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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] Eirinaios Denounced
  • [02] Blair Gets to Work
  • [03] Unanswered Calls Everywhere
  • [04] EOF Warns of Dangerous Medicines
  • [05] Excessive Reactions to Mayday
  • [06] Extreme Reactions Over Turkish Violations
  • [07] Flights Grounded on Saturday
  • [08] Marathon Testimony from Ilia
  • [09] Warning from El Baradei
  • [10] Blood Bath
  • [11] Panathinaikos Doesn't Make it
  • [12] Athens Welcomes May
  • [13] Greek Ship in Occupied Cyprus

  • [01] Patriarchal Synod underway Eirinaios Denounced

    06 May 2005 18:10:00 (Last updated: 06 May 2005 22:42:13)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Holy Sepulcher community considers Patriarch Eirinaios as deposed, since 13 Synodical Metropolitan Bishops, with their signatures, denounce him and ask for his resignation. Based on the statutory of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, Eirinaios is immediately pronounced deposed when 2/3 of the Synod claim that he cannot serve the interests of the Patriarchate. The Patriarchal Synod, which will officially declare that Eirinaios has been removed from office, is underway. It will appoint a three-member committee to deal with current issues and inform the governments of Jordan and Israel and the Palestinian Authority that the Patriarch of Jerusalem has been removed. In the meantime, the Hierarchs and priests of the Holy Sepulcher have temporarily taken over the Patriarchate. This action resulted from a dispute between the Patriarch and the Hierarchs, who were verbally attacked by Eirinaios after the second failed attempt to convene the Holy Synod at 16:00. The developments are the topic of discussion in a meeting at the Greek Foreign Ministry, attended by deputy minister Panagiotis Skandalakis and other staff.

    Eirinaios' Hasty Exit

    The Patriarch's lawyerFrangiskos Ragousis also participated in the incident, and was removed from the building while Eirinaios left the Patriarchate shortly afterwards, to the jeers of his own priests and accompanied by policemen and his drivers. At this time, the Patriarch is guarded by Israeli police forces, while the monks have locked the doors of the Holy Sepulcher and are not allowing extra-ecclesiastical bodies to enter.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Eirinaios on His Own

    [02] Ready for A Third Five-Year Term Blair Gets to Work

    06 May 2005 15:51:00 (Last updated: 06 May 2005 20:37:20)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Tony Blair received an order for the formation of the government from Queen Elizabeth, after yesterdays victory that ensures a new, third five-year term as Prime Minister of Great Britain. Blair is expected to start the formation of his new government, the composition of which he will announce during the day, since according to British Press exploratory contacts have been made before the elections. According to sources Blair will quite possibly bring back former Home Secretary David Blunkett who had resigned last December, after involvement in a scandal. He is expected to not include Defense Secretary Jeff Hoon, who was absent from the election campaign, in the new government. In the meantime, in a surprise announcement the leader of the Conservatives Michael Howard announced his intention to resign.

    "Honor and Privilege"

    "Eight years have passed since I first became PM; I was younger and less experienced," stated Tony Blair after he received the order from Queen Elizabeth from Buckingham Palace where he arrived accompanied by his wife Cherie. "I have been taught much and have a clear idea of what Britons want," he noted talking to journalists outside Downing Street, and promised that he will dedicate himself to the materialization of the goals, that are a priority for his country.

    "It is an honor and great privilege to be elected PM for a third term," he said.

    The Prime Minister of Greece, Kostas Karamanlis, Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, Spain, Jos&#233; Luis Rodr&#237;guez Zapatero and Germany Gerhard Schroeder sent congratulatory letters for Blairs reelection.

    Howard Resigns

    Today, leader of the Conservative Party Michael Howard stated that he will resign when the Torries decide how and when they will elect their new leader. "Since I cannot fight it, I believe that the best thing I can do is resign," stated 63-year-old Howard to his followers.

    "I plan to remain leader of the party until the leadership issue is investigated," he added in a surprise announcement. However, Howard had stated, "what happened in these elections is an important step towards our recovery."

    "Our aim in the new Parliament is to complete this recovery, a mission that all of us in the Conservative Party will pleasantly face," noted Howard who took up the leadership of the party 18 months ago.

    The race to choose a successor has informally started, with the basic contenders being Liam Fox, the creator of the election manifesto, David Cameron, and veteran politician Malcolm Rifkind, who was Foreign Secretary in the John Major government.

