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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-10-27

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Social Cohesion Top Concern
  • [02] Primary Shareholder Approved
  • [03] Oil for Illicit Payments
  • [04] Papoulias' Clear Message
  • [05] Papandreou's Contacts in London
  • [06] Madouvalos Accounts to be Audited
  • [07] Smooth Getaway
  • [08] School Parade in Thessaloniki
  • [09] International Condemnation
  • [10] Tension Heightens Again in Middle East
  • [11] EU's Economic Future
  • [12] The Dark Getty Case
  • [13] "Foreign Archaeological Institutions in Greece"
  • [14] Visions at the Byzantine Museum
  • [15] New Wave of Fake Emails

  • [01] Karamanlis at the EU Summit Social Cohesion Top Concern

    27 Oct 2005 21:51:00


    The institutional context and the EUs fiscal prospects, as well as the Unions strategy on the challenges sparked by globalization topped the Informal EU Summit held in Hampton Court, Britain. "The EU has to seek for those means that will allow it to live up to the challenges of globalization, maintaining, at the same time, its European social model," stated Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. He also added that growth and competitiveness along with safeguarding the universals of social solidarity and social justice remain key priorities. The agenda of the 25 EU leaders also included the 2007-2013 EU budget, an issue for which Mr Karamanlis requested an agreement be immediately achieved, since the prolong of the problem poses a threat to the long-term economic plans. On the sidelines of the Summit, the Greek PM held meetings with his European counterparts.

    In Pursuit of Compromising Solutions

    The issue of the EUs fiscal context could never escape the notice of the 25 leaders, although the final decisions are to be made during the upcoming Summit scheduled for December 15 and 16 in Brussels. The European leaders are in pursuit of compromising solutions, yet, the thorny issues, including that of the agricultural subsidies, remain.

    The Greek Premier noted that a wider agreement is on the way, so that Luxemburgs proposals, which were submitted last June, can be used as a basis. At the same time, Mr Karamanlis highlighted the need of an accord on the EU budget by the end of the year.

    On his part, British Prime Minister and acting EU President for the current six-month period Tony Blair underscored that the Union cannot work on the budget "until the guidelines determining its future are clearly set."

    However, the reforms on the agricultural subsidies remain a thorny issue. French President Jacques Chirac made it clear that he is against any reforms before 2013, while the President of the European Commission, Jos&#233; Manuel Barroso, made public that the Commission is to suggest new offers on the issue at the negotiations taking place at the World Trade Organisation.

    At the same time, Mr Barroso voiced his certainty that Decembers Summit will reach an accord on the EU budget and warned that otherwise, the funds to newly accepted Member-States will be in danger.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] By the European Commission Primary Shareholder Approved

    27 Oct 2005 19:23:00 (Last updated: 27 Oct 2005 23:19:32)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ANA, NET 105.8

    The competent services of the European Commission cleared the way for the primary shareholder bill, since Athens received on Thursday an approval of the amendment of the primary shareholder bill in writing. Minister of State and government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos announced that the primary shareholder is defined by 1%, while the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of the provisions on the part of the Media still lies with the Greek National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV). The new bill, which is to be shortly submitted to Parliement, allows the government to put into force the competent article of the Constitution (article 14, paragraph 9) and at the same time safeguards the implementation of the EU law.

    Bill to Be Soon Submitted to Parliament

    The incompatibility between the enterprises that participate in Public Sectors bids and the Mass Media is no longer viewed as a proof. It has to be clearly confirmed through the implementation of unfavourable influence at the expense of the Public Sector.

    Furthermore, the sanctions forecast are strict and include even life imprisonment.

    "The law serves its purpose, since it prevents anyone from violating its provisions," concluded Mr Roussopoulos.

    Earlier, Oliver Drewes, spokesman for EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, had claimed that Greeces new text on primary shareholder is compatible with the EU law and enjoys the consent of the European Commissions competent services. The approval of the new bill on the part of the European Commission was the result of long-lasting negotiations between Greece and the Commission.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Bribery Allegations for UN Programme Oil for Illicit Payments

    27 Oct 2005 20:26:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    More than 2,200 companies are involved in illicit payments to Saddam Husseins government under the UN oil-for-food programme, revealed the fifth and last report of the independent investigation committee. As per the committee led by Paul Volcker, the former Iraqi President received nearly 1.8 million dollars from briberies and surcharges, while both the UN Secretary General and the Security Council are held accountable, for "they failed to monitor the implementation of the programme." At the same time, the report of the committee cited certain companies and UN officials also involved in the scandal. "Iraqs largest source of illicit income under the program came from kickbacks paid by companies that had been selected to receive contracts for humanitarian goods under the program," noted the investigation committee.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] To Ankara and FYROM Papoulias' Clear Message

