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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-14

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Safety Measures for Peace
  • [02] Historic UN Summit
  • [03] Aviation Disputes
  • [04] No Agreement on Turkey
  • [05] Multi-Type Radio
  • [06] Dispute Between Basiakos-Papandreou
  • [07] Giosakis Testified
  • [08] Turkey's Stance Is Fixed
  • [09] Criticism by Alavanos
  • [10] "Compass for the Future"
  • [11] Awaiting Circular on Oil Tax No
  • [12] Vitamin C May Fight Cancer

  • [01] Reinforcement of the United Nations Safety Measures for Peace

    14 Sep 2005 19:47:00 (Last updated: 14 Sep 2005 23:04:56)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Kostas Karamanlis described this point in time for the United Nations as historic, since countries and governments leaders preceded with a review of the Millennium Declarations implementation and investigation of the Organisations future. In the UN Security Council Summit Meeting on Wednesday, the Greek Prime Minister started his speech with the above on the subject of "Threats for the World Peace and Security," since Greece is not a non-permanent member of the body for 2005-2006. In his five-minute speech, Mr Karamanlis described the safeguards of peace, development, social justice and respect to human rights as main prerequisites, while he noted that terrorism undoubtedly constitutes one of the most serious threats for peace and security, endangering the basis of our democratic societies.

    Important Steps

    As the Prime Minister noted, regardless of the fact that there is no threat of military dispute between the superpowers, after the end of the Cold War, the global community is still facing violent clashes, civil wars, genocide and other wide range atrocities causing endless grief to millions of people.

    Mr Karamanlis described the International Treaty Against Nuclear Terrorism, during the current Summit, and the adoption, during the 60th General Assembly Summit, of a treaty against terrorism as important steps, while he added that these actions do not contravene with the protection of human rights. However the amendment of freedom of speech should not be affected.

    Development and Security Jointure Necessary

    As the Prime Minister stated, the fundamental role in the construction of peace is the jointure of security with development, adding, "The good governance, the rule of law, the strong democratic institutions, the respect of human rights, the developmental aid, as well as reforms and democratisation of the security department, are the vital ingredients in the effort of decreasing current clashes."

    Moreover, he stated that the United Nations should be reinforced in management, resolving and preventing clashes and their reappearance, while the at large and long-term strategies for the countering of ultimate causes are imperative.

    "In this context we warmly support the creation of a Peace Construction Committee as well as the adoption of a Security Council decision for the countering of clashes in Africa," he stated.

    However, new threats and challenges are emerging, and together with extreme poverty, deadly epidemics and the downgrade of the environment have catastrophic consequences.

    As the Prime Minister noted, the greatest threat for our societies is the expansion of mass destruction weapons, while organised crime that can cause domestic clashes follows.

    All the aforementioned threats and challenges require a more overall approach in the notion of collective security, as well as the reinforcement of the United Nations, he stated, and noted that the international regional organisations will have to be effective and international treaties be respected.

    In closing, Mr Karamanlis expressed the belief that the Summit Meeting gives a unique opportunity to proceed with the changes required for the creation of a more peaceful and stable world in the 21st century.

    The PM's Contacts

    In the context of the UN General Assembly, the Prime Minister held meetings with the President of the Cypriot Republic, Tassos Papadopoulos, the successor to the Saudi Arabian throne and the President of Mexico.

    Earlier he attended a dinner given by the General Secretary of the Organisation, and this morning participated in a meeting on the funding for Development.

    In the meeting with the Cypriot President, Athens and Nicosias tactic in the EU, concerning the start of Turkeys accession negotiations on October 3, was discussed, as well as the Unions answer to Ankaras statement on the non-recognition of the Cypriot Republic.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Historic UN Summit

    Karamanlis' Historic Speech at SC

    Related Links:

    United Nations

    [02] Historic UN Summit

    14 Sep 2005 15:36:00 (Last updated: 14 Sep 2005 21:52:33)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The United Nations Summit commenced on Wednesday, focusing on the need for real changes to its structure and operation, following a significant 60-year path, as well as many problems, which keep accumulating and rising to the surface. It all started in March, when the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, presented his reform plans, asking the world leaders to prepare the necessary decisions by September, when the Millennium Declaration would be signed. Todays Summit will be the biggest ever organised, as 170 world leaders are participating. On Tuesday night (Greek time), the UN Member-States reached an agreement on reforming and developing the Organisation, while the approval of its content is expected shortly. Furthermore, the Security Council unanimously approved a decision, according to which Member-States are to adopt a legislative initiative to eliminate the encouragement of terrorism.

