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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-12

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] "Will Continue Flying"
  • [02] Inexistent Margins
  • [03] European Time
  • [04] Assassination Attempt against Erdogan
  • [05] "The Masks Fell"
  • [06] Karamanlis-Molyviatis Meeting
  • [07] No Partnership With Parties
  • [08] Criminal Proceedings by Supreme Court
  • [09] Work Stoppages and Timetable Changes
  • [10] Mobile Battery!

  • [01] Clarifications for Olympic Airways "Will Continue Flying"

    12 Sep 2005 15:47:00 (Last updated: 12 Sep 2005 23:16:57)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The Government spokesperson provided clarifications on the Olympic Airways issue, which the PM touched upon on Sunday. Thodoros Roussopoulos made clear that, "The sale or reconstruction procedures are being examined, with the company remaining in operation." He also added that the possibility of winding up the company would be accompanied by voluntary redundancies and transfers, while none of the employees would be left stranded. In addition, he noted that if sold, the domestic routes would be secured through special agreements. Mr Roussopoulos referred to the problem in detail, launching an attack against PASOK for a series of erroneous policies and omissions. He added that as a result, Olympic Airways is costing Greek taxpayers 1.5 million euros daily.

    "No One Will Be Left Stranded"

    Referring to the crucial decisions made by the College of Commissioners on Wednesday, Mr Roussopoulos laid down the Governments "intense and coordinated" efforts to handle the problem.

    In spite of that, as he noted, the Commissions expected decision puts Olympic Airways in a tight spot and the Government is not willing to let the Greek citizens be burdened any longer, without there being hope for OA.

    He further added that as far as the future is concerned, the Government has examined alternatives.

    "Our primary concern is that none of the thousands of OA employees be left stranded," he stressed, noting that the PMs express statement on Sunday constitutes a guarantee for all the employees.


    Evangelos Venizelos harshly criticised the PMs statements at the TIF.

    Mr Venizelos, who is responsible for PASOKs Employment Sector, stressed, "Mr Karamanlis response yesterday over Olympic Airways has triggered scenarios for the closure of the company."

    He added that the responsibility is great, because "this alone could lead to closure, as Olympic Airlines long-term international commercial credibility would crumble." He also mentioned that the Government would have to implement a corporate plan.

    At the same time, Vaso Papandreou admitted the malpractices of the past. "Our handlings should have been more effective in the past years," stressed the PASOK parliamentarian, accusing the government of not promoting the rationalisation programme designed by PASOK.

    KKE and SYN Fire

    With an announced, KKE is urging workers to collective actions, noting that "ND is giving the final blow to what the PASOK governments had planned for quite some time now. The privatisation or closing down of Olympic Airlines."

    As for SYN, it asked for the "rejection of a possible privatisation scenario and support the national air carrier by expanding its public social role."

    Emergency Employees' Meeting

    The latest developments have raised concerns among the employees. At the moment, an emergency employees Federation meeting is underway, in order to assess the situation.

    Earlier, the company put the passengers fears at ease, announcing that none of the flight schedules would be disrupted.

    The announcement also mentioned, "Following the College of Commissioners recommendation on Wednesday, the Greek Public Sector will proceed with proper actions and the company will be announcing the developments."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] For Heating Oil Benefits Inexistent Margins

    12 Sep 2005 14:46:00 (Last updated: 12 Sep 2005 23:28:23)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Today, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis repeated that, at present, the fiscal margins for granting heating oil benefits are inexistent. Answering to insistent questions on the issue by reporters, he stressed that there is no possibility of further curbing expenditures in Ministries and Organisations in order to draw the necessary funds. However, the government spokesperson, Thodoros Roussopoulos, left the possibility of the Government choosing other ways to grant aid to the financially weaker open. The Economy Minister also noted that under the current situation, the Government is not examining the option of increasing the special tax on fuel consumption, but it is obliged to do so by 2008, as per Community regulations. Mr Alogoskoufis repeated that following the reduction of tax rates for businesses in 2007, the reduction of rates for individuals will be considered. Finally, he stressed that the deficit for this year will range between 3.6 and 3.7%, while it will drop to under 3% in 2006.

