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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-05-25

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Karamanlis in Presidential Palace
  • [02] Final Farewell
  • [03] Power Cut in Moscow
  • [04] Next Moves in Jerusalem
  • [05] Society of Information with PM
  • [06] Ilia Holds her Stance
  • [07] ETA Strikes Again
  • [08] Abbas in Washington
  • [09] Zarqawi's Injury a Trick?
  • [10] Persistent "No" Vote in France
  • [11] www.ελληνικά.gr
  • [12] Clinton Stands Them Up
  • [13] Bus Hijacking in Philippines

  • [01] Over trip to US and meeting with Bush Karamanlis in Presidential Palace

    25 May 2005 11:30:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    This morning, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis briefed the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr Karolos Papoulias on the results of his trip to the United States. As he came out of the Presidential Palace, the PM stated that it had indisputable been a productive trip and added that his meeting with President Bush had taken place in a very good atmosphere. He also said that he had discussed issues of bilateral and international interest with the American President, confirming the excellent level of relations between the two countries, and reconfirming their intention to promote cooperation on matters of common interest. As Mr Karamanlis stated, strategic priority goes to peace, stability, security and democratization in the region of south east Europe and the Middle East. "We can promote this, both in bilateral relations and through cooperation with the Security Council of the UN." As he left the Presidents office, the PM had a short conversation with Karolos Papoulias before the cameras.

    Dialogue

    "I read your speech at the University. It was very interesting," said the President, for the Prime Minister to answer "they were moving moments."

    "Did you meet up with fellow students?" asked Mr Papoulias. "No, just teaching staff," replied the PM.

    Earlier, Kostas Karamanlis held a meeting at Maximos Mansion with the Speaker of Parliament Mrs Anna Psarouda-Benaki, in which they discussed issues relating to legislation.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Friends and comrades flood Perissos Final Farewell

    25 May 2005 10:52:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The body of the historical leader of the KKE, Charilaos Florakis, who passed away on Sunday, will be exposed to public veneration until 2pm. Thousands of friends and comrades, and a crowd of ordinary people of all ages, with tears in their eyes, yesterday flooded the road before the KKEs offices in Perissos, waiting for quite some time to bid him farewell to the sounds of music by Mikis Theodorakis, popular and resistance songs. People were visible moved and many left a few flowers on his coffin, which is covered by the partys flag and the Greek flag. At 6pm, at the offices of the KKE Central Committee, his civil funeral will be held, attended by PM Kostas Karamanlis and the leader of the Opposition George Papandreou. His burial will take place on Thursday in his place of birth, Palaiozoglopi in Agrafa, in accordance with his last wishes.

    Popular Fighter Passes Away

    "His will, which he claimed was not a will at all, with its sparse and succinct character, shows the greatness of the politician, the man and the fighter," stated former vice-Speaker Panagiotis Kritikos, adding that the people had lost a major fighter in popular struggles, mankind had lost a genuine advocate and politics his wisdom.

    In the meantime, the Greek Teaching Union decided that instead of sending a wreath for Charilaos Florakis, they would donate 300 euros to the KKE, while the Municipal Council of Nikaia decided to fly flags at half mast until Thursday and for the Council to attend Charilaos Florakis civil funeral, while at 12 noon, the Municipality will symbolically close.

    It was also decided to give the name Charilaos Florakis to a central road or square, or a cultural centre or a park in the Municipality of Nikaia, as well as to rent a coach to facilitate any local residents who wish to attend the funeral.

    Comrades from Cuba Attend

    "He was a great fighter, not only for the independence and the freedom of Greece, but of the entire world, and in this context we see his fight as our fight," stated the representative of the Cuban Embassy in Greece, Lydia Gonzales, who went to honour Charilaos Florakis, adding; "the people of Cuba fight a hard fight every day against our common enemy. In this struggle it has always had the support of the KKE and all its leaders and members."

    "The Cuban people will be eternally grateful for the help and solidarity of the Greek people, and especially of the KKE," concluded Ms Gonzales.

    "Comrade Charilaos Florakis fought for workers his entire life," stated a representative of the Bangladesh Workers Union in Greece, adding; "we honour him deeply from our hearts and continue the road of his fight until we also depart this life."

    Several statements from ethnic Greek organisations in Australia expressed "deep sorrow" at the death of Charilaos Florakis.

