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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-10-06

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Big Night Has Come
  • [02] Dramatic Developments With Flash
  • [03] Keep Up
  • [04] Poupakis Against Papoulias
  • [05] Stricter Sanctions
  • [06] EU Document is Criterion
  • [07] Clean-up Operation
  • [08] Crucial Deliberations
  • [09] Oil Prices Slide
  • [10] Flying towards the Dream
  • [11] Lifesaving Combination Vs Cancer
  • [12] Briefing on OA
  • [13] Open to Proposals

  • [01] For New Singers Big Night Has Come

    06 Oct 2005 21:01:00 (Last updated: 06 Oct 2005 22:45:10)

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The grand final of the Thessaloniki Song Festival has started. The Song Festival relives this night in the most spectacular of ways after eight years of hiatus. The particularly eye-catching stage, which looks like a tower, has made the difference. It enjoys three levels with screens to monitor the event and the contesters while singing their song. Greek singer Zak Stefanou and radio programme producer Margarita Mytilinaiou are the hosts of the show. The crowds of people that have crammed PAOKs football pitch are trying to inspirit the contesters with warm applauds and cheers. Tonights show is broadcast live on NET television network, NET radio station 105.8, Second Programme, ERA-5 and

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] ESIEA Proposes Nationwide Strike Dramatic Developments With Flash

    06 Oct 2005 20:00:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    President of Parliaments Committee on Institutions and Transparency Mr Karamarios is to send a letter to the government, on the occasion of the crisis that has erupted with radio station Flash. Mr Karamarios intends to provoke a discussion on the legal void with regard to the transfer of radio stations. On the issue of Flash s frequency, former Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis recommended that the employees or the scheme they are to propose be preferred. On his part, ND parliamentary spokesperson Viron Polydoras agreed with Mr Kaklamanis proposal and dismissed the rumours saying that the government agreed with businessman Sokratis Kokkalis and that lack of pluralism suits the government.

    In the meantime, developments on the sale front are dramatic. After reporter Nikos Kakaounakis revealed on Wednesday night that he offered to buy Flash SA despite Mr Kokkalis decision to close down the radio station, the Board of Directors of Flash SA and SPORTNEWS called those interested in the future of the radio station and the website to submit their proposals. GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos will suggest GSEE participate in the effort to contribute to the smooth running of the radio station.

    Furthermore, the board of the Journalists Union of Athens Daily newspapers (ESIEA) decided to propose a nationwide strike for all Mass Media organisations. The Matter troubled the Board of Directors on their first meeting after its formation, during which they also decided to stage rallies in Athens in front of the Ministries of State and Employment, over the accumulated problems being recorded in the Press and media sectors. In the meantime, speaking on TV station NET, ESIEAs president, Panos Sombolos, announced that editors Nikos Kakaounakis, Themos Anastasiadis and Emilios Liatsos have expressed their interest to buy the radio station.

    ESIEA also spoke of an attack against the employees by suspending their labour and social security rights and infringing their collective work contracts. "The situation has become critical. It can go no further. This policy has to be overturned. Our strength lies in the rallying and action of all employees in Press and Media sectors," concluded the announcement.

    "Attack Against the Employees"

    ESIEA also spoke of an attack against the employees by suspending their labour and social security rights and infringing their collective work contracts. "The situation has become critical. It can go no further. This policy has to be overturned. Our strength lies in the rallying and action of all employees in Press and Media sectors," concluded the announcement. The time of the proposed strike and rally will be decided by the Steering Committee of the collaborating Unions and the Panhellenic Federation of Journalists Unions (POESY).

    ND Secretary General of NDs Parliamentary Group Apostolos Spyrou expressed his support to the Flash employees. KKE parliamentarian Liana Kanelli and SYN MO Fotis Kouvelis were in favour of Kaklamanis proposal and noted that Planet radio station has come up against similar problems. Finally, former ND leader Miltiadis Evert questioned the Flash employees ability to keep the radio station running. In the meantime, 20 PASOK parliamentarians, including Tilemachos Hytiris, Apostolos Kaklamanis and Christos Verelis, submitted an amendment on the issue of transferring the radios station to a group of journalists.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Fiscal Reorganisation Proves Promising Keep Up

    06 Oct 2005 18:10:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The course of fiscal reorganisation the Greek economy has embarked on has generated positive results, however, the efforts should be ceaseless lest the reorganisation fails. This is what EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Joaquin Almunia pointed out in a joint Press Conference with Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis. The EU Commissioner underlined that the European Commission praises the governments efforts on fiscal adjustment, however, he mentioned that certain measures are viewed as inadequate, therefore more permanent structural measures are required. The measures should not halt growth, social cohesion and employment, Mr Almunia claimed. As far as the securitisation of debts to the Public sector, the EU Commissioner noted that the measure in question is necessary for 2005 due to the expected shortage of revenues and the limited time. He added, though, that will not be the case for 2006, citing that the deficit should be reduced with the implementation of structural measures. On his part, the Greek Economy Minister reiterated that the Governments top choice is restoring fiscal transparency and underlined that the deficit was reduced by 3 units this year without exposing growth and social cohesion to danger.

