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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-23

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Seamen's Strike Ended
  • [02] Going Over Tsalikidis' Phone Records
  • [03] Political Crisis in Iraq
  • [04] No Age Limit to Sexual Satisfaction
  • [05] Seven More Positive Samples
  • [06] Del Ponte Denied Mladic's Arrest
  • [07] Fears for H5N1 in Germany
  • [08] Beware, He is a Dart Player!
  • [09] Japanese Retirees are Divorce-Prone
  • [10] Bad Food Impounded

  • [01] Unanimous Decision by the PNO Seamen's Strike Ended

    23 Feb 2006 15:12:00 (Last updated: 23 Feb 2006 20:54:37)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ANA

    As of 6pm, ships routes are performed as normal, following a decision by the Panhellenic Seamens Federation (PNO) to end the strike in ports. Earlier, the seamen staged a march to the Ministry of Mercantile Marine. The decision was unanimously taken by the 14 Unions of the Federation. Already, many ships have departed to their destinations, while the situation is expected to gradually smooth out in the remainder of Greeces ports. Following the end of the strike, alternate Government spokesperson Evangelos Andonaros stated that the dialogue between the PNO unionists and Minister of Mercantile Marine is expected to continue. Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis said that reasonable demands will be discussed in a calm and temperate climate.

    Ships' Cables Unfastened

    However, as of yesterday and especially this morning and before the Federations decision was announced, many ships departed from Piraeus to Crete and the Aegean and Dodecanese Islands.

    Since this morning, the ships that sailed from Piraeus port were "Preveli" to Rethymno, "Faistos" to Heraklion, "Lissos" to Chania, "Express Santorini" to Syros, Mykonos, Samos, "Mytilene" to Chios, Lesbos, "Blue Star I" to Syros Patmos, Leros, Kos, Rhodes and "Kriti I" for Heraklion. They transported 497 passengers, 99 private vehicles and 25 motorcycles.

    As of yesterday until today, 11 ships sailed from Piraeus to the islands and transported 1,902 passengers, 707 trucks, 329 private vehicles and 41 motorcycles.

    A climate of calmness is apparent in the port of Patras. Specifically, eight ships have sailed from the port, without passengers or vehicles, destined for the port of Igoumenitsa, where they will perform scheduled routes to Italy.

    In the meantime, ship routes from the port of Kyllini to Zakynthos and Cephallonia are performed as per normal, while the route of a ship sailing from Sami, Cephallonia, to Patras was not performed as it docked in Kyllini.

    Political Debate

    Tension in the port of Piraeus was transferred to Parliament today.

    A stir was raised in Parliament by a statement of PASOK MP for Heraklion Manolis Stratakis, who said that Government could have used foreign-flagged ships in order to transport Cretan agricultural products to Europe, through Italian ports.

    The reaction of Mercantile Marine Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis was immediate, who asked to learn if Mr Stratakis statement was an official view of the Main Opposition. Moreover, he stated that the Government is being accused, as it did not implement the measures of the Simitis Government in June 2002, when following two days of strikes it proceeded to an immediate military recruitment.

    Alternate Government spokesperson Evangelos Andonaros commented on Stratakis statement, which he described as "outrageous" and queried "if PASOK adopts the view that the Government should assemble a strike-bearing mechanism by routing foreign-flagged ships. Is this the interest PASOK shows to seamen?"

    Answering, PASOK spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis said "the Government is looking for an alibi and is trying to shift responsibilities, thinking it can take advantage of a PASOK member's statement, which is an entirely personal statement not expressing PASOK and apparently wrong, as has been underlined." A debate took place between Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos and President of Synaspismos Alekos Alavanos over Government handlings and the facing of the seamens strike.

    On the occasion of Mr Alavanos observation, Mr Roussopoulos said that it is an unacceptable action for the Seamens Federation President Mr Dalakogiorgos statement to be heard in the Parliament, which was that "there is a fascist occupation" in the port of Piraeus.

