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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-13

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Shielding and Investigations
  • [02] Mona Lisa Mystery Solved?
  • [03] PASOK Leader in Brussels
  • [04] Israeli President in Athens
  • [05] February Brings on the Cold
  • [06] Record Snowfall in New York
  • [07] Talks on Kosovo Open
  • [08] Solana Holds Discussions over Cartoons
  • [09] Hussein Attended Trial
  • [10] Suicide Attack in Baghdad
  • [11] Cartoon Row Prompts Muslims' Retaliation
  • [12] Inspections on Nuclear
  • [13] Hamas Backs Down with Conditions
  • [14] PASOK Leader in Brussels
  • [15] Contentment over Bolkestein Directive
  • [16] Eurogroup and Ecofin Convene

  • [01] K. Karamanlis on Wiretaps Case Shielding and Investigations

    13 Feb 2006 14:11:00 (Last updated: 13 Feb 2006 19:04:36)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Government, as noted by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who met with the Presidents of two Independent Authorities, University Professors and Ministers of Justice and Transport and Communications at Maximos Mansion, will attribute responsibilities over the wiretaps case. The Prime Minister spoke of a criminal act against Greece, the citizens and the Government, noting that responsibility will be attributed and added that the Governments faith in Justice is granted. Moreover, he stated that the era of concealment lies in the past and that citizens know why the Government was targeted, while he announced a new package of measures for strengthening the existing legislative context for the protection of telecommunications. The oppositions reaction was fierce, while new evidence keeps on surfacing daily.

    Measures for Protecting Privacy

    "Since the beginning, the investigation of the case is in the hands of Justice and has already entered a new decisive phase," stated the Prime Minister, adding that the Government is acting based on the protection of national interests, citizens security, transparency and responsibility.

    Moreover, Mr Karamanlis announced the forming of a committee that will assist the investigation, the strengthening of the existing legislative context and Independent Authorities, systematic and intensive conduction of inspections and stricter penalties to involved persons.

    Referring to his meetings with Presidents of the Authority for Protecting Privacy of Communications (ADAE) and National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) Messrs Andreas Labrinopoulos and Nikitas Alexandris, Mr Karamanlis said that he asked for specific proposals for the strengthening of the Independent Authorities with personnel and means.

    As stated by Professor of Constitutional Law Dimitris Tsatsos, who met with the Prime Minister together with Professors Antonis Manitakis, Christos Kapsalis and Panagiotis Tsanakas, the experts opinion requested by Mr Karamanlis on the existing institutional context of telecommunications will be prepared within ten days.

    "The citizens are being informed. Their rights are protected. The institutions are strengthened. The State is shielded. The countrys security is being upgraded," concluded Mr Karamanlis.

    In statements exiting Maximos Mansion, Telecommunications and Post Commission President Nikitas Alexandridis stressed he would wait for ADAEs report before imposing administrative measures on the mobile telephony company. These measures range from a simple recommendation and a 2-million fine to temporary or permanent recall of the companys operation license.

    Meanwhile, on Monday morning, ADAE experts run a surprise inspection at TIMs network, while other companies will follow. On Tuesday, it is expected that testimonies will be taken by engineers of Ericsson and Vodafone, in order to investigate the way that the illegal software was installed and how it operated.

    Fierce Political Dispute

    "After 11 months of deafening silence and concealment, today Mr Karamanlis appeared to speak like the indifferent third party and not as a responsible Prime Minister of the country," stated PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis, whilst speaking of an operation of deception and concealment, mockery and shifting responsibilities, as well as a show of hypocrisy and irresponsibility. "Mr Karamanlis attempted to escape to the future in order to avoid responsibilities," claimed the PASOK spokesperson, adding that the Greek people demand the truth.

    "PASOK, as Government, claimed the lead of irresponsibility, which it maintains as the Main Opposition," replied Government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos to Mr Athanasakis.

    Commenting Karamanlis' statements, KKE stressed, "The Prime Minister's statements shed no light on the wiretapping darkness. Therefore, the Government's responsibilities are still huge. KKE's position that the truth will never come out has been verified."

