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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] In View of Easter Exodus
  • [02] Changes to Main Shareholder
  • [03] Out of Breath to Qualify
  • [04] Putin Initiative Over Middle East
  • [05] 500-Thousand-Euro Fine on FAGE
  • [06] Explosion Causes Injuries
  • [07] Woman MP Assassinated
  • [08] Vote of Confidence in Lebanese Government
  • [09] Thousands of Israelis Stand by Settlers
  • [10] Total Advantage for Panathinaikos
  • [11] Aris Set Xanthi on Fire
  • [12] Suffocation by Air Travel
  • [13] Religion via Satellite
  • [14] Hercules Junior
  • [15] Eight-Month-Old Voter!
  • [16] A Poet's Nest

  • [01] Emergency traffic measures In View of Easter Exodus

    27 Apr 2005 16:37:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Traffic police are at the ready to facilitate Easter holidaymakers. The exodus is expected to start in good weather tomorrow, which is when the emergency measures on motorways will come into force and lorries carrying over 1.5 tonnes will be forbidden to travel. Extra ferries and aeroplanes have been added to schedules. In fact, this year, traffic at Athens Eleftherios Venizelos airport is expected to see an increase of 5.4% in comparison with last year. Tickets have been sold out for many popular destinations, while in some cases holidaymakers are unable to find return tickets. This morning, PM Kostas Karamanlis visited the Attica Police Headquarters (GADA) and was briefed on all the measures to be taken in view of the Easter exodus.

    No More Lives Lost on the Tarmac

    The Prime Minister had the chance to see the Traffic Management Centre, which is again operational after the Olympic Games, and in his message, which concentrates on "no more lives lost on the tarmac," he asked drivers to take personal responsibility for reducing traffic accidents.

    Special teams of traffic police have been put on the alert from 23 April to 8 May. They will control especially dangerous Highway Code violations, such as excessive speed, driving under the influence of alcohol, irregular overtaking, and so forth.

    The special police teams will also be assisted by Greek police helicopters, while the measures will be implemented at all points of mass passenger traffic, such as airports, ports, stations and so on.

    On motorways heading out of Athens and Thessalonica, as well as on parts of the regional road network, lorries are forbidden from circulating from 3pm until 9pm on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The same applies to the return day, which means Easter Monday, on the inbound lanes on the same roads, from 3pm to 11pm.

    There is an increase in traffic at ports, as for today (Holy Wednesday) 27 ships are scheduled to leave from the port of Piraeus. In any case, from last Saturday until Holy Tuesday evening, about 85,000 travellers departed from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina.

    There is also an increase in passenger traffic on trains. 10% extra carriages have been planned from Athens to Northern Greece, with 15% extra for the Peloponnese, while 200 extra coaches will depart on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

    Reports so far indicate that this years exodus, which is expected to peak on Maundy Thursday, is greater than last year, as there are many people traveling by train and coach, as well as a large number of people on the motorways. The good weather has also contributed to this.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Commission requests of the government Changes to Main Shareholder

    27 Apr 2005 15:00:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Commission has requested the government to make changes to law 3310/2005 on the Main Shareholder, which bans businesses connected with Greek Media enterprises from taking part in the process of competing for public contracts. According to the official announcement, the European Commission considers that the law in question is in violation of EU guidelines on public contracts and the principle of equal standing for competitors, as well as the exercise of almost all basic freedoms recognised in the Treaty of European Communities. If the response given by the government within the next three weeks, the time allotted, is not satisfactory, the Commission could refer Greece to the European Court.

    Constitution Not Called into Question

    When asked, Oliver Drewes, the spokesperson for Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, stated that the Commission also had reservations about the previous law, voted in by the PASOK government. He added that the Commission does not wish to take positions in the political clashes in Greece on the matter.

    In the letter, the compatibility of the Greek Constitution with EU law is not called into question, as the disputed article 14 is not in doubt.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] Out of Breath to Qualify

    27 Apr 2005 21:38:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Olympiacos was the great winner of a breathtaking second semifinal against AEK in the Karaiskakis Stadium. Lymberopoulos opened the score in the 43 for AEK and although Olympiacos tried hard to tie the match, they did not make it during the regular period and the outcome had to be finalized in extra time. There, the guests were betrayed by their best line throughout the ninety minutes, as in the seventh minute of extra time, Morras scored an own goal in an effort to sent the ball away. Okkas formed the final 2-1 in the 117. On May 21 in Patras, Olympiacos will play versus Aris, who took Xanthi by surprise earlier today and prevailed with 2-0.

