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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-04-27

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] A Giant in the Skies
  • [02] Greek Easter Egg Tradition
  • [03] Railway Tragedy
  • [04] Focus on Greek Turkish Relations
  • [05] John Howard's Contacts in Athens
  • [06] Case of Meningitis in Kindergarten
  • [07] Emergency Traffic Measures
  • [08] Death Toll Is Increasing
  • [09] SYN-GSEE Discuss Social Security

  • [01] Maiden flight for world's largest plane A Giant in the Skies

    27 Apr 2005 11:59:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC, Reuters

    The Airbus A380 is ready to conquer the skies, having started today (Wednesday) on its maiden flight from Toulouse. The 6-member crew will take the "giant of the skies" over the Bay of Biscay and then return to the Airbus base after between one and five hours, according to the speed the aircraft will build up and the weather conditions. Wednesdays flight inaugurates the start of a year of trials before the A380 can start carrying passengers in 2006, initially for Singapore Airlines. One year later, in April 2007, it will be used for the first time by a European company, AirFrance KLM.

    Competition Wing

    The successful take-off, at 11:29 Greek time, was watched by 50,000 spectators. "We are confident with what has been done up to today," said Airbus test pilot Jacques Rosay to the British network BBC. He concluded: "But we still have some doubts. We have to be very careful during all the flight because, as you say, when you are looking at new things, something may happen."

    During the flight, the aircraft will be monitored via satellite by a team of experts. The crew is wearing parachutes, while there is a special emergency exit leading out of the cockpit.

    The A380, which has a wingspan of 79.8 metres, 73 metres long, can carry more than 800 passengers. Among the comforts it offers are sleeping cabins, rooms for the crew to relax, conference rooms, a gym, a bar and a cr&#232;che, while it uses 13% less fuel in comparison with other large aeroplanes currently on the market. Its total cost reached 12.4 billion euros, exceeding the budget by 1.5 billion.

    The construction and successful take-off, described by many as a great European success, is expected to intensify Airbus competition with Boeing.

    Eleven aircraft companies have already paid deposits for more than 100 A380s, each of which costs 285 million dollars, while Airbus hopes that in the near future there will be greater demand for large aircraft, which will reduce the cost of tickets for flights to popular destinations.

    Boeing is investing in developing the 7E7 Dreamliner plans. This is due to come into circulation in 2008, and Boeing hopes that the future of air travel will be in small aircraft, directly connecting airports.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Greek Easter Egg Tradition

    27 Apr 2005 11:00:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The preparations for the Greek Orthodox Easter are already underway, and according to tradition, the Easter eggs, which will be cracked among friends and relatives after the Holy Resurrection on Easter Saturday, are dyed on Maundy Thursday. You will find useful advice and tips on how to dye your eggs, as well as ideas on how to decorate them, thus impressing everyone at Easter. However, since this is an age-old tradition, we will also provide a brief history, as well as ways to make the most of any leftover eggs. First and foremost, though, it is worth mentioning the nutritional value of eggs, erasing any misconceptions for the food that is accused of creating cholesterol. Eggs contain vitamins (A, B and E), minerals (iron, calcium and iodine) and trace elements (phosphorus, zinc and selenium).

    A Little Bit of History

    The tradition of dyed eggs can be traced back to 5th century China and 10th century Egypt. Furthermore, Christians and Muslims used them around the 17th century in Mesopotamia and Syria and later on in Persia and the Aimos Peninsula.

    Many believe that the red Easter eggs probably originated from the ancient Persian New Years custom which started out in Egypt and then spread over Europe and Asia.

    According to popular tradition, when the Resurrection of Christ was proclaimed, nobody believed it. A woman who was holding a basket full of eggs cried out, "Can these eggs become red?" And by a miracle, the eggs turned red.

    Tradition has it that the eggs symbolise the start of new life, while the red colour either has its roots in pre-Christian gods of death, or in the blood of Jewish sheep, or in the blood of Christ.

    The accepted Orthodox interpretation attributes the custom to the excess of eggs owing to the Lenten fast and the increase in poultry hatching. The eggs were stored until Easter and given to the children either on March 1, or at Easter.


    First task is to choose fresh eggs. You cant determine the age of an egg just by looking at it. To make sure they are fresh, fill a glass with water and add a pinch of salt. If the egg floats, then it is not fresh.

    Dyeing requires a specific process. Its best to choose white eggs, without any blemishes or cracks.

    Take them out of the fridge 24 hours before dyeing, so they will be room temperature when boiled. They must also be thoroughly washed, to remove all dirt and feathers.

