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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-12-23

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] 2006 Budget Voted For
  • [02] Never Without My Christmas Tree
  • [03] Kechagioglou-Nikolakopoulos Detained
  • [04] US Troops to Withdraw From Iraq
  • [05] New Arrest Over 21 July Attacks
  • [06] Alert at a Nuclear Plant
  • [07] NY Strike Ended
  • [08] Olympiacos' 4th Victorious Step

  • [01] Roll-Call Vote Concluded in Parliament 2006 Budget Voted For

    23 Dec 2005 00:18:00 (Last updated: 23 Dec 2005 08:50:31)

    Sources: NET

    Late on Thursday night, the Budget for 2006 was voted by 166 for and 132 against by Parliaments Plenary Session. The five-day discussion was concluded with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis speech, posing the issue for the review of the Constitution, in order for its adjustment to European standards and the facilitation of imperative reforms. The Prime Ministers proposal spurred a wide-range of discussions and comments, while Government officials noted that it is not connected to an event of early elections 298 MPs voted in total. The Budget was voted for by 163 ND MPs, as well as independent Parliamentarians Petros Madouvalos, Evangelos Polyzos and Stelios Papathemelis. The Budget was voted down by MPs of PASOK, KKE, SYN, as well as independent Parliamentarian Stefanos Manos. The following were absent: Nikos Konstantopoulos and Andreas Andrianopoulos. It is noted that in this years discussion, as announced by Speaker of Parliament Anna Benaki-Psarouda, 147 speakers took the floor, more than any other time in the past.

    "The Time for Great Changes"

    The issue of establishing private Universities, the profession incompatibility of MPs, as well as the protection of woodlands are to be included on the agenda of the review.

    The previous reviews of the Constitution had been made in 1986 and 2001.

    In his speech, the Prime Minister stressed that reforms, which the country needs, should proceed.

    "We are beginning a broad public dialogue and preparing the necessary procedures in order for the next Parliament to be of a reviewing nature [] It is the time for great and responsible changes, needed by the country and demanded by the citizen. It is the time for changes and reforms," noted the Mr Karamanlis in his speech.

    Commenting on President of PASOK George Papandreous speech, Mr Karamanlis said that he distorted the truth, glorified the past of his party and anticipated that it would win the elections.

    Ending his speech, the Prime Minister asked for a positive vote of the Budget "in order to shake off the burdens of the past and ensure a fairer future, as an order and commitment to changes and reforms, which improve the citizens life and as a clear message to the social alliance of changes and reforms."

    Fierce Attack by Papandreou

    Earlier, the PASOK President accused the Government of submitting a budget "with an asterisk" since as he said, "The Government is under probation," while he spoke of an iconic and unreliable Budget and described the previous two that the ND Government had submitted as "monuments of irresponsibility, insincerity and unreliability."

    Moreover, Mr Papandreou said that thousands of recruitments of ND followers were made, and referring to the issue of corruption, attacked the Prime Minister saying that he remains detached at the removal of ND members. In fact, he referred to the saying of Giannis Paleokrassas "the king is naked."

    In closing, Mr Papandreou attacked Mr Karamanlis as Minister of Culture, saying, "The clothes do not make the man and sometimes Culture is more important than the Economy. Mr Karamanlis, you are not suitable for the seat of Minister of Culture," said the President of PASOK and continued:

    "Soon enough the Greek people will decide that you need another eight years as part of your continuous education at the benches of the opposition."

    Ending his speech, Mr Papandreou said that PASOK is voting down the Budget and NDs practices because it represents maintenance, state control and the past and concluded: "Happy Holidays to all. After the holidays, the people will sing other types of carols to your Government."

    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.

    Moreover, she referred to accusations by Pakistani immigrants, who claimed that they were abducted by the Secret Service, noting that the two big parties have not referred to the agreement signed by the Simitis Government, which as she said, foresaw the action of Secret Services in Greece.

    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.

    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 MPs Michalis Chrysochoidis and Charis Kastanidis fiercely reacted to Mr Roussopoulos sayings in reference to the commentary on Mr Papandreous speech, describing his action as "unethical."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    A Proposal for Review

    [02] In Germany Never Without My Christmas Tree

    23 Dec 2005 12:15:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    What should anyone definitely have to spend a Merry Christmas? Germans answered that question and quite frankly we were surprised by their answers. According to a new opinion poll, most Germans would rather spend Christmas with a tree than with their families. 75% answered they cannot have Christmas without the Tannenbaum (the traditional Christmas tree), while only 65% think spending time with relatives is essential for a good Christmas.

    Carols Presents

    Carols and Christmas songs also top the list of Christmas must-haves. 75% of Germans said they couldn't have Christmas without singing Christmas songs.

    Presents come next with 42% saying they couldn't do without them.

