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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-10-07

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Awaiting the Replacement
  • [02] Resignation Accepted
  • [03] National Affair
  • [04] Neither Gerhard, Nor Angela
  • [05] IAEA Wins Nobel Peace Prize
  • [06] PASOK on Higher Education
  • [07] Metro Railway to Piraeus
  • [08] Zisis Temporarily Suspended
  • [09] Stiff Fine on Greece is Looming
  • [10] Deadly Army Operations
  • [11] 2004 Unemployment Rate to 10.5%
  • [12] Fiscal Adjustment
  • [13] Salary Scale in Mid-November
  • [14] 2004 Unemployment Rate to 10.5%
  • [15] Solidarity Concert
  • [16] Pocket Cinematographers

  • [01] Deputy Economy Minister Resigned Awaiting the Replacement

    07 Oct 2005 15:51:00 (Last updated: 07 Oct 2005 23:12:46)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The replacement of Deputy Economy Minister Adam Regouzas will be named in the coming days. Mr Regouzas handed in his resignation after revelations broadcast by a television network on his relations with a businessman awaiting trial. "Vested interests and their servants were annoyed by the war I have declared on them," he said in his resignation letter and pointed out that he will pursue legal action. Mr Regouzas left his office at 2:30pm on Friday without making any comments. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis also refused to comment on his partners resignation. Government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos made it clear that a cabinet reshuffle as well as the likelihood that Mr Regouzas is expelled from NDs parliamentary Group is out of the question. PASOK described the Regouzas case as the "tip of the iceberg" for the government, while SYN urged the government to either dismisses or confirms the former Deputy Ministers allegations.

    Opposition Uses Harsh Tongue

    The Opposition harshly criticised the Government, prompted by Regouzas resignation.

    During his speech from Corfu, the leader of PASOK, George Papandreou, referred to the former Deputy Economy Minister saying, "As per ND, Mr Regouzas sin was not what he did, but talking about what he did. They struck one member and they made this one resign. Their aim was not to deal with the problem of corruption, but not to talk about it, so that the Greek people cannot see it."

    "The people see the truth, they see all those Regouzas types in all sectors, while the PM continues to support Mr Regouzas. It seems that he is accepting the Deputy Ministers allegations," stated Mr Papandreou, adding that the PM is responsible for the progress of the Government, that is why "we are talking about zero tolerance to lies, erroneous choices and everything that the Government says or does."

    "Mr Regouzas is a true child of the Right wing, a true expression of New Democracy," concluded Mr Papandreou.

    "Mr Regouzas is now out of office, but his way of conceiving things remains within Nea Dimocratia," commented PASOK press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis and added that Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis failed to proceed with any actions irrespective of the allegations voiced by the Opposition and the Media. "Whether he is to have a cabinet shuffle or not, Mr Karamanlis can only guarantee ill perceived, anti-popular and socially callous political practices," Mr Athanasakis concluded.

    Commenting on Mr Regouzas resignation, SYN spokesperson Nikos Voutsis reminded that "serious questions on opacity and corruption" were posed to him and went on to urge the government to "either dismisses or confirms Mr Regouzas explanations and to get to the bottom line of the problem."

    The Controversial Video

    Mr Regouzas tendered his resignation to the Prime Minister on Friday morning. A meeting at Maximos Mansion, also attended by the government spokesperson, immediately followed the aforementioned development.

    Television programme "Zougla" hosted by Makis Triantafilopoulos on Alpha television network aired a controversial video on Thursday night, showing Mr Regouzas delivering a speech at an event organised by a businessman three months after him being released from prison. "As you know, Mr Christidis, ND has assumed office for a year and a half and since I was appointed to a post, which enables me to enhance the daily and electronic press, I made sure it is enhanced through advertising, without you lodging any claim," Mr Regouzas said.

    Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis had also attended the event. Mr Psomiadis made it clear that he left the event soon and added, "I am the Prefect, not the Public Prosecutor. Only the Greek people judge the politicians."