    "There is not a single piece of serious evidence to prove what the specific unionist said. The Democracy is not in danger of approved decisions by the Constitution," said Mr Roussopoulos.

    PASOKs Chief of Development Anna Diamantopoulou fiercely criticised the Government on the seamens strike, as she noted that the crisis in the ports indicated unreliability, irresponsibility and NDs authoritarianism.

    On Mr Stratakis statement, Mrs Diamantopoulou stated that she was not aware of the specific saying and denounced the practice, underlining that the relevant bodies of the party voice the official position.

    Moreover, alternate Production and Commerce Steerer Christos Protopappas described Minister of Mercantile Marine Manolis Kefalogiannis as a living example of irresponsibility and the Governments insolvency.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    PNO Insists on Strike

    [02] Going Over Tsalikidis' Phone Records

    23 Feb 2006 17:06:00 (Last updated: 23 Feb 2006 22:56:37)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Judicial authorities have placed Kostas Tsalikidis incoming and outgoing calls from 1 January 2004 until 30 March 2005 under the microscope. Following Prosecutor Ioannis Diotis order, the Council of Magistrates issued a ruling to lift the deceased Vodafone executives communication privacy and asked telephone companies OTE, Tellas, Vodafone, Tim, Cosmote and Q Telecom to submit all data on the calls Tsalikidis made and received within the period in question. Mr Diotis invoked the extraordinary nature of the case to lift the privacy, while three Vodafone executives working with Tsalikidis testified before him on Thursday. What is more, the Tsalikidis family lawyer, Themistoklis Sofos, will meet with the ADAE (Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy) on Monday, following his request. The ADAE will also go over Vodafone's relevant memorandum on Friday.

    Penalties Announced Soon

    On Friday, the ADAE will go over Vodafone CEO Giorgos Koronias' memorandum, which includes the company's explanations over the scandal.

    According to information, the Authority will soon announce the penalties to be imposed on the mobile telephony company. The ADAE has the right to impose administrative sanctions, starting from a remark to economic fines, ranging from 10,000 to 1.5 million euros.

    ADAE's technical inspection at Ericsson's facilities is an independent process, expected to end in two weeks.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Sunnis Block Discussion for Government Political Crisis in Iraq

    23 Feb 2006 16:37:00 (Last updated: 23 Feb 2006 18:57:34)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Iraq is entering a new period of crisis, following the attacks in Sunni and Shiite mosques and the blood-filled incidents, which cost the lives of at least 60 persons in the previous 24 hours. Accusing the governing Shiite alliance over the bloodshed, the Sunnis announced that they are withdrawing from discussions over the formation of a new Government. "We are suspending our participation in the negotiations for the Government with the Shiite alliance," stated Tareq Al-Hashemi official of the Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF), the biggest Sunni party. As per Sunni sources, the block will last until the Shiites apologise over the retaliation attacks in at least 90 mosques on Wednesday. Moreover, at the time when the international community is voicing a plea for the formation of a national united Government in Iraq, the Sunnis announced that they will boycott the meeting of parties scheduled by President Jalal Talibani, on the occasion of the attacks against mosques.

    International Renouncement

    US President George W. Bush described the attack against the Shiite mosque in Samarra "as a political act aimed at dividing the citizens," and hailed the "voices of reason" making a plea for calmness.

    EU High Commissioner for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana renounced the attacks in Samarra and the retaliations. "These acts are clearly aimed at affecting the procedure of Iraqs re-establishment. It is necessary for this cycle of violence to end," stated Mr Solana, calling on all to help in creating a peaceful society with all religions coexisting.

