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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-06

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] London Wins the Gold
  • [02] Flame Lights Up in London
  • [03] Chinese 4x4 Land in Europe
  • [04] Tarzan Swings for a Drink
  • [05] Skopje Provokes Again
  • [06] Testimony of Zisis Deferred
  • [07] Mixed Reactions on G8
  • [08] Berisha Wins Albanian Elections
  • [09] Joint Position Against G8
  • [10] "Not a Single Euro Lost"
  • [11] Measures on Export and Tax Evasion
  • [12] Threats for Olympic Bloodshed
  • [13] The "Weaker Sex" to Pain

  • [01] Paris Sustained Defeat London Wins the Gold

    06 Jul 2005 18:09:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    1908-1948-2012. The British capital will host for the third time in its history within a century the 30th Olympic Games. Despite being the outsider of the voting, won after defeating its rival, Paris, with a difference of four casts (54-50). Prior to the final voting procedure, the bids of Moscow, New York and Madrid had been rejected. On the announcement of the winning city, thousands of Londoners who had swamped the Trafalgar Square to attend the process throbbed with excitement. British PM Tony Blair said that today was a momentous day for London.

    The Voting Process

    The neck and neck battle between the two bids showed that it was the details that gave London the victory.

    The first bid to be eliminated was that of Moscow, which won only 15 votes during the first voting process. The second bid that was excluded from the final process was that of New York which failed to win more than 16 votes. Then it was Madrids turn, since the 31 votes did not prove enough to keep its bid going.

    At the forth and final voting process, London was announced host with 54 votes as opposed to Paris which gathered 50.

    It is noteworthy that not all 116 IOC members participated in the voting processes, for the IOC members coming from the candidate cities were ruled out from the whole process.

    IOC President Jacque Rogge also abstained from the voting processes, who was to voice his preference only in case of equal number in votes.

    London's "Weapons"

    The well-thought and prepared-to-the-last detail file submitted by the British capital proved a great asset for London.

    The Olympic Stadiums capacity of 80,000 spectators was of pivotal importance. Another advantage is the fact that the rest sport facilities are within easy reach from the Olympic Stadium, thus making access quick, easy and above all safe.

    Ten railway routes, with nine already constructed and the tenth expected to have been completed by 2007, will transfer visitors to the Olympic Park It is a tunnel from the King Cross station to the citys downtown. In August, traffic is limited by 30%. However, British mayor Ken Livingstone and the British government are to invest approximately 30 billion dollars in improving the traffic problems, which were viewed as Londons major disadvantage.

    The Games will be held in five main sport complexes, while the Olympic Village, which includes 3,600 apartments, will be given to those who cannot afford the astronomic rents in London after the Games finish.

    The operational cost of the 2012 Olympic Games is to reach 2,79 dollars, as per primary planning. The British government is expected to contribute with approximately 4,5 billion dollars to the construction of new sport facilities, and to the improvement of public transport and security measures.

    Blair: "A Momentous Day"

    "Today is a momentous day for London," pointed out the British PM Tony Blair shortly after London was announced host, and he saluted a team effort and said the work done by bid chairman Lord Coe and chief executive Keith Mills had been "just awesome." "This is just the most fantastic opportunity to do everything we ever dreamed of in British sport. It was an outstanding teamwork. We will not fail you," the bid chairman Sebastian Coe stated. "We promise you unforgettable Games," boasted British mayor Ken Livingstone. The President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Lamine Diack congratulated London and added that,"IAAF is delighted that London will the hosting country of the 2012 Games, because Britain still remains a great asset for world sports."

    Despite his disappointment, Moscows mayor Yury Luzhkov also congratulated London and stated, "The voting process brought together strong bidders, and our participation was a great honour. Our bid earned us invaluable experience and we learned how to keep up with IOCs high standards." Mr Luzhkov concluded saying that Moscow will vie for the 2016 Games.

    Athens mayor Dora Bakogiannis also congratulated her London peer Ken Livingstone. Ms Bakogiannis offered Athens experience and know-how gained during the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Sadness in Paris

    French Sports Minister Jean Francois Lamour voiced his sadness and spoke of lack of communication between France and the IOC members.

