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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-04-20

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Window for Main Shareholder
  • [02] 8-Hour Workday Stands
  • [03] Tragedy in Iranian Aircraft
  • [04] The OAKA Fortress Falls
  • [05] Country's Prestige Marred
  • [06] Bishop of Leros Resignation Accepted
  • [07] Problems with Air Travel
  • [08] 28 Pornography Arrests in 2005
  • [09] Berlusconi Resigns
  • [10] Content and Surprise
  • [11] First Step to Withdrawal
  • [12] Changes in Drug Prices
  • [13] Changes in Economy
  • [14] Nature's Arsenal
  • [15] Get Stoned to the Pope's Health
  • [16] Scandal with Albert's Secret Daughter
  • [17] Unconstitutional Work Stoppages

  • [01] Government Asks for Short Extension Window for Main Shareholder

    20 Apr 2005 14:29:00 (Last updated: 20 Apr 2005 20:22:35)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Government is looking into the possibility of extending the implementation of Main Shareholder Act, after a letter by the Commissions Directorate General for Regional Policy. As the letter reads, the compatibility of the PASOK government law, which is still in force, and the new law, which is expected to be implemented as of 14 June, to Community legislation is being questioned. As the Government spokesperson, Theodoros Roussopoulos, underlined, there is time until 31 May, so as to reach a common place between the Economy Ministry agencies and the Commission. PASOKs president G. Papandreou spoke of a disorderly retreat by the Government, while SYN president Alekos Alavanos criticised the Commissions policies, saying, "Mr Barroso left, the side-effects follow."

    Subsidies May Not Be Given

    Through its Commissioner for Regional Policy, Danuta Hubner, the Commission voiced its disagreement for both main shareholder laws and stated that the contracts that have been or are affected by these laws will have problems with Community subsidies.

    As Mr Roussopoulos clarified, there is the eventuality of not granting Community funds to some public works, while the Commissions letter did not respond to the document Internal Affairs Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos had sent to the competent Committee 15 days ago.

    "In no case will the government give up or back down on its fight against corruption and have no doubt about it," underlined the Government spokesperson, leaving the possibility of amending the law or postponing its implementation open.

    "The Government deals with the problem realistically and changes will be made when it is deemed necessary," said Employment Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos.

    "Disorderly Retreat"

    PASOKs President declared that the Government has been forced into a disorderly retreat over the main shareholder issue, while he repeated that it should take initiatives so the matter can be dealt with seriously and on a two-party level.

    George Papandreou also pointed out the imminent danger of losing significant funds for the Greek people and attributed the responsibility over the developments of the main shareholder issue to the Government.

    On the other hand, after harshly criticising Mr Karamanlis of having just now realised the danger of losing subsidies, PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos stressed that if there are problems with the PASOK law, it should be withdrawn.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] Minister of Employment Speaks of Misinformation 8-Hour Workday Stands

    20 Apr 2005 13:13:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    After his meeting with the PM, Minister of Employment, Panos Panagiotopoulos described the rumors of the 8-hour workday being abolished as extreme and unreal. Mr Panagiotopoulos stated that the government will adhere to minimum wage, while it will not change the percentage of dismissals or abolish collective contracts, will not circumvent with employees rights, or advance employment without social security. The Minister spoke of misinformation and noted that the conditions in society support and can advance reforms. He distanced himself from the statements of the President of SEV and said that the government is trying to advance the reforms with the consensus of all the social counterparts for the good of the Greek people.

    Dialogue Over Labour and Insurance

    He also stated that the government took an initiative for a dialogue over the changes that have to be made, in order for the economy to become competitive, for employment positions to be created in Greece and for the government to fight unemployment, which it received at 11.3%.

    Answering to a question over GSEEs reactions, he said that the stance of social counterparts should not be taken for granted, stated that in the coming days the second stage of the dialogue will start and noted that the responsibility of all the counterparts will be judged. "How are we going to face the greatest challenge of the year after the Olympic Games? We will either help the country to strengthen the economy or we will miss the train," he stated.

    Answering to a relative question, Mr Panagiotopoulos stated, "Who said that the people will pay the price?" and noted that the government has foundations in the people that had voted for Andreas Papandreou in 1981, who chose Kostas Karamanlis in 2004, and as he underlined "we do not have the right to betray and disappoint them."