    27 Oct 2005 17:13:00 (Last updated: 27 Oct 2005 22:38:21)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    "Turkeys European prospect and the theory of casus belli are incompatible notions. The EU acquis and the occupation army are two inconsistent realities," underscored the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, while delivering a speech at the dinner offered by the commander of the 3rd Army Corps, General Ilias Petsas in Thessaloniki. Furthermore, Mr Papoulias noted that Turkeys persistence in making unilateral claims on the Aegean Sea has severe consequences on the economy of both countries, since they are obliged to invest huge amounts in army equipment. Earlier, form the archaeological site of Vergina, northern Greece, Ms Papoulias sent a straight message to those who question the fact that Macedonia is an integral part of Greece. When questioned regarding the FYROMs provocative stance on Macedonia, Mr Papoulias replied, "Let those gentlemen visit this very museum." Mr Papoulias visited the outdoor sites, the tombs and the workshops, and voiced his sheer enthusiasm. Greek Defence Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos also visited Vergina.

    Turkey Has Entered a Crossroad

    "The EU acquis and the occupation army are two inconsistent realities. Turkey has found itself in front of a crossroad. It will either march on the avenue of the European future with consistency, or it will never achieve full accession," argued Mr Papoulias and underlined that provided Turkey decides to follow the European road, then it must revise the keynote areas of its policy.

    In particular, he noted that Ankara should proceed with:

    recognising the ecumenical character of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate, reopening of the Halki Theological Seminary, expanding the customs union with the Cypriot Republic and recognising the Republic, establishing friendly relations with all the EU Member-States.

    The commencement of Turkeys accession talks has created a new climate and nourished optimism, but not complacency, over the course of the Greek-Turkish relations. Furthermore, the neighbouring country has undertaken to meet clear-cut pledges towards the EU," noted the President.

    He also voiced his belief that Turkeys European course "will be long-lasting and tedious, it will be exhausting and it will trigger domestic shocks."

    Mr Papoulias did not miss referring to the role of the Army Forces and maintained that despite the fact the Greeces independence is not under threat, its geographical position, though, in the troubled Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean areas demand competent Army Forces in a constant state of readiness and with high spirits.

    "The Greek people place their trust in the army and fully understand the need for army equipment, although they wish we would reach a day when vast investments in such equipment become superfluous," he noted.

    He went on to underline that Turkeys persistence in making unilateral claims on the Aegean Sea has severe consequences on the economic status and the life standards of those who come from the lower walks of life of both countries. Greece, he said, has to constantly defend its sovereign rights and prevent any arbitrary outcomes no matter the cost.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] With European Socialists and London's Mayor Papandreou's Contacts in London

    27 Oct 2005 16:38:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    PASOK leader George Papandreou met with London Mayor Ken Livingstone on Monday on the occasion of the formers visit to the British capital. The issues of the Olympic Truce, the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece and the cooperation at local government and educational level topped the meeting. On Wednesday night, Mr Papandreou along with the European Socialists attended the official dinner hosted by the British PM Tony Blair in view of the upcoming informal EU Summit. After the dinner, PASOK leader stated that the European Socialists discussed the reconstruction of Europes future social face, which should be based on people, employment and education as well as on the EU enlargement. Furthermore, Mr Papandreou held bilateral talks with British PM Tony Blair and other European Socialist leaders, whom he briefed on his recent trip to Turkey.

    Greece at the Focus

    Mr Papandreou and London Mayor Ken Livingstone discussed the issues of the Olympic Truce and the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. It is noted that the London Mayor had backed the Greek claim in the past.

    "We discussed the idea of associating the 2012 Olympic Games with the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece," said Mr Papandreou and voiced his belief that this initiative will be appreciated and acknowledged by everyone. He also emphasized on the positive influence it may have on Britains image.

    With regard to the Olympic Truce, PASOK President said that a possible cooperation was discussed and that Mr Livingstone expressed his intention to have an active role in the promotion of the idea.