    Among other things, the Committee of Friends of the KKE reports: "We, who belong to the Committee of Friends of the KKE in Melbourne and Victoria, the party of the working class, that Charilaos Florakis loved so much, feel deep sorrow at his loss. We express our warmest condolences to our party, the heroic KKE and to the family and friends of the deceased. We announce to the Greek district of Melbourne that in cooperation with the Association of National Resistance Fighters of Melbourne and Victoria, we will hold a civil funeral service for Florakis."

    Besides this, the Karaiskakis Union of the Prefecture of Karditsa of Melbourne and Victoria states:

    "We express our deep condolences at the death of our compatriot Charilaos Florakis to the leaders of the KKE and his family.

    Charilaos Florakis dedicated his life, from a young child to his dying breath, to the struggle for justice and freedom in our homeland and the world around us. May the earth of Agrafa that covers him weigh lightly upon him."

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] Thousands of people trapped on metro Power Cut in Moscow

    25 May 2005 12:55:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Approximately 20,000 people are currently trapped in the Moscow underground train system, the metro, as a sudden powercut has occurred in the Russian capital, following an explosion in an electric power sub-station. Members of the Russian government assured citizens that every effort is being made to repair the damage. For the time being in Moscow, which has a population of 15 million, and where temperatures reach 36°C, only the airports are operating. The powercut has caused chaos for traffic and enormous problems on the metro, which is used on a daily basis by millions of residents of the Russian capital, while hundreds of people are trapped in lifts. The Stock Exchange halted transactions, as clients were unable to proceed, as there are huge problems with telecommunications, especially mobile telephony.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] Date to appoint suffragant tomorrow Next Moves in Jerusalem

    25 May 2005 11:52:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The countdown has started for the de-escalation of the tension in Jerusalem. The Holy Synod of the Patriarch of Jerusalem is expected to meet tomorrow in order to set a date to appoint a suffragant, who will oversee the election of a new Patriarch. Questions have now arisen regarding the position to be taken by the Metropolitan Bishops and Synod member Hierarchs who have remained at Eirinaios side, following the new situation created with the decision by the Panorthodox Synod in Phanar. At the same time, however, Holy Sepulchre members warn former Patriarch Eirinaios of Jerusalem that if he should attempt to appoint a new Synod, they will excommunicate him. It is not known what Eirinaios next moves will be.

    Palestinian Orthodox Christians Satisfied

    In any case, following the announcement of his removal from the diptychs of the Orthodox Church and the suspension of his dedication during the Mass, Eirinaios stated that he remains the real Patriarch of Jerusalem. The decision in Phanar was taken, with only one dissenting vote, from the Patriarch of Georgia and two abstentions, from the Patriarch of Antioch and the Church of Poland.

    In the meantime, the majority of Palestinian Orthodox Christians appear to be satisfied with the renouncement of Eirinaios, as they speak of Palestinian land being sold off. Many claim that the new Patriarch, who will be elected soon, must be in a position to understand the problems of Orthodox Palestinians. "Besides, continuing legal support from Israel for Eirinaios does not mean anything. The Synods decision applies in all cases," stated independent MP Stelios Papathemelis on NET 105.8.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Eirinaios Stricken from Diptychs

    [05] Aiming to fight bureaucracy Society of Information with PM

    25 May 2005 13:18:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    In a meeting at Maximos Mansion, PM Kostas Karamanlis and the Ministers of the Economy and the Interior, Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Prokopis Pavlopoulos discussed the acceleration of the programme to organize Public Administration. In statements after the meeting, the two ministers talked of the need for new works aiming to promote the programme for Public Administration. The aim is to stamp out bureaucracy and improve access for the people to public services. In the meantime, the official presentation of the Theseus Local Administration development programme will be held tomorrow, Thursday 26 May in Zappeio Mansion at 12 noon, with the Minister of the Interior, Prokopis Pavlopoulos and the deputy Minister Athanasios Nakos. According to the announcement, the presentation includes an official briefing by the minister and the deputy minister and presentation of the Theseus website.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] She Will File Suit against Giorgos Sanidas Ilia Holds her Stance

    24 May 2005 21:44:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8

    Former Examiner Antonia Ilia reiterated her allegations, ie that she received pressure from two superior judges whom she did name to remand Petros Lymberis in custody. As she stated during a press conference, a former colleague of hers, who has also been implicated in the extrajudicial circuit, will be making revelation soon, as she also received pressures. At the same time, the Supreme Court Plenary session will discuss the permanent dismissal of First Instance Judge Anna Korovesi and Magistrate Athanasios Nimikos on 9 June. Meanwhile, the Director of First Instance Prosecutions, Dimitris Papangelopoulos, has ordered a preliminary investigation into the matter involving parts of witnesses depositions, taken during the criminal investigation into the extrajudicial circuit, which were leaked to Greek newspaper To Vima.