    "The Prime Minister confirmed that the Government is facing this major political issue with a communicative and managing logic, since he avoided giving answers on the case and over the specific counter of the problem," stated SYN Secretary Nikos Chountis, adding that his party will ask for a meeting with the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and relevant Ministers.

    What is more, SYN President Alekos Alavanos asked the Government and the Prime Minister to "abandon the policy of good intentions" and submit all evidence on the wiretapping case. He also asked the government to inform all political parties on the document sent to all mobile telephony companies by the HNIS. A document providing for a special surveillance hall and the wiretapping of 30,000 mobile phones.

    Former SYN President Nikos Konstantopoulos, who met with Supreme Court Public Prosecutor Dimitris Linos, said the wiretapping case "seriously undermines democracy" and asked the government to take immediate and effective measures to deal with the so-called internet terrorism.

    New Findings to Prosecutor

    At the same time, a list with recent calls, outgoing and incoming, of Kostas Tsalikidis mobile phone was submitted to Prosecutor Ioannis Diotis by the familys lawyer Themistoklis Sofos.

    As Mr Sofos said to journalists, the last person that the deceased contacted (before he was found hanged in his home on 9/3/2005) was not his fianc&#233;e Sara Galanopoulou, but an unknown person. Previously, Tsalikidis had received a call possibly by a Vodafone telephone, while following this discussion another two calls were recorded quite possibly by the same call centre, which were not answered.

    At the same time, a list with recent calls, outgoing and incoming, of Kostas Tsalikidis mobile phone was submitted to Prosecutor Ioannis Diotis by the familys lawyer Themistoklis Sofos.

    As Mr Sofos said to journalists, the last person that the deceased contacted (before he was found hanged in his home on 9/3/2005) was not his fianc&#233;e Sara Galanopoulou, but an unknown person. Previously, Tsalikidis had received a call possibly by a Vodafone telephone, while following this discussion another two calls were recorded quite possibly by the same call centre, which were not answered.

    Moreover, the lawyer delivered the phone book of Tsalikidis mobile phone to Mr Diotis, a second journal with notes on technical matters from April 2004 to 24/1/2005 and a document, with which the Tsalikidis family demanded that the deceaseds emails were investigated, voicing doubts over the conditions of death.

    Mr Sofos also delivered Tsalikidis last email sent to Vodafone officials Messrs Mastorakis, Babalis and Vasileiou, and the subject matter was of high importance. As the lawyer stated, Tsalikidis wrote that the actions have to be made in July on a specific issue on network improvement and will be concluded by September 2005.

    Mr Diotis is investigating the new evidence, while it is not ruled out that he will conduct a thorough search of Tsalikidis apartment in the coming days.

    Actually, Prosecutor Dimitris Linos ordered the highest priority of conducting investigations to examiner Giorgos Aktipis and First Instance Prosecutor Ioannis Diotis due to the importance of the cases. The two orders were given following a relevant order by Minister of Justice Anastasis Papaligouras.

    Vodafone and Hellenic National Intelligence Service (HNIS) executives will be called in the coming days to testify before examiner Giorgos Aktipis, while experts will be appointed to decode the pirate software.

    Read the story on other sources:

    ADAE

    EETT

    Related News:

    Meetings Over Wiretaps

    [02] Scientists Analysed the Enigmatic Expression Mona Lisa Mystery Solved?

    13 Feb 2006 13:08:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Scientists of Amsterdam University claimed to have found the answer to Mona Lisas enigmatic expression, with the help of special software created by their co-workers in Illinois University. The programme was able to compare Mona Lisas face with modern day women with a neutral expression. Special emphasis was given to the curvature of the lips and the crinkles around the eyes. As per the analysis, Mona Lisas enigmatic smile reveals 83% happiness, 9% disgust, 6% fear and 2% anger. The conclusions were questioned by art expert Michael Daley who said, "The point of this work is that its a riddle and the inaccessibility of the emotions on her face is why people are so fascinated by it."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] G. Papandreou to Barrosso Commission PASOK Leader in Brussels