    The Minister of Employment stated that the government ought to advance measures since it found empty accounts and noted, "Every child that is born owes 18,500 and every four-member family 72,000 euros. This is PASOKs legacy."

    He noted that the government supports a dialogue and will not decide and demand. In an observation that PASOKs policy was condemned by the vote of the citizens in the recent elections, he said that it was not a condemning vote as it does not bring cash in and the deficits that PASOK created cannot be covered.

    In another question over the main shareholder, Mr Panagiotopoulos noted that the government is facing the issue with realism and necessary changes will be made where needed. He added that the government does not have a problem with the specific businessmen and called on the business world to help with the development of the country.

    In a question/observation about a possible reshuffle to the position of Minister of State, Mr Panagiotopoulos stated that "I do not leave business unfinished," while commenting on the scenarios about his withdrawal from the Ministry that have been published the last few days, he expressed his thanks to the PM for his support in the political leadership of the Ministry of State.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Tragedy in Iranian Aircraft

    20 Apr 2005 22:50:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters - AP

    An Iranian plane carrying 157 passengers caught fire while landing at Tehrans Mehrabad airport on Wednesday night. According to the countrys public TV, at least 50 people have been killed, but nothing has been confirmed yet. The Saha Airlines craft had just arrived from the tourist island of Kish in the Persian Gulf, while 8 children were onboard.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] The OAKA Fortress Falls

    20 Apr 2005 21:06:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Olympiacos has taken a first step towards qualifying for the final of the Greek Cup in football, by defeating AEK with a score of 1-0 inside the Olympic Stadium, during the first semifinal. The team from Piraeus took an early lead with a goal by Djordjevic, calming them down and making them impose their pace, but only during the first half. In the second half, AEK upped its performance, but came face-to-face with its bad luck. Fernando Santos boys hit the post five times, three of which were during the same effort. As a result they were unable to tie the match, despite trying hard up to the last second. The rematch in Karaiskakis Stadium is expected to be very interesting, since AEK will have to overcome the 1-0 deficit during an away game.

    Olympiacos' Half

    The first Greek Cup semi between AEK and Olympiacos in the Olympic Stadium can easily be split in two halves, and not just time wise, but also based on the two teams performances. During the first half, Olympiacos was evidently playing better than home team AEK. The main reason for this was that the team was playing stress-free after taking control of the game from early on with a goal by Djordjevic. Just in the 8, Olympiacos took the lead, when the team captain caught a kick by Okkas outside the penalty area and beat Chiotis at the nets, despite the great effort by AEKs goalkeeper. From that point onwards, the home team seemed on edge, and was unable to break their opponents defence, neither on the sides nor in the centre, where Cesar was having troubles with Anatolakis pressuring, and Soares with Olympiacos technical offsides. During that time, AEK did not really threaten the other team, since the headers by Soares and Katsoutranis in the 17 and 33 did not seem to bother Nikopolidis. On the other hand, Olympiacos missed a great opportunity in the 45, when Okkas was unable to score from up close.

    AEK's Half

    The break seemed to have benefited the home team, since they came back looking more relaxed and started playing seriously. Olympiacos, on the other hand, having secured the lead and with its main players looking tired, let AEK take control. In the 53, Cesars kick went over Nikopolidis crossbar, while five minutes later it was the moment that marked the game. Malabsa took a free kick, but Katsouranis header hit the post. As the ball bounced back, the same player tried kicking it to the nets, but it ended up hitting the post once again, following a lukewarm save by Nikopolidis. The ball bounced back again and this time it was Cesar who hit the post for the third time.

    Aiming at the Posts

    This was the beginning of a string of bad luck for AEK and Katsouranis. Olympiacos was locked in the defence and was trying hard to keep the score at 1-0, while AEK was completely dominating in the pitch and kept attacking from every corner of the field. In the 84, and following some confusion in front of Olympiacos nets, Katsouranis hit the post for the third time tonight. Finally, in the dying seconds of the match, Ivics free kick ended up hitting the post, marking the fifth missed attempt for AEK.

    Referee: Takidis (Kilkis)

    Yellow Cards: Petkov, Malbasa / Pantos, Anatolakis, Mavrogenidis, Giovanni

    AEK (Fernando Santos): Chiotis, Moras, Alves, Katsouranis, Malbasa, Kyriakidis (30 Kontis), Assunsao, Petkov (57 Krassas), Soares (84 Ivic), Cesar, Lymberopoulos.

