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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-05

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Testimonies Begin
  • [02] Questions Raised
  • [03] Wiretaps Could Be Provocation
  • [04] Bad Weather Coming In
  • [05] Papoulias' Message to Albania
  • [06] On a Tightrope over the Cartoons
  • [07] Multi-Fatality Explosion in Pakistan
  • [08] Testifying in the Philippines Tragedy
  • [09] Tension in the Palestinian Territory
  • [10] Larissa Overturned the Score
  • [11] Draw in Crete
  • [12] Let the Show Begin

  • [01] Over the Wiretapping Case Testimonies Begin

    05 Feb 2006 20:48:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The week starting tomorrow is expected to be a week of important developments on the wiretapping case, as competent authorities will continue investigating towards all directions. Vodafone executives will be called to testify in the coming days, as well as technicians working for Ericsson, the company that developed Vodafones software. The ADAE (Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy) has called all Vodafone executives to provide explanations on the case, while according to State Minister Theodoros Roussopoulos, the Government will suggest the formation of an Investigative Committee. That Committee would look into all aspects of the case, but only after the judicial investigation would have ended, so as not to create obstacles nor offend Justices independence. Meanwhile, the clash between the Government and PASOK escalates, while Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras did not exclude the possibility of provocation. The suicide of Vodafones 38-year-old executive is also under the microscope, while the family of the deceased has posed critical questions over the link of the suicide to the wiretappings.

    Political Clash

    The wiretapping case has triggered new clashes between the Government and the Main Opposition. Even though Government executives underlined that all names have been given to publicity and the investigation would pay off, PASOK Parliamentarians spoke of an effort to cover up many clues of the case.

    SYN, on the other hand, asked authorities to immediately remove Vodafone's operation license and bring criminal proceedings against the company.

    "No Piece of Evidence Destroyed"

    It is worth noting that Vodafone's CEO Giorgos Koronias gave an interview to "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia" newspaper stressing that the company would hand all evidence over to the investigative authorities. However, he noted that he removed the wiretapping software because "the company had to react immediately."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Questions Raised

    Wiretaps Could Be Provocation

    Investigation into Wiretapping

    [02] Over the Suicide Questions Raised

    05 Feb 2006 18:17:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The suicide of Vodafones executive Konstantinos Tsalikidis, just one day before the mobile telephony company briefed the Prime Ministers office on the wiretapping case, continues to be in the headlines. On Sunday, the lawyer of the Tsalikidis family, Themistoklis Sofos, gave a Press Conference and posed critical questions that concern the Tsalikidis family regarding the suicide of their 38-year-old son. Mr Sofos demanded to know what the Authorities were investigating for 10 months regarding the case and who testified or are about to do so over the wiretappings. At the same time, he asked to check Mr Tsalikidis incoming and outgoing e-mails and wondered whether the company has kept copies of these emails in its server.

    He also noted if the copies have been deleted, it means that preliminary hearing material has been illegally erased.

    Laslty, the lawyer said that Konstantinos Tsalikidis was a "brilliant scientist" who was capable of locating the wiretappers software and Authorities to investigate whether the deceased had evidence that would incriminate the wiretappers.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Wiretaps Could Be Provocation

    Investigation into Wiretapping

    [03] Wiretaps Could Be Provocation

    05 Feb 2006 13:47:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    In an interview to newspaper Vima tis Kyriakis, Greek Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras did not rule out the possibility of provocation in the wiretapping case. The Minister stressed that more than one possibility for the culprits exist, while as for attributing responsibility to Vodafone, he repeated, "Justice is the one that will attribute any responsibilities to anyone." However, he noted, "If the surveillance devices were active when we were notified, there would have been more chances of us knowing who was behind the wiretaps." Mr Papaligouras also rejected PASOKs criticism for not being notified, although a member of the Opposition was also involved, stressing that when the Government was notified, the wiretapping software had already been removed by Vodafone, so no issue of protection arose for those being bugged. He also noted, "Absolute secrecy was a necessary precondition for a scandal concerning national security." Finally, he pointed out that the fact the Government directed the matter to Justice "proves its intention not to cover anything."

