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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] Crucial Negotiations
  • [02] Eirinaios has Been Deposed
  • [03] "War" Over Sewage Sludge
  • [04] How Much Do Turtles Cost?
  • [05] KKE-SYN React to Social Security Issue
  • [06] Voluntary Retirement Bill in Parliament
  • [07] Over Agricultural Funding
  • [08] Inflation has Decreased
  • [09] Simply the Best!
  • [10] Excitement for Zagorakis
  • [11] Judge on Trial

  • [01] Summit Meeting in Heavy Atmosphere Crucial Negotiations

    16 Jun 2005 16:14:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Summit Meeting, which started in Brussels today, is viewed as one of the most crucial turning points in the EU history. The European leaders must decide on one of the toughest agreements on the new EU budget, while at the same time the European Constitution ratification process seems to be freezing. European Commission President Jos&#233; Manuel Barroso, launching a final appeal, stressed that a non-binding decision over the future would be much more preferable than a failure to agree. Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis, who participates in the European Peoples Party Summit, also highlighted the importance of the talks. In the meantime, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder used harsh tongue against British PM Tony Blair accusing him of the prevalent hostile climate. French President Jacques Chirac presented the issue of the enlargement that is not mentioned in the conclusions plan, asking of a new European Council on this issue.

    "Battle" Over Funds

    Under the shadow of intense disputes, the European leaders must reach a decision on the 2007-2013 Budgets, with the richest countries contributions, the agricultural subsidies and the rebates to the UK being some of the thorniest subjects.

    The talks on the budget are of great importance to Greece, since its looming reduction, and the participation of the ten new Member-States, significantly affect the funds. The Greek government said that it is ready to handle a particularly tough negotiation, and claimed that it is not possible for Greece, Italy and Spain to be burdened with the European Union Enlargement cost.

    Referring to the same matter, Mr karamanlis stated that achieving an agreement is a complicated and tedious task, and he further added that "given the current political situation, the EU has to send a clear message convincing its citizens for its efficiency."

    At the same time, rifts over the issue on the rebates to the UK continue. With France being a prime mover, Member-States demand UK agree on the abolishment of rebates, while London associates the issue with the reviewing of the Common Agricultural Policy and the cuts in agricultural subsidies.

    The German Chancellor said that achieving a "happy medium" is probably impossible, and accused Mr Blair of intransigence. On his part, Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Thapatero described the proposal on the Budget as "insufficient", while the Dutch Foreign Minister ruled out the possibility of his country accepting it.

    Indicative of the negative climate is the fact that the acting EU President, Luxembourgs PM Jean Claude Juncker, voiced his concerns over the agreement.

    European Constitution "Is Frozen"

    At the first day of the Summit, the future of the European Constitutional Treaty after the French and Dutch "No" will be brought up to discussion, and the next steps towards the ratification process will be determined.

    However, the opinion favouring the temporary postponement of the ratification process finds supporters among the European leaders, and was also backed by Mr Barroso on Wendesday.

    "It is a great challenge and everyone should be worthy of the current situation to promote the European case," said Greek PM Kostas karamanlis referring to the European Constitution.

    On his part, the German Chancellor turned down the claims that the European Constitution is no longer feasible after the double "no".

    Dutch Minister for European Affairs Atzo Nicolai, ruled out the possibility of a second referendum, while Denmarks government sources stated that the referendum scheduled for September 27 will probably be postponed unless the "25" reach an agreement.

    At the same time, NATO supports a powerful Europe, as General Secretary of the Alliance, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer stated, shortly before the Summits proceedings commence. "It is clear that NATO is in need of a powerful, effective and adequate Europe," he stated.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Battle in Brussels

    [02] With a Decision by the Hierarchal Court Eirinaios has Been Deposed

    16 Jun 2005 20:18:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The Hierarchal Court of the Jerusalem Patriarchate decided on the deposing of former Jerusalem Patriarch Eirinaios from the hierarchal position. The decision was taken without the presence of the former Patriarch, who not only did not appear at the Hierarchal Court, but also refused to receive the subpoenas that were posted outside his residence. The decision was taken by the 12-Member Hierarchal Court and the former Patriarch was relegated to the order of monks. The Hierarchal Court has convened twice today. In the meantime, according to information by NET 105.8, a group of security and policemen has arrived in the Holy Land late in the evening, which attempted to take over the Jerusalem Patriarchate on behalf of Mr Eirinaios. Thanks to the quick actions and decisiveness of the Synodical Court, the capture of the Patriarchate was prevented last minute. The prospective capturers tried to enter the Patriarchate three times by three different entrances, but failed when faced by the strong stance of the Holy Sepulcher Brotherhood that informed the Israeli police and resulted in the thugs running away.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Rumors of "Patriarchal" Minders

