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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-27

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Labour Fever
  • [02] Discovery in Space
  • [03] New Arrests in Britain
  • [04] It's All in a Name
  • [05] Dietary Hormone
  • [06] Horse with Hay Fever?

  • [01] New Collective Actions Announced Labour Fever

    27 Jul 2005 07:27:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: 105.8, NA

    The discussion over the Labour Bill commenced on Tuesday at the 1st Recess Section of Parliament with heated arguments, while the Opposition and the unions are fiercely reacting to the changes. The wrangling commenced right from the start of the session with an intense debate between Employment Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos and PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos. In the meantime, GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) and ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Unions) voiced their satisfaction over the participation rate in yesterdays 24hour strike and work stoppages, while they announced further actions for September. The collective actions culminated with a protest rally outside Parliament, although not many people attended. The discussion in Parliament is continuing today, while it will be concluded on Thursday afternoon.

    Awaiting New Changes

    With the estimate that yesterdays collective actions did not bring about the desired results, the Government is continuing with the permanent settlement of the lalour issue in Parliament and is preparing for a second round of changes, which will be announced by the PM at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair

    Panos Panagiotopoulos presented the changes that had already been announced, while he also introduced improvements to the Bill in the section of widowers pensions. According to the amendments, the pensions are to be granted in full for the first three years, while from then onwards, and until the endorsees reach 65 years of age, they will receive 70%. Based on the previous regime, widowers pensions were only granted for three years and then they stopped being paid until the endorsees reached 65 years of age.

    Furthermore, he accused PASOK of black propaganda and deliberate distortion of the Bills content, noting that the regulations clearly stipulate that employees cannot work more then 10 hours daily, while Giannitsis law allowed 12 hours. He also pointed out that the 8-hour working day is neither being affected nor violated, but on the contrary it is being safeguarded.

    "The Government is proceeding with reforms for a better future and not just the preservation of past acquits," declared NDs rapporteur Athanasios Bouras in Parliament, while he stressed that the Bills regulations would put an end to illegal labour, increase the income of employees, due to overtime pays, and attract new investments, which would create new job opportunities.

    Fierce Reactions

    On the other hand, PASOK described the Bill as a regression to the past, claiming that it afflicts both the families of the employees, as well as competitiveness, while it rewards those who work with old organisational practices, technology and mentality.

    The reduction of labour costs demanded by employers does not contribute towards the growth and development of competitiveness, noted Maria Damanaki and Andreas Andrianopoulos, while PASOKs raporteur Evangelos Papachristos spoke of class-conscious interventions.

    Evangelos Venizelos accused ND of demonstrating unprecedented authoritarianism and introducing socially unfair measures, to which the Employment Minister responded, "If there ever was a Government that identified itself with the parasitic part of the Greek capital, that was Simitis Government."

    KKE stressed that employees would be forced to work over 8 hours without being paid, thus burdening their health, while it also spoke of a period of utter arbitrariness by the Capital. Actually, rapporteur Dimitris Tsiogas described the Bill as anti-labour, stressing that if the Government does not withdraw it, then the working class would abolish it.

    Synaspismos predicted a reduction in competitiveness and an increase in work accidents, while the partys President, Alekos Alavanos, underlined that the regulations would afflict the family unit, without contributing to an increase in employment. Finally, Giannis Dragasakis underlined that the regulations aim at more work and less pay.

    "The Regulations Will not Go Through"

    During his speech yesterday, GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos stressed that the regulations would not go through, no matter if they are voted for or not. He also noted that the measures are not based on consent among employees, they only serve the interests of employers, they abolish the 8-hour day and they shift income from employees to employers.

    He also warned that the unions would continue their fights to overturn the measures as of this coming autumn, while he invited the Government to retract them.

    Meanwhile, the unionists warned that these measures would decrease wages, pensions and employment, increase work accidents and intervene in the personal and family lives of workers.

    Speaking today on NET 105.8, GSEE's president stressed, "We are 100% satisfied with the participation in the strike, considering that it is mid-summer. We are renewing our appointment at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, since the PM would had the time to consider the measures and their impact on society," while he added that the last time regulations were introduced in the middle of summer was in 1979.

    In the meantime, the most significant problems from yesterdays 24-hour strike were recorded in transport.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    24-Hour Nationwide Strike

    [02] First Manned Mission since Columbia Discovery in Space

    27 Jul 2005 10:48:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NA, , BBC

    The seven astronauts on board the US space shuttle Discovery, which blasted off Cape Canaveral, Florida, yesterday, are on their way to the International Space Station. The launch had been postponed a number of times, since problems kept popping up with the space shuttle. Thousands of spectators watched the launch, including First Lady Laura Bush, while they all cheered and applauded when NASA mission control informed them that all went well. However, although the launch was successful and the weather proved a great ally, NASA scientists are reviewing the video showing debris falling from the craft during liftoff, in order to assess the damage. Discovery is USAs first manned space mission in two-and-a-half years, since the Columbia accident.


    "It is time to start flying again, have a good trip and we will see you again in two weeks," Mark Taffet from mission control told the crew a few minutes before liftoff.

    "Thank you," responded commander Eileen Collins.

    The seven-member crew will now have to test all the safety upgrades, in order to avoid the malfunctioning that led to the destruction of Columbia in February 2003, when all seven astronauts on board were killed upon reentry.