    Determined Olympiacos

    Olympiacos started showing their teeth from the very beginning and even had a scoring chance in the 6' when Michailidis saved Giovanni's kick. One minute later, they had every right to protest for a penalty, after Georgeas threw himself on Rivaldo, but referee Karatzas continued the match. The pace surely determined the importance of the game, as both AEK and Olympiacos were after a goal and made many attempts to achieve their aim. The home team did not have luck on their side in the 35' when Georgatos' goal was offside and never counted.

    Cold Shower!

    The match was still open, when AEK scored in the 43'. Katsouranis came outside Nikopolidis' area and smartly passed the ball to Lymberopoulos, who prevailed over Olympiacos' goalkeeper and tied the result of the first match. Now AEK was one step closer to qualifying. Although the home team tried to answer back, Rivaldo's free kick was blocked.

    Anxiety and Despair

    In the rerun, Bajevic had to substitute Mavrogenidis with Okkas and Olympiacos were once again after a goal that would loosen them up. However, that goal never came as Fernando Santos had taught his players well. With a reinforced defence line and exceptional coverage, AEK forced their opponents to a centre-play as the latter could not find their way to the post. It is worth saying that from the 56' onwards AEK were playing with 10 players as Julio Cesar was sent off for marking Stoltidis. So, despite having possession of the ball and being superior in numbers, Olympiacos did not manage to threaten Michailidis' goalpost. As the time went by, anxiety and tiredness grew bigger, qualification seemed to be sleeping from Olympiacos' hands and extra time was becoming a certainty. In the 90' Velic and Santos were sent off for complaining to the referee, but nothing else changed and the match would be determined in the extra time.

    Tragic Irony

    Things remained the same in the first minutes of the extra time. However, luck smiled to the home team after all and turned its back on AEK. In the 97' Castillo made an amazing attempt in the area and in an effort to send the ball away, Morras scored an own goal and tied to 1-1, thus giving qualification to Olympiacos. Santos' directions via Lymberopoulos were not enough to make the change and the only thing that actually changed was the score, which Okkas formed in the 117' at 2-1.

    Referee: Karatzas (Evia)

    Red Cards: 56' Julio Cesar Yellow Cards: Castillo, Djordjevic, Ivic, Petkov, Georgeas, Soares, Alves, Assunsao

    OLYMPIACOS: Nikopolidis, Mavrogenidis (46' Okkas), Pantos, Kostoulas, Anatolakis, Stoltidis, Maric (60' Castillo), Georgatos, Djordjevic, Rivaldo, Giovanni (115' Taralidis)

    AEK: Michailidis, Kontis (105' Konstantinidis), Georgeas, Morras, Lymberopoulos, Soares, Alves, Ivic (105' Krassas), Petkov, Katsouranis (66' Assunsao), Julio Cesar

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Putin Visit to Cairo Putin Initiative Over Middle East

    27 Apr 2005 18:15:00 (Last updated: 27 Apr 2005 21:03:19)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The Palestinian Authority positively accepted Russian President Vladimir Putins proposal for a Middle East peace summit in Russia. During his visit to Cairo, where he met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the Russian President proposed to hold an international conference in Moscow this fall for peace in the Middle East, with the participation of "the quartet as well as all countries concerned," stressing that the "international conference which we are proposing stems from the need to regenerate the peace process." Mr Putin clarified that he will discuss the proposal with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during his visit to Israel, which is also scheduled for today. In the joint Press conference with president Hosni Mubarak, Mr Putin underlined the need for strict implementation of the agreements made at Sharm el-Sheikh" on February 8 between Palestinians and Israelis, which mainly concern ceasefire, the liberation of five Palestinian cities occupied by Israel and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

    Mixed Emotions

    The Palestinian Authority welcomed the conference proposal, saying it would help prepare for the final status negotiations following a ceasefire agreement and Israeli withdrawals from Gaza and the West Bank. "We support the proposal totally," Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Shaath told Reuters.

