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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-10-03

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Karamanlis Sends Message
  • [02] Awaiting Discussions
  • [03] Where Did the Rat Go?
  • [04] Eyes Turned to Sky
  • [05] Papantoniou Refers to French Justice
  • [06] EU Decides Tonight
  • [07] Heaps of Garbage
  • [08] Premiere of Flexible Work Hours
  • [09] CDU Win in Dresden
  • [10] Boat Capsizes
  • [11] They Fail to Agree
  • [12] Budget Draft Bill Submitted
  • [13] Hammock in Space

  • [01] Zero Tolerance to Corruption Occurrences Karamanlis Sends Message

    03 Oct 2005 11:12:00 (Last updated: 03 Oct 2005 13:40:33)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Prime Minister send a message to all for zero tolerance on corruption occurrences, wherever they may come from, during his speech in the celebratory meeting of the ND Parliamentary Committee, on the 31st anniversary of the party. The meeting took place in the Senate Hall after the end of the Holy Blessing, which commenced the proceedings of the Parliamentary Plenary Session, at 12:00. Kostas Karamanlis is determined to put an end to introversion, while he cautioned his partys MPs, noting that he will not stand for non-transparency occurrences in any case. The main issue of the meeting was the programming of the partys action. The Prime Minister harshly replied to the Oppositions attacks, and referred to the efforts of the government for an improvement of economy, and the initiatives taken for the increase of the countrys growth indexes. Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis and the partys steerers will also speak at the meeting. Earlier, Mr Karamanlis met with Miltiadis Evert in Parliament after a demand by the former ND President.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Tough Nightlong Negotiations Awaiting Discussions

    03 Oct 2005 07:05:00 (Last updated: 03 Oct 2005 12:12:01)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8, BBC, ANA

    The discussion of European Union Foreign Ministers in Luxemburg, are expected to be repeated at 10:30, in order for an unanimous decision to be reached, in the context of accession negotiations of Turkey, which are scheduled for today. During yesterdays emergency "25" FM meeting, tough negotiations took place, which stopped shortly before 02:00, however, as well referenced sources stated, constituting important progress towards the agreement. However, the President of the General Affairs Council and British FM Jack Straw stated this morning that he is not sure that the dead end will be avoided, while Austrian FM Ursula Plassnik noted that there are hopes on an agreement. Today, the British Presidency is expected to present a draft document, which will be composed after discussions with the Austrian delegation, which appears willing to accept that the final aim of the negotiations is Turkeys accession, under the condition that specific prerequisites will be set. The Greek delegation supported the start of the accession negotiations, stating that the concerns of every Member-State have to be taken into account. Turkish Foreign Minister remains in Ankara.

    Austria: Accession Under Conditions

    On one hand, Austria asks that Ankara fulfil all criteria for its accession, and on the other, if the EU is in a position to integrate Turkey when its accession time comes.

    As the President of the General Affairs Council and British FM Jack Straw stated, progress has been made in the discussions, which however would continue during the night and in Monday morning, in order for an agreement to be reached, and the ceremony of Turkeys start of accession negotiations to begin in the evening, as scheduled.

    After yesterdays "25" FM dinner, Austria, on Sunday night, remained fixed on its position, which is that an alternative of a privileged relationship should be foreseen in the document, in the case that Turkeys accession is not possible in the future.

    "We should be more specific on our alternative proposals," stated Austrian FM Ursula Plassnik to the Press, since as she noted, "there is the either event that the accession criteria is not fulfilled, or the EU not being able to integrate Turkey."

    Actually, she refused that Vienna, since the beginning, is attempting to obstruct the start of the negotiations.

    Moreover, the Austrian delegation denounced "the isolation and pressure" received in Luxemburg, adding that is an unacceptable practice within the Union.

    Luxemburgs FM voiced the hope "that an agreement will be reached in order for the discussions with Turkey to commence within the day. In any other case problems will be caused since EUs credibility will be affected," stated Jean Asselborn.

    The Dutch FM said that this is a bad day for Europe in the case that the discussions fall through.

    "Turkeys future is in Europe. We will work hard to achieve that. We have to make clear to our people that Turkey is an advantage to Europe," stated Bernard Bott.

    British Minister of European Affairs Alexander Douglas stated that the start of accession negotiations is a one-way street, noting that the British Presidency wants full accession for Ankara.

    "My position on Turkeys accession in the EU remains exceptionally reserved. However, this is not derived by my refusal to the Turks, but my idea of a political Europe, a well-rounded Europe," stated French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to radio station RTL.

    Sarkozy, reminded that his party, UMP, had voted against the accession of Turkey.

    "The President of the Republic took safety measures, since the French will decide on the subject with a referendum when the time comes. And if the French say No, there will be no accession," he said.

    Croatian File Investigation Postponed

    The issue of investigating Croatias file, in relation with the progress made in order for accession negotiations to start with the country, has been postponed, until an agreement is reached with Ankara.

    Political Dispute

    The handlings of the previous crucial negotiations on Turkey have become an issue of dispute between the government and the Main Opposition Party.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Petros Molyviatis, in an interview on NETs show "PRESS," accused PASOK that as government abandoned the Helsinki timeline. On his part, George Papandreou described the stance of the government in the negotiations as submissive.

