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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-12-22

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] A Proposal for Review
  • [02] Blast at Ministry of Development
  • [03] High Danger Menu
  • [04] King Abdullah II at Maximos
  • [05] EU Subsidies Wont Change
  • [06] Drug Lord Sentenced
  • [07] Running the Stretch
  • [08] Announcement of Winter Sales
  • [09] Mosquito Found in Catheter
  • [10] Green Tea Fights Leukaemia
  • [11] Google's "Most Wanted" 2005

  • [01] Announcement of Dialogue for Constitution A Proposal for Review

    22 Dec 2005 16:13:00 (Last updated: 22 Dec 2005 22:15:12)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Tonight, in his speech on the 2006 Budget in Parliament, the Prime Minister is expected to propose the review of the Constitution. The aim is for its adjustment to European facts and the facilitation of reforms demanded by the era, in other words, the full renewal of clauses of the Constitution in order to pave the road for the speeding up of reforms on all levels. In view of his speech tonight, Mr Karamanlis held consecutive meetings with members of the Government. Minister of State and Government spokesperson Theodoros Roussopoulos was called to comment on the issue, disassociating early elections from the review issue. "Kostas Karamanlis and the ND Government will make their proposal, and from then on, we will have plenty of time to discuss," said Mr Rousopoulos and added, "The elections are not connected to the above issue in any case. "Elections are conducted at the end of the four-year term," he said.

    No Connection to Early Elections

    Upon his exit from Maximos Mansion following a meeting with the Prime Minister, ND MP Giannis Kefalogiannis was also asked over the event of early elections: "There is no reason for the Government to proceed to early elections. There is great work ahead of it, and is committed by its programmes; therefore I dont see any reason. The Government is doing well," said Mr Kefalogiannis. Questioned on whether the discussion over the review will better the Governments image, he expressed the view that the next Parliament should be reviewing in order for specific issues to be adjusted.

    The issue of establishing private Universities, as well as the profession incompatibility issue of MPs will be in the agenda of the review. The previous reviews of the Constitution had been made in 1986 and 2001.

    Speaking in Parliament, Minister of Public Order Giorgos Voulgarakis referred to terrorism, noting, "The case of terrorism in the form we experienced it, has ceased to exist. All the murderers have been identified and imprisoned and there is not another pending issue from the operational branch. If the brief is still open, it is because specific evidence has not been identified, such as the typewriter and the 45mm gun."

    He also referred to the issue of "masked men," who as he said, hassle the area of Exarchia, saying that the Government is decided to put an end to this story.

    In his speech, Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos commented on specific parts of President of PASOKs speech, who as he said has distributed it to the Mass Media, noting that the special regime of Portugal based on which it ensured larger funding than Greece in the recent Summit Meeting has already been stated by the Simitis Government in 1999.

    PASOK MP Michalis Chrysochoidis fiercely reacted and said that it is not correct for Mr Roussopoulos to answer to someone who has not spoken yet.

    KKE General Secretary Aleka Papariga referred to the dispute between the two big parties saying that the issues on which they are fighting on are not related to the needs of the people and are not directed at the improvement of the viability level. On his part, SYN President Alekos Alavanos noted that Greece, with the initial Mediterranean Programmes, has "locked-in" the poor groups, which is Hungary and the Czech Republic and said that in the future it will be placed alongside countries such as Turkey and FYROM.

    "Greece just watches the trains pass by, because we did not make a leap in development. Our model is not going anywhere because it is destroying the Public Sector as a tool of development," said Mr Alavanos.

    Criticism Made by PASOK

    The Prime Ministers intention over the review of the constitution has caused a wide-ranging discussion.

    PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos agreed to the establishment of the Constitutional Court, the abolishment of primary shareholder, the establishment of private, non-profit Universities and the abolishment of profession incompatible of MPs.

    "The review is not a roulette; it needs consensus, maturity and everyone will contribute but we will not become part of a communication game of impressions," said Mr Venizelos.

    Speaking on NET 105.8, PASOK MP Andreas Loverdos voiced the view that his party did not achieve passing its messages during the budgets discussion.

