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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-06-10

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Heated Discussion
  • [02] Allergic to Depression
  • [03] Please Insert your Fingerprint
  • [04] European Champions Fly to Germany
  • [05] Hellenic President in Distomo
  • [06] Refuse Dump Closes Down Again
  • [07] Inedible Honey Discarded
  • [08] Savvas Xiros Asks for Suspension
  • [09] Massacre Averted
  • [10] Four Refugees Surrendered
  • [11] Politicians in Shape
  • [12] Bone Vows!
  • [13] Ecumenical Patriarch Celebrates
  • [14] Champions in Corruption

  • [01] Intense Wrangling between ND and PASOK Heated Discussion

    10 Jun 2005 20:32:00 (Last updated: 10 Jun 2005 23:21:52)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ANA

    The three-day discussion in Parliament over the vote of confidence to the government commenced with heated arguments. Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis took the stand first and noted, "We are a reformist power, we are leaving the past behind, while he have society by our side." He further blamed PASOK for lack of proposals, while he stressed, "Get it together and make a stance." George Papandreou counterattacked, accusing the Government of trying to turn the employers against the employees. KKEs general secretary Aleka Papariga spoke of a theatrical performance, while immediately after her speech, KKE walked out of the session, as she had originally announced. SYNs president Alekos Alavanos urged Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis not to become the "Jerusalem Patriarch of Economy." The discussion will be concluded on Sunday midnight with a nominal voting session.

    "Vote of Confidence so that Greece Can Move Ahead"

    While explaining the reasons why he proposed the vote of confidence, Mr Karamanlis said that all political parties had to be given the chance to discuss about everything.

    "I am asking for a vote of confidence for changes and reforms, so that Greece can move ahead," underlined the PM, stressing, "We want the changes to take place with consent," while he added that the Government is determined to proceed in every case.

    Mr Karamanlis gave an account of all the measures implemented by the Government over the last 15 months it has been in power, noting that serious pending matters were settled over this period, while now it is the time to attribute responsibilities.

    The PM also launched an attack against PASOK, speaking of intra-party confusion, which is turning into denial, that is "why they keep saying no to everything." He further added, "At last, get it together and make a stance," while he also mentioned that the Opposition is "cooking up scenarios."

    "Setting a Time Bomb"

    PASOK president George Papandreou harshly criticised the Government. He described it as an "uncoordinated group," stressing that the results of its governing so far are disappointing.

    Mr Papandreou spoke of a "wave of new authoritarianism," while he attributed responsibility to the Government for policies that segregates social classes, creating renewed poverty in the country.

    Furthermore, he noted that the Budget cannot be implemented, while he invited the PM to answer with a yes or a no as to whether he will be implementing new tax measures in October of April.

    "You had said that your first priority was to reduce inflation and high prices. Today, the inflation keeps rising, unemployment keeps rising and we have lost 118,000 jobs during your governing," said Mr Papandreou, who also accused the Government for the lack of growth in the country.

    Answering to the PM concerning the comment that PASOK lacks political identity and stances, he noted, "We are not the government, but we are making democratic discussion," adding, "Before we can answer to the matter relating to the permanency of public sector employees, we have to hear your proposal first. What is it?"

    Furthermore, the leader of the Opposition claimed that the Government "is setting a time bomb to the funds foundations," with its choices concerning voluntary redundancy, while it is under pressure to find money. "Your last hope is to sell off OTE, the ports, OPAP, because you are panicking over the empty funds, while you lack planning and directions. And this is what you call structural changes."

    "We Will Return on Monday"

    "KKE does not wish to become a streamer for decoration in this theatrical performance," declared KKEs general secretary Aleka Papariga, while she noted that this procedure has no value, but is just as "set-up political game." "We are walking out and will come back with a vengeance on Monday, in order to set off the problems of the workers," said Mrs Papariga.

    While explaining her use of the term theatre, she mentioned that there are no distinct differences between ND and PASOK. She further claimed that their programmes are similar, while the differences in tactics have also disappeared.