    OLYMPIACOS (Dusan Bajevic): Nikopolidis, Anatolakis, Pantos (79 Schurrer), Kostoulas, Georgatos, Stoltidis, Maric, Rivaldo (85 Giovanni), Djordjevic, Okkas (80 Castillo).

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Country's Prestige Marred

    20 Apr 2005 19:51:00

    Sources: NET 105.8 - ANA

    The Government was forced to a disorderly retreat over the main shareholder issue; however, this fact is not making us happy, as it is a blow to the countrys prestige. That was what George Papandreou declared on Wednesday, following PASOKs Political Council meeting. He also urged the Government to take a two-party initiative, aiming at complete transparency that would assist the countrys development. Current political matters, as well as the partys organizational structure following the decision of the recent convention were at the focus of discussions during the Council meeting.

    Public Admin and Olympic Venues

    Furthermore, PASOKs president criticized the governments policies on the area of public administration, stressing that instead of reestablishment, the country is being faced with continuous restorations of a right-wing state of control.

    Mr Papandreou also criticized the utilization of Olympic venues, expressing the fear that the way the government is handling the matter is turning into a crime against the Greek people and their property, while a great opportunity for the new generation is being lost.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Window for Main Shareholder

    Related Links:


    [06] Meetings on How to Intervene in Crisis Bishop of Leros Resignation Accepted

    20 Apr 2005 20:21:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8 - ANA

    The Ecumenical Patriarchates Holy Synod accepted the resignation of the Metropolitan Bishop Nektarios of Leros, Kalymnos and Astypalaia. As per its announcement, the resignation submitted by Metropolitan Bishop Nektarios, who quoted health and age reasons, and which will be effective as of 16 May has been accepted. Furthermore, the Ecumenical Patriarchate praised the work of Mr Nektarios, while it would be making use of his wisdom and experience in the future. The Ecumenical Patriarchates Holy Synod is also expected to clarify the procedure it will be following concerning the crisis that has erupted in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In the meantime, referring to the ecclesiastical crisis during his visit to the Greek Paraplegic Association at noon, Archbishop Christodoulos stressed, "The Church has never kneeled or foundered and moves ahead. I rely on the love of our people and our mission is to stand by everyone and solve any problems that arise together."

    Safe and Orderly Ceremonies

    In the meantime, Patriarch Eirinaios has been in Amman, Jordan since this morning, without, however, having been announced whether he went there following an invitation by the Jordanian government, or on his own initiative.

    Furthermore, today, Israels court will be examining an appeal by Armenians, who are asking that their representative be allowed to enter the Holy Sepulchre during the Holy Light ceremony.

    Earlier, though, the Jerusalem Patriarchate issued an announcement underlining that all religious ceremonies during Orthodox Easter will take place in an orderly and safe manner, as is the case every year.

    Based on all the recent articles that speak of serious incidents taking place during Passion Week, the Patriarchates Press office issued the following announcement:

    "The Patriarch and the brotherhood call on all Orthodox Greeks worldwide to come and celebrate the Great Celebration of our Lords Resurrection, and live through the Holy Light ceremony without any concerns or fears."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Metropolitan Bishop of Leros Resigned

    [07] Civil Aviation Employees on Strike Problems with Air Travel

    20 Apr 2005 20:12:00

    Sources: NET

    Dozens of domestic Olympic Airways, Aegean Airlines and charter flights will be cancelled on Thursday, due to a 24-hour strike by Civil Aviation employees, which will commence at midnight. The workers will go on strike, as they are demanding back payments owed to them from the second half of 2004. However, all international flights, as well as domestic flights to and from the airports Eleftherios Venizelos, Makedonia, Heraklion, Rhodes and Kerkyra will depart as per normal. Passengers who are scheduled to travel on Thursday should contact the airlines to find out about the changes in flights. It should be noted that air traffic controllers will not participate in the strike.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Ongoing Investigations 28 Pornography Arrests in 2005

    20 Apr 2005 17:04:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8 - ANA

    As per the Athens Police, during the first quarter of 2005, the Electronic Crime Unit uncovered 28 Greek Internet users who were participating in international online gangs distributing child pornography material. The criminals were making huge profits by selling the material to Internet users and charging their credit cards. Furthermore, in some cases, in order to buy or lease overseas web pages, they used credit card numbers, which they had obtained illegally and unbeknownst to their owners. The 28 culprits were located in Athens, Thessaloniki, Chania, Mykonos, Larissa and Drama. Out of those, nine were arrested, while legal briefs were drawn up for the other 19. Seven out of the nine who were arrested have been remanded in custody. Finally, apart from child pornography material, some of the detainees were also charged with possession of drugs and guns.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] To Form New Administration Berlusconi Resigns

