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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-28

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Regouzas Responds
  • [02] Harsh Message to Turkey
  • [03] Don Quijote on a Space Mission
  • [04] Beauty Pageant Behind Bars
  • [05] Heated Dispute Over Hirings
  • [06] Meetings with Papaligouras and Voulgarakis
  • [07] Fifty Years of Service
  • [08] Opening Up Diving
  • [09] 500,000 Debtors Targeted
  • [10] Sioufas-Sell Meeting
  • [11] Economic Collaborations with Russia
  • [12] High Consumption of Preservatives
  • [13] Tension over Tragedy on Santorini

  • [01] He Provided Explanations in Parliament Regouzas Responds

    28 Sep 2005 14:00:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Addressing Parliament, Greek Deputy Economy Minister Adam Regouzas provided explanations over the extract of his speech delivered to the customs officers. Mr Regouzas spoke of interests that aim at his removal from the government and took personal responsibility for his statement, which, as he said, was a slip of the tongue. "I spoke off by heart without consulting a written text," he pointed out and noted that the fact this is not the first attack against him should raise concerns. "Whoever takes responsibility, resigns," answered PASOK parliamentarian spokesperson Charis Kastanidis noting that the Deputy Economy Minister thinks of himself as a heavy-weight politician. "I am a humble servant of the public interest," replied Mr Regouzas.

    Government Considers Matter Final

    The issue with regard the Deputy Economy Minister was discussed during the daily briefing of reporters.

    Government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos referred to his comments made on Tuesday, noting that the government strongly favours ethics and transparency. However, reactions keep arising.

    Speaking on NET radio station 105.8, PASOK parliamentarian Dimitris Reppas argued, "The government appears void of the political will to combat corruption and its stance practically favours and feeds it."

    On its part KKE issued an announcement that read, "Mr Regouzas statements regarding the extra fee for quicker service and the handling of the issue are indicative of the governments stance on fighting corruption." At the same time, it urged the people not to compromise with the corruption phenomena capitalism generates.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] The European Parliament Sent Harsh Message to Turkey

    28 Sep 2005 13:37:00 (Last updated: 28 Sep 2005 22:46:46)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    With a few days to go until the commencement of Turkeys accession talks scheduled for October 3, Turkey was at the focus of the European Parliament. With an overwhelming majority, the European Parliament approved a resolution that disapproved of Ankaras refusal to recognise the Republic of Cyprus. The resolution also clearly stated that recognizing the Cypriot Republic as well as the Armenian genocide is to be top prerequisites before Turkey is accepted in the EU. The delay is not to influence the commencement of accession talks that have been scheduled for October 3, said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan undermining the European Parliament resolution and added that the issue of diplomatic recognition of Cyprus is not related to the European acquits. Earlier, the spokesperson for the Turkish Foreign Ministry noted that Ankara only accepts full accession. In closing, the spokesperson for the European Commission described the resolution as an own goal and added that the ratification of the Protocol on the part of the European Parliament is of vital significance, but not a prerequisite for the opening of accession talks.

    Disappointment in Ankara

    The developments and the heated diplomatic talks to determine the final preconditions Turkey has to meet before the commencement of accession talks sounded the alarm in Ankara, which asked the Britons help. Mr Gul contacted his British counterpart Jack Straw, who described the possible exclusion of Turkey from the EU as a huge treason.

    Turkey is not to accept further preconditions for the accession talks to commence. Any deviation from full accession, which is our sole objective, is out of the question, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Namik Tan. Commenting on the publications, he also pointed out, The final step will be taken as soon as we fully assess the resolution text.

    At the same time, Mr Tan accused Nicosia of exploiting its EU membership to force Turkey to deviate from its line. CNN Turk, citing Foreign Ministry sources, said that the issue is to top the National Assembly, whose proceedings are to commence in early October. Furthermore, the Turkish Press read that the countrys FM Abdullah Gul might refuse to travel to Luxembourg next Monday for the opening ceremony. At the same time, political analysts attributed the adoption of the resolution to EU circles that fight Turkeys accession and wish to enrage Ankara in the view of October 3.

    On his part, spokesperson for the Cypriot Republic Kypros Chrisostomidis spoke of accumulated pressure so that Turkey complies with its obligations before the EU, including its obligations before the Republic of Cyprus.

    Turkeys accession talks are scheduled to open on October 3. However, the EU Member-States have not yet agreed on the final content of the negotiating framework. Austria wants to include the prospect of a privileged relation between Turkey and the EU and not its full accession in the draft, thus triggering a thorny issue.