    Rally by Turkish Nationalists

    Thousands of Turkish nationalists rallied against the EU on Sunday night in Ankara, a few hours before the crucial "25" FM meeting.

    The protesters shouted anti-European slogans and held banners, which stated, "We dont believe in the EU," or "Not the EU, nor the US; a full independent nationalistic Turkey."

    The collective actions had been scheduled by extreme-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and took place peacefully.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    They Fail to Agree

    [03] Where Did the Rat Go?

    03 Oct 2005 12:11:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Passengers on a Qatar Airways plane spotted a rat on board, forcing the plane to remain grounded for some 13 hours. After informing the crew on the illegal rodent passenger, the pilot decided to proceed with an emergency landing and evacuate the craft, so as to locate the rat. The plane grounded in the Philippines, where it was thoroughly searched for 13 hours, but maintenance workers were still not able to find and catch the rat. Eventually, passengers reboarded and the flight took off, while it yet remains unknown where the rat was among the passengers or had disembarked somehow. "I have never seen such an incident before," said chief of operations at the airport Octavio Lina.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Annular Solar Eclipse Eyes Turned to Sky

    03 Oct 2005 11:45:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A large part of Earth was found under the shadow of the Moon shortly after 11:00 Greek local time, in a solar eclipse, which is visible in our country. The spectacular show will start at 12:34 and end at 14:03. This eclipse will be highly visible in parts of Spain, Portugal and Africa and partially visible in Greece, with the Sun being covered by 40% to 58% depending on the area (smaller in the northeast and larger in the southwest). Madrid will see the show its entirety since at 11:56 Greek local time 90% of the solar disc will disappear. The shows so-called stars during the eclipse are the Sun, Moon and Earth when they perfectly align. During the phenomenon, the Moon will pass in front of the Sun, and will either totally or partially cover it. It is advised that you do not view the eclipse with a naked eye as blindness can occur.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    In Moon's Shadow

    [05] Papantoniou Refers to French Justice

    03 Oct 2005 09:33:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Giannos Papantoniou referred to French Justice for the Press articles on the Navy frigates upgrading programme in 2003. In particular, the PASOK Parliamentarian and former Defence Minister said the following, "My answer to the ridiculous slander of a man remand in custody and awaiting trial for corruption, a former employee in a French company, is the immediate referral to French Justice. This is why I have asked French law firm Garcia to immediately exercise the legal judicial measures for the protection of the truth and myself. The French Justice will have the last word."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] On Turkey's European Future EU Decides Tonight

    02 Oct 2005 19:45:00


    The EU Foreign Ministers are having a meeting in Luxemburg to decide on a compromising solution with regard to the negotiating framework for Turkeys accession talks. A few hours prior to the dinner, diplomatic sources mentioned that the UK, current holder of the EU Presidency, held bilateral talks with the Austrian delegates. UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that the non-commencement of Turkeys accession talks scheduled for Monday would represent a failure for the EU. "This is a crucial meeting for the future of the European Union. I hope we will finally reach an agreement," Straw pointed out. On her part, Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik voiced her hope that the objections to Turkeys membership will be dealt with. "The EU should choose between elevating to a world leading bloc, if accession talks resume on Monday, and to a closed Christian club, if the Member-States reject Turkeys bid," argued Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The communist party of Turkey staged a demonstration against the EU in Istanbul.

    Speaking on NET television network, Greek FM Petros Molyviatis appeared optimistic regarding Turkeys future in Europe. In his interview with the Sunday edition of Kathimerini, Mr Molyviatis stated, "It would be a mistake for Turkey to miss this historic chance to join the EU."

    At the same time, he sent a message to Ankara underlining that from this moment forth the Turkish side should start complying with the EUs norms and principles. "Respecting good neighbouring relations does not fall in line with military activities, provocations in the Aegean Sea and the anachronistic reasoning of casus belli," claimed the Greek FM.

    On his part, Turkish President Necdet Sezer mentioned that the developments with regard to Greece-Turkey relations have created the necessary conditions that are to facilitate the settling of the bilateral issues.

    PASOK leader George Papandreou lashed out at the governments policy on EU-Turkey and Greece-Turkey relations in his article on the Sunday edition of Ethnos. PASOK leader accused the government of undermining Greeces role.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Aimed at Agreement

    [07] Ano Liosia Refuse Dump Closed Heaps of Garbage

    03 Oct 2005 10:08:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The garbage in the streets of Athens have formed heaps, since employees in the Ano Liosia refuse dump continue their strike for the 7th day, protesting over work conditions due to sewage sludge. The Mayors of Attica have asked residents to not take out garbage, while the Bimunicipal Committee will stage a protest rally at the Ano Liosia XYTA. "There is a problem in all of Athens streets. We hope that the strike will end tomorrow," stated Athens Deputy Mayor Christos Tentomas to NET 105.8, and added that the citys crews are spraying bags of garbage situated out of trashcans and cleaning out gullies, fearing eminent rainfall.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] New Bill Enacted as of Today Premiere of Flexible Work Hours

