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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-24

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Zagoritis New ND Secretary
  • [02] New Avian Flu Cases
  • [03] "Bloody Hell"
  • [04] Greek Police Chief Resigned
  • [05] Trade Unions' Collective Actions
  • [06] ADAE Convenes Over Wiretaps
  • [07] S. Arabia: Oil Refinery Attack Averted
  • [08] Awareness Campaign Intensified
  • [09] Avian Flu Meeting
  • [10] Alogoskoufis-Johnston Meeting
  • [11] Seeking out a Solution on Fertilisers Plant
  • [12] Avian Flu Meeting
  • [13] France on Avian Alert
  • [14] New Aerospace Industrial Unit
  • [15] New Athens Mayor Sworn In
  • [16] Growth and Unemployment in Parliament

  • [01] Voting Session Completed Zagoritis New ND Secretary

    24 Feb 2006 15:45:00 (Last updated: 24 Feb 2006 17:14:31)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Following Evangelos Meimarakis appointment to the Defence Ministry, the voting session to elect the new ND Central Committee Secretary has been completed. Shortly after 14:00 CET on Friday, the Central Committee announced the results, as per which MP for Athens B Lefteris Zagoritis is the new Secretary with 402 votes in favour. MP for Athens B Katerina Papakosta, the other candidate for the seat, gathered 70 votes in favour, while there were 35 invalid ballots. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis opened the voting session by making an account of the Government work, stressing the Governments top priority is to establish a better State for all the Greeks. He also thanked former Secretary and current Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis for his contribution. On his part, Mr Meimarakis underlined he will always be present in NDs crucial battles and noted, "We managed to bind the party basis with society and create a wide social alliance." After the end of the session, Mr Meimarakis congratulated both politicians, who claimed the office.

    Collaboration and Solidarity

    Following the announcement of the results, Mrs Papakosta congratulated Mr Zagoritis and thanked the Central Committee, stressing everyone will stand by the new Secretary's side. "We go on stronger and more united in our common effort."

    Lefteris Zagoritis thanked the Central Committee for its mass participation in the voting session, for which he said it has made New Democracy the top democratic party in Greece. He also referred to Mr Meimarakis, whom he described as a "worthy colleague" with a "successful" term in office.

    He even stressed he would continue the Secretary's work with responsibility, noting the party fully supports Kostas Karamanlis.

    "Team work, solidarity, cohesion and hard work are the keys to success," concluded Mr Zagoritis.

    A Few Words on the New Secretary

    Lefteris Zagoritis was born on the island of Rhodes and is of Epirotic descent. He studied Political Science at Panteion School and Law at the University of Athens.

    He was a founding member of ONNED (New Democracy's youth group), the student party DAP-NDFK and a member of the EFEE (General Federation of Greek Students) Central Council, as well as the head of the Ideology, Enlightenment and Press department of ONNED.

    He has been elected to the governing party's Political Council and the Central Committee since 1994, in the areas of Interior and Public Administration, Justice and Public Order, and Social Affairs. He has served as Secretary of the Organisational Committee, Secretary of Unionism and a member of ND's Executive Committee.

    At the 7 March 2004 elections, he was elected MP for Athens B, while he is a member of the Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice, the Committee on Parliamentary Procedure, and the Standing Committee on Social Affairs.

    He can try cases at the Supreme Court, while he has also served as Vice-President of the Athens Bar Association, a member of the Board for a number of years, as well as President of the Disciplinary Board. He was also a member of Board of the Panepirotic Federation of Greece and other bodies.

    He is married to notary Diana Larda and has two children, Theodora and Gerasimos.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Aimed at Reforms

    Election Time at ND

    [02] Awareness Campaign Intensified New Avian Flu Cases

    24 Feb 2006 18:52:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    Yet another six swans found dead in northern Greece were tested positive to the H5 virus. So far, a total of 16 cases has been tested positive to the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus in Greece. Veterinary professor Spyros Kyriakis underlined that more cases are to follow, therefore, seriousness in handling the situation is a prerequisite. In the meantime, a 20-year-old illegal immigrant of Afghan descent who developed high temperature and said he came from Turkey has been admitted to Mytilenes hospital. The young Afghan was handled as a suspected avian flu case, and is being treated in an isolation ward, while the room where he had been hospitalised along with other illegal immigrants was disinfected.

    The patient said he had no physical contact with a bird, while the Paster Institute is due to yield the test results, which are to show whether he has been infected with the H5N1 virus or not, in three days time.

