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

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Suffocating from the Rubbish
  • [02] Reactions over Proposal
  • [03] No Health Problems for Souflias
  • [04] Smells Like a Bad Driver
  • [05] Internal Elections in PASOK
  • [06] Greek President in Ioannina
  • [07] Swiss 'Yes'
  • [08] Chirac and Schroeder Agree on the Same
  • [09] Greek "Yes" to French "No"
  • [10] Eirinaios Insists
  • [11] Order of Dismissal for Kallinikos

  • [01] Situation in Athens Intolerable Suffocating from the Rubbish

    05 Jun 2005 21:12:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Today, Athens celebrated the World Environment Day, while suffocating under tonnes of rubbish. The problem has reached colossal proportions, while municipality services are spraying the rubbish piles to reduce the dangers to public health. The situation remains intolerable for the citizens and any hopes of solving the problems are lying on tomorrows meeting between the mayors and the Director of First Instance Prosecutions. Quoting public health reasons, Mr Papangelopoulos called the Western Attica Prefect and the Mayor of Ano Liossia to his office tomorrow, warning that if the Ano Liossia refuge dump does not reopen, he would bring criminal proceedings. On his part, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias invited the Ano Liossia Mayor and the municipal council to visit Thessaloniki next Wednesday, in order to see from up close how the creation of landfields process, which will be implemented in the Ano Liossia refuge dump with the Psitallia sewage sludge, operates in practice.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] By PASOK MP Chrysochoidis Reactions over Proposal

    05 Jun 2005 18:14:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Disputes and reactions arose within PASOK over Michalis Chrysochoidis proposal to lift the permanent status of employees in the wider public sector. In an interview to the newspaper Vima tis Kyraikis, Mr Chrysochoidis declared that he viewed as positive the decision to lift the permanent statues of newly hired employees in OTE, which, as he mentioned, could spread to the rest of the public sector in order to boost the competitiveness of the Greek Economy. Asked to comment on Mr Chrysochoidis statements, Mr Papandreou pointed out that the reforms have to be done with transparency and should be in favour of the employees and the people. He also added that these matter should be discussed openly with the party and the people, since PASOK is proceeding towards reorganising its government programme. Furthermore, PASOK circles commented that Michalis Chrysochoidis was expressing his personal views, while many PASOK members kept their distance. In an interview to Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos clarified that the matter of lifting the permanent status of public workers, which is also guaranteed by the Constitution, was not an issue.

    "Deliberate Misunderstanding"

    Commenting on Michalis Chrysochoidis statements, PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos said that it was a deliberate misunderstanding concerning the definition of permanent status, stressing that there is no permanent status in the wider public sector.

    Meanwhile, he launched an attack against the government, saying that its main aims include the rights of employees in the private sector, their social security rights, their working hours, as well as the freeing of opening hours for shops, while the wider public sector comes second.

    He further mentioned that PASOK is a socialist, democratic, progressive, popular ad authentic party, which expresses a radical and reformist spirit.

    Concerning the proposal to strike the names of the unionists who signed the OTE agreement, he declared that the main thing is not to create confusion and doubts regarding political stances.

    On his part, Akis Tsochatzopoulos pointed out that PASOK would establish its unified stance both on denationalisation matters, as well as on matters concerning the wider public sector, through democratic procedures and dialogue with social bodies and the citizens.

    Commenting on the rumours about striking the names of the PASOK unionists who signed the OTE agreement, the former Minister appeared in favour, saying, "What is needed in democratic dialogue, respect for the social movement, respect for autonomy, as well as autonomy of PASOKs policies."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Papandreou Launched Harsh Attack

    [03] Underwent Medical Check-up No Health Problems for Souflias

    05 Jun 2005 17:13:00 (Last updated: 05 Jun 2005 21:48:41)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Greek Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias was in good spirits upon leaving Asklipio Hospital, Voula, at 8pm. "It was just an upset stomach," declared the Minister, while he added, tongue-in-cheek, "The opinions are conflicting. Others say it the tsipouro, while others believe it was Psitallia. However, sabotage has been ruled out." According to the medical bulletin, Mr Souflias was transferred to the hospital at 3pm, after experiencing a fainting episode, and he underwent a complete medical check-up, including a blood test and X-rays, which revealed that the fainting episode was not due to any pathological causes. The doctors attributed the episode to an upset stomach. Mr Souflias fainted as he was arriving at a restaurant in Vouligmeni along with his wife, while his private bodyguards immediately took him to hospital. Earlier, the Minister had ouzo and snacks with his other deputy ministers and MPs, as well as reporters, in a Piraeus tavern, where he was exposed to the sun for over an hour.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Smells Like a Bad Driver

    05 Jun 2005 16:53:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Get rid of the fast food in your car and reach for the mints. Not because you have a hot date lined up, but to make sure that you get there in one piece.

