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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-12

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Public Appeal
  • [02] Unified, but not Binding
  • [03] One Suspect Arrested in London
  • [04] Explosion in Israel
  • [05] Meeting over Terrorism
  • [06] Series of Blasts in Spain
  • [07] Politically Targeted Attack in Lebanon
  • [08] PAO and Spanoulis Shake Hands
  • [09] Toure Has Agreed
  • [10] All Is Well with Conceicao

  • [01] New Proposal to Continue Dialogue Public Appeal

    12 Jul 2005 13:19:00 (Last updated: 12 Jul 2005 22:51:28)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Employment Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos gave an emergency Press Conference today, amidst intense reactions regarding labour issues. Mr Panagiotopoulos addressed an appeal to unionists to take part in the dialogue in order to reach a solution. Earlier, GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) sent a letter to the Minister of Employment, notifying him it would not respond to the new invitation for dialogue, which Mr Panagiotopoulos made last night. The letter also read that the Government is adopting employers demands without judging them first. Earlier, at a meeting between GSEE and ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions), the two bodies decided to proceed with common actions and hold a 24-hour strike most probably in two weeks time. Opposition parties reacted to the changes in labour relations, while DAKE President Kostas Poupakis stated there was no dialogue on labour relations and stressed he is in favour of directors right in regulating working hours promoted by the Government.

    "We Will Handle the Cost"

    "The Government is determined to handle the cost and proceed aiming at increasing employment levels, stressed Mr Panagiotopoulos, while regarding the issue of overtime, he appeared to be open at reinstate the regime which applied before 2000, ie 25% rather than 50%.

    We are still waiting GSEEs answers in certain issues we have set, stressed Mr Panagiotopoulos, referring to the Confederations denial to participate in the dialogue, and further added that the Government will give social dialogue as much time as is really needed, if however everyone wishes to participate in it.

    Responding with Collective Actions

    As for GSEE president Christos Polyzogopoulos, he noted during the meeting with ADED that the Governments choice will not pass, while he also said that the revenue of employees, who work overtime, will drop by 10%.

    The regulation of time using the directors right will take away and additional revenue, which Greek households can have, he stressed speaking on NET radio 105.8 and further added that everyone opposes the issue of directors right.

    ADEDY President Spyros Papaspirou moved on the same wavelength and stressed that labour relations and social security are matters linked to each other.

    Speaking on NET radio 105.8, GSEE financial deputy secretary Fotis Agadakos stressed, Two issues, like overtime and directors right cannot be discussed together.

    Fierce Disputes

    Government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos referred to the issue, stating that the Greek people have approved the programme of changes with their vote, while he also underlined that nobody is trying to abolish the 8-hour working day, but instead regulate working hours.

    In a question whether the Government is willing to proceed with labour changes, even on its own, Mr Roussopoulos said that for many years previous governments did nothing for political reform, while the ND Government has proceeded with a series of reforms for the good of Greece and Greek citizens.

    At the same time, he clarified that the Government didnt wish to have an express-dialogue, noting that the dialogue started 9 months ago and the Government will always talk with social bodies before proceeding with structural changes.

    Commenting on the reforms to labour issues, PASOKs spokesperson Nikos Atahnasakis stressed that the measures implemented by the Government are against he citizens and in favour of the few, while he added that the dialogue was ostensible.

    KKE spoke of a new attack against the rights of employees, while SYN said the dialogue is just a cover and abolishes the 8-hour working day to blindly satisfy the FGIs demands. In the meantime, speaking on NET radio 105.8, independent parliamentarian Andreas Andrianopoulos said he it is better to fire one employee than closing down a business and let all employees go.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Disagreement over Trading Hours

    Unproductive Meeting

    [02] Reactions over Trading Hours Raging Unified, but not Binding

    12 Jul 2005 19:09:00 (Last updated: 12 Jul 2005 21:35:31)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The discussion in Greek Parliament over the Development Ministry bill, which also includes the regulations for the new trading hours, will commence on Wednesday, amid collective actions by trade employees and a political dispute between the Government and the Opposition. According to the bill, the new extended trading hours will be implemented nationwide, but would not be binding. In the meantime, the GSEVEE (General Confederation of Small and Medium Sized Businesses) postponed the symbolic blockades in Tempi, the Corinth Isthmus and the Rio-Antirrio Bridge until Tuesday 19 July, instead of 13, while it is also preparing to lodge an appeal to the European Commission. At the same time, in a written statement, Deputy Development Minister Giannis Papathanasiou described the allegations by PASOK section heads, who claimed that the extended trading hours serve specific economic interests, as a false and populist diversion.