    Finally, the London Mayor assured his interlocutor that he is willing to visit Greece to discuss anew the issues of education and local governments.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Ordered by the Examiner Madouvalos Accounts to be Audited

    27 Oct 2005 14:23:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8

    Special Appellate Examiner Giannis Sideris, who is investigating the case of the extrajudicial network, asked for the release of the bank accounts belonging to MP Petros Madouvalos and his associates at his law firm. Mr Sideris wants to perform audits on the accounts, in order to determine whether responsibilities connected to extrajudicial activities arise on the part of the MP and his associates. In the meantime, Mr Madouvalos associates complained to Mr Sideris as their names appeared in the Press, while Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos ordered an investigation into the way the details were leaked. It should be noted that on Wednesday Mr Madouvalos and his associates declared that they are willing to release their bank accounts to the authorities, while they stressed that, up until yesterday, they had not been asked to do so.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Bank Accounts Open

    [07] Traffic Police Implements Emergency Measures Smooth Getaway

    27 Oct 2005 14:48:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105,8

    Holidayers have already started leaving the urban centres, in view of the long weekend. Since this morning, the Traffic Police implemented emergency measures, while they are also performing spot checks all along the national highways. Furthermore, trucks over 1.5 tons are not allowed to travel on highways between 3pm and 9pm. Traffic has increased on the outbound lanes of the Athens-Lamia Highway, but no serious problems have been recorded yet. However, the escape from the city is expected to culminate this afternoon. As for the weather, although today it is fine, it will change over the weekend, as the meteorologists are forecasting strong northern winds, reaching 9 on the Beaufort scale, while the temperature is expected drop by up to 10 degrees Celsius.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] For the 28 October National Holiday School Parade in Thessaloniki

    27 Oct 2005 12:44:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The three-day celebrations in Thessaloniki for the anniversary of liberation of the city, the patron Saint Demetrios and the 28 October National Holiday, continued today with the school parade. Earlier, school students laid wreathes at the monument of the Third Army Corps. Members of the group Antiexousiastiki Kinisi (Anti-Authoritarian Movement) protested during the parade. The celebrations in Thessaloniki are culminating tomorrow with the grand military parade, on the coastal avenue of Megalos Alexandros.

    Giannakou Visits the 141st Athens PS

    Greek Education Minister Marietta Giannakou attended the anniversary celebrations for the 28 October national holiday at the 141st Athens Primary School. Speaking to the students, Ms Giannakou said that the real challenge these days is not war, but competition in various sectors. She added that they will succeed by uniting, with personal responsibility, collective actions and meritocracy.

    Asked to comment on the reactions this year as to who will carry the flag at each parade, the Education Minister said that the teaching associations are responsible for deciding and not the local communities. "If the top student is a foreigner who wishes to be a flag bearer, then he will do so. Any other view opposes the beliefs of the Education Ministry and is considered anti-democratic," noted Ms Giannakou. Referring to the refusal of a top Greek student from Thessaloniki to carry the flag, she that it was her personal choice and thus it should be respected.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Changes in Bus Routes

    [09] Britain and the USA Voiced Their Concern International Condemnation

    27 Oct 2005 16:46:00 (Last updated: 27 Oct 2005 19:00:06)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Following France, the EU leaders meeting in Hampton Court, where the EU Informal Summit is taking place, and Russia condemned the statement of the Iranian President. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that Israel should be "wiped off the map." The EU leaders underlined, "No country that claims itself to be a responsible member of the international community is entitled to make such a call." "Calls for violence, and for the destruction of any state, are manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community," they said. On his part, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov described the statement as unacceptable. He also argued that this development provides an extra argument to those who insist that the file on Irans nuclear programme be sent to the UN Security Council.

    Fears for Iran's Nuclear Aspirations Enhanced

    The British Foreign Office issued an announcement that read, "The fact that Iran wishes to wipe Israel off the map does nothing but enhance our concerns with regard to Tehrans nuclear aspirations."

    Spokesperson for the White House Scott McClellan warned that the statements of the Iranian President "underscore our concern and the international communitys concerns about Irans pursuit of nuclear weapons."

    At the same time, Spains Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos clearly dismissed the Iranian Presidents statement.

    On its part, the German Foreign Ministry protested to Irans ambassador to Berlin.

    "No Place in UN for Iran"

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon argued, "There is no place for Iran in the UN."

    "A country which called for the destruction of another cannot be a member of the U.N. Such a country, in possession of nuclear weapons, is a danger not only to Israel and the Middle East but to Europe as well," the Israeli PM stated.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] Following the Attack in the Israeli Town of Hadera Tension Heightens Again in Middle East

    27 Oct 2005 17:56:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced the launch of a "widespread anti-terror campaign," in the wake of a suicide attack that claimed the lives of five civilians in the town of Hadera. Air raids were conducted on Thursday morning against the Gaza Strip, while Israeli troops arrested Palestinian militants in the West Bank and in Jenin. The head of the local Jihad group, which took responsibility for the lethal attack, is among the detainees. "We have embarked on a widespread and a non-specific-time-limit campaign until terrorism is combated," Mr Sharon argued and refused to meet with the Palestinian President "until the latter takes serious measures against acts of terror." Following plenty of postponements, Messrs Sharon and Abbas had scheduled a Summit Meeting for late October, being the first after the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip on September 12.