    The Greek Foreign Ministry voiced its outright renouncement of the attack at the holy mosques in Samarra and other religious sights. In a statement, the Ministrys spokesperson Giorgos Koumoutsakos spoke of "a crime against global cultural heritage," which triggered national tension and undermines peace prospects, stability and the formation of a Government.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Die Welt: Gewalt im Irak eskaliert nach Anschlag auf Schiiten-Heiligtum

    ‘he Australian: Iraq on brink of religious war

    Related News:

    Tension Runs High in Iraq

    [04] Middle Aged Men More Satisfied than 30-Year-Olds? No Age Limit to Sexual Satisfaction

    23 Feb 2006 15:16:00 (Last updated: 23 Feb 2006 16:43:58)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC

    As Norwegian and American scientists stated, men in their 50s have a better sex life that they did in their 30s. In order to reach this conclusion, the scientists studied the cases of 1,185 men aged from 20-79. As it was expected, mens sexual performance declined and problems increased as years went by, but as per the research, the 50-year-olds were at the same level as 20-year-olds. The research was published in medical journal BJU International.

    Quality Does Not Equal Quantity

    Participants in the research had to fill in a questionnaire, in which they rated different aspects of their sex life in a scale from 0 to 4, the latter meaning a good sexual function without problems.

    On the level of satisfaction, the average of 20-year-olds reached 2.79, followed by 50-year-olds with 2.77. Men in their thirties had fallen to 2.55, while men in their 40s came third by 2.72.

    After 50 years of age, the average fell to 2.46, while at 70 to 2.14 and after 70 to 1.54.

    As years went by, the average constantly fell on the level of function.

    As per researcher of Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet Trust Sophie Fossa, the findings of the research indicated an immediate relation of age with sexual function, but not to sexual satisfaction, since age determined 22%-33% of the final result on operation, while satisfaction received only 3%.

    As Mrs Fossa stated, regardless that men face bigger health problems, as they are growing older, they stated that they are very satisfied with the level of their sex life.

    Moreover, as British psychiatrist and male sexuality expert Ronald Bracey stated to BBC, the results are not surprising since men in their 30s and 40s are more stressed out over their career, something which the 50-year-olds have overcome.

    However, the research only took mens testimonies under consideration and not womens.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Older men 'happy with sex lives'

    Related Links:

    BJU International

    [05] Seven More Positive Samples

    23 Feb 2006 18:05:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Samples from the seven dead swans in Rodopi tested positive to the bird flu virus, thus raising the number of H5N1 cases in Greece to sixteen. Greek scientists are troubled by the radical spread of the disease and voiced fears over a sudden virus mutation. Competent Veterinary Directorates in Chalkidiki, Pieria, Thessaloniki and Pella have already taken all necessary precautionary measures, complying with Greek and Community legislation.

    The Austrian EU Presidency called for a meeting on Friday in Vienna between Health Ministers, including Greek Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and his counterparts from Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, FYROM and Turkey. Experts from the WHO and other health organizations will also attend the meeting.

    Meanwhile, Europe is still on alert over the avian influenza. The H5N1 strain was found for the first time in two dead wild birds in Slovakia and samples were sent to the WHOs Reference Laboratory in London for verification. A suspicious case was detected at a poultry-breeding unit in Germany, while two wild ducks were found dead in France.

    The state of alert ended in Germany, as the tests on the duck found dead on Ruegen island turned out negative, while authorities in Mecklenburg-Pomerania culled some 50 chickens for precautionary reasons.

    Lastly, a suspicious H5N1 case was detected at a poultry-breeding unit in eastern France, where two wild ducks were found dead.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    ZDF: Entwarnung im Geflugel-Stall

