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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-08

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Wiretap Testimonies Continue
  • [02] Frost Follows Snowfall
  • [03] Global Plea for Calm
  • [04] Get Rid of Dirt with Light
  • [05] Tragedy in Gyzi
  • [06] Great Win for Aris
  • [07] Heavy Penalty on Turkey
  • [08] Light Potato
  • [09] Wants to Live his Funeral
  • [10] No Buses in Attica

  • [01] Konstantinopoulos before the Prosecutor Wiretap Testimonies Continue

    08 Feb 2006 12:17:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The investigation into the phone tapping case continues to make headline news. Vodafones former Network Security Manager and current advisor to OTEs CEO, Giorgos Konstantinopoulos, testified for three hours on Wednesday to Prosecutor Ioannis Diotis, who is conducting the preliminary examination into the murder of Kostas Tsalikidis. Upon concluding his testimony, Mr Konstantinopoulos declared that in his capacity, Kostas Tsalikidis could have known in time what was happening with the wiretappings. He also added that everyone in Greece believes that the case is linked to his death. Tsalikidis brother is expected to testify to Prosecutor Diotis tomorrow.

    However, another issue which raises questions has arisen in the case. It pertains to the wiretapping of the phones belonging to former Hellenic Police Chief Fotis Nasiakos and Northern Greece Police Commander Efstratios Kyriakakis, for whom it was initially stipulated that they did not own Vodafone phones. Moreover, speaking on radio station NET 105.8, the President of the Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency, Anastasios Karamarios, noted that Vodafones CEO, Giorgos Koronias, as well as the President of the Hellenic Authority for Information and Communication Security and Privacy will also be called to testify. In addition, the Vice-President of the Permanent Committee, Philippos Petsalnikos, stressed it was quite possible that more names could be added to the wiretapping list, while he noted that that victims should have been informed, or at least be informed now.

    Koronias Targeted by MPs

    In the meantime, Vodafones CEO, Giorgos Koronias, was targeted by MPs. "He should have been remanded in custody," stressed Miltiadis Evert, while Giannis Kefalogiannis accused Mr Koronias of shifting the companys responsibility to the Government.

    The comments of former Speaker of Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis were among the same lines, as he claimed that Mr Koronias should have been arrested and taken to court.

    Speaking on radio station NET 105.8, the President of LAOS, Giorgos Karatzaferis, stressed that Mr Koronias is a key figure and should be questioned. He also added that the list submitted to the Government by the company was directed. Mr Karatzaferis also raised the issue of elections, saying that the voters have to decide, since major responsibilities have arisen.

    ND MP Theodoros Skrekas pointed out that the issue at hand was the investigation by the judicial authorities. Finally, KKE MP Lianna Kanelli claimed that the case creates a major network of interests.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Wiretapping Case to Parliament

    [02] Gradual Subsiding of Bad Weather Frost Follows Snowfall

    08 Feb 2006 07:22:00 (Last updated: 08 Feb 2006 13:20:54)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    As per the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS), the wave of bad weather affecting Greece the previous 24hours it is heading towards the Cyclades islands and Crete, but gradually subsiding. Due to the frost, the General Secretariat of Civil Protection advised drivers and pedestrians to avoid unnecessary transport. Eighty-three villages around the country remain snowbound, 32 of which in Euboea. Snow chains are mandatory in the mountainous road network in many prefectures, as well as the regional network of northeastern Attica. Shortly after 12:00 the sail of ships from Piraeus to Crete and the Cyclades islands to Syros was allowed, while routes are not performed from Kavala to Prinos, from Alexandroupolis to Samothraki and from Volos to Sporades. Schools remained closed in many regional areas and northeastern Attica.

    Schools did not Operate

    The ones favoured by the bad weather are students, since many schools in Attica and other regions did not operate today.

    In Attica, schools did not operate in Ekali, Kifissia, Fyli, Vilia, Nea Erythrea, Penteli, Nea Penteli, Chalandri, Vrilissia, Melissia, Maroussi, Cholargos, Agia Paraskevi, Agios Stefanos and Avlonas, as well as ones situated north of Aristotelous Street in Acharnes.

