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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-11-09

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Violence Escalates
  • [02] Double Hit Against Turkey
  • [03] "Greece Respects Religious Freedom"
  • [04] Pension to Widowers With 4+ Children
  • [05] No Flights on Thursday
  • [06] Delhi Bomb Suspect in Custody
  • [07] Suicide Attack in Baquba
  • [08] Greeks Are Hot
  • [09] Light Shed on Venus' Secrets
  • [10] Second Term for Bloomberg

  • [01] Thirteenth Night of Unrest Violence Escalates

    09 Nov 2005 07:39:00 (Last updated: 09 Nov 2005 13:38:53)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Although an overnight curfew was imposed on the riot-hit areas and Nicolas Sarkozy claimed that there was a fall in violence, unrest continued in France for a thirteenth night running. At least 558 vehicles were torched and nearly 2004 people were arrested. On Wednesday, the youths had torched 810 vehicles and the police had arrested 151 people. Violence was not reduced to torching vehicles, though. In southern France, unidentified people set aflame the offices of the local newspaper Nice-Matin Grasse. In Lyon, they abused a Russian reporter, while the authorities decided to shut down the public transport network following the attacks on many buses and an underground station. In the town of Bassin, near Bordeaux, youths threw a Molotov cocktail at a gas-powered bus. Luckily, there was only the driver on board and survived the explosion. A library was burnt down in Chalon-sur-Saone. Riots also broke out in Toulouse, where youths attacked the policemen with Molotov cocktails and set vehicles aflame. However, Paris was relatively calm, since a few isolated cases occurred. In the meantime, the French Police reported that a man injured in Nice is in a critical condition.

    "France is Wounded"

    At the same time, Germany also experienced minor unrest with 11 vehicles been set aflame in Berlin and Cologne. A spokesman for the Berlin Police, however, stated that it is still too soon to determine whether these incidents relate to the French riots and announced that they are to reinforce the patrols especially on the immigrant-populated areas.

    Meanwhile, the special decree giving the authorities the power to deal with an emergency situation came into force following its release on Wednesdays Gazette . The decree was imposed on 25 French Prefectures, including Paris and the wider area around it.

    The decree allows the Prefectures to impose a curfew on citizens and vehicles in defined areas. "France is wounded. It cannot recognize itself in its streets and the riot-hit areas, where these outbursts of hatred and violence ravage and kill," said on Tuesday French Premier Dominique de Villepin while addressing the Parliament. He also outlined measures aiming at economically boosting the poor and secluded immigrants, while he made it clear that the state of emergency will be expanded "if necessary."

    They Called for Sarkozy's Resignation

    The never-ending wave of violence stirred up fierce reactions on the part of the Opposition, which has put pressure on Prime Minister Villepin and President Jacques Chirac. In fact, Opposition parties requested Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy be resigned.

    At the same time, the fear that similar riots are likely to break out in other European cities has pushed the euro down, while French officials worry that the violence will affect tourism and investment.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    French Action Plan

    Cluster of Riots

    [02] By the Commission and State Department Double Hit Against Turkey

    09 Nov 2005 12:15:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: NET

    The European Commission and the State Department launched a double hit against Turkey, regarding reforms and religious freedom. The Commission's annual progress report on Turkey is all but positive, as according to information it speaks of delay in implementing reforms. At the same time, the US State Department, in its report on religious freedom, spoke of deterioration and harshly criticised Erdogan's Government and the Turkish State in general.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] As Per the Department of State "Greece Respects Religious Freedom"

    09 Nov 2005 12:10:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The 2005 US Departments of State religious freedom report is positive for Greece. The report underlined that the Constitution establishes the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ (Greek Orthodoxy) as the prevailing religion, but also provides for the right of all citizens to practice the religion of their choice. The report further noted that the generally amicable relationship among religions in the Greek society contributed to religious freedom, and went on to stress that most members of minority faiths consider themselves satisfactorily integrated into the Greek society. It is noted that a string of scandals over illegal trade of antiquities, extrajudicial rings and immoral conduct on the part of some Church officials resulted in seriously affecting the powerful institution of Church and broaching the issue of dividing the State from the Church.