    Decision Made on Sunday

    As per the Minister, a meeting presided by PM Kostas Karamanlis took place on Sunday, at which time they decided that there are no margins for granting heating oil benefits. The PM examined all the figures and the decision was made in Sundays meeting. Mr Alogoskoufis reminded that the Council of Economy and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) has made efforts to examine whether there are possibilities to reduce the tax on fuel at a Community level, but they concluded that no country should proceed with one-sided reductions.

    The Minister also reminded that Greece has the lowest possible tax rate on fuel than any other EU Member-State.

    In addition, answering to relevant questions, the Economy Minister noted:

    Following the reduction of tax rates for businesses in 2007, the Government will focus on reducing the tax rates for individuals. Unemployment has decreased in the last year. The Economy is being restructured, a fact that might affect unemployment, but the social state has the ability to financially support the unemployed. The reduction in industrial production (as per the data made public by the Greek Statistical Service) relates to the fact that the Olympic Games took place last year. As per the results of the last ECOFIN meeting, the EU decided to pressure the oil-producing countries into boosting production and attract new investments for oil mining and refining. Finally, the EU decided to implement energy-saving measures for all Member-States and stricter regulations concerning oil reserves.

    Opposition Reactions

    The Economy Minister's statements triggered the reaction of Opposition members.

    "Last September, we were experiencing the government's inability and weakness to coordinate the Chinook crisis. This September, we are experiencing the total lack of coordination in such a serious and delicate matter with social consequences," stressed PASOK Parliamentarian Anna Diamantopoulou.

    As for Vaso Papandreou, she said it is a "very negative" thing, not to give the oil benefit.

    As per Mrs Papandreou, the Government's revenues have largely increased, because of the oil price rising and "it would be fair to distribute this amount of money to those in need." She also added, "the Government ceased the opportunity to give the money of the many to the few."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Clear Answers

    Tidying Up and Reforms

    Oil Benefit?

    [03] European Time

    12 Sep 2005 19:53:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    A week ago, speaking on NET's show "Sport's Sunday," Trond Sollied had supported that his team would receive credit in Olympiacos has a fine course in this season's Champions League. The time has come and on Tuesday (21:45 on NET), Olympiacos are called to prove their time has come to make the European dream come true. Rozenburg will be their opponent tomorrow, a team against which they had played eight years ago (1997). Back then, the reds had lost 5-1, while in the rematch the score was 2-2. However, a lot has changed since then. Rozenburg has nothing to do with the team of 13 consecutive titles in Norway, while Sollied has turned Olympiacos into a more offensive team. So, all fingers are crossed for tomorrow, Tuesday the 13th.

    Not Revealing Much

    In his first European match coaching Olympiacos, Trond Sollied is called to face a team, of which he has been both a player and a coach in the past..

    "This is our first Champion League match and all results are open, as Olympiacos is in the beginning of the season, while Rozenburg has played in quite a few matches and therefore an advantage, when it comes to the players' physical condition. However, especially in the away games, their performance is not that good," stressed Sollied, who supports to known some of Rozenburg's secrets, being one of its former coaches.

    Regarding the bad performance of the Norwegians in the current season, Sollied feared a possible outbreak from the permanent champions of the Scandinavian country. "They are not doing very well in the Championship and this could be a prominent opportunity for them. Of course, we cannot underestimate Rozenburg," he stressed, sounding the alarm.

    But what would happen if Olympiacos lost the match tomorrow? "If Olympiacos lose, would that be a disaster?" he was asked, to calmly reply. "Disaster is what happened in New Orleans. There are 18 points for which we will fight and try to get as much as we can."

    Trond Sollied has not yet selected the line-up. Rivaldo and Toure's absence from the match with Panionios, as well as the amazing performance of Kafes and Stoltidis, have given him a hard but pleasant time and he hasnt made any final decisions.

    "I will make my plans today and tomorrow morning. First of all, we need to be sure that everyone is healthy, especially Kapsis, for whom I am still not sure. Based on this plan, we will pick the 20 players of the delegation," he stressed and further added, "those who played on Saturday, played great. A team cannot be based solely on two players (referring to injured Rivaldo and Toure). They are both ready to play."

