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

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] The Key to Good Physical Condition
  • [02] Banks to Remain Closed
  • [03] Eirinaios' Passport Revoked
  • [04] Meetings in Maximos Mansion
  • [05] Learning About Environment
  • [06] Massacre in Nepal
  • [07] 5.7 Quake in Eastern Turkey
  • [08] Eurogroup and Ecofin Convene
  • [09] PPC S.A.: Review and Positive Perspectives
  • [10] Budget Revenues Increase
  • [11] Tzekos and Thanou Were Let off
  • [12] Marihuana Stop!
  • [13] Electronic Terrorist
  • [14] See You at the Toilet!

  • [01] The Key to Good Physical Condition

    06 Jun 2005 15:58:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: BBC

    Keeping fit does not only require a moderate, regular exercise, according to Canadian scientists. A research conducted by McMaster University, which was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, showed that six minutes of intense exercise can be proved as effective as six hours of moderate exercise. However, the method is not to be followed by those who are not already fit.

    The usual instructions suggested by experts for a fit organism include a 20-30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, three to five times per week.

    Canadian researchers applied themselves to examining other ways of achieving the same result. They studied three groups of already fit participants, and reached the conclusion that whether they exercised moderately for a long period of time or adopted short bouts of intense exercise, in the end, muscle capacity and levels of endurance were recorded to have been improved to the same extent for all participants. The results analysis showed that both the rate at which their muscles absorbed oxygen, and the levels of the enzyme which helps the tissues to process oxygen were the same for all cases.

    Scientists, however, warn that perfect fitness cannot be acquired from scratch, merely by adopting bouts of intense exercise. So, for those less active, the best way to maintain a steady bodyweight and a good cardiovascular health is to follow a moderate and regular workout regime.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Due to OTOE's 48-Hour Strike Banks to Remain Closed

    06 Jun 2005 15:53:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    OTOE (Greek Federation of Banking Employee Unions) responded to the plan for solving the banking employees social security with a 48-hour strike. As a result, all banking transactions will be disrupted, as the credit institutions will be operating with emergency staff. The deadline given by the Government to OTOE in order to find a commonly acceptable solution ends on Friday, while, if the matter is not resolved, the Government is determined to proceed with legislative reforms. KKEs general secretary Aleka Papariga met with OTOE representatives at noon to discuss the matter of banking employees social security. After the meeting, OTOE President Dimitris Tsoukalas invited all banking employees to a rally that is scheduled for this afternoon, while he accused the Government of a bill that increases the profits of bank owners, shifting the cost to the citizens. On her part, Mrs Papariga stressed that KKE is opposed to incorporating the social security funds into IKA and in favour of establishing a unified subsidiary and social security fund. However, she stressed that her party would not accept any increases in working hours or retirement age.

    "The Government would not make any changes with underhanded deals," said Mr Roussopoulos referring to the matter, while he stressed the need to find a viable solution for the generations to come.

    It should be noted that the Economy Ministrys plan provides for the creation of a unified subsidiary fund, which would be a public law entity insuring all banking employees hired up to 1992, while newly hired employees (after 1993) would be integrated in IKA ETEAM.

    On the other hand, OTOE insists on a private law unified fund for all current employees and pensioners, while it threatened with further escalation of their protests and appeals to the European Courts.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] By the Jordanian Government Eirinaios' Passport Revoked

    06 Jun 2005 15:07:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    In a letter made public on Monday, the Jordanian Government asked Eirinaios to return his diplomatic passport, which was issued when he became Patriarch. The letter has been signed by the Jordanian Interior Minister, Awni Yirfas, and is dated 31 May 2005, but was made public today. This basically means that now Eirinaios only has a common Greek passport. In the meantime, the Holy Sepulchre Synod called all the clerics who officiated Mass on Sunday along with Eirinaios to provide explanations tomorrow. Furthermore, it noted that if they refuse to sign a statement agreeing with the decisions of the Panorthodox Synod, they would be suspended. With regard to Eirinaios, the Synod described his actions as anti-ecclesiastical, improper and schismatic, while it reserved the right to impose sanctions during the upcoming meeting.

    Eirinaios Accuses Skandalakis of Intervention

    Greek State Minister and government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos referred to the situation in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, as he was asked to provide information regarding a letter sent by Eirinaios to the PM, Kostas Karamanlis.