    According to commentators, the increase of the Conservatives percentage in the elections is proof that it is finding its way. However, the centre-right party that dominated British politics does not know when it will return to power.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Third Term for Blair

    [03] At least one mobile per European by 2007 Unanswered Calls Everywhere

    06 May 2005 20:56:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: Reuters

    The mobile phone is developing into a necessary part of everyday life for the inhabitants of western Europe. According to Management consultancy Analysys Research, by 2007, there will be at least one mobile per European, while already in certain countries mobile phone penetration is touching on 100%. Champions in mobile phone possession are Sweden, Great Britain and Italy. In fact, in Sweden, as a recent study showed, the number of mobiles has exceeded the countrys population (8.9 million), as there are 9.07 million phone subscribers. The continually increasing number of mobile phones is on the one hand a result of the fact that many people have more than one subscription (eg one for personal use, one for professional use), and on the other hand comes from the improvement in technology, peaking with third generation phones (3G).

    Contracts and 3G

    According to Analysys Research, who excluded phones which havent been used for three months from the study, mobile phone penetration will increase to 98% in 2006, from 90% today.

    At the same time, they consider that the purchase of mobile phone services will continue to develop at the rate of 9% until 1997, mainly based on third generation phones. In any case, the 3G networks offer services such as video calls and fast Internet connections, making them especially attractive to users.

    Finally, the firm predicts stability in penetration in countries which promote mobile phone contracts and not user-decided charges (such as pre-paid cards).

    In fact, Analysys Research advises mobile phone companies to more strongly advertise pre-paid cards, which are especially popular among certain groups of consumers, such as young people. They note that this will further increase mobile phone penetration.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] Likely to be carcinogenic EOF Warns of Dangerous Medicines

    06 May 2005 16:22:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The Hellenic Federation of Pharmacists (EOF) advises caution in prescribing the medicines Protopic from the company Fugisawa (VIANEX) and Elidel from Novartis in the form of a cream, used for the treatment of eczema (atopic dermatitis). The drugs in question are subject to a thorough investigation by EOF, as they are likely to be carcinogenic. They contain the substances Tacrolimus and Pimecrolimus respectively. The reexamination of the drugs was ordered by the European Union and Denmark, after concerns expressed that the medicines could cause cancer in patients.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Parliament closed on Mayday Excessive Reactions to Mayday

    06 May 2005 18:48:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    High-ranking members of the government described the reactions that have arisen over the issue of Mayday as excessive. "A detail has become a major issue. The important thing is the politics and the message sent out," stressed Education Minister Marietta Giannakou, while the statements from Nikitas Kaklamanis were along much the same lines. "The grass is always greener," underlined the Health Minister, adding that he often takes no note of the atmosphere presented by the Media. "There are various issues that need to be faced, and they are being faced with greater or lesser amounts of discussion," stated Stavros Dimas, adding: "we should look at major issues, and we are doing well on these." In the meantime, on Wednesday, by unanimous decision of Parliament there will be no session, so that MPs will be able to participate in the festive events.

    Attack from Venizelos

    At the same time, however, the Opposition, as well as trade unions continue to criticize the government for not transferring the May bank holiday.

    According to PASOK MP Venizelos, the governments problem is not simply a lack of coordination.

    He added that the government is dithering between superficial pro-people rhetoric and deeply classic reflexes of the Greek right wing.

    According to the PASOK MP, this problem cannot be solved with a reshuffle or by merging ministries, as it is related to the ideological and political core of the beliefs of the PM himself.

    "This is what they are capable of, this is what they are doing," concluded Mr Venizelos.

    ADEDY spoke of governmental confusion on the Mayday issue and called on workers to take part en masse in the 11 May strike action.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] From the Ministry of Defense Extreme Reactions Over Turkish Violations

    06 May 2005 15:08:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: NET 105.8- NET

    From Aigio, Minister of Defense Spilios Spiliotopoulos gave a strict warning to Ankara to abandon its provocative behavior, on the occasion of multiple violations by the Turkish Air Force of the national airspace and FIR during the last days. Mr Spiliotopoulos noted "Turkeys provocative behavior, systematically violating international law, and causing great problems in the stability and security of the area, undermines the effort for the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations and its European prospect." He went on to add, "our Armed Forces are alert on a 24-hour basis and its members decisively and actively defend our national interests." The statements by the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Panagiotis Koumoutsakos were along the same line.