    On his part, ND MP Maximos Charakopoulos noted: "What the society demands is to precede with reforms with a speedy pace."

    The review of the Constitution dominated the discussion on the budget in Parliaments Plenary Session.

    "The PMs effort to change the discussion agenda with announcements over a review of the Constitution is the most profound confession of the failure of NDs policy," noted PASOK MP Maria Damanaki during the new Budget discussion at Parliament today. Moreover, after speaking of the Governments communication operation of disorientation, she explained, "a review of the Constitution is certainly needed and PASOK has already supported it."

    Minister of Education Marietta Giannakou answered to Mrs Damanaki, saying that the compiling of the agenda is the Governments duty. Later on, Mrs Giannakou answering to journalists questions, in relation to the review, said that in the previous corresponding procedure, all that should have been done did not, and very important issues were left out.

    She also reminded that then, George Papandreou had voted for the Private non-profit Universities, "Now if PASOK does not have the same view with its leadership, what can I tell you? Everything is possible in politics," said Mrs Giannakou.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Blast at Ministry of Development

    22 Dec 2005 22:40:00 (Last updated: 22 Dec 2005 22:59:25)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    A blast occurred at the Ministry of Development, on Mesogeion Avenue, shortly after 10:00. The police has closed-off the area while traffic on both lanes of the avenue has been banned. The explosive device had been placed at Kazanis Street. A telephone call of an unidentified man to Eleftherotypia newspaper was made beforehand. The phone call was made at 22:01 and the unidentified man said that an explosion would take place in half an hour, adding: "It is not a farce." There is no information over any injured persons. The anti-terror and bomb squad have rushed at the scene.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Consecutive Cases of Conscienceless High Danger Menu

    22 Dec 2005 20:38:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: EFET, Piraeus Prefecture, ANA, NET

    People are flocking to the markets, with the prices of meat ranging at last years, while an increase up to 16% is recorded in other products, since the people are shopping for the basic necessities for the Christmas dinner table. At the same time, checks by the crews of Prefectures and Sanitary Services, in order to secure the consumers protection by conscienceless storeowners, are continuing. During the previous days, the authorities have been locating dangerous foodstuffs, which is turning into a daily procedure. The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) sounded the alarm over 20 tonnes of frozen pork meat from Denmark, infected with salmonella and destined for Greek delicatessen company Yfantis. Yesterday, the crews of the Athens Prefecture confiscated 939 kilos of unsuitable meat and poultry after an inspection at a meat producing company, "Poiotita kai Timi SA," in Kamatero. Today, crews of the Piraeus Prefecture confiscated another 673 kilos of lamb of the same company, this time at the mens prison in Korydallos, which were renamed to European, while derived from non-EU countries. However, the crews of the Piraeus Prefecture did not stop there. In a visit to the 6th Customs House of the port, they discovered 68 tonnes of unsuitable coffee. In the meantime, in Keratsini, the bakerys owner, where inspectors found cockroaches and other insects, was arrested. Another five owners of foodstuff business were referred to the Prosecutor.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Trash Food

    [04] Boosting Bilateral Relations King Abdullah II at Maximos

    22 Dec 2005 14:01:00 (Last updated: 22 Dec 2005 17:37:00)


    Sources: - 105,8 - ANA

    The latest developments in the Middle East and Iraq, as well as the enhancement of the bilateral economic ties between Greece and Jordan topped the meeting held on Thursday at Maximos Mansion between Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis and King Abdullah II of Jordan. The Greek PM argued that the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip has made potentials for sorting out the problems in the Middle East quite favourable. He also referred to Jordans pivotal role in the wider area due to its stance on a moderate Islam. At the same time, he underlined Greeces firm standpoint that security and peace in the Middle East will emerge from the existence of two separate countries, namely Israel and Palestine. Both Mr Karamanlis and King Abdullah agreed that the "road map" approved by the international community is a viable organisation working for lasting peace in the area. Earlier, King Abdullah had a meeting with the Federation of Greek Industries President and discussed the business relations between Greece and Jordan. Furthermore, Mr Karamanlis met with his Albanian counterpart, Sali Berisha upon the latters request. No statements were made after the meeting was concluded.

