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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-11-21

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] 2006 Budget to Parliament
  • [02] Morning Coffee in Schools
  • [03] Snow and Chilly Cold
  • [04] Is Zarqawi Dead?
  • [05] Testimonies Begin
  • [06] Praises to Mongolia by George W. Bush
  • [07] Israel Enters Early Elections
  • [08] Investigation of Indonesian H5N1 Victim

  • [01] Submission in the Afternoon 2006 Budget to Parliament

    21 Nov 2005 12:43:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    In the afternoon, the 2006 Budget will be submitted to Parliament, while earlier on will be approved of by the Cabinet, which is convening at 18:00. The main points of this years Budget are the drastic decrease of public deficit to below 3% of the GNP, high growth rates and boosting employment and social cohesion. The Budget will be made public at 16:30, while the Press conference on its content by the Minister of Giorgos Alogouskoufis is expected with special interest, at 20:00. The Budget is currently at the focus of the PASOK Political Council in an Athens central hotel. As per with all foreseen, revenues will increase by 3.5 billion euros, expenditures will be controlled to the levels of 2004, while raises in wages and pensions will border on inflation rate.

    The Main Points

    With a mark on securitisation revenues, which will be included if there is an agreement with Eurostat, the new Budget does not include new taxes.

    Special attention is given to moderate adjustment, increase of revenues, ie payment of dues, combat of tax evasion, restraint of state expenditures and the advancement of denationalizations, ie the sale of Emporiki bank, the sale of Agricultural Bank of Greeces packet of shares and the broadening of the partnership of the Greek Petrol Company with the Latsis Group.

    As it is foreseen, revenues will increase by 7.9%, the growth rate will near 3.8%, while investments will increase by 9 units.

    The raises in wages and pensions will range to the border of inflation. In particular, the increase of EKAS by 10-11 euros is foreseen and OGA pensions by 11-15 euros. Furthermore, the wage earners will receive raises from 22 to 48 euros, depending on the level of education.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Time for the Budget

    Related Links:

    Ministry of Economy and Finance

    General Accounting Office

    [02] Morning Coffee in Schools

    21 Nov 2005 12:22:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: Reuters

    Parents around the world are mostly concerned with what their children eat at school and this piece of news might come as a surprise. In Brazil, the country which annually produces and exports millions of tonnes of excellent quality coffee, Authorities decided to implement a programme, as per which school children will be served free breakfast with a cup of coffee. According to the "Adopt-a-School" programme, coffee roasters are called to serve free breakfast to a total of one million school children aged 6 to 18. Based on this new original venture, each coffee roaster would have to adopt a school of at least 500 children and provide them with free breakfast, comprising of coffee, milk and bread. Still though, is it proper for children of such a young age to be drinking coffee?

    Coffee is Good

    "Kids have soft drinks at school. Why not coffee instead to make them alert and attentive?" said Professor Darcy Lima, project scientific adviser, totally supporting this choice.

    Professor Adriana Farah from the University of Rio de Janeiro also defended coffee for children, saying it contains less than 2% caffeine and helps reduce colon cancer, heart disease, depression and alcoholism.

    Just for the record, Brazil is the number one coffee producing country with some 1,100 coffee roasters, while it is the second country worldwide in coffee consumption, after the USA. In fact, in coffee plantation areas, children are used to drinking coffee from an early age, and consequently the "Adopt-a-School" programme does not sound all that extreme to Brazilians.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Wintry Scenery Throughout Greece Snow and Chilly Cold

    21 Nov 2005 10:43:00 (Last updated: 21 Nov 2005 11:49:29)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Winter has finally made its appearance with low temperatures, regardless of the sunshine, and snow in mountainous areas as its main characteristics. Thermometers recorded a drop and showed -7 degrees in Florina and Kozani, -5 in Kastoria, -2 in Kavala and 1 in Thessaloniki and Alexandroupolis, while 0 in Limnos, where snow fell early in the morning. Apart from the small problems observed due to the frost in the national and provincial road network of Macedonia and Thrace, the traffic of vehicles is being made without snow tire chains. The state is on alert for the counter of any problems, while at the moment a relevant meeting is taking place at the Civil Protection Secretariat, presided by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. As per a Hellenic National Meteorological Service emergency forecast, the weather will gradually worsen on Tuesday and Wednesday, where rain and storms will occur.

    Weather will Subside as of Wednesday

    As forecast by the Hellenic National Metrological Service (HNMS) the weather will remain the same from Tuesday to Wednesday.

    In particular, there will be a gradual subside of winds, while the temperature will range from -6 degrees Celsius today.

    On Tuesday, snow will fall at the mountainous areas of central and north mainland, as well as areas of northern Greece with a low altitude. The weather conditions will be extreme. Few clouds and local rainstorms will be apparent in the rest of the country.