    Although the content of the agreement, a product of compromises and negotiations of the last three weeks, was approved almost unanimously by the UNs General Assembly, it does not include some of Mr Annans most significant proposals, including human rights, terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

    Concerning the two latter matters, they are not mentioned anywhere in the final draft. In addition, although the agreement notes the intention of the Member-States to form a Human Rights Council, there is no mention anywhere of its mission, operation, formation and size.

    Furthermore, the definition of the term "terrorism" is not included in the content of the agreement, a fact that demonstrates that the UN members did not manage to agree on the matter.

    One of the points on which the Member-States agreed was the creation of a new body, and specifically a Peace Committee, aiming at providing international aid to the countries emerging from war, in order to avoid incidents of violence.

    The document also mentions that each state is responsible for protecting its population from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity. In addition, it announced the international communitys willingness to take action, through the Security Council, even by resorting to violence, if all diplomatic means fail or if a country is not in a position to protect its people.

    Partial Satisfaction

    Kofi Annan voiced his satisfaction over the adoption of the agreement, although he admitted that he was expecting more.

    He said the document could serve as a basis for continuing the efforts, but expressed his sorrow over the inability of the countries to agree on key matters, including disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

    On the other hand, many non-government organisations were disappointed, claiming that national egotisms prevailed, while they condemned the fact that many significant matters concerning the Human Rights Council remained unsolved.

    In his speech at the Summit, Mr Annan said that reaching an agreement on the matters of genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing was significant, however, he described the non-agreement on nuclear weapons as a "great failure".

    The USA spoke of an agreement that was below their expectations, describing, however, its approval as a good start. US President George Bush, who spoke at the historic Summit, thanked the people for the assistance they provided to his country after the devastating blow delivered by Hurricane Katrina.

    During his speech, Mr Bush made a plea to all the nations to help the emerging economies deal with they debts and epidemics, so that they can develop along with the other countries. In addition, he opposed the agricultural grants, asking that they be abolished, because they decelerate international growth and disrupt international trade agreements. At the same time, he announced that the USA is preparing to abolish customs duties in an effort to facilitate the flow of goods and services.

    Finally, he referred to the burning issue of terrorism, noting that the problems leading the oppressed to terrorism have to be countered, admitting that the war against terrorism cannot be won solely though weapons violence. With regard to the matter, he asked the UN to sign and implement an international treaty for suppressing nuclear terrorist acts.

    Problems That Need to Be Solved

    The Organisation has had to deal with many problems lately, including the degradation of the Security Council following the invasion in Iraq, bureaucracy, bribing of top officials of the programme "Oil for Food" and allegations concerning sex scandals involving UN Peace Corps soldiers in Africa.

    The reforms include increasing the members of the Security Council, setting rules as to when the UN can authorise military action against a Member-State and the creation of a Human Rights Council.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Karamanlis' Historic Speech at SC

    [03] Reactions to the OA Penalties Aviation Disputes

    14 Sep 2005 17:22:00 (Last updated: 14 Sep 2005 22:56:06)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Commissions condemning decision for Olympic Airways, whereby the company is required to repay hundreds of millions of euros (estimates speak of 500 million) granted to the air carrier in the form of state funds and which were deemed illegal, has triggered an intense political dispute. In a written statement, Transport Minister Michalis Liapis noted that the Government would exhaust all the margins for the sale of OA, despite the fact that the Commissions decision hinders the privatisation process, while he reassured that the rights of the employees would be secured. Meanwhile, he accused the former PASOK governments of erroneous political choices, which brought OA and the thousands of employees to a dead-end. On his part, Opposition MP Evangelos Venizelos spoke of a "secret and scandalous" plan that devalued the company, while he invited the Government to appeal against the decision. Aleka Papariga called on the people to ignore the EUs decision, while Alekos Alavanos asked for cooperation between the political powers, in an effort to dispute the condemning decision. In the meantime, the employees of OA staged rallies and the Board announced that the company will continue providing its services.

