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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-06-16

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] On Strike
  • [02] Convicted to Tourism
  • [03] Hostage Situation Ended in Blood
  • [04] Reactions over Stock Exchange Profits
  • [05] Investigation Against Supreme Court Vice-President
  • [06] Tragic End for Sailing Boat Owner
  • [07] Meeting on Settlers' Withdrawal
  • [08] A Jet in their Backyard
  • [09] Attacks in Iraq Continue
  • [10] At Last, it's Time for Brazil
  • [11] Greece's Best Ambassadors
  • [12] UN's Force on Cyprus for Six More Months

  • [01] Over Banks' Social Security On Strike

    16 Jun 2005 07:07:00 (Last updated: 16 Jun 2005 12:16:33)

    By Vicky Keleri

    As of today, OTOE (Hellenic Federation of Bank Employees Unions) will proceed with a new 48-strike reacting to the government reform over bank employees social security. GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour), ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) and DEKO (public enterprises classed as public services or utilities) Federations will proceed with three-hour work stoppages in support, while a rally has been scheduled for 13:00 on Sina Street. GSEE and ADEDY are calling all employees to stop working from 12:30 until the end of their working hours. Public Means of Transport employees will also proceed with stoppages. In particular, trolleys will stop working from 13:00 to 15:00, while all train employees will stop working from 12:00 to 15:00. Buses will not be performing any routes from the beginning of the shift until 07:00 and from 22:00 until the end of the shift. Trams will run as per normal, as employees decided to abstain from mobilisations. Finally, dock workers will be on strike today as well. Participating in the stoppage declared by POSPERT, ERTonline will not be posting any news from 13:00 to 15:00.

    Thessalonki Joins Mobilisations

    The Hellenic Post Federation will also participate in the strike, after describing the OTE agreement as a "gravestone" for social security. As an indication of support, the Labour Centre of Thessaloniki has declared a three-hour stoppage, where public transport employees will also take part pulling the hand break from 12:00 until 15:00.

    Aiming at Employees' Protection

    Speaking on NET radio 105.8, GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos said the promoted changes are nothing more than cutbacks in social security rights.

    ADEDY President Spyros Papaspyros stressed: "we ought to protect the rights of employees. It is certain that DEKOs and the Public Sector will follow suit."

    In statements on NET radio 105.8, ND Parliamentarian Giannis Manolis stressed commenting mobilisations: "If I was in GSEE's shoes, I would take all employees under consideration and not just a part of them," thus underlining that to make a strike work, it has to have the support of society first of all.

    "IKA and the Greek people cannot pay for the sins of the country's bank sector. The banks should pay," supported PASOK parliamentarian Miltiadis Papaioannou.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] Vacations for Tough Nuts Convicted to Tourism

    16 Jun 2005 11:36:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Are you in for a different traveling experience? Are you sick and tired of ordinary hotels and you wish for a more extreme choice of stay? If you are, then there's nothing left to do but book a room in Sri Lanka's original hotel, the Galle Fort. And why original, you might wonder. Well, because it used to be a prison built in 1663, during the Dutch occupation in the country. Today this prison is listed as a World Cultural Heritage site and tourists wishing to stay there will have to leave modern comforts behind, as they will literally be staying behind iron prison bars and the cells will not be very different than what they used to be in the 17th century. And if you think that prison cells are the only eccentricity, better guess again. Daring tourists will be obliged to walk around in prison uniforms for the duration of their stay!

    Doesn't This Sound Like a Reality Show in Prison?

    One of the main differences from an actual prison is that "prisoners" will be allowed to keep the keys to their cells and move about at will, as the "jailor", who will probably be the receptionist, will not undertake the tasks of an actual prison guard. Property in Galle fort is among the most expensive in Sri Lanka, and a number of grand old buildings, which used to house the colonial Dutch and later British administrations, have already been converted into luxury hotels or museums.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] One Student and Two Hostage Takers Killed Hostage Situation Ended in Blood

    16 Jun 2005 08:06:00 (Last updated: 16 Jun 2005 13:26:09)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: Associated Press - Reuters

    The hostage situation of 29 students in a Cambodian school who were held at gunpoint by a group of masked men ended tragically. A three-year-old girl of Canadian origin and two of the hostage takers were killed during the police invasion, which put an end to the six-hour hostage situation. It all started early in the morning, when a group of six armed and masked men invaded the school of the Siem Reap province and held its 70 students and three teachers hostage at gunpoint. A while later the hostages takes released a group of 41 students, however police invasion was imperative to put an end. Many of the hostage students were from other countries, like Ireland, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Indonesia and the Philippines. It should be noted that the hostage takers had demanded 1,000 dollars, shotguns, hand grenades and a van in order to release the rest of the hostages.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Following the Audit Committee's Findings Reactions over Stock Exchange Profits

