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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-10-24

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Record-Breaking Doner
  • [02] Greek Products Are Safe
  • [03] Triple Attack in Baghdad
  • [04] Economy at Focus
  • [05] Justice Will Answer
  • [06] Trolley Bus Schedules Disrupted
  • [07] Historic Agreement on Energy Market
  • [08] Wilma Did Not Affect Oil Prices
  • [09] Musical Ensembles at Concert Hall
  • [10] Siesta for Good Memory
  • [11] Flea-Antifreeze
  • [12] Party on Sale

  • [01] Largest Doner Kebab Cooking in Patras Record-Breaking Doner

    24 Oct 2005 21:22:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but in the case of Kostas Dasios, a restaurant owner from Patras, Greece, the saying does not apply. Since the early hours of Monday morning, Dasios has been cooking the worlds largest doner kebab (or gyros, as it is called in Greek, from the word turning), in an effort to break the record held by his Lebanese colleague, Sami Eid. A giant skewer, 1.73m high; an enormous rotisserie, with 72 cookers; a 2-ton gas cylinder; and a 4hp motor were set up on the port of Patras. As for the meat, with the help of another 32 of his colleagues, the aspiring record man managed to put onto the rotisserie two tons of pork, while the first portions started being distributed to poor families and shelters a little after 1pm.

    Naturally, a party, with traditional Greek music, was thrown at the port of Agios Nikolaos, where the giant doner kebab was being cooked until late at night, while all those present tasted a bit of the meat, as the cooks started distributing 100gr portions to the gathered crowd.

    In order for the record to be official, all two tons have to be cooked, which requires 12 hours.

    The current Guinness world record holder is Lebanese Sami Eid from Cyprus, who made the worlds largest doner kebab weighing 1,503.66 kg and measuring 1.51m high, at the Rotary Club of Limassol, on 10 June 2001.

    Dasios and Eid, however, are not the only doner kebab record holders in the Guinness Book of World Records.

    Just one year ago, on 23 October 2004, in Australia, Lebanese Mohamad Mansour broke the record for the largest doner kebab with pita bread (souvlaki for the Greeks), as it weighed over 400kg.

    Mansour made the souvlaki using 30 kg garlic, 80 kg lettuce, 40 kg onions and 200 kg meat, while the pita bread was baked in a special oven.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] Broad Meeting at Rural Development Ministry Greek Products Are Safe

    24 Oct 2005 20:43:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ANA - ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The Greek Minister of Rural Development and Food, Evangelos Basiakos, voiced the belief that the final results of the viral tests from the blood samples collected from the turkeys on Oinousses will be negative. Speaking at the Council of Agriculture Ministers in Luxemburg, he asked for the lifting of restrictions on imports of Greek poultry products, provided the results turn out all right. He also stressed the need for implementing specific measures to support poultry farming, which has been greatly affected by the reduction in consumption, as well as the sharp drop in prices. In the meantime, the discussions during the broad meeting at the Ministry of Rural Development, under Deputy Minister Alexandros Kontos, also focused on the support of the poultry farmers, while it was also noted that consumers can buy Greek poultry products without fear.

    No Need to Panic

    The broad meeting was attended by: the General Secretaries of Consumers and Agriculture, Thanasis Skordas and Konstantinos Skiadas respectively; representatives of poultry businesses, butchers, the Consumers Association, the Greek Federation of Consumers (INKA) and the Consumers Association The Quality of Life (EKPOIZO); and university professors.

    As noted by Deputy Minister Alexandros Kontos, "During the meeting, we clearly clarified that no threat to humans exists from the consumption of poultry products, provided they have been produced under proper health and safety conditions."

    He also underlined that Greece has abided by the rules set by the EU for each Member-State.

    In addition, all sides agreed that efforts have to be made, in order to support the poultry sector.

    "Dietary problems should not be faced with panic, but with scientifically documented facts and effective operation of processes. And it is clear that in the case of bird flu, the Greek state has fulfilled its duty," declared the General Secretary of Consumers, Thanasis Skordas.