    Projections Are Expected in November

    Mr Almunia pointed out that the European Commission has congratulated the Greek government since April on the measures it took for reorganising the countrys economy, and added that the government is to submit a report to the European Commission in late October. "We will analyse and assess the report," said Mr Almunia, "and we will publish our projections for 2006 in mid November."

    The European Commission will then issue its opinion on the report. The opinion will be discussed at the Council of Economics and Financial Ministers (ECOFIN) in early 2006. Mr Almunia described some of the measures already taken as inadequate and explained that structural measures should be implemented in 2006.

    During the Press Conference, Mr Almunia made it clear that neither the European Commission nor he as a EU Commissioner will recommend measures that will halt growth. "No growth means no job creation. The structural reform is a prerequisite for growth and employment," he added.

    With regard to information that spoke of certain Member-States using a "creative logistic" to present a lower public deficit, the EU Commissioner argued that in some occasions, the EU Member-States are discussing the issue with "external players." For that reason, he added, Eurostat has increased its personnel force to conduct better inspections.

    On his part, Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis made a reference to the close cooperation the Economy Ministry enjoyed and still enjoys with the EU Commissioner and he went on to mention the promising results of the Greek economy despite the "really unfavourable climate." "The deficit was reduced to 3.6% this year as opposed to 6.6% in 2004, without exposing growth to danger.

    Mr Alogoskoufis pointed out that the inventory revealed the full scale of the public deficit and that the inventory was conducted so that the Greek government knows where it stands. "Credibility was restored," Mr Alogoskoufis said and noted that the government stays focused on fiscal reorganisation.

    Finally, he claimed that there are both permanent and temporary measures for the countrys economy. He also mentioned that certain measures ease the fiscal inequalities, yet they are at the expense of growth and social cohesion.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] "He Has Not Forgotten His Political Origins" Poupakis Against Papoulias

    06 Oct 2005 15:58:00 (Last updated: 06 Oct 2005 21:22:01)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8

    Thursdays meeting between the GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) presidency and DAKEs President, who is also GSEE Vice President, was extremely heated. DAKEs President Kostas Poupakis lashed out at GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos, for he met with the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias to discuss the employees problems without the presence of the GSEE presidency. Mr Poupakis also spoke of an undemocratic behaviour on the part of Mr Papoulias as opposed to his predecessor, a behaviour that shows that he has not forgotten his political origins. The verbal attack against Mr Papoulias triggered a widespread discontent. Mr Poupakis rushed to make it clear that he is not accusing the President of the Republic, underlining that it is not Mr Papoulias fault, but the blame lies on those who failed to protect him, clearly implying Mr Polyzogopoulos. The GSEE President reacted saying that such degrading allegations should not be heard at the plenary session and issued an announcement claiming that the members of the GSEE presidency look up to the President of the Hellenic Republic.

    Government Spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos was asked to comment on the issue. Mr Roussopoulos said he was not aware of the issue raised and added that the current President of the Hellenic Republic is highly respected by the overwhelming majority of the Greek.

    He Refuted His Statements

    Earlier, at the GSEE meeting, Mr Poupakis also accused PASKEs members (trade union linked to PASOK) of trying to put the Confederation under PASOKs influence as well as of bullying. Deputy GSEE President Alekos Kalyvis voiced his discontent over the GSEE members that were chosen to meet with the President of the Hellenic Republic.

    However, DAKE President refuted his earlier statements stating that he fully respects the President of the Hellenic Republic.

    The Presidency of the Republic issued an announcement explaining that the meeting was held upon GSEE President request and that Mr Polyzogopoulos had informed he would proceed on his own. The announcement also read that the President of the Hellenic Republic does not intervene in the domestic affairs of the trade unions, does not intervene in the way they operate nor he suggests the way they should be represented.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Stricter Sanctions

    06 Oct 2005 16:01:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    The Medical Code of Conduct submitted, in a bill form, in Parliament on Thursday, by the Minister of Health Stricter foresees disciplinary penalties and sanctions for violators. Among others, the Code of Conduct proposed the context of patient-doctor relations and their duties, the relations of doctors with their professional and social environment, while the main rules on the conduction and publication of a research study are stated. The penalties for the violators, apart from sanctions, range from 50,000 to 200,000 euros.