    Moreover, schools remained closed in Anoixi, Afidnes, Varnavas, Dionysos, Drosia, Thrakomakedones, Kalamos, Kapandriti, Kryoneri, Malakasa, Polydendri, Rodopolis and Stamata.

    The private schools that did not operate were Ekpedeftiki Anagennisi in Afidnes, Arsakeio and Tositseio in Anoixi, Othisi in Stamata, Kosteas-Geitonas in Pallini and Elliniki Paideia in Maroussi, Melissia and Irakleio.

    Schools did not operate in the prefectures of Imathia, Pieria, Pella and Omalos Plateau, as well as elementary schools in the prefectures of Kilkis, Grevena, Florina and Kozani. The bell rang an hour later in all schools in Kastoria.

    Problems in Power Network

    Serious problems by the bad weather are encountered in Euboea, Fthiotida, Samothraki and Crete, while weather conditions have subsided in northern Greece. Apart from Euboea, 15 villages are snowbound in Achaia, 9 in Karditsa, 8 in Fokida and Fthiotida, 6 in Trikala, 2 in Magnesia and 1 in Viotia.

    Problems in the power network are encountered in mountainous villages in Naxos, in the area of Apollonas, settlements on Andros, six villages in Kastelli, Kissamos and small settlements in Chania, Rethymno and Heraklion, Crete.

    Villages in Euboea do not have electricity since snow is obstructing the access of PPC crews in the area, in particular, five settlements in Karystos, two villages in Aliveri and two villages near Metochi, Chalkida.

    Moreover, as per the PPC, some holiday beach houses in Varnavas have no electricity. A crew of the company is repairing the damage, however, strong winds are obstructing the efforts.

    Power cuts occurred in Lesbos, where, due to a failure in the local unit, power is used alternatively from other sources until the damage is repaired.

    Snow Chains are Mandatory

    The roads that will remain closed in Attica are Dionysos Avenue from Dionysos stadium and from Anatoli towards Agios Petros, Parnitha Avenue from the 19th km onwards and the Palaia Penteli road from the 141st Military Hospital towards Agios Petros.

    The intersection of Chortiatis-Agios Vasileios is closed, as well as roads to the Lasithi Plateau, Anogia and the mountainous road network of Chania.

    Moreover, traffic of heavy vehicles is banned in the provincial road of Elefsina-Thiva from the Mandra intersection, while snow chains are mandatory from the intersection at Vilion to Vilia, Porto Germeno and Psatha.

    Snow chains are also needed on cars in Dionysos Avenue, Thiseos Avenue in Ekali, Marathonos Avenue, Anoixi, Drosia and Agios Stefanos, the old national road Athens-Chalkida, from Kapandriti to Agios Stefanos, Kalamos and Amfiareio, from Malakasa to Markopoulos and Skala Oropos, from Varnavas to Grammatiko and from Varibobi to Katsimidi.

    Moreover, snow chains are mandatory from Kleiston Monastery to Dervenochoria, from Agios Merkourios to Malakasa, from Afidnes to Agia Triada and Ippokrateios Politeia and from Kapandriti to Afidnes.

    Traffic is being made with snow chains in the mountainous provincial road network in the prefectures of Grevena, Kastoria, Imathia and Kilkis, in northern Chalkidiki and in the national and provincial network of Florina, Kozani and Katerini, apart from the Thessaloniki-Athens National Road.