    Criticism and Disagreements

    According to information, the Government has already examined a plan for the continued operation of OA until the decisions are implemented, while Karamanlis pledge concerning the employees, ie no one will be left stranded, stands. The measures include early retirement with benefits, transfers to other public sector agencies and funded training of employees.

    "Liquidation whilst in operation should not proceed," stressed Mr Venizelos, hinting that the Government is serving competitive interests and not the interests of OA. At the same time, he asked the employees not to proceed with closing the countrys airports and demonstrate responsibility, without providing excuses to the Government, so that it can be considered solely responsible for the companys closure.

    Furthermore, the MP underlined that PASOK has no reason to provide explanations to the statements made by independent MP Stefanos Manos, who described OA as "a corpse that should not be revived." On the other hand, answering to those claiming that the parties are indebted to OA, the partys spokesperson, Nikos Athanasakis, clarified that PASOK has repaid its dues.

    Speaking at the employees rally at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport, KKEs general secretary, Aleka Papariga, called on the employees to remain united and continue the fight to secure their rights, while at the same time, ignoring the European decisions and the Governments policies. Meanwhile, speaking from the TIF, Mrs Papariga noted that KKE wants OA to become a state monopoly and not a monopoly serving the interests of the few.

    SYNs president, who is also in Thessaloniki for the TIF, attributed responsibility to the Government, condemning the Commissions decision and asking that "OA does not become the Greek Helios." At the same time, a party delegation attended the employees rally at Athens Airport. "OAs murderers will not get away," declared Dimitris Stratoulis, who accused both the Government and PASOK for the current situation and asked that the public character of the national air carrier be preserved.

    On their part, the company employees gathered at the airports of Athens and Thessaloniki, while they submitted a resolution to Parliament. The employees repeated their demand for the company to continue operating through a restructuring programme, while they reacted to the sale and liquidation scenarios.

    In the meantime, OAs Board issued an announcement thanking the passengers for their support, while it also spoke of an increase in ticket bookings, especially for international flights. On its part, the OA Services administration pointed out that ground passenger services, cargo transfers and technical maintenance of aircrafts are continuing as per normal.

    It should be noted that, based on the Commissions decision, the exact amount that has to be repaid will be set following deliberations between the relevant Community authorities and Greece. In addition, the country will be given a two-month deadline, in order to announce the measures it will be implementing. As per government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos, the Biministerial Committee, which will convene on Thursday, will discuss the option of privatising the company.

    A Page is Turned

    As per NET sources, a four-stage plan for OA will be at the focus of the Biministerial Committee.

    The completion of the competition in development for OA is expected within 10-15 days. The announcement of the competition as of no result - special liquidation - new competition. In this stage, a bank assumes to record the assets and liabilities capital of OA, a procedure that will create a "pure company." Civilians and the Public Sector can take part in the new competition, while this stage will be promoted with a special reform in Parliament. A completed plan for the employees, since Karamanlis pledge of no dismissals, from the TIF will be adhered to. Among the measures is early retirement with motives and transfers in the wider Public Sector after a funded re-education of the employees. Olympic Airways continues to fly. The governments plan that reassures the continuation of the air carriers operation is reinforced by three key points which includes the Commissions decision.

    Firstly, the non-designation of the sum called by the company to return, and the two-month deadline for the government to announce the measures it will implement.

    Secondly, the report that the debts remain to the Public Sector and do not burden the contractor, a fact that unblocks the privatisation procedure, since the new owner of the company will not inherit the debt.