    The Construction of a Mosque in Athens Still Pending

    The report also stressed that the Turcophone minority in Western Thrace has secular Turkish-language bilingual schools and two Koranic schools run by the Greek State, while special consideration is given to Thrace Muslims for admission to technical institutes and universities.

    On the other hand, unlike the Thrace Muslims, Muslims residing in Athens have not been given the permit for a mosque despite the fact that the Greek Parliament has passed a law on the construction of the first Islamic Cultural Centre and Mosque in Paiania since 2000, the report underlined. It is also stated that Archbishop Christodoulos and other Greek Orthodox high-ranking priests have publicly voiced their opposition to the creation of the Centre.

    Finally, the report argued that despite the progress achieved against anti-Semitism and the construction of monuments honouring the Holocaust, anti-Semitism still exists, and in particular in some Mass Media which quite often fail to draw a distinguishing line between the criticism expressed against the Israeli policy and the comments against the Jews. In this context, reference is made to LAOS and its President Giorgos Karatzaferis whom the report accused of radical ultra-nationalism, anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia, while Mr Karatzaferis frequently puts down the negative outcomes for Greece to international Jewish conspiracies.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] Pension to Widowers With 4+ Children

    09 Nov 2005 10:58:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The President of the Council of State ruled the 1990 law that does not allow the granting of a life-long pension to the widower father with 4+ children as running against the Constitution. Mr Emmanouilidis, who submitted the relevant proposal to the Councils First Division, noted that the aforementioned law contradicts the Constitutional provisions relating to the citizens equality, the protection of families with 4+ children, the protection of children and the states obligation to lift the inequality between the two sexes.

    The issue was broached following an appeal filed by a father with 4+ children.

    It is noted that the pension in question is four times the daily wages of the unskilled labour and is granted to mothers to three children. OGA (Agricultural Insurance Organisation), on the other hand, grants the pension to both spouses.

    Should Mr Emmanouilidis proposal be approved, the issue will be brought to the Plenary Session of the Council of State.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Air Traffic Controllers on Strike No Flights on Thursday

    08 Nov 2005 19:11:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Plane passengers will be faced with insurmountable problems this Thursday, as air traffic controllers will be taking part in ADEDY's (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) 24-hour strike, reaction to the reforms promoted by the Government in Social Security. In particular, no passenger flight to and from Greek airports will be performed, including domestic flights in Aegean island. Olympic Airlines announced the cancellation of 107 flights and the company advises passengers to call +30 210 9666666 in order to change their ticket reservations. What is more, Aegean Airlines passengers will be able to call the company on the following number: +30 210 6261000.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Delhi Bomb Suspect in Custody

    09 Nov 2005 08:54:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC, ANA

    A spokesman for the army in the Indian-controlled Kashmir, Colonel DK Badola, announced that a Kashmiri separatist militant took responsibility for one of the three New Delhi bomb blasts that claimed the lives of 62 people. The Colonel argued that the detainee, who was arrested in Doda district, confessed to his being involved in the bomb blast that ripped through the Paharganj market in New Delhi. A day after the blasts, a little-known Kashmiri group had claimed responsibility. However, the Indian authorities have not yet confirmed the claim.

    Read the Story on Other Sources

    Hindustan Times: J&K terrorist confesses he planted one of the bombs The Times of India: Key suspect accepts involvement in Delhi Blasts Deccan Herald: Delhi blasts: 1 person arrested in J&K BBC: Delhi bombs suspect arrested

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Suicide Attack in Baquba

    09 Nov 2005 09:53:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA-REUTERS

    A suicide car bomb that attacked an Iraqi police patrol in the city of Baquba killed seven Iraqi policemen and wounded further nine people, including three civilians. Baquba, which lies 60km north of Baghdad, is the capital of Diyala province and is populated by both Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The city frequently experiences atrocities and attacks.