    A temporary subside of weather is expected as of late on Tuesday afternoon in the west and south, while the temperature will record a slight rise.

    A further rise of temperature will be expected as of Wednesday, with clouds, rain and thunder as its main characteristics, while snow will fall in the north of Greece.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Wintry Scenery

    Related Links:

    General Secretariat of Civil Protection

    [04] Americans Officially Refute Allegations Is Zarqawi Dead?

    21 Nov 2005 10:03:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A US investigation is underway in order to conclude if the head of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed during a raid in Mosul on Saturday. A US official said so in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity. However, the spokesperson for President George W. Bush, who is currently touring Asia, said on the issue, "The report is highly unlikely and not credible." Moreover, a spokesperson for the multinational force in Baghdad doubted allegations that al Zarqawi was killed during raid in northern Iraq. "These are rumours. We do not have proof that Zarqawi was killed in the raid and investigations to track him down are underway," stated Stacy Simon, a representative of the multinational force in Baghdad. Zarqawi is the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq and responsible for a series of bloody attacks. In the meantime, the Iraqi group of Al Qaeda rejected, late last night, the proposal of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to start a dialogue between the authorities and the rebels, as was posted on an Al Qaeda affiliated website. "Dialogue between us can only take place through swords and blood, they will pay the price for what they have committed with their bare hands," read the message, whose authenticity is being verified.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: U.S. doubts Mosul attack hit al-Zarqawi

    Reuters: U.S. probing if Zarqawi among Iraq dead

    [05] New Figures to the Investigators Testimonies Begin

    21 Nov 2005 09:46:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: NET

    Another week of developments and revelations on the extrajudicial ring begins today. New figures, judges, lawyers and private citizens testimonies to appeals investigators, on the involvement in set-up trials, will start today, while the trial of Iakovos Giosakis, who is accused of illegal trade of antiques on Kythira, will begin at the Piraeus Three-Member Courts of Felony Appeals, on Tuesday. Monk Kyrillos Stavropoulos and trainee monk Konstantinos Noou, who is accused of being his accomplice, will also take the stand with Giosakis. Moreover, on Wednesday, the demand of the Prosecutor for the lift of immunity of Petros Madouvalos will be discussed in the relevant Parliamentary Committee.

    Giosakis Takes the Stand

    As per the bill of indictment on the Giosakis case, the defendants "proceeded with excavations on the floor of an Early Christian temple of Kythira, aimed at locating the graves of three prelates and rob the valuable symbols, with which they had been buried with."

    Even if the valuable objects were not identified, the bill reported that "the three defendants acted with the protection of the Prosecutor in Kythira, who did not proceed to an investigation as the excavation was talking place, regardless of the complaints, but gave an order for the policemen to leave and return the next day."

    Moreover, during the coming weeks, Iakovos Giosakis will be called to make a statement to the appeals investigators on his involvement in the extrajudicial ring.

    Many judges have been dismissed by the Department, as they seemed to facilitate his judicial cases.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Testimonies as of Monday

    [06] Last Stop of his Asian Tour Praises to Mongolia by George W. Bush

    21 Nov 2005 08:58:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    During his meeting with counterpart Nambar Enkhbayar, US President George W Bush voiced the support of the US to Mongolia, which has sent 131 privates to Iraq and 50 to Afghanistan, in the context of the multinational mission under the order of the Americans. Moreover, Mr Bush praised the democratisation efforts of Mongolia, one of the poorest countries of the world, which were completed in 2004 after 70 years of a communist regime. "Both our nations know that our responsibilities in freedoms cause do not end at our borders and that survival of liberty in our own lands increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands," said Mr Bush, speaking at the countrys Parliament. "The Mongolian Armed Forces are serving the cause of freedom and the United States armed forces are proud to serve beside such fearless warriors," added Bush. As analysts estimated the descendants of Genghis Khan fear the constant threat of a Chinese invasion to their economy, and wish for the flow of more US funds to the country. Actually, the US has already supported the country with funds exceeding 100 million dollars. It is noted, that the visit to Mongolia is the first of a US President.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Bush to thank Iraq ally Mongolia

    The UB Post: Bush lands in Mongolia

    Related News:

    Bush Pressures China

    [07] After a Demand by Ariel Sharon Israel Enters Early Elections

    21 Nov 2005 08:03:00 (Last updated: 21 Nov 2005 12:13:53)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Crucial political developments in Israel are taking place in Israel. Ariel Sharon has asked for the dissolving of Parliament and early elections asked by President of the country Moshe Katsav, while the former, as per sources, is planning to resign from the leadership of the governing party, Likud, and to form a new centre-right political formation, contending for the position of Prime Minister anew. "I believe that the elections have to take place the soonest possible," stated Mr Katsav after the meeting with the Israeli PM. 77-year-old Sharon is expected to explain his political ambitions in the Likud Parliamentary Group meeting on Thursday. The Parliament is expected to convene on Tuesday in order to approve its dissolving, while elections will be declared in 90 days. Actually, on Sunday, the central committee of the Labour Party voted, with overwhelming majority, for their withdrawal from the Government coalition, a proposal made by the newly elected leader of the party, Amir Peretz. As per estimations, early elections are to take place in either February or March, instead of November as was scheduled.