    "We have not improvised, but we implemented the measures approved by the EU," noted Kostas Skiadas, the General Secretary of the Rural Development Ministry, while commenting on the criticism about the way the Ministrys agencies acted.

    "This demonstrates a sense of readiness and effectiveness. We will deal with any cases that will arise in our country [Greece]. It turns out that the poultry products are healthy and safe for Greek consumers and we have to escape this sense of terror and panic," he added.

    The statements by the President of the National School of Public Health, Vassilis Kontos, were along the same lines, while the President of INKA, Konstantinos Tsekeris pointed out, "Greek consumers can eat anything they want without fear and continue supporting Greek poultry farming."

    Finally, the President of EKPOIZO, Eleni Alevritou, and the President of the Greek Consumers Association, Michalis Tsifakis, underlined the need for consumers not to act in fear and panic.

    EU to Ask for Ban on Wild Bird Imports

    In the meantime experts representing nine international organisations convened in Bonn, Germany, to discuss the issue with avian flu, at the initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

    As they noted, the root of the evil would have to be sought in the intensive production methods followed by poultry farming units, as well as in domestic birds, while they stressed that wild birds should not be incriminated for the spread of the disease.

    In an announcement issued, they condemned the "hysteria" prompted by the spread of the H5N1 virus and recommended the implementation of intense inspections into wild bird and domestic poultry trade.

    On the other hand, tomorrow, the European Commission is expected to propose a temporary ban on wild bird imports to countries of the EU.

    As declared by Markos Kyprianou, the Commissioner responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, Brussels will ask the 25 Member-States to ban all imports of wild bird throughout the EU, as proposed by Great Britain.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Parrot Infected with H5N1

    [03] With 12 Dead and 12 Injured Triple Attack in Baghdad

    24 Oct 2005 18:41:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    At least 12 people were killed and 12 more suffered injuries during a triple car bomb attack against the Sheraton and Palestine hotels in the heart of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, where many foreign reporters reside. As per the Iraqi police, the number of dead and injured is expected to increase. According to eyewitnesses, the area where the three booby-trapped cars exploded resembles a battlefield, while Sheratons ground floor has sustained the most damages, especially on the northern side. Huge clouds of smoke and dust covered the area, while shrapnel broke the windows of many houses, resulting in even more injuries. Furthermore, gunshots were heard immediately after the attack.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] During Cabinet Meeting Economy at Focus

    24 Oct 2005 13:08:00 (Last updated: 24 Oct 2005 15:16:59)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Two important Bills of the Economy Ministry topped the agenda of the Cabinet, which convened today at Maximos Mansion, presided over by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. The first Bill is on foreign investments and the second on combating black economy and money laundering in particular. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis stressed after the meeting that the Bill on black economy, which has also been dictated by the EU, would lead to major improvements in facing the problem, while he also underlined it would be soon submitted to Parliament, thus integrating the Community directive into Greek legislation. Mr Alogoskoufis also underlined that the Committee falling under article 7, which looks into money laundering cases, would be upgraded to better deal with the problem. Regarding the other Bill, Mr Alogoskoufis mentioned it aims at attracting foreign investments and businesses, whose headquarters are located abroad, but are active in Greece, or enterprises that wish to do business in Greece and the wider Balkan area.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Over the Case with Giakoumatos Justice Will Answer

    24 Oct 2005 16:36:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Commenting on the attempted bribery of an associate working at his office, Deputy Employment Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos spoke of a fabricated case, aiming at hurting him and the Government. The Government spokesperson also referred to the case, stating that Justice will provide all the answers. However, he noted that usually housewives do not go around with a tape recorder in hand and that the lady in question will be judged based on her actions as a whole. Asked whether there was intention to create a scene at the expense of the reporters, he vehemently rejected the possibility, reminding that the actions of the specific lady did not begin and end in one day.

    60-Year-Old Before the Examiner

    Thodoros Roussopoulos underlined that many questions exist, which will be answered by Justice.