    Non-Stop Investigations until the End

    With regard to the investigations into the extrajudicial network, the Minister confirmed that they will continue "until the last shadow is cleared, until the last corrupt judge is expelled." At the same time, he voiced the belief that former Examiner Konstantina Bourboulias extradition to Greece and the release of her bank accounts is a matter of time.

    With regard to the changes in the Justice sector in the context of the Constitutional Review, he declared that they aim at upgrading it, while they also signal the Governments real intention for "non-governmental Justice." On the matter of abolishing the oath in courts, Mr Papaligouras commented that it depended on the Churchs readiness to re-specify its presence and role in national life.

    In addition, Mr Papaligouras appeared in favour of constricting parliamentary immunity and abolishing the incompatibility of the MPs professional activities.

    Finally, on the issue of terrorism, he appeared confident that the Greek authorities responsible for the countrys security will locate the 17 November copycat groups, given that "evidently, the entrepreneurial branches of domestic terrorism have been broken up."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Testimonies Begin

    Questions Raised

    Investigation into Wiretapping

    [04] Warnings on Dangerous Weather Conditions Bad Weather Coming In

    05 Feb 2006 19:05:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The weather is taking a new turn for the worse as of Sunday, mainly with snowfalls in most parts of northern Greece. Snow chains are imperative along the entire road network of the Kilkis prefecture, while conditions are similar in Imathia, Pieria and Grevena. The Hellenic National Meteorological Service issued a new warning of dangerous weather conditions, which include sharp temperature drop, gales, heavy rainfalls and storms, while snowfalls would gradually affect the most of Greece. The Civil Protection Authority is on alert and advised citizens to be extra careful. According to meteorologists, the extreme conditions will start dying down as of Wednesday.

    Athens to be Dressed in White

    Although the weather is taking a new turn for the worse, the conditions will be less extreme than before, however even Athens is expected to experience snowfalls. It will be snowing in mountainous Attica since Monday and the phenomenon will gradually affect all Attic areas.

    The prefecture of Kilkis is experiencing problems because of the blizzard. Heavy snowfall has affected the road network and traffic was blocked at the Kilkis-Polykastro regional road, until snow-machines opened the way.

    In mountainous Kastoria, snow has reached 30 cm, while Florina, Kozani and Grevena have been dressed in white.

    All ships have docked at the port of Kavala due to gales blowing in from the north, while the Xanthi Traffic Police has banned trucks from traveling on Egnatia Odos.

    Schools in Kozani will not open on Monday because of the extreme weather conditions.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] At an Event of the Panepirotic Confederation Papoulias' Message to Albania

    05 Feb 2006 16:37:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET

    Speaking at an event hosted by the Panepirotic Confederation of Greece, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, sent a message to Albania. Mr Papoulias stressed that Albanias course towards the European Union passed through the rights of the Greek ethnic minority, while he noted that the minority has to claim its rights with peace and unity. The Greek President described the Greeks of Albania as "a proud part of Hellenism and an active cell of the neighbouring country in its effort to become a member of the European family." Archbishop Christodoulos referred to the significance of tradition, stressing that there is no future without tradition. Others who attended the event included KKEs general secretary Aleka Papariga, ministers and MPs from all the political parties, as well as more than 4,000 people from Epirus.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] 28 Injured in Beirut On a Tightrope over the Cartoons

    05 Feb 2006 16:13:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The reactions in the countries of the Arab world over the controversial drawings depicting Prophet Mohammed, which appeared in a Danish newspaper, have taken on immense proportions. Following the Danish and Norwegian Embassies in Damascus, the Danish Consulate in Beirut was also set aflame. In the meantime, Norway, Denmark and Sweden complained to the Syrian authorities because their diplomatic missions were not protected. In fact, Denmark asked its nationals to leave Syria, while it also pulled out its diplomats. The unrest in the Lebanese capital started in the morning, when protestors had gathered in front of the Consulate. Police and military forces tried to keep them away, but the protestors managed to break the police cordon and approach the Consulate. Some of the protestors also launched attacks against shops in the area, breaking the storefronts. Twenty-eight people were injured during the incidents. The mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badruddin Hassoun, voiced his sorrow over the burning of the diplomatic missions.

