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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) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Smooth Adjustment
  • [02] Tough Times for Online Daters
  • [03] Fully Prepared for the Weather
  • [04] Defending PASOK's Renewal
  • [05] Meeting over New Codes of Conduct
  • [06] Dangerous Manouri Cheese
  • [07] Higher Taxi Fares and Ticket Prices
  • [08] Erdogan's Surprise Visit to SE Turkey
  • [09] Truce with Oil Pipeline
  • [10] Change in Consumption Patterns
  • [11] US Cold Lifts Oil Higher
  • [12] Thessaloniki Ippokratio ICU Quarantined
  • [13] Alarming News about AIDS in Greece
  • [14] Dangerous Manouri Cheese
  • [15] Papoulias ESIEA Meeting
  • [16] Kechagioglou Received New Deadline
  • [17] Expatriate Greeks at the Focus

  • [01] 2006 Budget Submitted Smooth Adjustment

    21 Nov 2005 20:57:00

    The 2006 Budget, which was submitted to Parliament tonight, is expected to provide for moderate pay increases, around 2.5%, and pension rises, around 3%. Earlier, during the Cabinet meeting, Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis stressed that the Government is aware of the difficulties, especially those experienced by the lower income earners, but chooses to exercise its political responsibility. "We have chosen the hard path, but we have an obligation. We are aware of the costs. It is easy for someone to be likeable. The important thing, however, is to be useful; both for today and tomorrow," noted Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis. The Economy Ministry is planning on raising revenues mainly from combating tax evasion, denationalisations and increasing the objective values of immovable properties. The biggest headache, though, is reducing the huge public deficit to below 3% and keeping the growth rates high. Specifically, the new Budget provides for a growth rate of 3.8% of the GNP, revenue increases of 7.9%, expenditure of 4.8%, and reducing unemployment to 9.8% and inflation to 3.2%. GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) and ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) spoke of an austere budget that will render workers and pensioners poorer. PASOK President George Papandreou accused the PM of being untrustworthy, while KKE and SYN harshly criticised the Government.

    Choosing Political Responsibility

    In tonights meeting of the Cabinet, which approved the 2006 Budget, PM Kostas Karamanlis stressed that it provides responsible answers to the main challenges faced by the country. "It combines the need to reduce major fiscal deficits, inherited from the past, with our main aim to boost employment and social cohesion," underlined the PM.

    Mr Karamanlis said the Governments objective is to steadily reduce the deficit to below 3% of the GNP in 2006, in the smoothest and most effective way. He also added that the progress secured by the new budget is mainly based on permanent measures, which focus on developing public property, curbing public expenditures and loses, combating tax evasion, and reducing public debt.

    The PM also noted that it provides for revenue increases, which will be based on the measures already implemented for electronic cross-references, periodic VAT declarations, and tax evasion on fuel and construction, while public expenditures will also be contained.

    At the same time, however, he pointed out that many social problems continue to exist. "We are not denying them and we are not hiding them. All the members of the Government, including myself, understand the problems experienced by the financially weaker citizens: low pension earners, low income earners, unemployed. We are choosing the path of responsibility against them. We choose policies that are not simple, or caress ears. Announcing measures that sound pleasant in the short run, but are will prove to the detriment of the weaker groups in the long run does not constitute social responsibility. We choose policies that will truly be useful for the country, society and those with the greatest needs. That is how we comprehend and carry out our duty, by choosing political responsibility," concluded the PM.

    On his part, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis stressed that the budget constitutes a national effort and a national policy, while he also described the main objectives. These are: reinstating fiscal equilibrium, boosting growth and social cohesion, increasing productivity, boosting competitiveness through structural reforms, increasing employment, and planning actions to reduce the risk of social segregation and support the weaker groups.

    The budget discussion at the Parliaments Plenary Session will last for five days and will be concluded at midnight on 22 December with a roll-call vote.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    2006 Budget to Parliament

    [02] Lawsuits Against Online Matchmakers Tough Times for Online Daters

    21 Nov 2005 15:16:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: Reuters

    Hundreds of lonely surfers, who were seeking for their better half on matchmaking sites, claimed to have been deceived. The users filed a lawsuit against the online matchmakers, supporting they were victims of fraud by the companies, which persuaded them to renew their subscriptions through romantic e-mails supposedly sent by other users. However, in reality, company employees were the ones sending the emails and even went on sham dates with subscribers as a marketing ploy.