    To avoid breaking, dip them in lukewarm water before boiling, in order to further reduce the temperature difference. You can also put a metal spoon in the pot while boiling. The metal protruding from the pot absorbs the extra heat, reducing the possibility of cracking.

    Tasteful Decorations

    In the olden days, vatrzi, a type of red wood, was used to dye the eggs. Today, food dyes have made things simpler. In order to dye your eggs, you will need to use an old pot and fill it with water (approximately two and a half litres). As soon as the water comes to the boil, empty the contents of two sachets of dye (for 50 eggs) and add half a cup of vinegar.

    Carefully place as many eggs as you can fit in the pot, to cover the bottom, making sure that they are completely immersed in the water. Turn down the heat, so that they dont break. When they are hardboiled, remove them from the pot using a straining ladle and leave to dry on a level surface. The last step is shining the eggs. Wipe them, using a soft piece of cloth and a bit of olive oil.

    If you wish to dye eggs the old way, you can make natural prints. Choose leaves and flowers and place them on the eggs. Then wrap the eggs in old socks and secure them with thread. Dip the eggs in cold water dye and voila: You will have eggs with shapes of leaves and flowers on them.

    If red is not your favourite colour, or if you want to break tradition, then you can opt for a more ecological solution. You can use onions peels (light brown), parsley (green), saffron (red) and violets (purple). In this case cover the eggs with one of the above and wrap them in tulle or an old sock, following the same process as with natural prints.

    You can also enlist the help of the kids, who can paint the eggs with non-toxic colours. In addition, you can even tie little bows or decorate the eggs with dried flowers.

    After the Feast

    After Easter, most homes have a surplus of leftover red eggs. Here are some tips on how to use them.

    Boiled eggs can be kept the fridge for up to a week, even if they have been cracked. You can make a cold egg salad, by adding salt, pepper, oregano and a bit of olive oil or even some type of dressing.

    You can also use them in pies or meatloaf.

    A more culinary option is to serve them as an hors doeuvre, cut in slices over toasted bread. You can also add a bit of caviar and decorate them with finely chopped onion or a thin slice of lemon.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Tasty and Safe Easter

    [03] Fears Death Toll May Exceed 50 Railway Tragedy

    27 Apr 2005 07:26:00 (Last updated: 27 Apr 2005 12:54:16)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters

    A train rammed into a bus at a level-crossing in Sri Lanka on Wednesday. According to the authorities, the tragic death toll is expected to exceed 50, while at least another 40 people have been injured. As per the officials, the crash was the due to the negligence of the bus driver, who ignored the safety barriers. "The train hit the centre of the bus and dragged it for about 500 metres on the track before it could be halted," said a police official, who added that the bus started to burn under the impact of the collision.

    Severe Collision

    Thirty-three bodies have been recovered from the wreckage so far.

    The crash took place in the town Polgahawela, about 60 km northeast of the capital. The train was bound for the hill capital Kandy from Colombo, while the bus was headed towards Colombo.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Spiliotopoulos meets with Crouch Focus on Greek Turkish Relations

    27 Apr 2005 00:14:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA

    The Greek Minister of Defence Spilios Spiliotopoulos briefed the Bush administration on Turkish behaviour in the Aegean. Mr Spiliotopoulos met at the White House with the American alternate national security advisor, Jack Crouch. According to Greek sources, the US appeared to know details of the situation and was concerned. The Greek minister concentrated on pointing out that the position of Turkey does not only hinder further improvement in Greek-Turkish relations, but also does not contribute to ensuring stability in the wider region. As he exited the White House, Mr Spiliotopoulos described his meeting with Mr Crouch as "very useful and interesting," stressing that a wide range of issues of concern to Greece were touched upon.

    Need for Cooperation

    Mr Spiliotopoulos stated that the US "thanked us for our participation in peace missions," while he also said that he and Mr Crouch agreed on the need for cooperation for mutual dealing with threats, while he briefed his colleague on the progress of restructuring the Greek Armed Forces. Moreover, the discussed the reinforcement of Greek armed forces with American weaponry systems.

    Following this, the Minister of Defence went to Congress, where he met with Senate Armed Forces Committee member John McCaine, as well as with Greek-American democrat senator and Foreign Affairs Committee Member Paul Sarbanis.

