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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-10-17

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Suspect Case on Oinousses
  • [02] Aegean was Shaken
  • [03] Dispute Over Hirings-Foreign Policy
  • [04] Shenzhou VI Returns
  • [05] Papoulias Visits Cyprus
  • [06] ND in the Lead
  • [07] Mercantile Marine Minister at Maximos
  • [08] Former DEKA Members on Trial
  • [09] Merkel Appointed Ministries
  • [10] Ballot Counting Takes Time
  • [11] Turkey's Extreme Views on Union Protocol
  • [12] Reform Programme Was Submitted
  • [13] Instructions on Heating Oil Purchase and Use
  • [14] Social Security of Bank Employees

  • [01] Action Plan in Force Suspect Case on Oinousses

    17 Oct 2005 18:26:00 (Last updated: 17 Oct 2005 21:26:17)

    The first suspect case of the avian flu in Greece was detected on a turkey farm on the Agean Sea island of Oinousses. The owner of a small turkey farm notified the Veterinary Directorate of the Prefecture of Chios about the presence of the strange symptoms and losses among the turkeys in his unit. The authorities immediately took samples and sent them the Athens Veterinary Institutes. As per the lab tests, one of the nine samples was tested positive to the H5 virus, but it has not yet been confirmed whether the deadly H5N1 strain of the avian flu was detected. The samples were sent to a special veterinary centre in Thessaloniki to be further tested. The Ministry of Rural Development released an emergency circular ordering the Chios Veterinary Directorate to implement the Emergency Action Plan.

    Immediate Measures

    The Emergency Action Plan requires the local authorities proceed with the an immediate and analytical description of the poultry products and forward the implementation of measures that include:

    - a ban on the movement of all people, vehicles, animals, meat, eggs and carcasses from it,

    - the disinfection of poultry unit.

    In the context of the action plan, the Ministry of Rural Development decided to place the area, where the suspect case was detected, into quarantine until the Theassoniki laboratory determines whether it is the H5N1 virus that is transmitted from chickens to humans.

    Many laboratories worldwide have been working on preparing vaccines to fight the H5N1 virus. The first effective vaccines are to be available in a six-months time.

    The Chios Prefect Polydoros Labrinoudis underlined that the turkey farm in question has been placed under quarantine since Friday.

    A veterinary crew lead by the Veterinary Directorate Chief Giannis Karydis arrived on Oinousses.

    On Tuesday, the Ministry is to send two veterinaries to boost the Chios Veterinary Directorate.

    Rural Development Minister, Evangelos Basiakos pointed out that all precautionary measures ordered by the EU have long been taken and only if the H5N1 virus is confirmed will the birds of the unit in question be culled.

    The President of the Greek Centre for Infectious Diseases Control (KEEL), professor Angelos Hatzakis said that the couple living in the turkey farm has been confined to house arrest for seven days for precautionary reasons only. He also made it clear that the possibility they have been infected with the H5N1 strain of the avian flu is extremely slim.

    On Tuesday, a panel of KEELs doctors is to fly to Oinousses to conduct tests on the couple.

    What We Should Know

    Crowded poultry units are inductive to multiplying the avian flu virus, which infects those who come to everyday close contact with the infected chickens.

    Those infected were either poultry units owners, or people who had transferred live infected birds to markets.

    People who have been infected with the avian flu tend to develop the typical symptoms of the ordinary flu, including high temperature, cough, sore throat and muscle pain.

    A simple blood test can diagnose whether someone has been infected or not.

    The two anti-virus drugs "Tamiflu" and "Relenza," which may combat the disease provided that the avian flu is diagnosed at the initial level, is the only weapon humans have against the deadly virus. On the other hand, the anti-flu vaccine, which is already available in the market and offers protection from the typical flu virus, can do nothing against the avian flu virus.