    After the end of Mrs Paparigas speech, the KKE MPs walked out of the Parliaments Plenary Session.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Head-on Collision

    [02] A USA Study Allergic to Depression

    10 Jun 2005 17:57:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: Reuters

    A study, which was conducted by an American research team, showed that parents who suffer from severe depression fits, are extremely stressful and are prone to frequent panic attacks, are more likely to have children with asthma and allergies. The study in question appears in the American journal Psychosomatic Medicine. As Ramin Mojtbai claimed, disorders of this kind happen only in the cases of biological parents, something that implies the idea of genetic liability. Dr Mojtbai, professor of Columbia University, New York, worked on the study for years after examining a sample of 9,240 pairs of parents and children.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] PINs Are Becoming History Please Insert your Fingerprint

    10 Jun 2005 17:12:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The first word that comes to mind at the thought of some stranger having access to personal data stored in our mobile phones and laptops is "exposed". However, it is very easy for aspiring thieves to unlock these devices or crack the access codes, take a peek at our personal files and use them in anyway they can. Therefore, safeguarding the secrets hidden in high-tech devices has become a top priority for manufacturers. A new security system, though, which identifies the owners of the device through their fingerprints, promises to provide a solution to the problem.

    Guaranteed Safety

    The system in question is one of the applications of biometric technology, which is already well known for its controversial use on the UKs proposed new identity cards. But the integration of fingerprint sensors on to mobile phones, laptops and PCs is still relatively new.

    Initially, users would have to roll their index finger over a small sensor to register their prints. It needs several correct readings to register the user.

    Then every time they want to log on, or unlock the device, they roll their finger over it again and they are in.

    The level of security is also very high, since if the sensor scans a different fingerprint from the one stored, it denies access to the users.

    So in practice, it is very hard to break into the system, since it doesnt even recognise the prints of any other of the users fingers. But even if someone manages to crack the system, the companies are preparing alternatives, such as more complex codes consisting of a fingerprint and a PIN.

    Simple and Easy

    This biometric system is very handy for users, since they do not have to keep remembering their PINs and passwords.

    The sensor also doubles as a mouse or a navigation tool for web browsing, gaming and menu scrolling.

    Fingerprint security adds about 45 euros to the cost of a laptop, but that is predicted to fall.

    Actually, experts believe that this system will have other potential uses, including supermarket shopping and unlocking cars, just by using our fingers.

    Naturally, many appear troubled and concerned, as they speak of Big Brother tactics. However, the advocates of this new application are saying that there is no danger, as the fingerprint is recorded on the memory of each device, which no one else can use anyway.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] European Champions Fly to Germany

    10 Jun 2005 16:23:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The reigning European Champions fly to the football pitches of Germany on Saturday morning. Taking part in the Confederation Cup for the first time in its history, Greeces national team will try to put its obligations in the preliminary phase of the World Cup, as well as the latest unfortunate results with Turkey and Ukraine, aside, and find its way back to success. The Greek team flies to Leipziq without Karagounis and Zagorakis, who are in Italy. The two cupped players have to be with the respective teams, Inter (in the Cup final against Roma), and Bolonia (in the play-offs against Parma). Today, during an event organised by Vodafone, sponsor of the Greek team, the coach, Otto Rehhagel, and the players, Stelios Giannakopoulos and Vasilis Tsiartas, referred to the defeat by Ukraine, the teams effort to qualify in Germanys World Cup, as well as to the upcoming games during the Confederation Cup.

    "We Are Ready"

    As it was expected, Otto Rehhagel's statements focused on the defeat by Ukraine. "I am an experienced coach, and this was not the first time we were defeated. I am a realist. We lost the game, but there are three more to follow. We believed in victory, we performed well, and Giannakopoulos' goal could have been valid, but I do not wish to insist on that. We did not take advantage of our opportunities to score, and we lost. Things are tough, and now we have to prove that we deserve the title of European Champions. We are all together to deal with the difficulties, everything is possible," said Otto Rachael, and added. "Right now we need all the support we can get from the media, not only in the good days, regardless the fact that they are critical.

    Referring to the team's upcoming challenge, the game against Brazil, the German coach avoided making any pompous statements, and said, "We do not play against Brazil every day. We will play against other team in this Cup. We are ready."

    Vasilis Tsiartas, on his part, pointed out, "We must face defeats seriously. What upset us more was the time the defeat came. We are still hoping, and we will definitely not give up. In the Confederation Cup, we will prove why we were crowned European Champions," whereas Stelios Giannakopoulos stated, "The defeat by Ukraine was an unfortunate result. Now, we will fight for the victory in the three games left, and we will see what happens." As for the game against Brazil, Bolton's player Giannakopoulos said," We want them to respect us the same way we respect them. We respect them, but we are not afraid of them. We wish to put aside the game against Ukraine, which upset us all."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Paying Homage to the Slaughtered Victims Hellenic President in Distomo

    10 Jun 2005 19:38:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The celebrations marking the 61-year anniversary since the slaughter of the local inhabitants by German occupying troops took place in Distomo today and were attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias. Others present included Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos, local authorities, MPs and citizens. Mr Papoulias paid homage to the Mausoleum of the 218 victims, while the names of the dead were read out. "The crime that was committee has remained unpunished, however, the sacrifice of the heroes of Distimo was not in vain," said the President, who then quoted a poem by Greek poet Giannis Ritsos. The Municipality of Distomo proclaimed Mr Papoulias honorary citizen, while Mayor Loukas Papachristou awarded him the town medal and the symbol of peace. The celebrations concluded with the inauguration of the "Museum of Nazi Victims", which was built to remind future generations of their historical responsibility against the atrocities of wars.