    Turkeys unilateral declaration is not part of the Protocol and is not legally related to its obligations, meaning that it should not be ratified by the Turkish National Assembly, stated NDs MEPs, while PASOK MEP Panagiotis Beglitis claimed, The European Parliament will not accept the violation of the European law as well as the violation of the European principles and it is not going to succumb to Turkey.

    On Thursday, the permanent representatives of the EU Member-States are to meet in Brussels to conclude on the negotiating framework, while in Athens, the National Council for Foreign Policy is to hold a meeting to discuss the latest developments.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Foreign Policy to Parliament

    Fulfillment of Pledges Paramount

    [03] ESA Against an Asteroid Don Quijote on a Space Mission

    28 Sep 2005 19:06:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: New Scientist

    Don Quijote is to have new adventures, space adventures this time, as of the upcoming decade. The famous knight seems to have inspired the European Space Agency (ESA), which named its new mission after him. The ESA mission is to alter an asteroid orbit by crashing a craft on it. A craft named Hidalgo is to smash one of the two selected asteroids called 2002 AT4 and 1989 ML. Of course, the mission enjoys Don Quijotes right hand Sancho, an observing craft that is scheduled to go into orbit around the asteroid first so as to monitor it, while after the impact, Sancho is to record the results. ESA aims at determining how the asteroids structure and geometry influences the impact, since in 2029, an asteroid will come so close to Earth that it can be perfectly visible, and the scientists want to be prepared for all possibilities.

    Related Links:


    [04] With Inmates Posing as Models Beauty Pageant Behind Bars

    28 Sep 2005 14:15:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Their dream of embarking on a career as supemodels was halted by their criminal behaviour. However, the inmates at the Buen Pastor Prison for women in Colombia did not let the prison bars stop them, finding a way to live their dream. So, they decided to organise a beauty pageant, with them as the stars of the catwalk. Among the contestants were some very notorious Colombian criminals, including armed robber Heidi Leon and drug trafficker Yury Uribe. Naturally, just like every other beauty pageant, this one also had an interview with various questions, including one about their hobbies. And since prisons do not offer many alternatives, most of the contestants declared that their favourite pastime was listening to the radio. The winner was Yury, who was arrested trying to enter the USA with half a kilo of heroin in her stomach.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Between Government and Main Opposition Heated Dispute Over Hirings

    28 Sep 2005 21:16:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ANA, NET 105.8

    The government and the Main Opposition crossed swords on Wednesday with regard to the procedures followed at the personal interview, thus reintroducing the issue of hiring security personnel in the Bank of Greece. Commenting on PASOKs allegations that spoke of opaque procedures, the Ministry for the Interior replied that the hirings were conducted under the law that former Interior Minister Giorgos Romaios had passed in 1998. It also pointed out that the hirings of security personnel are not related to the measure of personal interview, which has been recently adopted to be implemented for hirings in the Public Sector. Furthermore, the Ministry noted that the interview is used whenever ASEP (Supreme Council for Personnel Selection) views it as necessary and is conducted by the Independent Authority. When questioned about PASOKs allegations, according to which highly qualified candidates were rejected and people with a lower school certificate grade were hired instead, government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos argued that the relevant procedure was under the 1998 law that dictates the way hirings should be conducted in DEKO (Public Utilities and Enterprises). Finally he wondered why the issue was brought up now for the first time since the procedure in question has been followed for seven years.

    PASOK spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis, who had already referred to the issue on Tuesday, lashed out at the Interior, Public Order and State Ministers with regard to their statements on the hiring procedures. Mr Athanasakis stated that the 1998 law had been amended in 2005 upon the Public Order Ministers decision.

    Mr Athanasakis also underlined that the hiring procedures PASOK had been following dictated the issuing of the results and the addition of any assets first and then the examination of the candidate. There were no more assets added to the result of the examination. It was the examination that proved whether a candidate was competent or not, Mr Athanasakis pointed out.

    Furthermore, the PASOK spokesperson blamed the government for lying and described the fact that those with low school certificate grade do well in the exams and vice versa as a diabolic coincidence. A Public Prosecutor had better rule on the issue, he added.