    Away from "Weights"

    As per information, the aim of the 77-year-old Prime Minister is to rid of the hardliners of Likud, a party he co-founded, and to proceed with peace talks with Palestinians, placing himself in the middle of the Israeli political forefront.

    Actually, Mr Sharon has received multiple blows by the far-right wing of Likud, officiated by former PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who fiercely criticised the decision of the PM on the Jewish settlers withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, which was materialised last August.

    As Israeli TV broadcast, Mr Sharon has already come into contact with moderate governing party members and 15 of them have agreed to follow him. As per sources, contacts are being made with members of the Labour Party, and quite possibly with its former leader Shimon Peres.

    I am sorry about Sharons decision and I would have preferred if he stayed and continued fighting with Likud, stated the partys MP Ehud Yatom, while a member of the Labour party noted: "Let the revolution begin."

    It is noted that at least five Ministers of Likud have stated that they will be candidates for the leadership of the party, when Ariel Sharon resigns from the Presidency.

    Resignation with Invitations

    The Central Committee of the Labour Party paved the road for early elections, as on Sunday it voted for the withdrawal from the Government coalition.

    In his speech, Mr Peretz called out to Likud members derived from the low classes.

    "Unite with the new social pact. Do not abandon Likud. Likud has abandoned you," said the President of Labour, while he criticised the Sharon Government of worsening the levels of poverty and humiliating the poor and the immigrants.

    Referring to the security situation and the Palestinian issue, Mr Peretz stated that he supports a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, while he is opposed to the return of the Palestinian refugees.

    It is noted that Mr Peretz supports the restart of substantial peace discussions with the Palestinians, while the coexistence of Likud with the Labour Party lasted about 10 months.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Sharon calls for early election

    [08] If Confirmed, Victims will Reach Eight Investigation of Indonesian H5N1 Victim

    21 Nov 2005 08:31:00 (Last updated: 21 Nov 2005 12:34:14)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A sanitary official announced that a 35-year-old Indonesian man is presumed to be the latest victim of H5N1 this weekend, as per initial analyses, which have to be confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Seven persons have been confirmed of dying from the bird flu in Indonesia, and the latest victim, if confirmed that the cause of death was the deadly virus, will be the eight victim. "The results of the analyses that were made under the hospice of the Health Ministry to a man suspected of dying from the bird flu, were positive, however we have not received a confirmation by WHO," noted the same source, and said that the man is aged 35 and that tissue analyses indicated the presence of the H5N1 strain. In the meantime, today, the Romanian Agriculture Ministry announced that the lab exams in Great Britain confirmed that the poultry, which were found dead last week in a Danube Delta village, had been infected by H5N1. "The laboratory in London confirmed the presence of H5N1 in the samples from the Danube Delta," announced the Roman Agriculture Ministry in its website. Meanwhile, 21 sources of the bird flu have been located in China this year, as announced by Deputy Health Minister Yin Chengjie, describing the situation in the country as serious, even if some sources have been set under control. These sources are located in nine provinces explained the Deputy Minister, at a Press conference, making clear that more than 144,000 birds have died, while 21.1 million were slaughtered since last January.

    US Weakness on Vaccine Sufficiency

    In the meantime, the US will not distribute sufficient quantities of vaccines in the coming three years, in order to face the needs of its population, in the case a pandemic of bird flu arises, regardless of the important investments made in the prevention department. As Health Secretary Michael O. Leavitt announced yesterday, regardless of the indications of a possible contamination by the bird flu located by migratory birds in three Canadian provinces; Quebec, Manitoba and British Colombia and in a breeding unit duck, Leavitt stressed that the US currently do not have the ability to produce a sufficient amount of vaccines against the specific type of bird flu.

    "We should concentrate on the restructure of the specific industry," he said speaking on television network NBC, noting that he would like "for the people to understand that it is not possible to produce 300 million dosages of the vaccine within the coming three years," as "we are not as prepared as we should be."

    This month, US President George W. Bush asked the Congress to approve the disbursal of emergency funds, approximately 7.1 billion euros, for the countrys preparation against a possible bird flu pandemic, which has already caused the death of 67 persons in Asia and has led to the slaughter of more than 150 million of poultry.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: Indonesian death; China outbreaks

    The Jakarta Post: Indonesia registers another suspected bird flu death

    Reuters: Indonesia says man died of bird flu

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