    Thirdly, the ban of state funds. The funds to OA have stopped since December 2003 and the company lives by its incomes, while it is up to date with its payments, eg the employees insurance.

    The aim of the government is for a solution to be found until the end of December, while the final decisions are expected to be announced in a broad meeting presided by the Prime Minister, on coming Tuesday.

    Related News:

    Hefty Penalty for O.A.

    [04] The Permanent Representatives In Brussels No Agreement on Turkey

    14 Sep 2005 17:34:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The meeting of the Permanent Representatives that took place in Brussels on Wednesday was fruitless, since the participants did not agree or adopt a final document. The Foreign Ministrys announcement stated, "The discussion and the complex and difficult negotiation taking place these past days for the document of the European counterstatement to the known one-sided Turkish statement on July 29 continued," however it is noted, that regardless of the fact that the discussion took place "in a constructive climate and steps of progress towards a clear European counterstatement were made," it was not possible for a final document to be adopted. The next meeting of the Permanent Representatives is expected to take place on September 21.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Turkey's Stance Is Fixed

    Recognition of Cyprus Necessary

    [05] Revolutionary Invention Multi-Type Radio

    14 Sep 2005 17:15:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    A new generation of radio devices that will play and record digital and analogue radio signal has arrived and gives listeners new capabilities. The revolutionary radios were presented by Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) at the International Conference of Radio and Television, in Amsterdam. DRMs aim is the substitution of short-wave, middle and long frequencies with a more reliable and qualitative single type service, which has been transferred to FM since AM have a lower quality, due to interference and low fidelity. Already, 40 radio stations transmit more than 500 hours daily using the new system.

    In Stores Until December

    Radio Luxemburg recommenced its English service with DRM.

    BBCs international service has commenced transmitting DRM in mainland Europe, while Deutsche Welle has committed to substitute traditional short-wave to DRM.

    According to an announcement by the partnership, the DRM devices will be available in stores until December 2005. There has been no suggested retail price, but the first models cost around 250 euros.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] On the New Common Agricultural Policy Dispute Between Basiakos-Papandreou

    14 Sep 2005 14:37:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET

    Today, Parliament turned into a battlefield by the government and Opposition on the new common agricultural policy. During the discussion of the relevant bill, the President of PASOK said that the PMs big-mouthed announcements on farmers collapsed within 18 months. "Today there is poverty for the farmer, expensiveness for the consumer and profit for the middleman. The PM, even if he had pledged he will personally preside in the negotiations on the new CAP, did not appear in any Rural Development Ministerial council, even if he had promised farmers a pension starting from 200 to 310 euros, he only gave them 12 euros, while instead of decreasing VAT from 18% to 8% in agricultural machinery and fertilisers, proceed to a VAT increase," noted Mr Papandreou. Furthermore, the President of PASOK stated that the government concerned itself with the destruction of services and created new positions in the Public Sector to place its own pensioners, while creating mechanisms that will support Mr Karamanlis Rural Police. In replying to the President of PASOK, the Minister of Rural Development called Mr Papandreou a liar, and accused him of being burdened with 11 years of mistakes and omissions and being responsible of "murder. "PASOK cannot claim that it supports voting down the bill since it voted for half of the articles in the relevant committee, and the majority of the bodies agrees with the measures," stated Mr Basiakos, adding that the government is proud of its work in the rural department.

    Papandreou: "You Have Messed Up"

    In his intervention in Parliament today, Mr Papandreou described the Minister of Development, Dimitris Sioufas, as perceptive, saying that he decided to promote the renaming of Plastiras Lake to Nikolaos Plastiras-Konstantinos Karamanlis, clearly referring to a letter of Mr Sioufas to the administration of the Public Power Company (PPC). "Not only have you failed, but there is no seriousness in your policy. You have messed up," stated the President of PASOK, adding that the renaming of the Ministry of Agriculture to Rural Development and Food has no context.