    In the meantime, the US army launched a new operation during which they announced the arrest of 180 militants with many being of Asian and African descent.

    The operation was launched on Saturday near the border with Syria. Nearly 2,500 US troops backed up by 1,000 Iraqis have been deployed for this operation.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Champions in Sex Greeks Are Hot

    08 Nov 2005 23:02:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    As per the annual study conducted by Durex (condom industry), Greeks are the world's most active lovers for 2005. The study indicated that Greeks have sex 138 times a year, smashing the international average, which does not exceed 103 times annually. Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro follow suit with 134 times and 128 times respectively, thus occupying second and third place. On the contrary, the Asians have a lot to cry over. The Thais make love barely 97 times per year, the Chinese 96, the Taiwanese 87, the Indians 75 and the Japanese seem to have forgotten all about, as they only have sex 45 times annually. The age average for the first sexual encounter is 16.3 years of age.


    The same study showed that people around the world have become bolder when it comes to their sexual habits. For example, the most common place for sex, apart from the bedroom of course, is the car (50%), the toilets (39%), parents' bedrooms (36%) and parks (31%).

    As for loyalty, well, as per the study, 44% of adults around the world have had a one-night-stand, while 22% admitted having had an affair.

    The Turks are the most unfaithful, as 58% of them have had an affair, while the Norwegians (70%), Finns, New Zealanders and the Swedes (64%) top the list of one-night-standers.

    Durex is holding this study for the ninth consecutive year and over 317,000 people from 41 countries participated in it.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] Venus Express Launched Successfully Light Shed on Venus' Secrets

    09 Nov 2005 10:18:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The first European space probe blasted off today bound for Venus, aiming at solving the riddles regarding the conditions on Earth's closest planetary neighbour. As per an announcement issued by the ESA's (European Space Agency) Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, the Venus Express probe, weighing 1.3 tonnes, took off at 04:30 CET from Baikonur cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, on board a Soyuz rocket. The launch took place two weeks after it was originally scheduled, as technicians located a contamination on the cover of the Soyuz-Fregat rocket, which proved harmless. Venus Express' trip will last for 163 days and after being captured by the planet's gravity, it will orbit around it to analyse Venus' atmosphere and clouds.

    So Alike and so Different

    Venus and Earth are almost identical in size and are believed to have similar composition. However, similarities seem to end there.

    A thick layer of carbon dioxide, which acts as a blanket, covers Venus trapping solar radiation on its surface. As a result, temperature reaches an average of 476 degrees Celsius.

    What is more, surface pressure is almost 90 times higher than on Earth. This is the reason why many soviet probes in the past had tried on land on Venus, but were crushed before touchdown.

    With the help of Venus Express, scientists aspire to discover why Earth and Venus have evolved so differently, despite their many resemblances, and what might be our planet's future.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Focusing on Economy and Safety Second Term for Bloomberg

    09 Nov 2005 08:10:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA

    Achieving a landslide victory over his rival, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was re-elected to a second term. Of the 95% of the votes counted, Bloomberg received 58% as opposed to Democratic challenger who trailed with 39%. His re-election to the post is not at all a surprise, since the polls had repeatedly shown that the New Yorkers appreciate his work and especially his efforts to revive the economy and keep the city alert. As per analysts, Bloomberg spent nearly 80 million dollars for his election campaign, which is most likely to be the most costly one mounted in the citys history. "Still in shock, still in mourning, we really did four years ago worry about our future. But that night proved that New York is still alive," said the New York Mayor in his victory speech.

    Read the Story on Other Sources

    Reuters: Bloomberg re-elected New York mayor New York Times: Democrats Are Locked Out of City Hall for 4 Straight Terms

    Translated by Areti Christou

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