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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-27

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] "You Have Made Us Proud"
  • [02] Record Ratings
  • [03] Insurance Premiums to Rise
  • [04] "Incomplete" Statement
  • [05] Cabinet on Foreign Policy
  • [06] Meeting on Unemployment
  • [07] GENOP/PPC Warns of Strikes
  • [08] Optimism Over Investments
  • [09] Positive Messages on Tourism
  • [10] Giannakis Head Coach Until 2008
  • [11] "Desperate Housewives" on NET
  • [12] Commercial Deficit Decrease

  • [01] The State Honours the European Champions "You Have Made Us Proud"

    27 Sep 2005 14:46:00 (Last updated: 27 Sep 2005 23:13:49)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The State and Political leadership of Greece honoured the European Champions on Tuesday. Escorted by the President of the European Basketball Federation, Giorgos Vasilakopoulos, and holding the precious trophy in their hands, the Greek players were welcomed by the President of the Hellenic Republic at 12:30 and then visited the Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis, and his wife, Natasha, at the Maximos Mansion. "As a Greek citizen, I would like to say thank you," said Mr Papoulias, while the Prime Minister congratulated them and preferred to chat with each player personally without any cameras present.

    "I Thank You All"

    At 12:30 the bus carrying the European Champions arrived outside the Presidential Mansion. FIBA Europe President Giorgos Vasilakopoulos also escorted the Greek Basketball Team.

    The President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, along with Deputy Sports Minister Giorgos Orfanos and Kostas Koukodimos congratulated each and all the players of the Greek team and the technical staff and thanked them for he joy they gave the Greek people by claiming the trophy.

    "I thank you all. I thank you for the joy you have given all the Greeks. I thank you for filling our hearts with pride and sending the youth a message with your hard work, consistency and character, which even your opponents acknowledged. In the German Press, I read the best comments on your victory. You set an example in the kind of sports we wish to promote. We thank you. I am grateful. I thank you and congratulate you. Congratulations to your coach, who led you to victory like a father. Congratulations to the people of the Federation, who have been working hard all these years. You have battles ahead of you and I am sure you will make us happy again. Thank you," stressed the President of the Republic and then gave each player an honorary plaque.

    As for the players, they offered the President a basketball and a shirt signed by all the players.

    Upon receiving his presents, Mr Papoulias told head coach Panagiotis Yannakis joking, "Are you challenging to change sports?" (Mr Papoulias was a volleyball player).

    "We Are Full of Pride and Joy"

    Following, the Greek basketball team visited Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and his wife at the Maximos Mansion. After congratulating each and all the members of the delegation, Mr Karamanlis stated:

    "This is not a time for formalities, but I have to say a few words. You have filled us with pride and joy. You have proved that wherever there is faith, vision, collective work and proper guidance anything is possible. I still bring the success of the previous generation 18 years ago in mind and feel moved. Your coach was a player then and he still has it. This success, which followed the European Football Championship and the Olympic Games, shows how much Greece values sports. With your achievement, you have set an example for the next generation, which should be directed to sports. God bless you."

    Right after his short speech, the Prime Minister preferred to talk with the players and Panagiotis Yannakis on a personal basis, without the presence of cameras.

    Although there was no reference on bonuses, the State is expected to give each player and Panagiotis Yannakis 60% of the standard bonus for athletes winning gold medals in European championships in individual sports, ie some 30,000 euros.

    Yannakis: "The Team Communicates with the People"

    Exiting the Maximos Mansion, Head Coach Panagiotis Yannakis referred to the Greek success and its impact on future generations. "The way we played showed the team communicates with the people in a very special way, which led us to winning the games and gaining many fans."

    What is more, the dragon stated, "The team requested for nothing from the Prime Minister. All these kids need are support, because they want to make their dreams come true and this can only happen if the people of basketball, the one who make the decisions I mean, love what they do."