    In the meantime, Israeli sources said "we are very wary but not against it in principle." The official said Israel was committed to the road map, which envisages a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will meet with President Putin tomorrow. "We are expecting to hear the proposal from Mr Putin himself," stressed the Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mark Regev.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] For the 750,000 Moldy Yogurts 500-Thousand-Euro Fine on FAGE

    27 Apr 2005 17:26:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A 500,0000-euro fine was imposed on FAGE for the 750,000 moldy yogurts case. The fine was imposed by the Ministry of Development, after accepting EFET's appeal. According to the relevant announcement issued by the Development Ministry, the reasons for which EFET referred the case to the Ministry imposing the already mentioned fine on the company were the following:

    The company did not proceed with an immediate announcement informing consumers of the problem. It did not immediately inform EFET, as it was forced to do by law. It delayed providing a written answer to EFET's documents. Despite reassurances by FAGE that the problem had been solved, the problem continued to exist. FAGE did not withdraw the entire problematic batch, thus letting a large quantity out on the market.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Causes under investigation Explosion Causes Injuries

    27 Apr 2005 16:05:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    Two people were injured in the explosion, of which the cause has not yet been identified, in an ink-producing workshop on the corner of Kyprou and Ypsilantou Streets in Aghios Dimitrios. According to initial information, the explosion occurred during the working day, which resulted in the employees being injured. Police, firemen and explosives experts have rushed to the scene, while an investigation has started to find the cause of the explosion.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Assassination of a member of the new government Woman MP Assassinated

    27 Apr 2005 17:19:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA, BBC

    An Iraqi woman MP, Lamia Abed Khadouri fell dead on the threshold of her home today, killed in cold blood. According to information from the Ministry of the Interior, armed assailants knocked at the door of the MP, and as soon as she opened it, they killed her. The attack took place at 15:30 (14:30 Greek time) in the Bonuk district, east of Baghdad. The killers managed to escape, following the attack. This is the first assassination of a member of Parliament, which was elected on 30 January. The MP belonged the coalition of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who on 20 April was the subject of an unsuccessful assassination attempt by a suicide bomber. Two policemen were killed in that attack. The attack on Khadouri was made after American General Richard Myers warned that the insurgents in Iraq remain powerful. In fact, according to Myers, there are at least 50-60 attacks every day, a number which has remained stable since last year.

    More Dead Officials

    In the meantime, the Al Qaeda wing in Iraq announced that it had killed two officials of the Interior Ministry in an ambush on their car today in western Baghdad.

    In a statement published on the Internet, the organization states that its members killed lieutenant Laibi, his son, who was also an Interior Ministry official, and three of their bodyguards.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] Elections on 29 May Vote of Confidence in Lebanese Government

    27 Apr 2005 15:32:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Najib Mikatis government, which was formed on 19 April, received a vote of confidence from the Lebanese Parliament by an overwhelming majority. Of the 125 Lebanese MPs, 109 voted in favour. Twelve MPs were absent, while only one voted against. Todays vote was conducted by raising hands, following two days of discussions, which were broadcast live by local television networks. In the meantime, as announced today by the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Berri, the general elections in the Lebanon will start on 29 May, according to the countrys Constitution. In fact, Foreign Minister Hassan al Sabaa signed the decree for them to be held in three rounds, from 29 May to 12 June. According to government sources, the government is expected to announce its pre-election programme later this week. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had warned the Lebanon that any delay in holding elections would threaten the stability of the region.

    Moderate pro-Syrian former Minister of Public Works Njib Mikati has taken on the PMs mantle after the second resignation of Omar Karame.

    The Lebanese Parliament is made up of 128 members, but since February, three MPs have lost their lives: former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and former Minister Bashel Fleihan, who were killed in an attack with explosives, and MP Ali Halil, who was killed in a car accident at the start of the month.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] Thousands of Israelis Stand by Settlers

    27 Apr 2005 13:43:00

    Sources: ANA

    Thousands of Israelis are gathering in settlements at the Gaza Strip to demonstrate their solidarity with the local settlers, who are being called to evacuate the area this coming summer. Solidarity Day was organized by the Gaza Strip Settlements Council and the lobby of settlers living on Palestinian territories. Their motto is "We will be here forever," reacting to Sharons plan over the withdrawal of Israelis from the Gaza Strip.

    More than 100,000 Expected

    The organizers are expecting that more than 100,000 will be participating in the demonstrations, most of which will be taking place in Neve Dekalim, one of the settlements of the Gush Katif complex.