    Fierce Disputes and Collective Actions

    Despite the postponement of the blockades until 19 July, shops on Crete and Mytilini will remain closed on Wednesday. Also on that day, private sector employees called a 24-hour strike, while the DEKO federations and the banks declared a three-hour work stoppage from 9am to 12 noon.

    In addition, the presidium of the National Confederation of Greek Trade will be meeting with ND secretary Vangelis Meimarakis tomorrow, to present their views on the bill in question.

    Despite the postponement of the blockades until 19 July, shops on Crete and Mytilini will remain closed on Wednesday. Also on that day, private sector employees called a 24-hour strike, while the DEKO federations and the banks declared a three-hour work stoppage from 9am to 12 noon.

    In addition, the presidium of the National Confederation of Greek Trade will be meeting with ND secretary Vangelis Meimarakis tomorrow, to present their views on the bill in question.

    The issue of the extended trading hours was also discussed on Tuesday during the PASOK coordinators meeting, where a tough parliamentary dispute was decided, while the partys section heads launched verbal attacks against the Government.

    The new regulations aim at shrinking small and medium-sized businesses and retail trade, thus reducing their market share and adulterating competition in favour of greater interests, declared Rodoula Zisi. On the other hand, Evi Christofilopoulou spoke of governmental authoritarianism. Earlier, Anna Diamantopoulou claimed that the regulations directly target SMBs and thousands of citizens.

    Mr Papathanasiou reacted harshly to PASOKs criticism. The Deputy Development Minister referred to the trading hours of shops in Spain, Great Britain and Portugal, which are governed by socialist and labour parties and wondered, Mr Papandreou and PASOKs friends and socialist leaders aim at serving greater economic interests with these trading hours, or the interests of the people, as is the case with us?

    Meanwhile, Mr Papathanasiou noted that Greece has the shortest trading hours compared to all the other European countries and concluded by saying, We have to cover this competitive deficit. We have to adjust to the new state of affairs, for the interest of consumers and the national need to become competitive.

    It should be noted that the new trading hours as per the bill are: Monday to Friday until 9pm and Saturday until 8pm.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Disagreement over Trading Hours

    [03] One Suspect Arrested in London

    12 Jul 2005 19:08:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The British authorities are continuing their intensive search, with raids in apartment buildings, in an effort to locate those responsible for the recent terrorist attacks. Today, the operations focused in neighbourhoods in Leeds, West Yorkshire, where they raided six buildings, aiming at discovering explosives or other clues that may assist their investigation. Actually, 600 people had to be evacuated before the first raid to an unoccupied house, so as to carry out controlled explosions in order to neutralise an object that was blocking the door. The first arrest took place during these operations. According to initial information, the man is Pakistani, while a new wave of arrests in London is imminent. The investigation also led police to Luton Station, where a car believed to be connected in some way to the explosions was located.

    Authorities Believe Bombers Came from Yorkshire

    Although both Scotland Yard and West Yorkshire police have not release much information, they initially announced that the verification of the identity of one bomber is what has been leading the authorities. The man was the one who carried out the attack at Aldgate. Personal documents of three suspects were also found close to the explosions suggesting all four died in the blasts. Furthermore, the authorities have other clues at hand concerning the four men, who are believed to have arrived in the British capital from Yorkshire on the morning of the attacks. One of them, who has been declared as missing by his family in Yorkshire, is believed to have been on bus No 30. However, it has not been clarified yet, whether the man was intending to detonate the bomb in the bus.