    13 Feb 2006 21:56:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    In his capacity as the Socialist International President, PASOK leader George Papandreou attended the assembly of the Barrosso Commission on Europes future held in Brussels. Mr Papandreou highlighted the need for the resolutions on the European prospects of the Balkan countries taken at the Halkidiki summit to be applied. In his meeting with Jos&#233; Manuel Barrosso, the two men discussed the EUs role in the Cyprus issue, Turkeys European future, the Middle East issue in the light of Hamas win, as well as the latest developments on the avian flu front. While answering questions posed by journalists, Mr Papandreou also referred to the international turmoil triggered off by the Muhammad cartoon row and underlined the need for the freedom of expression and respect to the beliefs of the Muslim world. When asked to comment on todays statements by Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis on the phone-tapping scandal, Mr Papandreou declined to make any comment, noting that PASOK has already decided on the issue.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] Five-Day Official Visit Israeli President in Athens

    13 Feb 2006 15:47:00 (Last updated: 13 Feb 2006 22:36:31)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    President of Israel Moshe Katsav arrived in Athens tonight for a five-day official visit and was welcoomed by Foreign Affairs Minister Petros Molyviatis. This is the first visit of an Israeli President to Greece after the reinstatement of diplomatic relations. The Israeli President will hold a series of contacts with the State and political leadership of Greece, in Athens, and following will depart for Thessaloniki where he will deliver a speech to the Jewish community. Tomorrows meeting with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias will focus on bilateral Greek-Israeli relations and major international issues, among which the Middle East issue and Hamas win.

    Following the meeting in the Presidential Mansion, a bilateral "Cooperation Agreement on Industrial Research and Development" will be signed by Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas and Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures Ronnie Bar-On.

    Following, Mr Katsav will meet with Speaker of Parliament Anna Psarouda Benaki, tour the National Archaeological Museum and visit Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni, who will award him with an honorary medal.

    On Wednesday, he will hold a series of contacts with the Prime Minister and leaders of parties, while on Thursday he will depart for Thessaloniki where he will lay a wreath at the Holocaust Monument, tour the Royal Tombs of Vergina and deliver a speech to the Jewish community.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] New Wave of Bad Weather February Brings on the Cold

    13 Feb 2006 17:16:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Meteorologists are warning over a new invasion of chilly cold. Snowfalls, which will the third this month, will be milder than the previous ones, is expected to affect many regions of the country, while snow is also expected to fall in Attica as of tonight, mainly in the mountainous and southern suburbs.

    In particular, for Tuesday 14 February, the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS) forecast cloudiness. In the south, cloudiness with local snowfall, which will gradually stop. Cloudiness and local snowfalls in the rest of the country, and sleet in the southern sea coastal areas. The winds will blow north-northeast moderate to strong and locally very strong in the Aegean. Temperatures will range at very low levels, while there will be frost in the northern regions at night and early in the morning.

    On Wednesday, cloudiness with snowfall is forecast for Thessaly, the eastern mainland, Euboea, the eastern Peloponnese, Cyclades and northern Crete and sleet in the southern sea coastal areas. The phenomena will be restricted in the Cyclades and northern Crete and later stop, while the weather in the rest of the country will be fair. Temperatures will range at low levels. In fact, there will be frost during the night at the northern regions.

    Rainfall and an increase of temperature are expected as of Thursday.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Snow Reached 68cm in the Heart of New York Record Snowfall in New York

    13 Feb 2006 22:36:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    Severe snowfalls, the worst in the last 60 years, have been walloping the NE US states. In New York the snow has exceeded 68cm, the transport system has been severely hindered and some 200,000 have been left without power. In the much-acclaimed Central Park, the snow reached 68.3sm, said a spokesman for the Weather Service to the AFP. The previous record was set in December 1947, when the snow had reached 67cm in New York.

    Due to the snowfalls, the air transports of three major cities in the NE American states, namely New York, Boston and Washington, were heavily disrupted. The airports were closed yesterday morning, thus cancelling and delaying hundreds of flights. Some 220,000 people in Virginia were left without power, was quoted as saying a spokesman for the local electricity company.

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged the citizens to be extra cautious and to avoid getting out unless they really have to.