    15 Jun 2005 19:29:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    The report of the Parliamentary Audit Committee on the finances of the political parties triggered reactions by acting and former Greeks MPs, who allegedly made huge profits on the Stock Exchange. State Minister Thodoros Roussopoulos accused PASOKs government of the situation created in 1999 in the Greek Stock Exchange, while he added that justice has already intervened. He also mentioned that as far as the Government is concerned, the PMs remark, ie that the Stock Exchange scandal will not go unpunished, remains.

    Statements and Explanations

    The billions that were played in the Greek Stock Exchange have created havoc among many Parliament members. The Government spokesperson attributed responsibilities to PASOK for the situation in the Stock Exchange during 1999, while he repeated that the case in now in the hands of Justice.

    PASOK MP for Larissa Nikos Floros is among the politicians whose profits skyrocketed, while he is called upon to provide explanations.

    Furthermore, former ND MP Giannis Averof appears to have made 1.2 billion drachmas in the Stock Exchange. In written statement, Mr Averof described his implication to the case as unfair, while he noted, "I believe that it is just superficial and unfair to consider my implication as an attempt at profiteering, when my only sin is that I belong to two very well known and wealthy families: Averof Papastratou."

    Education Minister Marietta Giannakou also provided explanations for her Stock Exchange profits. "I have never traded in the Stock Exchange," stressed the Minister, while she added, "It is just a transaction by my former husband, which resulted in losses. These transactions have come up, because up until the divorce we filed joint declarations of assets," she concluded.

    At the same time, in a written statement, ND MP Achilleas Karamanlis stressed that he never participated in any Stock Exchange games. "There was only one transaction. It concerned the transfer of Ergasias Bank shares, which had been bought by my late father-in-law in the 70s," he said.

    Finally, in a written statement, PASOK MEP Nikos Sifounakis, who appears to have made 1.3 billion drachmas in profits, mentioned that wrong impressions are being created, since he never gained any money from the Stock Exchange, while his wife has a stock portfolio as she is a businesswoman.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    MPs Declaration of Assets

    [05] Karamanlis - Papaligouras Meeting Investigation Against Supreme Court Vice-President

    16 Jun 2005 12:00:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8 - NET

    Justice Minister Mr Papaligouras ordered Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos to run a disciplinary investigation against Supreme Court Vice-President Achilleas Zisis. Mr Zisis is accused of interventions with Justices bodies in favour of his friend, who was a businessman involved in the Greek Stock Exchange scandal in 1999. Shortly after his meeting with the PM, Mr Papaligouras said that the government will proceed with the clean-up operation in Justice no matter how far. In the meantime, articles referring to Mr Zisis meeting with former examiner Konstantina Bourboulia along with a businessman were brought up today in the Athens Three-Member Appellate Court where Mrs Bourboulia is tried on offences involving the way she conducted the Stock Exchange investigation. At this hour the Supreme Court Plenary Session is convening to decide upon the dismissal of First Instance Justices President Evangelos Kalousis who is accused of provokingly violating his duty over the last seven years.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    No Room for Corruption

    [06] He Was Found Dead in Psathopyrgos Tragic End for Sailing Boat Owner

    16 Jun 2005 11:12:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The 60-year-old tourist who was reported missing since Wednesday noon, when a hotel tenant spotted his sailing boat "Pillango III" ungoverned, was found dead in Psathopyrgos. Thee Coast Guard ships and an Air Force helicopter swept the area to recover any castaways. Originally, port authorities estimated that passengers on board may have swam to the coast without informing anyone on the incident. However, an announcement issued by the Mercantile Marine Ministry reading that blood stains had been found on the missing person's blanket changed allegations. It should be noted that the sailing ship has already been towed to Aigio.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Meeting on Settlers' Withdrawal

    16 Jun 2005 10:00:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    An Israeli-Palestinian meeting on security issues was held on Wednesday evening near Erez crossing, between the Gaza Strip and Israel. General Aviv Kochavi, commander of the Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian General Souleiman Ghali presided over the meeting. The meeting, which focused on the issue of Israelis withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, was described as "positive". Furthermore, Israelis requested Palestinian security services intensify their efforts towards deterring attacks against Israeli targets.