    "Deputy Foreign Minister P. Skandalakis intervened in order to safeguard and conserve the Greek Orthodox character of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, as well as the unity of the congregation," he stressed, referring to the letter by Eirinaios, whereby he attributed responsibilities to the Deputy Foreign Minister for the situation with the Patriarchate.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Eirinaios Insists

    Eirinaios Asks Karamanlis to Intervene

    [04] An Increase in Tourism is Expected Meetings in Maximos Mansion

    06 Jun 2005 13:07:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8- ANA

    The Prime Minister discussed matters of public administration with Minister of Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos. The Minister did not make statements to the journalists upon departing Maximos Mansion, Earlier, the Prime Minister met with Minister of Tourism Dimitris Avramopoulos who briefed him over the summer tourist season, which as it is evaluated it will increase by 6% or 7%. In his statements, the Minister of Tourism underlined that Greek tourism has entered a stabilization stage and "we managed to intercept the negative atmosphere," while he spoke of a revival and growth in the industry. However he noted that the main condition, due to the tough competition environment and new destinations that exist, is for the upgrade of Greek tourism quality and the services provided.

    Garbage Also Affects Tourism

    "Greece should show that it is a hospitable, open, clean and civilized country," noted Dimitris Avramopoulos

    Mr Avramopoulos stated that the Public Sector and the citizens are also responsible of the issue, and said that the Ministry is starting a advertisement campaign focused on tourism conscience, while he called on all the relevant bodies in the department and municipal and local administration to give their best this summer. He also made reference to the Social Tourism Program while he was especially critical on the garbage issue. He noted that this picture damages, except for public health, tourism as well and noted that all the involved bodies should rise to the circumstances and give solutions.

    He also spoke of an unacceptable picture and denounced the fact that Greece ranks last in refuge management system.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Education Ministry's Programme Learning About Environment

    06 Jun 2005 19:31:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    On Monday, the Minister of Education, Marietta Giannakou, announced a ten-year programme of environmental education aiming at better informing and educating students as well as teachers over environmental issues. More than 20,000 students, who will be visiting areas of environmental interest, are expected to participate in the programme annually, whereas 70,000 teachers will receive specialised training. According to the programme, at the end of each school year a one-week festival will be held, whilst the Education Ministry is to issue a special magazine for students. At the Press Conference held to present the Ministrys activities, Mrs Giannakou referred to the upheaval created in the Thessaloniki Prefecture.

    Clarifications Over Thessaloniki Prefecture Issue

    The development of the programme is a responsibility undertaken by the National Steering Committee for Environmental Education, which was formed for this purpose, with the collaboration of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning & Public Works, and the Ministry of Development, as well as other environmental bodies working with UNESCO.

    Referring to articles related to the Thessaloniki Prefect, Panagiotis Psomiadis', statement that he "will shutdown the Prefecture" because the money granted for school buildings is not enough, Mrs Giannakou said that there has been a misunderstanding. She also added that the Ministry of Economy & Finance will settle the old debts associated with the erection of school units on the part of the Prefecture, provided that the Prefecture will produce all necessary figures.

    Finally, the Minister voiced her opposition to the commenting over the examined subjects that takes place during the National Exams, believing that it harms the students' psychology.

    "I deem it improper the fact that many people, from various publications, speak of easy or difficult exam topics. To my mind, this frightens the students, and influences their psychology. It is a very inappropriate method," Mrs Giannakou stated.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] 38 dead 72 wounded Massacre in Nepal

    06 Jun 2005 17:50:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters

    38 people were killed, and 72 more were wounded when a mine, which was located under the bus they were on, exploded south of Nepal. Many women and children were among the victims. Those seriously wounded were transported by helicopter to the capital city of Kathmandu, and others to local hospitals, while security forces initiated extensive investigations on the "terrorists". The explosion took place in Madi village, in the Chitwan district 150 km south of Kathmandu. As per army officials, the rebels are to be held responsible. The attack is described as one of the worst against civilians since 1996, when the Maoist rebels launched their revolt. The rebels are fighting to overthrow the monarchy and establish a communist rule in Nepal.

    A Horrible Spectacle

    "The bus was stuffed with peasants, many of whom were travelling on the roof of the bus, going to work or to local markets, when it stepped on a mine planted by the "terrorists," an army official stated.

    A Reuters' photographer, who visited the area eight hours later, spoke of a "horrible spectacle." Eyewitnesses mentioned that the explosion was so powerful that the bus was ejected far away, and created a large crater on the road.