    Chief of Foreign Policy, Security and Defense of the PASOK Political Council, Christos Papoutsis called on the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs to answer to which specific diplomatic protest actions has the government gone forth with Turkey, NATO and the EU in relation to the increasingly provocative behavior by Turkey.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Four-hour stoppage by air traffic controllers Flights Grounded on Saturday

    06 May 2005 16:00:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Flight cancellations and schedule changes will take place on Saturday 7 May, owing to the four-hour work-stoppage announced from 12:00 to 16:00 by air traffic controllers. Owing to the action, companies have been forced to adjust their flight schedules and inform passengers of the changes in plenty of time. Olympic Airlines has announced that 13 domestic flights will be cancelled, while departure times have changed for a total of 36 flights. There will also be changes to Aegean Airlines flights, as 10 flights are to be cancelled, and departure times have been adjusted on 48 flights.

    Cancelled Flights

    Olympic Airlines cancelled flights:

    Athens to: Heraklion, Thessalonica, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, Kythira, Ioannina, Paros, Mylos. Rhodes to: Kos-Leros-Astypalaia, Samos-Mytilini-Limnos-Thessalonica Thessalonica to: Chania Sitia: Preveza-Sitia

    For more information, passengers can contact the company on (+30) 210-9666666 or at local airports.

    Aegean Airlines cancelled flights:

    1. 372/373, Athens-Mykonos-Athens 2. 210/211, Athens-Rhodes-Athens 3. 720/721, Thessalonica-Rhodes-Thessalonica 4. 336/337, Athens-Chania-Athens 5. 316/317, Athens-Heraklion-Athens

    Passengers on Aegean Airlines can contact the company on (+30) 801 11 20000

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] To be continued on Monday afternoon Marathon Testimony from Ilia

    06 May 2005 18:50:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    First Instance Justice Antonia Ilia, who is alleged to have been involved in the extrajudicial gang, testified before Supreme Court Deputy Public Prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas on Friday morning. The Justice entered Mr Sanidas office shortly before 11am, one hour late and accompanied by two lawyers, while her testimony finished at 10pm. Ilia, who faces charges relating to bribing a judge, participating in an illegal gang and complicit dereliction of duty, will continue testifying on Monday afternoon. According to sources close to her, Ilia is determined to make revelations about high-ranking judges, who are involved in drugs cases. Her testimony completes the investigation into the extrajudicial gang. Immediately afterwards, Mr Sanidas will present the court report to the Appeals Committee, in order for charges to be brought. This is likely to take place next week.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] Calling for pressure on North Korea Warning from El Baradei

    06 May 2005 23:11:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC, Reuters

    The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammad El Baradei has called the international community to arms, calling for pressure on North Korea so that it will not make a nuclear test. In an interview, Mr El Baradei warned of "disastrous political and economic consequences" that a nuclear test by North Korea would have, and noted that the international community must show "zero tolerance." El Baradeis warning comes after intelligence reports state that Pyongyang is preparing its first atomic bomb test. Earlier, Japans Foreign Minister Mr Machimura appeared determined to bring the issue of North Koreas nuclear capability before the UN Security Council. China and South Korea asked Pyongyang to return to talks, which have been abandoned for about a year.

    Threat of Recourse to UN

    North Koreas nuclear programme was the topic of the meeting between Mr Machimura and his South Korean counterpart, Ban Moon in Kyoto.

    "If there is no progress in the talks, then we must examine the alternatives, for example bringing the matter before the Security Council," the head of Japanese diplomacy told reporters. In fact, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official stated that the recourse would probably take place in June."

    Political observers note that if the matter should go before the Security Council, then sanctions are likely to be imposed on North Korea by the UN. Pyongyang has repeatedly underlined that it will consider the imposition of sanctions a declaration of war against it.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Concern Over Pyongyang Nuclear Program

    [10] 58 people killed in explosion in a marketplace Blood Bath

    06 May 2005 19:37:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Suicide attacks have by now become a daily occurrence in Iraq. A few hours after the attack in Tikrit, a new attack was made at 14:00 (Greek time) in a marketplace in the town of Suwayra, to the south of Baghdad. A car packed with explosives was driven by a suicide bomber into the Mokhadar market, in the centre of Suwayra, where it detonated, killing 58 people and injuring dozens more. Furthermore, several cars were destroyed in the blast and damage was caused to businesses around the marketplace, which was packed with people at the time.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [11] Panathinaikos Doesn't Make it

    06 May 2005 20:03:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Noone can say that they didnt try. They gave of their best to qualify to the final, but ultimately didnt make it. Maccabis good defence and the fantastic talent of the Israeli teams players deprived Panathinaikos of the right to go to the final of the Euroleague. Although the greens followed Maccabi closely in the three quarters, and even took the lead at some points, they were finally broken in the last quarter and defeated 91-82. On Sunday, last years European Champions will try to celebrate their second successive Euroleague title, while the Greek champion will play to decide the third and fourth places.