    Many laboratories worldwide have been working on preparing vaccines to fight the H5N1 virus. The first effective vaccines are to be available in a six-months time.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Vaccine with Prescription

    [02] Three Strong Earthquakes in Four Hours Aegean was Shaken

    17 Oct 2005 18:55:00

    Three strong earthquakes measuring 6, 5.9 and 5.5 on the Richter scale shook the eastern Aegean and the Turkish coast on Monday. The first quake measuring 6 on the Richter scale was recorded at 08:45am and its epicentre was located in the sea area between Chios, Ikaria, and the coasts of Turkey. It was felt in the region of the Aegean, including Athens. At 12:46pm a second earthquake followed, measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale and another that measured 5.5. Seismologists will be able to make announcements after 48 hours. However, they estimate that these were primary earthquakes but are carefully observing the after-quake activity. In the area of Smyrna, thirty persons were injured, while in Chios and Samos schools and public buildings were evacuated.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Papandreou-Roussopoulos Conflict Dispute Over Hirings-Foreign Policy

    17 Oct 2005 17:19:00 (Last updated: 17 Oct 2005 21:52:54)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    On Monday, government spokesperson Thodoris Rousopoulos fiercely replied to the accusations made by President of PASOK George Papandreou on the hirings of ND followers in the Public Sector. Mr Rousopoulos accused the leader of the Main Opposition Party of political audacity and intentional inaccuracy, while he noted that they are not new hirings but contract renewals, which have been changed to indefinite time, or those concerning the point system. Mr Roussopoulos also strongly reacted to Mr Papandreous criticism on the foreign policy followed by the government. "Upon Mr Papandreous initiative, his nihilistic opposition is expanding even to the delicate issues of foreign policy. PASOKs interests seem to be more important than the interests of the country," the government spokesperson pointed out.

    "Fear and Quandary"

    Earlier, following the meeting of PASOKs Political Council, George Papandreou accused the government of displaying fear and being in a quandary with regard to the countrys foreign policy.

    "In the threshold of the developments, we are witnessing a government being in a quandary and in fear, a government that misses chances and brings the country to a deadlock," he argued, underlining that PASOKs governments earned the country a feeling of security and safety.

    He further added that PASOK will keep suggesting solutions and proposals, so that Greece can enjoy more successes.

    Regarding the issue of hirings, Mr Roussopoulos claimed, "We are freeing employees from the hostage situation that PASOK imposed on them with a procedure outside of ASEP," and added that the issue will be explained in detail by Minister for the Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos, in Parliament.

    "An old practice of PASOK is to create numbers as it wishes, and to create an virtual reality which holds up its propaganda, presenting deficient budgets as in-surplus. The concealment of the truth by PASOK is a yearly tradition continuing up to this day," Mr Rousopoulos concluded.

    Related News:

    Wide-Ranging Accusations

    [04] Will Remain Isolated for 14 Days Shenzhou VI Returns

    17 Oct 2005 13:39:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC, CNN

    After five days in orbit, the crew of Shenzhou VI, Fei Junlong, 40, and Nie Haisheng, 41, landed on Earth, in perfect health. The Chinese spacecraft, which is the second manned space mission of China, safely returned to Earth in Inner Mongolia, on 04:32, on Monday (Sunday 23:32 Greek local time). China, following the footsteps of the USA and Russia, is the third country sending a human to space. The first manned Chinese mission was in 2003. The capsule with the two taikonauts landed with a parachute one kilometre off the initial position, a routine change as per the experts, which was necessary due to the Earths gravity. After the landing, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng voiced their happiness, mainly because all their fellow countrymen were standing by their side, while they enjoyed noodles, chocolate and tea, before departing for the military base in a helicopter. The two taikonauts will be undergo medical examinations, while they will be in isolation and medical observance for 14 days, as only their relatives will be able to visit them.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Shenzhou VI in Orbit

    [05] Touring the Towns of Cyprus Papoulias Visits Cyprus

    17 Oct 2005 13:59:00 (Last updated: 17 Oct 2005 19:01:47)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The second day of the Greek Presidents visit, started with his arrival at the Cease Fire Line, the "Green Line", which separates free Nicosia from the occupied territory for the past 31 years. During an official ceremony, the Mayor of Nicosia awarded him the golden key of the town. "The current unacceptable occupation situation is a blatant anachronism for modern mankind," noted Karolos Papoulias, speaking at the Town Hall of the Cypriot capital, and added "the wall separating Nicosia is shameful for the civilised world and the EU values that support the European construction." Furthermore, the President visited the Greek Forces Base in Cyprus (ELDYK), while in the afternoon, he will speak at the House of Commons. On Sunday, the Presidents of the two countries reconfirmed the common strategy of Greece and Cyprus of more active participation in the European Union. Karolos Papoulias, who is on an official visit in Cyprus, and Tassos Papadopoulos sent a clear message to Ankara to conform to the negotiating context of its European course, which it has accepted, as in any different case it is in danger of its accession discussions being halted.