    In the meantime, the facts are changing. The death toll from the terrorist attacks has reached 52, while two of the victims have already been identified.

    At the same time, frustration continues to prevail in Burley, Leeds, where police carried out a controlled explosion. Up to 600 people were evacuated from the area, while police cleared people from homes as well as a mosque, a health centre and an old peoples home.

    According to an article in the Daily Mirror , British police has placed 100 suspects under surveillance. Speaking on BBC radio, Moroccan-British Mohammed al Gerbuzi, who is among the suspects, declared that he is not hiding and had nothing to do with the attacks. On the other hand, Scotland Yard Commissioner Ian Blair voiced fears of a new attack in London.

    Luton Station Closed

    In the meantime, police have cordoned off Bedfordshire Station, in Luton, north of London, after locating a suspicious vehicle. As per the BBC, the vehicle was destroyed during a controlled explosion.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Measures Against Terrorism

    [04] Jihad Claims Responsibility Explosion in Israel

    12 Jul 2005 18:52:00 (Last updated: 12 Jul 2005 20:29:52)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Reuters, AFP

    The Israeli TV speaks of three dead from an explosion recorded on Tuesday afternoon at the entrance of a shopping mall in the coastal city of Netanya. According to the initial estimates, the blast was caused by a suicide bomber, who is probably among the dead. A little while after the explosion, Palestinian Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack with a call to Reuters in the West Bank, thus defying the five-month-old Israeli-Palestinian truce. Israeli shopping malls are often the targets of suicide bombers. However, violence seems to have drooped sharply ever since Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed on a ceasefire. The last similar incident was recorded on 25 February, outside a nightclub in Tel Aviv and was also the work of the Jihad.

    Palestinians Condemn the Attack

    On its part, the Palestinian Authority condemned the attack in Netanya. "We condemn this attack; all factions must abide by the truce," said Jibril Rajoub, a security aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while he added, "These acts only cause harm to Palestinian unity."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Meeting over Terrorism

    12 Jul 2005 15:32:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Today, Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis, along with Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras and Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis, decided on the countrys stance during the upcoming emergency Summit among the EU Ministers of Justice and Public Order, in Brussels on Wednesday. They also discussed Greeces position with regard to the draft resolution proposed by the British presidency, asking all Member-States to ratify a series of added measures to combat terrorism. Furthermore, the PM met with Cabinet secretary Argyris Karras. Upon departing Maximos Mansion, the Justice Minister underlined that Europe has to provide a joint answer to this heinous crime. Asked whether the measures proposed by the British presidency could be adopted in Greece, he said that they would have to be reviewed first and then decide on that. On his part, Mr Voulgarakis repeated that Greece is a safe country, underlining, No added measures need to be adopted in order to combat terrorism.

    Each Country to Review the Proposal Individually

    The Public Order Minister clarified that the object of the meeting was the proposal to the EU Member-States, which will be discussed during the ministerial council tomorrow.

    Mr Voulgarakis also added that each country would review the proposal individually, based on the situation prevailing in each State, while in the case of Greece, it will be reviewed based on the countrys level of security and the degree of threat from terrorism.

    We are standing by the European Unions and the countries that believe they are being threatened, however, we have our own standards, stressed the Minister.

    On his part, regarding the possibility of restricting personal freedoms, Mr Papaligouras said it would be prudent not to jump into conclusions. He also added that we have to deeply consider the political causes that create the problem of terrorism.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] No Injuries Series of Blasts in Spain

    12 Jul 2005 16:04:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Reuters, El Mundo

    Following this mornings explosion in Barcelona, whereby a policeman was injured and his trained dog was killed, the blasts continued in Spains Basque country. Specifically, four explosions struck near a power station at 14:10 (local time), after two calls in the name of Basque separatist guerrillas ETA, warning that four bombs would explode near the power station at Amorebieta. The first call was placed at 13:30 (local time) to the Basque newspaper DYA and the second was to newspaper Gara. According to the countrys Media, no injuries or damages were recorded, since the authorities had ample of time to evacuate the power station, as approximately 250 workers and visitors were in the building at the time.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Blast in Barcelona

