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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-01

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Contacts In View of TIF
  • [02] New Salary Scale in 2006
  • [03] Defenceless City
  • [04] Discussion Continues
  • [05] Al Qaeda Takes Responsibility
  • [06] Unemployed Sailors in NAT
  • [07] Ready for New School Year
  • [08] KIA Vehicles Recalled
  • [09] Statements Continue
  • [10] Reuters against US Army
  • [11] Limited Capabilities for Benefit
  • [12] Next Please!
  • [13] Greek Men on a Good Start
  • [14] Morris to Miss Six Games
  • [15] Olive Oil Relieves Pain
  • [16] Don't Eat It, It Bites!

  • [01] GSEVEE, ESEE and ADEDY at Maximos Mansion Contacts In View of TIF

    01 Sep 2005 21:52:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    This evening, the Prime Minister met with the Presidency of General Confederation of Small and Medium Sized Businesses (GSEVEE), the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) and Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Union (ADEDY). Tomorrow, Kostas Karamanlis will meet with the Federation of Greek Industries (FGI), and the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE). The Presidency of ADEDY addressed the issue of wage rises and the system of promotions. Mr Karamanlis will answer to the above demands after the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), since as he said, "there are fiscal restrictions." Moreover, the President of ADEDY, Spyros Papaspyros, asked for austerity to end and for public administration to be non-partisanship, adding that "ADEDY does not have anti-governmental syndromes and the rally will not have a political nature" in relation to the participation of ADEDY in the TIF rally. Mr Alogoskoufis and Mr Sioufas noted that the government will take the employees demands into serious account, while Mr Pavlopoulos underlined that the government will materialise its commitments, and that the Civil Servants Code of Conduct will be ready by the end of October, beginning of November, while the implementation of the new salary scale is foreseen in the beginning of 2006.

    Tax Immunity

    On his part, President of GESVEE Dimitris Asimakopoulos asked of the PM for a moderate rise in municipal taxes and DEKO invoices, as well as tax immunity for small-middle sized businesses in areas with a large percentage of unemployment. The issue of the non-decrease of tax ratio in privately owned businesses was also discussed.

    As the GSEVEE President stated, the PM was interested in all matters, mainly the taxation of small businesses. As per sources, Mr Karamanlis said that the government will investigate the issue of zero tax, after he observes the initial reactions. The same sources state that the PM, over the stores trading hours, said, "we believe that it will create new employment positions which we will see in the future."

    Boost of Small-Middle Sized Businesses

    ESEE asked for the restriction of state and public sector expenses, the continuation of the reinforcement of small-medium sized businesses, as well as the cut of bodies that contribute to the expenses, and the counter of tax evasion. After the meeting, President of ESEE Dimitris Armenakis stated that the rises in prices due to the oil price rise will be enforced next year. He also noted that the PM agreed to continue the reinforcement effort of small-middle sized companies and the reestablishment of the state. In a question of if the PM asked him to hold down prices, the ESEE President answered "surely not, the trading world has shown its awareness over its position, and has proved it with the restraint of prices after the VAT increase."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    New Salary Scale in 2006

    PM's Meetings

    [02] ADEDY Asks for 1,200-Euro Minimum Wage New Salary Scale in 2006

    01 Sep 2005 17:17:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    In a joint meeting with the Presidency of the Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions (ADEDY), the Ministers of Economy and Finance and for the Interior stated that substantial discussions will take place in mid-September and after the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF). Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Prokopis Pavlopoulos reconfirmed that the implementation of the new salary scale of Civil Servants will gradually begin in 2006. The Minister of Economy stated that starting from 2006, a substantial step for the incorporation of benefits in salaries will be taken, while he added that the aim is for salary scale inequalities to be countered, whilst making reference to the incomes policy, while he underlined that all necessary discussions will take place in order to cover losses from the deficit. On its part, ADEDY asked for a change in the financial and social policy and addressed the Ministers over the demand of a 1,200-euro minimum wage.

    Ask for A Change in Financial Policy

    Furthermore, the President of ADEDY, Spiros Papaspyros underlined that the government should make changes in the financial policy, since an surendettement in households is observed, a situation which is burdened by the rise of oil prices.