    Threats towards non-Muslims

    In the meantime, an armed Iraqi group, calling itself the Military Wing of the Army of the Right, distributed pamphlets during a rally in Ramadi, threatening to launch attacks against nationals of the countries that printed Prophet Mohammeds drawings. In its announcement it mentioned, "The first target of the upcoming attacks should be Danish troops," while it warmed those belonging to other religions apart from Islam not to attend their churches or places of worship.

    At the same time, major Iraqi newspapers printed the appeal by Iraqi religious leaders who asked for the implementation of an international law that would ban attacks against religious values and symbols of other religions.

    On its part, Iran announced that it recalled its ambassador in Denmark, noting that freedom of the Press without a sense of responsibility for the feelings of the people had no essence. In addition, Tehran banned Danes from entering the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Responsibility Attributed to Syria

    In the meantime, Denmark, Norway and Sweden complained to the Syrian authorities for not protecting its diplomats when enraged protestors torched their embassies on Saturday. As a matter of fact, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller stressed it was "completely unacceptable that the Syrian authorities did not protect the embassy." Furthermore, Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds also voiced her indignation.

    Austria, which presides over the EU currently, condemned the attacks, while the British Foreign Minister voiced his solidarity towards the Danish government.

    Moreover, the USA also accused Syria of not protecting the Danish and Norwegian diplomatic missions and condemned the torching of the embassies "in the strongest terms". "We will hold Syria responsible for such violent demonstrations since they do not take place in that country without government knowledge and support," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. However, the State Department admitted that the controversial drawings of Prophet Mohammed were "offensive" to Muslims.

    At the same time, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed his fear over a "war of cultures." Reminding that the freedom and Press and the freedom of expression are the main principles of democracy, he said there was no need for a war of cultures, however, the situation was still far away from a desired dialogue.

    On the other hand, the Syrian authorities apologised to Oslo for the attacks against the Norwegian Embassy.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Danish embassy in Beirut torched

    Reuters: Danish consulate in Beirut ablaze in cartoon row

    Related News:

    Muslims Outraged

    [07] Multi-Fatality Explosion in Pakistan

    05 Feb 2006 17:10:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    At least 12 people lost their lives and 13 more were injured, when a powerful bomb exploded on a bus at the Balochistan province in southwestern Pakistan. According to the Pakistani Interior Minister, Aftab Sherpao, the bus was carrying some 50 passengers and was en route from Queta, the provincial capital, to Lahore in eastern Pakistan. In Balochistan, the source of Pakistan's main gas reserves, violence between security forces and guerrillas escalates, as guerrillas demand for greater control over natural energy resources.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Pakistan bus explosion kills 12

    [08] The Organisers of the Game Show Testifying in the Philippines Tragedy

    05 Feb 2006 14:43:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The Philippines Interior Ministry fact-finding committee called the organisers of the popular television game show "Wowowee" to testify, one day after the stampede that resulted in the death of 73 people. The Vice-President of TV network ABS-CBN, Charo Santos, the popular host of the show, Willy Revillame, and the networks security staff will appear before the committee, ordered by President Gloria Arroyo. One of the Presidents spokespeople in Manila said that the committee aimed at pinpointing whether the tragedy was due to negligence. The authorities did not clarify whether the committee will bring criminal proceedings, but National Telecommunications Minister Leandro Mendoza declared that the probe will focus on the "possible guilt" of the shows organisers.

