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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-06-27

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From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Radical Changes in Betting System
  • [02] Sticker Thermometer for Babies
  • [03] "Let the Countdown Begin"
  • [04] Citizens' Interests Undermined
  • [05] End to the Suspense
  • [06] Vavilis Will not Be Extradited
  • [07] Sarkozy Opposes Enlargement
  • [08] EU Grants Placed for Discussion
  • [09] Second Gold for Grigoriadis
  • [10] Lakovic MVP for 2004-05
  • [11] Koutsioubas Fighting for Gold
  • [12] Terracotta Army Victim of Pollution
  • [13] Sugar Importers to the Prosecutor
  • [14] Alavanos Meets with Olympic Airways Staff
  • [15] Findings Over Prisoner's Death

  • [01] Radical Changes in Betting System

    27 Jun 2005 16:29:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    On Monday, OPAP officially announced that from the 2005-2006 season the Greek Cup games will gradually enter the betting system. Also, measures and initiatives for the boost of competitiveness of the game and the counter of illegal bets have been included. Thus, from the new season the increase of money distribution to the winners by 6%, the capability to the players to bet during the game, added choices in the betting (addition of goals, cards, points etc), the entry of other sports (volleyball, handball, rallies etc) and other non-sporting events, ie politics, economics and arts are foreseen.

    OPAP's Announcement

    OPAP S.A. announces the following:

    A) Upon the completion of all necessary studies (which have already commenced) by the end of 2005, OPAP SA, in its capacity as sole manager of Pame Stihima, will, upon the expiration of its agreement with the consortium to which the operation of certain parts of Pame Stihima have been assigned (the "Consortium"), fully undertake the organization, operation and management of the game. To that end, OPAPs management considers that the most appropriate way to do so would be the establishment of a subsidiary, the sole activity of which will be the organization, management and operation of fixed and variable odds betting.

    ) OPAP S.A. and the Consortium in the context of their existing agreement for the game Pame Stihima, have executed a new agreement (the "Agreement") aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of Pame Stihima and combating illegal betting. The main provisions of the Agreement are as follows:

    1. An increase in the target payout to players from 60.0% to 66.0%, in aggregate, for the period from January 30, 2005 to January 29, 2007. The participation of OPAP S.A. and the Consortium in the additional portion of the payout between 60% and 66% will be 90% for OPAP S.A. and 10% for the Consortium, respectively, and in the event that Greek championship matches or events are included as additional betting events, from the commencement of the championship season 2005/06, this participation will be 82% for OPAP S.A. and 18% for the Consortium, respectively. In the event that the final payout to players at the end of the two-year period ending on January 29, 2007 exceeds 66%, the Consortium will be required to pay the difference to OPAP S.A.;

    2. The gradual introduction of Greek championship matches as betting events for Pame Stihima, commencing with the 2005/06 Greek championship seasons and will be offered in combination with foreign championships football matches;

    3. The provision by the Consortium, at no cost to OPAP S.A., of 2,000 new terminals to OPAP S.A.s agency outlets to primarily support the operation of Pame Stihima. Installation of the new terminals will take place gradually and will be completed within eight months from the date that all necessary consents and approvals for the agreed modifications for the game are obtained;

    4. The introduction of an additional type of betting, "in play betting", which involves players betting on games while they are being broadcast live on television;

    5. The introduction "over/under betting" in which players bet on whether or not certain numerical predictions relating to an athletic event will be exceeded. For example: (a) the total number of goals scored, cards issued and penalties during football games; (b) the total number of points scored or the difference in the points scored in basketball games; (c) the number of qualifying participants, the performance of drivers or the differences between drivers in motor sport events; and (d) the performance and number of participants whose performance meets certain specified criteria of athletes in track and field events;

    6. The introduction of other sporting events, including: tennis, volleyball, water-polo and hand-ball, in which players predict the winners of the competition, the winner of a group or the participants in the final event;

    7. The introduction of motor sport events (cars, motorbikes, etc.) available to bet in addition to the currently offered Formula One events; and

    8. The introduction of non-athletic events from the current political, financial and cultural affairs; the selection of these events will have to be approved by OPAP S.A. The implementation of the above additional betting types within Pame Stihima will require the issuance of new, and the modification of existing, game regulations and their approval by joint ministerial decisions pursuant to Law 2843/2000. In light of the introduction of Greek championship games as betting events, the agreement contemplates that potential conflicts or obstacles will be addressed through further amendments to the regulations of Pame Stihima.