    Mr Papaspyros also stated that the incorporation of a performance motive to minimum wages in the Public Sector, leads to the increase of deductions in wages, while he said that the asked from the Ministry of Economy and Finance to send the European Commission letter, which speaks of a age limit issue in women in Greece, to ADEDY, a demand that Mr Alogoskoufis agreed to.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Fears for Outbreak of Epidemics Defenceless City

    01 Sep 2005 14:31:00 (Last updated: 01 Sep 2005 18:42:49)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Two days after Katrinas sweeping trail the rescue crews are giving a tough battle in New Orleans to locate any survivors. However, the transfer of tens of thousands of evacuees, who had found temporary shelter in the citys Superdome, to Houston was temporarily halted, as shots were fired against a military helicopter. Actually, a member of the National Guard was injured during the incident. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declared she was "just furious" about the lawlessness. "Well do what it takes to bring law and order to our region," she said. On his part, President George Bush stressed there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law. The living conditions in New Orleans Superdome are unbearable. The stench, due to the lack of ventilation and the flooded toilets, has forced the nursing staff to wear masks. At the same time, there are fears for the outbreak of cholera and typhoid epidemics. The situation in the city is out of control due to the looting. Mayor Ray Nagin asked the authorities to concentrate on the looters, since they have become extremely hostile. "They are approaching inhabited areas, hotels and hospitals. We have to stop them immediately," he stressed. Meanwhile, he estimated that the final death toll would be in the thousands.

    Hundreds Dead in Mississippi

    At the same time, the death toll in Mississippi is increasing. The official count is at 185.

    In Hancock County alone the death toll is at 85, while in neighboring Harrison County authorities reported that 100 bodies had been found.

    The efforts of the rescue crews are extremely difficult, as it is almost impossible to access nearly 50% of the countys areas.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    At Nature's Mercy

    [04] In the Permanent Representatives Council Discussion Continues

    01 Sep 2005 22:14:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ANA, NET 105.8

    As a solution was not reached in the informal Summit Meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers in Newport, Wales, the discussion of the counterstatement of the British Presidency to Turkey was referred to the Permanent Representatives Council on September 7, in Brussels. In his announcement, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mr Giorgos Koumoutsakos noted that the British Presidencys new proposal, regardless of the apparent improvement, needs more corrections. Mr Molyviatis statements were along the same lines, as he said that the desirable common denominator has not been found yet. In the new improved document, the EU expresses its grief over the event that Turkey preceded in a declaration of the non-recognition of Cyprus. Furthermore, it is stated that Turkey will have to enforce the protocol to all Member-States, while the EU will observe its implementation closely and will evaluate Ankaras stance in 2006. It is noteworthy that Turkeys declaration was one-sided and does not constitute a part of the protocol, thus it does not have any legal consequences on the countrys duties.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    FM Summit In Development

    [05] Over the London Bomb Attacks Al Qaeda Takes Responsibility

    01 Sep 2005 21:46:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters

    With a videotape sent to Arab satellite television network Al Jazeera on Thursday, terrorist organisation Al Qaeda takes the responsibility of the July 7 bomb attacks in London. As per the television network, the videotape depicts one of the suicide bombers Mohammed Siddique Khan reading his last will, whilst accusing Great Britain over its involvement in the Iraq War. Moreover, Al Jazeera announced that the videotape includes comments by Al Zarqawi, the right hand of Osama bin Laden. The videotape is expected to be aired at 21:00 Greek local time.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Terror Shocks London

    London Under Attack

    [06] Doctors in Passenger Ships Unemployed Sailors in NAT

    01 Sep 2005 00:05:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    During the briefing of the relevant Parliament Committee on coastal shipping issues, the Minister of Mercantile Marine, Manolis Kefalogiannis announced the submission of reforms for unemployed sailors, and the placement of doctors in passenger ships. The Minister specifically stated that the unemployed sailors will continue to be insured in the Greek Merchant Seamens Pension Fund (NAT), in order to ensure a pension. Referring to the problems created in coastal shipping, he noted that the damage reported in ships was 22 in 2005, until 30/8, from 46 in 2000. For the ticket prices of economy seats and vehicles he said that there were increased by 6.8% this year, while in 2000 by 9.9%. Moreover, Mr Kefalogiannis briefed the MPs of the signing of a grant Protocol with the European Investments Bank over the funding of around 3 billion euros and the upgrade of ports, and specifically of Piraeus.

    Accusations by The Opposition

    On behalf of PASOK, MP Giannis Diamantidis accused the government of no work done and no solution given in the biggest problems in ports that were present this summer.