    Message of Support

    Karolos Papoulias sent a message of Greeces support in the joint fight of the Cypriot Republic for the reunification of the island and " the securing of a functional solution for the Cypriot issue, which will respect human rights, freedom of expression, employment, ownership and settlement."

    The President of the Republic, who was proclaimed an honorary citizen of the Cypriot capital, whilst receiving the golden key by Nicosia Mayor Michalis Zabelas, noted, "our choice is a fair and viable solution based on a well prepared procedure, without deadlines and tight timelines." A procedure, which "with a serious prospect can end to a widely acceptable solution of a intercommunal, bizonal confederation of two constituent states, in respect to the resolutions of the UN Security Council and in compatibility with European principles and values."

    Karolos Papoulias, applauded by young students holding Greek and Cypriot flags at the Nicosia Town Hall, in the presence of Vasos Lyssaridis and former Nicosia Mayor Lelos Dimitriadis, repeated that Greece is a partner of Cyprus and supports its fight. The President noted that in the new European environment, in which Cyprus belongs in the developed states "is in a position to face the future in self-confidence, without fear and defeatism," and added Turkey should take up its duties to the EU, "responding and proving that it deserves to be a part of the European family."

    Furthermore, Karolos Papoulias visited the Pancypriot Gymnasium, which is the oldest and established in 1821, where he was warmly welcomed by its students who wore local outfits and besprinkled him with rose petals.

    The President referred to the historic course of the Pancypriot Gymnasium, its contribution to the 1821 Greek Revolution, and the fight against colonialism, and stated that the school "is still a modern and healthy spiritual organisation which enthusiastically and self-confidently contributes to the future of creation in the new European environment, securing a part in the modern European development, forming the new identity of the European citizens, its rights and ideals which are based on the eternal values of Greek philosophy and justice."

    Karolos Papoulias, who is accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Giannis Valynakis, arrived at the National Guard General Staff where he was briefed, and following at the Greek Forces Centre stationed in Cyprus (ELDYK) in Malounda.

    Earlier, the President of the Republic laid a wreath at the Makedonitissa Tomb, where Greek officers and privates are buried in, casualties of the summer of 1974 during the invasion of the "Attila" in Cyprus.

    Discussions with Political Leaders

    The leaders of Cypriot political parties praised Mr Papoulias contribution to the resolution efforts, in a meeting with the President at his hotel. Furthermore, they briefed him of their views on the Cypriot issue and Turkeys accession course in the EU, while they expressed their gratitude of Greeces support to Cyprus.

    The President of the Republic met with AKEL Parliamentary spokesperson Nikos Katsouridis, President of DYSI Nikos Anastasiadis, alternate DIKO President Nikos Kleanthous, President of EDEK Giannakis Omirou, President of the European Party Sotiris Syllouris, President of EDI Michalis Papapetrou, alternate ADIK President Edwin Iosifidis, General Secretary of the Green Party Giorgos Perdikis and President of EURODI Prodromos Prodromou.

    Furthermore, Mr Papoulias also held meetings with former President of the Cypriot Republic Giorgos Vasileiou and honorary EDEK President Vasos Lyssaridis.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    A Message of Solidarity

    [06] 1.2% Lead over PASOK ND in the Lead

    17 Oct 2005 13:45:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    ALCOs opinion poll, which was conducted on behalf of newspaper Press Time and is being published today, gives ND a 1.2% lead over PASOK. According to the survey, the governing party gathered 34.8% in voter intention, as opposed to 33.6% for PASOK. "In the middle of its term, ND is soundly losing the trust of the voters of the centre, which is completely denouncing its policies in all major issues," commented PASOK MP Anna Diamantopoulou on radio station NET 105.8. On the other hand, ND MP Katerina Papakosta declared, "The Government is in the middle of its term, at the most crucial point, and it is quite logical for the citizens, who expect results on a daily basis, to be concerned." She also added, "Despite all this, the PM has kept his strong lead, which proves that the people trust him." This was the first opinion poll since the April 2004 elections in which a ballot box was used.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] With Prime Minister over Ministerial Issues Mercantile Marine Minister at Maximos

    17 Oct 2005 13:21:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Ministry of Mercantile Marine is starting the development course of big works at Greeces ports, the first one of which will be announced on October 21. These works are aimed at the better development of the 3 billion euro financing Protocol by the European Investments Banks. Furthermore, the Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis and the Prime Minister discussed the bills of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine on incorporating Mercantile Marine education and diving to Higher Education Institutes. The bills also foresee reforms for the reinforcement of Greek cruises and the signing of privileged contracts for the 6-year rental of ships, which will perform border island routes.

