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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-05-10

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Eirinaios Renounced
  • [02] Eirinaios Alleges Deception
  • [03] The Wardrobe of Tenderness
  • [04] Karamanlis-Basescu Meeting
  • [05] Cyprus Activity
  • [06] Judicial Coup, Says Papandreou
  • [07] Incidents in the Centre of Athens
  • [08] Russia Wants Open Borders with the EU
  • [09] Main Shareholder Shelved Temporarily
  • [10] Only Greece Makes Feta Cheese
  • [11] Focus on Economy
  • [12] Inflation Strikes
  • [13] Katsouranis Takes up Position
  • [14] Hospital Doctors on Strike

  • [01] Jointly by Jordan and the Palestinians Eirinaios Renounced

    10 May 2005 18:20:00 (Last updated: 10 May 2005 22:05:55)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Rapid developments in the thriller with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Mr Eirinaios has formally been renounced, since the Jordanian Cabinet agreed with the Synods decision. All that is left is for King Abdullah of Jordan to ratify this in the next couple of days. Earlier, the Palestinian Authority also voted in favour of the Holy Synod majority decision. Following these developments, and as per the Patriarchates Charter and a Jordanian Law dating back to 1958, the procedures for the election of a new Patriarch have to commence. On Tuesday afternoon, Eirinaios admitted that the Patriarchate had entered into long-term leases with the Israelis, but claimed that he was a victim of deception.

    Common Stance by Jordan and the Palestinians

    The Jordanian Cabinets decision, which has already been sent to the palace, will be ratified by King Abdullah on Sunday. The Palestinians decision will also be ratified on the same day.

    The Palestinian Authoritys Cabinet, which met earlier and was chaired by Ahmed Qorei, also decided to renounce Eirinaios from his capacity as Patriarch. All that is left now, is for the Palestinians decision to be ratified by President Mahmoud Abbas.

    Earlier, however, a marathon of deliberations commenced, following the findings of the Palestinian Authoritys three-member experts committee, which acquitted Patriarch Eirinaios of the long-term leasing of Patriarchal properties.

    As per NET correspondent Panos Charitos, Mr Eirinaios does not seem willing to resign.

    Confusion with the Letters

    Confusion also prevailed over an unsigned letter sent by Patriarch Eirinaios to Patriarch Bartholomew, in which he used harsh language.

    The content of the letter was made public on Monday night, however, this afternoon, Ecumenical Patriarchate circles declared that no unsigned letter was received.

    As per earlier information though, a letter addressed to Patriarch Bartholomew had arrived at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but it was signed.

    Fervent Activities in Athens

    Things have been fervent in Athens, in view of the crisis with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos urged Patriarch Eirinaios to rise to the occasion.

    At the same time, Deputy Foreign Minister P. Skandalakis held successive meetings with Palestinian Authority Charge dAffaires Ismat Shabri and the Jordanian Ambassador in Athens.

    As per Palestinian diplomatic sources, Athens and the Palestinian Authority have agreed on the how to deal with the crisis, and believe that the situation will be defused in a matter of days.

    The Greek Orthodox Church has not made any official statements, though. As per NET, Archbishop Christodoulos contacted Jerusalem and Metropolitan Bishop Vasilieios of Kaisaria briefed him on the latest developments.

    As per his associates, Mr Christodoulos will be adopting the stances of the Greek Government and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Eirinaios Alleges Deception

    [02] He admits the existence of real estate letting Eirinaios Alleges Deception

    10 May 2005 14:10:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    New revelations, a change in stance of those involved and a letter of doubtful authenticity said to have been sent to Phanar, although it has yet to arrive, set the scene for the developments in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The three-member committee of expert advisors of the Palestinian Authority, which investigated the scope of Eirinaios involvement in cases of long-term letting of Patriarchal real estate does not hold him responsible, considering that he was not actively involved. Earlier, according to information, Eirinaios admitted to Greek Media correspondents in Jerusalem to knowing of the existence of contracts letting real estate. He described them as a "deception," adding that the deals were closed by those "who benefited financially." He presents himself as a victim of deception, regarding the empowerment he gave to fugitive Nikos Papadimas, claiming that he is not at all responsible himself. However, in this way he essentially admits to the long-term real estate letting, which he heatedly denied until yesterday. The Patriarch of Jerusalem also criticized the stance held by the Greek consul in Jerusalem.