    Moderate and Constructive Stance

    Jordan has gained the appreciation and respect of the international community over its moderate and constructive stance on several world issues, while King Abdullah has further enhanced Jordans international role, stated Mr Karamanlis.

    The Greek PM praised the domestic reforms forwarded by the Jordanian King and pointed out that his stance on the Palestinian issue, as well as on other crucial issues that have been puzzling the wider area, is of major significance and play an instrumental role in achieving lasting peace in the area.

    In particular, he underscored that both the Israelis and the Palestinians have made mutual efforts, yet they should fully meet their obligations as they are defined by the "road map." He then went on to say that Jordan is an important Mediterranean partner for the EU, therefore, Greece can further help this cooperation.

    Finally, Mr Karamanlis said that he wishes for the ties between the countries to be further enhanced, and noted that the two economic agreements signed yesterday are to give a new boost to the relations the two countries have been enjoying.

    The King of Jordan also agreed with the Greek PM that the "road map" approved by the international community provides for a viable mechanism towards a fair and lasting solution in the Middle East.

    As far as Iraq is concerned, he noted that the recent parliamentary elections is a major step forward signaling the onset of a new era.

    On the issue of terrorism, King Abdullah argued, "We both utterly condemn all acts of terrors."

    The Jordanian King further added that they discussed "Ammans message," which, as he said, aims at peace, progress, understanding, tolerance and respect for human dignity.

    King Abdullahs Meetings with George Papandreou and Aleka Papariga

    Exiting his meeting with King Abdullah, PASOK leader George Papandreou argued that PASOK is to take initiatives towards peace in the Middle East.

    The Jordanian head of state "voiced his wish for a close cooperation in these issues," added Mr Papandreou.

    During their meeting, the two men discussed Jordans relation with the EU, as well as the bilateral relations between Greece and Jordan.

    King Abdullah also met with KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga, who discussed with him the US-backed plan to democratise the Middle East.

    "It has nothing to do with democratisation. Besides, democracy is not imported. Instead, it has to do with allocating the wealth in the region and unleashing a series of interventions we fiercely oppose," claimed Mrs Papariga.

    Economic Cooperation

    FGI President Odysseas Kyriakopoulos argued that this visit helps the economic ties of the two countries enter a new era, since Jordan is a developing country, which can promote the Greek products to the Arab market.

    On the other hand, Greece can promote the Jordanian and Arab products in general to the European Union.

    At the same time, Jordan has voiced its interest in the fields of construction and medicines.

    In his address, the King of Jordan claimed that boosting the cooperation between the two countries is a challenge and added that tourism, telecommunications and the sectors of textile and food make the fields of business cooperation.

    It is noted that the Jordanian economy enjoys high growth rates, amounting to 7.6%, and is one of the strongest economies of the region. At the same time, inflation stands at 3.2%. Exports from Jordan to Greece stood at 1.6 million dollars, while exports from Greece to Jordan amounted to 25 million dollars.

    Major Reforms

    Earlier, the Jordanian King visited the Greek Parliament and met with the Speaker, Anna Benaki-Psarouda.

    "It is a great pleasure and honour to welcome you in Greece. Your visit is of major importance for the Greek Parliament," pointed out Mrs Benaki-Psarouda. She then went on to praise the domestic reforms King Abdullah has implemented, as well as his efforts to serve as a peacemaker among Jordans neighbouring countries.

    King Abdullah underscored that he is honoured to be welcomed at the Greek Parliament, while he voiced his hope that this meeting could enhance the ties between the two Parliaments.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Papoulias-King Abdullah II Meeting

    [05] EU Subsidies Wont Change

    22 Dec 2005 14:39:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET-ANA

    Greek Minister of Rural Development Evangelos Basiakos briefed on Thursday the Prime Minister on the decisions and initiatives taken by the World Trade Organisation. He also referred to the EU Summit and to the fact that the Greek government managed to maintain the EU subsidies for farm products and cotton in particular. Earlier, the Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis, had talks with Deputy Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia, who briefed on Mr Karamanlis on her recent trip to China, which was held in the context of the Greek-Chinese cooperation on the Olympic Games, to present Athens know-how and experience. Furthermore, Mr Karamanlis met with ND parliamentarian Giannis Kefalogiannis.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Life Sentence to Alexandros Aggelopoulos Drug Lord Sentenced