    Upon his exit from Maximos Mansion, and questioned on the latest articles which caused his enragement on television shows, Mr Kefalogiannis repeated that he handles all matters with decency and dignity. "We are not backing down, as anyone who libels will be tried by Justice, if they can afford to do so," underlined the Minister of Mercantile Marine, adding that policy is exercised in the Parliament and not in other areas.

    The dispute had risen by an article published in "Proto Thema" which concerned Mr Kefalogiannis associates in the Ministry, and the reply letter he had sent to the newspaper.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Former DEKA Members on Trial

    17 Oct 2005 11:12:00 (Last updated: 17 Oct 2005 16:09:36)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8 - ANA

    The trial against the former CEO of the Public Enterprise for Liquid Assets (DEKA), along with another five members of the Board, by the Three-Member Court of Felony Appeals was postponed until Tuesday. The defendants are charged with misconduct and direct complicity to the company, in addition to the incriminatory provision for embezzlement of public finances. The case relates to transactions performed by DEKO in March 2000, just before the elections, aiming at driving the Stock Exchange index up and resulting in losses to investors amounting to 717 million euros. The defendants are: Ioannis Koutsoulakos, Georgios Niotis, Vasilios Manesiotis, Panagiotis Markopoulos, Georgios Kalias, Athanasios Sagos and Maria Papadonikolaki.

    "It is a case that concerned many Greeks in 1999 and 2000, because PASOK tried and succeeded to a great extent to use the Athens Stock Exchange case to its political advantage. During that time, the Greeks were deceived with political initiative and political strategy by the former government. We will wait for the answers in court," noted government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos, in answering to a relevant question.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Announced CDU/CSU Ministers Merkel Appointed Ministries

    17 Oct 2005 14:51:00 (Last updated: 17 Oct 2005 18:44:08)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    On Monday afternoon, the new Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel announced her Ministers in the Christian Democrat and Social Democrat government. Eight out of the 16 members of the new government, among them the Chancellor, will belong to CDU/CSU and the other eight to the SPD. As per the announcement, the CSU, President, Edmund Stoiber has ensured the Ministry of Economy and Technology. Franz Josef Jung was appointed to the Defence Ministry, while Wolfgang Schaeuble returned to the Ministry for the Interior. Moreover, Annette Schavan was appointed to the Education and Research Ministry, Ursula von der Leyen to the Family Ministry, and Thomas de Maiziere will be Chancellery Minister. The Ministry of Agriculture will be taken up by Mr Stoibers close associate, Horst Seehofer. In closing, the President of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary team will be Volker Kauder.

    The CDU/SPD Government:

    Chancellor: Angela Merkel (CDU)

    Chancellery Minister: Thomas De Maiziere (CDU) Labour Minister: Franz Muentefering (SPD) Minister for Economy and Technology: Edmund Stoiber (CSU) Foreign Minister: Frank Walter Steinmeir (SPD) Finance Minister: Peer Steinbrueck (SPD) Interior Minister: Wolfgang Schaeuble (CDU) Defence Minister: Franz Josef Jung (CDU) Health Minister: Ulla Schmidt (SPD) Transport Minister: Wolfgang Tiefensee (SPD) Education and Research Minister: Annette Schavan (CDU) Justice Minister: Brigitte Zypries (SPD) International Development Minister: Heidemarie Weiczorek Zeul (SPD) Environment Minister: Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) Agriculture and Consumer Protection Minister: Horst Seehofer (CDU) Family Minister: Ursula Von Der Leyen (CDU)

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Ballot Counting Takes Time

    17 Oct 2005 21:40:00

    Following the Iraqi Electoral Commissions decision to proceed with verifying the results in certain provinces, the announcement of the final results of the referendum on Iraqs new Constitution will take a few more days. The Commission was forced to take this decision, since, as it reported, the results collected so far from many provinces need to be re-examined, compared and verified for they are relatively high in comparison to the international standards. As per the Commission, samples taken at random form areas where the results are either much higher or much lower than average will be examined. A Commission source argued, "Problems have not been reported in the Sunni-populated areas."

    Satisfaction to the USA-UK-EU

    The Electoral Commission announced that 90% from the Shiite-populated provinces of Basrah, Karbala, Maysan, Najaf, and Dhi Qar voted in favour of the Constitution.