    20 Apr 2005 16:42:00 (Last updated: 20 Apr 2005 20:38:12)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has officially submitted his resignation to the Italian President, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, following the political crisis that erupted in the country. However, according to presidential sources, Mr Ciampi has not accepted the resignation, but asked Mr Berlusconi to remain as the head of government and finalise all pending matters. As per other sources, Mr Berlusconi will start a series of talks with the leaders of the other political parties, while the President will probably formally accept the resignation tomorrow. Furthermore, the President will probably assign to Mr Berlusconi the responsibility of forming a new administration. On the other hand, the PM made it absolutely clear that all deliberations will have been concluded by Friday morning.

    Accepting the Challenge

    Speaking before the Senate earlier, Berlusconi revealed his plans to form a new administration with the same majority, which resulted from the crisis that has been baffling the Government coalition over the past days.

    "I accept the challenge to form a new administration," he underlined aiming to complete his term in office, which ends in the spring of 2006.

    According to the Italian Constitution, the Italian Prime Minister must resign before making any radical changes to the Government. The Cavaliere, who until recently rejected the eventuality of resigning, was led to this decision, after the UDC party and its four ministers withdrew from the coalition. The National Alliance of Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini also threatened to leave the government. The government crisis erupted when Berlusconi denied proceeding with radical changes after being defeated in the regional elections in the beginning of April.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Mixed Emotions Over New Pope Content and Surprise

    20 Apr 2005 14:33:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The newly elected Pope Benedict XVI officiated in the Mass for the "Ecumenical Church" which started at 10:00 Greek time in the Sistine Chapel with the participation of all conclave Cardinals. The new Pontiff, who spent the night with the Cardinals at St Marta's guesthouse, in Vatican City, arrived at the Apostolic Mansion in a black Mercedes. During his speech in the Sistine Chapel in the presence of the Cardinals who elected him, Pope Benedict XVI stated he is determined to work nonstop for the restoration of unity among all Christians. As for the election itself, it was more than welcomed by the conservative cycles of the Church, while reformers were more than surprised. The ascension of 78-year-old German Cardinal Josef Ratzinger on the papal throne in one of the shortest conclaves for more than a century, is indicative of the Cardinals' will to maintain "continuation" in the policy followed by his predecessor, John Paul II, estimate ecclesiastical cycles in the Vatican. Right after the publication of the election, which was broadcast by media around the world, letters of congratulations started arriving.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Israelis Withdraw Equipment from Gaza Strip First Step to Withdrawal

    20 Apr 2005 13:33:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The first step of the Israelis withdrawal, from the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of the Jewish settlements, has been taken on Wednesday morning. The Israeli Army started withdrawing equipment, while there is a pending decision of the Israeli government for the transfer of the withdrawal programmed for July 20, by three weeks. As the Israeli military spokesperson stated, 30 containers with office furniture, computers and military uniforms will be transferred from the army base in the Jewish settlement Gush Katif to another base, at the borders with Israel. The extension for the withdrawal is expected to be given in order to reassure the Orthodox Jew settlers, that are reacting as the process fall on the same day as a mourning period (July 24-August 14) of the destruction of two Biblical temples. According to the plan of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 21 Jewish settlements will be evacuated from the Gaza Strip and four out of the 120 in the West Bank, land that was conquered during the 1967 war. However, besides the withdrawal from Gaza, Israel has no intention to return the West Bank to the Palestinians, even after a possible future peace treaty.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Due to New Pricing System Changes in Drug Prices

    20 Apr 2005 15:39:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Today, the Ministry of Development made public the Governments proposals for the new pricing system for drugs. The proposals will be publicly discussed and are expected to be implemented as of 1 June. As per Minister Dimitris Sioufas, the new regulations will probably result in a 5 to 7% decrease in the prices of domestically produced drugs, while the so-called "cheap" ones are expected to increase by about 3 euros. According to the new system, the prices of drugs will be set based on their average price in the three cheapest EU countries, the price of drugs with expired patents will decrease by 20% and the price of drugs produced in Greece will be set based on the same terms that apply for the imported ones. Finally, pharmaceutical companies will have to grant discounts to social security funds, which are their main customers.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Alogoskoufis' Speech at Economist Conference Changes in Economy

