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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-02

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Building up Friendship
  • [02] No Further Reforms
  • [03] PASOK's Future
  • [04] Live 8 Fights Poverty in Africa
  • [05] Important Decision for Pensioners
  • [06] Explosive Oven
  • [07] 6 Killed in Turkey Train Blast
  • [08] Controversial Cartoon Since 1940
  • [09] Applications for Housing Benefit
  • [10] Olympiacos Interested in Vieri

  • [01] Development And Geostrategic Project Building up Friendship

    02 Jul 2005 16:28:00 (Last updated: 02 Jul 2005 20:43:46)

    By Tina Valaoura

    The inaugural ceremony for the construction of the Greece-Turkey natural gas pipeline is viewed as an act conveying multiple symbolism. The ceremony is to be held on Sunday in Evros, the natural borderline between the two countries, and it will be performed by the PMs Costas karamanlis and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is a project of great geostrategic importance that evolves Greece into southeastern Europes energy interchange. The natural gas pipeline combined with the Greece-Italy marine pipeline will bridge European countries with the Caspian wealth-producing sources, while at the same time it will strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Greece and Turkey. In the context of the ceremony, the two PMs will deliver their speeches in the Kipon and Ipsalon customs offices.

    Greece Becomes Energy Interchange

    Greek PM Costas Karamanlis met with Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas at the Maximos Mansion to discuss details of the last moment regarding tomorrows inaugural ceremony. "It is a project that advances the economical and political relations the two countries share, and launches a new era. The two countries and their people have not experience such moments since the days of Eleftherios Venizelos and Kemal Ataturk," Mr Sioufas said shortly after the meeting.

    PASOK leader George Papandreou, who is currently visiting Istanbul, spoke of a pivotal project that unites the two countries and that it falls in line with the policy he had adopted when was Foreign Affair Minister.

    It is believed that the first amounts of natural gas coming from Turkey through the Greek-Turkish pipeline will be delivered to Greece in the early 2007.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Economy and Employment Ministers Say No Further Reforms

    02 Jul 2005 15:32:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8 ANA

    Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Employment Minister Panos Pangiotopoulos met with the Greek PM at Maximos Mansion to discuss the promotion of the governments reforms. Exiting the Mansion they both voiced the governments intention to launch a long-term dialogue on the social security without providing any radical changes until the end of the government term. Economy Minister said that the dialogue is a long-term one and he added that except the political parties society should also participate in it. He concluded wishing for agreement and consent. Employment Minister agreed and added that the issues of contributions to security funds, age limits and retirement payments are undisputed. As per information, the next week Mr Panagiotopoulos is expected to invite the bodies involved to a dialogue on labour issues, including those of overtime and work hours management.

    "The Dialogue Will be Next Government's Guidelines"

    Economy Minister Mr Alogoskoufis stated that the government will not pass new laws within its term, instead it will make sure that the dialogue will set the guidelines for the next government.

    On his part, Employment Minister Mr Panagiotopoulos said that in his meeting with Costas Karamanlis they discussed the application of the banks social security, which secures jobs and security rights. He also made a reference to the issue of the minimum national pension, which is the governments strategic objective. He made it clear though that its application will depend on the economys surplus within NDs government term.

    At the same time, PASOK officials accused the government of employing a political evasion, and invited the Greek society to be ready for more, stricter and anti-populist measures. "The government asks for consensus without providing new suggestions," Thanasis Tsouras remarked, while Tilemachos Chytiris accused the government of employing an authoritarian stance.

    Answering to criticism, Mr Alogoskoufis stated that the dialogue does not constitute a political evasion but the bottomline of politics.

    The two Ministers were asked to express their opinion on what is to be done on the problem aroused by Mr Evert. Mr Alogoskoufis maintained that the issue is over. "In politics, as is the case in life, one should turn the page," Mr Panagiotopoulos commented.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Long-term Dialogue

    [03] Mr Papandreou's Vision PASOK's Future

    02 Jul 2005 21:06:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    PASOK leader George Papandreou in his meeting with the newly-elected members of the prefectural and regional committees described the party he envisages. Mr Papandreou had no intention of delivering a speech due to minor health problems he faces after he returned from Turkey. However, the climate that was created by the speeches of the partys officials coupled with his wish to utter at least the basic resulted in Mr Papandreou making a speech afterall.

    "Necessary Process"

    To those party officials who adopted a critical stance on the previous organisational process, Mr Papandreou said that, "Many, mostly outsiders, launched a campaign against PASOKs reorganisation."

    He also commented on the impressive turnout, the excitement, dedication, high political standards and new spirit, and he underlined that todays meeting "Proves wrong those who tried to reduce this pure political process to a solely organisational-restricted perception."

    The reorganisation process had also been described as "organizational-restricted" by some of the so called high-ranking PASOKs officials.

    The members of the newly-elected prefectural and regional committees fell in line with Mr Papandreou viewpoint without having been influenced by their leaders views, since their speeches preceded that of Mr Papandreou. Therefore, PASOK leader enjoying the commitment both of his immediate partners and middle party officials, is expected to proceed with his vision regarding PASOKs future.