    C. The above measures seek to strengthen the competitiveness of the game, combat illegal betting and address the recent declining trend of Pame Stihima, which has continued in the current quarter. OPAP S.A.s management expects that Pame Stihima revenues in the second quarter of this year will be down between 35% and 40% compared with the same period last year. This decline is partly due to the fact that the month of June last year was very strong due to the European football championship, which was won by the Greek national team. OPAP S.A.s management expects the negative performance of Pame Stihima in the quarter will be completely offset by the improved performance of Kino, which it expects will show revenue growth of between 95% and 100% in the quarter compared to the second quarter last year and result in total revenues for OPAP S.A. in the quarter to be approximately flat compared to the second quarter of last year.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Changes Color when Temperature Falls Sticker Thermometer for Babies

    27 Jun 2005 15:04:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: BBC

    As strange as it may sound, one of the major causes of child mortality in the world is hypothermia, which is quite difficult to be recognized by the mother. In order for the symptom to be countered, a maker of traditional thermometers devised a sticker thermometer, which will be adhered to the babys skin and will easily indicate its temperature. The round sticker has a smiling green face which changes color, while its smile disappears when the babys temperature falls. The liquid crystal display (LCD) is called ThermoSpot and was made by John Zeal when Professor David Morley, a pediatrician and founder of a humanitarian organization, approached him and asked him to devise an easy thermometer that would save the lives of hundreds of babies.

    Zeal with the help of pediatricians and LCD specialists made ThermoSpot, which is green when the temperature of the baby is at a normal level (36.5C-37.5C), while it turns black when the temperature falls to 35.5C. In this case, if the baby is not warmed up quickly there is a great chance that it will die.

    At the time, the results of the ThermoSpot trials are encouraging, while it is also a candidate for this years awards of the Medical Futures Innovations.

    According to its maker, at the time, there are three independent studies taking place and if the results are positive, Zeal hopes that the World Health Organization (WHO) will approve his invention.

    In the hospitals of poor countries the problem lies in the small ratio of nurses and patients, which results in the nurses to not have enough time to measure the temperature of all newborns.

    Another advantage of the ThermoSport is that it is easily used, even from uneducated mothers, while a very important factor is its low price that comes around to 0,15 euros.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Urges KKE's General Secretary "Let the Countdown Begin"

    27 Jun 2005 21:58:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    Speaking at a KKE event hosted at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Monday night, Aleka Papariga launched an attack against the policies and stances of ND and PASOK, as well as SYN. Mrs Papariga noted that for the current situation to change, the solution does not lie with the two major political parties, ND and PASOK, which are not going to change their policies. She further stressed that the solution will be given by the peoples movement, when this opposes the reactionary plans of PASOK, ND and the EU. Meanwhile, she added that the French and Dutch "No has to be exploited. As for SYN, she mentioned that its proposal is not an alternative, as it is claiming, but an administrative proposal, as it lies under the umbrella of competitiveness.

    Call for Resistance

    KKEs General Secretary also analysed the results of the recent EU Summit, while, apart from the two major parties, she also accused SYN, which, following the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, contributed to the path followed today by the EU and Greece

    Mrs Papariga urged all workers to resist against the new reactionary measures by ND and PASOK, asking that the workers movement be reinforced by younger people and women.

    She also mentioned that the correlations at a political and social level should change, in order to pave the way for political restructuring and alternative solutions.

    Referring to the 2006 elections for Local Government, she noted that they are taking on a political character.

    Finally, she added that those who want to voice their opposition to the general policies of ND and PASOK concerning Local Government should vote for KKE and its partners.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Criticism towards the Government Citizens' Interests Undermined

    27 Jun 2005 18:57:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    PASOKs President and the members of the Political Council discussed the partys stance during tonights discussion in Parliament. Furthermore, they also focused on tomorrows daily agenda discussion on public administration, which was proposed by George Papandreou. "The Governments actions are undermining the interests of citizens and taxpayers. They only serve special interests, to which New Democracy seems to have made a commitment," declared PASOKs President after the end of the meeting. With regard to public administration, Mr Papandreou noted that during Mr Karamanlis governing, the country has become a "protectorate of petty party interests." He further added that there is no transparency or service to the citizens. "A complete lack of seriousness, responsibility and planning is demonstrated for the serious changes needed in the country. We will talk more in Parliament tomorrow," concluded the President of PASOK.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] From Monday until Wednesday End to the Suspense