    On the other hand, Mr Basiakos stated that the government is only trying to reinstate a historical injustice, adding, "In 1982 PASOK ought to have renamed the Konstantinos Karamanlis Lake." In replying to the relevant reference by President of PASOK, the Minister of Development, Dimitris Sioufas, stated, "Mr Papandreou chose his main point of his Oppositional tactic to concern a department of the Ministry of Development, and to a sign posted at the artificial lake of Tavropos, Karditsa, and it is indicative of his confusion and the weakness to utter a well-thought out political speech. It is another sample of the distortion, alteration and barren reaction which identifies him with the condemned past, and proves that he does not have anything to say. I owe to underline that I never proposed a renaming of the lake." Heating Benefit The President of PASOK described its refusal to give a heating benefit to low income classes as a revelation of the governments social ruthlessness. "You have received great taxes from oil. Give the benefit," he noted, adding, "When PASOK gave a 50,000 drachma benefit, ND was the one asking for 100,000 drachmas."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] He Denied the Charges Giosakis Testified

    14 Sep 2005 13:16:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The testimony of Archimandrite Iakovos Giosakis, who is being remanded in custody, concluded a little after noon. Giosakis testified before Appellate Examiner Giannis Sideris, who is handling the case with the extrajudicial network. According to information, the Archimandrite, who is accused of accessory to abuse of power, an offence that relates to the antiquities smuggling case in Kythira, denied the charges. In addition, he claimed that he never tried to influence any judges, since, as he stressed, he had not reason to do so, as he was not involved in the Kythira case. As per sources, Giosakis, who appeared before the Examiner with new defence lawyers, declared that he wished to contribute to Justices task. Meanwhile, as per an Appellate Councils ruling, the Archimandrite was cleared of all charges relating to the case of the alleged expropriation of assets owned by the Metropolitan Bishop Panteleimon of Limnos. After testifying, Giosakis was transferred back to Korydallos Prison.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Doubts the EU's Diplomatic Ethics Turkey's Stance Is Fixed

    14 Sep 2005 12:38:00 (Last updated: 14 Sep 2005 15:32:34)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Ankara insists on its stance of not recognising Cyprus, whilst awaiting the presentation of the new counterstatement plan from the EU, after todays meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee (COPEPER) in Brussels. Once again Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan harshly criticised the discussion taking place at the EU, claiming that it does not befit diplomatic ethics. As per the Anatolia news agency, speaking from New York, the Turkish PM declared that the Copenhagen Criteria have been fulfilled; while he underlined that it not right to impose added preconditions for commencing accessions talks. In the meantime, Cypriot FM Giorgos Iakovou voiced his doubts as to whether the counterstatement draft would also constitute the final decision. Meanwhile, the statements of the French Ambassador to Cyprus have raised eyebrows, as he demanded that Cyprus accepts the EUs counterstatement, since the final draft is the best compromise. On his part, the Cypriot government spokesperson did not comment on these statements.

    Turkish Doubts

    "Turkey has fulfilled the Copenhagen [political] criteria, working day and night. And now, after everything we have done, the question is whether accessions talks can commence or not," declared the Turkish PM during his speech late last night at the International Relations Council in New York.

    "Placing matters to Turkey that are unrelated does not befit diplomatic ethics," he said.

    "We Demand"

    "The French Government demands that Nicosia accepts the European Unions counterstatement concerning Turkeys one-sided statement not recognising the Republic of Cyprus." This is what Hadelin de La Tour-du-Pin, the French Ambassador to Cyprus, declared in his interview to the newspaper Politis.

    In the interview, the French diplomat also noted:

    The final content of the counterstatement, which will be discussed today at the EUs Permanent Representatives Committee meeting, is the best possible compromise. Nicosia has to trust the European Union, or else it has no reason for being a "club member". The counterstatement is not a Cypriot, but a European document. It is a political announcement and not an insurance policy with sanctions. Cyprus insisted on the commencement of accession talks with Turkey. France held discussions with all the Members, including Greece and Cyprus, last August.

    Finally, he added, "The realisation is that both Athens and Nicosia were desperately wishing to commence accession talks with Ankara."