    Trailers for the Settlers

    In the meantime, approximately 20 trailers were transferred in the area of Nigan, south of Tel Aviv, to house the Israeli settlers that are expected to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, as per the Israeli radio.

    The trailers are meant for those residing Gush Katif, being the first group out of 600 who will be withdrawing from mid-August and onwards.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] A Jet in their Backyard

    16 Jun 2005 07:35:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The residents of a house in Yuma, Arizona, were scared to death when they witnessed a Harrier fighter jet armed with four 225Kg bombs crashing in flames in their backyard. A while earlier, the pilot had ejected from the plane before it landed on the runway near the US-Mexican borders. Both the pilot and the house owners lived through this adventure unharmed. However, the Police evacuated the area for precautionary reasons. A Marines corps spokesperson said the area was evacuated at a 1.6km range because the fighter jet was carrying armed bombs. Still, the same man refused to give further details regarding the jet's mission.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] In Baghdad and Rammadi Attacks in Iraq Continue

    16 Jun 2005 08:55:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    There is no end to the cycle of blood in Iraq. On Thursday, five US marines were killed, when their vehicle drove over a bomb near Rammadi. Earlier, five Iraqi soldiers sustained injuries when a booby-trapped car exploded in Baghdad. As per an Internal Affairs Ministry source, the soldiers were admitted to a Baghdad hospital, while it was cleared that the blast occurred behind a police watch post in the Suleich province.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] At Last, it's Time for Brazil

    15 Jun 2005 22:20:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    On 28 April 1974, Brazil and Greece played against each other for the first and last time during a friendly match in Maracana Stadium, in front of 110,000 fans. The Greek players were in awe just because they had the chance to step in the "temple" of football. But as time went by, Alketas Panagoulias boys managed to overcome their shock and leave Brazil undefeated, as the match ended in a nil all tie. Thirty-one years have gone past since and many things have changed. Brazil has won the World Cup twice, while Greece triumphed in the European Cup. At 21:45 on Thursday, the Greek players will write history once again. Just like back then, Otto Rehhagels squad declared prepared for the challenge. Under different circumstances, tomorrows match could have been a World Cup final. And the Greek fans will prove that, because, just like in Portugal, they will be by the players side once again. And just like last year, when the cheers led the team to a miracle, the fans will push for yet another success; mainly because the Greek team wants to prove that it did not win the European Cup by chance, but because it deserved it. Anyhow, you dont get to play against Brazil every day; neither are you a European Champion all the time.

    Rehhagel: "We Will Defend our Title"

    In his statements during todays Press conference, Greeces coach Otto Rehhagel noted that the Greek team is in high spirits.

    "I must say that we do not fear the game against Brazil. It is just a football match and nothing else. We know that we will be facing a team that has players like Kaka, Ronaldinho, Adriano and Ze Roberto on its roster. They are all very good and know their job on the pitch very well. Over the last 50 years, Brazil has had star players, who have kept the team at the top of world football. We are just looking at our chances for success. We came here as European Champions and we will make sure that we will defend our title," underlined Mr Rehhagel. He then referred to the problems with the team. "We are facing problems, just like in the World Cup preliminaries. Things are not how we want them to be, but we are not troubled. All the players who are here will try their best in all the matches. The Confederations Cup and the match against Brazil are a challenge for us and we are prepared to face it."

    The questions also focused on Germanys National team. Asked whether he would want to play against his birthplaces team in the final, Otto Rehhagel said, "You have to take football one step at a time. Our first step is against Brazil. We are looking at this game now and we will figure out how far we can go in the process."

    Vassilis Tsiartas, who spoke on behalf of the players, focused on the strength of tomorrows opponent. "We know we have a tough game ahead, since we are playing against the best team in the world. We know all the players on its roster. It is important to be playing against Brazil and we will try our best for a positive result," said Tsiartas. "If we dont win, it will mean nothing for us. The World Champions results mainly depend on the mood of its players. When the Brazilians have their hearts set on it, they can defeat anyone. But even this team has some vulnerable points, including players fatigue prompted by the tough championships and the increased obligations. Participating in the event and playing against Brazil is a challenge for our team, if one considers that you have to pay millions to play against it in a friendly match. Winning the Euro Cup a year ago gave us great joy. But life goes on and we will be looking ahead for new successes."