    KKE MP Elpida Pantelaki noted that the ticket prices have to decrease, and the insurance of port employees should not be self-financed but paid by ship owners.

    SYN MP Athanasios Leventis said that ship owners have great incomes and pretend to be the ones affected, at the time when the government is issuing evidence of port employees high wages.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Greek Coastal Shipping at Focus

    [07] Denies Accusations Ready for New School Year

    01 Sep 2005 19:15:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ANA, NET 105.8

    Minister of Education Marietta Giannakou strongly denied accusations by educators representatives over gaps in teaching personnel and educational books. Actually, speaking the NET 105.8 she revealed that the event of Greece being committed to the European Court is not ruled out, since during the term of the previous government book orders were assigned without a European international announcement, in a non-transparent way. Moreover, the Ministry of Education announced the appointment of 5,430 Primary and Secondary Education teachers. From the appointed, 2,014 are primary and nursery teachers and 3,416 of different specialisations. The appointed persons have to appear starting from September 5-8, in order to be placed in schools. PASOK MP Maria Damanaki made harsh criticism to Mrs Giannakous statements.

    Full Frontal Attack by Damanaki

    "We do not know if the Minister intentionally doubts reality or she herself lives in a virtual reality. We are forced to state that for the second time running the Ministry of Education takes the role of the poor student in education. It is reappearing for the second year without seriousness and preparedness, even worse than the first," stated Mrs Damanaki.

    She claimed that thousands of educators do not yet know where they will appear, as well as that thousands of educational books "have not been delivered and it is foreseen that they will not before November."

    In closing, Mrs Damanaki called on the Ministry of Education "to abandon the inexcusable complacency and to seriously take into account the accusations from the educational organisations."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Due to A Problem With The Handbrake KIA Vehicles Recalled

    01 Sep 2005 18:31:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Autodeal P & R Davaris SA have announced the recall of 175 KIA Sportage 4WDs, manufactured from March 29, 2005, to May 18, 2005, due to a problem with the handbrake. In total, 85 vehicles have been sold, while the company has already sent out a relevant letter to their owners. The latter should immediately contact the authorised KIA mechanic of their area, in order to replace the handbrake lever free of charge. The unsold vehicles will be withdrawn.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Re-Enactment in 15-20 Days Statements Continue

    01 Sep 2005 11:59:00 (Last updated: 01 Sep 2005 19:01:47)

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The Greek Air Accidents Investigation Committee continues its work today in Cyprus taking statements from HELIOS mechanics and pilots. However, on Thursday, after Mr Tsolakis lengthy discussion with the co-pilots widow and son, the whereabouts of the much talked about journal of Charalabos Charalabou are unknown. Actually, during the day Mr Akrivos Tsolakis is expected to be briefed by Mr Filippos Koutsaftis over the analysis results, in relation to the location of three missing bodies. The Greek team, which has been split into three groups, are working hard to collect evidence and take statements from various witnesses. For this reason, the Greek team will remain in Cyprus until Sunday to complete its investigations. However, the Investigative Committee is expected to receive important answers over the causes of the tragedy from the re-enactment of the flight, which will be made in approximately 20 days. On Wednesday, the witnesses called to testify were quite tight in their answers and provided no information on what the Greek experts wanted to know.

    Satisfaction Over the Course of Investigations

    As Giannis Charalabous had stated, in the journal his father recorded every flight detail and the conditions in the airplanes he flew in, including the Boeing.

    In the meantime, the President of the Greek Committee expressed his satisfaction over the course of the investigations.

    Earlier, the Helios Technical Manager testified to the Committee, while the procedure will continue with the statements of the companys pilots and mechanics.

    Mr Tsolakis stated that next week, the date of the transport will be decided on, of members of the Committee who will arrive in London in order to take statements by the two British mechanics of the company.

    Awaiting the Re-Enactment

    On the issue of the re-enactment of the flight, it is expected that it will be made in 15 to 20 days. In particular, two re-enactments will take place: one will be a flight simulation and the other with the same type of aircraft.

    The aircraft re-enactment will take place at the same time as the flight, and the same air traffic controllers, who worked during the crash, will be at the Traffic Control Towers in Nicosia and Athens.

    A team of coroners will be in the aircraft, and the same conditions existing during the crash, which are believed to have led to the crash, will be created.