    Grave problems have also presented themselves in the railway network, since the snow has weighed down several trees that blocked the rails. The snowfalls are accompanied by fierce winds.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] On February 20, in Vienna Talks on Kosovo Open

    13 Feb 2006 16:01:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Kosovos final regime is to be at the focus on February 20 in Vienna. As per a UN official, the talks between Belgrade and ethnic Albanians of Kosovo are to last for a day and a half. The direct negotiations had initially been scheduled for January 25, however, they were called off due to the death of Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova. Fatmir Sejdiu, the new President elected on February 10, argued he is ready to take part in a dialogue with the Serbs, adding that he will keep working alongside with the USA and the EU, while he pointed out that the independence of the province is unnegotiable. Delegates of the Serbian community in Kosovo, on the other hand, request all means be applied to avert the secession of Kosovo from Serbia.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Solana Holds Discussions over Cartoons

    13 Feb 2006 14:25:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Issues Javier Solana reassured General Secretary of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu that every effort will be made in the EU in order for similar incidents to not be repeated, referring to the publication of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad, and at the same time conveying a message of respect to Muslims. The two officials met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where Javier Solana is holding discussions in an effort to calm the rage that has broken out in the Muslim world in the previous days.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    ab Times: Solana tries to calm cartoon row in Saudi Arabia

    Related News:

    Rice Issued New Warnings

    [09] "By Force" Hussein Attended Trial

    13 Feb 2006 10:53:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants appeared at court today, stating that they were forced to. The deposed leader of Iraq, who upon entering the courtroom shouted "Down with traitorsdown with Bush," did not attend the previous two sessions protesting over the figure of the new chief judge. Earlier, Halil al-Dulami, chief of the defence team of the former Iraqi President, had announced that Hussein, the co-defendants and their lawyers would not attend the trial, in the 11th repeat of the hearing procedure after its stoppage on 2 February. "I am the president of the defence committee and I can say that both the lawyers and defendants will not appear at court," said Dulami, adding that no law can forced them to do so. Moreover, he denied stories stating that Hussein and his co-defendants would start a hunger strike as of today, protesting over the illegal proceedings and ill treatment by the court.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Saddam 'to boycott court session'

    Related News:

    Saddam Starts Hunger Strike

    [10] Fears over Increase of Death Toll Suicide Attack in Baghdad

    13 Feb 2006 09:45:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: Reuters

    At least seven persons were killed and 35 injured in a suicide attack in Baghdad, at a bank where many persons had gathered. Fears were voiced over the fact that the number of dead may increase. As per a police official, many poor Iraqis had formed a queue in order to receive a benefit for their daily meal.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Holocaust Cartoons Cartoon Row Prompts Muslims' Retaliation

    13 Feb 2006 19:06:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Five months after the 12 Muhammad cartoons first appeared in a Danish newspaper, Tehran is ready to retaliate through an international cartoon contest about the Holocaust and Israel in general. The Hamshahri daily, aiming to test where the boundaries of freedom of expression for Westerners lie, invited artists to send their entries by May 5, while the first cartoon was posted on the dailys website. The Holocaust cartoon in question was sent by an Australian living in Melbourne, who, by exercising his right of free expression, wished to demonstrate his support and solidarity to the Muslim world. However, the controversial cartoons were removed from the website. The incidence prompted Austrian Chancellor and acting EU President Wolfgang Schuessels immediate reaction.

    The EU Condemns

    "The abuse of symbols and the violation of taboo issues, including that of the Holocaust, should be condemned," argued Mr Schuessel after he met with the delegates of Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities.

    Furthermore, the Austrian Chancellor requested the retaliation for Muhammad cartoon be "balanced," adding that the EU displays a spirit of understanding to the feelings of the Muslims.

    It is worth noticing that the Hamshahri daily is the most popular one with the Iranians and is run by the municipality of Tehran. When being a Tehran Mayor, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad served as head editor of the daily.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Le Monde: Un site Internet iranien publie une caricature de l'Holocauste en reponse a celles de Mahomet

    BBC: Danish PM talks to Muslim group

    [12] At the Natanz Plant, Iran Inspections on Nuclear

    13 Feb 2006 17:51:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors are due to visit on Tuesday the Natanz nuclear plant, which Iran threatens to remove the seals and surveillance cameras from. As per Fars news agency, Tehran announced today the imminent removal under the scrutiny of inspectors, while diplomats from Vienna spoke of a "symbolic measure," adding that a certain number of seals and surveillance cameras will remain as they are to allow the inspection of the plant. In the meantime, delegates from 14 ASEAN member states, including the USA, held a meeting behind closed bars in Tokyo and called on Tehran to comply with the IAEA resolutions.