    "I am under the impression that we do not understand each other. It is probably because we do not speak the same language," he stressed abd he added "Why did not they vote for our bid? I cannot to understand why we were not chosen since ours was the best. We have vied for the Games for three times and we failed. This is too much."

    Despite the disappointment, though, French President Jacques Chirac congratulated London.

    The last time that Paris hosted the Olympic Games was in 1924, while it bids for the 1992 and 2008 Games were defeated by Barcelona and Beijing respectively.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Flame Lights Up in London

    [02] Prevailed Over the "City of Lights" Flame Lights Up in London

    06 Jul 2005 14:55:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    "‘he city that will have the honour and the responsibility to organize the Olympic Games of the year 2012 is... London". After Belgian IOC president Jacques Rogge made the announcement, the British capital will welcome the Olympic Flame for the 2012 Games. So, after Beijing, which will host the 2008 Olympics, London will receive the baton to organise the 30th Games after prevailing in the final IOC voting process. This will be the third time in the history of the Olympic Games, after 1908 and 1948, that London will host the Olympic Games. The other four countries claiming the 30th Games, the most important sports event in the world, were Madrid (Spain), Moscow (Russia), New York (USA) and Paris (France).

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] The First Fleet Has Landed in Belgium Chinese 4x4 Land in Europe

    06 Jul 2005 15:31:00

    The first fleet of Chinese jeeps has landed in Europe. They are named Landwind and are expected to sell like crazy in the European market. The first 200 Chinese jeeps have landed in Antwerp Port in Belgium, and many believe that they will surpass the European makes with the 40% decrease in price. It is estimated that the vehicle will be priced at 17,000 euros including taxes. The Chinese SUV will be equipped with two 2.0 and 2.4-liter gas engines, and a 2.8-liter diesel engine. " The prices in Germany will begin from 15,000 and reach 16,000 euros. It is a fully equipped car with air conditioning, leather seats and automatic functions," stated a Dutch car representative, whilst stating that the Chinese jeeps have been manufactured in such a way as to fulfill all strict European gas emission standards. According to the Chinese, more than 2,000 jeeps have been sold. In the Netherlands 100 Landwind jeeps have been sold, while in September 400 more jeeps will be imported. It is not known when their sale will begin in Greece.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Tarzan Swings for a Drink

    06 Jul 2005 14:14:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Obviously his favorite childhood hero was Tarzan, and he always wanted to swing from the branches of a tree. He was 66-years-old and he had not yet achieved his dream. He was also looking for a cause, which his wife gave him accidentally. You see, the 66-year-old Romanian was fond of his nighttime drink, and his wife not being able to stand his addiction decided to lock him in a room until his need subsided. The husband opened the window, saw the trees and heroic jungle scenes came to his mind. He jumped out and started swinging from tree branches making his childhood dream a reality. Unfortunately, hard reality together with the hard ground vanished his hopes and cut his wings. The 66-year-old Romanian fell on the ground from a height of 4.5m breaking his leg, ankle and hand. After his adventure he stated that it seemed easy, just as he had seen Tarzan do in the movies. He admitted that life is much harder than what is depicted on the big screen, while he confessed that he forgot to calculate that Tarzan was younger and more agile than himself.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Propaganda Over Enslaved Territory Skopje Provokes Again

    06 Jul 2005 19:23:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Following the map that appeared on a website link of the Foreign Ministry of Skopje depicting parts of Macedonia belonging to FYROM, a similar action caused strong reactions on the part of Greek officials. This time, maps and texts in school textbooks refer that parts of Skopje are still under Greek and Bulgarian occupation. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mr Koumoutsakos described it as a serious issue and pointed out that Greece proceeded with all necessary actions.

    Europe Allergic to the Policy of Irredentism

    Mr Koumoutsakos pointed out that Sopjes repeated provocations reveal the seriousness of the problem caused by Skopjes obsession to the existence of enslaved territories.