    At least that is what psychologists from the RAC Foundation, a British Institute established to promote the environmental, economic, mobility and safety issues relating to use of motor vehicles, are advising. According to their research, bad or peculiar smells, including those wafting from fast food, are likely to increase road rage, while other smells, ie peppermint, are relaxing and improve concentration.

    Dont be surprised. As per RAC Foundations consultant psychologist, Conrad King, "More than any other sense, the sense of smell circumnavigates the logical part of the brain. This is why the smell of perfume can turn men into gibbering idiots, the smell of baking bread can destroy the best intentions of a dieter and the smell of baby powder can make a child averse individual quite broody,"

    Well, if this is actually true, then you should take steps to protect yourselves and other drivers by filling your cars with flowers!

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Internal Elections in PASOK

    05 Jun 2005 13:55:00 (Last updated: 05 Jun 2005 22:00:42)

    Internal elections were held in PASOK on Sunday to appoint Steering Bodies. The ballots closed at 6pm, while at the moments the votes for the election of 931 Municipal Organisations and the 62 Prefecture Committees of PASOK are being counted. In his statements, George Papandreou, who voted at the electoral office of Erythrea and then visited the electoral offices of Agios Dimitrios and Kallithea, stressed that the renewed PASOK, a political party open to society, will fight the battle for prosperity in Greece. All PASOK members and friends were called to vote for the third time in three months in the elections, which started at 09:00. It started with the election of George Papandreou as the leader of the Party, followed by the processes to appoint representatives for the Convention.

    Restructuring to Conclude by End of July

    The political restructuring of PASOK will be completed by late-June with the holding of 15 Regional Conventions, which will appoint Regional Bodies for the first time.

    The aim, as National Council Secretary Marilisa Xenogiannakopoulou said, is to "turn PASOK into an open, democratic, interactive Party with decentralized operations."

    The members and friends of PASOK who participated in todays elections had the chance to also participate in an internal poll for current affairs and important matters concerning the European Constitutions and the changes in public enterprises.

    PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos noted that the contemporary and charming face of the party, combined with the contemporary and charming political speech will provide the party with the necessary tools to regain power. He further added, "Today, PASOK is completing its new organisational form, as a new, contemporary, open, democratic and collective party."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] For the Unveiling of Ioannis Kolettis' Statue Greek President in Ioannina

    05 Jun 2005 17:38:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    This afternoon, the President of the Hellenic Republic attended the unveiling of Ioannis Kolettis statue, in front of the building housing the offices of the Ioannina Prefecture. The Mayor of Ioannina, Nikos Godas, and the President of Syrrakos County, Ioannis Argyris, delivered speeches during the event, while historian Sarantos Kargakos spoke about Ioannis Kolettis, who was the first constitutional Prime Minister of Greece from 1844 to 1847. The Greek President will remain in Ioannina until tomorrow, when he will inaugurate the newly refurbished retirement home in Zosimades.

    This afternoon he will attend an event in the context of the programme "Humans and Environment in the 21st century The Crucial Problems", on the topic "Forests and Biodiversity", which is organised by the Goulandris Museum and the Municipality of Ionannina Cultural Centre.

    The President of the Goulandris Natural History Museum, Niki Goulandri, will be delivering the opening remarks during the event, while Aristotelio University professor Spyriodon Dafis, Ioanninina University Professor Vassilis Nitsakos and Ioannis Kasioumis will make speeches.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] For Schengen Treaty and Homosexual Weddings Swiss 'Yes'

    05 Jun 2005 17:53:00 (Last updated: 05 Jun 2005 21:05:07)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    According to the results of todays referendum, which were broadcast by Swiss news agency ATS, 54.6% of the citizens of Switzerland approved the participation of their country in the Schengen and Dublin Treaties. Furthermore, 58% of the Swiss voted in favour of civil weddings between homosexuals, as per the counted results in 25 out of the 26 Swiss cantons. The decisions of the Swiss Parliament to recognise homosexual couples was argued by the right-wing and religious coalition, which gathered the 50,000 signatures necessary to conduct a referendum on the matter. Furthermore, the EU voiced its satisfaction over the approval of Switzerlands participation in the Schengen and Dublin Treaties.