    Postponement Until Further Notice

    "Israel would very much like to proceed with the peace efforts. I am sorry, but as long as terrorism continues, we will not be able to proceed they way we wished," the Israeli PM noted, explaining his decision to postpone his meeting with Mahmoud Abbas until further notice.

    Clarifying the content of the anti-terror campaign, an Israeli official, who requested his name not be announced, said that the campaign is to include air and ground raids against Gaza, as well as arrests in the West Bank (birthplace of the suicide bomber), while he did not rule out the possibility that Israel will raid the Gaza Strip anew.

    Meanwhile, the Israeli Media broadcast that the army is likely to invade Palestinian cities and conduct door-to-door investigations.

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Mr Abbas to limit the militants following the latest suicide attack.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] At the EU's Informal Summit EU's Economic Future

    27 Oct 2005 13:30:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The informal EU Summit taking place in Hampton Court, near London, will focus on modernising the European economies, in order to deal with the challenges of globalisation. The representatives will discuss the European Commissions proposals, which will be presented by Jose Manuel Barroso, as well as environmental and security matters in 21st century Europe. The sore point continues to be the 2007-2013 budget, since no agreement is expected to be reached on the matter. Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who arrived in the British capital yesterday afternoon, will also be participating in the Summit. Throughout the negotiations, the Greek Government is expected to maintain the position that the main aim is social cohesion, since the concept of cohesion constitutes the backbone of the European Union. In addition, Government sources mentioned that, apart from the new countries, all the states that are distanced from the powerful countries of the EU would have to be supported.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Answer to Globalisation

    [12] New Questions for Marion True's Action The Dark Getty Case

    27 Oct 2005 15:57:00 (Last updated: 27 Oct 2005 18:57:17)

    By Tina Valaoura

    The well-known American Museum J. Paul Getty is in a tight spot. It recently had to return three antiquities to the Italian government under the charge of having looted them. Now, it is time for Greece to make the same claim. Repeating an older request, it asked the J. Paul Getty Museum to return four ancient exhibits a golden funerary wreath, an inscribed tombstone, a marble torso dating from 400 BC and an archaic votive relief which are ranked among the most famous of its collection, citing "lack of evidence" regarding the way and time the items were exported from Greece. The Getty Museum purchased the first three in 1993 for 5.2 billion dollars, while Jean Paul Getty himself had bought the fourth one in 1955. Former Chief Curator of Antiquities Marion True, who was forced to resign earlier this month, is the root of the problem and has been referred to the Italian Justice on the matter, while he trial is scheduled to resume next month in Rome.

    Museum Prides Were Illegally Acquired

    The Los Angeles Times originally surfaced the issue, followed by the Associated Press and the New York Times. The J. Paul Getty Museum has refuted past allegations on possessing illegal artifacts, however, citing US and German law enforcement agencies, the American newspaper reads that Marion True was the one to have purchased the three controversial antiquities, ie the gold wreath, the tombstone and the marble female torso.

    As per the newspaper, True had bought the wreath for 1.5 million dollars from a Swiss art dealer, Christoph Leon, who had guaranteed it came from a private Swiss collection. However, German Police investigation showed that Leon was acting as a mediator for a Yugoslav and two Greeks, who had smuggled it from Greece.

    As per Getty records, True first saw the wreath in 1993 in a Zurich bank vault, but did not proceed with the purchase, because she did not trust the men she was dealing with. No one can tell what really happened then, but some time later in one of her letters to Leon, she described the object as "too dangerous for us to be involved with" and cancelled the buy. However, despite her original reservations, she contacted the art dealer four months later notifying him the museum wanted to acquire the gold wreath.

    Then, the J. Paul Getty Museum sent a letter to the Greek Government, informing it on its intention to purchase the gold wreath, tombstone and marble torso, requesting any information about their origin in order to assess their value.

    In turn, Greek authorities asked the Getty Museum to identify the owner of the antiquities, but received no answer and later concluded the objects had been looted.

    Three years after the purchase, the Greek Government made its first formal claim for their return. The letter described the objects in detail. The gold wreath is similar to those made in ancient Macedonia, the tombstone could have come only from the region of Boeotia, based on its lettering, while the marble torso of a young woman was similar to those made in ancient Athens and are rarely found outside of Greece, even today. Perhaps this is why the Getty had to pay 3.3 million dollars to acquire it. The Greek letter also described a fourth object from the museum's collection, an archaic votive relief, which had been stolen from the archaeological site of Thasos.