    Lastly, Panagiotis Yannakis said of his boys, "The most important thing is to realise that the miracle in life is not to fly but to walk," thus referring to their modesty after this huge success.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Record Ratings

    "Thank You"

    Champions Arrive in Greece

    [02] NET Reaches the Top Record Ratings

    27 Sep 2005 13:26:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Greek public TV station NET recorded record ratings on the night of the European Championship basketball final, which led the Greek National team to conquering the gold medal. As per the AGB stats, the ratings on the night of the big final between Greece and Germany reached 29.1%, constituting the highest percentage in a basketball game over the last decade. Specifically, the number means that an average of 2,688,000 viewers watched the game per minute. The maximum ratings were recorded at 23:44, the time when the game was ending, reaching 38% (3,509,000 viewers), while one in every three Greeks (33.3%) watched the Greek players lifting the Cup at 00:14.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Following a EU Directive Insurance Premiums to Rise

    27 Sep 2005 19:15:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The car and motor insurance premiums are to follow a mild and gradual upward course until 2010, while at the same time the minimum amount of compensation is to be readjusted to fall in line with the relevant EU directive. As per the directive, the insurance companies should raise ten times the minimum amount of insurance cover for personal injuries and damage to property, thus raising the insurance premiums. The Association of Insurance Companies issued an announcement that read that the rise is to be valid as of 2007 and it is to gradually meet the EU standards by 2010. At the same time, the Association dismissed publications that spoke of rises up to 20% for the year to come. However, the 500,000 cars that have not been insured remain a real pain in the neck.

    Gradual Rise

    The legislation in force dictates that minimum amounts for compensation should stand at 500,00 euros for personal injuries and 100,000 euros for damages to property per accident. The EU Member-States can provide either 1 million euros per victim or 5 million euros per accident, while regarding damages to property they can provide 1 million euros per accident.

    The Association of Insurance Companies stated that the Greek legislation should fall in line with the European by 11/6/2007, when the five-year transition period is to commence. By December 2009 the minimum amounts should be fixed at 500,000 euros per victim or 2,500,000 euros per accident, while the minimum amounts should meet the European standards by 2012.

    "Any forecasts on the rise percentage are both risky and groundless, since it totally depends on the governments choices with regard to the minimum amounts and the time of their implementation," noted the Association and added that the adjustment period is to be substantially prolonged and allows all insurance companies to take all necessary actions.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related Links:

    Ένωση Ασφαλιστικών Εταιριών

    [04] Roussopoulos Offers his Backing to Regouzas "Incomplete" Statement

    27 Sep 2005 16:42:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8

    Government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos backed Deputy Economy Minister Adam Regouzas with regard to PASOK parliamentarians interpellation accusing the latter of appearing lenient when it comes to bribery while addressing the custom officers. Mr Roussopoulos described Regouzass statement as "incomplete" and pointed out that the Deputy Economy Minister made clear the governments intention to combat corruption. "The government strongly favours ethics and transparency," the government spokesperson added.

    Roussopoulos Questions PASOK's Interpellation

    In the meantime, Mr Roussopoulos questioned the time PASOK parliamentarians chose to post the interpellation in Parliament.

    He noted that no sooner had Mr Regouzas requested the customs heads that failed to proceed with realising the decision to transfer 24 customs directors be referred to the disciplinary board, than the interpellation was posted on Monday.

    Mr Regouzas also linked the interpellation to the transfer of the directors and accused the Main Opposition of trying to fulfil its ends.

    Speaking on NET radio station 105.8, PASOK parliamentarian Michalis Karchimakis underlined, "Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis should have kicked out Mr Regouzas," and he added that maladministration, corruption and party-oriented practices flourish wherever possible.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Greek-Turkish Relations, Cyprus and FYROM Cabinet on Foreign Policy

    27 Sep 2005 13:30:00 (Last updated: 27 Sep 2005 21:09:43)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Government is about to ask a discussion in Parliament on Foreign Policy issues, announced Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis while exiting the Maximos Mansion, where the Cabinet convened, presided over by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. On the occasion of opening accession talks between Turkey and the EU, the Cabinet focused on the Greek-Turkish relations, the Cypriot issue and FYROMs name. Mr Molyviatis, who briefed the Cabinet on all the aspects of the Greek foreign policy, also stressed that the National Council of Foreign Policy will convene on Thursday. The Foreign Minister went on to add, "barring any unforeseen events, Turkey will start accession negotiation with the EU on October 3. Greece and Cyprus aims and positions have been recorded in both texts, ie the EU negotiating framework and counterstatement." Mr Molyviatis also said, "the commencement of negotiations will gradually pave the way to a new era in Greek-Turkish relations, an era of peace and collaboration to the benefit of both peoples."

