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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-10-21

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] "Greece's Policy is Positive"
  • [02] To Prosecutor on Bribery Charges
  • [03] Tiny and Precious Particles
  • [04] Athanasakis' Criticism on Deficit
  • [05] Internal Friction in SYN
  • [06] "We Should be Involved With Politics"
  • [07] Three New Hospitals
  • [08] Turkish Challenges Over Cyprus
  • [09] Saddam's Lawyer Murdered
  • [10] Bosnia-Herzegovina on Negotiating Track
  • [11] Semi-Open Spaces not Legalised
  • [12] It Happens to the Best of Us

  • [01] Danuta Hubner in Athens "Greece's Policy is Positive"

    21 Oct 2005 20:27:00 (Last updated: 21 Oct 2005 22:47:08)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The European Union Commissioner, Danuta H&#252;bner, appeared satisfied by Greeces efforts on regional development. Mrs H&#252;bner held a series of contacts with governmental officials and the President of PASOK. The EU Commissioner stated that the absorbance of funds is not satisfactory currently, as it ranges at 35%, while she voiced the optimism that Greece will not suffer important fund losses from the 3rd Community Support Framework (CFS) in 2005.

    Optimism on Future Course

    After her meeting with Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis, the European official claimed that Greece can importantly contribute to Europes competitiveness, while Mr Alogoskoufis stated, that with the new Budget, public deficit can decrease even to 2.6%. In a Press conference on Friday noon, Mrs H&#252;bner stated that the review of programmes is at the right direction, and is expected to speed up the absorbance of funds, adding that the community funds on development and employment can be utilised in the best possible way.

    "We want to secure that the Greek regions and citizens will benefit by the regional policy programmes," said Mrs H&#252;bner, stating "there is no time to waste." "Greece should continue its efforts in order for the current co-funded works to be materialised the soonest possible," she added.

    Moreover, the Commissioner observed that the first discussion on the next season, (2007-2013), seems to indicate that the preparations of Greek authorities have progressed, which, based on the current knowledge, are investigating new ideas on strategies, structures and management.

    During Greeces 2000-2006 funding period, with the amount of 15,248 million euros community funds, support is provided to business programmes, which concern infrastructures, communications, competitiveness and regional development, as well as large-scale plans in transport and the environment.

    The GDP of Greece ranks, in average, at 82% compared to the EU Member-States. However, there are big differences between the GDP of each region, as well as the unemployment percentages. As Mrs H&#252;bner estimated, the cut of funds in Target 1 areas is not ruled out, however, the Commission proposed an added special handling on these cases.

    In closing, the Commissioner asked for the simplification of the legislative context on state commissions, in order for it to become more functional in action.

    Series of Contacts

    After the talks with Mr Alogoskoufis, the EU Commissioner met with Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias and discussed the European Union co-funded works.

    As Mr Souflias said, he asked for her help in order to speed up the procedures with the referrals submitted to the EU on works concessions, in order for them to be completed the soonest possible, while he reassured her that there is no danger of fund losses by the redistribution of the 3rd CFS. Furthermore, the issue of solid waste disposal, over which the Minister stated that within November, three Ministerial decisions will be issued, was discussed.

    Mrs H&#252;bner also met with Deputy Economy Minister Christos Folias, who accompanied her to the tour of the co-funded works. Also, she held discussions with Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas and Deputy Foreign Minister Giannis Valynakis.

    The visit of the Commissioner in Greece was concluded with a meeting with PASOK President George Papandreou. "The ND government has missed opportunities and community funds and I am afraid that it will continue doing so," noted Mr Papandreou after the end of the meeting. As he said, he asked Mrs H&#252;bner for her assistance, in order for Greece to absorb all funds from the 3rd CFS, as well as receiving a greater amount from the 4th CFS, voicing PASOKs support to this effort.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    On The Right Track for CSF

    [02] Criminal Proceedings Against 60-Year-Old Woman To Prosecutor on Bribery Charges

    21 Oct 2005 21:09:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    On Friday evening, policemen of the Omonoia Police Department arrested a 60-year-old woman on charges of attempted bribery, of a close associate of the Deputy Employment Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos. The woman, who resides in Moschato, placed a 5,000-euro check in a box of sweets, in an attempt for her son to be appointed in the Public Sector. The arrestee, 24-hours previously, had visited the office of Mr Giakoumatos and had offered his staff cheese pies. On Friday morning, she returned, holding two boxes of sweets. As per the Police, one was offered to the staff, and the other placed in his associates office, as at the time, the Deputy Minister was absent. When the Ministers associate returned to his office he was astounded as he opened the box and saw an envelope containing a check, signed by the woman, in the sweets. Mr Giakoumatos associate immediately contacted him, who informed the Prosecution, and following the 60-year-old was arrested in her house. Criminal proceedings commenced, on bribery charges, while the Prosecutor ruled that the brief should be given to an interrogator, due to the seriousness of the case.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] A Research by British Scientists Tiny and Precious Particles