    As per an announcement by the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) no routes will be performed on the axis of Corinth-Nafplio-Corinth and are being carried out by the Organisations buses. Passengers who have already purchased a ticket will receive a refund. For more information passengers can contact railway stations or call 1110.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Bitter Cold Front

    Related Links:

    Hellenic National Meteorological Service

    General Secretariat of Civil Protection

    [03] Announcement by the UN, EU and the IOC Global Plea for Calm

    08 Feb 2006 08:47:00 (Last updated: 08 Feb 2006 13:01:52)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    UN General Secretary Kofi Annan, EU High Commissioner Javier Solana and Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (IOC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu made a plea for calm in Muslim-European relations, on the occasion of European Press publishing cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad. In an announcement, the three officials described the cartoons as offensive, but voiced their grief over the turn taken by Muslim protests around the world. "We believe freedom of the press entails responsibility and discretion, and should respect the beliefs and tenets of all religions. But we also believe the recent violent acts surpass the limits of peaceful protest," it said. On Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan talked about Islamophobia, saying that it has taken up the role played by anti-Semitism in previous years. In the meantime, hospital sources announced that three persons lost their lives in clashes with the police, during a protest march in southern Afghanistan. "The bodies of three protestors and 17 injured, 12 protestors and five policemen were brought to us," stated a hospitals doctor. Approximately 600 protestors gathered in Kalat, in the province of Zabul and attacked police headquarters, throwing rocks at the policemen, while they torched at least one police vehicle announced a spokesperson of the local authorities. During the previous five days seven persons have lost their lives and many injured during protests in Afghanistan over the publication of the cartoons.

    New Republication in French Satirical Newspaper

    In the meantime, French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo republished the 12 controversial cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad, which have caused the rage of the Islamic world. In an article entitled "Muhammad Outflanked by Fanatics," the French satirical newspaper depicts a new cartoon of the Prophet hiding his face with his hands and saying, "it is difficult to be loved by idiots." The newspaper also republished the 12 sketches published on 30 September by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and republished in a Christian magazine on 10 January, among which a cartoon depicting the Prophet wearing a turban resembling a bomb. Muslim organisations in France asked from the judicial authorities to ban the cartoons publication claiming that they constitute a "racial and religious insult." "Our newspaper wants to analyse the art of war and its consequences. History has indicated that freedom of expression should be more powerful than intimidation," stated the satirical review. Sources of the newspaper, however, stated that its offices and some journalists are under police protection.

    Erdogan Speaks of Islamophobia

    "As we accept that anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity, we should accept Islamophobia to be just the same," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking to the Parliamentary Group of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), repeating his position developed in a recent speech at the European Parliament.

    "We saw that hostility towards Islam was continuously increasing and we attempted to explain why this constitutes a great danger. When we were explaining that Turkey should access the EU we kept this dimension in mind," stated the Turkish Prime Minister. Referring to the publication of cartoons in the European Press, Erdogan noted that the publication begun three months ago "like someone pressed a button. "That is why we should start wondering," he added. Recep Tayyip Erdogan reminded that the members of the IOC explained to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen the consequences of such an event.

    Concluding, he spoke of a "spark of international crisis" and underlined: "Freedom of Press is a democratic achievement and has to be protected. But we do not have the right to control the freedom of Press, thus journalistic organisations should not mock holy values and make them into an art of war."

    Vatican Focused on Turkey

    In the meantime, the Vatican is observing the developments in Turkey with special attention, following the murder of priest Andrea Santoro in the Catholic Church of Trabzon. Turkish Security Authorities have arrested a 16-year-old student who confessed of the crime as he was enraged by the publication of the cartoons.

    As per an article in Corriere della Serra, sources of the Holy See are hoping that the incident will not have anti-Christian causes and a clash between Islam and the West should be avoided. Vatican is investigating the trip of Pope Benedict XVI to Turkey for the celebration of St Andrew. "The murder of our priest makes this trip more important to the Turkish Government, as well as to the Holy See," stated sources of the Vatican. As per the editor of magazine Civita Catholica "if the Pope decides to make the trip, then he will do so."

    Pope Benedict XVI was opposed to Turkeys accession in the EU. "It will be a mistake, as Turkey is not tied to the EU in any way," he said. As Vatican sources stated, this was the personal view of Cardinal Ratzinger, which was not made official with his election. The stance of the Holy See is neutral." Vaticans neutrality seems to calm Ankara, which should satisfy the wish of the Pope to visit Turkey on 30 November, in order to attend St Andrews celebration in Phanar.

