. At the same time, First Instance justice Aspasia Basta requested and received an adjournment in order for her to testify next Friday, 22 April. The Justice will testify as a suspect in dereliction of duty.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Three Justices Struck Off

    [15] Accusations from Ministry of Health Exaggerating Trafficking Problems

    19 Apr 2005 18:09:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Shock and concern arise with the accusations from the Minister of Health Nikitas Kaklamanis and the secretary of the Ministry Gianna Despotopoulou, regarding the operations of certain non-governmental organisations. Whilst Nikitas Kaklamanis admitted that trafficking is a real problem in Greece, he stated "some people exaggerate the situation in order to get more funding from the EU and the Foreign Ministry." As the Minister of Health explained, at the present time there are only 13 women, who are victims of exploitation, staying at five guest houses. This small number does not correspond to the situation as described.

    Over Supplying is Open Sore

    "I appreciate that there are more cases than those stated. However, we are obliged to determine policy based on official, recorded data," added the Minister.

    At the same time, he referred to the great open sore, as he described it, of over-supplying that afflicts the health system.

    He stressed that the checks that took place showed that certain hospitals are supplied with exaggerated amounts of consumable materials, which are frequently left unused, as they are past their expiry date.

    Regarding psychiatric reform, he announced that the sector will be reinforced with further funding, reaching 21 million euros.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [16] By the Interior Ministry Bill Third Chance for Immigrants

    19 Apr 2005 16:41:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The bill of the Interior Ministry, which was approved by the Government Committee, will bring forth important changes to immigration policy, and will be immediately submitted after Easter in Parliament, while it will be implemented from 1.1.2006. The bill foresees a single 5-year residence and employment permit to immigrants legally residing in Greece, while it will explain the reasons that a non-EU immigrant will be able to reside in Greece. The European directives for the reunification of immigrants with other family members, is also incorporated in the bill as well as long term residents. Also, an Administration for immigrants will be established in the capital of every Prefecture, while the Administrations will double in Athens and Thessalonica. A system of immigrants records will be also established, as will a Committee on Immigration by the Ministries of Interior and Public Order.

    Protection and Exercise of Rights

    The process, which the immigrants will follow to acquire a residence permit will be the following: they will visit the Prefecture and ask for an approval of the residency permit. The Prefecture will investigate the matter through the Committee and if it approves the immigrants demand, through the Interior Ministry, will receive a document from the Government Gazette with a record number, which will be used in the Ministries services. It is noted, that before the Prefectures investigation, the Consulate Authorities of the immigrants country of descent will also make another check. Minister of Interior, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, during a common Press interview with Minister of Public Order, Giorgos Voulgarakis in Zappeion Megaron, stated that the bill guarantees the protection of the immigrants, their free exercise of rights and at the same time gives the authorities flexibility over the enforcement of the rules.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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