    Fines and Imprisonment

    On the violators that exercise the dentist's profession without a degree of a dentistry school, a sentence of 6 months is foreseen, as opposed to 3 currently in force, and the fine of at least 2,000 euros, as opposed to 300 currently in force.

    As per the Code of Conduct, the doctors that are placed in specialisation positions, as long as they serve and in Legal Figures of Public Law, maintain the incomes of their original position.

    The ones specialising in ICUs and infants ICUs are exempted from the reform.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Statements by Koumoutsakos EU Document is Criterion

    06 Oct 2005 14:20:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    On Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Giorgos Koumoutsakos stated: "The motto and the reference point of the Greek stance is the agreed documents by the 15 EU countries, which will be constantly present during Turkeys accession course," commenting on the recent statements by Turkish officials in relation with the foreseen by the Negotiating Context on the implementation of the Customs Union Connection.

    All Will Be Evaluated

    Mr Koumoutsakos repeated that the British Presidencys statements, in relation to a veto right by Turkey on Cyprus accession in international organisations "does not have a legal effect," noting that the Greek side accepted it as "self-explanatory in international relations."

    However, the spokesperson explained, "the way that Turkey will impose the veto will be judged in the context of the accession procedure."

    Replying to a question in relation to the presence of Turkish occupation troops in Cyprus, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated that all will be evaluated in the procedures development and added: "The issue of occupation troops has been condemned repeatedly by the international community. Turkey is accountable for its actions. It is a very complicated issue, which is connected to the resolution of the Cypriot conflict in the UN context."

    On violation tactics in the Greek FIR by Turkish fighter aircrafts, Mr Koumoutsakos stated "is in discordance with Turkeys duties on good neighbouring relations."

    Simitis: "No Closure in Turkey's Issue"

    "Greece was always positive of Turkeys European prospect, however I believe that a necessary action was over-exaggerated," said former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who met with PM of Luxemburg Jean-Claude Juncker today, in Athens. "From now on we should pay attention to the course, the consequences and the developments in general," said Mr Simitis.

    In a phone conversation with journalists, the former PM explained that by exaggeration, he meant that fanfares, celebrations and rejoicing took place, at a time when the substance dealing with Turkeys stance towards Cyprus was not discussed, as well as human rights, issues which should have been introduced by the Greek government. Mr Simitis stated, "There was no closure in Turkeys issue."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Garbage Trucks on the Streets Clean-up Operation

    06 Oct 2005 20:02:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Shortly after the Ano Liosia refuse dump reopened, the clean-up teams went on the streets to collect the garbage from Athens neighbourhoods. On Wednesday night, the employees at Hygienic Refuse Burial Area decided to halt their nine-day collective actions. They have decided to accept only garbage and not the sewage sludge. They also announced that should EYDAP (Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company) try to transfer sewage sludge from Prittaleia, they will close it anew. On his part, Deputy Public Works Minister, Themistoklis Xanthopoulos asked for the citizens understanding with regard to the sewage sludge transfer from Psittaleia. The European Justice issued a sentence on the illegally operating refuse dumps in Greece.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Refuse Dump Reopens

    Only for Garbage

    [08] Almunia's Contacts in Greece Crucial Deliberations

    06 Oct 2005 13:31:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ΑNA - ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The successive deliberations over the Greek economy by the relevant EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Joaqu&#237;n Almunia, who is in Greece at the moment, are continuing for the second day running. At noon, the Commissioner met with Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis and Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis at Maximos Mansion. According to information, the Greek Governments efforts and initiatives to rationalise the countrys public finances were discussed during the meeting. At the moment, Mr Almunia is meeting with PASOK president George Papandreou. Furthermore, later on, he will speak in Parliament, during a joint emergency session between the Economic Affairs, European, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Production and Trade Committees and MEPs. At 5pm, the Commissioner will be giving his much-anticipated Press conference, along with Mr Alogoskoufis. Yesterday, Mr Almunia met with the Economy Minister and was briefed on the positive progress of the Greek economy, as well as the amount of the deficit, which is quite high and is expected to be restricted to under 3% in 2006. He asked for reforms in labour relations and social security, and incentives for boosting competitiveness and fiscal stability, while he proposed implementing part-time employment and simplifying the tax system.

    Juncker: We Support Athens' Efforts

    The Greek Government is focusing on preparing the ground for the Commissions consent to its demand over the securitisation of debts to the Public sector (amounting to 3.8 billion euros), aiming at countering the deficit. The governments economic body believes that there will be no problems with the EU, since a relevant decision was also made for Portugal.