    They Did What They Could

    Panathinaikos started out on the offensive (with Lakovic, Skepanovic, Kutluai on the outside) and took Maccabi by surprise. Zeljko Obradovics players played hard in defence and with Vlado Skepanovic on the attack (7 points in the first quarter), they led 6-3. However, in the same time period, Ibrahim Kutluai took two fouls, the first problem for Zeljko Obradovic, who chose to leave the Turkish international on the court as a defensive weapon.

    Imbo proved him right, scoring the greens first three-pointer, taking them back into the lead with 9-8. Baston, Vujcic and Burstein began scoring for Maccabi, and the 12-12 changed into 21-16 for the Israelis. Panathinaikos were irritated and made many mistakes, with a second foul by Kostas Tsartsaris. With successive goes and assists, Maccabi set the pace and led 25-18 when Burstein scored from the 6.25. Kutluais second three-pointer reduced the difference to 21-25, but Maccabi soon changed that.

    The Israelis two top scorers, Parker and Jasikevicius didnt contribute much (4 points each by halftime) and Sharp and Baston took matters into their hands. The former scored 13 points in the second quarter (2 3-pointers) and brought the difference to its greatest height, +12, 45-33. Maccabi was also helped by the many fouls (Kutluai and Lakovic 3, Tsartsaris, Alvertis, Femmerling 2).

    The greens stayed in the game thanks to 3-pointers by Diamantidis, Alvertis and Skepanovic (Lakovic was blocked in by the Israeli defence and spent most of the second quarter on the bench). With the first 3-pointer (1/4) by the captain, Alvertis, Panathinaikos took it to 40-47, 49-41 at halftime. Jasikevicius alone counted 5 assists, the same number as Panathinaikos had in total.

    The first half of the third quarter belonged to Panathinaikos. In 4.5 minutes, Maccabi scored just 3 points. Hatzivrettas and Diamantidis played a tight defence, swapping Parker and Jasikevicius. They took the reins in the offence, and Panathinaikos reduced the difference to 50-52. With two throws by Nikos Hatzivrettas, Panathinaikos took the lead, 55-54 in 24.

    At that point, however, Anthony Parker scored 5 successive points, passing the baton to Sharp and the greens were again -10, 68-58. The 68-62 in 30 gave hopes of a turnabout, but Maccabi took it to a 10-point difference again, 77-67, taking advantage on 16 Greek mistakes.

    Diamantidis indirect 3-pointer, after Kommatos foul allowed Panathinaikos to continue hoping, 79-70 about five minutes before the end. However Alvertis committed an unsporting foul against Vujcic, but fortunately, the Israelis could only make throws and no new attack. Kutluai made the final effort (with 3 successive points, he took it to 72-81), but the two minutes left were not enough to cover lost ground against a team like Maccabi.

    Referees: Jugerbrand (Finland), Arteaga (Spain), Facchini (Italy)

    MACCABI: (Pini Gershon): Baston 14, Sharp 20 (3), Vujcic 11, Parker 13 (1), Sellef 2, Burstein 14 (1), Halperin, Jasikevicius 13 (1), Kommatos 2, Green 2

    PANATHINAIKOS (Zeljko Obradovic): Alvertis 10 (1), Kalaitzis, Papanikolaou, Lakovic 4, Battiste 2, Femmerling 4, Hatzivrettas 9 (1), Tsartsaris 4, Diamantidis 16 (2), Skepanovic 16 (2), Kutluai 17 (4)

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [12] Athens Welcomes May

    06 May 2005 14:04:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The capital surrenders to the arms of spring and in turn welcomes its beautiful aromas and colorful flowers. Tulips and crocuses, hyacinths, narcissuses and garden flags, dahlias, roses and corn flags, begonias and carnations together with other not so well known and rare plants will all be exhibited in small paradises that have been set up in the heart of Athens and Kifissia. The 51st Flower Show in the Kifissia Park and the 1st Flower Show in Athens, at Kotzia Square have opened their gates and until May 22 and 18, respectively, will welcome visitors and flower lovers with colors and aromas.