    Questioned on his tactics for tomorrow, he did not reveal much, asking for a quick goal to relieve the tension. "I have various plans in my mind, but I am not sure which one I will follow. I will have made up my mind by tomorrow morning. There has to be balance between the offence and defence. We will see. If we score soon enough, that would give wings to my players' feet."

    The Norwegian said he is content with Olympiacos' course so far, underlining that his team is 80% ready.

    Captain Certain of Victory

    Captain Predrag Djordjevic spoke on behalf of the players. If he scores on Tuesday, he will top the list of Olympiacos scorers in European matches. In fact, the captain had scored in the 1997 match with a foul kick and Olympiacos had tied 2-2.

    Referring to these two events, Djordjevic stressed, "unfortunately that goal was not enough to make us win. The important thing tomorrow is to win and not the person who will help us do it. I wish that person is me, but that's not my top priority. Top priority is to claim victory for Olympiacos."

    "We are playing the first match on home grounds. This is a very important game to us. You all know we really want to do well in the Champions League. We wish to get off to a good start and reach our goal, which is none other than to qualify to the next round."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] As Announced by the Prosecutor of Kutahya Assassination Attempt against Erdogan

    12 Sep 2005 16:59:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Prosecutor of Kutahya, Mehmet Serif Eren, announced that an assassination attempt against Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan took place today. The Turkish PM was visiting Kutahya in the context of a political tour and made a speech marking the start of the school year. After the event, an unknown man approached him, shouting, "Mr PM, we had three fatalities yesterday," possibly referring to the five dead soldiers following clashes with armed members of the PKK. The police arrested the man, who was identified as Mustafa Baghdad, born in 1973, and found a gun inside a bag he was carrying. As per the Prosecutor of Kutahya, the man was aiming to assassinate the Turkish PM.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] "The Masks Fell"

    12 Sep 2005 14:51:00 (Last updated: 12 Sep 2005 21:45:00)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    "The masks fell and the dead-end was revealed," declared the President of PASOK, George Papandreou, referring to the PMs statements at the Thessaloniki International Fair, accusing Mr Karamanlis of arrogance and lack of plan, stressing he has "not yet managed to persuade even his most avid supporters." The government spokesperson answered back, underlining, "The government is producing work. Citizens see that on a daily basis and are convinced of it. Once more, PASOK is full of words," stressed T. Roussopoulos. Nikos Athanasakis did not hesitate to counterattack. "ND's Government is producing work at the expense of the many and for the interests of the few," underlined PASOK's Press spokesperson.

    Mass Fire at Political Council

    Earlier, mass fire was launched against the Prime Minister at the Political Council. As per information, T. Pagalos suggested they should call the PM "liar," and many PASOK members agreed with him, describing Kostas Karalamanlis as "arrogant" and "untrustworthy."

    Christos Papoutsis underlined that PASOK should voice the citizens' worries and reveal who will really benefit from Karamanlis' reforms, while Rovertos Spyropoulos stressed that at this point, PASOK should clearly mark the difference of opinions between the Opposition and ND. G. Papandreou agreed with this suggestion, noting, "at this moment, it is very important to make citizens feel we are by their side."

    For this reason, added T. Pagalos, Mr Papandreou's speech at the TIF should address the average citizen and not financial bodies.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Clear Answers

    Tidying Up and Reforms

    [06] Karamanlis-Molyviatis Meeting

    12 Sep 2005 12:28:00

    By Anna Kourti

    At noon in Maximos Mansion, Mr Karamanlis and the Foreign Minister met and discussed the PMs trip to New York in view of the UN General Assembly. In his statements Mr Molyviatis stated that Mr Karamanlis and himself will have bilateral meetings. Earlier, Mr Karamanlis met with former SYN President Nikos Konstantopoulos and discussed the improvement of the role of the UN. Mr Kostantopoulos proposed that the issue should be discussed with parties in a broader political context, as well as in the upcoming Foreign Policy Council. Mr Karamanlis is departing tomorrow morning, while his speech in the UN is expected to take place on Friday. In the context of his visit the Prime Minister will hold important contacts with his counterparts and officials of the world organisation.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] No Partnership With Parties

    12 Sep 2005 11:14:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Ethnos, NET 105.8

    KKE will not partner up with PASOK, ND and SYN in the 2006 Local Administration elections, states KKE General Secretary Aleka Papariga to Ethnos newspaper, adding that her party will cooperate with radical powers and other party formations. Moreover, Mrs Papariga noted that the anti-peoples policy being currently followed will not be countered by compromised unions leaderships such as the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) and the Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions (ADEDY), but with a change of power correlation against PASOK and ND and the reinforcement of KKE.