    For Discussion in Parliament

    "As long as Turkey fulfils all the criteria and preconditions by the end of negotiation talks, which will last for a long time, then it will have the right to become a full Member-State of the European Union," stressed Mr Molyviatis.

    The Foreign Minister confirmed there are still some pending matters on the negotiating framework and the British Presidencys opening declaration, but these issues have no relation to Greek or Cypriot aims.

    Petros Molyviatis refused to respond to the Oppositions criticism on the inexistence of a timeframe for the pending matters with Turkey, saying all these accusations will be answered for in Parliament. As for FYROM, the Foreign Minister said that Greek positions are known, while regarding a possible upcoming proposal, Mr Molyviatis stressed that Mathew Nimic will continue negotiations with representatives from both sides.

    Papoutsis' Answer

    The FMs statements triggered PAOSKs reaction, which was voiced by the partys responsible for foreign affairs, civil security and defence Christos Papoutsis.

    Referring to the views recently expressed by Nimitz, Mr Papoutsis spoke of laying down the arms on the part of the government, while as for Turkeys future in Europe, he claimed that PASOK favours the countrys accession prospect provided that Turkey meets certain standards.

    "The ruling party has once more proved that it is a government that does not aim high and that has offered the Greek nation nothing but lost chances," he concluded.

    Valinakis: "The Counterstatement is Fully Satisfactory"

    In the meantime, speaking to Alpha radio station, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Valinakis described the EU counterstatement as "fully satisfactroy for Greece and the Cypriot Republic," and added that the counterstatement resulted from "60-day hard negotiations and effective cooperation." It is noted that the EU counterstatement was triggered by Turkeys refusal to recognise Cyprus.

    "We want Turkey to change as it moves towards the EU. And it is to change only if certain prerequisites, which are explained in the counterstatement, are met," said Mr Valinakis.

    With regard to the issue of Cyprus, the Greek Deputy FM noted that Greece is interested in Ankara putting forth changes in terms of domestic and foreign affairs, while he repeated the "established" will on the part of Greece and Cyprus to work on a solution that will fall in line with the UN resolutions and the European principles as soon as possible.

    [06] By PASOK Coordinators Meeting on Unemployment

    27 Sep 2005 13:15:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    In his opening speech on Tuesday at PASOKs Steering Committee meeting, party president George Papandreou focused on unemployment. Mr Papandreou said unemployment "is the main problem of Greek society." He also referred to the "bad news" coming from Brussels on the Economy, which as he said point out the size of the Governments mistakes. He also accused the Government of creative accounting. Mr Papandreou supported there is another way towards investment, quality and utilization of the 3rd CSF funds. "The framework proposed by PASOK for a new course," stressed Mr Papandreou, "has nothing to do with the government proposal, which invests on cheap labour."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Reactions Against Opening Up Energy GENOP/PPC Warns of Strikes

    27 Sep 2005 17:43:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    GENOP/PPC (General Federation of Employees of Sector of Electric Energy) warns of 24-hour repeated strikes opposing the Development Ministrys bill on opening up the electric energy market. At the same time, in a Press Conference, the presidency of PPCs employees opposed the lift of the permanent working status for the newly hired as well as the abolition of collective negotiations.