    [10] Cameraman Held in Abu Ghraib Reuters against US Army

    01 Sep 2005 11:43:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Reuters Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger said he was shocked and appalled with the US armys decision to detain one of the news agencys cameramen without charging him. The US forces said that the cameraman "remains a threat to the people of Iraq" and announced that he will continue being held for another six months. Furthermore, they are denying him access to legal representation, since he will not be allowed to see an attorney for the first two months.

    Air the Evidence or Release Him

    As per US Lieutenant Colonel Guy Rudisill, Mr Mashhadani will be entitled to a review of his case within six months, while up until then, he will remain in Abu Ghraib prison.

    What is more appalling is that the Americans will not allow the cameraman to see anyone, not even a lawyer or any members of his family, for the first two months. Reuters reacted fiercely.

    The news agency urged the US army to publicise the evidence against the cameraman and allow him to access legal counsel.

    It further noted that if no evidence is aired, then Mashhadani should be released.

    The Reuters cameraman was arrested on 8 August, after a search of his home in the city of Ramadi.

    Mashhadanis brother, who was detained with him and then released, said they were arrested after Marines looked at the images on the journalists cameras.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Event is Being Investigated Limited Capabilities for Benefit

    01 Sep 2005 18:35:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    The government is investigating the event of granting a heating benefit repeated government spokesperson Thodoros Rousopoulos, noting however that the limits are extremely restricted due to the bad fiscal state received from the previous government. Furthermore, Deputy Economy Minister Petros Doukas, speaking to NET 105.8, stated that the granting of the benefit is under investigation. "We are now looking at our capabilities for next year, since we are aware that people are cornered by the price rise," the Deputy Minister said, underlining however that he cannot make any commitments since the cost is very big, as it exceeds 300 million euros. In the meantime, oil is nearing $70 a barrel, since as it is proved the utilisation of American strategic reserves is insufficient. In New York crude oil nears at $68.80.

    "There Are Limits"

    On behalf of the Opposition, PASOK MP Anna Diamantopoulou stated that there are financial limits for the dispensation of the benefit. Furthermore, she accused the government of withstanding profiteering in the market, and urged it to take relevant measures for its counter.

    Also, Mrs Diamantopoulou supported the imposing of a price limit in areas and circumstances where profiteering and harmonised prices are observed.

    "The measures taken for the counter of profiteering are effective," stated Mr Doukas to NET 105.8.

    ESEE Demands

    Moreover, the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) during the meeting with the Minister of Economy, Giorgos Alogoskoufis, asked for social policy for the pricing of heating oil, oil for privately owned trucks in Athens and Thessaloniki, and the counter of illegal trade.

    The President of ESEE, Dimitris Armenakis, described the price rises are unavoidable if the oil prices upward spiral continues.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Possibility of Heating Benefit

    [12] Next Please!

    01 Sep 2005 16:06:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    The love and hate relationship between Dutch Kadjik and Mooren and their game in the Moscow final which put Vaso Karadasiou and Vicky Arvaniti to the top of Europe will continue today in Paleo Faliro Stadium. In the context of the 3rd round of INFOTE Athens Open, the golden beach girls crushed the Dutch 2-1 (21-15, 12-21, 15-13) and triumphantly sealed their qualification in the 8 teams of the event. The next opponent of the Greek players, who seem determined to enter the semi-finals, will be the winner of the game between Brazilians Felisberta Silva and Franca with Norwegians Hakedaal and Toorlen. This determinative and crucial game with the top players of international standings will be broadcast live by ET1 at 21:00. In the case that the Greek "Queens of the Sand" are disqualified by the "selecao," they will have one more chance in the "4" of the event.

    "We Will Do Our Best"

    Without exhibiting an impressive performance, Karadasiou and Arvaniti beat one opponent after the other and found themselves in the 8 top duos. The determinative game for the qualification in the 4 is the game between Brazilians Felisberta Silva and Franca or Norwegians Hakedaal and Toorlen. However, Vicky Arvaniti believes that a win against the Norwegians is certain, and states that her partner and herself are ready to overcome the difficulties, the tiredness and the Brazilians with the help of their fans. "The Brazilians, which logically we will play against at night, is the first team in the world, and have received many medals. We expect a very hard game. There is great tiredness. We have played a large number of games but we will do our best," stated Vicky Arvaniti.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] Greek Men on a Good Start