    Finally, Mr Athanasakis urged the Interior and State Ministers to retract their statements and stop devising explanations.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Meetings with Papaligouras and Voulgarakis

    28 Sep 2005 14:48:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The Greek PM gave the green light to four Bills aiming at upgrading the Ministry of Public Works, after meeting with the Minister of Public Order, Giorgos Voulgarakis, this afternoon. The first Bill relates to the Fire Department and its upgrading, the second to the Greek Police and the restructuring of disciplinary legislation, the third to allowing the opening of the NIS (Hellenic National Intelligence Service) to parliamentary audits and the fourth provides for the creation of a Rural Police Force, with the initial hiring of 1,000 people. Earlier, the PM had met with Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras, while their discussion focused on the progress of cleansing the judicial sector and the faster administration of Justice.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Infant Care Centre "Mother" Fifty Years of Service

    28 Sep 2005 20:34:00

    By Anna Kourti

    This year, the Greek Infant Care Centre "Mother" counts half a century of service to children, mothers and families. On Wednesday night, an honorary celebration for the Centres social and humanitarian work will be held at the Athens Music Hall, while all proceeds from the event will be donated to the children hosted at the Centre. This morning, Queen Sofia of Spain visited the facility, accompanied by the leadership of the Health Ministry and the Centres President, Maro Kontou. The Centre, which has provided shelter to many abandoned children, is located in Ilion and was initially a Baby Nursing School, where the then Princess Sofia had worked as a volunteer. Queen Sofia appeared very emotional today, when she met with some of her old schoolmates and teachers, while, during her brief speech, she referred to the significant work performed by the Centre.

    "Ties of Heart"

    The Centre, affectionately known as "Ties of Heart", is honoured this year with a celebration at the Athens Music Hall on Wednesday 28 September. Greek artists Dimitra Galani and Lakis Lazopoulos are joining their creative forces for a holy objective: a musical event, where the proceeds will be donated to the children at the Infant Care Centre "Mother".

    The programme is scheduled to commence at 20:30, while notable figures from politics and the arts will be attending the celebration. ERT SA is the broadcasting sponsor for the event.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Greece Becomes Divers Paradise Opening Up Diving

    28 Sep 2005 18:33:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Greece may be elevated to a European divers paradise following the adoption of the bill on recreational diving drafted by the Mercantile Ministry. The bill is expected to cover a long-running legal gap, which had resulted in banning diving. It is also to give a fresh boost to Greeces economy by attracting foreign exchange. The new bill aims at making the best of the favourable weather conditions Greece enjoys eight months annually and revealing the countrys natural, historical and cultural treasures through the introduction of regular diving for recreational reasons, pointed out Mercantile Marine Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis. On the other hand, KKE and SYN voiced their reservations.

    KKE And SYN Voiced Their Opposition

    ND rapporteur Panos Kammenos underlined that the bill in question resulted from the long-running efforts made by MPs that are also divers and that it is Greeces grand chance to elevate to a 3.5 million European qualified divers paradise.

    PASOK rapporteur Giannis Diamantidis argued that the bill moves towards the right direction and added that it resulted from the attempts made by former Mercantile Marine Ministers Giorgos Anomeritis and Christos Papoutsis.

    Spokesperson for KKE Stavros Skopelitis voiced his partys opposition underscoring that the bill surrenders the diving tourism to the private capital instead of solving the existing problems.

    SYN rapporteur Fotis Kouvelis spoke of a vague legislative framework that focuses on diving and lets the open archaeological sites go unprotected.

    In the meantime, Mr Kefalogianis notified the posting of the amendment on subsiding security contributions on the part of cruise employees, as well as the provision that dictates the mandatory manning of ships with doctors.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] To Collect 4 Billion Euros in Debts 500,000 Debtors Targeted

    28 Sep 2005 13:09:00 (Last updated: 28 Sep 2005 19:31:29)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Those who havent paid their due debts to the wider public sector will be faced with strict measures. Following an emergency circular issued by the Economy Ministry, Tax Offices will impound salaries, pensions, deposits, rents and other assets from some 500,000 debtors and their close relatives, such as spouses and children, in order to collect debts, which come to over 4 billion euros. Stamping out tax evasion is one of the Governments top priorities and in this context, 4,000 units of the Special Audits Agency will be performing audits to over 16,500 businesses.

    Measures to be implemented are impounds on:

    25% of salaries and pensions, 50% of superannuation, bank accounts, rents and real estate auctions. With the beginning of the audit, auditors would notify companies on the confirmed and due debts and record their assets. Those unable to pay the entire sum would be given the alternative of paying taxes and debts in instalments.

    In fact, a new special agency should be established by the end of the year to collect such debts.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] On the Subject of Energy Policy Sioufas-Sell Meeting

    28 Sep 2005 20:23:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas met with American Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell in Washington and discussed the role of Greece in energy transfer, especially after the construction of the pipes in the country. Apart from the Greek Minister, the General Secretary of Development, Nikos Stefanou, the General Secretary of Research, Giannis Tsoukalas, the attach&#233; of the Greek Embassy, Eleftherios Angelopoulos, and the Ministers diplomatic consultant, Teresa Angelatou, also attended the meeting.