    GENOP Presidency Demands

    GENOP/PPC presidency voiced their opposition to the bill on opening up the electric energy market and demanded:

    PPC not be excluded from bids on constructing power plants of 900 mega vats. The bids will have been announced by the end of the year. GENOP also disagrees with the possible participation of PPC in a consortium with private enterprises. PPC retain full control over the manager of the transfer and distribution network. the Regulatory Authority for Energy not intervene with PPC's administration and finance. trade of power be allowed only to producers and not to suppliers. the state pay off its debt to the company. GENOP/PPC President Mr Pitalidis also explained that the red tape is delaying the hiring of 1,350 employees and went on to say that the hirings were approved last year. Furthermore, with regard to the negotiations to resume shortly over the 2006 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the presidency's objective is to achieve a wage level similar to the average of the EU Member-States in five years' time.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Change in Eurostat Methodology Optimism Over Investments

    27 Sep 2005 21:38:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis voiced his belief that the privatisations scheduled for the year to come are to earn Greece 1.5 billion euros. After his talks with the institutional investors in New York, Mr Alogoskoufis stated that the bank sector, with emphasis put on the distribution of package deals from Emporiki and Agrotiki Banks, is to play an instrumental role towards achieving that goal. At the same time, he argued that Eurostats recent review of last years deficit is clearly due to the change in methodology and does not at all influence the programme of mild fiscal adjustment. Speaking on ERT, the Greek Economy Minister repeated the US businesses keen interest in investing in Greece, as well as the governments privatisation programme. In the meantime, referring to Mr Alogoskoufis statement with regard to rises in EKAS (Pensioners Social Solidarity Allowance) as well as in OGAs (Agricultural Insurance Organisation) pensions, PASOK Press Spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis noted that the Economy Minister just announced that the government is to implement exactly what it implemented last year, only this time things will be worst. He further added that this years rises will range from 8 to 12 euros, and demanded the relevant Ministers explain what these amounts stand for, taking into consideration that in 2003 they themselves had described the 30-euro rise granted by PASOK government as peanuts.


    "Greece presented itself successfully during our stay in the USA. On Monday, we visited the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and we realised that the NYSE boarding council is interested in having more Greek businesses entered the citys Stock Exchange," noted the Economy Minister at the Press Conference held at the Greek Press Bureau in Manhattan.

    On the thorny issue of the Olympic Airlines, he said, "There is nothing new on the issue. The Transport Ministry officials are working on that."

    As for the privatisation programme, Mr Alogoskoufis stated that the government intends to have the Athens International Airport enter the Athens Stock Exchange immediately after the talks with the Germans terminate.

    "As you know, the Agricultural Bank has already raised its capital and there is room for further privatisations. Besides, we have pledged to eliminate the public sectors holdings in the Agricultural Bank. The elimination is not going to exceed 51%, but there is a long way ahead. After dealing with the banks social security, Emporiki Bank stands better chances of being further privatised," he argued.

    With regard to PPC, he repeated, "The government has pledged to keep the 51%. So, the companys further privatisation is out of the question."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Greek Economy Minister in New York

    [09] Positive Messages on Tourism

    27 Sep 2005 15:41:00 (Last updated: 27 Sep 2005 22:01:10)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Speaking on Tuesday at the third National Tourism Council meeting, which coincided with the World Tourism Day, Greek Tourism Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos voiced his satisfaction over the upward course of Greek tourism. Presenting a report on this years tourist rates, Mr Avramopoulos stressed that according to data from the Eleftherios Venizelos airport, there has been a 12% increase in foreign passenger arrivals and charter flights, underling that these figures have doubled since 2004. At the same time, the Bank of Greece announced that the gross income from travel services have increased by 6.1% in relation to 2004, which was the year of the Olympics. Tourist arrivals continue to increase in September and October, especially regarding high quality resorts, stressed Mr Avramopoulos. "Avramopoulos statements cannot cover the governments inefficiency to make the most of the work done by PASOK. Instead it is destroying this work with its amateur practices," stated Main Opposition press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis.

    Bright Future Ahead

    The Minister put emphasis on the fact that the negative climate of the last five years has finally come around and Greece has been elevated to a high quality destination worldwide. As he said, the face of Greek tourism has changed and its representation in international forums and exhibitions has been upgraded.

    All these lead to a bright future for Greek tourism, continued Mr Avramopoulos, stressing that Greece proved Cassandras wrong and now Greek tourism is on an upward course.