    French Foreign Ministry asked for Alertness

    In the meantime, the French Foreign Ministry asked for persons travelling to Syria, Lebanon and Palestine to be alert. "Due to the recent demonstrations which led to the attacks against the embassies of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Chile in Damascus, caution is advised to travellers destined for Syria," stated the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its website.

    The French Foreign Ministry stated that regardless of the calm reinstated in Damascus, new developments in the security department cannot be ruled out. "In Lebanon, the arson of the building housing the Danish embassy in Beirut on 5 February is a new sign of the security conditions worsening. Persons departing for Lebanon should be highly alert and briefed frequently over the political situation, in order to avoid areas where protests are staged," concluded the Ministry.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: World figures deplore cartoon row

    Related News:

    Student Arrested for Priest's Murder

    [04] An Achievement by Australian Scientists Get Rid of Dirt with Light

    08 Feb 2006 08:40:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Australian scientists are aspiring to perform effortless and spotless cleaning of toilets, as they are developing new materials, which immediately rid of dirt by artificial lighting. A group of scientists from New South Wales led by Dr Rose Amal and Michael Brungs experimented with titanium dioxide coatings and are aspiring to introduce new conditions to cleaning the toilet, both in houses and hospitals. The research is related to titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which are absorbed by ultra-strong cleaning products, since they acquire oxidising abilities. Already the tiny particles of titanium dioxide measuring to 20 nanometres are used in outdoor surfaces such as self-cleaning windows and paints, which break down emissions. "If you can have self-cleaning materials, you can do the job properly without having to use disinfectants and other chemicals," said Dr Amal.

    Testing Light's Wavelength

    The power of titanium dioxide nanoparticles lies in the activation of electrons by the lights wavelength. Moreover, nanoparticles obstruct the formation of droplets, and once they get wet the water runs down the surface with the dirt, without leaving any traces.

    However, the coating is only activated by UVA light and scientists are called to speed up its activation by visible light, which has the largest wavelength. An ally to their effort is the addition of other substances, such as iron and nitrogen to the coating.

    In fact, in experiments done in the laboratory using glass coated with the reinforced material killed off bacteria Escherichia coli with the lighting of a simple lamp!

    "If you can coat it onto a shower room, you dont have to clean the shower room that often. Because of the oxidising properties, fungus will also not grow on the surface," said the head of research.

    Moreover, Dr Amal appeared reassuring over the toxicity of the nanoparticles, stating that they are stuck on surfaces with polyethylene glycol, which blocks their release into the air.

    Scientists hope that they will be able to start trials in real conditions in approximately a year and will start discussions with sanitary appliance and bathroom tile companies in order to make cleaning the toilet a game!

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    ABC: At last! A bathroom that cleans itself

    Best Syndication: Nano Technology may make cleaning Toilets a thing of the Past

    Related Links:

    New South Wales University

    [05] 50yo Burnt Alive Tragedy in Gyzi

    08 Feb 2006 07:43:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A 50-year-old man was tragically killed a little after 3am on Wednesday when a fire broke out in his basement apartment, on 50 Momferatou Street, Gyzi. His 52-year-old brother suffered serious burns from the fire and was taken to the Athens General Hospital. Fifteen firefighters and four fire brigades rushed on site and brought the fire under control after 40 minutes. As was announced by the Fire Department, the fire started in the bedroom, while they are still investigating the cause. When the firefighters arrived, they found the wounded man outside the apartment, while the unfortunate 50-year-old had been burnt alive.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Great Win for Aris

    07 Feb 2006 22:56:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Like Bruce Willis in "Die Hard," Aris won the second game of the all-Greek two-game series against fight-spirited Panionios by 112-105 following two extra times, and managed to advance to the quarterfinals of the ULEB CUP. The encounter, which was a true nail-biter, ended after two extra times were played. Stack and Eliadis were the MVPs scoring 34 points each. Aris is now to play against Villeurbanne of France. The first encounter is to take place in France on February 28 and the second in Thessaloniki on March 7.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Heavy Penalty on Turkey