    As per the plaintiffs' lawyers, Match.com claims to be a trustworthy company that protects its members, but the truth is it deceives its clients in order to get more publicity.

    Match.com "absolutely does not" follow such practices. The company has about 15 million members worldwide and only 250 employees.

    In the second suit, Yahoo Inc.'s personals service is accused of posting profiles of fictitious potential dating partners on its website to make it look as though many more singles subscribe to the service than actually do. However, Yahoo did not make any comments on the lawsuit.

    Although there has been a significant turnover reduction, the matchmaking industry still attracts millions of Internet users, while new services keep popping up that can even match up people with similar temperaments and outlooks.

    The domino of revelations and lawsuits started with 30-year-old Mathew Evans, who said he was on a date with an impressive woman, who admitted during their conversation that she was paid to be the bait, so that users can persuade their friends it is very likely they could meet an equally attractive woman.

    Still, Internet users should always be careful when communicating with other users or going out on blind dates.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Meeting at Ministry for the Interior Fully Prepared for the Weather

    21 Nov 2005 13:51:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Today, Minister for the Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos presided over a meeting of relevant bodies, attended by Civil Protection General Secretary Panagiotis Fourlas and Athens Prefect Charalambos Maniatis. Following the meeting, the Interior Minister stressed the readiness of the state for facing extreme weather conditions during winter. The meeting took place for facing any possible problems that may be presented in Attica, since strong thunderstorms are expected as of tomorrow. However, the Minister noted that the state is not taking a break, and if needed, will take added measures, while he noted the excellent cooperation between the relevant services. Mr Fourlas statements were along the same lines, stressing the meticulous planning and state-of-the-art equipment of his service for facing such conditions. With regard to Attica, Mr Fourlas said that the Civil Protection Authority has located 20 to 25 weak spots, where problems were created in the past, and noted that greater attention will be given, by coordinating the Traffic Police, the National Centre of Emergency Care (EKAV) and other bodies.

    Rainfall Straight Ahead

    As per an emergency forecast by the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS) the weather will gradually worsen on Tuesday and Wednesday, with rain and storms.

    In particular, the main characteristics of the weather will be strong rainfall and thunderstorms, initially in western Greece and later on in central and the south of the country. Snow will fall in mountainous areas and the mainland, as well as the lowlands, while gales will measure 8 to 9 on the Beaufort scale.

    During Tuesday and Wednesday night, the weather conditions will intensify and spread to the rest of the country, while on the islands of eastern Aegean Sea and the Dodecanese they will last until the early hours of Thursday.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Snow and Chilly Cold

    [04] George Papandreou at the Political Council Defending PASOK's Renewal

    21 Nov 2005 18:00:00

    Sources: ANA

    Speaking at the meeting of PASOKs Political Council, George Papandreou sent a message to any party members opposing his decision to proceed with changes that will renew PASOK. "If some want to appear as victims or defenders of renewal, it is up to them," declared PASOKs President, while he repeated, "Renewal constitutes a strategic choice for victory, as well as the partys perennial stance both during Andreas Papandreou and Kostas Simitis times." Mr Papandreou also stressed that PASOK will have at least 40 to 50 new MPs in the next elections, adding no one will be stricken and the candidates will emerge through democratic processes.

    Positions and Oppositions

    Nearly all the members of the Political Council spoke at the meeting.

    Evangelos Venizelos, who took the stand first, agreed with the context of renewal described by the President of PASOK, while he added that the hardest part of politics is managing things that are obvious.

    In addition, he denied rumours that he will be running for Mayor of Thessaloniki, stressing that they are harming the party.

    Theodoros Pangalos, who spoke next, said that renewal cannot be imposed, but has to be earned. He also added that there are many young people who earned the position they are in today because of their hard work, mentioning Milena Apostolaki as an example.