    Criticism Continues

    In statements he made to TV station RIK from New York, where he is attending the UN Summit, the head of Cypriot diplomacy expressed the view that the draft, which was made public yesterday in Brussels and will be discussed during the COREPER meeting this afternoon, is not in the form of "take it or leave it."

    After repeating the criticism against the British presidency for its stance, Mr Iakovou stressed, "The Government is trying to exhaust all its capabilities, through negotiations and by expressing its stances."

    Asked whether Nicosia will be vetoing the commencement of Turkeys accession negotiations, he said that the Republic of Cyprus would decide after considering the stance of the Presidency, as well as the other EU Member-States.

    In addition, DISIs alternate president, Averof Neofytou, declared that the counterstatement draft prepared by the British Presidency could not be accepted. Mr Neofytou mentioned that the content of the draft, as it appeared yesterday in Brussels, annuls the 17 December decisions. In addition, he stressed, "It is time our strategies were assessed and concerns were raised, while the government should stop with the fancy words."

    The President of EDEK, Giannakis Omirou, claimed, "A joke is being attempted by this counterstatement and it is unacceptable."

    Mr Omirou also mentioned that linking the recognition of Cyprus to Turkeys accession was unacceptable and provocative, adding that Cyprus basic demands, which should have been considered self-evident in the EU, are not being entrenched."

    Then, he invited the Cypriot Government to announce that the counterstatement cannot be accepted, and as a result, Cyprus cannot agree to the commencement of accession talks for Turkey.

    Answering to a relevant question, Mr Omirou also noted, "The veto is in our arsenal, however, no one is saying that it should be used as blackmail. Imposing a veto or not will be considered when the time is right."

    In addition, AKELs MP Nikos Katsouridis stressed that the Republic of Cyprus has to judge between the bad situation, which would arise from obstructing Turkeys accession, and the worse situation, which would arise if Turkey commences accession talks without making any pledges to the EUs decisions. Mr Katsouridis, though, clarified that he was expressing personal views and not AKELs final stance.

    In addition, he mentioned, "Turkeys path towards Europe does not depend on whether there will be a counterstatement or not to the countrys one-sided announcement concerning the non-recognition of Cyprus, but on whether someone will obstruct the commencement of accession negotiations."

    Answering to a relevant question concerning a veto, Mr Katsouridis said, "When a game is played, no weapons are eliminated. It all depends on how positive or negative the consequences will be, after using this weapon."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Wide Ranging Speech in TIF Criticism by Alavanos

    14 Sep 2005 15:41:00

    By Anna Kourti

    In a Press conference in the context of his visit in the 70th Thessaloniki International Fair, President of Synaspismos Alekos Alavanos described ND governments policy model as tried, inefficient, failed and dangerous for the social state. Furthermore, he called Karamanlis policy "A Greek replica of the policy of US President George W Bush," while he asked for the creation of a social front against privatisations. On the heating benefit, he said that it is not charity but the states duty to the consumers, while he attacked the government over the handling of the Olympic Airways case. He stated that the ND government did not take actions to prevent the Commissions decision, and asked for a referral of the case to the European Court and to debate it in any way possible.

    ND's Policy Harsh and Inhuman

    He described PASOK as "speechless" on the Olympic Airways case, adding, "I have personally called on the President of PASOK to collaborate and support the public nature of Olympic Airways. A clear view by PASOK and a collective action by its forces for the public nature of OA could lead to a successful battle," he concluded. He described the governments policy on the labour issue as harsh and inhuman. On a question about opinion polls that indicate that the people trust the government, he replied that opinion polls change and SYN fights for that change. On the issue of the Left Wing and SYNs relations with KKE he said, "We are a broad cooperation force of the Left. We believe that the power of joint action can change the events in politics. We can achieve a lot as a broad and united Left. This is our aim and dream, and there are always going to be seats for the ones that refuse it." On the proposals by PASOK for collaboration in the Municipal and Prefecture elections, he commented that it is not a personal relations issue. We are ready to collaborate with the Opposition on the denouncement of political privatisations and the promotion of a front for the public nature of OA. From then on, Municipal elections are not a political opinion poll. On Turkeys European future, Mr Alavanos stated, "It is incomprehensible for accession negotiations to begin and at the same time Turkey not recognising Cyprus." In closing, he described Thessaloniki Metropolitan Bishop Anthimos intervention concerning FYROMs name "a nationalistic delirium."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] National Programme for Reforms "Compass for the Future"

