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

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Multiple Explosions
  • [02] With Determination and Social Concern
  • [03] Tax Return Scenarios
  • [04] Black Gold Sears
  • [05] Papandreou Uses Harsh Tongue
  • [06] New Dispute Over Main Shareholder
  • [07] Security Cameras Legal Under Conditions
  • [08] Amidst Demonstrations
  • [09] Bush Collides with Policeman
  • [10] Bloodshed in Iraq
  • [11] Memory Necklace

  • [01] At the Center of London Multiple Explosions

    07 Jul 2005 11:39:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Since 09:00 GMT the British capital is in a state of alarm since nine explosions shook the center of the city. Initially, five explosions occurred in stations of the Underground, while shortly after another four occurred in busses in the center of London. The ambulances have rushed to the scene transporting injured persons constantly, while sources state of deaths. Minister for the Interior Charles Clark spoke of very serious injuries, and made a plea to Londoners to not travel to the center of the city, while the police state that it is too early to detect the cause of the explosions. The entire Underground network circulation has been suspended. The first reference to terrorism came from Strasburg and the European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, Franco Frattini, who said that the explosions are a tragic proof that terrorism has hit Europe once again. Tony Blairs statements are expected shortly form Scotland, while Mayor of London Ken Livingstone will arrive shortly in London from Singapore.

    The stations that the explosions occurred in are: Aldgate Station, Edgware Road, Kings Cross, Old Street and Russell Square, while two trains boarded by people are trapped in Edgware Road. According to medical sources the injured in Aldgate Station come up to 90 people. Initially the first reports stated that explosions in the Underground were due to a technical problem caused by the sudden increase in power voltage, while the recent explosions reinforce fears over a terrorist attack. It is worthy to note that the explosions occur a day after the British capital was assigned the hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games, while the G8 Summit Meeting is commencing today, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Karamanlis Visits Interior Ministry With Determination and Social Concern

    07 Jul 2005 12:11:00

    By Anna Kourti

    During his two-hour meeting in the Ministry for the Interior, the Prime Minister stated that changes will be made in the Public Administration, with determination and social concern. Mr Karamanlis stated that many steps have been taken for the reestablishment of state, adding that the government has a difficult task ahead of it, and for this reason a new notion and new vision is required. Furthermore, he harshly criticized PASOK governments, stating that the state he was passed over was problematic, bureaucratic and an obstacle to the development process of the country.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] From the Unification of Oil Taxation Tax Return Scenarios

    07 Jul 2005 10:59:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, NET Radio 105.8

    The Government is seeking for a fair and simple solution, as per the Development Ministrys commitment regarding the way of returning the tax difference to citizens after the unification of heating oil and diesel. The relevant regulations for the immediate money return will be announced by the end of July, while the Government is repeating that households, which are worried over paying heating oil at the price of diesel in the winter, will not be burdened. The target of the new measure is to stamp out illegal trading, which causes the Public Sector to lose 1.2 to 2 billion euros annually. So far, the Government is looking into three scenarios, while as per Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis the tax return will be based on social and geographical criteria.

    Solutions Under Review

    To separate the country in zones based on climatic conditions (with different criteria in the northern and southern areas) and to establish a revenue limit, over which there will be no grant. The tax will be returned through some DEKOs (public enterprise classed as public service and utilities) invoice, like the PPC (Public Power Corporation) and will be based on the square metres of each household. This system has been applied for some time now in other European countries. Consumers will gather oil purchase receipts and then submit them to their local Tax Offices.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] In Asia Black Gold Sears

    07 Jul 2005 10:47:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The price of petrol in Asia has shot up to $61.53 thus recording a new historic record. The market expresses fear that the tropical rainstorms that are affecting the Gulf of Mexico will cause serious problems in American production. At 05:20 (Greek time) the price of light crude shot up to $61.53 temporarily. The new increase of oil prices caused a fall in the New York Stock Exchange with Dow Jones decreasing by 0.97% and Nasdaq by 0.49%.

    The main cause of the price increase is the tropical rainstorms in the Mexico Gulf. Investors are nervous since they fear that a problem will arise in the oil delivery, stated Mark Pervan an analyst for Daiwa Securities in Melbourne, Australia.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Papandreou Uses Harsh Tongue

    06 Jul 2005 23:06:00


    Speaking at the meeting of the Foreign Universities Graduates Association that took place on Wednesday, PASOK leader George Papandreou lashed out a harsh criticism regarding the countrys economy. "NDs government has made an irresponsible use of Greeces strategic advantages," pointed out PASOK leader and blamed the government for the fiscal inventory. As for the issue of the main shareholder, Mr Papandreou demanded rules, which will be followed by everyone, be adopted and added that the way the government handled the situation damaged the countrys image and created instability regarding the absorption of the 3rd Community Support Framework. At the same time, he criticised the PMs announcement on the overspending in the Public Sector and voiced his fears that new taxes are soon to be implemented. "ND revives the give-and-take policy and associated this policy with the introversion that characterises the government," concluded Mr Papandreou.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Rousopoulos-Athanasakis Dispute New Dispute Over Main Shareholder