    03 Oct 2005 08:24:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The new labour bill is enacted today, which is expected to affect 60,000 wage makers, as the employer can demand that the employee works up to two hours over the 8-hour day, in busy periods, with the pledge that within four months, that the overtime will be returned by days off and leaves. As per the government, the cost of overtime is decreased, in order for the employers to actually pay the extra working hours. The Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) is reacting to these reforms, and estimated that employees total incomes will be affected. The ones that will benefit will be the employees and the employment department, answers Deputy Minister of Employment Gerasimos Giakoumatos.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Merkel Wins 226 Seats CDU Win in Dresden

    03 Oct 2005 08:40:00 (Last updated: 03 Oct 2005 10:56:09)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters, NET 105.8

    On Sunday, the Christian Democrats have won one more seat after the elections in Dresden, Germany, as the electoral procedure was postponed due to the death of a right-wing party candidate. Thus, the party of Angela Merkels party won 226 seats, the Social Democrats (SPD) 222, the Free Democrats 61, the Left 54 and the Greens 51 seats. As per the final results in Dresden, where participation reached 72.1%, Christian Democrat Andreas Lammel prevailed against Social Democrat Volker Kauder by 37% as opposed to 32.1%, while Left Wing candidate Katja Kipping received 19.3%. It is noted that the discussions of the two opponents for the formation of a "Great Coalition" are expected to commence on Wednesday.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Dresden Votes

    [10] On a New York Lake Boat Capsizes

    03 Oct 2005 00:46:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: CNN

    A small cruise boat carrying 50 people capsized on Sunday on Lake George in upstate New York. CNN television network reported that 19 people were killed and many were injured. So far there has been no information on what caused the boat to overturn. The accident occurred before 3pm local time (22:00 Greek local time), in a tourist area 320km north of the city of New York.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] The EU Foreign Ministers They Fail to Agree

    03 Oct 2005 00:04:00 (Last updated: 03 Oct 2005 08:33:16)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA

    During Sundays meeting, the EU Foreign Ministers failed to reach a compromising agreement on Turkeys accession talks. Ankaras Foreign Ministry sounded the alarm. Turkish Foreign Minister Gul called a meeting among Turkeys senior diplomats ahead of the decision to be made on Mondays emergency Summit of the EU Foreign Minister. Austria insisted that an alternative be offered in case Turkey fails to join the EU. Diplomatic sources mentioned that the UK, current holder of the EU Presidency, intends to call an official Summit of the EU Foreign Ministers irrespective of the failure to arrive at an agreement. The decision of the British Presidency is translated into an effort to exert pressure on Austria, which stands alone among all 25 EU Member-States to keep obstructing the official commencement of Turkeys accession talks scheduled for October 3. The Greek delegates, on the other hand, favoured Turkeys accession negotiations underlining that the reservations and objections of every Member-State should be taken into consideration. During the meeting, Greek FM Petros Molyviatis pointed out, "This is an extremely significant meeting, and therefore everyone should be careful regarding the decisions to be made." Exiting the meeting chamber, European Unions High Official for Foreign and Security Issues Javier Solana stated, "We hope we arrive at an agreement." Cyprus Foreign Minister Giorgos Iakovou and his Slovenian counterpart Dimitrij Rupel also voiced their belief that an agreement is feasible.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] Draft Bill Without New Tax Measures Budget Draft Bill Submitted

    03 Oct 2005 08:19:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    Fiscal adjustment and reinforcement of economy dynamics will constitute the two main priorities of the 2006 budget, the draft of which will be submitted today in Parliament. The new budget foresees a growth rate of 3.8% and the fiscal deficit at 2.8% of the GDP. On the issue of incomes policy, the rise in wages will range above the deficit, while the increases will be larger in pensions. On pensions and the Pensioners Social Solidarity Supplement (EKAS), the Minister of Economy will pledge for rises double the deficit. On the course of oil prices for the compilation of the draft bill, all the latest estimations of international organisations and the Commission have been taken into account, and approximate $60 per barrel for next year.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] Third Space "Tourist" On ISS Hammock in Space

    03 Oct 2005 10:46:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    American businessman Greg Olsen is enjoying his vacation in the International Space Station (ISS), and he is the third space tourist in history. Russian spacecraft Soyuz TMA-7, which launched on Saturday morning, successfully docked on ISS, as announced by the Russian Mission Control. American governor William McArthur and Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev will accompany Olsen, and will make up ISSs 12-member crew. The space vacationing will last ten days and the American businessman will return to Earth on October 11, with the current ISS crew. "I will relax and think happy thoughts after the rocket launch. Nowadays, anyone can take one airplane flight a week. The same will be observed for space flights as there will be other tourists like me," stated the businessman shortly before the launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

    Olsen, founder and owner of "Sensor Unlimited," a company that develops and produces highly sensitive film and photo cameras, and works with the US space agency (NASA), will perform experiments during his vacation.

    The ticket price for the original vacationing had not been disclosed, however it is estimated that the businessman paid around 15mn euros. Two other vacationers have previously boarded the station: American Dennis Tito in 2001 and South African Mark Shuttleworth in 2002.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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