    27 Jun 2005 07:47:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: 105.8

    As of Monday, and up until Wednesday, the results of the senior students who participated in the national Greek exams will be posted on all of the countrys High Schools, putting and end to the suspense for thousands of prospective students for Universities and Technological Institutes. The results were firstly posted in Thessaloniki, while on Monday afternoon they started being posted in Athens. In addition, students are required to hand in their preferences for the Schools they want to attend by 22 July. The entry quotas for Universities and Technological schools will be announced around the end of August. According to information so far, the quotas for Polytechnic and Economic Schools, as well as the departments of Mathematics and Physics have dropped, due to the bad performances by students in the exams for Physics and Mathematics. Actually, in those subjects, two out of every three students did not receive a pass mark. On the other hand, the quotas for Law and Philology Schools have gone up, while those for Medicine remain at the same high levels with previous years.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Vavilis Will not Be Extradited

    27 Jun 2005 19:54:00

    Sources: NET

    The Greek authorities were not surprised when Italy rejected their request to have Apostolos Vavilis extradited to Greece. Justice Ministry sources are quoted as saying that the decision was expected, since it pertained to a drug trafficking case, for which he has already been tried. However, a second more substantial extradition request is pending, while Vavilis has asked to serve the rest of his sentence in Greece. Following the full investigation into all of Vavilis illegal activities in Greece, as well as overseas, the Greek judicial authorities brought criminal proceedings for six felonies and seven misdemeanours against the defendant.

    He Wants to Serve the Remainder in Greece

    The Italian authorities will be ruling on the second extradition request submitted by the Greek authorities sometime next month. However, the case is expected to be expedited, as Vavilis attorney has filed an appeal for his client to serve the rest of his sentence in Greece.

    This appeal is expected to be sent to the Italian authorities by the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry in the next few days.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Vavilis Charged with 13 Offences

    [07] Rift in French-German Axis Sarkozy Opposes Enlargement

    27 Jun 2005 20:56:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources:

    On Monday, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy asked PM Dominique de Villepin that enlargement be suspended, indirectly referring to Turkey, since he clarified that his proposal did not concern Bulgaria and Romania. Sarkozys statements prompted reactions by Ankara, as well as Berlin, which asked that the EU keeps its pledges concerning enlargement. Furthermore, on Wednesday, the Commission is expected to present the plan for Turkeys accession negotiations, which are expected to commence on 3 October.

    "Europe Cannot Enlarge Indefinitely"

    "We have to suspend enlargement, at least until the institutions have been modernised. [] Europe cannot enlarge indefinitely," noted the French Minister.

    On his part, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer declared that the EU has to remain focused to the commitments it undertook for further enlargement.

    Speaking on behalf of Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul tried to undermine Sarkozys statements.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Government Investigates Decoupling EU Grants Placed for Discussion

    27 Jun 2005 15:44:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The issue of decoupling of the production from the EU grants for tobacco, olive oil and wheat will be placed for discussion in the meeting of the government committee. Minister Evangelos Basiakos briefed the Prime Minister on the issue this morning. As the Minister stated after the meeting, the event of decoupling is the one that has been prejudged by the majority of the agricultural organizations and political parties, since current funds are secured until 2013.

    The choice of partial coupling of funds for specific cultivations involves the danger of a loss of a part of the funds, as the small coupling limit that is placed by the 2003 EU regulations in force, are not attractive for their continuation, stated Mr Basiakos.

    "The government, with specific measures and with the continuous informing of farmers, will support the national attempt, in order for the rural department to become competitive, adjusted to the new international and internal given facts," stated the Minister and reminded that the final decisions will be taken tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, the quality of Greek olive oil is being recognized and excelling abroad. As the Ministry of Development announced, two Cretan olive oil brands were awarded in the International Competition "Mario Solinas," which took place in Madrid. The brands were "Zacharakis" and the olive oil of Siteia Cooperatives, which received second and third prize respectively in the category of "mild fruity flavor."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Focus on Agriculture and Defense

    [09] Second Gold for Grigoriadis

    27 Jun 2005 22:30:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Swimming and shooting continue to offer medals to Greece during the Mediterranean Games in Almeria, Spain. A gold, a silver and a bronze were snatched today in the pool. Aristidis Grigoradis won the gold medal in mens 50m backstroke, after swimming the distance in 55.75. Grigoriadis had won another gold in mens 100m freestyle on Friday. A little later, Spyros Gianniotis won the silver in mens 1500m freestyle with a time of 15:24.84. Another success in the pool was the bronze medal won by Zoi Dimoschaki in womens 200m freestyle, with a time of 2:00.67. The second silver medal of the day was won by 21-year-old Maria Papadaki in womens 10m Air Pistol, with 483.3 points. The third silver medal for Greece today was in Wrestling. Giorgos Koutsioubas, who competed in the final for 96kg, was defeated by Egyptian Karam Ibrahim with 2-1 (14-3) and ranked second.