    22 Dec 2005 14:55:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, NET

    Today, the Piraeus Three-Member Felony Appeals Court imposed a life sentence to the mastermind of the operation, Alexandros Aggelopoulos, who transported 5.5 tonnes of cocaine on fishing boat "Africa I," and located by the Spanish Authorities off the coast of Spain last July. Two of his co-defendants, Giorgos Maragoudakis and Nikos Gavrilis, were also sentenced to life, while an added sentence of 4 years for participation and possession of weapons and ammunition, as well as the fine of 300,000 euros were imposed.

    On the other hand, the court acquitted Nikos Andonakakis and Apostolos Bousios, who during the procedure claimed that they did not participate in the drugs transport.

    Aggelopoulos had also supported he was innocent during his testimony to the court, claiming that he did not have any relation and moreover that he does not own the ships. He had also supported that all the services were aware that he was abroad, but never hassled him. It is reminded that a warrant by Interpol had been issued against Aggelopoulos, before finally being arrested in Stuttgart.

    The three convicts were taken to Korydallos prison without making any statements.

    It is noted that the trial only concerned the transport of drugs and not their trafficking.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Trial Postponement for 'Cocaine Baron'

    [07] Voting Session on Budget at Midnight Running the Stretch

    22 Dec 2005 18:04:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The five-day discussion on the 2006 Budget will be concluded with the speeches of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and the leaders of the opposition. The Prime Minister is expected to refer to the prospect given to Greek economy by a new Budget, while he will be making a wide-range review emphasising the advanced reforms. The procedure will be concluded with a roll-call vote at midnight. Today, the relevant discussion continued with the speeches of MPs and Ministers. Yesterday, in his speech, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis noted that the budget is aimed at reinstating fiscal balance, while he described the recent decision for Greece in the Brussels Summit Meeting as a great success of the Government. Speaking on NET 105.8 FM, Deputy Minister of Economy Petros Doukas noted that the budget foresees a revenues increase by 7.9% and repeated that the aim of the economic leadership is the combat of tax evasion.

    Voices Raised over Equipment

    During this mornings discussion in Parliament, Minister of Defence Spilios Spiliotopoulos focused on the management of the Ministry of Defences finance and defence equipment. The Minister appeared satisfied over the achievement for the first time of the decrease of funds for Defence under 3% of the budget. He accused PASOK of transferring payments reaching 5.1 billion euros to the current Government, which is already appropriating 22 billion euros to the new planning for equipment programmes.

    Mr Spiliotopoulos dedicated a great part of his speech referring to the purchase of 40 F-16s, attacking PASOK, which had condemned the purchase, underlining, "We defend our countrys flag and do not lower it. An imperative prerequisite for peace is the existence of a sufficient preventive force for crises," said the Minister of National Defence.

    PASOK MP Christos Protopapas answered to Mr Spiliotopoulos, saying, "Never in Parliament have so many lies been heard in a few seconds," and observed "you are not the suitable party nor the suitable figure to accuse PASOK over the Greek flag."

    "These personal attacks and descriptions do not affect the ones affronted but those who utter them," commented Minister of Mercantile Marine Manolis Kefalogiannis shortly after.

    PASOK MP Vaso Papandreou stated that the Parliament is getting ready to vote for the 2006 Budget "which if the relevant prize did not exist, it would be nominated for an Oscar for unreliability." "In a few hours the Greek Parliament, with the ND majority, will say Yes to all but the budget will not be approved. The final approval will be given by Brussels in February," said Mrs Papandreou and accused the Government of voting for another budget, Brussels approving of another and another one being materialised.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Hot Dispute Over the Budget

