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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-05-06

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] 'Schism' in the Patriarchate
  • [02] Third Term for Blair
  • [03] Technology to the Rescue of Equality
  • [04] Dangerous Wheat Confiscated
  • [05] Kennedy Continues Contacts
  • [06] Earthquake in Sea of Panama
  • [07] Bloody Explosion in Tikrit
  • [08] Municipal Elections in Palestine

  • [01] Many Synod Hierarchs Did not Attend 'Schism' in the Patriarchate

    06 May 2005 09:32:00 (Last updated: 06 May 2005 13:34:46)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    The majority of the Synod members did not respond to Eirinaios call, since only seven of the 18 members attended the extraordinary convocation of the Holy Synod on Friday morning. Therefore it was decided that the Synod will reconvene at 16:00. According to Patriarchate sources, any members who will not turn up in the afternoon session will be replaced. However, those disputing him, are claiming that this cannot happen, as the replacement of members can only be done during a Synod and by majority. As per Jerusalem ecclesiastical circles, though, the dispute between the two sides may even lead to the courts.

    "Dissenters and Traitors"

    It should be noted that that an excommunication letter against Mr Eirinaios has already been co-signed by 13 Hierarchs and 28 Archimandrites.

    On the other hand, Mr Eirinaios called them "dissenters and traitors", while he hinted that he will not be resigning.

    In the meantime, the Jerusalem Patriarchate reacted immediately to a statement by Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis, whereby he urged Mr Eirinaios to assume his responsibilities.

    In answering, the Patriarchate pointed out that the Deputy Minister did not take into account the stance of the majority of the Holy Sepulchre clerics, who are in favour of the Patriarch.

    Finally, the Ecumenical Patriarchate will be sending a delegation to Jerusalem.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    New Tension in Jerusalem

    [02] With Reduced Parliamentary Majority Third Term for Blair

    06 May 2005 07:51:00 (Last updated: 06 May 2005 11:02:23)

    By Tina Valaoura

    British PM Tony Blair has secured a third, consecutive term in office for Labour, but it is a victory with significant losses, since his parliamentary majority has decreased to 66 seats, as opposed to 167 during his last term. However, according to the votes counted so far in 646 electoral precincts, the Labour Party has secured the absolute majority in Parliament with 36%, which translates to 351 seats, the Conservatives are winning 191 seats, having faired better than expected, while the Liberals will have 56 seats. The leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Howard, has already congratulated Tony Blair on his victory, who in turn, addressing the people of Britain, said it was clear that "the British people wanted to return a Labour government, but with a reduced majority," while he acknowledged Iraqs role in the elections. "I know too that Iraq has been a divisive issue in this country, but I hope now that we can unite again and look to the future," added the newly elected PM, who will be crossing the threshold of 10 Downing Street for a third term today.

    Historic Victory for Labour

    Historic, but also Phyrric victory for Labour. On the one hand, the electoral result writes a new chapter in British politics, since up until now Margaret Thatcher was the only post-war PM to serve three consecutive terms. On the other hand, the shrinking of the Parliamentary majority is considered a blow for Tony Blair. As a result, it is expected that the British PM will not be completing his full term, but in due time he will be passing on the baton to 54-year-old Gordon Brown, who is considered one of the major government members and has been responsible for Britains economic policy since 1997.

    In his message to the British voters, Tony Blair pledged to govern "sensibly and wisely", while he stressed that he will focus on major issues, including the NHS, employment, and low and order.

    According to political analysts, the electoral results may even precipitate his departure from the leadership of the party. Meanwhile, Labours reduced majority will pose an obstacle in promoting his radical programmes.

    In the meantime, another major Labour member who was re-elected in Parliament with an overwhelming majority over his opponent in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, was FM Jack Straw.

    However, Tony Blair will be crossing Downing Streets threshold for one more time at noon, while he might even also be announcing the names of his Cabinet.

    "Significant Step Towards Recovery"

    On the other hand, compensating his electoral defeat with the increased number of seats gained, the leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Howard, declared he was proud for the fruit bore by the pre-election campaign and welcomed the result as "a significant step towards our [Tories] recovery." It should be noted that following the previous elections, the Conservatives had 166 seats, while according to the results up until now, the number of seats has increased to 194, although the number of votes were about the same.

    Michael Howard congratulated Mr Blair on Labours win, but said it was time for him to deliver on his promises.

    Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy spoke of a "new challenge", since they received votes from both major parties. In the 2001 elections, they held 52 seats, while these have now increased to 59.

    The smaller parties also gained more power following the latest elections. In one of the biggest upsets of the night, George Galloway, of the anti-war Respect party, narrowly beat Labours Oona King, in Bethnal Green, eastern London, an area where many Muslims reside, and has secured a seat in Parliament. Following his election, Galloway launched an attack against Blair, saying "This is for Iraq. All the people you have killed, all the lies you have told have come back to haunt you and the best thing the Labour Party can do is sack you tomorrow morning."