    14 Sep 2005 15:07:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ANA - NET

    Based on the National Programme for Reforms, which was presented on Wednesday by the Greek Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis, the Government is setting five main priorities for the period 2005-2008. The main points include: reinstating fiscal equilibrium, boosting production, improving businesses, boosting employment and promoting activities that would reinforce social cohesion. "These priorities constitute the answer to those who are saying that we are proceeding without a plan, without a compass and without targets," declared Mr Alogoskoufis during the presentation, which took place at the Economy Ministry, stressing that the Government aims at growth in Economy and improving quality of life.

    Aiming at Competitive Economy

    As per Mr Alogoskoufis, the National Programme for Reforms, which he described as "a compass for the future," reflects the Governments determination and commitment to expedite the pace of structural reforms and fulfilment of targets, as set by the Lisbon Strategy, while he noted that the initiatives and actions of the Ministries are moving in that direction.

    The National Programme for Reforms 2005-2008 includes all the actions necessary for approaching the Lisbon targets, which should render the EU the most competitive Economy in the globe.

    It also includes, among others, deregulation of the energy market, improvement of businesses, purchase of telecommunication systems, transport, investment in human capital and environmental protection.

    Mr Alogoskoufis also said that he is awaiting the views of the other parties and the Opposition, which he accused of failed policies that doomed Greece.

    The National Programme for Reforms draft will be submitted to the European Commission by 15 October, after first having heard the views of all interested parties.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Expected to Be Made Public Today Awaiting Circular on Oil Tax No

    14 Sep 2005 14:26:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    On Wednesday, speaking to NET 105.8, Deputy Economy Minister Adam Regouzas gave the reassurance that all problems will be overcome on the issue of the tax number for the dispensation of heating oil to apartment buildings. Mr Regouzas said that the circular is nearly ready and will be made public today, while it will be sent soon to tax offices. He also explained that the manager or the apartment buildings spokesperson will not have to issue a new tax number, while in the case that the person does not have a tax number the number of his identification card will be recorded on the retail sale card or invoice. Moreover, he added that the manager will issue either a retail sale card for civilians, or an invoice from the fuel station the oil was bought in for a professional. All of the data, the address and the square meters of the apartment building will be recorded in the invoice, and will be charged in the managers name or the buildings spokesperson.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Decisive Effect in Lab Experiments Vitamin C May Fight Cancer

    14 Sep 2005 14:03:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: BBC, New York Times

    A new research by American scientists of the National Health Institute introduces vitamin C as an important weapon in fighting cancer. As per the laboratory test findings, the aforementioned vitamin, in its ascorbate form, injected in the bloodstream destroys cancerous cells. Vitamin C was infused in nine lines of cancerous and four healthy cells. As it emerged from the research, the survival percentage decreased by 50% in five of the lines, while healthy cells were not affected. Closely observing the leukaemia cells, which are considered as the most vulnerable to vitamin C, the scientists saw that they were completely destroyed. It was proved that the effective dosage was four millimoles, which can only be given intravenously. However, it has not been yet concluded how the vitamin manages to achieve these results.

    Welcomed With Reservations

    This new research has caused reactions among scientists, as many doubts were stated in relation to its effectiveness.

    "This work is at a very early stage. There are many substances that have been shown to kill cancer cells in the lab, but failed to fulfil that promise when tested in people," stated Henry Scowcroft, senior information officer at Cancer Research UK. In replying to the above, lead researcher Dr Mark Levine noted that the method followed cannot be used on patients "Firstly the treatment would have to be proved safe before being given to patients," he stated.

    According to Dr Levine the research found "that ascorbate as a potential cancer therapeutic agent has a controversial and emotionally charged past," and its use should be revaluated as a possible weapon against cancer.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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