    06 Jul 2005 21:51:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The issue of the main shareholder and the governments decision to withdraw the PASOK Bill in particular, following the new directive from the authorised European Commissioner, triggered a new dispute between the government and PASOK. "It is a farce," PASOK spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis said thus sparking the dispute. At the same time, he also said "Mr Bairaktaris started with exaggerations, but now the government backs down." ND spokesperson Thodoris Rousopoulos answer was immediate. He sustained "Mr Athanasakis pays no attention to the European Commissions message that the PASOK Bill runs contrary to the EU provisions.

    Referring to the Wednesdays discussion at the ESR (Greek National Council for Radio and Television), during which it was decided to terminate the issuing of transparency certificates until a relative legislative reform, Mr Rousopoulos pointed out that PASOK does not respect the Independent Administration Authorities.

    "Today, as opposed to the past, the government is willing to pledge its commitment and effectively deals with corruption," he said, and concluded "Thats why we continue the negotiations with the European Committee to reach a solution that lies in accordance with the Constitution and the EU directives."

    "Lies are not enough to help him deal with the problems he created," answered back Mr Athanasakis, and called upon Mr Rousopoulos to study the minutes of the June 2 Parliament session as well as all the statements made by PASOK "in case he remembers what he pretends to be forgetting today."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Security Cameras Legal Under Conditions

    07 Jul 2005 08:18:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The Hellenic Data Protection Authority (DPA) allowed the use of security cameras that monitor traffic in Athens under strict conditions for a semester, while from May 18 a new request is pending by the Ministry of Public Order which is being investigated by the independent authority. The issue dominated the discussion held by President Dimitris Gourgourakis and journalists on Wednesday, on the occasion of the presentation of the Authoritys minutes in 2004. According to Mr Gourgourakis, the cameras installed before the Olympic Games can be only used exclusively for the monitoring of traffic, while the its use of its content is banned even for violations that are irrelevant with traffic.

    Fines and Unscheduled Checks

    According to sources, the Ministry of Public Order had asked for the continuation of the cameras for the service of special security needs, and the regulation of traffic. In any case, their function will be in accordance to the regulations of the Hellenic Data Protection Authority. Other important decisions concerning the responsibilities of the Authority are included in the report, such as the processing of biometric data, personal health data by insurance companies, and the intervention of employers in their employees pcs.

    In relation to the transfer of personal data of passengers traveling to the U.S., a request of the country since September 11, 2004, a final permit was issued after the passengers have been informed.

    The Authority with a series of decisions, ordered the deletion of foreign persons from the Schengen Information System, either because the decisions with which they were recorded had been cancelled, or because they had to be immediately erased based on the law on their decasualization.

    The Authority imposed a 5,000-euro fine to the Journalists Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (ESIEA) for the publication of journalists data on the Internet, without being cross-referenced.

    The conscription has been allowed the check of persons exempt from military service but not the publication of their names.

    Moreover, the Authority ruled legal the publication of the verdict of MPs Stock Exchange activities, while checks were conducted in institutions, airline and transport companies, and television archives etc, that use archives and closed surveillance systems. After complaints and committals of citizens 1,971 unscheduled checks in different bodies and services were made.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    Hellenic Data Protection Authority

    [08] G8 Summit Opened Amidst Demonstrations

    07 Jul 2005 00:08:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Left-wingers and anti-capitalists protesting against the G8 Summit, blocked off the streets, stopped trains and clashed with the police forces on Wednesday night at Gleneagles, Scotland. The proceedings of the G8 Summit opened with an official dinner given by Queen Elizabeth. In the meantime, UN General-Secretary Kofi Annan pleaded the G8 leaders to double the aid to the African poor nations, while thousands of people massed Edinburgh to attend the Live 8 concert, thus sending a message for justice for the poor in Africa.

    The G8 Agenda

    The strife between France and Britain on the EU budget and the agricultural subsidies, as well as George Bushs a priori rejection of any deal similar to the Kyoto Protocol are to give the leaders of the eight richest countries a hard time. Moreover, intense disputes have regarding the implementation of fairer measures on international trade also been stirred up. As for the issue of poverty in Africa, the G8 leaders agree to double the annual aid, write off the debts of 18 poor countries to third countries and to reduce their debts to foreign companies and to the World Bank by 40 million dollars. However, the schedule is still pending and causes controversies.

    In the meantime, European Commission President Baroso, also present at the G8 meeting after accepting Tony Blairs invitation, is in favour of doubling the aid to Africa. However, he stated that it is unlikely that the G8 leaders will reach an agreement, while he made it clear that the EU has pledged to double its aid from 46 billion euros to 66 billions in2010 and to 90 billion in 2015.