    Other Results

    The Greek womens team of Melachrinou, Dimoschaki, Lyberta and Kosti finished in fourth place in 4X200m freestyle with a time of 8:16.92. Dimitris Magganas finished fourth in mens 200m freestyle (1:50.44), while Ioanna Pachi and Eirine Kavarnou finished fourth (28.06) and fifth (28.10) respectively in womens 50m butterfly.

    Diogenis Tsitouridis finished sixth in mens 1500m freestyle (16:07.18), Eleni Kosti finished seventh in womens 200m freestyle (2:03.72) and Katerina Bliamou also finished seventh in womens 100m backstroke (1:04.72). Finally, Markos Nikolopoulos finished eighth in mens 100m backstroke (57.67).

    Chariklia Kastritsi was fourth in womens 58kg clean and jerk in Weightlifting.

    The womens volleyball team took a significant step towards qualifying for the finals, after defeating Spain by 3-1 sets, during their second game for Group A. Dimitris Andreopoulos team will have to play against Albania next, which is in second place with three points, as is Spain, while Turkey is on top of Group A with four points.

    The womens Greek basketball team defeated Italy by 80-72. This is Greeces first win in the tournament and if Italy is defeated tomorrow by Croatia, Greece will qualify for the semifinals.

    The mens Greek handball team managed to qualify for the quarterfinals, despite their loss to Spain today. Their next opponent will be Croatia on Wednesday (21:30).

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Lakovic MVP for 2004-05

    27 Jun 2005 18:03:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Panathinaikos Slovenian basketballer Jaka Lakovic was voted MVP for the season 2004-05 in mens A1 division. Fifty Media representatives from all over Greece participated in the voting session and Lakovic received 17 votes, three more that his teammate Dimitris Diamantidis. Panathinaikos main point guard was also included in the top lineup of the season with 25 votes.

    Seven Personal Titles this Season

    Jaka Lakovic received seven personal titles his season. He was crowned Greek Champion and Greek Cup winner, as well as third in the Euroleague, with his team. He was voted MVP of the season in mens A1 division, as well as one of the five members of the top lineup for 2004-05. Finally, he was also voted MVP of the Greek Cup final, MVP for the month of February in the Euroleague, MVP in the round of 16 in the Euroleague, MVP of round 14 in mens A1 division, as well as a member of the top Euroleague lineup. The Results:

    1. Jaka Lakovic, Panathinaikos, 17 2. Dimitris Diamantidis, Panathinaikos, 14 3. Vassilis Spanoulis, Maroussi, 7 4. Nikos Economou, Panionios, 5 5. Nikos Zisis, AEK, 2 6. Travis Watson, Panionios, 1 - Gary Trent, Panellinios, 1 - Toby Bailey, AEK, 1 - Pete Mickeal, Makedonikos 1 - Roderick Blackney, Maroussi, 1

    The Top 5 Lineup

    The Media representatives also voted for the top lineup of the Greek basketball championship, where top Euroleague defender for 2004-05, Dimitris Diamantidis of Panathinaikos, and Pete Mickeal of Makedonikos came in first place.

    The top 5 lineup, though, has six players, as Lakovic received the same number of votes as Vassilis Spanoulis of Maroussi for the position of playmaker.

    The results for the top 2004-05 lineup in detail:

    Playmaker: Vassilis Spanoulis, Maroussi, 25 Playmaker: Jaka Lakovic, Panathinaikos, 25 Guard: Dimitris Diamantidis, Panathinaikos, 30 Small Forward: Pete Mickeal, Makedonikos, 30 Power Forward: Nikos Economou, Panionios, 29 Centre: Travis Watson, Panionios, 25

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Koutsioubas Fighting for Gold

    27 Jun 2005 14:46:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Greek 96 kg wrestler Giorgos Koutsioubas is getting ready to step up in the podium of winners of Greco Roman wrestling, as he will face Egyptian Karam Ibrahim in the categorys final in the Mediterranean Games. On the other hand, in the 60 kg category, Michalis Vlachos was defeated by his Syrian opponent Zakharia Al-Nashed and was disqualified from the next round of the event, just as Giannis Spyridakis who was defeated in the 2nd preliminary round of 75 kg from Serb Dalibro Busic.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Terracotta Army Victim of Pollution

