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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-06-14

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] On the Home Stretch
  • [02] Tragedy in Northern Greece
  • [03] A Real Popular Leader!
  • [04] Jackson Not Guilty
  • [05] Alavanos Close to Education
  • [06] Abduction Ends Peacefully
  • [07] Prosecution Witnesses to the Stand
  • [08] Deadly Quake in Chile
  • [09] Euroconstitution Needs Time
  • [10] Need for Compromise

  • [01] Amidst Reactions by OTOE Unionists On the Home Stretch

    14 Jun 2005 12:13:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: NET- NET 105.8

    The Government Committee, which is convening at Maximos Mansion presided by Kostas Karamanlis, investigated the final reform over the banks social security, while a Press interview will follow by Ministers of Economy and Employment, Mr Alogoskoufis and Mr Panagiotopoulos, at 14:00. According to information, the reform is being adjusted in order to be compliable with EU regulations. The financing of the new subsidiary fund will be paid by the banks that will be incorporated, while the participation of the Public Sector is restricted to the percentage that corresponds to public banks and not 1/3 that the initial bill foresaw. Furthermore, the incorporation of the bank employees in the new regime of social security will be made with a decision by the union or the employer bank, as NET 105.8 broadcast first, with back payments from the beginning of the year. "The Subsidiary Organization of the banks that will be created will be funded exclusively by the banks, so there is no issue on unhealthy competition and no intervention from the EU," explained Minister of Economy, Giorgos Alogoskoufis.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] 26-year-old Minesweeper Dead Tragedy in Northern Greece

    14 Jun 2005 10:13:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A First Sergeant of the Minesweeping Unit passed away as he was being transferred to Alexandroupoli hospital. The 26-year-old minesweeper had been injured earlier while trying to defuse a mine, which blew up in his hands, in a minefield in Manitsa, Evros, northern Greece. An investigation has already been ordered to establish the circumstances of the tragedy.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] A Real Popular Leader!

    14 Jun 2005 12:12:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Reuters

    He wanted to make his countrys citizens feel closer to him, to listen to their problems, and be one of them. We are speaking about President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who decided to inaugurate a hot line for the citizens of Indonesia in order to hear their problems first hand. Yudhoyono, who is the first Indonesian President elected by the people, publicised his cell phone and asked of the citizens to call him or send him an SMS in order to say their problems and to make complaints on the government. However, even though his motives were innocent he should have rethought before he gave his phone number to 225.3 million people.

    He Thought it Over

    As it was natural, the Presidents phone rang like crazy. Mondays morning papers stated that the President received 3,000 calls at the weekend, while many complained of not being able to get through.

    However, the President did not want to spend the rest of his term with his cell phone glued to his ear and his spokesperson announced that his number has been disconnected. But President Yudhoyono did not give up on his aspiring plan and according to his spokesperson the government will establish five complaint lines which will be supported by a computer.

    Of course, the spokesperson did not say if the calls were answered by Yudhoyono, who desired to be remembered as a popular leader. Please note that Yudhoyonos number is 0811109949, just in case youll ever need to place a complaint.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Acquitted of all Charges Jackson Not Guilty

    14 Jun 2005 07:25:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    After a four-month trial, the eight men and women of the jury acquitted famous pop star Michael Jackson of all charges. The singer was facing a 20-year sentence for committing a lewd act on a 13-year-old cancer patient, conspiracy to commit false imprisonment and providing alcohol to a minor. The prosecutor failed to convince the jurors of the Santa Monica court, while Jackos attorney, Thomas Mesereau, managed to annul all of the arguments of the DA, the 13-year-old and his mother. Following the announcement of the verdict, the singer along with his family returned to his ranch in California, where thousands of fans had gathered to celebrate his acquittal.

    Elation over the Verdict

    Jacksons trial went through many stages and at times the singer found himself in a very tough spot due to some of the testimonies.

    Many witnesses, mainly from the entertainment world, testified during the hearing, while Jacksons former wife was converted from a witness for the prosecution to a witness for the defence, as she kept praising the singers character and devotion to his children.

    The jurors, who were barred from talking to the Media throughout the trial, stressed that they reviewed the evidence closely and were sure of their decision. They further urged the 1400 reporters covering the case to respect the entertainers private life.

    As soon as the news of Jackos acquittal became known, dozens of fans who had gathered outside the court started cheering. Actually, a middle-aged woman had a cage of white doves and kept releasing a dove every time a verdict was heard. She released a total of ten doves for the ten counts he was acquitted of.

    However, as per the Media, the pop idol is facing financial problems now, as he is allegedly broke after the trial.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] He Visited Technical High Schools in Galatsi Alavanos Close to Education

    14 Jun 2005 11:39:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    During the first day of the special entry exams for the students of TEE (Technical and Vocational High Schools), the president of SYN, Alekos Alavanos, visited the 1st and 2nd TEE of Galatsi, Athens. Accompanied by the president of OLME (Greek Federation of State School Teachers of Secondary Education) and party members, Mr Alavanos wished the students good luck, while he also had a chance to talk with teachers. "SYN is close to the children who have chosen the path of vocational training," said Mr Alavanos, asking for the upgrading of Technical and Vocational Training and its integration to regular Lyceums. Finally, the president of SYN asked for the recognition of the teachers rights, pointing out that many of them are working without infrastructure or programming.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] After a Coordinated Police Operation Abduction Ends Peacefully

