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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-11

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Swans Tested Positive to H5N1
  • [02] Provocations by the Iranian President
  • [03] Avian Flu Biosafety Measures
  • [04] "Wiretaps are a National Scandal"
  • [05] OLME Ready for Collective Actions
  • [06] Protest over "Bolkestein Directive"
  • [07] Kolossos Rhodes Finally Wins
  • [08] Maroussi Defeated Olympia Larissa
  • [09] 8th Home Win for Iraklis

  • [01] New Case in Wild Goose on Skyros Swans Tested Positive to H5N1

    11 Feb 2006 17:06:00 (Last updated: 11 Feb 2006 19:17:34)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The avian flu has affected Greece. The WHO Reference Laboratory in Weybridge, London, announced that the dangerous strain H5N1 was detected in all three of the dead swan samples, which were located in Thessaloniki and Katerini and had been sent to the UK two days ago. However, the Ministry of Rural Development is reassuring citizens, noting that there is no case of avian flu in domestic or bred poultry in Greece and advised for calmness. Moreover, it announced that no poultry will be culled. On its part, the Ministry for the Interior sent a circular to Prefectures Local Self Governments asking for the operation of Veterinary Services until 10pm and weekends. A wild goose located in Skyros seems to be the newest case. A sample of the wild goose was sent to the National Veterinary Reference Laboratory in Thessaloniki and after biological exams it was concluded that the sample tested positive to H5. Following, the sample was sent to the WHO Reference Laboratory in order to conclude if it is the deadly avian flu strain H5N1. The findings will be ready in two to 8 days. In the meantime, two more migratory birds, collected by the relevant authorities, were found dead in Neoi Epivates in Thessaloniki, while exams will be conducted on three dead swan samples located in Chalkidiki and Lamia on Friday. Moreover, Italian Health Minister Francesco Storace confirmed that the tests on 17 swans, found in the south of the country, were positive. The WHO British Reference Laboratory announced that the avian flu was located in a wild swan in Bulgaria.

    Measures for Protection

    As announced by the European Commission yesterday, the measures implemented in the first protection zone will have to be extended to 21 days at least, concerning areas were the three dead swans were found (in a 3km radius) and measures implemented in the second surveillance zone (10km radius) to 30 days. No other measure is foreseen for Greece at the time being, stressed the Commission and stated that the Food Chain and Animal Health Organisations experts are convening on 16 and 17 February, investigating the state of the virus in Greece and other virus-afflicted regions.

    In the first zone, strict measures will be implemented, among which the mandatory confinement of all birds in poultry farms, as well as disinfecting measures. Moreover, the export of birds from the zones poultry farms will be banned (unless taken for culling) as well as the operation of open-air poultry markets.

    In the second zone, restrictions will be imposed to the distribution of poultry and open-air markets will be banned. Moreover, hunting will also be banned. The spokesperson of Commissioner Kyprianos stated that it is up to the Greek authorities to designate the units operating in the two zones, as well as taking informative measures for poultry farm employees.

    At the time that there is no case in a domestic or bred poultry, the Ministry of Rural Development and Food noted that it will not cull poultry, while calmness is advised, since, if Greek poultry had been infected they would have died within 24 hours. Moreover, it is noted that all alertness regulations, given out to the Municipalities, regions and Veterinary Directorates throughout the country, need to be applied in a calm manner.

    As relevant Minister Evangelos Basiakos stated in an announcement, protection measures, implemented as of yesterday, will intensify. In fact, the Ministry for the Interior in a circular sent to Local Self Governments has asked for the operation of Veterinary Services until 10pm and weekends.

    Actually, in Karditsa, a meeting took place, presided by the Deputy Education Minister, with administrative officials over the preventive measures and the protection of students from an imminent danger.

    Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is observing the expansion of the deadly avian flu to Africa. The virus caused new deaths in Asia, while it was detected in poultry farms in southern Romania.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Protection Shield

    UN: "Warning by Nature"

    Swans Carrying Avian Flu?

    H5N1 in Africa

    [02] Described the Holocaust as "A Myth" Provocations by the Iranian President

    11 Feb 2006 20:20:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Today, once again, ultra-conservative Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the Holocaust as "a myth" and claimed that the Palestinians and Iraqis are the victims of a "real holocaust." "This myth has allowed Zionists to blackmail western countries for 60 years," noted Ahmadinejad in a public speech in Tehran, on the occasion of the 27th anniversary since the Islamic Revolution. The Iranian President had described the holocaust as a myth in mid-December and called to erase Israel off the map. The statements were condemned by the EUs Austrian Presidency in the strongest terms. "The fact that these totally unacceptable statements are frequently repeated does not allow our silence. They are and remain harmful," stated Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik. "These comments are opposed to the efforts being made, after the previous incidents, by many politicians and religious leaders for a dialogue driven by respect between cultures," concluded Mrs Plassnik, referring to the issue with the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Announced the Ministry of Rural Development Avian Flu Biosafety Measures

    11 Feb 2006 20:19:00

    In an announcement, the Ministry of Rural Development enumerated the preventive biosafety measures over the avian flu implemented by the Veterinary Directorates of Local Self Government.