    In the meantime, in an informal meeting held in Vienna, the EU Health Ministers decided to intensify the public awareness campaign regarding the avian flu.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Awareness Campaign Intensified

    France on Avian Alert

    [03] You Still Have Not Visited Australia? "Bloody Hell"

    24 Feb 2006 11:52:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Forget all about idyllic sunsets, emerald shores, hospitable inhabitants and ancient monuments. According to Australian Media experts, these images are not enough to attract tourists. This year, they decided to launch a different advertising campaign, which could be at least described as original. The TV spot starts with reference points in Australia, like Ayers Rock (Uluru), Sydney Harbour and the Great Barrier Reef. At that point, Australian characters are heard saying, characters saying: "We've poured you a beer and we've had the camels shampooed, we've saved you a spot on the beach ... and we've got the sharks out of the pool." Then a young woman in a bikini wonders, "So, where the bloody hell are you?" As was expected, the new campaign, worth 180 million Australian dollars (133 million US dollars), has triggered various reactions and talks. However, both the Tourism Minister and the Prime Minister defended the ad campaign, noting the phrase "bloody hell" is a colloquialism used on a daily basis.

    Blunt Approach

    "It's a colloquialism, it's not a word that is seen quite in the same category as other words that nobody ought to use in public or on the media or in advertisements. I think the style of the advertisement is anything but offensive but is in fact in context and I think it's a very effective ad," said Australian Prime Minister John Howard, commenting the relevant TV commercial.

    Australia is already among the most popular countries to go on holidays, but over the past two years things have slowed down a bit.

    The 2004 campaign, which mainly focused on culture, did not pay off as was expected, as it only brought 17.3 billion dollars in foreign currency, rather than an original estimated 20 billion.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] He Cited Personal Reasons Greek Police Chief Resigned

    24 Feb 2006 20:53:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Greek Police Chief Giorgos Aggelakos tendered orally his resignation to Public Order Minister Byron Polidoras. The two men held a meeting in the Ministers office and the Police Chief tendered in his resignation, citing personal reasons. The Public Order Minister accepted the resignation and argued, "Despite my brief term in office, I enjoyed a close collaboration with the Police Chief." Mr Aggelakos is to hand in his resignation in writing tomorrow. He will remain in office, though, until Tuesday, when the Foreign Affairs and Defence Council meets to choose his replacement.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] 4-Hour Work Stoppage by GSEE on Tuesday Trade Unions' Collective Actions

    24 Feb 2006 19:27:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Respect of collective work contracts, end to mass dismissals and materialisation of pre-elections pledges to contract workers being their major claims, GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) has scheduled a four-hour nationwide work stoppage for February 28 (11am-3pm), while a protest rally will be staged at Klafthmonos Square at 12pm. In Thessaloniki, protesters will gather at the Venizelos statue at 14pm. OTOE (Hellenic Federation of Bank Employee Unions) have announced a 24-hour strike on the same day. Furthermore GSEE and ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions), as well as other trade unions, have announced a 24-hour nationwide strike.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Koronias' Memorandum and Fine at Focus ADAE Convenes Over Wiretaps

    24 Feb 2006 13:21:00 (Last updated: 24 Feb 2006 23:05:54)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: NET, NET Radio 105.8

    Prosecutor Ioannis Diotis continues to interrogate witnesses, as part of the investigation into the conditions of Kostas Tsalikidis death. A Vodafone female employee has testified so far, while two more employees are expected to do so on Friday. Meanwhile, the Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) convened over Koronias memorandum, which provided the companys explanations on the wiretapping case, while the fines to be imposed should be announced within the coming days. The Authority will decide whether to impose a separate administrative sanction, ranging from 10,000 to 1.5 million dollars, because it had not been informed on the illegal software. On Thursday, Prosecutor Ioannis Diotis asked to lift Kostas Tsalikidis communication privacy and go over his phone records from January 2004 until March 2005. What is more, a new wiretapping simulation will take place at Ericssons facilities, in order to find out how the illegal software was installed.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] By Saudi Security Guards S. Arabia: Oil Refinery Attack Averted

    24 Feb 2006 17:44:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: BBC, CNN, ANA

    A triple suicide attack with cars packed with explosives in a Saudi Arabia oil refinery was foiled on Friday by the plants security guards. As per the head of the plants security guards, the guards opened fired against three people, who were on the explosive-packed cars, the moment they tried to ram the gates of the plant, resulting in the vehicles being detonated. Despite the reassurances of the Saudi officials that the oil refinery sustained no damage, oil prices rose to 62 dollars per barrel. Information has it that three security guards were killed and some 11 were wounded. All would-be suicide bombers were also killed, however, the exact number of people on board the cars has yet to be defined.