    21 Oct 2005 19:03:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: nature.com

    A precious way to reduce the cost, as well as the pollution of oxidation, a chemical reaction, which occurs during the production of detergents, food additives and pharmaceuticals, was discovered by scientists of Cardiff University, in Great Britain. The scientists used tiny particles of gold, in particular nanometres, in order to activate atmospheric oxygen in low temperatures. During oxidation, the chemical factories add oxygen atoms to carbon atoms, in order to produce a variety of different chemicals. Up to this day, atmospheric oxygen could not have been used as an antioxidant, as very high energy percentages are needed, to break the bond between the oxygen atoms, for active oxygen to be produced. Thus the reaction is conducted with other oxidants, such as paracetic acid, which produces toxic waste. A British discovery will end this procedure, as it will result in the activation of oxygen in temperatures between 60 to 80&#186;C.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    Cardiff University

    [04] Athanasakis' Criticism on Deficit

    21 Oct 2005 18:18:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    PASOK spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis concluded a difference of estimations between the Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis, and the Minister of Economy, Giorgos Alogoskoufis, in relation to the 2006 deficit. The PASOK spokesperson cited the Athens News Agency, which referred to the Prime Ministers written speech to the Economist Conference, which among others stated, "the 2006 deficit is expected to decrease to 3% of the GDP, in particular to 2.8%." Mr Athanasakis said that Mr Alogoskoufis reportedly stated, that the 2006 deficit will decrease to 2.6% of the GDP, in the conference. As the PASOK spokesperson stated, in relation to the 2.6% decrease, that it is a new fact, which does not coincide with this mornings prediction in the Ministry of Economys website, which spoke of a 2.8% decrease of the deficit. Furthermore, Mr Athanasakis wondered if the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Economy could reach a conclusion on the deficits prediction for the deficit, or if they are mocking and whom.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Deficit to 2.6%

    [05] Konstantopoulos Discontented with Alavanos Internal Friction in SYN

    21 Oct 2005 16:24:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, NET, NET 105.8

    A statement by the President of the party, Alekos Alavanos, in Parliament, has caused friction within SYN. The reason was Mr Alavanos action of withdrawing a question directed at the Prime Minister, in relation to the Olympic Airlines privatisation, describing "the presence of Deputy Minister of Transport Anastasios Neratzis in the place of Mr Karamanlis," as "disregard towards the Parliament." "For over a year and a half, the Prime Minister has only appeared once to answer to MPs and Presidents of the Parliamentary Groups questions, as in this case. I totally respect the Deputy Minister, as well as the so-called substitution by the relevant Transport Deputy Minister, at the time that the OA is one of the main issues, which concerns the Greek society," he said.

    In replying, Mr Neratzis stated that the Prime Minister excusably did not attend, and observed, "SYNs reaction was not the same in similar cases of other governments, when we used to use binoculars to view the PM." Mr Alavanos stated that last week, the PM answered to a question posed by Mr Konstantopoulos.

    The comment caused the discontent of the former President of SYN: "I am astonished, and I dont want to comment further," said Mr Konstantopoulos.

    From Chania, Mr Alavanos, returning to the subject a while later, tried to straighten out the situation: "My criticism is related to the governments stance in Parliamentary procedures, and the only aim is the PM," he noted. "So, I repeat, that Mr Konstantopoulos question was very apt. I also repeat that the PM, after a year and a half, appeared in Parliament, for the first time, to deliver a speech on the Mass Media issues, corruption and not to answer to specific and clear questions by the MPs, such as the SYNs President," said Mr Alavanos.

    It is noted that the President of SYN will resubmit his rejoinder in Parliament.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] "The Country is not Doing Well" "We Should be Involved With Politics"

    21 Oct 2005 15:26:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    On Friday, Konstantinos Mitsotakis urged for the involvement with politics, and not small party politics. This statement followed the meeting with the President of the Republic, during which, they discussed mainly the great problems of foreign policy. In a journalists question on whether the governments image, after the turkey sample case, has disappeared, Mr Mitsotakis replied that we have more serious issues that concern us, and he does not like to denote the conversation. "We have responsibilities to this country, " said the ND honorary President. "The government is doing its job very well," stated alternate government spokesperson Evangelos Antonaros.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Under Public-Private Partnership Three New Hospitals

    21 Oct 2005 13:01:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET Radio 105.8

    From the Economist's podium, the Health Minister announced that the Health Ministry is planning on building three new hospitals. In particular, Mr Kaklamanis stressed the three hospitals include a General Hospital with 800 beds, a Children's Hospital with 400 beds outside the Attica basin and a Transplant Centre with 250 beds. He also underlined that the main precondition to ensure public interest is that all three hospitals will remain under the Greek National Health System (ESY), while all agencies, which have been privatised, will remain under private individuals, as long as they abide by the rules of the contract. At the same time, the Minister announced a job opening for a financial consultant, who will help realise the partnership plans.