    The businessman had been sentenced for criminal deeds, including abetting and fraud, while a fine imposed by the Financial Crimes Unit (SDOE), which has not been paid for at least a year, is still pending The television networks the businessman owned broadcast fixed games deceiving thousands of people. The fraud was revealed last June.

    "I am not aware of the publications that spoke of Mr Regouzas involvement with the businessman from Thessaloniki," commented Mr Roussopoulos when questioned to account for the reasons that prompted the resignation. He also pointed out that the government has already issued a circular determining the distribution of state advertising.

    The Chronicle of the Resignation

    Over the last weeks, Mr Regouzas has been involved in cases that stirred up controversy, with the latest being his incomplete statement at the meeting with the customs officers in June. Mr Regouzas had urged the customs officers to curb the extra fee for quicker service.

    The Opposition also accused the former Deputy Economy Minister of depenalising invoices and conducting a cursory bid for the state lottery

    Finally, a few months ago, Mr Regouzas had a disagreement with the other Deputy Economy Minister, Petros Doukas, with regard to the budget revenues. Mr Regouzas had claimed that fictitious collections had been included.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Resignation Accepted

    [02] By the Prime Minister Resignation Accepted

    07 Oct 2005 13:48:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    The Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Deputy Economy Minister Adam Regouzas, as announced by the government spokesperson at noon. Mr Regouzas submitted his resignation, after revelations on his relations with a businessman involved in television stations. The Deputy Economy Minister spoke of interests and their servants who were annoyed by the battle he had declared against them. Associates of the President PASOK commented that as many Ministers as Mr Karamanlis will change, the policies followed by the Prime Minister are in fault.

    The Letter of Resignation

    In his letter of resignation, Mr Regouzas stated the following:

    "After the constant and unfair attacks I have been facing during the previous months, I decided to resign as Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance in order to fight for my justification.

    This action is aimed at the emergence without the commitments that coincide with my current position of the truth.

    The only truth is this; the interests and their servants were annoyed by the war I have declared against them. The truth will emerge in Justice."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] National Affair

    07 Oct 2005 20:57:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    The Greek National Football Team declared it is ready for the big game against Denmark for the World Cup preliminaries. The Greek team will be chasing a victory, since that would ensure an advantage for finishing in second place, which leads to the playoffs. Otto Rehhagel and his squad trained today for the last time before the crucial match on Saturday and, fortunately, all the players participated in it, including Charisteas and Fyssas (who followed a lighter programme), as well as Dellas. After the training session, the German coach did not reveal any of his plans for tomorrows game; however, he hinted how he will be lining up his team. Of course, everything will become clearer once the lineup is announced.

    Dilemma over Dellas

    Even at the last training session before the big game, Rehhagel demonstrated that he has not yet decided on whom he will be using.

    The German head coach of the Greek team is still thinking whether he will be using Dellas in the centre of the defence. Although, Dellas seems prepared physically, his long absence may be posing some problems.

    From todays training, it looks like Rehhagel will be playing with a libero, to keep his rear covered. If Dellas does end up playing, he will probably be replaced by Goumas.

    Another dilemma listens to the name Charisteas. Ajaxs striker followed a light training programme, and if he does eventually play, he will probably line up next to Vryzas, else he will be replaced by Lymberopoulos. This is also the case with Fyssas.

    Specifically, in Fridays training, Rehhagel used Kapsis as a left back, with Dellas, Kyrgiakos and Katsouranis in the defence and Seitaridis on the right. Zagorakis, Karagounis and Giannakopoulos were in midfield, while Lymberopoulos and Vrizas were in the offence.