    Tomorrow, the Greek Minister will be received by his American counterpart Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] International Democratic Union Meeting John Howard's Contacts in Athens

    27 Apr 2005 09:42:00 (Last updated: 27 Apr 2005 11:28:12)

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The meeting organised by the of International Democratic Unions Steering Committee commenced today in Zappeio Mansion, Athens. Australias PM John Howard, who is on an official visit to Greece, and Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis are expected to give speeches. At noon, Mr Howard will meet with the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, while later in the afternoon he is scheduled to have a one-to-one talk with Mr Karamanlis. Their discussion will focus on the Greek-Australian relations, as well as other matters of common interest. Yesterday, the Australian PM met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the sidelines of a memorial service marking the 90-year anniversary since the Australian and New Zealand forces (Anzacs) landed in Gallipoli. The two PMs discussed the issue with Cyprus, Turkeys accession into the EU, the problems in the Middle East and measures to combat international terrorism. Mr Howard stressed that both politicians recognized the multiple benefits that will ensue from Turkeys accession to the EU, since it will contribute towards reinstating safety and stability in the area. With regard to Cyprus, they both agreed that a viable solution on the matter is imperative.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Case of Meningitis in Kindergarten

    27 Apr 2005 08:52:00

    Sources: 105.8

    A little boy attending the 2nd Kindergarten of Keratea was affected by meningitis. Today, Deputy Education Minister Giorgos Kalos will visit the pupil, who is being hospitalized in the Infectious Diseases Wing of the Penteli Childrens Hospital. The Regional Dept of Education and the schools administration contacted the parents of all the pupils attending the particular school, so they could take the necessary preventive measures. Meanwhile, the local authorities were also briefed on the situation.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Emergency Traffic Measures

    27 Apr 2005 00:42:00 (Last updated: 27 Apr 2005 11:27:07)

    The Traffic Police will be closely monitoring this years Easter traffic blitz aiming to reduce road accidents. The increased measures will take into account the traffic conditions in each area, as well as the spots where accidents usually take place. The first measure that will be implemented concerns trucks, which will not be allowed to travel on any outbound traffic lanes in Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as on sections of regional roads from 3pm to 9pm on Thursday and Good Friday. This will also apply for inbound lanes on Easter Monday from 3pm to 11pm.

    Special Crews

    Special traffic police crews are on alert from 13 April, and up until 8 May, which will detect any dangerous violations, including speeding, DUIs, illegal overtaking and more. Hellenic Police helicopters will also assist in the effort, while measures will be implemented in train stations, bus depots, seaports and airports.

    Meanwhile, extra flights and shipping routes have been added to facilitate commuters.

    On Wednesday morning, the PM visited the Traffic Unit at the General Police Directorate of Attica and was briefed on the measures that will be implemented in view of the Easter holiday season.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Will Exceed 100 Death Toll Is Increasing

    27 Apr 2005 08:13:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    Hopes of finding survivors in the wreckage 48 hours after a packed commuter train jumped the tracks and crashed into an apartment complex in Osaka, Japan, are fading. The officials are fearing that the death toll may exceed 100. According to the latest reports, 91 people have already been recovered death, as rescue crews extracted 18 bodies from a mangled carriage overnight. The search to locate survivors is continuing, while rescue teams are using equipment to detect heart beats with electromagnetic waves.

    Hopes are Fading

    There is little hope, though, for the dozen or so people still trapped inside another carriage, embedded in the ground-floor car park under the building.

    The Koizumi government, however, which is keen on avoiding any erosion of confidence in a rail system that transports more than 21 billion people a year, pledged to ensure the safety of the countrys railways.

    The accident was the worst for Japan since 1963, when about 160 people were killed in a multiple train collision, and the most serious since Japans rail network was privatised in 1987.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Looking for Survivors in Japan

    [09] Establishing a Fighting Front SYN-GSEE Discuss Social Security

    27 Apr 2005 11:58:00

    Sources: N 105.8

    During his meeting on Wednesday with the GSEE administration, Alekos Alavanos submitted SYNs proposals for social security, mainly concerning how the reserve funds are to be covered, while he also spoke of the public debts to IKA, amounting to 9.2 billion euros. On the other hand, Christos Polyzogopoulos said that a solution is needed now and not in the future. During their meeting, Messrs Alavanos and Polyzogopoulos agreed on reinforcing the collaboration between GSEE and SYN, in order to establish a united fighting front for supporting the social security system.

    Demanding Solutions

    "We cannot accept the fact that IKA will be repaying the Olympic facilities, created by Athens 2004 and many of which are useless now, and not repaying its obligations to employees," noted Mr Alavanos.

    As per SYNs president, the employees have to unite and hold common protests rallies and strikes.

    On the other hand, GSEEs president declared that the Confederation did not present its report on IKA to aggravate the situation, but in order to demand solutions. He further added, "We cannot have safe social cohesion without a safe social security system."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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