    Phanar Denies Receipt of Letter

    Answering a journalists question as to whether the Greek consul in Jerusalem had done her job well, Eirinaios answered: "Ask her yourself." Information indicates that after investigation of the contracts by lawyers, it arises that the long-term letting was arranged by fugitive Nikos Papadimas, a point which Eirinaios circle considers a positive development. At the same time, the Palestinian side shows that those responsible for the buying and selling are hierarchs who today are at the side of those who renounced Patriarch Eirinaios. Nevertheless, the Palestinian Authority has not taken an official position.

    In Phanar, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomews people have stated that no official letter sent by Patriarch Eirinaios has been received, and that the letter in the hands of reporters is not considered official, as it bears no signature.

    In the letter he sent on Monday to Phanar, Patriarch Eirinaios uses harsh language, saying: "Have you declared me renounced or have you renounced me? By what right, Your Eminence?" He also states that he was "surprised" at the intervention of the Ecumenical Patriarch in an affair regarding the Patriarchy of Jerusalem, and wonders where Patriarch Bartholomew got his information from. He even speaks of "exploitation" by Phanar.

    In any case, Patriarch Bartholomew has left Istanbul for Imvros, which means that no contact is expected with Eirinaios for the next two days.

    Statements by Roussopoulos

    The Minister of State referred to the developments in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

    Theodoros Roussopoulos called on Patriarch Eirinaios to rise to the occasion, stressing that Greece was early to realize the sensitivity of the issue, bearing in mind the problem of preserving the prestige, unity and Greek-Orthodox nature of the Patriarchy.

    At this time, he added, internal work is underway. Regarding the allegations that the Greek Consulate was involved in the events in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, he stated that any evidence, if such exists, should be submitted to the Foreign Ministry.

    Skandalakis' Meetings

    Earlier this afternoon, Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis discussed the latest developments with Palestinian Authority envoy Ishmat Sabri.

    Palestinian diplomatic sources report that views on both sides concurred as to how the crisis should be dealt with as well as how to keep the status quo in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

    The same sources consider that it is a matter of days before the crisis blows over and clarify that no Palestinians were involved in the buying and selling of Patriarchal real estate. Mr Skandalakis also met with the Jordanian ambassador a short while ago.

    According to diplomatic circles, King Abdallah of Jordan is expected to recognize the new situation, as long as a relevant decision from the bodies in authority is forthcoming.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Eirinaios Accepts Invitation to Phanar

    [03] The Wardrobe of Tenderness

    10 May 2005 14:27:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Technology is once again at the service of tenderness, even if the latter is virtual. Italian designers claim to have found the solution to the problem of physical absence in long distance relationships: hugs fit for wearing them. We are talking about a T-shirt, which will simulate a partner's caress with the help of fitted micro-sensors based on information on body temperature, heart beat and touch transmitted by mobile phone. Complicated? Definitely. Effective? We can't tell yet, but how can anything replace human touch? Undoubtedly though, this is the first step for the design of an entire virtual wardrobe of the future.

    Virtual Hug

    The "T-Shirt Hug" system is called F+R Hugs and its aim is to generate the beneficial both for body and mind feeling of touch to those wearing it. The virtual hug is achieved through sensors placed on strategic points, such as around the neck, on elbows, shoulders, upper back and lower back just below the waist, which receive information on body temperature, heart beat and touch transmitted by mobile phones.

    Then, by simply pressing a button, these sensors inflate and deflate recreating the physical pressure of a hug, the body heat of another body and the respiration process. The T-shirt perfectly fits the body and can be worn underneath other clothes, without being evident.

    Italian designer Francesca Rosella, who studied at the Turin Institute of Interactive Design, and designer Ryan Genz were inspired to designed the T-shirt.

    Its creation was not an easy case. More than 200 volunteers from various countries participated in the study answering questionnaires and giving interviews, where they described who they felt in the arms of their loved ones, while they also participated in the tests throughout the manufacturing process.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] 8th SEECP Summit Karamanlis-Basescu Meeting

    10 May 2005 20:21:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis met with Romanian President Traian Basescu at the Presidential Mansion in Bucharest, on the sidelines of the 8th Summit of the South-East European Co-operation Process (SEECP). Mr Karamanlis described the bilateral relations between the two countries as excellent, pointing out that Greece is one of Romanias most important partners. Meanwhile, he referred to the Greek investments in the country, which exceed 2 billion euros, and welcomed Romanias efforts to accede into the EU. Furthermore, he expressed the hope that by January 2007 it would have fully acceded into the European family. On his part, Mr Basescu thanked the PM and the Greek Government for their support with regard to Romanias accession prospects.