    Possible starting lineups:

    GREECE: Nikopolidis, Seitaridis, Fyssas (Goumas), Kapsis, Dellas (Kyrgiakos), Zagorakis, Katsouranis, Giannakopoulos, karagounis, Vryzas, Charisteas (Lymberopoulos)

    DENMARK: Sorensen, D. Jensen, Nielsen, Gravgard, Priske (Helveg), Poulsen, Gravesen, Jorgensen, C. Jensen (Larsen), Rommedahl, Tomasson.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Opinion Poll in Germany Reveals Neither Gerhard, Nor Angela

    07 Oct 2005 17:39:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The German people are fed up with the successive and futile meetings held between the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) to form a grand coalition and name the new Chancellor. As per an opinion poll conducted by the FGW Electoral Research Group, 63% of the Germans said "yes" to a grand coalition, while 56% of the participants in the poll favoured both main rivals withdrawal from the battle for the Chancellery. This opinion poll is the second one that shows the publics unfavourable stance on both Gerhard Schroeder and Angela Merkel. A research carried out by Infratest Dimap Institute and that was released shortly before Thursdays meeting between SPD and CDU/CSU had also revealed similar findings. According to that poll, 39% of the German people requested both leaders withdraw, while 41% asked Schroeder back down from the Chancellery and 16% Merkel.

    In Pursue of the New Chancellor

    The opinion poll conducted by Infratest Dimap Institute, Gerhard Schroeder received 46% as opposed to 36% Merkel gathered. However, as per the FGW poll CDU/CSU leader received 47% compared to 42% for Schroeder.

    But, who is to be named Chancellor, should the two main rivals withdraw? The Infratest Dimap Institute poll showed that 13% prefer Lower Saxony Premier Christian Wulff to be appointed to the Chancellery. However, Wulff has ruled out the likelihood to assume office. Former president of CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group Fritz Mertz received 4%, while CSU leader Edmund Stoiber and SPD head Franz Muentefering gathered 3% each. Eyes are on the new meeting scheduled for Sunday, hoping to name the new Chancellor and breaking the deadlock the September 18 parliamentarian elections stirred up.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Supporting the Fight Against Nuclear Weapons IAEA Wins Nobel Peace Prize

    07 Oct 2005 16:20:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The UNs International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005. The award was recognition of the agencys efforts to stop states and terrorists from acquiring the atom bomb and ensure safe civilian use of nuclear energy. This years nominations reached a record high, since the list included 199 people and organisations. Upon hearing the announcement, Mohamed ElBaradei declared, "Receiving the Award strengthens our resolve at a time when we have a hard road ahead of us. [] The award sends a very strong message: Keep doing what you are doing - be impartial, act with integrity, and that is what we intend to do." On her part, IAEAs spokesperson Melissa Fleming said, "Im elated. This is the most proud day of my career at the IAEA. I never thought wed see this day. Im unbelievably proud and totally happy. I can imagine he [ElBaradei] is elated and he is probably speechless." However, the Norwegian committees decision was not welcomed by everyone.

    Positive Reactions and Criticism

    "At a time when the threat of nuclear arms is again increasing, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to underline that this threat must be met through the broadest possibleinternational cooperation. This principle finds its clearest expression today in the work of the IAEA and its Director General. In the nuclear non-proliferation regime, it is the IAEA which controls that nuclear energy is not misused for military purposes, and the Director General has stood out as an unafraid advocate of new measures to strengthen that regime. At a time when disarmament efforts appear deadlocked, when there is a danger that nuclear arms will spread both to states and to terrorist groups, and when nuclear power again appears to be playing an increasingly significant role, IAEAs work is of incalculable importance," was mentioned in the text of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, explaining the reasons that led them to award this years prize to the UNs international agency.

    However, their choice prompted various reactions. Although, most of them were positive, others had a different opinion, especially the activists.

    The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, congratulated the agency and its Director, adding that since 1957, the IAEA has been working hard to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and promote the safe and peaceful use of nuclear technology.

    Furthermore, France, Great Britain, Russia and outgoing German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder welcomed IAEAs victory.