    27 Jun 2005 11:40:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ANA

    For the last 2,200 years they stand gallantly close to the grave of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. They are the 7,000 clay soldiers and their horses that make up the famous Terracotta Army, one of the most important monuments of the world that was accidentally discovered in 1974, and included in UNESCOs list in 1987. The Terracotta Army was made in 210 BC after Shi Huangs death, in order for the Emperor to be accompanied by an army in his afterlife. Today, environmental pollution is threatening to destroy this unique army made out of terracotta, since it has started to lose its color due to the oxidation from the exposure to air. Furthermore, as per specialists, if action is not taken immediately, in 100 years the soldiers will have been destroyed to such a degree that they will not be reminiscent of this great work of art.

    The statues surface has been oxidized by the atmospheric acids, which have damaged the plaster that helps stabilize them. The experts warn that if the deconstruction of the statues begins, shortly after it will completely destroy the artifacts, while the pollution has damaged the features of the soldiers i.e. nose, hair, which make them stand apart from one another.

    It is noted that in 1975, China turned the area of 16.3 sq m that is taken up by the Terra Cotta Army into a museum. The warriors and the horses are life size, while they are aligned into a battle formation and many held bronze weapons.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] Sugar Importers to the Prosecutor

    27 Jun 2005 19:32:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Deputy Development Minister Giannis Papathanasiou has referred 23 businesses in Attica and Thessaloniki, which import, package and distribute sugar, to the Prosecutor. Specifically, these are 10 importers-wholesalers and 13 supermarket chains. Ministry and Prefectures checks showed that the country of origin was not mentioned on the importers invoices or on the packets purchased by consumers in supermarkets. Actually, in some cases, the packages were marked as "European product," thus misleading consumers, who thought they were buying Greek sugar.

    Pricing of Sugar

    Furthermore, the retail price of sugar was also investigated.

    The checks showed that the wholesale price for sugar produced in Greece by the Greek Sugar Industry was 0.74 euros plus VAT per kg, while the wholesale price for imported sugar was 0.63 euros plus VAT per kg. The retail prices ranged between 0.77 euros and 0.80 euros plus VAT per kg.

    Finally, consumers pay 0.84 euros per kg.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] Alavanos Meets with Olympic Airways Staff

    27 Jun 2005 18:38:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Today, SYNs President Alekos Alavanos discussed the problems faced by Olympic Airways employees, during his meeting with the Union of Certified Aircraft Engineers and the Union of Contract Flight Attendants and Stewards. The employees underlined the huge outflow of revenues to third parties, as the Technical Department cannot undertake the works due to lack of staff. They also stressed the problems of contact employees, who work nonstop for over 20 months with a salary of 669 euros.

    On his part, Mr Alavanos referred to the downgrading of everyday services, a fact that is linked to the reduction of part of its buyout, as well as the shrinking of its activities, so the company will stop being a national air carrier for regional and social cohesion. He also noted SYNs perpetual support for the employees demands concerning a public and unified company, with rational personnel administration, termination of overworking conditions, permanent status for contract workers and productive planning for the restructuring of Greeces National Air Carrier.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [15] Light Shed on Mysterious Death Findings Over Prisoner's Death

    27 Jun 2005 15:12:00 (Last updated: 27 Jun 2005 23:47:13)

    By Anna Kourti

    The authorities are investigating the causes surrounding the death of a 36-year-old prisoner, who was burnt alive on Saturday night in the cells of the Ptolemaida Police Directorate. According to the medical coroner, Ioannis Christoforidis was handcuffed and his death was caused by suffocation, while he also suffered heart failure and had burns all over his body. The 36-year-old and his companion were arrested for possession and use of illegal substances and were taken to the cells of the Ptolemaida Police Department. According to the Kozani Police Directorate, the 36-year-old set fire to his mattress, for unknown reasons, which subsequently resulted in his death. Commenting on the autopsy report and the fact that the prisoner was handcuffed, Kozani Police Chief Vassilis Kromydas declared that they had to handcuff him as the prisoner was violent. He also added that a prison guard was monitoring the 36-year-old via an internal camera circuit, while he admitted that they should have taken his lighter away before locking him in.

    According to the authorities, the policemen, after detecting the fire, tried to rescue the prisoner. Furthermore, the 36-year-old had placed two of the mattresses against the door of the cell and resulted in the lock to expand and the doors opening difficult. The door was finally opened by firemen, and the prisoner was taken to the Ptolemaida General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Burnt Alive


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