    The 218 citizens of Distomo were executed on 10 June 1944 by German troops, while the casualties included newborn babies, children, pregnant women and elderly citizens.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Refuse Dump Closes Down Again

    10 Jun 2005 20:22:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The situation with the Ano Liosia refuse dump and the transfer of sewage sludge from Psitallia has resurfaced. Approximately 500 local residents, as well as the municipal struggle committee, blocked off the entrance to the refuse dump on Friday afternoon, asking that it be transferred to another site, while they warned of heated reactions if the Government fails to solve the problems with Atticas rubbish immediately. Police forces have been posted to the dump, but they have not intervened.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Operation Clean-Up

    [07] By Athens Perfect Order Inedible Honey Discarded

    10 Jun 2005 18:26:00

    By Areti Christou

    Athens Perfect Giannis Sgouros ordered the four tonnes of inedible honey, which had been located and confiscated after spot checks carried out by Athens Veterinary Directorate in February, be destroyed in the Ano Liosia Refuse Dump. The laboratory checks, which were preceded, showed that the honey contained remains of antibacterial factors (chlortetracycline) making it not fit for consumption. The quantities were located in the warehouses of the company Alexandros Pittas AEVE in Peristeri. A few days after the confiscation, the company requested from the Ministry of Rural Development to be allowed to use the confiscated product as food for bees. Its request was rejected.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Due to Health Problems Savvas Xiros Asks for Suspension

    10 Jun 2005 17:03:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    A few day ago, Savvas Xiros filed an application for release, quoting health reasons. Today, Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos accepted the application and ordered the Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor to discuss the case in the 5-Member Appeals Court of Athens. Savvas Xiros, who had been sentenced to six consecutive life sentences plus 25 years for his participation in the terrorist group "17 November", is asking for a suspension of his sentence. It should be noted that initially, Xiros had submitted his application to Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor Kyriakos Karoutsos, who rejected it on the grounds that the offender had not filed the appeal in due time. Immediately afterwards, Xiros requested the intervention of Mr Linos, who assigned the case to Mr Markis. The latter passed the application on to the Appellate Court, as it is the only justice agency that has the right to hear the case.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] ETA's Terrorism Continues Massacre Averted

    10 Jun 2005 14:53:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: El Mundo

    The warning phone call to the Basque newspaper, Gara, proved life-saving, as there were no fatalities after two grenades exploded 300 metres off Saragosas airport. The unknown caller, who spoke on behalf of ETA, said that from 12.00 to 14.00 a multi-fatality attack would be staged at the airports premises. The airports authorities had the time to evacuate the airport, and succeeded in locating two more grenades that had not exploded. At that time, no landing was expected apart from Ryan Airs flight, which was due to land 15 minutes after 1 o clock, local time. The authorities urged the pilot to land the plane on the towns military airport.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] As Per a UN Announcement Four Refugees Surrendered

    10 Jun 2005 11:48:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Four Uzbek refugees were surrendered by Kyrgystan's security agencies thus violating the international treaty, announced a United Nations high-ranking official. The refugees had escaped bloodshed in Adidjan last month. Carlos Zaccagnini, chief of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner's Office for Refugees) mission in Kyrgyzstan, said that "the news naturally horrified us. This move violates the 1951 treaty for refugees and the laws of Kyrgyzstan." Human rights organisations are worried that the four refugees will be tortured if they return to Uzbekistan. More than 500 Uzbeks have found refuge in Kyrgyzstan so far.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] New Trend in Politics? Politicians in Shape

    10 Jun 2005 11:09:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    He wanted his county to run like clockwork and decided to start from the top of the ladder. And when we say top, we mean top. The President of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiev, thought the secret to progress lies in the ancient Greek saying "a sound mind in a sound body" and decided to put it to effect right here and now. Thus, he introduced a law, according to which all Government members and all Parliamentarians will undergo special endurance tests that will measure their physical fitness. If they pass those tests successfully and prove to be fit, then they will have the right to take up office. The physical fitness checks will include running, jumping and weight lifting. Bakievs aim is to encourage a culture of healthy living. Time will tell if this original ambition will be finally put to effect.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] Bone Vows!