    However, debris fell off the space shuttle during blast off, while the tip of the shuttles external fuel tank hit a bird.

    The video shows that a heat shield tile seems to have been affected on the underside of the shuttle. The scientists, though, are stressing that they have to thoroughly review the images before reaching a safe conclusion.

    NASAs John Shannon told reporters, "Were very interested in that. It is something were going to get better pictures of on flight-day three," while he added that the part that fell off the heat shield may be of minor importance.

    Discovery is expected to return to Earth on 7 August.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Ready to Launch

    [03] In Connection with the 21 July Attacks New Arrests in Britain

    27 Jul 2005 10:02:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Scotland Yard continues to be on alert, as the manhunt to locate those responsible for the bombing attacks on 7 and 21 July continues. Police announced that two men, who were travelling from Newcastle to London, were arrested in a railway station in central England. "We can confirm that Lincolnshire police officers arrested two men at Grantham rail station at about 2200 GMT last night (Tuesday)," a police statement said on Wednesday. The Metropolitan Police in London declined to comment on whether the two arrests were connected with the arrests of four men in Birmingham early on Wednesday, for whom they confirmed were linked to the London bombing attacks on 21 July. The arrests were made in a joint operation involving local police, officers from the Londons Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch and members of Britains security services. Furthermore, a white van that is believed to have been used in the attacks was impounded in north London. In the meantime, British PM Tony Blair announced yesterday that he would not "give an inch to terrorism" and said Iraq was no excuse for the London bombings.

    Two Suspects for 21 July Attacks

    At the same time, British police named two suspects for the four failed attacks on 21 July at the underground and a bus in London. The men are: Muktar Said Ibrahim (also known as Muktar Mohammed Said), aged 27; and Yasin Hassan Omar, aged 24.

    According to the announcement, the first man arrived in Britain along with his family in 1992, aged 14, from Eritrea. In November 2003 he made an application for naturalisation, while he was issued with a British passport in September 2004.

    Muktar Said Ibrahim is believed to be the man behind the attempted attack against No. 26 bus in east London.

    The other suspect, Yasin Hassan Omar, is Somali and arrived in Britain along with his family in 1992, aged 11. He was issued with a temporary residence permit, while in May 2000 he received a permanent residence permit.

    Yassin is believed to be man behind the bombing attack in Warren Station.

    In the meantime, police confirmed that the explosive device found in a park was similar to the ones used on 21 July, while it is quite possible that the bombers may have already committed suicide, because of their failure.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] It's All in a Name

    27 Jul 2005 07:13:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Feng Shuis philosophy is that positive thinking creates positive energy, which is probably something Nancy Araya from Santiago was not aware of when she was looking for a name for her restaurant. Therefore, ignoring the abovementioned rule, she decided to name her business Car Crash, since the area was an accident blackspot. She thought that a peculiar name would intrigue customers, while it never crossed her mind that it would be a jinx! However, a few days after opening night, a car lost control in wet weather and smashed into the entrance of the restaurant, causing extensive damage. Car Crash had to close down for repairs, but not all has been lost. The story spread all over the area, becoming a local joke and making the restaurant very famous. Now the owner is hoping that this newly-acquired popularity would bring enough customers to pay off the damages.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Reduce Your Appetite Naturally Dietary Hormone

    27 Jul 2005 06:11:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    A new study by British scientists from Imperial College London, UK, seems to pave the way for one of the most ideal and effective diets. The team discovered a way for people to get the full-stomach feeling, by using a hormone, oxyntomodulin. The hormone in question is a peptide produced by the small intestine after a meal. In a trial, a group of 14 obese and overweight subjects self-administered doses of the hormone 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner. After four weeks they had lost an average 2.3 kilograms compared with a control group. The loss amounted to on average 2.4% of body weight. The researchers also found that the daily energy-intake by the test group was reduced by an average of 170 kilocalories after the first injection, to 250 kcal per day at the end of four weeks. The average recommended intake is 2500 kcal per day for men and 1940 kcal for women. The test subjects leptin levels - a hormone responsible for regulating the bodys energy expenditure - were also reduced, while no side effects were detected. "By giving the overweight subject oxyntomodulin we are fooling the brain, in a very natural way, into thinking it has just eaten a meal and is no longer hungry," said Steve Bloom, who led the trials.

    However, dont rush out to buy the hormone from your local pharmacist just yet!

    A pharmaceutical company is developing a "patient friendly" oral preparation of the hormone, but it will be some years before anything is widely available.

    Until then, just be patient and try to keep off the food.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Sleeps on Newspapers Instead of Hay Horse with Hay Fever?

    27 Jul 2005 07:20:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    He could have been a horse like every other one of its kind, but a peculiar condition makes him quite special. Teddy has a rare allergy for horses. He cannot be exposed to hay or straw, because he starts coughing and wheezing as if he were having an asthma attack. So, any exposure to what is considered his natural environment is very dangerous for him! As Teddys owner, Samantha Ashby, explains, his stable is lined with shredded newspapers instead of hay; while they make sure they remove any dust spores, as they could cause a nasty incident. Actually, Samantha keeps a supply of medicine close by to deal with any emergencies. As there is no permanent solution for the horses problem, his veterinarian advises that prevention is better than cure. As for the patient, it is almost definite that he would be prefer to be less famous and more normal, so lets hope a medicine is discovered soon to make his life easier.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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