    Energy Policy at the Focus

    As Mr Sioufas declared on TV station NET, during his meeting with Mr Sell, he had the opportunity to analyse Greeces upgraded role in energy matters in the Balkans, especially, after the construction and expansion of the Greek-Italian natural gas pipe and the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipe.

    Furthermore, they discussed the upcoming signing of the treaty for the SE European energy community on 25 October, as well as the significant role Greece played in signing the treaty.

    Mr Sioufas also stressed that the two men focused on matters concerning a wider collaboration between the two ministries in the energy sector, as well as the rise in the price of oil. "The unsteadiness that surrounds the issue of the oil prices is something that concerns all the governments and naturally the US government, but it is a matter on which no one can say anything. The only thing that we should all do is ask for the support of the citizens in an effort to save energy. Because the citizens can do many important things so we can secure the greatest possible undependability on oil. And there are two reasons for this: firstly, environmental reasons, and secondly, because we can secure better quality of life throughout all the communities and countries, as well as our country, Greece."

    Successive Meetings

    During his five-day visit to the USA, the Greek Minister will also meet with the president of the Council on Competitiveness, Deborah Wince-Smith, US Democratic Senator of Greek descent, Paul Sarbanes, and the Administrator of the Small Businesses Administration, Hector Barreto.

    Tomorrow morning, he will depart for Chicago, where he will be the keynote speaker at SAEs symposium "Technology and Investment in Hellas." On Friday, Mr Sioufas will arrive in New York, the last stop of his US tour.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] On a Political and Business Level Economic Collaborations with Russia

    28 Sep 2005 19:49:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ANA - NET

    On Wednesday, Greece and Russia came a step closer to finalising significant bilateral economic agreements, after signing a protocol between Deputy FM Evripidis Stylianidis and Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev. As per Mr Stylianidis, by signing the protocol, which signalled the end of proceedings for the 5th Greek-Russian Interministerial Committee Summit, they have set the foundations for new collaborations and are putting into effect the action plan signed between the Greek Prime Minister and the Russian President. "We are looking forward to Russias major market, where we are promoting agricultural products," declared Greek Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos. On his part Mr Gordeyev stated, "I felt a certain warmth in this Interministerial summit, something that constitutes a guarantee for the further successful development of our relations."

    Agreements on Agriculture, Transport and Tourism

    According to Mr Stylianidis, the formation of joint committees, which would discuss issues on the areas of agriculture, transport and tourism, was decided during the Intreministerial summit.

    With regard to the energy sector, the outcome of the plan for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipe is positive, while collaborations for natural gas and electrical power are underway. Furthermore, on Thursday, the Greek side will meet with the mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, to discuss collaborations in the area of constructions.

    Meanwhile, the Russian side pledged to precipitate the ratification of the agreement to avoid double taxation, a ratification that would allow the implementation of the mercantile marine agreement, which has been pending since 2001.

    Greek and Russian businessmen also participated in the summit, while an agreement for collaboration was signed between SEV (Federation of Greek Industries) and the Russian Industry and Business Association.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] We Consume 5kg of Preservatives Annually High Consumption of Preservatives

    28 Sep 2005 11:19:00 (Last updated: 28 Sep 2005 14:53:20)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Greeks consume not one, not two, but five kilos of preservatives. Even the most well presented dinner table hides chemical traps. Aroma, flavour and colour additives, as well as bad quality fats with unknown consequences on ones health, daily attack humans, and has resulted in scientists sounding the alarm. The above calculations emerge from the Hellenic Paediatric Society, based on a wide-range of scientific facts. As the President of the Paediatric Department of the Athens University Andreas Konstantopoulos stated, the parents should be extremely careful with the food given to their children, and explained that children eat whatever they see on television, thus their plates are filled with colours and aromas. Meanwhile, preservatives, pesticides and obesity are undermining dangers to their health. The biochemical index of children in Greece is depicted in the wrong dietary model being followed. It is indicative that 1 out of 4 Greek children have high cholesterol and diabetes, in relation to their age, while 3 out of 5 are obese. "The mother has stopped cooking and the children eat at fast food restaurants. When cooking in the home the mother serves ready to eat meals," stated Mr Konstantopoulos.

    Confusing Data

    What We Eat and How We Pay

    Greeks consume 5 kilos of preservatives a year 4% of Greek agricultural products are contaminated by dangerous chemical substances 20,000,000 euros are given for pesticides in Greece 11,000,000 food supplements are consumed in Greece annually 1 out of 4 Greek children have high cholesterol 3 out of 5 Greek children are obese

    The wrong dietary habits followed by children in our country are dangerous to their health, not only by the chemical additives, but also to the consequences which lead to blocked vessels, high blood pressure and stroke in young ages.