    The Israeli Governments Vice-President Shimon Peres, who had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995, declared that the award constituted a clear warning towards Iran.

    Finish mediator Marti Ahtisaari, who was also nominated for this years award, said that it was an excellent choice.

    However, some reacted negatively to the news, including Japanese Senji Yamaguchi, survivor of the Nagasaki bombing, opponent of nuclear weapons and one of the main contenders of this years Prize.

    Yamaguchi wondered why Nihon Hidankyo (Japans anti-nuclear organisation) did not receive this years prize, adding that it seemed like the committee was favouring certain countries and hinting that they made this choice so as not to offend the USA.

    Reseau Sortir du Nucleaire, the French opponents of nuclear arms, also voiced their disappointment over the award, noting in their announcement that by deceiving public opinion concerning the use of nuclear energy for military and peace purposes, the IAEA plays a very significant role in leading mankind towards extinction.

    Greenpeace also opposed the award, as, according to the international environmental protection organisation, the IAEA is promoting the use of nuclear energy around the world, even if it is for peaceful purposes, thus increasing the danger of proliferating nuclear weapons.

    The Nobel Peace Prize, a gold medal accompanied by a diploma and a cheque for $1.3 million, will be awarded to the winner during an official ceremony on 10 December, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    2005 Nobel Peace Prize

    [06] Papandreou's Speech at the Deans' Council PASOK on Higher Education

    07 Oct 2005 18:29:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Party president George Papandreou presented PASOKs views on higher education, while speaking at the Deans Council on the island of Corfu. The leader of the Opposition appeared in favour of the establishment of privately owned higher education institutes, supervised by the State. Meanwhile, he noted that state owned universities have to remain the main levers for the development of higher education. Referring to university funding, PASOKs president proposed that, apart from the grants from the 4th CSF and 5% of the GNP, money should also be raised through private funding, by creating departments bearing the names of the donors. He also submitted a proposal for the formation of a task group that would look into all factors so that every child can acquire a PC at a very low cost.

    Self-Governed Institutions

    "The main principles of our new plan include a shift from uniformity to diversity and from blind logic to supporting qualitative competition with the guarantee of public social control," mentioned George Papandreou, while presenting his partys views on higher education.

    PASOKs President also noted that contemporary needs demand that education leads to employment, while on the other hand, employment has to be in close contact with the educational system.

    Referring to the problems in the university system, Mr Papandreou stressed that the most serious were bureaucracy, the close association with central administration and the constant, non-effective administration.

    "These problems demand radical solutions," he pointed out, thus proposing self-governing of universities, based on their internal rules, decentralisation of administration and democratic participation.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Metro Railway to Piraeus

    07 Oct 2005 13:23:00

    By Jenny Charalampidou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    The Monastiraki-Aigaleo metro railway line, which stretches for 4.3 km, is to be given for public use as of the first quarter of 2007, claimed the Greek Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias. The new line will include three stations, in Votanikos, Elaionas and Aigaleo. The final tunnelling of the last metres occurred on Friday in the presence of the Public Works Minister. The 600 million euro budget expansion is to serve 80,000 passengers daily, while the route is expected to be covered in six minutes. In the meantime, the study for the expansion of the line from Haidari to Piraeus with seven stations is underway. The final study will be ready in 2006 and the construction of the tunnel is expected to commence in 2007, provided it is included in the 3rd Community Support Framework.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Held Criminally Accountable For Zisis Temporarily Suspended

    07 Oct 2005 13:07:00

    By Jenny Charalampidou

    Vice President of the Supreme Court and President of the Judges and Prosecutors Union Achilleas Zisis has been temporarily suspended. The High Judicial Council of the Supreme Court, presided by its President Romylos Kedikoglou, decided on the suspension by 9 votes for and 6 against. Before the decisions issue, Mr Zisis was called to make a statement to the Judges, and refused his involvement in his inferiors favourable decisions on three businessmen, a charge he is accountable for and in criminal Justice. Moreover, Mr Zisis demanded from the Supreme Court President and Prosecutor, who participated in the courts formation, to resign, a request which was not accepted by the two judicial workers.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] For 1,125 Illegally Operating Refuse Dumps Stiff Fine on Greece is Looming