    BBC: Suspected bird flu on French farm

    [06] Location of the Fugitive Continues Del Ponte Denied Mladic's Arrest

    23 Feb 2006 12:28:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    UNs Chief War Crimes Prosecutor Carla del Ponte, as well as Belgrade, officially announced that Serb-Bosnian chief of the Army Ratko Mladic was not arrested. However, the thriller over the location of fugitive Mladic, who is accused of the massacre in Srebenica and the siege of Sarajevo, continues. Analysts predicted that the developments will be rapid, as the date for the reports publication on Serbias European prospect approaches. In the meantime, as per an article by newspaper Nezavisne Novine, Chief of the Serb-Bosnian police Dagomir Andan, who is participating in negotiations over the surrender of Mladic, is in Belgrade as of Tuesday. "Mladic is refusing to voluntarily surrender to The Hague and the leader of the Serb-Bosnian police is ready for the scenario based on which Mladics arrest will be made in the Serbian Republic, from where he will be transported to The Hague," stated the newspapers article, which quoted an anonymous source of the Serbian Government. A Serbian Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated that Mr Andan is on a private trip, but is unaware of his whereabouts, while Mr Andan in an interview denied allegations that he is participating in negotiations on the surrender or arrest of Mladic. "My arrival in Belgrade is not related to Mladic. I came to Belgrade on a personal visit as my family resides here," he said. Later on, in a conversation with the newspapers reporter he stated that he is attending a very important meeting in Belgrade.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Refuting Mladic's Arrest

    [07] Fears for H5N1 in Germany

    23 Feb 2006 13:06:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Authorities in Germany are conducting tests to see whether the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus has spread to domestic poultry. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Agriculture Minister Till Backhaus stated that tests are being conducting on a chicken found dead on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen. As per the Minister, the dead bird was from a farm with 50 other birds that were culled for precautionary reasons. In the meantime, the deadly H5N1 strain was detected in two wild birds found dead yesterday in SW Slovakia, announced today Slovakias Agricultural Minister. As per the Minister, the samples taken from the two dead birds were sent to the specialised laboratory in London to verify the results.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Beware, He is a Dart Player!

    23 Feb 2006 12:43:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    We all know that everything has its price. We also know that mishaps sometimes turn out to be a good thing. So, being a champion seems to be taking a heavy toll on Dutch dart players, so heavy that the Dutch Government is seriously considering introducing new rules! Nearly 120 Dutch are hurried to hospital every year suffering injuries while dart playing, a most-loved game in pubs. Of those, at least 12 people end up being treated in the intensive care unit, since their beloved game almost cost them their eyesight, reported the Dutch Consumer Safety Council. We have to note, though, that apart from the players poor and reckless performance, the dartboards themselves also pose a threat, since the majority of cases were treated with concussions caused by falling dartboards.

    Accidents mostly happen because the Dutch are particularly eager and impatient players and start shooting dart long before the previous players has the time to collect their darts from the dartboard.

    The Dutch authorities are considering roping off the areas in front of dart boards, so that wary clients save their skin, and modifying darts, lest they should be so dangerous.

    For the record, 21-year-old Dutchman Jelle Klaasen is the youngest ever world champion, succeeding his fellow countryman Raymond van Barneveld.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] Retirement Leads to Divorce Japanese Retirees are Divorce-Prone

    23 Feb 2006 14:05:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC

    According to a Greek saying, working many hours may have adverse effects, however, this does not seem to be the case in Japan. A study conducted in the land of the rising sun proved that hectic working schedules may save a marriage! It was the ever increasing rise in divorces among couples married for more that 20 years that led the Japanese researchers to the aforementioned conclusion. In fact they have come up with a term to account for this phenomenon. They call it "retired husband syndrome," explaining that, upon retirement, men spend a lot of time at home, while previously, they had devoted to their jobs living apart from their families. So, retirement gives couples ample time to realise that they barely know each other.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] 32,209 Kilograms Bad Food Impounded

    23 Feb 2006 16:57:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET, ANA

    EFET (Central Food Control Agency) inspectors impounded 32,209 kg of bad food at the facilities of food company Ippotour SA in Spata. The company will be fined accordingly and all food quantities will be destroyed. According to EFET's announcement, as part of inspections in view of Lent, a panel of inspectors from the Attica Regional Directorate visited the company facilities and impounded 23,826 kg of "Buono" pickles and 6,787.2 kg of "Agrotissa" peeled tomatoes in own juice, because they had gone bad. Inspectors also impounded 729 litres of "Aspis" apple, peach and orange nectar, 76.5 kg of "Buono" canned capper and 790 kg of "Buono" canned peppers, because their consumption dates had expired.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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