    The participants will also take a tour around Gush Katif, to see the beaches and the greenhouses, while they will also have a brief stopover at the local zoo.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Total Advantage for Panathinaikos

    27 Apr 2005 20:30:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Panathaikos just gained the advantage of competing on home grounds in the basketball playoffs. Obradovic's team defeated AEK and in combination to Maroussi's defeat from Olympia Larissa, first place in the standings is rightfully owned by Panathinaikos, while Maroussi follows suit. From then onwards, Aris achieved a great victory in the away match versus Olympiacos and remains in third place, while the quartet will be set in the last round, since PAOK may be the fourth after AEK lost the match in OAKA. Panionios is also in fourth place, after prevailing over Makedonikos.

    Fighting for Top Eight, Larissa Celebrates

    Iraklis have their hopes up again to make it to the top eight, after prevailing over Panellinios. However, it will all come down to the last round, as Olympiacos who lost to Aris, Makedonikos who lost to Panionios and Apollo who defeated Ionikos, will all fight for a place in the top eight.

    As for the bottom of the standings and which teams are in danger of relegation, Olympia defeated Maroussi and will stay in A1, Ionikos has already said goodbye, while Panellinios and MENT are fighting their way through.


    Olympiakos-Aris 91-97

    Ionikos NF-Apollo Patras 71-90

    Iraklis-Panellinios 70-68

    Panathinaikos-AEK 73-72

    PAOK-MENT 85-76

    Panionios-Makedonikos 107-99

    Olympia-Maroussi 80-76

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Aris Set Xanthi on Fire

    27 Apr 2005 18:27:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    That was Aris, the god of war. The yellow team turned things around after being defeated 1-2 in the first match on home grounds (Thessaloniki) and with a victorious score of 0-2 in Xanthi qualified to the Greek Cup final. Mimis Benediktos became the hero of the day for Giorgos Xatzaris' team after scoring twice for Aris (9', 49'). Aris is the first of the two teams that qualified to May 21 final in Patras. As for Xanthi, they missed one more chance to play in a Cup final.

    Taken by Surprise

    Knowing from the first match already that Aris had to use their tricks, they managed to take Xanthi by surprise from an early start. Before Xanthi had a chance to find their pace, Aris surprised them and opened the score in the 9'. Nebegleras passed to Beniskos, who defeated Pizanovski with a left strong kick from a difficult side position.

    From then onwards, things changed since Hatzaras' team were after one more goal and their spirits were running high. Playing very well in defense, they did not allow Xanthi to spread their wings and kept controlling the pace.

    The only time Xanthi threatened Aris was in the 42', when Stavros Labriakos found himself all alone opposite Pourliotopoulos, but the experienced goalkeeper saved the ball.

    So, with the beginning of the second half, Aris not only took them by surprise, they literally made everyone freeze. Nebegleras passed to Beniskos, who sent the ball right on target with a header and doubled the score and his personal goals (0-2)!

    Xanthi was out of breath and with a tight defence and proper positioning, Aris held on to victory and qualification.

    In fact, Luciano was awarded a foul kick twice but failed to pass the ball behind Pourliotopoulos and from then onwards Xanthi went completely off pace. Nothing changed in the six minutes of extra time and Aris celebrated their qualification to the final.

    Referee: Terovitsas (Etoloakarnania)

    Yellow Cards: Labriakos, Beniskos, Markomichalis, Nebegleras, Inongue, Sikov

    XANTHI: Pizanovski, Garpozis (60' Kazakis), Sikov, Zapropoulos, Papadimitriou, Machratze, Antzas (57' Torosidis), Baykara (75' Vozabal), Prittas, Luciano, Labriakos

    ARIS: Pourliotopoulos, Naidos, Koltsidas, Murawski, Kallimanis, Beniskos (63' Chrysafis), Inongue (80' Vangelli), Passalis, Nebegleras, Markomichalis, Kuemaha

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] Study by British scientists Suffocation by Air Travel

    27 Apr 2005 15:09:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC

    Until now, we were aware of one consequence of air travel jet lag, which is caused when we travel into very different time zones in a short space of time. British researchers from Belfast claim that passengers on all flights are at risk as oxygen levels in the blood are reduced. The scientists studied the oxygen levels in 84 travellers and found that they fell by 4% on average, while 54% of travelers saw such a great reduction that they needed extra oxygen. The research showed that a reduction in oxygen can increase the likelihood of respiratory problems, headaches and angina attacks. "We believe these falling oxygen levels, together with factors such as dehydration, immobility and low humidity, could contribute to illness during and after flights," stated lead researcher Dr Susan Humphreys to the BBC.