    The measures are the following:

    Poultry kept outdoors should be penned and covered with a roof, while free ranging is banned, thus disallowing contact with wild poultry. Ducks and geese should be housed separately from chickens, chicks and other kinds of poultry. Increased death rates, above normal, of domestic poultry or wild poultry call for the immediate briefing of veterinary authorities. Security of protecting of animal feed production facilities, feed and water distributing systems and approach by wild poultry and other animals. Wire fences at windows of poultry farms for obstructing the entry of wild poultry. Disinfecting panels at exit and entry points for vehicles and footwear of persons in the unit. Poultry should be observed daily by specialised personnel for the timely location of probable symptoms and the prevention and securing the control of the virus. Observance and alertness measures are implemented faithfully, as well as disinfections where needed. Samples are exclusively distributed by the Veterinary Directorates of Local Self Governments to veterinary laboratories. Local forest authorities, members of hunting and ornithology associations, who observe and immediately report any case of unnatural wild poultry death to the relevant veterinary authorities, are valuable protective factors from the virus. Persons coming into contact with poultry should take all foreseen self-protection measures.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Swans Tested Positive to H5N1

    [04] Stated Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras "Wiretaps are a National Scandal"

    11 Feb 2006 18:43:00

    Judicial authorities are investigating all events towards all directions on the wiretaps issue and the death of Vodafone executive Kostas Tsalikidis, while new evidence is coming to light daily. In the meantime, the need of strengthening the institutional context and the protection of personal freedoms and telecommunications confidentiality was stressed by Minister of Justice in his speech at the General Assembly of Union of Judicial Employees. Referring to the wiretaps case, Mr Anastasis Papaligouras described it as a national scandal targeted at the Government, which, as he underlined, faced it with clarity and responsibility. Moreover, he noted that party disputes and creating impressions do not go hand-in-hand with the scandal, while concluding he said that it is up to Justice, which should do its duty without distractions. Actually, an initiative aimed at a new package of measures foreseeing to the safeguarding of the State and citizens was announced by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who will convene two separate meetings presided by Ministers of Justice and Transport at Maximos Mansion, on Monday. The first will be held with the Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) and the National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) and following with six leading University Professors. In the meantime, as it was revealed, Legal Adviser to Vodafone Dimitra Katsafadou enquired the Athens Lawyers Association asking for cover in order to deny testifying on the internal operation of the company, while the investigation on the wiretaps was in development by the judicial authorities.

    Political Dispute

    The wiretaps case is at the focus of a political dispute. Speaking to NET 105.8 PASOK MP Michalis Chrisochoidis criticised the Government on its stance and handlings and noted that if the issue has to be resolved, the truth has to be revealed and responsibilities immediately attributed.

    On her part, KKE General Secretary Aleka Papariga claimed that ND and PASOK have signed legal wiretap agreements, while SYN President Alekos Alavanos denounced the tapping of 30,000 mobile phones, following an agreement by the Government and the companies, in the context of implementing a Community Directive.

    LAOS President Giorgos Karatzaferis asked for elections to take place.

    A reference to the wiretaps case was made in a meeting of the political leadership of the Ministry of Development with representatives of businessmen and chambers. The Presidents of FGI and the Athens Commerce and Industrial Chamber stated that the revelation of the wiretaps has aggravated the insecurity of the business world and does not favour the demanded stable climate for growth.

    Opinion Poll over Telephone Communication

    However, the wiretaps case has caused insecurity to citizens, as it emerged by two new opinion polls by Metron Analysis in Saturdays edition of newspaper Imerisia and ALKO on Sundays edition of Proto Thema.

    As per the opinion poll by Metron Analyis, 57.6% of the citizens do not feel secure as opposed to 38.4% who feel secure in their telephone communications. As per the opinion poll, 9 out of 10 citizens believed that foreign services can wiretap them.

    On the question of "who do you believed is behind the wiretaps case," 28.9% answered foreign secret services, 21.2% the Americans, 11.4% Greek businessmen, 9.1% the Government, 6.2% great interests, 5% Vodafone, 3.4% PASOK, 1.6% the British and 1.5% foreign interests.

    As it emerged by the opinion poll, 9 out of 10 citizens considered that the wiretaps case is extremely serious for national security and personal rights, 7 out of 10 estimated that a concealment attempt is being made, while the majority of citizens described the PASOK Presidents demand for the resignation of four Ministers as exaggerated. On the question of whether a reshuffle is needed, 7 out of 10 citizens responded positively.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Karamanlis' Initiative

    [05] Rallies and Meetings OLME Ready for Collective Actions

    11 Feb 2006 17:37:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Greek Federation of State School Teachers of Secondary Education (OLME) has been convening since morning in order to decide on the course of collective actions they will embark on to claim solutions to their problems. They have proposed rallies be staged in collaboration with the unions of grammar school teachers on the following days: In Kozani on February 21, in Kavala on February 22, in Volos on February 24, in Ioannina on March 1, in Patras on March 3, in Rethymno on March 8, in Thessaloniki on March 9 and in Athens on March 15. Furthermore, meetings, events and information campaigns aiming to familiarise teachers, parents, university students and pupils with their claims are also to be organised.