    Voices Raised at Parliament

    [08] Debut on January 23 Announcement of Winter Sales

    22 Dec 2005 14:54:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: General Secretariat of Commerce

    The shopping sprees may be frequent due to the holidays, but we should not forget that shortly after, winter sales follow with many tempting offers. As per an announcement by the General Secretariat of Commerce, winter sales begin on January 23 and will last for five weeks until February 26, 2006. This means, as per the legislation in force, that 30 days before the sales start, which is December 24, stores are not allowed to announce sales or offers in any way, primarily by advertising, mail or sign posts to consumers. In the case of a law violation strict penalties are foreseen.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] At a Health Centre in Farsala Mosquito Found in Catheter

    22 Dec 2005 18:58:00

    Sources: NET

    Another case of unsuitable sanitary equipment surfaced after the discovery of a mosquito in an airtight catheter at Farsala Health Centre by the nursing personnel. The hospitals Director, Iakovos Brouskelis, was immediately informed, and gave the order for all the catheters to be withdrawn. As of March 2003, Larissa health centres and hospitals purchased approximately 290 catheters by an importing company in Athens. Moreover, Minister of Health Nikitas Kaklamanis ordered an investigation for the scorpion that was located at the surgery of Venizeleio Hospital on Wednesday.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Green Tea Fights Leukaemia

    22 Dec 2005 14:11:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: BBC

    The beneficial properties the green tea possesses have long been known. As per a new study carried out by researchers from the mayo Clinic in the USA, a green teen extract can help patients suffering form chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Being the commonest type of leukaemia, CLL is a blood and bone marrow cancer affecting white blood cells. It is called chronic, because it progresses slowly allowing most patients to live for several years. Due to lack of a known treatment, doctors avoided intervening in the early stages of the disease and just monitored its progress and moved on chemotherapies when deemed necessary. In the new study, the researchers from the Mayo clinic administered green tea extract tablets containing pigallocatechin gallate to four CLL patients, after having proved that the green tea can kill leukaemia cells.

    Further Research Required

    Following a treatment of several months, the doctors noticed that three out of four patients improved.

    The fourth patient also showed a minor improvement. However, it was not related to the administration of the green tea extract.

    As per Tait Shanafelt, one of the researchers, the findings are quite impressive, since they give hopes for combating leukaemia. However, he noted that a larger scaled research is needed to prove the validity of the findings.

    On his part, Ken Campbell, clinical information officer at the Leukaemia Research Fund, agreed that the findings of the study are interesting enough, yet he underlined that it is still too soon to speak of a new treatment for cancer.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] Google's "Most Wanted" 2005

    22 Dec 2005 16:47:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    As 2005 is packing its bags and preparing to wave goodbye, journalists pens are busy recording the most important events of the year. Apart from the list with the years highlights, which in a week will be left long gone, there is one more; the one with the figures and events which interested the people the most! And what better way to discover this, than by seeing who and what was typed in the well-known box of search engines. Already, Google published the list of the "most wanted" people and events for 2005. Celebrities and natural disasters topped the list. And if you are wondering over who ranked first, let us say that it was Janet Jackson.

    The Internet Grows Up

    Even if the event that turned all eyes on her, which was the "accident" with her breast being exposed during her performance in the Super Bowl, took place in 2004, as per Google, Internet users sought information for the singer, more than any other person of 2005.

    Her popularity on the Internet even surpassed her brother, Michael Jackson, regardless that the latter interested the Mass Media over his legal adventures.

    Another high-ranker on Google is Britney Spears, thanks to her pregnancy and the birth of her son, Sean, who attracted the interest of gossip seekers, as well as fans, who sought for more and more details on her private life.

    Actually, Britney was No 1 in a similar list compiled by Yahoo.

    And from glamorous pop stars to hard reality.

    Natural disasters, which shocked, scared and troubled us all, are also on the Google list.

    In the category of Nature, the searches over tsunamis, Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Kashmir hit red.

    There was a great interest over the July terrorist attacks in London, while the website that the majority of users visited for further information was BBC and not CNN.

    The Top Ten Figures

    Janet Jackson Hurricane Katrina Tsunami Xbox 360 Brad Pitt Michael Jackson American Idol Britney Spears Angelina Jolie Harry Potter

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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