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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-11-05

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Escalating Tension
  • [02] Kostas Simitis' Book
  • [03] UNESCO Honours Mikis Theodorakis
  • [04] ONNED on Transparency and Meritocracy
  • [05] Papandreou Attacks on Government

  • [01] Hundreds of Arrests Escalating Tension

    05 Nov 2005 09:24:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: AFP - Le Monde - ANA

    For the first time since the riots broke out in the French capital, the violence spread beyond Paris and its low-income surrounding suburbs. The rioting continued last night, for the ninth day running, but this time incidents were also recorded in other cities of France where large numbers of immigrants live, including Dijon and Marseilles. More than 350 cars were torched, while at least 170 people belonging to socially segregated ethnic minorities were arrested during the arson attacks, which lasted until the early hours of the morning. In fact, the police used helicopters this time to monitor the situation, while some 700 firefighters and 1,400 police officers were deployed in Paris to deal with the rioting youths. The de Villepin Government is trying to prevent the exacerbation of the situation and put an end to the riots, which are described as the worst of the last decade, before a social uprising breaks out. The explosive situation has led many French left-wing groups to demand Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozys resignation.

    De Villepin Moves to Defuse the Crisis

    Kindergartens, businesses and storage facilities were set alight, while, according to the authorities, the damages are estimated in the millions. In addition, an attempted arson attack against a Jewish synagogue was recorded.

    Approximately 100 people were forced to evacuate their apartment block in Pierrefitte, near Paris, when the underground carpark was set on fire.

    On Friday, French PM Dominique de Villepin met with 16 youths, aged between 18 and 25 (students, unemployed and low-income earners), living in the areas where the riots are being recorded.

    The meeting formed part of de Villepins social dialogue, while he is also preparing to present a plan to deal with the crisis in the ghettos, i.e. the neighbourhoods inhabited by people from the former French colonies of Africa and Maghreb.

    In the meantime, the President of the Council of the European Parliamentary Assembly, Rene van der Linden, asked the authorities to commence a dialogue soon, while at the same time taking a tough stance against the rioters.

    It should be noted that the riots started last week, after the death of two migrants, who were being chased the police.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Paris is Burning

    [02] Assessment of his Premiership Kostas Simitis' Book

    05 Nov 2005 12:51:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    In his book entitled "Politics for a Creative Greece 1996-2004" (Polis Publications), former Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis attributed the defeat of his party in the elections to the citizens pessimism over their economic future, the wane of PASOKs 11-year governing, the progress of the Stock Exchange and the lack of a proper communication policy. The book went on sale today, while in its 700 pages, Mr Simitis outlines the major issues that troubled Greece during his eight years in office. The former PM will officially present his book next Wednesday at 19:30, during a ceremony that will be hosted in Benakis Museum (138 Pireos Street, Athens).

    Criticism and Revelations

    "Doubts are a means to achieve plenty. And self-criticism grants power. There were many times that I corrected the stances or practices of the Government, but at other times I did not. I also insisted on views that were not adopted by the majority, only because I believed in those. I considered them as seeds that could affect future developments."

    Among other things, Mr Simitis devoted chapters to the crisis in Imia and the Ocalan case.

    With regard to his successor, George Papandreou, he notes, "Only he could have secured a smooth succession, as well as a victory in the elections."

    Referring to New Democracy, he describes it as a party "set in the past, dedicated to the three-fold homeland-religion-family, and which cannot provide solutions to the countrys problems."

    He also appears quite judgmental against KKE and SYN, accusing both left-wing parties of "becoming willing advocates of ND in its oppositional tactics."

    At the same time, prompted by the issue concerning the Greek identity cards, he accused the Church of attempting to "establish an ideological intendance over the political authority."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] "For me, Music Is Life" UNESCO Honours Mikis Theodorakis

    05 Nov 2005 10:21:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    UNESCO honoured acclaimed Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis with the International Music Price, for his work and commitment to peace and understanding among nations. During the award ceremony, Indrasen Vencatachellum, UNESCOs Chief of the Section for Arts, Crafts and Design, noted that it is not often for someone to meet a musician who is so creative, with such sense of perfection and dexterity, but who also feels a responsibility towards the world, justice and politics. The 80-year-old composer declared during the ceremony, "I could never be anything else but a musician. For me, music is life." Theodorakis is one of the most loved and respected artists in Greece, both for his activities in the resistance against the dictatorship, as well as his work in popular Greek music.

    International Acclaim

    Initiated in 1975 by Lord Yehudi Menuhin, the prestigious IMC UNESCO International Music Prize was established to honour musicians or musical institutions whose activities have contributed to the enrichment and development of music and have served peace, understanding between peoples, international cooperation and other purposes proclaimed by the United Nations Charter and UNESCOs Constitution.

    Mikis Theodorakis received the award on Friday in the historic City of Aachen, Germany, host to the Prize since 1994.

    Past recipients of the IMC Music Prize include Dimitri Shostakovich, Leonard Bernstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Herbert von Karajan, Cesaria Evora and Mercedes Sosa, among others.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:


    [04] "Uproot Obsolete Practices" ONNED on Transparency and Meritocracy

    05 Nov 2005 00:13:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Wearing colourful T-shirts and chanting "I am young, I am not blue," "I am young, I am not green," "I am young, I am not yellow," the members of ONNED (Nea Dimocratias Youth Organisation) organized an event at an Athenian hotel to discuss the issues of transparency and meritocracy. The speakers, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Central Committee Secretary Evangelos Meimarakis and ONNED secretary Giorgos Papanikolaou called on the youth to uproot the obsolete practices and to "break down the walls." The Interior Minister answered to the accusations regarding the hirings and pointed out that they relate to working agreements of emergency employees PASOKs governments had hired. He also underlined that the truth regarding both the working agreements and the interview is distorted. Mr Meimarakis, who also put on a T-shirt with the aforementioned slogan, stressed that ONNED is a progressive and pioneer youth organization. He went on to call on the youth to move on reaching out everyone, for they strive for a better future rather than party benefits.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Heating Benefit Oil Be Granted Papandreou Attacks on Government

    04 Nov 2005 22:09:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    PASOK leader lashed out at the government from Igoumenitsa. Addressing a party rally on the sidelines of his tour to the Prefecture of Thesprotia, he argued that Achilleas Karamanlis decision to quit his parliamentary seat was a well-thought one and he went on to severely comment on the need for a special coordinator of the governments work, since, as he said, this is the MPs duty. He also claimed that ND is not entitled to speak of ethos when government officials resigns day after day.

    "PASOK Has Changed"

    Mr Papandreou spoke of opaque procedures regarding the purchase of F-16 fighter jets from the USA.

    On the issue of economy, he maintained that Brussels threw the budget drawn up by Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis out of the window.

    Furthermore, with regard to the foreign policy, he underlined that ND "isolated the country."

    At the same time, he voiced his belief that the immigrants fitting-in to the Greek society should follow a mild political course.

    PASOK leader also expressed his certainty that PASOK will soon assume the governance of Greece. He personally guaranteed that PASOK has changed and that it is ready to govern.

    Earlier, Mr Papandreou had stated that his party insists that the heating oil benefit be granted and called on the government to boost the countryside.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Papandreou on Heating Oil Benefit

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