    Stelios Giannakopoulos and Zisis Vryzas will be playing tomorrow, barring any unforeseen event, while they might even be included in the starting lineup. Giannakopoulos and Vryzas trained as per normal on Wednesday, so the coach will more than likely choose them.

    The starting lineup will include Nikopolidis under the nets, Takis Fyssas and Giourkas Seitaridis in the positions of left and right wingback respectively. Goumas and Kyrgiakos will be the main defensive duo, while Kostas Katsouranios will play as sweeper. Zagorakis, Basinas and Karagounis will play as centre midfielders, with Charisteas and Vryzas in the positions of centre forward. If, however, Rehhagel chooses to boost the offence, he will replace Vryzas for Giannakopoulos.

    Prior to kickoff, Otto Rehhagel will receive the award for the top team worldwide in all sports for 2004 from the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). It should be noted that the tickets for the game have been sold out.

    Pareiera: "It Will Be a Tough Match"

    With regard to the feeling in the Brazilian team, the statements made by coach Carlos Alberto Pareiera, who praised the Greek team yet again, are an indication.

    "We respect the Greek team. We have watched it and we know it can be dangerous in the counterattacks. We have to be extremely cautious. We are playing against a surprise team, which deserved to win the European Cup," commented the Brazilian coach. "I watched Greece during two matches. I am expecting a tough game, because all of our opponents want to prove their worth against the World Champions. We respect Greece. We know that they are the European Champions, but we are the World Champions. I do not know the names of its players, as it relies on team spirit."

    Pareira also revealed that he is relying on Ronaldinhos world class. Just one day before the match against Greece, the Brazilian coach also praised the star of Barcelona, describing him as a "truly special player." "No one can say whether he is a midfielder, an attacking midfielder or a striker. He does everything and covers the whole pitch," commented Pareira, while he concluded, "He will have freedom of movements and he will make the difference."

    Pareira seemed troubled concerning the players fatigue, as well as some minor injuries. "Emerson returned from Liverpool tired and with some problems with his adductors, but he is feeling better. Adriano went through a few ups and downs with his team this year, but he is much better now. The two goals he scored [Italian Cup final] gave him back his confidence."

    And even if some believe that the Confederations Cup is an event of minor importance, Brazils coach seems to disagree. "This is the first time ever that three of the teams considered favourites for the World Cup are participating: Brazil, Argentina and Germany. This tournament is important for the players who will have the chance to be included in the lineup."

    Possible Lineup:

    Dida, Cicinho, Roque Junior, Juan, Leo (or Gilberto), Emerson, Ze Roberto, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Robinho, Adriano.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Just One Night to Go

    [11] Bodosakis Foundation Awards Greece's Best Ambassadors

    16 Jun 2005 00:10:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    This year's Bodosakis Foundation Science Awards were given to four young Greeks who excel at the field of Science and whose work makes them Greece's best ambassadors abroad. President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and former President Konstantinos Stefanopoulos honoured the event which was held in the Athens University Ceremony Hall.

    The awarded Greeks are Paschalis Alexandridis, professor at the New York University in the Micro and Nano Science and Technology major, Pavlos Eleftheriadis, Law lecturer at the Oxford University in the Science and Law major, Nektarios Tavernarakis, researcher at the Biology and Biotechnology Institute of Crete and Dimitris Psaltis, assistant professor at the Arizona University in the Astrophysics major.

    The institution of the Bodosakis awards was inaugurated in 1993 and aims at reinforcing and promoting the creative work of Greeks scientists until the age of 40.

    As Bodosakis Foundation President Stamatis Matzavinos stressed, the hundreds of brilliant nominations from around the world, prove the young scientists, whether they are Expatriate Greeks or work within national borders are the country's best ambassadors.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] Until December 15 UN's Force on Cyprus for Six More Months

    16 Jun 2005 00:42:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The United Nations Security Council adopted late on Wednesday night the extension of the UN's peace force presence on Cyprus for another six months, until December 15. The extension of the peace force presence on the island was decided without proceeding with any other changes, despite indirect US and British interventions for the verbal upgrade of the Turkish-Cypriot side. Following the unanimous 1604 vote, Greece's permanent representative in the UN, ambassador Adamantios Vasilakis, stated that "only after completing the evaluation of the changes made to the business structure and the personnel number of the peace force based on the 1568 decision, will we be able to see if there are any parts that can be improved." However, the Greek ambassador stressed that objective conditions on the island have not changed. The Turkish occupational army remains at the northern part and a fair, viable and functional solution still remains the issue.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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