    [03] Prefecture Fighting Committee Also Denies "War" Over Sewage Sludge

    16 Jun 2005 18:40:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    West Atticas mayors adopt a tougher stance after the two-day deadline given by Public Works Minister Georgios Souflias regarding the sewage sludge transfer to the Ano Liosia Refuse Dump. After the "No" voiced by the Municipality of Ano Liosia on Wednesday, the Prefecture Fighting Committee, which held a meeting presided over by the West Attica Prefect Aristidis Arkoudaris on Monday morning, also dismissed Souflias proposal. At the same time, the Prefecture Fighting Committee demands that government draw up a stricter schedule for the creation of new Refuse Dumps off the area of West Attica. The Committee will hold a new meeting after the trial of its committal by the Supreme Administrative Court, with which it asks for the retraction of the decision on the sewage sludge transfer to the Ano Liosia Refuse Dump. In the meantime, President of EYDAP, Konstantinos Kostoulas has asked for the intervention of the Prosecutor for the transfer of sewage sludge and the creation of a landfill in Ano Liosia, after the refusal of the Municipal Committee.

    Threats to Re-Close Refuse Dump

    In the meantime, Ano Liosias residents escalate their mobilizations. The Municipal Stirring Committee decided to block Fylis Avenue, the Municipalitys main avenue, near the church of Panagia Kanala on June 26. It also decided to proceed with a rally outside Maximos Mansion on June 30.

    The Municipal authorities are also unwilling to back down. On Wednesday, after a stormy meeting during which citizens exchanged verbal abuse with the deputy mayor responsible for environmental issues, Ano Liosias Town Hall overruled Souflias proposal, and threatened to re-close the Dump unless the government presents a schedule for the Refuse Dumps removal and cancels the creation of a new one at Fili (which is considered to be an extension to the already existing one) until June 25.

    On Wednesday, Mr Souflias stated that the sewage sludge will be deposited at the Ano Liosia Refuse Dump until December 2005, for it is the only one in the Attica basin, and he added that, "legal procedures will be implemented from now on."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    'No' to Sewage Sludge

    [04] How Much Do Turtles Cost?

    16 Jun 2005 15:01:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Everyone has heard of several kinds of disputes between employers and their employees, ranging from sexual harassment to illegal lay-offs. But when it comes to the occasion in question, it must certainly be unique in the judicial records not only of Brazils but also worldwide. A bank in Brazil was forced after a trial to pay more than 7,500 euros to its former secretary, because her superior made her have a small plastic turtle on her desk It was not that the secretary hated turtles, but the fact that her superior gave her the turtle in order to constantly reminder her how slow she was when working. He also called her Magda, the name of a Brazilian TV character famous for being stupid.

    The secretary did not leave her boss go unpunished, and she took him to court. The judicial made the bank pay its employee 7,500 euros. As it was expected, she abandoned her job.

    The judicial justified his verdict by saying that jokes in the workplace are typical in Brazil provided they are not offensive.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] KKE-SYN React to Social Security Issue

    16 Jun 2005 18:06:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    General Secretary of the party, Aleka Papariga stated KKEs opposition to the legislative reform being advanced by the government over the social security of the banks. In a Press interview, she supported a single primary pension and subsidiary social security, and for another time defended the public nature of the social security system. Moreover, Mrs Papariga spoke of "a deliberate sectarian policy by the governing members," and called on the employees for common action and a united fight, in order for the snatch of acquits, as she described it, which is being advanced by the policy in force to stop.

    In the meantime, President of SYN, Alekos Alavanos is standing by the striking bank employees, and participated in the workers gathering in the centre of Athens. "The government, using one hand takes public property and gives it to big businesses. With the other hand it takes the bankers debts from the social security funds and gives them to the Public Sector and the Greek tax payers in order for them to be paid off by the latter," supported Mr Alavanos, and described the mobilizations a fight for every citizen, in order for the burden of banks to not fall on their backs.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Workers Mobilizations

    [06] EU Will Not Pose Obstacles Says Vourloumis Voluntary Retirement Bill in Parliament

    16 Jun 2005 19:50:00


    According to sources, the bill on the reforms in labour relations and voluntary retirement in OTE will be submitted on Friday. For the time being, it is unclear if the reform in question, over the way that the Public Sector will cover its corresponding cost, will be included in the bill. On the specific issue, the EU has asked for explanations, which are already being given by government officials in Brussels. On its part, speaking at the OTE General Assembly, President of the Organization, Panagis Vourloumis appeared optimistic that the EU will not pose obstacles to the implementation of the agreement.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Rural Policy Council has Convened Over Agricultural Funding

    16 Jun 2005 17:42:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Minister of Rural Development, Evangelos Basiakos stated the need of full detachment of funding from the production for tobacco, olive oil and grain. Speaking at the Rural Policy Council, Mr Basiakos noted that this choice will benefit the farmers, since the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which will begin being implemented in 2006, demands products that will be competitive, qualitative and friendly towards the environment. PASOK and the representatives of farmers, PASEGES, SYDASE, GESASE agreed with the Ministers opinion, and asked for a differentiations between the products. KKE did not attend the Council, while SYN representative, Asimina Xerotiri described the CAP as "problematic." On the behalf of SEV, Foteini Legaki supported the lowest possible funding/production connection, expressing the view that full detachment will lead to the abandonment of main cultivations.