    51st Kifissia Flower Show

    An introduction is not needed for the Kifissia Flower Show, as it is a well-known and historical exhibition, which was yesterday inaugurated by Minister of Rural Development Evangelos Basiakos.

    In the show 118 flower growers will take part together with the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Vienna University Botanical Garden, the Balkan Botanical Garden that is based in Kilkis and the Stavroupoli Botanical Garden. An advice center with specialists that will give solutions and ideas to the visitors that desire to transform their gardens and balconies.

    The show is open daily from 10:00 to 22:00 in the Dimitris Zomopoulos Kifissia Park.

    "Athens Blooms"

    At the same time, the centre of Athens has also a surprise in store. With the motto "Athens Blooms," Kotzeia Square will host a series of celebrations as will Syndagma Square, the National Garden and many Athenian neighborhoods.

    The start was made by the exhibition "May Wreath," which was inaugurated by Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni, and until May 18, from 10:00 to 22:00 will present a wide range of plants from around Greece in unique compositions.

    In its context, a new trend of natural life will emerge entitled "City Autonomy," through the informative action "Garden in the Balcony." In a special made conservatory of a prototype biological cultivation a plant exhibit will be hosted, while leaflets will be given out for the creation of biological cultivation in balconies and roofs in the city.

    At the same time, in Syndagma Square between May 10 and 22, an exhibition of rare flowers "Nature Surprise," will open and will host "Art Meets Nature," "The Sculpture of Plants," and "Art Deco." During the weekends art shows will give a special touch to the plants of the square which on Saturday May 14 will take shape with the help of specialist artists, while on the weekend of May 21-22 artists will decorate the flowers with ecological materials.

    From May 9 the National Garden opens its gates and one can explore its grounds, while until May 22 there will be a guided tour program for students and visitors. On Mat 21 and 22 children will play "All Around the Garden: and watch story book characters come to life in puppet theatre and shadow theatre. Their chaperones at the same time can attend flower composition seminars.

    In closing, it is noted that the Garden will be mapped-out by special botanists in order for a useful guide concerning the history of the plants its hosts to be created.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] "I was forced", says the captain Greek Ship in Occupied Cyprus

    06 May 2005 16:54:00 (Last updated: 06 May 2005 22:22:11)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    The Minister of Mercantile Marine has ordered that the strictest sanctions provided for in law be imposed on the captain and shipping company of vehicle carrier Aegean Sun. The ship approached the port of Occupied Ammochostos, thereby violating the order of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine in force since 1980. The case was brought to light by a report in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Geni Duzen. In fact, in its article, the newspaper stated that a Greek interest ship sailed into harbour, raising a Turkish Cypriot flag.

    Manolis Kefalogiannis Calls for Sanctions

    Mercantile Marine Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis ordered an investigation into the matter, requesting that the strictest possible sanctions be imposed on the captain and shipping company.

    "The captain will be referred to the disciplinary committee of the Merchant Navy and, until the case can be tried, he will lose his licence. The captain has also been ordered to put in to the nearest Greek port. If he should refuse, he faces a jail sentence of up to 2 years," stated the Minister.

    In a statement from the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, it says: "Greek ships that do not defend national interests cannot fly a Greek flag," and the statement clarifies that there is a ban, according to Acts from 1980 and 1983, which does not permit Greek ships to approach occupied ports in Cyprus.

    "I was Forced" Says Captain

    In communication with the Port Authority of Lemesos, the captain of the Aegean Sun stated that he was forced to sail into Ammochostos harbour. As he said, en route, the firm Euromed, which had set a course for Alexandretta, ordered him to change direction and sail into Ammochostos.

    He stressed that he initially reacted, but was ultimately forced to conform and sail into Ammochostos.

    Stathis Stylianos denied having raised the Turkish Cypriot flag and underlined that he did not make any transactions in occupied Ammochostos. He added that he expects to leave Ammochostos tomorrow. However, according to Geni Duzen newspaper, this is not the first time that Greek ships have come into the occupied harbour. This is, however, the first time that the ship has been Greek in its entirety.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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