    10 Jun 2005 15:07:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Some may find it repellent, others may find it pioneering, what is certain, though, is that wedding rings made of bones (yes, your eyes did not play tricks on you) are an alternative way for couples to be united in holy matrimony. Tobie Kerridge and Nikki Stott, designers at the Royal College of Art in London, along with Dr Ian Tompson, professor of Bioengineering at Londons Royal College, have worked on this idea, which seems to have become the new fad for wedding ceremonies. Orders have already started, and five aspiring couples cannot wait to put on the most unusual wedding rings that human brain has ever come up with. Their creation is included among the applications of bioengineering, a developing technology field. Attention: Should you decide to order these wedding rings, you must be brave enough, because a visit to the dentist is necessary before you give the order.

    Pay a Visit to Your Dentist

    A type of bioactive ceramic (bioglass), which functions similarly to human bones, is the instrumental material for the construction of bone rings.

    The material in question is inserted with the use of osteoblasts, the bone cells. As osteoblasts develop, they are unified with the bioglass and the raw material for this out of the ordinary rings.

    To achieve this, researchers will requie your own good will and assistance, meaning that you and your better half should donate a wisdom tooth each, from which the researcher are to remove the osteblasts necessary for your order.

    Although the method is still in an early stage, the three researchers claimed that it could be widely employed to patients which need to have their bones replaced, or suffer from cancer.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [13] Ecumenical Patriarch Celebrates

    10 Jun 2005 16:27:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Representatives of the ecclesiastical and political worlds have been arriving in Phanar one after the other, in order to attend the celebrations tomorrow for the Ecumenical Patriarchs name day. Archbishop Christodoulos, Deputy Foreign Minister P. Skandalakis and Archbishop Demetrius of America visited the Patriarchs residence earlier this morning. "Our relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate were very good and will become even better," mentioned Christodoulos, while Mr Skandalakis underlined, "Greeks and the Orthodox religion are communicating vessels and will remain as such." Evening Mass will be celebrated in the Patriarchate Cathedral of St George and well be officiated by Patriarch Bartholomew. It should be noted that Archbishop Christodoulos is being accompanied by the Metropolitan Bishops of Xanthi and Sparta and the Coadjutor of the Athens Archbishopric.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] Town Planning and Tax Offices Hold the Reins Champions in Corruption

    10 Jun 2005 14:19:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Town Planning and Tax Offices are proclaimed the Public agencies most prone to phenomena of mismanagement and corruption, as per the 2004 Activities Report, issued by the Public Administration Inspector, Leandros Rakitzis. The report shows that 38.54% of corruption cases are linked to financial management and economic controls, while 20% refer to town planning violations. Among the cases checked by the general inspector is the Ano Liossia municipality, where serious financial irregularities were discovered, as well as the VII Tax Office in Thessaloniki, where employees were bribed to illegally issue tax exemption certificates.

    Revealing Numbers

    The Public Administration Inspector, Leandros Rakitzis, presented the 2004 Activities Report today during a Press Conference at the offices of an independent agency. According to the data, the cases of mismanagement and corruption in the Public Administration of all the Control Bodies headed by the General Inspector come to 5,587, while 421 of those relate to corruption and 1,224 to mismanagement.

    Specifically, he reviewed 713 disciplinary decisions, inspected 909 declarations of assets financial audits of Inspectors belonging to Public Admin control bodies, probed into 371 cases pertaining to citizens complaints and evaluated 1,678 findings and inspection reports.

    Two of the typical cases in the Report include the VII Tax Office in Thessaloniki, where employees were bribed to illegally issue tax exemption certificates, as well as the case of the Ano Liossia Municipality, where a multitude of serious financial irregularities were discovered. Both cases were referred to the prosecutor, who ordered a financial and administration audit. Specifically, deficits to the amount of 53,700,000 euros and 5,500,000 euros were discovered in the administration of the Mortgages and Loans Fund of the Ano Liossia and Fili municipalities respectively. Another audit at the Ano Liossia Municipality revealed that the Mayor had mismanaged approximately 9 million euros, which resulted in the creation of a deficit in the Municipalitys administration.

    During 2004, the General Inspector lodged 42 objections in a total of 713 disciplinary decisions that were referred to him. The objections mainly concerned the imposition of extremely lenient fines compared to the gravity of the offences and the insufficient substantiation of disciplinary decisions.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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