    Finally, Giorgos Panagiotakopoulos mentioned that renewal in socialist parties should not be a matter of age, but a matter of ideas and practices.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Meeting over New Codes of Conduct

    21 Nov 2005 12:51:00

    Sources: NET

    On Monday morning, the civil servants and the Municipalities and Communities' Code of Conduct, which will be advanced in Parliament until the end of the year, were at the focus of the meeting between the Prime Minister and Interior Minister, at Maximos Mansion. Prokopis Pavlopoulos noted that he briefed Kostas Karamanlis on the course of the programmes aimed at combating bureaucracy and the better service of citizens, such as the "Union" Programme. In closing, the readiness of the Civil Protection Authority, in view of the eminent extreme weather conditions, was also at the focus of the meeting.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] EFET Located Listeria Bacterium Dangerous Manouri Cheese

    21 Nov 2005 18:24:00

    Sources: NET

    EFET (Greek Central Food Control Agency) located the bacterium Listeria in a cheese sample under the brand "Manouri Viologiko Nousias" (organic product), which comes in 310gr packs and has a 2 July 2006 use-by-date. The specific manouri cheese, a traditional Greek cheese prepared from goat milk, is produced by the company Nousias SA and packaged by Skopos SA, while it is distributed in the market by Viozin SA. EFET ordered the immediate withdrawal of the product from the market, while it asked the aforementioned companies to provide the names of the retailers stocking the product, both in Greece and internationally. In addition, it advised consumers who have already purchased the product not to eat it.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Liapis SATA Meeting Higher Taxi Fares and Ticket Prices

    21 Nov 2005 15:42:00

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Fares for taxis, KTEL buses, trucks, urban transport and trains will increase as of 2006. This morning, Transport Minister Michael Liapis met with representatives of taxi owners and drivers, and discussed the increases in taxi fares. Specifically, flag fall will increase from 0.85 to 1 euro, while the minimum fare will increase from 1.75 to 2.50 euros. In addition, single tariff will increase from 0.30 euros per km to 0.32, while double tariff from 0.56 to 0.58.

    Looking for the Golden Mean

    "We are aiming at and looking for the golden mean. On the one hand, we are fully satisfying the demands of the sector, especially after the increase in oil prices and the cost of operation for taxis, while on the other hand, we want to curd inflation, because it is directly related to everyday life and the increase in the cost of living for many," declared the Transport Minister. Hew also added that the decisions will be made in the next two to three weeks, so that any price adjustments can apply as of the beginning of 2006.

    On their part, the taxi owners and drivers asked for increases in fares, quoting the added operational costs due to the increase in fuel prices.

    In addition, ticket prices on all other means of transport will also increase. Tickets for coaches will increase by 7% and freightage for trucks by 8%.

    The increases in public transport and trains will apply as of February 2006 and will border on the inflation rate.

    All increases will first have to be approved by the Prices and Revenues Committee.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Plea for National Unity Erdogan's Surprise Visit to SE Turkey

    21 Nov 2005 17:59:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan performed an unexpected visit to SE Turkey today, in an effort to defuse the crisis between the Kurds and the Turkish police in the area. Yesterday, one Kurd demonstrator was killed and another was seriously injured, during violent incidents that broke out in the town of Mersin. In addition, on 9 November, one person was killed in an explosion at a bookstore in the town of Semdinli, while another six were killed during the subsequent clashes. Erdogan, who ordered an investigation into the bookstore incident, arrived in the area accompanied by the Ministers of Justice and Interior, under tight security measures. It should be noted that three police officers have already been arrested in the context of the abovementioned investigation. "While the legal process is continuing, we will monitor it and do whatever is necessary on the administrative front," Erdogan told a crowd of hundreds gathered in a Semdinli street, in an address appealing for national unity. Later on, the Turkish PM addressed a crowd of thousands in the nearby town Yuksekova, as residents chanted for the local governors resignation.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Putin's Visit to Japan Truce with Oil Pipeline