    Satisfaction in the EU

    Luc Frieden, the Justice Minister of Luxemburg, which presides over the EU this 6-month period, welcomed the results of the Swiss referendum. "It is a good day for Europe and Switzerland," he noted. In a joint announcement, EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner and EU Vice-President for Justice Franco Frattini underlined that the result would facilitate the free movement of people and reinforce collaboration in the area of security. They further noted that the ratification of those treaties constitutes a significant step in the relations between Switzerland and the EU.

    The Swiss Foreign Ministry also appeared satisfied over the results of the referendum. "I am satisfied that the supporters of seclusion lost," declared the Foreign Minister.

    Except from the German-speaking cantons, the rest of the cantons voted Yes with 60%. The voter turnout, which reached 55.9%, was the highest out of the average participation in referendums over the last few years.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] No Initiatives Announced Chirac and Schroeder Agree on the Same

    05 Jun 2005 16:45:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    During their meeting yesterday in Berlin, Gerhard Schroeder and Jacques Chirac assessed the situation in Europe following the loud French and Dutch No for the European Constitutional Treaty, as well as their stance in view of the upcoming EU Summit Meeting, which is scheduled for 16 and 17 June. The leaders of Germany and France reestablished their common views, but did not announce any specific initiatives to settle the crisis triggered by the No. According to the German Chancellors spokesperson, the two leaders agreed that Europe should not be abandoned during these tough times, while the procedures for ratifying the European Constitution have to continue. He also repeated that Germany is prepared to demonstrate flexibility in order to reach an agreement for the long-term planning of the EU Budget. "Germany is prepared to move towards the direction of the Budget during the Summit on 16 and 17 June," declared Bela Anda to the reporters, following the meeting between Chirac and Schroeder.

    As a gesture of goodwill, Germany has agreed to revaluate its stance concerning the EU Budget for the 2007-2013 period. In exchange, just like Paris, Berlin would also want the European countries to regroup; especially Great Britain, which has been enjoying many allowances since 1984.

    However, as per Anne-Marie Le Gloannec of the International Research Centre for Political Science (CERIS), the French-German duo has limited possibilities for initiatives.

    "The fact that they did not respect the Stability Pact has alienated those two countries and a large number of smaller ones," she stressed, noting that was one of the arguments of the No supporters in the Netherlands.

    On a political level, the analyst underlined the arrogance of the Berlin-Paris axis and their one-sided stances towards the USA, Russia and China.

    Most importantly, though, both leaders have suffered blows within their countries, indicating that Schroeder will lose power this coming September. On the other hand, his successor, Angela Merkel, is expected to approach the USA, while Chirac will be losing his main ally.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Greek "Yes" to French "No"

    05 Jun 2005 13:23:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia Newspaper

    And while European leaders are trying to measure the repercussions of the French "Non" to the European Constitutional Treaty and restraint all other countries from proceeding with new rejections, the Greeks seem to have a positive eye for the French verdict. According to a VPRC poll for the Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia newspaper and even though 73% are in favour of the European Union, 48% viewed the French result in a positive way.

    The majority of people asked (38%) said they would vote against the European Constitution because it reinforces financial inequalities and 30% because they don't want Turkey in the EU. What is more, 40% feel the European Constitution is close to the ideas of the right.

    At the same time, the overwhelming majority (85%) said they are not informed on the content of the Constitution and hold political parties responsible for it.

    However, although 46% of those participating in the opinion poll think EU policies have benefited Greece, another 47% are very little satisfied by the way the EU is operating.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Eirinaios Insists

    05 Jun 2005 12:44:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    On Sunday morning, former Patriarch Eirinaios of Jerusalem officiated in a village near Ramallah in the presence of no more than 40-50 faithful. He was escorted by Archimandrite Fotios and some priests. This move triggered the reaction of the Jerusalem Patriarchate Holy Synod that will convene on Monday at 10:30 to discuss the issue and the imposition of fines, while there could be possible reactions from Phanar as well. In the meantime, procedures for the succession to the Patriarchal throne continue as per normal.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Order of Dismissal for Kallinikos

    05 Jun 2005 12:21:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The case of Metropolitan Bishop Kallinikos of Piraeus, on whom were pending charges of sexual harassment, has been closed. The Synodical Court for Hierarchs that reassembled on Saturday as a First Instance Court, examined the case of the Metropolitan Bishop of Piraeus and unanimously ruled that the submitted evidence are contradictory and are not supported by other statements. Hence, as per an announcement issued on Saturday, the Metropolitan Bishop of Piraeus is not guilty and all persecutions against him have been suspended, the case is closed and an order of dismissal has been issued.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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