    "I Put my Trust in You"

    Mr Papandreou assured the middle party officials, who are PASOKs backbone in all prefectures and regions, that they have his trust, and asked them to fight against the give-and-take practice that poisons PASOK.

    He called upon them to do so during the local pre-election period. He further drew their attention to the constitutional procedures and advised them not to favour certain candidates for they will sustain a blow both to themselves and PASOK. He also said that, "You will guarantee for the grave and precise assessments and procedures."

    PASOK leader is of the opinion that should middle party officials abstain from the give-and-take practices, high-ranking officials will follow suit, since no one will be dependent upon them any more.

    Mr Papandreou also maintained that the leader-based model is typical of the conservative parties. He said that Mr Karamanlis had adopted the model in question while being the Opposition leader in order to earn his party a unified image. However, he added, this image fell into pieces right after ND won the general elections, for "It had merely communicative objectives based on discipline and lack of democracy."

    Referring to PASOKs former operational policy, he admitted that, "There were many PASOKs which have not yet been eliminated, " and he associated the multi-faced PASOK with the pluralism triggered by Everts amendment .

    "Do not forget that ND is making the most of the slightest events and minor statements within PASOK," he urged PASOKs officials, and he attributed this to NDs weakness to provide solutions for their own problems.

    Need for Talks

    Mr Papandreou defended his policy not to immediately react to every problem that arouses. He explained that PASOK is ruled by long-established values and that certain issues request talks within the party and with the societys contribution as well.

    He admitted that insecurity may come into the surface when no immediate decisions are taken, but he pointed out that, "We should not let ourselves be influenced by those favouring the opposite, who whether they mean well or not wish for a party that makes a stand on everything today."

    PASOK leader urged his party officials to examine which values each solution proposed serves when discussing a crucial matter, and not falling prey to a disoriented discussion stirred up by those who run contrary to PASOKs principles.

    PASOK leader concluded his speech underlining that the governments reforms fail to serve the interests of the Greek people.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] In view of the G8 Summit in Scotland Live 8 Fights Poverty in Africa

    02 Jul 2005 16:21:00 (Last updated: 02 Jul 2005 21:40:49)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Today is marked as the day of music and fight against poverty. On the occasion of the G8 Summit Meeting in Scotland, thousands of artists along with millions of people unite their voices and join their forces against poverty in Africa, in 10 concerts which are in progress worldwide. It is one of the most outstanding music event meant to shake the leaders of the eight richest countries of the world. The magnificent concerts, better-known as Live 8, are held in Tokyo, Toronto, London, Johannesburg, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Moscow and Philadelphia.

    Annan and Gates on Hyde Park Stage

    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan made a short appearance on the Live 8 stage in London to pay his respects to the action "In the name of the poor, of those who cannot be heard and of the weak."

    "It is the United Nations that have gathered here to demonstrate their support to the poor," said Kofi Annan before 200,000 people who packed Hyde Park to attend the concert honoured by the top artists of British pop music stage.

    "In the name of the poor, of those who cannot be heard and of the weak, I voice my gratefulness, " said Annan who comes from Ghana, a few moments before REM and Ms Dynamite entered the stage. U2, Pink Floyd, Madonna, Robbie Williams, Elton John and Dido also participated.

    Microsoft chairman and richest man in the world Bill Gates made a surprise appearance on stage. Bob Gelfdoff had introduced him to the concertgoers.

    "He is the mastermind of business, economy, assistance, education and health. He is the worlds leader and he claims our plan is the best plan for Gleneagles (Scottish town to host the G8 Summit Meeting next week). He is on of our staunchest fans," Bob Geldoff said.

    "Political leaders such as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown motivate people to ask for more measures for health and poverty, Bill Gates stated.

    Philadelphia, Rome, Berlin

    The unbearable heat did not prevent the 300,000 concertgoers, mostly young people, from cramming Philadelphias downtown to attend the Live 8 concert.

    20 music bands and singers are expected to appear on stage built in front of the impressive Art Museum. Bon Jovi, David Matthews, Destinys Child, Stevie Wander, as well as hip-hop singers including Will Smith are also expected to participate.

    Famous movie stars Natalie Portman and Richard Gere will be there as well.

    Circo Massimo in Rome was packed with people who enjoyed the most of the stars of the Italian music stage.

    German band Die Toten Hosen opened the concert that was attended by 100,000 people in Berlin. Twenty bands, including A-ha and Chris de Bourg, take part in the concert held in the German capital city.

    Protest in Edinburgh

    Meanwhile, a protest of the Make Poverty History Campaign is taking place in Edinburgh, Scotland in view of the Summit Meeting in Gleneagles. The organizers of the protest asked for pressure to be put on the G8 and condemned "a totally unacceptable and avoidable drama."

    "Thirty thousand children, one every three seconds, die daily due to poverty. It is a fact that can be avoided thus making it unacceptable," reminded President of Make Poverty History Campaign Richard Bennett during a Press interview before the protest, in which 100,000-200,000 people are expected to attend.