    01 Sep 2005 14:17:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Greek beach volleyball duo Michalopoulos/Xenakis (No 9) started off with a victory during the premiere of the INFOTE Athens Open at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre. The Greek champions defeated Japanese Asahi/Watanabe (No 24) with a score of 2-1 (16-21, 24-22, 15-13) and made it to the next round, where they will be playing against Bosma/Ortiz (No 8) at 22:00 tonight. On the other hand, as expected, Greeks Mourtzios/Knapek (No 32), who were ranked last, lost to the top Brazilian duo Marcio Araujo-de Jesus Magalh&#227;es by 2-0 (21-10, 21-10). The Greeks will play in the losers bracket, where they will face Portuguese Maia/Brenha at 16:00 for the 25th place. Finally, the last Greek duo of Neratzis/Tampouratzis was defeated by Estonians Kais/Ruul by 2-0 (25-23, 21-18) and will play against Austrians Nowotny-Gartmayer (No 26) at 17:00.

    Results and Schedule

    10:00am 1. Marcio Araujo-de Jesus Magalh&#227;es BRA [1] - Mourtzios-Knapek GRE [32] 2-0 (21-10, 21-10) 2. Rosas-Pedrosa POR [17] - Maia-Brenha POR [16] 2-0 (21-15, 21-19) 3. Michalopoulos-Xenakis GRE

    [9] - Asahi-Watanabe JPN [24] 2-1 (16-21, 24-22, 15-13) 4. Goranson K.-Engvik NOR [25] - Bosma-Ortiz ESP [8] 0-2 (15-21, 16-21)

    11:00am 5. Alvarez-Ramirez Bernal CUB [5] - Rossell-Villar CUB [28] 0-2 (17-21, 17-21) 6. Kjemperud-Skarlund NOR [21] - Amore"Eugio"-Fenili ITA

    [12] 1-2 (21-16, 24-26, 12-15) 7. Horrem-Pettersen E.P. NOR [13] - Pitman-Lochhead NZL [20] 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) 8. Lione-Varnier "Osso" ITA

    [29] - Egger M.-Laciga M. SUI [4] 0-2 (19-21, 17-21)

    12:00pm 9. Benjamin-Harley BRA [3] - Ruiz Nu&#241;ez-Correa ESP [30] 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) 10. Baracetti-Depiaggio ARG [19] - De Gruijter-Ronnes NED [14] 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) 11. Leinemann-Van Huizen CAN [11] - Gscheidle-Schnider SUI [22] 2-1 (14-21, 29-27, 15-06) 12. Gosch-Strauss AUT [27] - Berger-Doppler AUT [6] 0-2 (13-21, 14-21)

    13:00pm 13. Schacht-Slack AUS [7] - Nowotny-Gartmayer AUT [26] 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) 14. Kais Kr.-Ruul EST [23] - Neratzis-Tampouratzis GRE

    [10] 2-0 (25-23, 21-18) 15. Herrera-Mesa ESP [15] - Barsouk-Arkaev RUS

    [18] 2-0 (21-18, 25-23) 16. Dollinger-Bakumovski GER [31] - Emanuel-Ricardo BRA [2] 0-2 (12-21, 17-21)

    Round II

    17. 14:00 Marcio Araujo-de Jesus Magalh&#227;es BRA [1] - Rosas-Pedrosa POR [17] 18. 22:00 Michalopoulos-Xenakis GRE [9] - Bosma-Ortiz ESP [8] 19. 14:00 Rossell-Villar CUB [28] - Amore"Eugio"-Fenili ITA [12] 20. 14:00 Horrem-Pettersen E.P. NOR [13] - Egger M.-Laciga M. SUI [4] 21. 15:00 Benjamin-Harley BRA [3] - Baracetti-Depiaggio ARG [19] 22. 15:00 Leinemann-Van Huizen CAN [11] - Berger-Doppler AUT [6] 23. 15:00 Schacht-Slack AUS [7] - Kais Kr.-Ruul EST [23] 24. 15:00 Herrera-Mesa ESP [15] - Emanuel-Ricardo BRA [2]

    Losers Bracket (Losers will be ranked 25th)