    The Federation has given a deadline to the government until mid March to settle their problems. If not, they appear determined to proceed with strikes even during the nationwide exams at the end of the school year.

    In her recent full-scale interview with the foreign press correspondents, Education Minister Marietta Giannakou made a reference to the imminent collective actions. "We live in a democratic country and whoever wants to proceed with collective actions is entitled to do so. There is no doubt about that. My conviction is that the there is not to be a mass turnout to these collective actions, because I am of the opinion that everyone has realised that we should all together embark on an important effort."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Outside of the Commission's Delegation Protest over "Bolkestein Directive"

    11 Feb 2006 17:13:00

    A protest rally over the "Bolkestein Directive" concerning services in the interior market of EU was staged at noon outside of the Commissions Delegation, with the participation of GSEE, ADEDY, SYN, the Greek Social Forum and other organisations. The discussion on the "Bolkestein Directive" begins on Monday 13 February at the Plenary Session of the European Parliament in Strasburg. On Tuesday, thousands of employees from the EU have programmed a protest rally outside of the European Parliament. "This irrational directive constitutes the political clone of the new-liberal Euroconstitution. Adopting the directive and through cheap labour by Eastern countries employees, they want to destroy the system of labour relations, social protection end employment in Europe. The directive should not only be repealed but also thrown in the garbage can. This is why we are fighting and protesting here today. We will join all the Europeans to fight for the repeal of the directive on Tuesday in Strasburg," said alternate GSEE President Alekos Kalyvis. "What we demand today is a social Europe, a Europe of the employees and the citizens. Enough with the Europe of markets and the crushing of labour rights," stated GSEE representative Stathis Anestis. "If this directive is passed, then Greece will be filled with companies working by specifications of Bulgaria and Romania, compressing the rights of employees and disappearing the services offered by Greek companies," stated SYN EU Parliamentarian Dimitris Papadimoulis.

    "Labour Resembling the Middle Ages"

    "We are organising todays event with the support of the unions. We consider that this directive will allow multinational companies in Europe to get rid of employment positions, labour relations, the working class and social goods. The Governments are playing the role of a gravedigger on the account of multinational companies. We, the unions, should try to keep the employees rights alive and restore them," stated Dimitris Stratoulis on behalf of the Greek Social Forum.

    "The effort being made throughout Europe and Greece, over a labour resembling the Middle Ages, only foresees the worst for the employees, in the public and private sectors. The ones responsible are ND Governments policies with the assistance of PASOK, the lift of civil servants permanent working status and the review of the Constitution to a more conservative direction. The only solution is the rallying of all employees, in order to not lose their private and social rights and goods," stated Markos Pasioukas on behalf of ADEDY.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Kolossos Rhodes Finally Wins

    11 Feb 2006 19:06:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    An important win was earned by Kolossos Rhodes by defeating Iraklis in a home-turf game 61-58. This was the teams second win, which is ranking at the bottom of the standings and has to try harder for a better result. On the other hand, Iraklis has 4 wins and is still in danger. The score of the ten-minute periods: 16-8, 36-29, 45-45, 61-58

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Maroussi Defeated Olympia Larissa

    11 Feb 2006 18:34:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    In an unbalanced game arbitrated at extra time, Maroussi earned an important away win defeating Olympia Larissa 67-72. In the context of the 15th round of A1 Division Basketball Championship, Panagiotis Yannakis team slid next to Olympiacos in the second place of standings, while this was third home-turf defeat in eight games for Olympia Larissa. The score of the ten-minute periods: 17-16, 29-32, 45-47, 54-54 (normal game duration), 62-67.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] 8th Home Win for Iraklis

    11 Feb 2006 20:25:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    The curtain unveiled for the 19th round with Iraklis defeating OFI 2-0. Iraklis put on a good show with Epalle being the top player and Hererra helping him out. Particularly in the first part of the game, the home team was better and did not allow OFI any goal opportunities. The score opened in the 14 by Georgiadis and in the 38 by Epalle.

    Referee: Detsis (Athens)

    Yellow cards: Poursanidis Chipev, Gonzalez, Konstantinidis, Koltzos, Sfakianakis

    IRAKLIS: Abaris, Drougas, Papazacharias, Katsabis, Schnaoucer, Georgiadis (90 Perperidis), Prittas, Poursanidis, Hererra (86 Diamantidis), Epalle, Lagos (46 Kapetanos).

    OFI: Sifakis, Koltzos (35 Deyanov), Konstantinidis, Gonzalez, Davidson, Sfakianakis, Chipev (82 Samura), Pitsos, Dentsas (46 Bryce), Machlas, Oforique.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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