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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-08-01

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Disputes Over Foreign Policy
  • [02] Developments in LAFKA
  • [03] Asta la Windows Vista
  • [04] Coastal Shipping at the Focus
  • [05] Consumer Protection Measures
  • [06] Aid to Fire-Stricken
  • [07] Turbulent Talks
  • [08] No Change in Social Security
  • [09] Art Opts for Nudity

  • [01] On the Occasion of Turkish Statement Disputes Over Foreign Policy

    01 Aug 2005 21:20:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8- ANA

    PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis statements caused the reaction of Minister of State Thodoros Rousopoulos, over the choices of the government that allow a new form of Turkish intolerance on the occasion of the Turkish statement for the non-recognition of Cyprus after the signing of the Customs Union Protocol with the EU. Moreover, Mr Athanasakis states that the "objectionable" and "one-sided" statement of Turkey and is a result of government handlings. He also made reference of vagueness in foreign policy, which every time leads to new negative facts. In relation to the postponement of the PMs visit to Ankara which was initially planned for the end of August, he wondered with how much casualness the trip was prepared without taking into consideration the pending signature of the Protocol by Turkey, and the National Security Council meeting of the neighboring country, as well as the issue of its ratification and its enactment.

    The reaction by the government was immediate. Mr Rousopoulos noted that in the best possible case PASOK does not understand that by holding the Greek government accountable for Ankaras intolerance gives Turkey an alibi, and added that if it does understand and regardless of the fact practices the above, it is dangerous irresponsible foreign policy.

    Mr Athanasakis replied, "The alteration of PASOKs views is not an answer nor a responsible view. In the specific case the issue is above our national issues and only shows irresponsibility."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] First Installment on July 1 2006 Developments in LAFKA

    01 Aug 2005 17:51:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: "Apogemvatini" newspaper

    As the relevant reform that will be submitted in Parliament shortly foresees, the back payments of the Social Insurance Organisations Solidarity Account (LAFKA) received by the Private Sector pensioners will be increased by a two-year sum, in relation to Public Sector pensioners. More specifically, Private Sector pensioners are eligible for back payments starting on January 1, 1999, until June 30, 2004. Based on the governments reform, the payment will be made in five six-month instalments beginning on July 1 2006. For the total amount up to 200 euros a lump-sum payment is foreseen. From 200,01 euros to 300 euros the return will be made in two instalments, and if the amount is up to 400 euros, there will be three instalments. For the amount up to 500 euros, four instalments are foreseen, while if the amount exceeds 500 euros then the return will be made in five instalments. In closing, in the case that the eligible persons have passed away the back payments will be given to persons eligible for pension or the beneficiaries, after they submit an application within six months from the enactment of the legislative reform.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Arriving in 2006 Asta la Windows Vista

    01 Aug 2005 15:14:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    After many delays, Microsoft will introduce its new edition in the second semester of 2006, as it was announced last Thursday in the companys conference in Atlanta, US. Its name is Windows Vista, which was formerly code named Longhorn. A first trial of the new system (beta 1) is already available for developers, while the second trial version (beta 2) for consumers is expected in 2006. As Windows Development Manager Brad Goldberg stated, the name selection process lasted eight months and Microsofts main aim is to communicate with the idea of clarity. The new system aspires to offer increased security, cooperation with external devices and mainly a better organization of information.

    "Bringing Clarity to Your World"

    With the motto "Clear, Confident, Connected; Brining clarity to your world" the new operating system of Microsoft aspires to win over consumers.

    Vista includes the new architectural Internet services, Indigo, and the graphics machine, Avalon, which will offer semi-transparent windows and clearer characters on screen.

    The surprises do not stop here. The upgrade packages that will be released in a few months promise to make Windows even more user-friendly but also more complicated.

    The release of the new edition of Windows was delayed due to "cuts" to several of its characteristics which will made available later on. Among them the archive system WinFS, which is expected to radically change the way of organizing archives as well as making the search of data by the users easier.

    Five years after Windows XP and besides the initial plans for release in 2004, Vista is only a few months away and Microsoft is planning more surprises starting by the release of Internet Explorer 7.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    Windows Vista

    [04] Due to Delays in Coastal Shipping Coastal Shipping at the Focus

    01 Aug 2005 13:46:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The long delays that were reported in the ship routes over the last days triggered the government and Justices immediate intervention. The chaos that dominated Piraeus port on Saturday and resulted in thousand of passengers being delayed at the peak of the tourist period, urged the towns First Instance Prosecutor to order an investigation into whether sanctions should be imposed and on whom. The problems and the delays in the shipss routes towards the Aegean islands prompted a meeting between the Mercantile Marine Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis and the representatives of the Hellenic Coastal Shipowners Union (EEA) to provide solutions. Mr Kefalogiannis said that stricter sanctions will be imposed in cases of cancellations and delays on the part of the shipping enterprises. In the meantime the journey of 138 passengers of the "Ilida" flying dolphin, en route from Prinos Skala, Thasos to Kavala, turned into an odyssey, while todays and tomorrows routes of "Rodanthi" are cancelled.