    It should be noted that the European Central Banks (ECB) Board convened this morning in Athens, focusing on the EUs monetary policy. The meeting concluded with a decision to keep the interest rates unchanged. Specifically, it was decided that the minimum bid rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 2.00%, 3.00% and 1.00% respectively. The proceedings will end with a joint Press conference to be given by the directors of the Bank of Greece and the ECB, Messrs Nikos Garganas and Jean-Claude Trichet, during which they will refer to the matter of interest rates.

    On the sidelines of the proceedings and referring to Greeces fiscal deficit, Luxemburgs PM and Economy Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also Eurogoups president at the moment, spoke of the tough task undertaken by the Greek Government and which it is handling with responsibility. As Mr Juncker noted, it is a tough assignment and that is Athens efforts have to be supported.

    In the meantime, in his interview to the Financial Times, Mr Almunia accused the European government of using modern financial tools to disguise their deficits.

    The European Commissioner noted that some banks are proposing the same financial methods to different governments, a fact that has been making the relevant authorities task of abiding by the fiscal rules very tough, thus undermining the Euro. He also stressed that, apart from the public deficit, the collection of financial data, especially from Greece, Italy and Portugal, has been posing problems. Referring to Greece, he added that it has been submitting erroneous data since 1998.

    Criticism for Almunia's Statements

    Mr Almunias statements prompted criticism on the part of the Opposition parties. Commenting on his proposals concerning the implementation of more permanent measures in social security, KKEs General Secretary, Aleka Papariga, noted that the Commissioner is reiterating orders by the EU, which have been co-signed by the rest of the parties, while she repeated the communist partys opposition to privatising DEKOs.

    Mr Lafazanis, SYNs member responsible for Economic and Social policy, also commented on Mr Almunias statements, saying, "Not only do they provide a European alibi to the governments anti-labour policy and the austere budget for 2006, but they also reveal the direction of the anti-social reforms that will be followed by the government in the near future." Referring to the securitisation, he said that if Greeces demand is eventually approved by the relevant Community agencies, it would demonstrate that the European Commissions is prepared to look the other way, just as long at the government follows the path of neo-liberal anti-reforms.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    European Estimations

    Top Priorities

    [09] Due to Decline in Demand Oil Prices Slide

    06 Oct 2005 21:29:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Crude oil futures were down two dollars per barrel on Thursday both in London and in New York, due to decline in demand, claimed analysts of the American fuel market. In New York, crude oil for immediate delivery fell to Augusts lows at 60.70 dollars. In London, Brent stood at 58.50 dollars, also felling to two-month lows. In fact, the slide of oil prices to more reasonable levels is projected to be a long-term one.

    As for the decline in demand, the US Department of Energy announced that it has fallen to 2.6% as opposed to early October in 2004. Regarding the heating oil, it posted a 3.8% decline.

    It is noted that the oil output in the Gulf of Mexico, an area highly affected by hurricanes Rita and Katrina, remains stuck to an 86.66% capacity, as well as that twelve oil refineries on the most populous US coast have not yet resumed operation.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] Flying towards the Dream

    06 Oct 2005 12:58:00

    By Thanasis Karlos

    The Greek National Football Team departed for Copenhagen at 10:25 this morning with a sole purpose: victory. On Saturday, the Greek team will play against Denmark in the most important, as it turned out, preliminaries match, where a win will pave the way for qualifying to the World Cup finals in Germany. The Greek players kept their lips hermetically sealed and avoided making any statements, promising that they will be making a statement on the pitch. Angelos Charisteas and Takis Fyssas were eventually included in the squad, although it would be very hard for them to play, as they are both suffering from injuries. However, this will be finalised after the first training session on Danish soil on Thursday afternoon. Both players followed individual training programmes yesterday, as did Giorgos Karagounis, who was experiencing some problems with his metatarsal. Despite his injury, though, the Benfica midfielder will not miss the game, even if he has to play under the influence of medication.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Rehhagel Believes in Victory

    [11] Prevention and New Medical Practices Lifesaving Combination Vs Cancer

    06 Oct 2005 13:58:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Optimistic messages for women, primarily the ones affected by breast cancer, are concluded by the findings of the Hellenic Breast Surgery Association (EXEM), presented in a Press conference, in view of the informative and cultural events on the awareness of women which will take place in October. As per the Associations President, Christos Markopoulos, preventive checks combined with new detection, surgery and systematic treatment methods save the lives of women affected by breast cancer. Regardless of the fact that during the past years the frequency of breast cancers appearance is increasing in Greece, and nearing the data of Europe, the majority of the women do not die of the disease, while a number of women is treated and continue their life as normal, stated Mr Markopoulos.