    Deputy Tourism Minister Anastasios Liaskos spoke afterwards and referring to the ministry's technical actions, he said there would be collaboration with Turkey and Italy to draw up joint tourist packages to attract tourists from overseas markets. He also stressed there are programmes for thematic parks and golf courts, while the Bill on Agrotourism and Spa Tourism is under progress.

    As for tourist bodies, they voiced their content over the tourist growth, while there were complaints on the lack of infrastructure (mainly in ports and airports), which as they said slow down tourist growth.

    Athanasakis' Criticism

    On the occasion of the World Tourism Day, PASOK press spokesperson described tourism as "renewable growth source for Greece and its economy," while he lashed out at Mr Avramopoulos.

    Mr Athanasakis claimed that Greece has been in the limelight since the 2004 Olympic Games, which demonstrated that the country is a safe and modern tourist destination and this, as he underlined, is PASOKs work. At the same time, he accused the Tourism Minister of keeping ignoring that and of "citing his own brochures and overseas trips."

    In closing, commenting on Mr Avramopoulos statements regarding the increased number of tourists, Mr Athanasakis noted that the government fails to focus on the Greeks whose vacations are dwindling due to economic problems, as well as on the fact that the tourists who visited the country this year spent less.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Giannakis Head Coach Until 2008

    27 Sep 2005 21:46:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    President of the Greek Basketball Federation (EOK) and FIBA EUROPE President Giorgos Vasilakopoulos confirmed that Panagiotis Giannakis is to keep coaching the Greek National Basketball Team until the Beijing Olympic Games. "We will continue with these players with a few more are to be included in the teams roster. This team will take part in Japans World Championship, Barcelonas Eurobasket and in the Beijing Olympics. It is needless to say that the coach team will remain as it is," Mr Vasilakopoulos said. Furthermore, the Greek Basketball Federation is considering proposing Panagiotis Giannakis, who is also the coach of Amarousio, sign an exclusive contract starting as of the summer of 2006 until the 2008 Olympic Games.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] "Desperate Housewives" on NET

    27 Sep 2005 19:33:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    It is the most popular US television series, it is being broadcast in 153 countries rocketing the ratings and in a few days time the "Desperate Housewives" will be narrating their stories to the Greek audience through NET television network. The opening day of the series is set for Sunday at 10pm, while it will be regularly on every Wednesday at 11pm starting as of October 5. For those who are to miss the regular show, they have the chance to watch it every Saturday at 6:30 in the evening. ERT General Director Kostas Spiropoulos said it is a new TV product that belongs to the generation of series that enjoy aesthetics and direction. It is a series dedicated to women, it is out of the ordinary, commercial and qualitative at the same time. "Desperate Housewives" are a television trip to the innermost of the households and sarcastically narrate the routine at the wealthy US suburbs where lives are not always what they seem.

    For more information on the series visit ERTs special site Click to learn more about the characters, the biographies of the actors and actresses as well as the success this series has achieved in the countries it has been broadcast so far.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related Links:

    "Νοικοκυρές σε Απόγνωση"

    [12] Exports Increased Commercial Deficit Decrease

    27 Sep 2005 12:47:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Greeces commercial deficit decreased to 14.7 billion euros in the first semester of 2005, dropping by 500 million euros in relation to the same period in 2004, as per Eurostats report, released today in Brussels. Especially in the period January-June 2005, Greek exports rose to 6.4 billion euros and imports to 21.1 billion euros, thus reducing Greeces commercial deficit from 15.2 billion euros to 14.7 billion euros. In relation to the first semester of 2004, Greek exports increased by 7% (from 5.9 to 6.4 billion euros), while imports remained at the same levels (21.1 billion euros). As per Eurostat, Germany has the highest commercial surplus among the 25 with 83.5 billion euros, while the Netherlands and Ireland follow suit with 19.5 and 17 billion euros respectively. On the other hand, the United Kingdom has the highest commercial deficit with 47.5 billion euros, followed by Spain (34.7 billion euros), Greece (14.7 billion euros) and France (13.9 billion euros).

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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