    He further added that both Greece and Europe, which is allergic to the policy of irredentism, require definite and clear answers.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Evidence Involves Judge in Extrajudicial Circuit Testimony of Zisis Deferred

    06 Jul 2005 16:16:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Vice President of the Judges and Prosecutors Union, Achilleas Zisis, has asked and received a deferment for July 14, in order to be briefed over the evidence of the investigation conducted on his behalf, and concern possible interventions in his coworkers work. Mr Zisis, who had been called to testify as a suspect of breach of duty, denies the accusations and describes them as deplorable slanders. He also claims that the aim is for the defamation of the Judges and Prosecutors Union, of which he is the President. Businessman Kostas Avramidis, who reportedly financed Zisis for the construction of his vacation house in exchange of a favorable ruling in his judicial cases, has also asked for a deferment for the same date. Mr Avramidis was a defendant in the Stock Exchange scandal in 1999.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    President Accused of Breach of Duty

    [07] Violent Incidents In View of the Leaders Arrival Mixed Reactions on G8

    06 Jul 2005 12:02:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: BBC- ANA- NET

    Today, the Summit Meeting of the 8 most powerful countries of the planet begins in Edinburgh, amidst clashes between police with protestors, who have gathered to state their opposition to the G8. On Wednesday, British PM Tony Blair arrived in the Scottish capital in order to welcome the other leaders that are expected today. The Summit Meeting will begin 21:40 (Greek time) with an official dinner given by Queen Elizabeth, while the protestors rallies, opposing the G8 policy, have started since the beginning of the week. This morning, new violent incidents took place when protestors started marching towards the Gleneagles resort, where the Meeting will take place. The police attempted to block the protestors, who objects against the forces.


    G8 Member States

    ∑ Great Britain ∑ France ∑ Germany ∑ U.S. ∑ Japan ∑ Italy ∑ Canada ∑ Russia

    As per police, the demonstration to be held near Gleneagles was cancelled. However, anti-G8 activists refused to cancel it. "We will proceed with the demonstration no matter what police say. We continue negotiating with them," said G8 Alternatives spokesperson Mark Brown.

    In the morning, the outskirts of Edinburgh were turned into a battlefield when a group of demonstrators clashed with the police forces. The incidents were reported near Gleneagles, where activists wearing hoods and carrying bricks caused many property damages. Other groups blocked off the streets surrounding the luxury hotel building to host the G8 leaders. 16 people were arrested.

    "We witnessed extensive riots and many criminal actions. It is too dangerous to have the demonstration. We strongly advise people not to come," said the chief constable.

    G8 Alternatives and the British movement against war in Iraq had scheduled a march for today. The demonstrators were given permission to stage their rally 500m off the hotel set to host the G8 leaders.

    "The march was cancelled after talks between the police and G8 Alternatives," said a police spokesperson. G8 Alternatives denied that.

    However, thousands of demonstrator defied the polices warning and massed Gleneagles. About 1,500 people have already gathered.

    G8 Alternatives claimed earlier that the police are trying to undermine the scheduled march.

    All roads leading to Gleneagles were temporarily blocked by demonstrators who had lied on the roads.

    Dozens of demonstrators including many anarchists from throughout Europe have been arrested so far, while eight policemen were hospitalised.

    Environment and Aid to Africa

    US Presidents stance on the thorny issue of environment is long-awaited, since the USA strongly oppose to the Kyoto Protocol, for which the British Presidency hopes that a compromising solution in underway. The other controversial subject that is expected to top the agenda is the aid to Africa.

    Speaking from Copenhagen, US President George Bush admitted that the greenhouse effect mainly caused by people significantly contributes to the global warming and the climate changes and he claimed that vehicles can run with alternative fuels.

    Mr Bush sent a clear message to the African countries that demand their debt be written off and ask for more help, by saying that these countries must first secure democracy and fight corruption.

    On the subject, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder pointed out that the Summit in Gleneagles is likely to reach a decision on a rise in aid for Africa by 0,7% by 2015. On his part, British PM Tony Blair, who chairs the Summit, has asked for a double rise by 2010.

    Mr Schroeder also voiced an appeal that the economic help should be associated with progress in the fields of democracy and peace as well as in the fight against corruption in African countries.