    25. 16:00 Mourtzios-Knapek GRE [32] - Maia-Brenha POR [16] 26. 16:00 Asahi-Watanabe JPN [24] - Goranson K.-Engvik NOR [25] 27. 16:00 Alvarez-Ramirez Bernal CUB [5] - Kjemperud-Skarlund NOR [21] 28. 16:00 Pitman-Lochhead NZL [20] - Lione-Varnier "Osso" ITA [29] 29. 17:00 Ruiz Nu&#241;ez-Correa ESP [30] - De Gruijter-Ronnes NED [14] 30. 17:00 Gscheidle-Schnider SUI [22] - Gosch-Strauss AUT [27] 31. 17:00 Nowotny-Gartmayer AUT [26] - Neratzis-Tampouratzis GRE [10] 32. 17:00 Barsouk-Arkaev RUS [18] - Dollinger-Bakumovski GER [31]

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] Morris to Miss Six Games

    01 Sep 2005 17:10:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    This seasons Greek Division one championship started off with penalties, which as expected were quite hefty, following the incidents in Sundays premiere. The main culprit, Nasief Morris, will miss the next six matches with Panathinakos, since the team did not manage to provide extenuating evidence during his testimony this morning. The same applied for the case of Ilias Kostios, who will miss the next three games. Morris will not be playing in the games against Ionikos, Levadiakos, Panionios, Kallithea and Akratitos, as well as the derby against AEK, while Kotsios will miss the first three of the aforementioned games.

    One Match Per Team

    At the same time, Panathinaikos managed to attain its goal regarding the penalty for the team, as it received the minimum, ie to play only one game behind closed doors. In addition, AEK and Atromitos were also penalised with one game behind closed doors each, following the incidents prompted by fans during last Mondays game.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [15] Olive Oil Relieves Pain

    01 Sep 2005 13:24:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The benefits of the internationally recognised Mediterranean diet are more or less known to us all. Those following the model are less likely to suffer from heart diseases, various forms of cancer, diabetes or even arthritis. The secret of success however still remains well hidden for experts. American scientists support they may have found one part of the answer, which lies in olive oil, and especially in one of its compounds called oleocanthal. They discovered that oleocanthal mimics the pain-relieving action of ibuprofen, thus concluding that the long-term consumption of olive oil has the same benefits as ibuprofen and aspirin, but protects the human organism in a completely natural way.

    Valuable Ingredient

    According to the study conducted by the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia -published in Nature magazine- oleocanthal is found in large concentrations in freshly pressed extra-virgin olive oil. It acts as a pain reliever in a way resembling to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and in particular ibuprofen, a prescription drug for those suffering from arthritis. This particularly interesting finding was confirmed when similar results were achieved in tests of a synthetic version of oleocanthal. The compound produces a strong stinging sensation in the throat (just like ibuprofen in solution does), which indicates its beneficial action, as well as the oil's freshness.

    Another possible quality of oleocanthal, which needs to be further studied, is it can offer its valuable services without side effects. In the long run, ibuprofen burdens the kidneys and creates problems to the digestive system, while oleocanthal has a different chemical composition.

    Scientists were very interested in these new findings and even calculated that a 50-gram daily dose of olive oil is equal to about 10 percent of the ibuprofen dose recommended for pain relief in an adult.

    So, while it won't cure a headache, regular consumption of olive oil might have some of the long-term health benefits of ibuprofen, researchers say. "Our findings raise the possibility that long-term consumption of oleocanthal may help to protect against some diseases by virtue of its ibuprofen-like COX-inhibiting activity," says research head Paul A. S. Breslin. He also advised his compatriots to prefer extra-virgin olive oil from Crete imported from Greece.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [16] Don't Eat It, It Bites!

    01 Sep 2005 14:13:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: New Scientist

    Did your vacation, except for great memories, leave you with excess weight that you cant seem to lose? Can you not resist the temptation of that piece of cake in the fridge? Dont worry. The science of robotics will stand by your side. American developers headed by Cynthia Breazeal from MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts manufactured a robot dog, a new model of Aibo, Sony, which will monitor your every move and will be the sleepless guard of your silhouette. The robot dog is non-wire connected with the bathroom scale and the course of your diet and the calories consumed. The only thing that you have to do is ask it "How am I?" If you have lost weight, the robot dog will wag its tail, blink its lights and play happy music to give you courage to go on! However, when you have exceeded the daily intake of calories, it will be lethargic and play dull music. The robot dog will keep the course of your diet in its memory, while it will be able to remember the meals you have to eat, since as research shows whoever records the progress of their diet have better results. The robot dog will be introduced in the UbiComp Conference on September 11, in Tokyo, Japan.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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