    07 Oct 2005 11:44:00

    By Jenny Charalampidou

    The European Justice imposed a sentence on Greece for violating the EU law regarding the 1,125 illegally operating refuse dumps. Complaints, reports and interpellation submitted to the EU Parliament prompted the European Commission to lodge an appeal. Greece, on the other hand, never questioned the allegations and assured that the refuse dumps will have closed by 2008.

    They Pose a Threat to Public Health

    In the appeal it lodged, the European Commission requested the Justice recognise that Greece failed to take all the necessary steps to:

    - make sure that the solid waste are disposed without posing a threat to peoples health and without harming the environment,

    - ban abandoning, disposing and uncontrollably processing of the waste,

    - oblige waste holders to allow a private or public body to collect them or to deal with their being disposed on their own,

    - make sure that the facilities or the companies conducting disposal operations are officially registered to do so.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] 30 Soldiers Died Deadly Army Operations

    07 Oct 2005 12:25:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    At least 30 Iraqi insurgents were killed in US military operations in western Iraq. The US army launched air raids against an abandoned hotel near the borders with Syria, for it was believed to have hosted an al Qaeda-linked organisation. Eight bridges on the Euphrates river were also bombarded. In addition, in Basra, the British troops made arrest during an overnight raid aiming at suspects of hits against British troops.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] As Per Eurostat 2004 Unemployment Rate to 10.5%

    07 Oct 2005 16:39:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The 2004 unemployment rate in Greece rose to 10.5% as opposed to 9.7% in 2003, according to the data released by the European Statistical Service, Eurostat. In the meantime, the unemployment rate among Greek women amounted to 16.2% in 2004 compared 15% in 2003, while as for the young aged 24 the 2004 unemployment rate rose to 26.9%. The region of western Macedonia boasts the highest unemployment rate (16.6%), while it ranks third among 254 provinces of the 25 EU Member-States. The first two provinces are Frances overseas territories of Guadeloupe and Reunion. In Europe, the 2004 unemployment rate remained at the same level with 2003, namely 9.2%. The aggregate unemployment rate of the EU provinces ranges from 2.4% in Britains Dorset and Somerset to 32.8% in Reunion, France. As for the unemployment rate among the young, it ranges from 5.4% in Zeeland, the Netherlands to 56.6% in Reunion, France, while among women the unemployment starts from 2.2% in Dorset and Somerset, Britain and reaches 34.2% in Reunion, France.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] Fiscal Adjustment

    07 Oct 2005 14:57:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET

    The securitisation of 2006 debts aims at achieving balance and it is conducted in line with the regulations projected by Eurostat, noted the Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis. "Should any discrepancies regarding securitisation arise, they will be resolved by the Economic and Finance Ministers Council (ECOFIN), which recommended the measure to Greece," pointed out Mr Alogoskoufis. As for the fiscal adjustment, he mentioned that it is to continue undisturbed so that the deficit eases at 2.8% by the end of 2006 as opposed to 6.6% in 2004 and this years expectation of 3.6%. He also reiterated that the deficit reduction by 0.8% in 2006 will be achieved through structural measures only, as the European Commission dictates. Referring to the criticism launched by PASOK, he added that the present situation is PASOKs fault, for its officials had been withholding the real situation and therefore they should apologise instead of making accusations. PASOK press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis, on the other hand, said, "They tarnished the countrys reputation with the inventory and they are doing it again by presenting a budget that is in the air. The budget is in the air regardless of the securitisation."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [13] For Civic Servants Salary Scale in Mid-November