    Necessary Early Prevention

    An important fact, as in every cancer case, is early prevention, while the cancer is in an early stage, can be successfully treated. Allies to women are the new advanced detections and treatments, which save thousands of lives, while their informing and frequent prevention checks are a necessary priority.

    "Take your life in your hands, and guard it," said the President of the Hellenic Association of Women with Breast Cancer "Leap of Faith," Letta Chatzi and called on the women to inform themselves on breast cancer and how it can be countered effectively. It is noted that October is World Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Furthermore, Mrs Chatzi said that EXEM decisively contributes to the materialisation of the groups aim, which is the organised self help of its members, the psychological and social support and rehabilitation of patients by special professionals, and the informing of all women.

    New Knowledge in Health's Service

    Mammograms help the detection of small sized tumours that have not spread, while new and more effective drugs, in relation to the previous decade, have importantly decreased deaths by breast cancer.

    Another detection method is needle biopsy, which can give the tissue identity of a tumour, pre-operative, a fact that helps the doctor and patient decide on the countering of the problem. Moreover, preventive checks that detect small tumours, which cannot be felt, give the surgeon the capability of being more conservative, and removing the tumour without affecting the breast.

    Progress in the departments of pharmaceuticals and research is great, since gene controls and hormone therapy give useful data on the body of every woman, and the choice of a more suitable treatment.

    Greeces breast surgeons, in collaboration with Leap of Faith and the Volunteers Against Cancer Group, founded EXEM. On October 8, they organising a cultural event in the Athens College Amphitheatre in Paleo Psychico entitled "Breast Cancer The Start of a New Life." The event is dedicated to the members of the Hellenic Association of Women with Breast Cancer, and includes an exhibition of the Associations members, a theatre play with Alberto Eskenazy and Dimitra Aggelopoulou, and a concert with Glykeria, Melina Kana and Gerasimos Andreatos.

    During the event, informative leaflets on breast cancer will be given out, while women can undergo a mammogram free of charge.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:


    Leap of Faith

    [12] Briefing on OA

    06 Oct 2005 15:30:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    President of OA Petros Papageorgiou described the privatisation of the company as a one-way street, in his statement to the Parliamentary Transparency and Institution Committee, in relation to an article published by Kathimerini, which sounded the alarm in case of liquidating the company whilst in operation. Moreover, Mr Papageorgiou urged the government to renegotiate OAs contract with Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. In closing, he repeated that the company will make an appeal to the European Court on the convicting decision against it.

    Question on the Closure of Two Agencies

    The issue of the closure of two OA agencies in Omonoia and Kifisia was discussed in Parliament in a question submitted by SYN MP Fotis Kouvelis.

    In the meantime, EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot, stated that the model of Belgian company Sabena can also operate in Greece. When the specific air carrier went bankrupt, a new company was created, which secured state grants and took up part of its routes. However, OAs technicians reacted to this event. In a rally staged this morning, at the technical base of Eleftherios Venizelos Airport, they made clear that they accept neither a privatisation nor personnel re-assignments.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Rally Staged at Athens Airport

    [13] On Energy Market Open to Proposals

    06 Oct 2005 14:30:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Respecting the citizen is beyond the unions ends, pointed out Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas when answering a question regarding the strikes GENOP/PPC (General Federation of Employees of Sector of Electric Energy) has scheduled for Monday. It is noted that GENOP/PPC opposes the draft bill that provisions the opening up of the electric energy market. However, Mr Sioufas stated he is open to proposals until the bill is submitted to Parliament. Earlier on Thursday, Mr Sioufas along with the Deputy Development Minister Giorgos Salagoudis and the Ministrys Secretary General Nikos Stefanou presented the bills on opening up the electricity and natural gas markets, biofuels as well as the setting up of a National Council for Energy Strategy.

    3.5 Billion Euros Investments

    He also noted that the Ministrys leadership is expecting 3.5 billion euros investments in the energy sector in the years to come, while he underlined that except investments, creating new jobs and providing consumers with many choices rank among the Ministrys top objectives.

    The bill on biofuels clears the way for the production of diesel fuel and petrol from vegetable raw materials, including cotton, wheat and beets.

    Mr Salagoudis claimed that the bill is to decrease Greeces dependence on oil and it also provides farmers with the ability to cultivate energy plants.

    As per the relevant EU directive, biodiesel is to cover 5.75% of oil consumption in Greece by 2010.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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