    Greek Presidency Begins

    Mr Karamanlis, who is accompanied by the Greek Foreign Minister, is in Bucharest for the 8th SEECP Summit, since on Wednesday Greece will be taking over the Presidency of the Cooperation.

    Athens considers the Bucharest Summit as very important, since Greece will be taking over the baton from Romania during a very crucial time for the Balkans; Romania and Bulgaria are set on a European course, while the situation in Kossovo and the issue with FYROMs name need to be resolved.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Preliminary talks between Nicosia and UN Cyprus Activity

    10 May 2005 16:50:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Activity is starting around the Cyprus issue. In statements from Bucharest, where the Conference of Foreign Ministers of the Inter-Balkan Alliance is underway, Petros Molyviatis stated that in mid-May an envoy from the Cypriot president would go to the United Nations, in an effort to start the process of reviving the Annan Plan. "There will be initial talks between Nicosia and the UN, in order to ensure that the first step taken will not be the last," said the Greek Foreign Minister to Reuters. The Minister of State also noted the need for there to be preparation before any initiative is taken. "Any new initiative on the Cyprus issue must be taken along with the corresponding preparation, in order to ensure a smooth conclusion," claimed Theodoros Rousopoulos.

    Warm Atmosphere for Meetings with Gul and Erdogan

    Earlier, in the context of the Summit, Molyviatis met with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul.

    The atmosphere in the meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister was especially warm. Sources indicate that earlier today, Mr Molyviatis spoke over the telephone with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, and briefed him of the positive atmosphere of the meeting in Moscow with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] "Immediate Threat for Following Elections" Judicial Coup, Says Papandreou

    10 May 2005 13:55:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    In his statement following the publication of the Electoral Court decision and the redistribution of seats in Parliament, PASOK president George Papandreou spoke of a judicial coup and stressed that democratic institutions are undermined and the next elections face an immediate threat. In the meantime, PASOK parliamentarian coordinators are convening at this hour presided by the president of the party regarding the situation of Public Administration.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Attack against Bodyguard Incidents in the Centre of Athens

    10 May 2005 22:43:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Violent incidents were recorded at approximately 10pm on Tuesday night at the Polytechnic School, in the centre of Athens. At the time, PASOK MPs Evangelos Averof and Christos Verelis were giving speeches at en event hosted at the School. A group of youngsters attacked Mr Verelis police driver, who was waiting at the car in the Polytechnic School grounds. The young men threw rocks and pieces of wood towards the car, causing damages, while the police officer fired his gun in the air to scare them away and managed to escape. Police forces rushed to the scene immediately and launched a manhunt, while they also threw teargases. Police officers are posted outside the Polytechnic School, while no other incidents have been reported.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Putin Asks for Visa-Free Travel Russia Wants Open Borders with the EU

    10 May 2005 17:33:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: AFP

    Vladimir Putin asked for more from the European official with whom he signed a package of accords recently. Today, the Russian President repeated that the borders with the EU countries should be free and the current visa-issuing procedure for Russian citizens should be abolished. "Our ultimate objective of course is a visa-free travel regimen so that there is no longer a demarcation line in Europe," he mentioned, while he voiced his satisfaction over the agreement to boost cooperation between Russia and the EU. Such agreements "make important progress towards the construction of a united Europe, with no dividing lines," he added.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Talks with EU Commence Main Shareholder Shelved Temporarily

    10 May 2005 16:50:00 (Last updated: 10 May 2005 23:06:35)

    Today, the government spokesperson, Thodoris Roussopoulos, announced that the main shareholder act would not be implemented prior to the end of October 2005, while he also publicised the Governments response to the European Commissions "justified opinion". The relevant legislative regulation will be submitted to Parliament by the end of May, while Mr Roussopoulos pointed out that in the interim, Greek government experts would be discussing with the EU, aiming to change some of the clauses of the act, so that it would not be contrary to Community legislation.