    Need for Further Research

    Of the 84 people who took part in the research, aged from 1 to 78, 55 travelled by plane for more than two hours, while the rest went on shorter flights.

    The oxygen levels were measured before and after the flight, while the same measuring method was used for all travellers.

    Although further research into the consequences of air travel on the health is needed, the researchers advise those with heart and respiratory problems to consult their doctors before travelling by plane.

    At the same time, the researchers consider that there is an increased health risk, as aeroplanes now fly at greater heights.

    Nevertheless, the British Civil Aviation Authority maintains that healthy passengers have nothing to fear. "We have always known that oxygen levels fall during flight," noted a representative of the Authority, stressing that the reduced oxygen levels do not affect those who do not suffer from heart or respiratory problems.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [13] Greater precision in Islamic holidays Religion via Satellite

    27 Apr 2005 16:11:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: Reuters

    Muslim countries have turned to the services of technology, after confusion was caused among millions of the faithful, when the moon sighting committee of Saudi Arabia got the date wrong by one day for the peak of the Hadj, the largest Muslim festival, in January this year. As the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the largest Muslim body, which is made up of 57 member-states, announced, Muslim countries will jointly launch a satellite to observe the phases of the Moon, in order to determine the dates of Islamic holidays with greater precision. "Hopefully the satellite will stop the problems associated with lunar sightings," spokesman Ahmed Imigene told Reuters. However, the project has already brought reactions from certain religious officials in Saudi Arabia, where the lunar calendar is in use.

    Gazing at the Moon

    The idea was born at the Space Science Centre at the University of Cairo, and is expected to be realised in two years.

    Armed with a fixed camera, the satellite will send high resolution photographs of the Moon back to Earth, while it will also be used to locate asteroids. The satellite will be built by an Italian firm and will cost eight million dollars (about 6 million euros).

    "The shape of the moon has to be seen from the ground," said Osama al-Bar, dean of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Haj Research, reacting to the plans.

    Thus far, however, there has been no announcement as to how many of the member-states of the OIC will participate in this ambitious project.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [14] Hercules Junior

    27 Apr 2005 16:07:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    An 8-year-old boy from Chile stepped into the role of the hero of Greek mythology and fought with a lion, as Hercules once did. John Escovedo went to visit the city circus along with his parents and his two-year-old little sister, in the town of Antofagasta. After enjoying the show, they wanted to get a close look at the animals and started a walk around the cages. However, when they approached the cage of one of the lions, the door suddenly opened and the King of the jungle tried to grab the little girl. Taking action in his role as big brother, John started to hit the lion with his fists, trying to save his two-year-old sister! The little girl was taken to hospital with scratches and minor injuries, although she is not in danger. Moreover, the doctors declared that but for her brothers intervention, she would have been killed. "As soon as he saw what had happened, he started punching the lion, until it let go of his sister. He was very brave!" said the childrens mother proudly.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [15] Eight-Month-Old Voter!

    27 Apr 2005 15:36:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Great Britain is in the midst of election fever, and Tony Blairs Labour Party, Michael Howards Conservatives and Charles Kennedys Liberal Democrats have escalated their campaigns, touring various places in the country. At the same time, a future voter from Haverhill in Suffolk has received a polling card. So whats odd about that? The fact that the voter is just eight-months old! "There must have been some mistake. I am sure that I filled in my form correctly," said 37-year-old Glenda Spear, as soon as her daughter, Kiera, received the card. The local authorities put the incident down to confusion about Kieras age. In any case, the little girl is completely indifferent to the elections, since, her mother confided, she prefers to watch cartoons and not party political broadcasts. As for her new acquisition, once she had bitten it, her mother put it with the rest of her toys!

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [16] A Poet's Nest

    27 Apr 2005 13:00:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Up until today we were used to seeing pelicans nest on chimneys, bell towers and electricity pylons. However, the people of Beijing actually have a poet literally nesting over their heads. Ye Fu built a 10-metre high steel nest, decorated it with tree branches and will live there for a month. The poet will have only basic necessities with him, such as blanket, flashlight and cup, while his sole means of communication will be text messages via a mobile phone. Employees of the China Arts Research Institute will be bringing him two vegetarian meals daily and as much water as he needs to drink and collect his waste. But why resort to this? Ye Fu, who has already published more than 40 poetry books, plans to write a new collection of poems, entitled Nest Diary, to record his thoughts and make people think about the loneliness of an individual in modern society.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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