    Related News:

    Injuries And Arrests

    G8 Agenda

    [08] Berisha Wins Albanian Elections

    06 Jul 2005 07:29:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The scenery is clearing up in Albania after the suspense over the results of the Parliamentary election last Sunday. Until yesterday, the two candidates, Sali Berisha and Fatos Nano, claimed they were both winners. The suspense ended on Tuesday night when the spokesperson of the Central Supervisory Committee, Erton Sinani, announced that the Presidential seat was won by former President Sali Berishas Democratic Party which acquired 53 out of 100 election constituencies, while Fatos Nanos Socialist Party 40. Moreover, candidate Socialist Party MPs condemn "illegalities and rigging of the results," from members of the Democratic Party in elections centers and constituency committees.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Ask for Cancellation of All UA Countries Debts Joint Position Against G8

    06 Jul 2005 00:32:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Upon the adjournment of their Summit Meeting in Sirte, Libya, the leaders of the Union of Africa (UA) ask of the G8 for the cancellation of the debt for all African countries, and the ban of agricultural grants that obstruct trade transactions. In the document that was adopted, the UA asks of the G8 to commit for the immediate increase for development and employment. UA spokesperson Adam Thiam stated that the head of the African countries adopted a joint African position for the G8 Summit meeting, and the ban of agricultural grants, which is a great issue.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Direct Tax Return to Consumers "Not a Single Euro Lost"

    06 Jul 2005 11:51:00 (Last updated: 06 Jul 2005 21:33:20)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas appeared reassuring on Wednesday regarding the new regulation promoted by the Government on the tax unification for heating oil and diesel. "Citizens will not lose a single euro" he stressed and added that the Bill to be submitted by late July, will be to the benefit of households and farmers. At the same time, he reassured there will be an immediate regulation to return money to citizens and estimated that the unification will be to the benefit of society, as it will stamp out corruption. Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis moved on the same wavelength, stressing that the aim is not to burden anyone. "And nobody will be burdened," he underlined.

    Fair and Simple Solution

    Mr Sioufas stressed the PM's directions are to come up with a fair and simple solution, which as he reassured, will be achieved through the cooperation of the Ministries of Economy and Development. He also underlined the new regulation will not burden households. The Development Minister made the above statements after his meeting with President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias. Apart form the latest developments on heating oil and diesel, Mr Papoulias was also informed on the Greek-Turkish natural gas pipeline in Evros.


    Commenting on the governments reform on oil, PASOK spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis pointed out that under no circumstances must the income be negatively influenced, for this will force Greece to domestic lending.

    At the same time, he accused the government of immediately announcing the equating of the two taxes with a view to collecting taxes earlier, while "The government is currently thinking of a way to return the money to be collected."

    On its part, KKE underlined that the new government plan on equating the two taxes is the climax of the governments tax raid. KKE went on saying that returning part of the tax depending on the property cannot compensate for the strike against thousands of households.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Strategic Plan of 11 Measures Measures on Export and Tax Evasion

    06 Jul 2005 15:06:00 (Last updated: 06 Jul 2005 19:54:50)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Minister of Economy announced measures on the reinforcement of Greek products exports, as well as the new operational plan of the Export Promotion Organization (OPE), while on the issue of measures against tax evasion Mr Alogoskoufis left the event for the reintroduction of receipt collection from taxpayers open. The strategic plan for exports included 11 important measures, among which are the presentation of Greek businesses in expositions and businesses missions abroad, the conducting of market research, the increase from 25 last year to 45 this year expositions abroad, and the materialization of eight business missions in a great number of special interest countries. The Minister described the export of Greek businesses during the previous years as especially low, which as he said comes up to 7.4% of the GDP as opposed to Germany with 40% and Belgium 95%.

    The 11 Measures Include:

    ∑ OPE financing up to 40% of the expenses of Greek businesses in international expositions. ∑ The conduction of market research, which will form the purchase target for Greek products. ∑ The promotion of traditional agricultural products, such as olive oil, which will be promoted in a special 6 million euros programme in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. ∑ The creation of a directorate for agricultural products in OPE. ∑ The materialization of 45 expositions abroad this year, in comparison to 25 last year, with the participation of 600 Greek businesses and the prospect to increase to 900 in 2006. ∑ The organization of 8 business missions in a large number of special interest countries, such as the U.S., Canada, United Arab Emirates, Japan, China, Poland, Russia and Egypt. ∑ The materialization of a World Conference aimed at the promotion of the Greek diet in September to October. ∑ The upgrade of the National Export Council to a strategic tool in foreign policy. ∑ The promotion of hi-tech product companies with a view to establishing 50 new export businesses in 2005. ∑ The management of EU programmes to enhance the activities of Greek businesses abroad. ∑ The conduction of a conference in the first half of 2006 with the participation of 1,000 trade representatives from the target countries.