    07 Oct 2005 16:50:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    As noted by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, after a relevant meeting with Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Union), the Government aims at implementing new salary scale for civil servants as of 1/1/2006. As per Mr Alogoskoufis, the Government will be making its final proposals to ADEDY in mid-November, after the Budget has been reviewed by the EU. Meanwhile, the Economy Minister did not rule out the possibility of delaying the implementation of the new salary scale until 2007, provided there is no agreement or the financial indices do not allow for it. Referring to institutional matters relating to civil servants, Mr Pavlopoulos announced that the new civil servants code would be finalised by the end of October. On the part of the unionists, the president of ADEDY, Spyros Papaspyros, claimed that nothing new emerged from the meeting, while the civil servants will go on a 24-hour strike on 10 November, demanding decent pays.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] As Per Eurostat 2004 Unemployment Rate to 10.5%

    07 Oct 2005 16:39:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The 2004 unemployment rate in Greece rose to 10.5% as opposed to 9.7% in 2003, according to the data released by the European Statistical Service, Eurostat. In the meantime, the unemployment rate among Greek women amounted to 16.2% in 2004 compared 15% in 2003, while as for the young aged 24 the 2004 unemployment rate rose to 26.9%. The region of western Macedonia boasts the highest unemployment rate (16.6%), while it ranks third among 254 provinces of the 25 EU Member-States. The first two provinces are Frances overseas territories of Guadeloupe and Reunion. In Europe, the 2004 unemployment rate remained at the same level with 2003, namely 9.2%. The aggregate unemployment rate of the EU provinces ranges from 2.4% in Britains Dorset and Somerset to 32.8% in Reunion, France. As for the unemployment rate among the young, it ranges from 5.4% in Zeeland, the Netherlands to 56.6% in Reunion, France, while among women the unemployment starts from 2.2% in Dorset and Somerset, Britain and reaches 34.2% in Reunion, France.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [15] By ERT for the Katrina Hurricane Victims Solidarity Concert

    07 Oct 2005 14:18:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    A solidarity concert, the incomes of which will be given to the victims of the disastrous Hurricane Katrina that struck New Orleans, is taking place on October 15, by the ERT Choir and Modern Music Orchestra. In the concert, which will be participated by Marios Frangoulis, as well as the childrens choir of the American Community Schools of Athens, New Orleans spiritual and American melodies will be sang and heard. The ERT Choir will be directed by Antonis Karageorgiou and the Modern Music Orchestra by Andreas Pylarinos. The concert is organised by the Greek-American Centre and will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2005, at 20:30 in the Chalandri Arts Centre of ACS (Garyttou 53, Chalandri).

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [16] Films Made by Mobile Phone Pocket Cinematographers

    07 Oct 2005 13:21:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    It seems that human imagination has not limits. When it is combined with the endless capabilities of new technology, the results are unprecedented. The use of mobile phones with a camera has been already introduced to the public. Who would have known that the imagination of tech and cinema fans will leap so far and make films with a mobile phone camera? On October 7, 8 and 9, the first Festival Pocket Films will take place in Paris. The length of the films starts from 30 seconds and reaches the duration of a normal film.

    First European Festival

    As per the festivals organiser Laurence Hertzberg, there is great creativity apparent in the cinema world, as well as in moblile phone use, admitting that it is a new genre that entices only the ones involved in it.

    Hundreds of films will complete in the festival, while the biggest in duration will be of a film made in Rome.

    Already, in the US and Great Britain, the mobile phones and networks great capabilities can support the broadcast and projection of "mobisodes" (mobile and episodes), which are one minute excerpts of popular shows.

    Even if these types of festivals have not been introduced in Europe, similar events have taken place in the US, while awards have been given to mobile phone movies creators or cinematographers that have filmed movies using their mobile phone.

    The first European festival entitled Festival Pocket Films, will take place in Forum des Images film, and at the ̀aison Folie de Wazemmes in Lille.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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