    "The rebels set off the explosive mechanism with a remote control from a 250 distance," an army spokesperson pointed out. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] 5.7 Quake in Eastern Turkey

    06 Jun 2005 13:51:00

    By Anna Kourti

    An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale was recorded in the province Bingol, eastern Turkey, resulting in the slight injury of 45 people. Fortunately, however, only two of them had to be transferred to hospital. Many buildings sustained damages from the quake, but none of them collapsed. The epicentre was located in Karliova, Bingol province, while the tremor was felt in neighbouring areas, causing panic to the people.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Eurogroup and Ecofin Convene

    06 Jun 2005 14:52:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    The economic situation of the EU, fiscal developments, regulations regarding the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as matters concerning the euro currency will be at the focus of discussion in the Eurogroup meeting on Monday night in Luxemburg, where Greek Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis will also be participating. What is more, the Council of Economics and Finance (ECOFIN) will convene on Tuesday to discuss amongst others the general directions of the 2005 economic policy and go over a draft of the final report to be submitted to the Summit Meeting on June 16-17.

    New Fiscal Framework

    What is more, Economy Ministers participating in the ECOFIN will also discuss the fiscal framework (2007-2013) and as per the EU presidency timetable, the European Council will be given the possibility to reach a political agreement.

    The Ministers of Economy and Finance will also focus on taxation matters, low VAT factors and the guidelines for the national appearances of euro coins (plain coins and souvenirs).

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] At the Company's Annual General Assembly PPC S.A.: Review and Positive Perspectives

    06 Jun 2005 17:47:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The Annual General Meeting of the Public Power Corporation SA was held on Monday morning to discuss and analyse the 2004 budget and the company's perspectives in the new open energy market. In particular, participants discussed the administration's immediate targets, which are to save electrical energy, preserve the PPC's leading presence in the domestic market and expand business activities in the Balkans. The general assembly also went over workers' demands and the measures taken to avoid the eventuality of a blackout in the summer months. Public Power Corporation president Giannis Paleokrasas clarified there is no case of imposing a voluntary redundancy plan, noting that PPC is not facing problems similar to those of other DEKOs (public enterprises which are classed as public services and utilities), while the personnel number gradually drops with retirements and limitation of newly-hired.

    GFE/ SEE Upcoming Meeting with Economy and Development Ministers

    What is more, it was made known that the Ministers of Economy and Development will meet within the week with the General Federation of Employees of Electric Energy Sector (GFE/ SEE), as today's meeting between Mr Alogoskoufis and the federation's administration was postponed. As for GFE/ SEE president Nikos Pylalidis, he expressed the workers' discontent as for over a year now, the GFE leadership has not managed to meet with the Economy Minister.

    Regarding the issue of adequate electric energy, the secretary general of the Development Ministry, Nikos Stefanou, stressed that over the last 15 years, only one unit has been constructed in the South, were consumption is concentrated, and thus the unbalance of the system is aggravated since production is concentrated in the North.

    At the same time, all sides have appealed for saving up electricity, while Mr Stefanou announced that an advertising campaign on the matter will be launched soon. It is worth noting that the PPC's last figures have showed an 8% increase in electricity demand in relation to the same month in 2004.

    Regarding the open energy market, the PPC president stressed that apart from a back-up unit in Boeotia and the ELPE unit in Thessaloniki, which will be in operation by the end of 2005, no other units are expected to operate in the following two-three years.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Ministry of Economy &Finance Figures Budget Revenues Increase

    06 Jun 2005 16:31:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ANE

    Deputy Minister of Economy & Finance, Adam Regouzas, was fairly optimistic at the presentation of the figures related to the budget revenues. Mr Regouzas announced that in May the budget revenues recovered to 6,7% compared to last years corresponding month, whereas total revenues from VAT showed a 6,7% increase. Furthermore, Mr Regouzas noted that no taxes are to be imposed, and he voiced his belief that the revenues increase, as predicted by the 2005 state budget, will be achieved. He also announced that, from now on, taxes can be paid off through credit cards, and he made it clear that the objective values of the assets will come into force from 1/1/2006. PASOK accused ND's government of "delay and poor administration", whereas SYN spoke of "new tricks on budget."

    Mr Regouzas also stated that the Ministry examines ways bound to be controlling the oil flow in the refinement and trade system, with the view to combating the extensive smuggling of heating oil.