    The preservatives, or else "E" used in foodstuffs are legal, but as per latest research are incriminating over several problems such as allergies, headaches, tachycardia, nausea, and intestine ulcers. These are only some of the frequent problems that they can cause. It is indicative that the new European legislature that demands that the full name of the substance used, be recorded on the package, replacing the "E," is often confusing. This is due to the consumers being confused by different unknown substance names, but are fooled thinking that the product does not contain preservatives.

    Moreover, these substances are suspicious over different forms of cancer, in particular substances used in carbonated drinks. Actually, while it is clear of the dangers hidden behind the substances, the complete effect to the human body has not been investigated, given the fact that many foodstuffs contain more than one substance.

    Overconsumption of Food Supplements

    Parents should be rather cautious with food supplements, as many teenagers tend to use them for a balanced diet in combination to physical exercise. It is estimated that 11,000,000 food supplements are consumed in Greece every year.

    "The consumption of food supplements by children could damage their health. A balanced diet is based on the consumption of fruits, vegetables, meat, milk or other dairy products and not on food supplements," stressed the professor.

    SOS Over Fruits and Vegetables

    Hazards from artificial flavours and colours:

    ·Allergies ·Headaches ·Nausea ·Tachycardia ·Peptic ulcer ·Carcinogenesis

    Scientists are worried over phytohormones, which are used in the production of agricultural products. These substances have toxicity, at higher or lower levels, and we consume them on a daily basis. It is estimated that 4% of agricultural products in the Greek market contain large quantities of pesticides and insecticides, which are known for their toxicity in the human organism, causing problems to the genetic, reproductive, immune and central nervous system.

    Scientists send out an SOS signal, especially for apples, kiwis, spinach, nectarines, potatoes and strawberries, as these products usually contain higher concentrations of pesticides in relation to others.

    Things we should be aware of, according to Professor Konstantopoulos:

    ·Lightly soap fruits and vegetables. ·Do not give children fruits and vegetables out of season. ·Do not buy tomatoes in winter, only in the summer. ·Learn to know earth's pure products. ·Thing twice before buying similar-sized, shiny tomatoes. The original Greek tomatoes have irregular size, smell amazingly and if you crack them open, they have many seeds.

    The issues mentioned above, while be brought up for discussion the coming weekend, at a meeting hosted by the Hellenic Paediatric Society.

    [13] Clash between Tatoulis, Pangalos and Venizelos Tension over Tragedy on Santorini

    28 Sep 2005 12:49:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    An intense dispute erupted yesterday between the Deputy Culture Minister and PASOK Parliamentarians Thodoros Pangalos and Evangelos Venizelos over the collapse of the shelter at Akrotiri on Santorini, which resulted in the death of one person and the injury of another six. In statements on radio station Flash, Thodoros Pangalos accused Mr Tatoulis of having broken the law, because he allowed the operation of the site without receiving permission from the Central Archaeological Council, stressing he is an "accessory to murder." As for the Government spokesperson, Mr Roussopoulos underlined there is no political liability, noting that Mr Tatoulis "spoke in detail and referred to written statements, proving he took the opinions of competent bodies into consideration before issuing any orders." In the meantime, in a Press Conference on Tuesday, the Deputy Culture Minister stressed that responsibilities for the shelters collapse lie with the contractor, which according to a special clause was responsible for the security while the shelter was being constructed. This model, as he said, had been chosen by the former Government. "I would never have assigned this venture to the Archaeological Society," he stressed.

    Venizelos Launched Attack

    Thodoros Pangalos proceeded with statements that triggered new clashes. He described the government's stance as political cowardice, as it hides behind the archaeologist of the site on Santorini and a scientific body, namely the Archaeological Society.

    "I realise Mr Tatoulis is in a tight spot, as he has political responsibility and the unfortunate luck to be held accountable for the tragic event on Santorini. In addition, as I see that Mr Karamanlis, the Prime Minister and acting Culture Minister, has left him all alone and helpless, I was modest in my statements, but there is a limit to everything," added the PASOK Parliamentarian.

    What is more, Mr Venizelos declared that both the PM and Deputy Culture Minister should assume their responsibilities and secure the objective investigation of the incident, so that responsibilities can be attributed.

    In answering, Mr Tatoulis launched an attack against the PASOK Parliamentarian, accusing him of corruption in the area of Culture.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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