    "Real Problem is Empty Wallet"

    "The criterion for development is not the workers needs but the incomes of the great capital," noted the KKE Secretary.

    The unionist movement has to unite to a class workers basis, against the capital in the European one-way street and the parties that support it. Thus, the rallying of the workers or the overwhelming majority of unions in the All Workers Militant Front (PAME) is needed stated Mrs Papariga.

    Moreover, she states that the problems faced by workers are their empty wallets, unemployment, insecurity and not the stores trading hours.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Against Bourboulia and Vazaios Criminal Proceedings by Supreme Court

    12 Sep 2005 15:16:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Supreme Courts Deputy Prosecutor, Giorgos Sanidas, ordered Special Examiner Ioannis Sideris to bring criminal proceedings against two former judicial employees, in the context of the investigation into the extrajudicial networks. Specifically, former Examiner Konstantina Bourboulia will face charges of abuse of power (felony), while former Director of Athens First Instance Prosecutions Nektarios Vazaios of failure to declare interest in order to be excluded from a case (misdemeanour). The former Examiner brought charges against a witness to a financial case, aiming at weakening his testimony. The witness was later cleared of all charges. Vazaios, on the other hand, was assigned as a judge to case, where the attorney was his best man.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Work Stoppages and Timetable Changes

    12 Sep 2005 12:48:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Employees on blue buses are proceeding with work stoppages tomorrow Tuesday 13 September, as well as on 15, 20 and 27 of this month, demanding collective work contracts. Specifically, no buses will run tomorrow in the Greek capital from the beginning of the shift until 8am and from 9pm to the end of the shift, while on Thursday 15 September, they will stop working from 11:00-16:00. On Tuesday 20 September, the bus drivers will proceed with a new work stoppage from the beginning of the shift until 8am and from 9pm to the end of the shift, and on Thursday 27 September from 11:00-16:00. In the meantime, there will be changes to the timetables of the Metro and the Suburban Railway today, due to works on the line Doukissis Plakentias-Airport.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Time Changes In Routes

    Related Links:


    Attiko Metro

    [10] Biologist Develops Smart Backpack Mobile Battery!

    12 Sep 2005 12:20:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: New Scientist

    How would you like it if you could generate electricity when taking a walk? No, it is not a script from a science-fiction movie, but a backpack created by an American biologist that captures some of the energy the wearer expands while walking, converting it into electricity. The device was developed by Larry Rome and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania. It consists of a metal frame, weighing 10kg, from which a pack is suspended from springs. As the hips move up and down when walking, the backpacks freely-moving load also bounces up and down, generating a current from a dynamo fixed on top of the frame. The energy produced is small, a bit over 7 watts, but it is enough to power a torch, a pocket calculator, an MP3 player or a mobile phone. In addition, the wearer can store the energy, while the backpack generates more electricity if the load in it is increased. Mr Rome is now getting ready to market his product through a new company he is setting up, "Lighting Packs".

    Work and Play

    The idea was conceived when Mr Rome and his colleagues were asked to develop a backpack for the US army, aiming at relieving soldiers already carrying 36kg backpacks of the need to carry many spare batteries.

    The mechanics of the smart backpack are simple and based on the notion that, while walking, people resemble a pendulum. "One foot is put down and then the body vaults over it, causing the hip to move up and down by 4 to 7 centimetres," said the biologist. "And as the hip goes up and down by the vertical distance, so does any load, with the backpack-wearer expanding the energy to make it do so."

    According to the researchers, the backpacks frame does not significantly burden wearers, while the aim is to reduce the weight, making the backpack more comfortable.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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