    Measures Are Intensified

    Mr Kefalogiannis demanded passengers be immediately informed by the shipping companies should cancellations or route changes occur. "The passengers safety that travel daily during the summer from the ports of Rafina and Piraeus is key priority," he stated.

    In case companies fail to comply, sanctions will be heavy, since strict fines are to be imposed.

    Furthermore, the Mercantile Minister announced that the spot checks on the ships safety will be continued, while in case routes to remote islands are not performed, subsidies will cease. Answering to a relevant question, he said that the contracts of hiring ships for remote islands will be five years, while among the criteria for funded ships will be the age, the ships history and the services provided to the passengers.

    Making reference to the age of the Greek fleet, Mr Kefalogiannis admitted that there are some old but safe ships, while saying that the average age of Greek Coastal ships is the smallest of all EU countries, and the government is trying to reinforce and renew the fleet.

    PASOK spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis spoke of an "unacceptable, tragic and chaotic situation in coastal shipping," and he pointed out that the Minister "has lost control," resulting in giving thousand of civilians a hard time every day.

    Misadventure with Flying Dolphin

    The 138 passengers of flying dolphin "Ilida" were given a hard time on Monday morning. The route for Kavala started as planned, however, according to the passengers, the flying dolphins did not manage to stand on its pedals, increase speed and perform the route.

    After many fruitless attempts "Ilida" was grounded and after an hour returned to Prinos Skala port where the passengers disembarked. After changing their tickets, the majority of the passengers embarked on a ferryboat after two hours, and after an hour and a half disembarked in the port of Kavala.

    As passengers stated, during the embarkation of the flying dolphin, the passengers were not counted by the port authority, since at the same time another ship was departing from Prinos port and the counting took place when they exited the flying dolphin after the failed attempts to set sail.

    The passengers that disembarked in Kavala submitted their complaints to the Port Authority Chief Leonidas Kalapothakos. As Mr Kalapothakos stated, there was an inspection of the ship and counting of passengers before the start of the journey, while following the mention of the engineering problem and its repair, "Ilida" continued performing its routes as planned.

    Furthermore, today and tomorrows route of "Rodanthi" are cancelled, due to the departure delay from Samos. Passengers destined for Kalymnos and Kos will be transferred with "Dimitroula" tonight at 22:00, while for Leros, Patmos and Rhodes with "Anthi-Marina" tomorrow at 18:00. The remaining passengers should call the ship company at +301-210 4582640 for more information.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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    [05] Security Relay in Apartment Buildings Consumer Protection Measures

    01 Aug 2005 17:18:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas announced a package of measures for the protection of consumers from the use of bad quality electrical devices, at the same time presenting the findings of the Specialists Committee of the security of electrical works. According to the announcements, as of coming March the function of security relays in all apartment buildings and switches on plugs is mandatory. Moreover, the Ministry proposes that persons living in older buildings should do the same. The measure was ruled necessary after the cases of dangerous electrical devices and electrocution incidents. Mr Sioufas stated that 204,000-euro fine was imposed to the company "Perla," as on last April had sold steam irons that caused deadly accidents.

    The Ministry's Measures

    More specifically, Mr Sioufas announced 11 measures for the reinforcement of supervision of purchases of electrical equipment on the occasion of three deaths by electrocution from the use of steam iron "Perla." The deaths took place last year and were made public this April and signaled the review from step 1 of the institutional context for electrical appliances and equipment.

    The Minister made the findings of the Committee, which was set up for the investigation of the matter, to the public, by which there are no responsibilities to the state, since the services that were aware of the danger of the specific steam iron did not have to inform the consumers and the Ministry of Development. This gap will be filled with a legislative reform being introduced by the Ministry of Development.

    In the measures announced by Mr Sioufas the following are included:

    A charter of rules for the security specifications of electrical devices. A context of instructions by the countrys authorities for the immediate recall of dangerous products, the informing of the citizens and the Ministry of Development, until the reform that will make informing mandatory is voted. The increase of fines for violation of legislature, and simplification of their imposing and paying. The operation of a complete market supervision system funded by the 3rd CFS. A new regulation of internal electrical works, which will be in force as of March 2006. A system of timely recordings of the possible dangerous products with samplings checks in customs houses, but its accordance with EU legislative is being investigated. An information system of manufacturers and importers for the practices that have to be followed and their responsibilities. An intensification of checks to products being imported by third countries. The creation of a coordination body is being investigated, for the continuous investigation of problems and developments in the market. A collaboration of the Ministry of Development with the relevant work groups that operate in the European Union.