    On the contrary, in the predominantly Sunni-populated provinces of Salahuddin and Diyala the votes cast against the Constitution were overwhelming.

    US President George W. Bush hailed on Monday the participation of the Sunnis in the election process as a rather positive development.

    He did not comment, though, on the fact that the Shiite populations massively voted for the new Constitution.

    The US President further noted that violent incidents reported during this election process were significantly decreased as opposed to the election held last January.

    He finally voiced his expectation that Iraq will ratify the new Constitution and will proceed with the organisation of parliamentary elections in the future.

    British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana released a joint statement on Monday describing the referendum as a new historic step for the Iraqis.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] For the Docking of Cypriot Ships Turkey's Extreme Views on Union Protocol

    17 Oct 2005 13:52:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Yashar Yakish, the President of the Turkish Parliamentary Harmonisation Committee with the European Union, declared that opening the Turkish ports to ships under Cypriot flag did not constitute the end of the world, while he added that it also did not signal the recognition of Cyprus. In statements he made to the Turkish-Cypriot newspaper Kypris, Mr Yakish said that it was possible for Turkey to open its ports without recognising southern Cyprus. He also referred to Taiwan as an example, since, as he said, although it does not recognise many countries, it continues conducting business with those and therefore, opening the ports and recognition were two different issues. In addition, the Turkish official repeated that none of his countrys Governments would be recognising southern Cyprus, unless as solution is found to the issue with Cyprus.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] For 2005-2008 Reform Programme Was Submitted

    17 Oct 2005 20:47:00

    Sources: ANA

    Aiming to boost employment, development and social cohesion, the Greek Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted the 2005-2008 Reform Programme for Development and Employment to the European Commission. Restoring the fiscal balance, safeguarding the long-lasting sustainability of the countrys economy, increasing competitiveness, improving the environment climate and strengthening employment are the Ministrys top priorities for the upcoming three-year period.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [13] General Secretariat for the Consumer Advises Instructions on Heating Oil Purchase and Use

    17 Oct 2005 16:44:00

    A leaflet containing eleven instructions on the wise use of the heating oil so that the Greeks enjoy more heat with less possible cost was released by the General Secretariat for the Consumer. The leaflet is available in the Citizen Service Centres (KEP) throughout Greece.

    Eleven Instructions

    The General Secretariat for the Consumer advises consumers to:

    1. compare the prices and go for the less expensive one,

    2. know exactly how many litres their tanks can take,

    3. assign the delivery of the heating oil to those who know how it is done,

    4. follow all necessary security measures while receiving the oil to avoid any accidents,

    5. make sure the heating oil is reddish, the colour can guarantee the quality of the heating oil,

    6. record along with the deliverer the amount of the oil that exists in the tank before and after the delivery,

    7. use their own organ to measure the litres their tank can take. In doing so, consumers have to know the dimensions of the tank,

    8. check out the oil level in the tank five minutes after the delivery,

    9. pay the deliverer as long as all the required data, including the clients full name and address, quantity, time of delivery, are included in the invoice,

    10. maintain the central heating system at least once a year. The end of the heating period, namely April or May, is the best time to proceed with the maintenance of the system,

    11. never leave the boiler function without fuel, for the pump is destroyed.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [14] In Alogoskoufis-Panagiotopoulos Meeting Social Security of Bank Employees

    17 Oct 2005 15:47:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET

    The steps towards the realisation of the law on the social security fund of the bank employees and the operation of a Joint Security Fund for the Bank Employees (ETAT) as of 1/1/2006 were at the focus of the meeting held on Monday evening between the Economy and Employment Ministers. Messrs Alogoskoufis and Panagiotopoulos also discussed the economic studies that are still pending, as well as the required Presidential degree, which is almost ready. "It is only the Emporiki Bank that has expressed its interest in being incorporated into the ETAT, while the Agricultural Bank is expected to follow suit," underlined Mr Alogoskoufis. At the same time, commenting on the publications that spoke of TEBEs inability to pay the pensions and the Christmas bonuses, Messrs Alogoskoufis and Panagiotopoulos assured that the government guarantees both the smooth payment of the pensions and the financing of the social security funds. They did not miss to note that the budgets headings suffice, while in case additional ones are needed, they will be covered by the budget. On his part, the Development Minister argued, "Should any organism of the Public Sector and of the wider public sector decide to proceed with the voluntary redundancy plan, the organism itself has to undertake the plans implementation."

    Translated by Areti Christou

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