    20 Apr 2005 16:51:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ANA - NET 105.8 - NET

    Speaking at the Economist conference for the changes in Economy promoted by the Government, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis spoke of reinforcing competitiveness and improving businesses. Mr Alogoskoufis mentioned the viability of social security in the next 10 to 20 years, while he claimed that the system should start being reformed immediately, urging once again the consent of the political and social forces on the matter. Meanwhile, he pointed out the need to encourage private initiatives, while he left hints regarding the privileged relationships of some businessmen with politicians and the Media in the past. Referring to the new development law, he mentioned that it has already attracted 37 investment plans, amounting to 115 million euros.

    Influx of Investments

    In his speech, which referred to the great challenges for Greek Economy, Mr Alogoskoufis talked about six examples that demonstrate the implementation of a new economic policy. He also pointed out that the Ministry is expecting an influx of investments in the context of the new development law.

    Specifically, the Minister referred to the fiscal cleansing and the efforts to cut state expenditures, the reforms in direct taxation, the new investment law, the new privatizations, the successful efforts for quicker absorption of the 3rd CSF and the utilisation of Public property.

    Finally, Mr Alogoskoufis mentioned the collaboration between the public and private sectors, which will boost the countrys development.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] Nature's Arsenal

    20 Apr 2005 16:06:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The beneficial and mainly preventive qualities of many vegetables and plants against cancer are widely known. As per recent American studies on various types of cancers, some of these vegetables and plants have qualities of combating the disease, slowing down the growth of tumours. The study objects of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh were chili peppers and broccoli. They discovered that both vegetables contain substances that proved to be effective inhibitors of the cancer process in low survival rate cancers, such as pancreatic and ovarian. Other scientists in Italy put green tea under the microscope and reported it prevents the development of prostate cancer in men. At the same time, Harvard researchers explain to people with early stage lung cancer that they will survive longer after surgery if they get plenty of sunshine and vitamin D.

    Chili Peppers, Broccoli and Green Tea in the Fight Against Cancer

    The results of the first two studies were presented in the context of the Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, which was held in Anaheim, California.

    The team of the University of Pittsburgh reported that broccoli and red chili peppers may help fight cancer by slowing the growth of cancerous tummour cells. "In our studies, we decided to ascertain the contribution of diet and nutrition to the development of cancer," said Sanjay Srivastava, who led the study.

    The research focused on two types of cancer, ovarian and pancreatic, and tests were performed on isolated cells. In particular, researchers tested capsaicin, which makes peppers hot, against pancreatic cancer cells in a lab dish. The compound caused the cancer cells to self-destruct in a process called apoptosis, while not affecting normal pancreatic cells.

    In the case of broccoli, researchers examined phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a constituent of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, on ovarian cancer cells. PEITC interfered with a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor, which is involved in the growth of ovarian and other cancerous tumors.

    Another scientific group from the University of Parma, Italy, focused on green tea. Compounds found in green tea may prevent the development of prostate cancer in men with a pre-cancerous condition called high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). "The sad truth is that close to 30,000 men will die from prostate cancer in the United States every year and, at present, prevention is the best way to fight it," said Dr. Saverio Bettuzzi.

    Scientists are hoping that these findings can be used as novel chemotherapeutic agents, while they may help explain why people who eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of cancer. Lastly, a Harvard study indicated that plenty of sunshine and vitamin D may help people with early stage lung cancer survive longer after surgery. Patients who had high levels of vitamin D and had surgery in sunny months were more than twice as likely to be alive five years after surgery compared to patients with low levels of vitamin D who had surgery in the winter, the researchers said.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [15] Get Stoned to the Pope's Health

    20 Apr 2005 14:35:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    What if the new Pope Benedict XVI, n&#233; Josef Ratzinger, is notorious for his conservatism and apparently does not approve consuming alcohol. In his hometown, the Bavarian city of Marktl am Inn, beer is abundant and free for the day and in fact to his health. With his election yesterday, his compatriots rushed to his house and celebrated the event with shots in the air. Today, they preferred local pubs and started drinking tonnes of free beer, courtesy of the mayor, to the Pope's health on the occasion of his election. In fact they promised free beer to anyone who will be in the area. Do you think you have the time to come by for a drink or two or three?