    As for the budget revenues, according to figures released by the Ministry, to increase the revenues of this year's budget, revenues should be annually increased at 10.1%, a fact that is attributed to the delay 2004 budget revenues depicted.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] Tzekos and Thanou Were Let off

    06 Jun 2005 13:38:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    After testifying before the 11th Examiner, Christos Tzekos and Katerina Thanou were let off. Furthermore, the Examiner did not impose any restrictive conditions on the former coach of the two Olympians and the Greek champion. Tzekos and Thanou are accused of obstructing a doping test, incitement, false declaration and violation of duty. It should be noted that the charges concern the non-show of athletes Katerina Thanou and Kostas Kenteris for doping tests in Tel Avi, Chicago and Athens, as well as the events that took place on the afternoon of 12 August, before the opening of the Athens Olympic Games, with the alleged motorbike accident in Glyfada.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Even For Medical Purposes in the USA Marihuana Stop!

    06 Jun 2005 18:46:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The use of marihuana for medical purposes has been banned in the USA. A Supreme Court ruling put an end to the use of the substance by doctors, thus proving George Bush's government right, as they had expressed their opposition to this practice, which was allowed in ten American states. The decision was made by six votes for and three against, while the Court was based on the cases of two women in California, who used cannabis to relieve themselves from unbearable pains caused by incurable diseases. Federal agents had confiscated the women's cannabis plants. The grounds of the decision stress that the cultivation and use of marihuana even for medical purposes "has wider social and financial complications." In fact, the government wanted to ban the use of marihuana even for patients because "it undermines the anti-drugs campaign." It is noted that the cultivation and use of marihuana for medical purposes was allowed in California and in other ten states since 1996 but only for patients with AIDS, cancer or multiple sclerosis.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [13] Electronic Terrorist

    06 Jun 2005 14:42:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: BBC

    Osama Bin Laden strikes again, but this time in electronic form. Well, it is not the al-Qaeda leader himself, but an e-mail claiming to contain information from international Media regarding his alleged capture. In reality, it contains a virus aimed at attacking Microsoft Windows. However, this is not the first time that a virus disguised under the name of the Saudi Arabian leaves computer victims behind. The first time a similar case was recorded was last July. As of 1 June this year, though, anti-virus companies have been catching the junk mail messages in large numbers.

    Not Captured!

    The programme, which hides under the name of Osama Bin Laden, is a Trojan horse, named Psyme.C., while the junk mail appears under the titles "Captured", "God Bless the USA", or other similar titles. The e-mail contains a misleading message informing users that the news about the arrest of the century are being broadcast by the large networks BBC and CNN, but without visuals. Users are then told that they can access visual material on a specific website or by downloading an attached file.

    If the users are convinced and visit the website or download the file, the Psyme.C. virus will end up in their PCs. It will then exploit the vulnerability found in Windows 2000, 95, 98, ME, NT, XP and Windows Server 2003 and will download Small.B, which will create headaches for users.

    Panda Software has ranked Psyme.C as number 8 on its list of the ten most malicious threats to PCs, while the company Blackspider announced that their filters have stopped over one million messages, most of them from the USA, from being downloaded during the first week of June. Considering the fact that almost one in every 44 messages sent worldwide daily contains a virus, we should proceed with extreme caution when receiving e-mails from unknowns.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:


    Panda Software

    [14] See You at the Toilet!

    06 Jun 2005 12:05:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    There is one place where even the King goes by himself. However, in Taiwan, those kinds of places are frequented by groups of friends which literally wish each other "bottoms up". The ingenuity of local restaurateurs, who try to offer their patrons original ideas and novelty d&#233;cor, is limitless. Others offer blind dinners, where customers eat in the dark, others offer coffins, prison cells and, why not, a contemporary place decorated in the classic style of a squeaky clean lavatory.

    So, happy Taiwanese diners who visit Eric Wangs restaurant "Marton" (which means toilet in Chinese) in the southern city of Kaohsiung will find themselves in a uniquely familiar environment. Walking in through an arched door, patrons are greeted with a giant toilet bowl sitting between two urinals. White ceramic toilet seats comfortably accommodate their bottoms and urinals grace the walls. The food is not served on plates, but in miniaturised Western and Asian style toilets, both the flush and non-flush type, in a variety of shapes and colours. Of course instead of napkins, customers can use ample quantities of toilet paper.

    Eric Wang explains that it is a special and amusing experience. For anyone missing the point, diners are encouraged to stir up mushy, earth-coloured offerings, like curry chicken rice and chocolate ice cream, to conjure up the real thing! As he added, many try to create more fun, stirring up the food so it looks exactly like when you forget to flush the toilet. Well, each to their own!

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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