    The protestors will be dressed in white and will form a gigantic white circle around the centre of Edinburgh, making reference to the white rubber bracelet which is the symbol of the campaign.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Res Judicata Over Back Payments Important Decision for Pensioners

    02 Jul 2005 13:46:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET- ANA

    Today, a decision by the Plenary Session of the Court of Auditors gives the green light to Public Sector pensioners who wish to claim a readjustment of their pensions apart from the three-year limit.

    With the justification of two former justices, which had made a relevant complaint, a res judicata is created, which overthrows a 170-year legislature, and gives the option of claim and payment of back payments that are owed from the beginning of their pension. This will occur if it is concluded in court that the Public Sector calculated a lesser pension, either illegally or an omission of its bodies during their practice of public power.

    It is reminded that the Pension Charter, for public interest reasons, foresees the claim of back payments to pensions that cannot go past three years.

    The two justices, former President and Vice President of the Supreme Court Messrs Grivas and Petrocheilos, that had placed a complaint in Justice had achieved the increase of their pensions with subsequent court verdicts, but only for the three years that the law foresees. They claimed that apart from the three-year period, the non-adjustment of their pensions is opposed to Article 105 of the Introductory Law of Civil Law and their demands were finally accepted by the Plenary Session of the Court of Auditors, which cancelled the decision of the 2nd Department that had ruled the opposite.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Explosive Oven

    02 Jul 2005 13:09:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET

    A small oven purchased from a big super market chain in Athens held an unpleasant surprise for its owner. Once the appliance was turned on, the glass door that covers the oven blasted and resulted in pieces of glass flying around the room, thankfully without injuring any persons. The consumer filed a complaint and the case was taken up the General Secretariat for the Consumer which sent the appliance, which was made in Hong Kong, to a laboratory in order to conclude if it short circuited or if its was a manufacturing error.

    The General Secretary for the Consumer, Thanasis Skordas, asked from the super market chain, which sells the product, to withdraw it from its shelves until the issue is fully investigated, while he called on the consumers, that purchase appliances from countries that are known for a lack in specifications in their appliances, to be especially careful.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] In Eastern Turkey Province 6 Killed in Turkey Train Blast

    02 Jul 2005 17:29:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A bomb blast near Suveren train station killed six people and wounded eight. The bomb hit a train connecting the towns of Elazig and Tatvan in Bingol province, eastern Turkey. Information concerning a second bomb on another train were not confirmed. National Society of Turkish Railway spokesperson said that the remote-controlled explosive device that had been planted on the rails caused the derailment of two compartments. According to the Deputy Governor of the Genc province, Ozgur Korukcu, rescue teams have been employed to pull out those who have been trapped in the derailed compartments, while special army forces have already arrived in the scene.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] U.S.: "Racist Cartoon Figure" Controversial Cartoon Since 1940

    02 Jul 2005 12:04:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: CNN- BBC- ANA

    A series of Mexican commemorative postage stamps has caused tension between the U.S. and Mexico. The reason is Memin Penguin, a cartoon figure that African-American organizations and officials have criticized and described as racist, a comment that the Mexican President, Vincente Fox, rejects. As it all seems, 2,500 Mexicans agree with him, since they rushed to form queues in order to purchase 75,000 of the controversial stamps during the first two days of their sale.

    Memin Penguin and Stereotypes

    Vincente Fox, speaking at the Associated Press news agency, stated that he doesnt understand the American reactions and called on the criticizers to read the original cartoon, which he has known since he was a young boy, before reaching a conclusion. However, this is not the first time that Fox annoys African Americans. Last month he was also criticized when he said that Mexicans are forced to take up jobs in the U.S. that "blacks" do not want.

    On the issue of Memin, a cartoon figure from the 1940s with big eyes and lips, the African American organizations state that it replicates racial stereotypes. On its part, the Mexican government states that the specific cartoon helped society become more tolerant and less racist, while it refused to investigate the event of withdrawing the commemorative stamps. According to sources there will not be a re-issue.

    As natural, all the above boosted the interest of stamp collectors and commercial interest. The Secretary of the Mexican Stamp Collectors Union, Maria Christina Hernandez, stated that a man bought 4,000 stamps while on e-Bay they have already made an appearance for 200 dollars. The series is made up of 750,000 stamps.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] KEP Accepts Applications Applications for Housing Benefit

    02 Jul 2005 14:23:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Applications for housing benefit offered by OEK (Workers Housing Association) should be submitted from 4/7/2005 to 31/12/2005. The programme addresses those who pay their contributions to OEK and have never received housing loans or housing grant by OEK, and concerns rent payments that have been submitted in 2004.

    Employment and Social Protection Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos underlined that the programme provides readjusted benefits and higher income limits so that more families can be benefited. Those interested can submit the application forms to the Citizen Service Centres (KEP).

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] Olympiacos Interested in Vieri

    02 Jul 2005 19:25:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Olympiacos coupled with some of the leading European football clubs are after Christian Vieri who parted company with Inter Milan. The 31-year-old Italian striker demands his new team offer him key role in the team, since he has been Roberto Mancinis second or even third choice for quite some time. Apart from the Greek football club, Tottenham, Bolton, Milan, Juventus, Fiorentina, Sevilla and CSKA Moscow are rumoured to have expressed their interest.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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