    How can this lady walk around saying that she tapes conversations with others, ie with OAED (Office of Employment and Manpower)? Is this something usual for Greek citizens to do? he wondered, while he added that in the case of Giakoumatos, the Minister who reported the bribery cannot be accused.

    In the meantime, the 60-year-old who attempted to bribe Giakoumatos associate appeared before the Examiner.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] On Tuesday Trolley Bus Schedules Disrupted

    24 Oct 2005 19:11:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Passengers travelling with trolley buses will be inconvenienced on Tuesday 25 October, since the workers are proceeding with work stoppages, so that their financial demands can be satisfied. Specifically, the trolley buses will not run from 7am to 9am, from 1pm to 3pm and from 7pm to 9pm. In addition they have also announced work stoppages for Thursday 27 October, from 12 noon to 4pm, and Monday 31 October, from 12 noon to 4pm.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] To Be Signed on Tuesday Morning Historic Agreement on Energy Market

    24 Oct 2005 12:42:00 (Last updated: 24 Oct 2005 18:40:20)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The treaty to be signed between five Member-States, the British presidency and nine Balkan countries is of special importance for the single energy market in South-Eastern Europe. Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, who briefed the Prime Minister on the subject today, said the agreement is historic, stressing it would establish new conditions in the economy, peace and stability of the wider area. The treaty obliges all Balkan countries to deregulate the natural gas and electricity markets on a business level by 2008, and on a household level by 2015. The agreement will be signed on Tuesday at 10:00 at Sarogleio Mansion and Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis will attend the ceremony.

    Important Step

    The PASOK Press Office underlined the importance of the treaty for Greece, stressing it will create new opportunities for investments, commercial transactions and exchange of know-how, which the country should utilise with a dynamic presence. The announcement also read that signing the treaty is an important event of special European interest, as it establishes a single legislative framework that would allow and facilitate the safe transportation of natural gas from the Caspian areas to the European Union. At the same time, it constitutes an important step for accelerating the adjustment of national energy markets to the single internal market of the European Union.

    Speaking on NET radio 105.8, Head of Energy Policy and Development Centre Dimitris Mavrakis stressed this treaty would facilitate the countries involved to develop their energy markets, even though a long-term energy policy is required.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] US Crude Oil Subsided Wilma Did Not Affect Oil Prices

    24 Oct 2005 13:38:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    US crude oil prices dropped below 60 dollars per barrel today, as oil refineries in the Mexican Gulf escaped hurricane Wilma's rage and employees in the French and Nigerian oil industries postponed their strike. In the morning, US crude oil was losing 96 cents per barrel, with the price subsiding to 59.67 dollars. Brent recorded a price drop of 1.08 dollars per barrel, reaching 57.40 dollars. After sweeping through the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, Wilma passed by the oil refineries in the Mexican Gulf without affecting them.

    At the same time, this year's 22nd tropical rainstorm Alpha is not threatening the oil facilities, since the phenomenon died down after pouring over Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In France, the country's major oil refinery in Gonfreville re-operated last Saturday, as employees ended their strike over salary raises. What is more, oil trade unions in Nigeria reached an agreement with Agip, thus ending their three-day demonstrations.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] Presentation by the ERT Administration Musical Ensembles at Concert Hall

    24 Oct 2005 12:45:00 (Last updated: 24 Oct 2005 19:36:03)

    By Anna Kourti

    The presentation of ERTs Musical Ensembles programme for 2005-2006 took place in the Cycladic Art Museum, at 12pm. The President of ERT, Christos Panagopoulos, in the presence of members of the Public Television Administration, referred to the effort of utilising the Musical Ensembles "treasure" through a series of coordinated actions. These actions mainly concern establishing a new climate of good cooperation with the musicians, salary raises and a new charter, which has been drawn up after studying the European models. "Our intention is to reactivate the Musical Ensembles," concluded Mr Panagopoulos. Musical Ensembles artistic programme will open with a big concert on Tuesday at the Athens Concert Hall.