    Decisions Taken at the End of June

    As Mr Basiakos stated, the government will take in mind all the views of the relevant bodies and the final decisions will be announced at the end of the month, while they will be targeted at the maximum economic benefit for the agricultural department.

    "The agricultural department does not have a future without competition," stated the Minister, underlining that the full detachment of funding from the production is the best choice, since farmers "will not be in danger of losses, will receive the funding and will continue cultivating and selling their products in the market with commercial value."

    On his part, PASOK representative, Rovertos Spiropoulos, asked for the deduction percentage to be assigned at 10%, and for the non-application of environmental cultivation terms, while the deduction right for national funds for new farmers to be assigned at 3%. Furthermore, he accused the government of idleness and cyclical tactics and supported that firstly, it should publicize its views and then followed by the views of the parties and institutional bodies.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] According to Eurostat Inflation has Decreased

    16 Jun 2005 15:19:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Inflation in Greece has decreased from 3.3% in April to 3.2% in May, according to data from the statistical office of the European Communities (Eurostat), that were publicised today in Brussels. In the Eurozone and the 25 Member-States, inflation has decreased from 2.1% in April to 1.9% in May, while a year ago in the Eurozone, inflation was 2.5% and in the "25" 2.4%. For May, the lowest inflation percentages were recorded in Sweden 0.2%, Finland 0.6%, Czech Republic 0.9% and the Netherlands 1.1%, while the highest were recorded in Latvia 6.5%, Luxemburg 3.7%, Hungary 3.5% and Greece 3.2%. In relation to April, inflation has increased in Germany, from 1.4% to 1.6%, in Italy from 2.2% to 2.3% and Malta from 2% to 2.4%, while it decreased in 19 Member-States and remained fixed in Ireland 2.2%, Luxemburg 3.7% and Great Britain 1.9%.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Simply the Best!

    16 Jun 2005 13:01:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Otto Rehhagel and his players will be once more awarded prior to the match against Brazil in Leipzig on the opening day of Group B matches of the Confederation Cup. The International Sporting Press Association (AIPS) unanimously announced the reigning European Champions as the best team for 2004. The prize will be awarded, shortly before the beginning of todays match (21:45) against the reigning World Champions, to Thodoris Zagorakis by the Panhellenic Professional Football Players Association (PSAP) President and AIPS Vice-President Giannis Theodorakopoulos, and his German peer Eric Lasher.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] Excitement for Zagorakis

    16 Jun 2005 15:40:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    In an opinion poll, the captain of the Greek National Team, Thodoris Zagorakis is in fourth place, voted by the fans that are excitedly awaiting his performance in the pitch. In a relative poll of the official website of the event, in which 9,724 football fans have voted, the star player of Bologna ranks 4th with 9% (893 votes), below German player Michael Ballack. As expected, at the top of the list is the footballer of the year, Brazilian star player Ronaldinho with 42% and 4,109 votes, followed by Argentinean Juan Riquelme in second place. Furthermore, 596 users chose another footballer than the 9 mentioned in the German website.

    Ronaldinho No 1

    The rankings of the Internet opinion poll are as follows:

    1. Ronaldinho (Brazil) 42%, 4,109 votes 2. Juan Riquelme (Argentina) 14%, 1,341 votes 3. Michael Ballack (Germany) 10%, 952 votes 4. Thodoris Zagorakis (Greece) 9%, 893 votes 5. Jared Borgetti (Mexico) 9%, 879 votes 6. Other players 6%, 596 votes 7. Tim Cahill (Australia) 4%, 361 votes 8. Shunsuke Nakamura (Japan) 3%, 324 votes 9. Santos (Tunisia) 3%, 261 votes

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    [11] Bourboulia Takes the Stand for Stock Exchange Case Judge on Trial

    16 Jun 2005 17:00:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The trial of former Interrogator, Konstantina Bourboulia continues in the Three-Member Misdemeanor Appellate Court with the testimonies of Panagiotis Kontalexis, President of a stock exchange company, and lawyer Andreas Gianakopoulos, counsel of Ilias Bogdanos. It is reminded that Mrs Bourboulia is accused of bribery and duty violation from the defendants over the stock share manipulation case, which was handled by the former Interrogator in 2001. Mr Kontalexis mentioned that he gave lawyer, Athanasios Varlamis 161 million drachma in order to avoid being taken into custody over the case which he was accused of, while he does not know if a part of the money was received by Mrs Bourboulia. Lawyer, Andreas Gianakopoulos spoke of dealings being made in the hallways of the Interrogation Office by the accused.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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