    Independent candidates and the smaller parties gained 12 seats in total.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Intelligent Washing Machine Technology to the Rescue of Equality

    06 May 2005 11:37:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    If you are a woman and are sick and tired of being the only one to do the household chores, you do not need to despair any longer, since technology comes to the rescue. An intelligent washing machine, invented by a Spanish designer, promises to set things straight. As far as its operation is concerned, it is a usual, run-of-the-mill washing machine. Its distinctive feature, though, is in the switch. This contains a sensor, which is able to recognise fingerprints and will not allow the same person to use the washing machine twice in a row. As per its creator, Pep Torres from Barcelona, the washing machine, conveniently named "Your Turn", was designed because he wanted to crush the myth of "the macho man from the ice age who doesnt do anything around the house except drink beers." He further noted that the software is designed in such a way that it is very difficult to override it.

    It seems like a nifty idea, just as along as the men carry the chore through and do not just press the button. What will come next, though? Intelligent stoves, smart irons?

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Dangerous Wheat Confiscated

    06 May 2005 12:36:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Yesterday, five hundred tons of unsuitable wheat from Russia was confiscated in Piraeus by crews of the Ministry of Rural Development. The wheat was considered dangerous for public health, since traces of the substance ochratoxin A was found in high percentages.

    Ochratoxin A is a mycotoxin that has carcinogenic, nephrotoxic, teratogen, immunotoxic and possibly neurotoxic properties. It is developed in cereal, raisings, raw and roasted coffee and in products such as coffee, wine, beer, grape juice, cocoa and products derived from cocoa, as well as spices, when the storing and preservation conditions are not appropriate.

    Minister of Rural Development, Evangelos Basiakos stated that the import of the dangerous wheat has been banned and underlined that the checks of imported products will continue extensively for the protection of public health and the consumers well being.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Kennedy Continues Contacts

    06 May 2005 12:02:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    On Friday, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Laura Kennedy, who is in Nicosia, will meet with leader of the Turkish-Cypriots Mehmet Ali Talat. On Thursday, Mrs Kennedy held talks with President of the Cypriot Republic, Tassos Papadopoulos and asked him to submit the changes that the Greek-Cypriot side desires on the Annan plan. In the meantime, Talat, in statements given to a Turkish private television channel, stated that the aim of the Turkish-Cypriot side is the creation of a new Cyprus, based on "two equal states, as the Annan plan foresees," adding that the lift of the so-called isolation of the Turkish-Cypriots will help restart the discussions.

    "Changes Should Be Submitted"

    After her meeting with President Papadopoulos, Mrs Kennedy had stated that the submission of the changes that the Greek-Cypriot side desires on the Annan plan, would be a "realistic contribution in the achievement of progress."

    She avoided answering if Mr Papadopoulos had briefed her about the changes the Greek-Cypriot side desires on the Annan plan, expressing the wish that "Kofi Annan will be informed on these changes."

    Talat: "Property a Political Issue"

    In his statements Talat accused President Papadopoulos of putting many conditions for the resolution of the Cypriot issue.

    In a question related to the invitation of Turkish-Cypriots, which acquired Cypriot Republic passports, to serve in the military, Mr Talat answered that acquiring these passports does not mean that the owners become Greek-Cypriots.

    As he stated to Turkish news agency Anatolia, in relation to properties, Mehmet Ali Talat said that this issue is a political matter and can only be solved by political methods.

    The Turkish-Cypriot side is undertaking studies about the property issue and called on the Turkish-Cypriots to not panic.

    "After the battle that will be given in Cyprus the issue will be transferred to Europe," Mr Talat said.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Developments in Cyprus

    [06] Six on the Richter Scale Earthquake in Sea of Panama

    05 May 2005 23:52:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    A strong earthquake measuring 6 on the Richter scale occurred in Panama, according to the seismological center of Strasburg. Specifically, the earthquake occurred at 10:10 Greek time and its epicentre was located in the sea area of Panama. Up to this moment there have been no reports of damage or victims.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Bloody Explosion in Tikrit

    06 May 2005 09:59:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    A car bomb exploded on Friday next to a minibus carrying police officers in the town Tikrit, and as a result seven policemen were killed and another 15 were injured, as per Defence Ministry sources. At the time of the explosion the bus was close to a checkpoint set up by Iraqi security forces on the northern part of Tikrit.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Fatah Came Out Ahead Municipal Elections in Palestine

    06 May 2005 01:36:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah movement officially came out ahead in the Palestinian municipal elections on Thursday, as per the general administrator of the Election Committee, Firas Yari. Fatah received 69.9% of the vote, as opposed to 33.3% for Hamas. These results confirm the predictions of the opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Politics and Review Centre in 14, out of a total of 84, West Bank and Gaza Strip municipalities. Based on the poll, in ten of the West Bank municipalities, Fatah was set to win four, Hamas three, the left-wing parties two, while an independent candidate one. In the Gaza Strip, three of the municipalities looked set to elect Fatah and one to elect Hamas. The municipal elections will prove a crucial test for both Fatah and Hamas, in view of the general elections in two months.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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