    Key Word: "Outward Looking" Policies

    Mr Alogoskoufis stated that the low exports of Greek businesses during the previous years is reflected in the deficit of trade balance, which had come up to 27 billion dollars, and accredited this development to low competitiveness of Greek business, the discouragement of entrepreneurship in our country and the absence of a critical mass of export businesses.

    The key word for the reinforcement of exports, according to the Minister, is "outward looking" policies. "The aim is for European programmes to be fully utilized and for products of high technology and education to be supported," concluded Mr Alogoskoufis.

    Tough Battle Against Tax Evasion

    Moreover, Mr Alogoskoufis announced that a tax evasion campaign by the Ministry of Economy will be made for the taxpayers, while all the events are investigated in order to avoid the loss of a single euro from the public organizations. The Minister of Economy left the event open for reintroducing tax relief based on the receipts of family expenses. The aim of the economic leadership is to end tax evasion and for the budget income to be boosted further.

    Meanwhile, checks in businesses and freelancers will take place, under the suspicion of VAT withholding since it has been concluded that specific businesses give out smaller percentages in relation to last year.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Threats for Olympic Bloodshed

    06 Jul 2005 12:06:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Despite Cassandras which tried to undermine Greeces prestige in any chance they were given, Athens hosted the safest Games in the History of the Modern Summer Olympic Games in 2004. Unfortunately, a few hours before the decisive IOC vote, Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev threatens to launch bomb attacks against Moscow in 2012, in case Russia is voted to host the Games. This message was posted on the website of Chechen separatists, who seem to be more interested in their disturbed relations with Russia, rather than the most important sports event on the planet.

    Warning from Basayev

    Chechen separatist warlord Shamil Basayev literally chose the worst possible time to launch new threats against Russia. The bloodthirsty leader of the Chechen separatists, Shamil Basayev, posted an announcement on his website and even reached a point of doubting whether Russia will exist in 2012, while warning the world to turn its back to Moscow's candidacy.

    "Only Allah knows what will happen in 2012 [] and whether Russia will exist. Nobody can vouch for the safety of the Olympic Games, even if our forces launch accurate attacks," warned Basayev and went on to add, "The fact that we have launched attacks on Moscow before and we will continue to do so is clear to the world," thus explaining that Chechens are not in the least interested in the Olympic Games, since their people have other problems to deal with.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [13] Women More Vulnerable to Pain The "Weaker Sex" to Pain

    06 Jul 2005 12:28:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    A new research conducted by British scientists from Bath University disagrees with the notion that women have more defenses against pain. As it emerges from the research, women are not only more vulnerable to pain, but are proven weaker in dealing with it. It seems that the cause is that they give more attention to emotional aspects, in comparison to men, who deal with it on the physicality. In order to find these results, the team of scientists conducted an experiment in which 50 women and men underwent simple pain tests, in order for their endurance and resistance to be recorded. More specifically, the volunteers initially dipped their hand in warm water for two minutes and following into a vat of ice water for another two minutes, or as long as they could stand. The results were indicative. The women in the experiment were caught in the nets of pain quicker than men, while their endurance ranged in lower levels.

    Psychological and Hormonal Causes

    In the meantime, when men were asked to think about the sensory aspects of the pain rather than the emotions related to it, the pain decreased.

    On the other hand, the above strategy did not help women, while as the lead of the research psychologist Dr Ed Keogh stated, in many cases it helped increase the pain, possibly because they tend to connect it with negative feelings.

    He also stated that during their lifetime women experience pain in more bodily areas and more frequently than men.

    The theories on the explanation of this difference between the two sexes vary. The most mounting evidence speaks of psychological causes, and specifically the altruism of women. This leads women to be more attuned to pain as a warning sign; that their health is in danger and subsequently affecting their ability to care for others.

    According to another theory, the cause is the hormonal differences between men and women. As Dr Keogh states, women have different resistance to pain during their menstrual cycle, while many become more sensitive during menopause.

    He states that further research is needed that will help in producing more effective painkillers.

    "Its hugely important because most of the drugs we use in pain have been tested on men. There is some evidence that women respond better to different pain killers than men," he concluded.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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