    PASOK Parliamentarian Evi Christopoulou moved on the same wavelength, stressing she agrees with this new institution, as long as the preconditions for public interest are ensured with transparency and social control. "Each government needs to ensure transparency creating the preconditions and processes that would allow social control, safeguard public interest and continuously upgrade citizens' medical treatment," she concluded.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Violation of Air Space Turkish Challenges Over Cyprus

    21 Oct 2005 11:22:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The Turkish Air Force proceeded with new violations of the Cypriot Republic air space when two RF-4 spy planes, specially designed to take pictures, and two F-16 fighter jets entered the Cypriot air space from the area of occupied Carpasia and flew around the island for 45 minutes, gathering information regarding the National Guard drill "Nikiforos 2005." This is the second time in a week that the Turks are violating the air space of the Cypriot Republic. Military sources reported that "the Turks want to create a climate of tension" in the wider area and accuse the Greek-Cypriot side of finally proceeding with the drill.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] One Hour After Being Kidnapped Saddam's Lawyer Murdered

    21 Oct 2005 14:45:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Saddams lawyer Saadoun Nasouaf al-Janabi was found dead one hour after being abducted by ten armed men that invaded his office on Thursday night. However, given that the murder was not announced until today, Interior Ministry sources said the body was discovered Friday noon. Mr Janabi was acting for one of Saddam Husseins co-defendants, Awad Hamed al-Bandar, a former top judge. His abduction triggered the outrage of his colleagues. Badi Aref Izzat, former Iraqi government vice president Tariq Azizs lawyer, described the abduction as "scandalous," while he accused the American army of not protecting those participating in the trial.

    Climate of Fear

    "If we cannot protect the lawyers, how can our clients be protected and how will witnesses dare to show themselves in court?" wondered Badi Aref Izzat, adding that the incident will not stop him from proceeding with his mission.

    "Iraq is under the protection of the US army and we accuse it for this tragic incident. As per the Geneva Convention, the occupying force is obliged to defend the citizens of the occupied country," said Saddam Hussein's lawyer Khalil Dulaimi on television network al Jazeera.

    Dulaimi added that the incident aimed at creating a climate of fear for the lawyers defending the members of a legitimate leadership, stressing that threats against Saddam's lawyers are continuous.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] To Commence Negotiations Bosnia-Herzegovina on Negotiating Track

    21 Oct 2005 14:10:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Today, the European Commission gave Bosnia-Herzegovina the green light for the commencement of accession talks with the EU, following the adoption of a reform concerning the police in Bosnia. On Tuesday, the countrys central Parliament ratified the reform, aiming at unifying the countrys police forces, which are divided based on ethnicity. Brussels asked for the implementation of this measure, in order to finalise Bosnias union agreement with the EU. The agreement constitutes the first step towards acceding in the European Union for the countries of the western Balkans.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Stated the Environment Minister Semi-Open Spaces not Legalised

    21 Oct 2005 16:43:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: NET, Ta Nea newspaper

    There is no issue of legalising semi-open spaces that have been converted into apartment rooms, clarified Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias. At the same time, he added that these irregularities are still fined by law, while there will be a relevant regulation in the Bill, which was announced last week. As per an article in Ta Nea newspaper, the Government is looking into the possibility of fining those who have broken the law with a penalty amounting to 30% of the semi-open space's objective value. However, even after Mr Souflias' announcements, many apartments in newly erected blocks are sold with semi-open spaces converted into rooms and as a result buyers are obliges to pay for an extra room, which has been illegally built.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] It Happens to the Best of Us

    21 Oct 2005 17:59:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    A small village in India has drawn all the attention after the local astronomer predicted the date and time of his death. And since the big event was to happen yesterday morning sometime between 10:30 and 12:30, hundreds of people flocked Madhya Pradesh, as the village is named, to see for themselves if 75-year-old Kunjilal Malviya would indeed die and prove his prediction right. They waited and waited and waited but in vain. The man simply wouldn't die. It seems that God had other plans for the famous astronomer, who has never been proved wrong in his prophecies. However, there is a first time for everything. Kunjilal survived his prediction and is in perfect health. The news were also confirmed by the Police officers guarding his home in fear he would even attempt to commit suicide just to prove his prediction right. His family was scared to death and even counted the seconds, as they had truly believed they would lose him. As for the astrologer, he said he is alive because of his relatives and friends' prayers! We cannot say whether he is right or wrong, but one thing is for sure. He will try hard not to save himself, but his reputation!

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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