    "The poor nations need a greater help, " Mr Annan stated and he added "It is a now-or-never moment."

    During the official dinner, the G8 leaders were offered the opportunity to relax and enjoy their meal.

    It is noteworthy that apart from Mr Baroso, the presidents of China, Niger, Brazil and Mexico, and Indias PM have also been invited to attend the proceedings of the G8 Summit.

    Songs and Incidents

    Regardless of the strict security measures, protestors approached Gleneagles and collided with police forces outside of the metal barrier surrounding the hotel.

    Around 30 protestors, who cut off the main body of the march, attempted to climb the fence and threw stones at the police, before the force violently pushed them away using batons

    Earlier, violent incidents occurred in Stirling, which resulted in the towns railroad station to be temporarily closed down, while protestors against globalization threw molotov bombs at the policemen, who made at least 70 arrests.

    Furthermore, damage occurred in the storefront of a British restaurant chain, and around 200 protestors attempted to stop traffic in one of the biggest road junctions, the M9 National Road.

    The first day of the Summit Meeting held an unfortunate incident to the American President. While bicycling in Gleneagles, Mr Bush fell on a policeman who was guarding the area, injuring him, while he suffered scratches on his hands and was taken to hospital for precautionary reasons. The peaceful protestors for making poverty history joined their voices with James Brown, Ronan Keating, Yousou NDour, and Travis singing in the last Live8 concert, in the capital of Scotland.

    The organizer of Live8, Bob Geldof, lit the flame of Justice in the context of the Christian Aid happenings, and accompanied by Bono of U2 met with Mr Blair and German Chancellor Mr Schroeder, while he did not hesitate to describe whoever was involved in clashes with the police as foolish.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Mixed Reactions on G8

    Related Links:



    [09] Bush Collides with Policeman

    07 Jul 2005 07:19:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ANA- CNN

    The U.S. President stole the limelight, shortly before the G8 Summit Meeting began in Gleneagles, Scotland. Not with his statements, but with a misjudgment when riding his bike in the gardens of the five star hotel, where the Summit Meeting is taking place. George W Bushs ride was disastrous, since after an hour of bicycling he collided with a security guard. The policeman injured his ankle, the bicycle was ruined and the American President unharmed but with a few scratches, returned to the hotel with a U.S. Secret Services vehicle, which was accompanying him.

    Bad Weather At Fault

    The causes of the mishap seem to be the light rain, weariness and speed, since White House spokesperson Scott McClellan said that Bush was speeding when he fell on the unfortunate guard.

    It is worth noting that around a year ago the American President had another accident with his bicycle in his ranch in Texas, which resulted in him falling on the ground and scratching his face and knees.

    In a question of if the accident is due to a mistake by the American President, McClellan replied that what is important is the guards health, while he was visited by Bush shortly after the accident.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] At Least 13 Dead and 30 Injured Bloodshed in Iraq

    07 Jul 2005 00:59:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Another multi-fatality attack shook Iraq on Wednesday night. Two cars packed with explosives blasted simultaneously, and resulted in at least 13 people losing their lives and another 30 to be injured, 13 of which are being hospitalized in critical condition. The explosion occurred in al-Mashru, 60km south of Baghdad. As a police official stated the first car exploded around 22:00 (Greek time), while the other three minutes later, when rescue crews were preparing to transport victims from the scene of the double attack.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Memory Necklace

    07 Jul 2005 08:54:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Would you like to have a better memory and remember what you have been up to during the day in every small detail? A new invention will bring you closer to the fulfillment of your wish. No, it is not a medicine but an electronic necklace that remembers everything you tend to forget. It is a high-tech portable camera that takes pictures of the places you visit and the people you meet, in order for you to have a complete archive of your actions at the end of the day. It can take 2,000 64kb photographs in total. Its name is Sensecam and is the product of the University of Cambridge in Great Britain and Microsoft. It is around the size of a deck of cards and has a wide-angle fishey lens installed, with 12 megabytes memory.

    Sensecam can also record impulses, such as movement, light level and temperature. Their recording though occurs differently than taking pictures. For example, when its owner enters a room, the camera automatically scans the change in light levels, and photographs the area under the new given facts.

    It also records time, sudden movements and gestures.

    It is equipped with a special accelerator that ensures the clarity of the photographs.

    Its manufacturers claim that if has the same function as an airplanes black box but it is adjusted to the human bodys anatomy.

    As they add, Sensecam can be especially useful in the case of memory gaps that everyone experiences at some point. This will solve everyday questions such as where we left our keys and finding them easier.

    Furthermore, it can offer its services in the case of an accident, supplying all the details on how it was caused.

    It can also become an alternative solution to an agenda or a diary.

    If you are intrigued by the idea and would like to buy Sensecam you have to wait for a while, since currently the product is used for research purposes and its release date has not been decided yet.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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