    On his part, speaking on USA Today paper, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad underlined, "Those who wish to impose sanctions on Iran will sustain more losses than us," and lambasted the Bush administration, claiming, "He thinks he can settle all issues with a bomb."

    At the same time, a report drawn up by the "Oxford Research Group" noted that a possible US attack against Iran would claim the lives of thousands of troops and hundreds of civilians. Furthermore, according to the report, an attack mounted either by the Americans or their Israeli allies could result in the Gulf in the Strait of Ormuz being shut down. Such a shutdown would have adverse effects on the oil prices, as well as trigger off new attacks against western targets by radical Muslims.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [13] Hamas Backs Down with Conditions

    13 Feb 2006 08:02:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Hamas through the chief of the organisations political office, Khaled Meshaal, voiced its intention to end its armed struggle against Israel if the Jewish state withdraws from all occupied Palestinian territories. In an interview given to Russian newspaper Nezavizimaya Gazeta Meshaal said, "If Israel acknowledges our rights and commits to withdrawing its troops from the occupied land, Hamas and the Palestinian people will put an end to armed resistance."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [14] G. Papandreou to Barrosso Commission PASOK Leader in Brussels

    13 Feb 2006 21:56:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    In his capacity as the Socialist International President, PASOK leader George Papandreou attended the assembly of the Barrosso Commission on Europes future held in Brussels. Mr Papandreou highlighted the need for the resolutions on the European prospects of the Balkan countries taken at the Halkidiki summit to be applied. In his meeting with Jos&#233; Manuel Barrosso, the two men discussed the EUs role in the Cyprus issue, Turkeys European future, the Middle East issue in the light of Hamas win, as well as the latest developments on the avian flu front. While answering questions posed by journalists, Mr Papandreou also referred to the international turmoil triggered off by the Muhammad cartoon row and underlined the need for the freedom of expression and respect to the beliefs of the Muslim world. When asked to comment on todays statements by Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis on the phone-tapping scandal, Mr Papandreou declined to make any comment, noting that PASOK has already decided on the issue.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [15] By the Greek Ministry of Economy Contentment over Bolkestein Directive

    13 Feb 2006 20:20:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The Greek Ministry of Economy appears contented with the Bolkestein Directive that is directed at opening up the EU services sector, since the compromising and far-reaching amendments submitted and approved by MEPs from all parties resulted in a revised and considerably improved text. "The modified text to be tabled at the European Parliaments Plenary Session (14-16 February 2006) meets our claims. It is a more balanced proposal for the opening up of EU services that has nothing to do with the Bolkestein Directive," read the announcement issued by the Ministry of Economy. Talks, however, will continue in the context of the European Parliament for the first reading of the proposal to be completed. The revised text will be tabled anew to the European Parliament for a second reading. After the first reading is complete, the leadership of the Ministry of Economy will brief the Standing Committee of Economic Affairs, as well as the Standing Committee on European Affairs, on the latest developments and the next stages of the process.

    SYN Opposes the Bolkestein Directive

    SYN President Alekos Alavanos voiced his strong objection to the EU Bolkestein Directive and called on all the Greek MEPs to vote against it. Mr Alavanos underscored that the Directive in question includes rather dangerous provisions that are to have adverse effects on several social conditions that relate to wages, social security, taxation and labour relations. On the occasion of his recent tour to Macedonia and the high unemployment rate, he said the area suffers, Mr Alavanos spoke of a bursting social problem that the government puts up with.

    Related News:

    Protest over "Bolkestein Directive"

    [16] On Tuesday and Wednesday, in Brussels Eurogroup and Ecofin Convene

    13 Feb 2006 21:43:00

    By

    The Lisbon strategy, the stability and growth programmes of Belgium, Luxemburg and Austria, and the report on the ageing population are the top issues of the meetings of Eurogroup and Ecofin to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, who is on his way to Brussels, will represent Greece. The European Economy Ministers will also draw their attention to the "text of basic issues" in view of the spring European Council. The text was drawn up by the Austrian Presidency.


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