    07 Feb 2006 21:03:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    The FIFA Disciplinary Committee did not favoured the Turkish Football Federation, following the serious incidents that occurred in connection with the 2006 FIFA World Cup preliminary competition match between Turkey and Switzerland in Istanbul on 16 November 2005, since the Turkish National Team was ordered to play its next six official home matches fore the preliminary round of EURO 2008 behind closed doors in a neutral venue some 500km off the Turkish border. The FIFA committee, which had been convening in Zurich since yesterday, also imposed a 155,000-dollar fine to the football federation of the neighbouring country. The Turkish side has the right to appeal against the decision at the FIFA Appeal Committee, while in case it does not win the case, it has the right to resort the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

    Strict Sanctions on Players

    As for the protagonists of the incidents, Turkish players Alpay and Emre were punished with a suspension of six official matches of the Turkish National Team and a fine of 15,000 Swiss francs. Serkan with a suspension of two six official matches and a fine of 5,000 Swiss francs, assistant coach Mehmet Ozdilek with a ban from taking part in any football-related activity within associations, confederations or FIFA for 12 months and a fine of 15,000 Swiss francs. Swiss aces also suffered heavy sanctions from the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. Benjamin Huggel was punished with a suspension of six official matches of his representative team, costing him his participation in the World Cup, and a fine of 15,000 Swiss francs, while physiotherapist Stephan Meyer with a suspension of two official matches and a fine of 6,500 Swiss francs. It is worth noting that, as opposed to the penalties imposed on the Turkish side, the sanctions the Swiss came up against cannot be taken to the FIFA Appeal Committee.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Created by Scientists Light Potato

    08 Feb 2006 01:12:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    When Vivaldi was composing his magical concertos three centuries ago, surely he could have not imagined that he will lend his name to a variety of potato. Of course, this is not just any variety, but a vegetable that will be able to produce potatoes with less than 26% carbohydrates and 33% less calories. The scientists thought of the name whilst working to achieve a so-called miracle for a well-known British supermarket chain over nine consecutive years.

    The company now boasts over "the perfect solution for those of us who like to watch what we eat," while the scientists behind the potato stated that their creation maintains nutrients and vitamins, and if we take into account the differences between varieties we can speak of a spud with less than 38% carbohydrates and 56% less calories.

    Hopefully, the popular starchy vegetable will regain its turf lost by the expansion of the low GI (Glycaemic Index) diet, promoted by the consumption of the right carbohydrates as a key to maintaining a perfect silhouette.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Before he Dies Wants to Live his Funeral

    08 Feb 2006 12:04:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: BBC

    The decision of a well-known Hungarian theatrical director to stage his own funeral has caused a stir, both in his country and Europe. Peter Halasz, who has terminal cancer, wants to experience the event that the overwhelming majority of people cannot live through: his funeral service and eulogies from friends and relatives. For Halsz, it will be his last act, his final show before the trip with no return.

    Final Farewell

    Halasz, who apart from a director is also an actor and a writer, suffers from liver cancer, while, as per his doctors, he is at the final stage of his illness.

    So, he has decided to lie in an open coffin in Budapests art museum for a week, in order to experience a funeral from the other side. "I want to take a look at my friends and listen to the eulogies, and the final farewell," he mentioned, adding, "The event itself is very simple, but the outcome will, I guess, be interesting, because people are rarely confronted with the situation." However, the event is to be unstructured, so as to let people talk about whatever they want.

    According to the director, a routine will be followed, but the ceremony will not be religious at all.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] From 11am until 4pm No Buses in Attica

    08 Feb 2006 06:56:00

    Buses will pull the handbrake today from11am until 4pm. The employees are staging their annual general assembly and thus buses will be immobilised.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:


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