    More than 30,000 locals had gathered in Manilas Ultra Stadium to participate in the game show, which offered great money prizes and gifts. When the crowd tried to enter the stadium where the lottery was taking place, a stampede broke out and 73 people were trampled to death, while another 400 were injured.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Tragedy in the Philippines

    [09] Three Dead, Five Injured Tension in the Palestinian Territory

    05 Feb 2006 13:16:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Three members of Fatahs armed wing were killed in Gaza and another five were injured when an Israeli helicopter launched missiles against a club where members of the group were meeting, as well as a car, which was the alleged target. The Israeli attack spread panic, while just before the car was hit, dozens of people took to the streets to save themselves. A little after the attack, an Israeli military official said that they staged the air raid against the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades "after their continued rocket fire at Israeli towns." The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatahs armed faction, have claimed responsibility for the majority of the rocket attacks against Israel, after the latter partially withdrew its forces from the occupied territories last September. The group claimed that it launched four rockets against Israel on Saturday. However, homemade rockets launched from Gaza hardly ever cause any damages or injuries. A missile launched from Gaza on Friday, though, destroyed an Israeli residence, injuring three, including an infant. The group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for that attack.

    "Palestinians Have the Right to Defend Themselves"

    This was the first Israeli air raid against Palestinian targets since the 25 January elections, which Islamic group Hamas won.

    In the meantime, on the occasion of the Israeli attack, which resulted in the death of three Palestinian militants, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniya, declared that the Palestinians "have the right to defend themselves," stressing, "This crime [] only serves to increase the strength and unity of the Palestinian people."

    He also declared that he has decided to visit Cairo, as scheduled, along with members of his group, in order to hold talks for the formation of a new Palestinian government.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Larissa Overturned the Score

    05 Feb 2006 17:52:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    For a brief moment, it looked like Akratitos would pull a surprise and give Larissa a hard time; however, Giorgos Donis players stood their ground, took control of the game and eventually scored a victory. The fans in Alcazar froze in the 16, when Ledesma kicked a goal. Larissa reacted immediately, and in the 18, newly-acquired Chloros tied the score. The efforts of the guests stopped there, as Larissa was playing in half of the pitch. The halftime score was 1-all and the style of the game did not change in the second half. In the 70, Kalantzis scored the second goal for Larissa, which went on to win the game.

    Referee: Koukoulakis (Iraklio) Yellow Cards: Helder - Sansing, Marinescu

    LARISSA: Kotsolis, Katsiaros, Helder (58 Kalantzis), Dabizas, Galitsios, Chloros, Gikas, Digozis, Bachramis, Serban (73 Tsiatsios), Guga (9 Kyparissis)

    AKRATITOS: Lymperopoulos, Badas (21 Dieng), Penia, Pipinis, Apostolakis, Macquet (76 Gustavo), Skoufalis, Marinescu, Sansing (63 Defrancesco), Ledesma, Sales.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Draw in Crete

    05 Feb 2006 17:42:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    The match between OFI and Atromitos ended nil-all in round 18 for the A National championship. The Cretan team missed out on the opportunity to bag more points and are still in danger of relegation. The first half of the match was indifferent and none of the two teams managed to threaten the other's goalpost. In the rerun, OFI were much better with Dejanov but failed to open the score and claim precious victory.

    Referee: Tsikinis (Messinia) Yellow Cards: Hadjadrian, Koltzos, Konstantinidis, Georgiou, Katemis, Raguel


    OFI: Sifakis, Davidson (70' Kazantzis), Gonzalez, Konstantinidis, Koltzos, Sfakianakis, Dentsas (64' Roubakis), Hadjadrian, Pitsos (46' Deyanov), Nwafor, Oforiquae.

    ATROMITOS: Michailidis, Dagas, Sotirchos, Georgiou, Katemis, Geladaris, Korakakis, Petkov (80' Karadimos), Merino (46' Dimos), Doe (64' Raguel), Zacharopoulos

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] Patras Carnival Starts Let the Show Begin

    05 Feb 2006 17:10:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Although there is still a week remaining before Triodio (the three-week period preceding the first Sunday of Lent) and a whole month before the last Sunday of the Carnival, Patras, the eternal Greek capital of the Carnival, did not waste any time. So, the celebrations for Carnival 2006 commenced late on Saturday night. Fireworks, cultural events, dancing and, naturally, costumes, marked the official start of the Carnival in Agios Georgios Square, where thousands of locals and visitors had gathered. On the other side of the world, though, where the heart of the Carnival beats stronger than anywhere else, Rio has entered the final stage of preparations, three weeks before thousands of party-goers will take their place in the Sambodrome.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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