    Upgrading Musical Ensembles

    Hellenic Radio General Director Antonis Andrikakis thanked all the people who worked hard to realise this project and made special reference to the fact that this is the first systematic effort to elevate and upgrade the Musical Ensembles.

    Musical Ensembles Director Apostolos Bagias underlined the significant improvement of the atmosphere in the Musical Ensembles.

    Mr Panagopoulos' Advisor, Panos Loukakos, stated, "ERT is willing to utilise the Musical Ensembles productions, releasing three or four CDs annually."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] One Hour Does Miracles Siesta for Good Memory

    24 Oct 2005 12:25:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, German Press Agency

    No one doubted the benefits of a quick nap at noon, but now scientific proof comes to its reconfirmation. German scientists of Salzburg University studied the issue, and compiled a report on the account of German Sleep Research Association, which stated that a quick nap at noon importantly boosts the memorys function.

    In particular, 22 volunteers, aged between 19 and 30, were tested in word memorisation and solving complex puzzles. As it emerged, the volunteers had a better score if they had previously taken a short nap.

    Obviously this discovery by the scientists is not a new one. The valuable effect on the mind and body of a noon break is well known. The only problem is that modern way of life does not foresee it, as it is either wasted time or a luxury. Maybe its time we admit that it is a need.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Surviving in the Freezer Flea-Antifreeze

    24 Oct 2005 13:33:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    They may be pretty tiny, barely measuring one millimetre long, but there are very few creatures in nature that can outdo their skills in surviving in sub-zero temperatures. We are talking about a species of flea not related to the ordinary "bloodsucking" biting flea, which is an actual insect living in snowbanks and paddles and in Alaska, where there is lots of snow. Canadian researchers, who studied the snow flea, traced an anti-freezing protein that could be uses in a number of areas, ranging from agriculture to medicine. Snow fleas do not monopolise surviving in freezing conditions. Various species of fish, insects, plants and bacteria share the same abilities, which are generated by a specific anti-freeze protein. However, researchers Laurie Graham and Peter Davies from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, discovered this protein is different in snow fleas.

    Studying the tiny fleas, the two researchers discovered that their anti-freezing protein prevent ice crystals from forming in their environment, lowering the freezing point of fluids by 5 degrees Celsius.

    They immediately designated a wide-ranging field of applications:

    In medicine, it could be used in better and longer preserving human organs for transplants. In the form of a solution, it could prevent ice crystals from forming, thus allowing the tissue to last longer until a compatible donor is found.

    In agriculture, it could be used to genetically modify any crop that was susceptible to frost, allowing fruit trees to survive a cold snap.

    Frozen foods could also benefit from the discovery, if the antifreeze can be used to inhibit freezer burn.

    The researchers main concern is to isolate and study the proteins exact operation mechanism.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] MP3 in Search of a Leader Party on Sale

    24 Oct 2005 14:58:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Political party, in perfect condition, almost unused, is sold at a bargain price on eBay. The MP3 package includes all accessories a proper political party should have: the official party logo, a wide range of campaign slogans, web page, voters database and political positions, which are based on simplifying the rules of governance and public administration. The inspiration for the partys name is drawn from the MP3 community, who swap digital media files online. The party sought to implement its simplification policy into all aspects of life in the UK, including taxation, law, economics, foreign policy, immigration and the monarchy. One of the proposed slogans for the party read: "Elect us and we will delete one regulation per day, one law per week, one subsidy per month and one tax per year." It should be noted that party officials are not included in the price, nor can they be purchased separately. The new party owner should get his own party officials and replace the existing ones.

    As for the partys previous experience in the political arena, there is absolutely none, thus confirming the description "unused." Even though, it has been registered with the British electoral commission since 2002, they failed to attract voters.

    "We were too preoccupied with our own projects to turn it into a political force. We want to want to hand it over to someone else who would have the time to take it forward," said one of the co-founders, Russian-born Ruslan G. Fedorovsky. MP3 is on the hunt for a new owner, but to its great disappointment the party has failed to attract a single bid, although it has been online for three days and its starting price has been set at 2,000 pounds. Tough times for political parties!

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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