    Lawsuit against Sanidas

    Earlier, Antonia Ilias attorney, Dimitris Bardis, attempted to give a political dimension to the entire investigation into the extrajudicial circuit. Furthermore, he announced that his client would be filing a lawsuit against Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas for abuse of administrative authority during the investigation.

    As he claimed, Mr Sanidas did not follow legal procedures when carrying out Mrs Ilias deposition. In addition, Mr Bardis filed a complaint to Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Supreme Court Requests Indictment

    [07] Light injuries caused ETA Strikes Again

    25 May 2005 11:53:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: El Mundo

    With a second bomb attack this week, the Basque separatist movement ETA is making its presence felt. An explosive device, which was placed in a car in the northern part of Madrid, exploded at 10:30 (Greek time). So far reports on injured people have been confused. El Mundo speaks of two people lightly injured, El Pais of five, while the BBC mentions one. Forty-five minutes before the explosion occurred, as reported on the website of Spanish newspaper El Mundo, an anonymous phonecall was made to independent Basque newspaper Gara on behalf of ETA, warning of the explosion. The newspaper warned the police, who sealed off the area. One of the people injured was a security employee in a company close to the scene of the explosion. ETAs new strike comes just eight days after the green light given by the Spanish Parliament to the government in order to start peace talks with Basque separatist organisation ETA, if it lays down its weapons. Last Sunday, ETA placed an explosive device in the house of a businessman.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] First visit by Palestinian President since 2000 Abbas in Washington

    25 May 2005 08:22:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA

    The President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has arrived in Washington, in order to make his first visit to the White House. As diplomatic sources report, he will attempt to convince George Bush that he is a serious partner regarding achieving a peace agreement with Israel. Abbas visit is the first made by a Palestinian President to the United States since 2000, when peace negotiations for the Middle East collapsed, leading to a new round of violence, a development which American officials blamed almost entirely on Abbas late predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

    Pressure on Israel not Expected

    Palestinian diplomatic sources report that Abbas expects "strong support" from Bush regarding the process of "reform" and "democratization." However, he has scaled back the expectations of the Palestinian side with regard to the American government exerting pressure on the Israelis in order to start negotiations for the formation of a Palestinian state after the partial withdrawal of Israel from the Occupied Territories in the Gaza Strip in the next three months.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] No confirmation of reports Zarqawi's Injury a Trick?

    25 May 2005 08:56:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA, BBC

    Certain American officials described the news that the leader of Al Qeada in Iraq had been seriously injured as a trick. The statement regarding Zarqawis injury appeared on an Islamic website usually used by Zarqawis organisation for its statements. Zarqawi is one of Americas most wanted men, with a 25-million-dollar bounty on his head. The authors of the report on the website appealed to Muslims around the world to pray for the injured Zarqawi. Before this statement appeared, unconfirmed reports had been circulating since the start of the month to the effect that Zaqrawi had been injured in battle in western Iraq and that he had been admitted to a Ramadi hospital for treatment. These reports circulated after the arrest of one of his drivers, and an assistant, along with the impounding of his laptop computer during an operation by US troops aimed at arresting him.

    As yet, no official sources have confirmed the information regarding Zarqawis injury, while now even the Islamic website reports how and when he was injured.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [10] Raffarin appeals to voters Persistent "No" Vote in France

    25 May 2005 10:17:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    The "no" vote is consistently ahead in polls on the European Constitution in France, just four days before the referendum. The latest opinion polls, published by three institutes (Ifop, Ipsos, CSA) put the "no" vote in the lead with 53 to 54%. The only hope for supporters of the "yes" camp lies among undecided voters, who amount to 20% of the electorate. Besides the government and the main parties, the majority of the Media are in favour of the "yes" camp, along with the majority of French intellectuals. Opinion polls indicate that "no" is in the lead, mainly amongst more active citizens, younger people, socialist groups, less well-educated strata, those better informed about the treaty, and traditionally left-wing voters. Political analysts attribute the swing towards "no" to the increasing dissatisfaction among voters with the policies of the French government. In any case, as pointed out today by French PM Jean Pierre Raffarin, the result of the referendum has yet to be decided, and he called on voters not to use Sundays polls just to punish the government.