    14 Jun 2005 11:56:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: NET

    The two criminals who abducted a 45-year-old businessman from Chania, Crete, are expected to appear before the prosecutor today. The abductors were demanding 60,000 euros in ransom to release the hostage. Following a coordinated operation by the police, the culprits were arrested in the apartment where they were holding the man, on Stylianou Laiou Street, Ambelokipi, Athens. The two men, who had financial differences with the 45-year-old, abducted him while he was in Athens. After taking him to the apartment, they contacted his relatives and demanded the ransom, which, as they claimed, was the exact amount he owed to them. A relative contacted the police and the extortion department located the place where the businessman was being held hostage. Police officers stormed the apartment on Monday afternoon, releasing the man and arresting the culprits.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Samina Trial Continues Prosecution Witnesses to the Stand

    14 Jun 2005 11:25:00

    By Athina SaloustrouCorrespondent: null

    The much-publicised trial of the tragic Express Samina shipwreck, which resulted in the death of 81 people on 26 September 2000, is continuing today in the Athens Court of Appeals with the testimonies of key prosecution witnesses. Painful memories awakened yesterday when the first prosecution witnesses, all of whom where passengers of the ship on the fated night, attributed responsibilities of First Lieutenant Tasos Psychogios, who was not on the bridge at the time of the accident, as well as the crew, who abandoned their posts when the ship started sinking, without regard for the passengers. The defendant, Psychogios, doubted all the testimonies, while he hinted at the condition of the ship. Furthermore, the witnesses accused the ship owning company of causing the shipwreck to receive compensation.

    Crew Ignored Pleas

    The testimonies relating to the fated night were shocking, as the passengers were left to fight the waves helpless and without any directions from the crew at the time of the accident. "No one said that we were sinking [] None of the crew offered any help," testified Nikos Giorgas, one of the people who was rescued. As per the witnesses, not only did the crew embark on a lifeboat first, but even ignored the pleas for help.

    "The passengers survived by themselves, because they had the will to live," testified another witness, while another two claimed that the First Lieutenant was not on the bridge at the time of the accident, but in the lounge. On the other hand, Mr Psychogios attorney claimed that the witnesses were unreliable, since his client was on the bridge at the time.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] At Least 8 Dead from 7.9 Tremor Deadly Quake in Chile

    14 Jun 2005 07:01:00 (Last updated: 14 Jun 2005 13:34:18)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A strong earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale shook northern Chile in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The quake mainly hit the towns Iquique and Arica. As per the information so far, at least 8 people were killed and more than 17 houses collapsed, while power and telecommunications are down. According to the countrys national emergency centre (ONEMI), there is no danger of a tsunami from the earthquake, which was also felt in Peru and Bolivia, as the epicentre was located in the mountains and not in the sea. Strong police and firefighting forces, as well as rescue crews, have arrived at the affected areas, while the terrified citizens have taken to the streets. Many aftershocks have been recorded, while the Chilean Interior Minister, Jorge Correa, urged the people to remain calm.

    Panic and Confusion

    As per the Seismologist Department of the University of Chile, the epicentre of the quake was located in the Andes, at a depth of 111km.

    Following the earthquake, which lasted approximately 50 seconds, hundreds of citizens ran out in the streets, fearing a possible tsunami.

    However, the Acting Interior Minister ruled out the possibility of a tsunami, pointing out that the Navys early warning system did not indicate something like that.

    Chile is located on an extremely active seismic zone and has been hit by major earthquakes in the past, with the deadliest one recorded in 1906. That quake measured 8.2 Richter, resulting in the death of 3,000 people and the injury of another 20,000. According to studies presented in 1998 by the countrys University, a major earthquake is due to hit northern Chile and south Peru some time in the next 15 years.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Urges Verheugen Euroconstitution Needs Time

    14 Jun 2005 10:30:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Today, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Gunter Verheugen, voiced the belief that the European Constitution should not be implemented in 2007. As per Mr Verheugen, the citizens of Europe need time to restore their confidence, following the negative French and Dutch referendums. In an interview to the German newspaper S&#252;ddeutsche Zeitung, Mr Verheugen noted that the initial aim of implementing the European Constitution in 2007 cannot be realised any more. In the meantime, 63% of the French believe that the rest of the countries should continue the ratification process.

    Restoring Confidence

    The European Commissioner further added that a tight time frame would be a big mistake at the moment, while many countries need more time to discuss the European Constitution and restore the necessary confidence to the public opinion in Europe.

    The Brussels Summit on 16 and 17 June will reassess the situation that has emerged following the rejection of the European Constitution by France and the Netherlands, as well as the disputes arising within the EU.

    French in Favour of Continuing Ratification

    As per an opinion poll conducted by CSA / France Europe Express and France Info, and published today in the French Press, 63% of the French answered Yes to the question whether the ratification process of the European Constitution should continue in the rest of the EU Member-States. In addition, 26% asked that the ratification process be stopped, while 11% did not answer. It should be noted that the French rejected the European Constitution with a 55% majority during the 29 May referendum.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Blair's Contacts in View of the Summit Need for Compromise

    14 Jun 2005 08:15:00 (Last updated: 14 Jun 2005 11:02:06)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Just two days before the crucial Summit Meeting on 16 and 17 June, and while the disagreement between France and Great Britain over the Community budget is continuing, British PM Tony Blair will be holding discussions with French President Jacques Chirac today. Earlier, Mr Blair will meet with the acting president of the EU, Luxemburgs PM Jean Claude Juncker. On Monday night, Mr Blair met with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who launched an appeal to the European leaders to put their national pride aside, while he excluded the possibility of changes to the Common Agricultural Policy, which something that Great Britain is urging. As per Mr Blair, they are ready for battle during the Brussels Summit, while he clarified that he would not be backing down over the matter concerning contributions to the Community budget if France agrees to reduce the funds it is receiving for agricultural subsidies. However, Paris appears determined to combat Britains intention to link the regimental changes in the matter of rebates to reforms in the Common Agricultural Policy.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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