    [07] Politically Targeted Attack in Lebanon

    12 Jul 2005 12:58:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The blast reported on Tuesday morning at a Christian suburb in Beirut was due to a booby-trapped car. The explosion, which targeted Lebanons Defence Minister Elias el Murr, cost the lives of two people, while 12 more sustained injuries, including el Murr. The booby-trapped car exploded when el Murrs convoy was heading to north Beiry, while eye-witnesses spoke of a terrible blast, which completely wrecked two cars. It is noted that Elias El Murr is the son-in-law of Syrian-affiliated Emil Lahhoud.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] PAO and Spanoulis Shake Hands

    12 Jul 2005 20:03:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Vassilis Spanoulis will be continuing his basketball career with Panathinaikos, despite the rumours about him signing up with Olympiacos. Today, the international playmaker met with Thanassis Giannakopoulos and they reached an agreement. Tomorrow, Spanoulis will sign a three-year contract with the reigning Greek champion.

    I Said Yes Immediately

    The player confirmed the agreement with statements he made to the ANA, while he could not hide his joy.

    It is true. I met with Mr Thanassis Giannakopoulos today and we shook hands. You dont need to speak with Panathinaikos presidents long before saying yes. They convince you immediately. What can I say? I am very happy. My personal ambitions coincide with those of Panathinaikos. It is a great team, with a great coach and even greater fans. Everything contributed towards my decision. I will tell you the rest as soon as I sign. I will be waiting for all of you tomorrow at 12:30 at Vianexs offices. As far as I know the presidents decided to leave the doors open for the Press and the people, as soon as the deal is finalised, commented Vassilis Spanoulis.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Toure Has Agreed

    12 Jul 2005 18:57:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    In statements he made at the airport, the Vice-President of Olympiacos FC, Giorgos Louvaris, confirmed the transfer of Yaya Toure to the Piraeus club. Mr Louvaris had gone to Paris to finalise the transfer, and although he was expected to return with Toure, he came alone, as the player will arrive a little later. We have reached an agreement with Toure for a three-year contract. On Wednesday, the player will undergo a medical exam and then he will sign up. As for the rest of the transfers, we will notify you if anything else comes up, declared Mr Louvaris, who also announced that the player would be arriving at 10:30pm. Toure, who was Trond Solieds choice, played for Ukrainian Metalurh Donetsk for the last two years.

    Toures CV

    Yaya Toure will become the sixth African to play for Olympiacos. The others were: Racid Yekini from Nigeria, Peter Oforique, Felix Abague and Kofi Amponsah from Ghana, and Gigi Roberts from Liberia.

    He was born on 13 May 1983 in Ivory Coast and plays in the position of midfielder. He is 1.90m tall and weights 79kg. He came to Europe at the age of 18 and played for Belgian Beveren until 2003.

    After that, he was sold to Ukrainian Metalurh Donetsk for 2.1 million Euros. In the first year with the team, he played in 10 matches and scored one goal, while in the second year, he played in 16 matches and scored 2 goals.

    In Beveren, he participated in 28, 30 and 12 matches respectively over three years and scored a total of 3 goals.

    His brother is Kolo Toure, who plays for Arsenal.

    Yaya was chosen by Norwegian coach Trond Solied, who noticed the player when he was competing with Beveren.

    The 22-year-old player was also approached by Arsenal, but the transfer was not finalised, as the club could not secure a working permit for him.

    Olympiacos paid Metalurh 1.2 million Euros for Toure.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] All Is Well with Conceicao

    12 Jul 2005 10:31:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Flavio Conceicao arrived in Athens along with his manager early on Tuesday morning, thus putting an end to the saga of the last month. The Brazilian player got off the plane at Eleftherios Venizelos airport at 2am, and was picked up by Panathinaikos people, without making any statements. In the morning, he underwent the necessary medical exam, while he then met with Panathinaikos President Giannis Vardinogiannis. However, this was an informal meeting, as the two men will meet again on Wednesday, along with people from Galatasaray, in order to sign his contract.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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