    These are only few of the newspaper's revelations for the American museum's suspicious ignorance regarding the dark activities of its former chief curator, Marion True.

    The Greeks first lodged their claim nine years ago and formally renewed it in May through diplomatic channels. As per Aristotle Papageorgiou, spokesman for the Greek Consulate in Los Angeles, a May 20 letter to the Museum from the Greek Ministry of Culture cited a lack of evidence regarding the way and time the wreath and other objects were exported. The letter said there was a strong indication the artefacts entered the art market illegally. Lazaros Kolonas, Culture Ministry Antiquities and Cultural Heritage General Manager, told the New York Times on the matter, "the Greek side is determined to proceed with all the necessary actions against all those implicated in this case."

    However, bells are already tolling for Marion True. The former chief curator of antiquities resigned from her post one month ago accused of having violated a conflict-of-interest policy, after securing a 400,000-dollar loan to buy a vacation home on the Greek island of Paros. In November, she will stand trial in Italy charged with criminal association and receiving stolen goods.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [13] At the Athens Concert Hall "Foreign Archaeological Institutions in Greece"

    27 Oct 2005 12:01:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    An exhibition entitled "Foreign Archaeological Institutions in Greece 160 Years of Collaboration with our Culture" will be hosted at the Athens Concert Hall by the Ministry of Culture from 2 November 2005 to 8 January 2006. The exhibition consists of 74 works from archaeological museums around the country, as well as excavation finds from 17 foreign Archaeology Schools. The project aims at encouraging visitors to get acquainted with the cultural activities of foreign archaeological institutions, as well as their contribution towards strengthening the ties between countries through research, restoration and promotion of archaeological sites and monuments.

    The material also consists of maps, photos and texts, while the objective is to document the history, and the scientific and cultural activities of each of the 17 foreign archaeological institutes in Greece, from the day of their establishment, in the 19th century, until now.

    The works come from excavations by: the American School in the Athenian and Corinthian Agoras; the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Lousoi (Kalavryta) Aegeira (Achaia) and Colona (Aegina); the Belgian School in Thoriko (Lavrio), the British School in Lefkanti, Menelaio (Sparta), Koufovounio (Laconia) and Knossos (Crete); and the French School in Argos.

    The exhibition is being organised by the Department of Exhibition of the Museums, Exhibition and Educational Programmes Directorate, in collaboration with the Department of Greek and Foreign Scientific Institutions, Organisations and International Matters of the Culture Ministrys Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities Directorate.

    The exhibition will be accompanied by a book on the topic of Foreign Archaeological Institutions in Greece, while the Culture Ministry will be organising an event on 30 November in the context of the project.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] Until 15 November 2005 Visions at the Byzantine Museum

    27 Oct 2005 11:49:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Nine works of art by contemporary Greek artists, as well as three Byzantine icons, are on display at the Byzantine Museum of Athens, aiming at revealing to visitors the way in which each artist depicts the illusions of a dream, cosmic or religious. The curator of the exhibition, entitled Oramata (Visions), is Greek art historian Thanasis Moutsopoulos, while it was inaugurated by Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis.

    The artists whose works are exhibited are: Giannis Grigoriadis, Giorgos Kazazis, Giorgos Xenos, Vana Xenou, Panagiotis Siagris, Kostis Triantafyllou, Giorgos Tserionis, Erato Chatzisavva and Mary Wilson.

    In addition, the three Byzantine icons on display belong to the Byzantine Museums collection. These are: "Vision of Constantine the Great" by painter Stylianos Stavrakis (1764), "The Apocalypse of John" (second half of 18th century) and "Vision of Agios Efstathios" (1826).

    The works by Nikos Gavriil-Pentzikis and Alexis Akrithakis constitute the focal point of the exhibition.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:

    Byzantine Museum

    [15] Supposedly Sent by the National Bank of Greece New Wave of Fake Emails

    27 Oct 2005 15:39:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Just two days after the Alpha Bank scamming, whereby fake emails asking for personal account details were sent to users, a new case has surfaced involving the National Bank of Greece. As soon at the fake emails were traced, the Bank issued an announcement asking its clients to ignore and delete these messages, as they were coming "from malicious third parties," while in case they have filled in the form, they should immediately contact the bank on the following numbers: +30 210-9479999 or +30 210-4834100. In addition, they should not make use of Internet Banking before having contacted the bank.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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