    Moreover, discussions are taking place with the Ministry for the Interior, in order for information offices for the consumers complaints, which will be transferred to the General Secretariat for the Consumer, to be created in Citizen Service Centers.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Ministerial Decision on Eastern Attica Aid to Fire-Stricken

    01 Aug 2005 15:43:00 (Last updated: 01 Aug 2005 19:31:24)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Environment Minister Giorgos Soiflias met with Eastern Attica Prefect Leonidas Kouris and the mayors of the involved towns and decided to provide the fire-stricken citizens with two emergency allowances. As per relevant ministerial decision, which is to be sent to the relevant Ministries by Tuesday, the affected citizens will immediately receive an allowance of 600 euros to meet the first needs, as well as a 6-thousand one to compensate for the destroyed domestic appliances. Furthermore, they will get interest-free loans of 15-year duration with one third of the amount to be offered by the state. Those who own buildings in forests are excluded from the favourable provisions. Mr Souflias said that more than 130 house owners have applied, while Eastern Attica Prefect pointed out that applications will be checked. Meanwhile, PASOK spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis held the government accountable and said that the Fire Service requires at least 3,500 more people to effectively operate. He also accused the government of lack of organization and prevention mechanisms, as well as of problematic coordination with the fire forces.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Iran-EU Talks on Nuclear Reach Dead-End Turbulent Talks

    01 Aug 2005 11:18:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The course of the negotiations between Iran and the EU on the nuclear issue has entered a turning point. The ultimatum issued by Tehran, urging Britain, France and Germany, the countries representing the EU to the talks, to submit a proposal aiming at providing a solution to the problem, expired last night.

    In a letter sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Iranian government clarified its intention to restart its Isfahan nuclear plant as of today. However, Irans Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hamid-Reza Asefi set a new deadline that expires at 15.30pm (Greek local time).

    The EU had already informed Tehran that the final proposals will be settled in a week. It also described Irans stance as "unnecessary and harmful", and that it would mark the end of the talks regarding the provision of economic and political incentives for Tehran.

    On its part, Iran rejected the allegations that it constructs nuclear weapons supporting that it is its lawful right to exploit the nuclear technology to meet energy ends. Europe, on the other hand, claimed that any uranium enrichment taking place in Isfahans plant would be a violation of Irans commitment to postpone any nuclear activity. As per diplomatic sources, such a violation would trigger the end of the negotiations as well as the call of an emergency meeting of UNs Atomic Energy Committee to present a strict warning towards Iran. Should Iran fails to comply, the issues is most likely to be discussed in the UNs Security Council.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Reactions Over Commission Demand No Change in Social Security

    01 Aug 2005 15:46:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8- ANA

    There is no issue of changing the pension age limit or a decrease of pensions repeated Minister of Employment Panos Panagiotopoulos, commenting on the recent warning letter of the European Commission for the equalization of mens and womens pension limits in the Public Sector and the Armed Forces. However, the Commissions warning letter fired intense reactions by the Opposition parties, while ADEDY calls on the government to not go forth with surprises in the employees social security, noting that such an action will lead to a wave of pensions resulting in the burdening of social security organizations and low pensions for the early retirees.

    "Intentional Alarmism"

    PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos noted that social security is not an issue of the EEC, but of every Member-State and accounted the government with intentional alarmism that drives many Public Sector employees to early retirement, especially women.

    KKE states "the EECs demand for women employees in the Public Sector pension limits to be equalized with the mens constitutes another link to the chain of anti-labour policy" and asks of the government "to hold a clear and immediate view."

    "The intervention of the European Commission appears as an equalization measure but in practice is the worsening of the terms of womens labour and quality of life," stated SYN.

    On his part, President of Social Security Organizations Giorgos Koutroumanis stated to NET that if the Commissions demand is satisfied, the pension limits for women will increase by five years.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    "No Legal Effect"

    [09] Art Opts for Nudity

    01 Aug 2005 13:52:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Temperatures in Austria reached 36C and Viennas citizen, who are unusual to such high temperatures, have employed a quite resourceful and cultivated way to deal with it: art! The Leopold Museum hosts an exhibition called "The Naked Truth" featuring erotic artworks of the 20th century. The exhibition is entrance-free as long as visitors turn up in the swimming costumes or even better in their birthday suit. The invitation for "release from anything unnecessary" attracted many art lovers. Besides, the founder of the Museum Elisabeth Leopold said, "We find a naked body every bit beautiful as a clothed one."

    Peter Weinhaeupl, the Leopolds commercial director, said they aimed at experimenting, creating a mini scandal reminiscent of the one triggered by provocative artworks by artists like Klimt which shocked Viennas society a century ago.

    However, there was no scandal. Customs have changed, and Austria has a hard-core "cell" of nudists. Therefore, not only were Klimts works not described as indecent, something that happened when the aforementioned works were on display for the first time in the 19th century, but hundreds of people showed up in swimsuits or in no attire at all.

    "Whats the big deal?" asked 20-year-old Mario Vorhemes who appeared wearing his swimsuit. "We are born naked to this world. Why cant we walk around in it without clothes from time to time?" he wondered.

    The exhibition at the Leopold Museum is to last until August 22. 180 works by various artists are on display. The exhibition was named after Klimts painting "Nude Veritas".

    Translated by Areti Christou


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