    However, three percent of the 1,014 people polled about attitudes to Christmas wanted to skip the whole thing.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] As Per the Appellate Council's Ruling Kechagioglou-Nikolakopoulos Detained

    23 Dec 2005 11:05:00 (Last updated: 23 Dec 2005 12:43:25)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET

    The Appellate Council issued on Friday morning a ruling ordering the temporal detention of attorneys Sakis Kechagioglou and Giorgos Nikolakopoulos, who are involved in the extrajudicial ring. Earlier, the Athens Appellate Council had supported the Appellate Examiner who requested the two attorneys be remanded in custody, thus settling the dispute triggered between the Appellate Examiner and the Prosecutor. Sakis Kechagioglou is accused of bribing judges Antonia Ilia and Evangelos Kalousis with 500,000 euros to achieve favourable rulings on drug cases. Mr Kechagioglou has put all accusations down to rivalry. The Thessaloniki attorney Giorgos Nikolakopoulos, who is also charged with bribery, stated that he will subject himself to what the law defines and voiced his hope that he will be judged in a fairer fashion in the future. Both men have been informed on their temporary detention and are expected to arrive at the Appellate Court at 14:00. They then will be transferred to Korydallos prison.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] 8 to 10 Thousand Troops to Withdraw in Spring US Troops to Withdraw From Iraq

    23 Dec 2005 08:14:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA-Reuters

    During his flying visit to Falluja on Friday, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced to scale back US combat forces in Iraq. "President Bush has authorised an adjustment in U.S. combat brigades in Iraq from 17 to 15," said Rusmfeld while addressing hundreds of troops in a military camp. He also made it clear that the Pentagon decision is "a recognition of the Iraqi peoples progress in assuming added responsibility for their country." The reduction in the brigades will be accompanied by the rise in the number of the US soldiers assigned to train Iraqi military forces.

    Mr Rumsfeld did not mention the exact number of troops to be withdrawn from Iraq, but a brigade usually numbers 4,000 to 5,000 troops. Therefore, the number of the US soldiers involved in Iraq is to be reduced to 138,000, something which Washington announced a few weeks ago succumbing to the pressure applied by the Democrats who had been urging the Bush administration to come up with a pullout plan. According to the US Defence Secretary, the pullout plan is to be realised in coming spring "following talks with the ally forces and with the future Iraqi government," stated Rumsfeld.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Charges Over the 21 July Attacks New Arrest Over 21 July Attacks

    23 Dec 2005 11:24:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA-BBC

    The probe into the failed 21 July bomb attacks in London resulted in the arrest of yet another suspect. A 23-year-old university student Adel Yahya from Tottenham was arrested last Tuesday at Gatwick Airport on his trip back from Ethiopia. Adel Yahya was charged with conspiracy to cause explosions.

    It is the sixth person charged with conspiracy to cause explosions that could pose a serious threat to human lives or result in major damage. Yahya is believed to have assisted the perpetrators of the July attacks, which failed to explode. The British Police also believes that Yahya had left Britain since last June.

    In relation to the 21 July attacks, some ten people will be referred to the British Justice facing lesser charges, including withholding information from the authorities. Dozens more were taken to the examiners, yet they were released without pressing charges against them. The trial of further five men is scheduled for September 2006.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] In Scotland Alert at a Nuclear Plant

    23 Dec 2005 08:46:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    A failure recorded yesterday night at Scotlands nuclear power station sounded the alarm and policemen and firefighters rushed to the accident scene just to deal with a "normal situation," as British Energy, the company that runs the power station, announced. The accident occurred at 23:00 (Greek local time) at the Torness nuclear power station that lies 48m southwest of Edinburgh. A spokesman for the company did not provided any information on the nature of the accident. "The power station was not evacuated and has not ceased its operation," argued the spokesman. At the time of the accident, there were38 workers out of the 475 people working there. The Torness nuclear power station opened in 1988 and should cease its operation in 2023. However, British Energy is considering restoring its facilities by investing 2.92 billion euros.

    [07] NY Strike Ended

    22 Dec 2005 23:24:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    On Thursday and following a three-day chaos in the American city, caused by the strike of employees in the subway and buses, the Unions decided to immediately stop their collective actions. The announcement was made a few hours before the statements of the countys negotiators, who had announced that the union of employees in transit and employers were nearing an agreement. The ruling of Justice had come beforehand, as it imposed a 3-million-dollar fine daily to the Unions for each day of striking, as well as the event of the imprisonment of leader of the TWU Local 100 Union Roger Toussaint, since the legislature disallows Public Sector employees to strike. As per estimations, at least 12 hours will be needed, in order for transits to start their normal operation, which remained immobilised for three days, creating great problems to approximately 7 million residents.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Forbes: New York's 3-Day Transit Strike Ends

    Reuters: New York transit strike called off after 3 days

    CNN: Union votes to end New York transit walkout

    BBC: NY transport workers end strike

    Related News:

    Third Day of Chaos in New York

    1 Million Dollar Strike

    [08] Olympiacos' 4th Victorious Step

    22 Dec 2005 22:52:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Olympiacos achieved its fourth win out of eight games in Euroleague. The team of Piraeus defeated Barcelona 80-68 in a game for the 8th round of Group B. Consequently, with this win, Olympiacos overtakes the Spaniards, with who they shared the same amount of points, shortly before the game. However, even if Olympiacos nearly got there, it did not manage to cover the difference of 16 points, by which it had lost in the Euroleagues premier. The score for the ten-minute periods: 23-12, 44-31, 57-46, 80-68.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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