    Political Concern

    Speaking on British television network BBC, the French Prime Minister confirmed that if the French ultimately vote against the European Constitution, then there is no likelihood of a second referendum being held later to change the popular verdict.

    In an effort to overturn predictions, President Jacques Chirac and socialist former PM Lionel Jospin decided to appear on television again this week, while many European politicians are appealing to the French to vote for the European Constitution. In fact, in an appearance yesterday, Jospin stressed that "a likely rejection of the European Constitution will not only isolate France, but will also mean that the rest of Europe will not understand us."

    However, there are many indications that there is great concern, both within the government and amongst the socialists. In fact, among the ranks of the socialist party, measures may even be taken against those who disagree.

    Furthermore, many analysts consider that the apparent victory for the "no" vote will cause rapid upheavals on the political stage, both in the French rightwing and the left.

    Regardless of the result of the referendum, it is considered almost certain that Raffarin will depart, as he has broken all records of unpopularity.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [11] www.ελληνικά.gr

    24 May 2005 23:05:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    July 4, 2005 will constitute a landmark day for Greek Internet. The Hellenic Telecommunications & Post Commission (EETT) has given the green light to registering web addresses written in Greek characters and ending in .gr, by implementing a new regulation for administrating and registering names. As per the EETTs announcement, the highest fee for a name over a two-year period would amount to 44 euros plus VAT. Parties interested in registering a name would have to contact one of the 257 companies that are currently operating in Greece and are authorised to register Internet names.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] The President runs away Clinton Stands Them Up

    25 May 2005 00:26:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    It happens in the best families. Or better yet even in presidential families. The man in question this time is Bill Clinton, who booked a table in one of Romes best restaurants, without ever setting foot inside. Lets take it from the beginning. It all started when a gentleman turned up at Agatha and Romeo luxury restaurant to reserve a table for former President Clinton and another 20 people, his friends and colleagues.

    Still Searching for him

    The reserved table for the former American President was prepared in the best way possible.

    The chefs outdid themselves preparing the menu and the seafood that had been ordered by the President.

    The restaurateur and his staff waited anxiously for the moment to arrive for Bill Clinton to step into the restaurant.

    The reservation had been made for 14:30 on Friday.

    Bill, however, never turned up.

    When, some hours later, they phoned to enquire about the matter, they were told that the President had changed his plans for security reasons.

    The incident, which was splashed across the front pages of the Italian newspapers, was condemned by the restaurants owner.

    He even asked the President to pay part of the bill, which amounts to 1000 euros.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [13] 14 people held hostage Bus Hijacking in Philippines

    25 May 2005 07:40:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Reuters

    A bus hijacking is underway in the southern Philippines, on the island Mindanao. Three armed men are holding 14 people hostage under the threat of pistols and hand-grenades, and so far efforts by local officials and a bishop to end the bus-hijacking have proved fruitless. However, after hours of negotiations, the hostage-takers released a 6-year-old girl, but they continue to hold 13 passengers and the bus driver. According to police sources, its likely that the hijackers are members of a local gang and not Muslims or communist rebels, who are quite strong in Mindanao. Armed with pistols and hand-grenades, the hijackers took over the bus on Tuesday afternoon, as it approached a military checkpoint near the town of Labangan in western Mindanao. They threatened to harm the hostages and demanded that the police provide them with a vehicle and a free road to escape.

    Efforts Towards Peaceful Solution

    The security forces allowed the bus to leave the check-point on Tuesday evening, after the hijackers had threatened the lives of the hostages. However, according to a statement from officials, the vehicle got stuck at in a shallow ditch as it went through the province of Misamis Occidental in Zamboanga.

    The police brought food and water to the people on the bus during the night and on Wednesday morning.

    "Were exerting all our efforts to resolve this peacefully. We will try to avoid people getting hurt," said Prospero Noble, police chief for Zamboanga province.

    Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar, who participated in the negotiations, even offered to drive the gunmen in his own car in exchange for the hostages.

    Mindanao is home to some of the poorest provinces in the Philippines and is plagued by criminal gangs as well as the rebel insurgencies.

    Translated by Millie Williams


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