    21 Nov 2005 13:10:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    During a joint Press conference by Vladimir Putin and Junichiro Koizumi, Moscow and Tokyo reconfirmed their dispute over the territory of the Kuril chain islets, which dates back to World War II, while reaching an agreement on Siberias oil. "The absence of an agreement hinders the development of economic relations and does not promote them," admitted the Russian President, who is on a formal visit to Japan, and pledged to contribute to the problems resolution. On his part, the Prime Minister of Japan spoke of a difference of views and a chasm that has to be bridged referring to the Northern Territories, as Tokyo calls the four islands that are disputed. However, the two leaders agreed to flow 1,600,000 barrels of Siberian oil towards Japan and not to China. It is noted that Tokyo and Peking have been competing on the participation on an oil pipeline, which will transport black gold from Siberia to the Pacific Ocean.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: Putin: Russia wants oil pipeline

    Mainichi Daily News: Japan, Russia sign economic accord, pledge to try resolving territorial dispute

    Related News:

    Putin in Tokyo

    [10] According to an ESYE Survey Change in Consumption Patterns

    21 Nov 2005 17:19:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    According to a survey conducted by the National Statistical Service of Greece (ESYE) on household budgets for 2004-2005, a family in Greece needs 1,792.28 euros per month to cover its consumer needs. As per the results, which were made public today, the largest part of a familys expenses relates to nutritional products (17.1%). However, a change in consumption patters and a shift of expenses to other categories, and mainly communications, was noted from 1999 to 2004.

    Changes in Nutrition

    Specifically, from February 2004 to January 2005, Greek families spent on average 17.1% on nutritional products; 12.60% on transport; 10.69% on housing; 9.61% on hotels, coffee shops and restaurants; 8.38% on clothing-footwear; 7.5% on durables; 7.15% on health; 5.03% on entertainment and culture; 4.52% on communications; and 2.86% on education.

    However, the food preferences have also changed over the last few years. Expenses for meat, vegetables, fruit, coffee, tea and cocoa have decreased, while on the other hand, expenses for fish, oil and fat, sweets, sugar, honey, jam, bottled water, juices and soft drinks have increased.

    The survey was conducted on a sample of 6,555 private households, consisting of a total of 17,386 members, from February 2004 to January 2005.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Oil Prices in Asian Markets on Upward Course US Cold Lifts Oil Higher

    21 Nov 2005 11:53:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Today, oil prices in Asian markets are on an upward course, as the US black gold demand increases due to the coming cold. In Singapore, the price of oil for January delivery contracts reached 57.64 dollars per barrel, increased by 43 cents in relation to the New York closing price last Friday (57.21 dollars). "We were expecting this price increase, because winter is falling in the USA and there is a big demand in heating oil," said Daiwa Securities Senior Resource Analyst Mark Pervan.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] Due to a Hospital-Acquired Infection Thessaloniki Ippokratio ICU Quarantined

    21 Nov 2005 21:25:00

    Sources: NET

    Two patients are being hospitalised in critical condition at the ICU of the Thessaloniki Ipokratio General Hospital, as they were infected by enterococcus bacteria. At the same time, two more patients who may be infected have been quarantined. The problem was detected in the hospitals ICU last Friday, when routine tests revealed that the patients manifested symptoms of the specific infection. The hospitals management was notified immediately and the ICU was closed down.

    It should be noted that hospital-acquired infections are considered extremely resistant to antibiotics, while they can easily be transmitted from patient to patient within the same ward.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] New Mutated Type of the Virus Detected Alarming News about AIDS in Greece

    21 Nov 2005 18:55:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Greek scientists addressed an appeal to the citizens to remain alert against the threat of AIDS. According to the latest statistics, the cases of AIDS in Greece have increased by 10% in 2005, while the increase in women is even more alarming, since it reached 18%. However, what seems to be troubling scientists even more is that a new mutated type of the virus was detected in Greece. As explained by infectious disease specialist H. Lazanas, this new type of HIV is transmitted easier from humans to humans, while prognosis becomes harder. The virus in question is more aggressive and as a result the disease is manifested quicker, while the largest percentage of the people infected by the specific type engaged in homosexual intercourse. Detailed results will be presented at the 17th National AIDS Convention, which will also focus on the increase of the cases in Greece, as well as the fact that most the cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease.

    On his part, infectious disease specialist G. Gargalianos noted that tests for the detection of the virus should be done earlier, since therapy is more effective when it starts at an early stage.