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [16] Scandal with Albert's Secret Daughter

    20 Apr 2005 14:52:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    A few days after Prince Rainier of Monaco passed away, the Principality is shocked by a new scandal which is certain to deteriorate the already bad relations of Albert, Caroline and Stephanie. A recent article in the British newspaper Mail on Sunday disclosed that Prince Albert has an illegitimate daughter who is likely to claim her place in the royal family of Monaco. This girl is 13-year-old Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, the fruit of Albert's ephemeral love with an American waitress, Tamara Rotolo, from California.

    Hard Times for Royalty

    A friend of Tamara Rotolo, Bruce McKormak told the story of his friend's relationship with Prince Albert. As per Mr McKormak, Rotolo decided at some point to go on a trip with a friend to cosmopolitan Monaco, without ever imagining that she would meet someone who would change her life forever.

    During a tennis tournament, where prince Albert was present, the heir to the Principality's throne was enchanted by Tamara and sent one of his men to invite her to a party. A couple of weeks later, Tamara was returning to the USA but kept in touch with the prince of her heart.

    However, one day Rainier learnt all about his son's affair and forced him to cut all bridges of communication with Rotolo. In November 1992, seven months after Jazmin Grace Grimaldi was born, Tamara took her case to the court in order for Albert to recognize his daughter.

    The Supreme Court of California called the prince of Monaco to be submitted to a DNA test, but he refused. Still, the couple's relations were always on a good track, since in private conversations Albert has never denied the existence of his daughter. However, as long as his father was alive he couldn't recognize her.

    This is why now, after Rainier's death, it is considered likely that the Prince of Monaco will recognize his daughter, despite the scandal, since it is believed that Rotolo will have future claims over the throne. And this is something that Caroline won't like at all, as her deepest wish is to see her precious son Andreas ascending the throne of the Principality.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [17] D. Linos Issues Warning Unconstitutional Work Stoppages

    20 Apr 2005 15:27:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8 - ΑΝΑ

    In a circular drawn up by Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos and sent to all public prosecutors in Greece, he stressed that work stoppages in courts were illegal and unconstitutional, since they fall under the context of strikes. Today, judicial officers proceeded with a work stoppage from 12 noon to 2pm, while, as announced by the Judges and Prosecutors Union, another work stoppage will take place tomorrow, during the same times. As per Mr Linos, the stoppages are incompatible to the duties of prosecuting officers, while they inconvenience the citizens, whose hearings are postponed, and contribute to further damaging the credibility of the justice system. However, the Supreme Court Prosecutor pointed out that the circular is simply a warning, but many prosecutors believe that disciplinary proceedings may be brought against officers if the 2-hour stoppages continue. The judicial employees decided to proceed with work stoppages, protesting against the mass transfers of officers who have been posted in the same area for a number of years. The transfers will be decided when the Supreme Court Council convenes on 22 and 25 April.

    Three Justices Appear Before G. Sanidas

    At the same time, today, three justices suspected of violating their duties were called to appear before Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas. According to the Supreme Court, they were involved in erasing the name of Iakovos Giosakis from the brief concerning the illegal antiquities case in Kythira, and as a result, no criminal proceedings were brought against him. The three justices are: Deputy Prosecutor of Appeals Antonis Mytas, First Instance President Giorgos Kribas and Piraeus First Instance Judge Maroulio Daviou. Furthermore, the latter was also called to testify as she is suspected of abuse of administrative authority.

    Finally, according to sources, after Easter more criminal proceedings are expected to be brought against judicial officers involved in the extrajudicial circuit.

    Justice is Independent

    Speaking from Thessaloniki, Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras referred to the area of Justice, stressing, "The Government reacted immediately, in order to protect Greek judges," while he spoke of the "few dishonest" ones who mar the Justice sector.

    With regard to the officers request that no mass transfers of judges and prosecutors take place, he noted that a law-making committee has been formed and its conclusions will then be assessed by the political leadership, while the Government will be responsible for any initiatives that have to be taken.

    Answering to a relevant question as to why no Athens judges will be transferred, he declared, "The relevant bodies will have to answer why this distinction is being made."

    "Justice is self-governing and independent; I am neither a judge nor a adjudicator. I can only intervene in legislative initiatives and the Government will intervene if it feels it should change the system or partly change some sectors," mentioned the Minister.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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