    Transparency: A Priority

    "The Greek Government is ready to commence talks, as you have suggested, which will he held between government and EU experts and will focus on the matters set forth by your justified opinion. Please inform us whether and to what extent you agree to this and when you will be taking the initiative to commence talks," noted the letter by State Minister Thodoris Roussopoulos and Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

    At the same time, speaking to his associates, Mr Pavlopoulos stressed, "The common formula that will be found will unswervingly serve the principles of transparency, which is the main priority of Karamanlis Government."

    According to sources, the Government is expected to proceed with changes in the naming of shareholders and the percentage of the so-called main shareholder.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] EU legal counsel advises Only Greece Makes Feta Cheese

    10 May 2005 13:39:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Greece must have exclusive right to use the name "feta" for its cheese, according to a decision today by the EU legal counsel, who rejected Denmark and Germanys request to use the name. In 2002, the Commission ruled that feta cheese can only be called by this name if it is produced in some parts of Greece. The product was thereby given the same protection as that accorded to Parma ham and champagne. This move has angered Denmark, the best-known feta-producing country after Greece and Germany, who requested the European Supreme Court to rule that feta is nothing more than a general term for a type of salty cheese.

    Victory for Greece

    The General Prosecutor of the European Supreme Court, Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer, said that the word "feta" cannot be called a general term, but should be considered the traditional name of a cheese originating in Greece. "Feta is connected with a major historical part of todays Greece," the court states.

    The Prosecutor advises that the court should reject the suits brought by Germany and Denmark over the name. This position is a victory for Greece, where feta, according to tradition, was been produced for the last 6000 years. Athens has supported the geographic protection of feta cheese, which is made from goat and sheeps milk, since 1994.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [11] Aiming to Stamp Out Unemployment Focus on Economy

    10 May 2005 18:16:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    In a letter to the Speaker of the Greek Parliament, Anna Psarouda-Benaki, the PM asked for a discussion on the Economy to be included in the Parliaments agenda. In his letter, Mr Karamanlis underlined that some of the major issues affecting the country are low productivity and competitiveness, which result in high unemployment. As per the PM, the accumulated problems of the past are hindering the solution of the matter and for that reason he urged the political powers and the producers to show consent.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Owing to fuel price increases Inflation Strikes

    10 May 2005 15:12:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Inflation saw an increase of 0.5% in comparison with March. According to data from the National Statistics Service (NSS), in April, inflation reached 3.4% from 2.9% during the previous month. The increase is mainly due to the hugh prices of fuel as well as the 1% increase in VAT. The harmonized consumer price index, which is used for comparison purposes in the European Union, rose 3.3%. "If we hadnt experienced the oil price increases, inflation would have stood at 2.3 % in April," NSS Secretary General Manolis Kontopyrakis said.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [13] Katsouranis Takes up Position

    10 May 2005 18:01:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    AEK today made their first and perhaps greatest transfer for this summer. No, its not a big name from another country, or even some new player. The man in question is Kostas Katsouranis, who after a meeting on Tuesday with Demis Nikolaidis made an initial agreement to renew his contract with AEK until 2008. In this way, the European champion confirmed his affection for the team, which this year (and not only this) served in the best way, as he was one of the best and most stable players in the team. AEKs captains current contract would have ended in summer 2007. With the new three-year contract, the player will stay with the team until summer 2008. As for the financial side of the contract, sources speak of between 400,000 and 500,000 euros per annum.

    He Preferred AEK

    Indisputably, this is a great success for Nikolaidis administration, as he is keeping AEKs most valuable player in his team for this year.

    Of course, the players wish to stay in the team where he rose to fame and which he has served faithfully for the last few days, counted towards this.

    It all became much simpler since Porto did not activate the agreement from last year with AEK to make him part of their team.

    In fact, since the much-desired proposal from a big foreign team was not forthcoming, Kostas Katsouranis decided to stay in AEK for another three years, of course awaiting his big chance to play abroad.

    Regarding Mondays training session, those who played against Ionikos went through a relaxed programme. On the other hand, those who did not play went through a full programme of running. On Tuesday, Fernando Santos gave his players a day off.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [14] From 12 to 20 May Hospital Doctors on Strike

    10 May 2005 16:48:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Only emergency cases will be treated in public hospitals, owing to strike action started by hospital doctors, from Thursday 12 May until Friday 20 May. As announced by the Hellenic Federation of Unions of Hospital Doctors, they demand that state funding for Health be doubled, with an increase in 2005 funding for shifts and a new, special medical staff salary scale.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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