    In addition, referring to the therapies for combating the disease, the scientists explained that they are much simpler, while the side effects have been significantly reduced.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] EFET Located Listeria Bacterium Dangerous Manouri Cheese

    21 Nov 2005 18:24:00

    Sources: NET

    EFET (Greek Central Food Control Agency) located the bacterium Listeria in a cheese sample under the brand "Manouri Viologiko Nousias" (organic product), which comes in 310gr packs and has a 2 July 2006 use-by-date. The specific manouri cheese, a traditional Greek cheese prepared from goat milk, is produced by the company Nousias SA and packaged by Skopos SA, while it is distributed in the market by Viozin SA. EFET ordered the immediate withdrawal of the product from the market, while it asked the aforementioned companies to provide the names of the retailers stocking the product, both in Greece and internationally. In addition, it advised consumers who have already purchased the product not to eat it.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [15] Formal Visit Papoulias ESIEA Meeting

    21 Nov 2005 15:26:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    During their meeting today at the Presidential Mansion, the Board of Directors of ESIEA (Journalists Union of Athens Daily Newspapers) asked for the Greek Presidents support in solving the problems encountered in the journalistic sector. On his part, Karolos Papoulias wished the new Board good luck. After thanking the Hellenic President, ESIEA President Panos Sobolos briefed him on the demands of the 24-strike, scheduled for this coming Thursday.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [16] To Testify Over Extra-Judicial Network Kechagioglou Received New Deadline

    21 Nov 2005 14:53:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET, ERA, ANA

    Lawyer Sakis Kechagioglou opened the new cycle of testimonies on the extra-judicial network today. However, Mr Kechagioglou asked for and received by Appellate Examiner G. Fiorakis a new deadline to testify on November 30, in order to get better prepared to defend himself. The known lawyer is charged with felonies, like legalising revenues from illegal activities, accessory in abusing power and others. Athens lawyers Petros Machlas, Stavroula Pseirra and Maria Vracha, as well as Volos lawyer Nikos Emmanouilidis have been called to appear before the examiner on Friday, but they are most likely to ask for a new deadline to testify. At the same time, 20 new defendants will soon receive subpoenas to testify on the extra-judicial network.

    Kalamiotis Trial on Tuesday

    In the meantime, Giannis Kalamiotis' drug trafficking case linked to the extra-judicial network will be tried tomorrow at the Three-Member Court of Felony Appeals

    In 2003, Kalamiotis is accused of having given through his lawyer 30 thousand euros to former examiner Antonia Ilia to help him not go to prison.

    The examiner also helped him receive a certification from the NIMITS hospital, which read he was a cancer patient.

    The case of remand-in-custody archimandrite Iakovos Giosakis, who is charged with illegal antique trading, is also expected to be tried tomorrow, while on Wednesday the Parliament's competent committee will discuss the issue of lifting Petros Madouvalos' immunity.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [17] Expatriate Greeks at the Focus

    21 Nov 2005 14:33:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET, ANA

    In todays meeting with SAE (World Council of Hellenes Abroad) President Andrew Athens, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias praised the role of Expatriate Greeks in promoting national affairs. In the presence of Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis and Parliamentarian Mr Chaitidis, President of the Parliaments Special Permanent Committee on Greeks Abroad, Mr Athens presented the problems of the Omogeneia. A while later, the Omogeneia delegation visited Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis at Maximos Mansion and Mr Athens voiced the Expatriates warm thanks for the PMs contribution to the problems of the Omogeneia.

    Satisfaction Over Contacts

    Welcoming the members of the World Council, Mr Papoulias underlined that Expatriate Greeks constitute a major power always in the front line and added that those living abroad are more Greeks than those living on home grounds.

    Following, the SAE presidium met with the Prime Minister at Maximos Mansion, a meeting also attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis.

    After the meeting, SAE President Andrew Athens stated he informed Mr Karamanlis on SAE's initiatives so far, voicing his satisfaction over the contacts with the political and state leadership of Greece.

    As for Mr Skandalakis, he noted that in the meeting everyone was given the opportunity to present their work and thank the Prime Minister for his undivided support.

    Mr Athens also met with Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, with whom he discussed the collaboration with US businesses active in the fields of technology and energy, especially with small-medium sized businesses, which have already taken interest in this kind of collaboration.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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