    The oil production facility in the eastern town of Abqaiq is one of the biggest worldwide and processes nearly two thirds of Saudi Arabias oil output.

    The attack is the first direct one against a Saudi Arabic oil production plant, which if succeeded, it is estimated to could halve the countrys oil exports for almost a year.

    It is noted that Al Qaeda has many times in the past threatened to mount attacks against oil plants in Saudi Arabia, blasting Riyadh for selling oil to Western countries in low prices.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Saudis 'foil oil facility attack'

    CNN: Saudis thwart oil refinery attack

    CNN Money: Oil jumps after Saudi refinery attack

    [08] The EU Sounds Reassuring Awareness Campaign Intensified

    24 Feb 2006 18:15:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET-ANA

    In an informal meeting held in Vienna, the EU Health Ministers decided to intensify the public awareness campaign regarding the avian flu throughout the 25-nation bloc. The EU Members States praised Greeces response to the avian flu cases detected in swans, while Greek Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos submitted a proposal suggesting all Member States adopt a joint communication policy. He pointed out that the Vienna meeting delivered a message of confidence, security and calmness, so that we carry on with our lives without being subject to the psychological consequences sparked off by panic.

    EU Commissioner responsible for Health and Consumer Protection Markos Kyprianou also sounded reassuring. He underlined that there is no reason to panic. "We have the legislation, we have the measures," he added. Mr Kyprianou also noted that the European Commission should submit Greeces proposal for a joint European awareness campaign to the relevant bodies.

    He then went on to assure that the European Union will back Europes poultry breeders, who are to suffer due to the disease.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] At the Initiative of the Austrian Presidency Avian Flu Meeting

    24 Feb 2006 13:18:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA

    The Austrian Presidency called an emergency meeting in Vienna on Friday, aiming at exchanging information and coordinating the precautionary measures for public health and safety, in the face of the growing bird flu crisis in Europe. Ministers from Turkey and the Balkan countries that have been affected by the flu are also participating in the summit. As per Austrian Health Minister Maria Rauch-Kallat, the increasing number of cases of fowl infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus "calls for special attention and a need to coordinate." At the same time, she added that a strong message has to be sent, while the efforts should focus on communication of rules and behavioural standards to be applied. Ms Kallat added the EUs obligation is to ensure that avian flu does not reach aviculture, while the threat to human health should be greatly minimised. The Austrian Presidency proposed setting measures concerning high-risk groups, including the elderly, children, poultry farmers, veterinarians and people who travel often.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    France on Avian Alert

    [10] Annual Summit Chaired by Greece Alogoskoufis-Johnston Meeting

    24 Feb 2006 22:26:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA

    Greek Economy Minister Georgios Alogoskoufis met on Friday with OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Secretary General Donald Johnston to prepare the annual OECD ministerial Summit chaired by Greece. The Summit has been scheduled for May 23-24. During the meeting, the two men agreed on the topic of the Summit, which will be "Reforms, Growth and Employment," and determined the pillars of the structural issues. "Presiding over an OECD annual Summit is a great opportunity for the country, which has undertaken it, to put forward its stance," pointed out Mr Alogoskoufis and added, "Given the presidency is not rotating, but it is decided by the OECD governing board, being assigned the presidency of the imminent Summit is a paramount success for Greece."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] Seeking out a Solution on Fertilisers Plant

    24 Feb 2006 18:36:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET-ANA

    A large-scale meeting was held on Friday to discuss the future of the Phosphoric Fertilisers Industry in Thessaloniki. Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Georgios Kalantzis and a delegation of the personnel participated in the meeting. The Ministers proposed more time be given so that all parties involved continue the dialogue, while Mr Tsitouridis requested he be given time to reflect on the total of the financial clues. The bank, which is the companys main shareholders, will also participate in the dialogue. It is noted that the company has decided to shut down its plant in Thessaloniki and transfer it in Kavala. Employees of the Phosphoric Fertilisers Industry and the Coca Cola Greece staged a protest rally outside the Ministry of Employment.

    Voluntary Redundancy Plan for Coca Cola Greece

    In the meantime, the Ministry of Employment alongside with a delegation of the Coca Cola Greece personnel will observe the biding proposal of a voluntary redundancy plan the company has submitted to the personnel. The Ministry, on the other hand, has refused to proceed with any dialogue on dismissals.

    It is noted that several employees have agreed to the voluntary redundancy plan, while a protocol ruling out dismissals was signed between the company and the personnel.

    On their part, KKE and SYN voiced their disbelief. SYN member Dimitris Stratoulis, who also attended the meeting, argued that the Government has just bought the fertilisers plant time.

    [12] At the Initiative of the Austrian Presidency Avian Flu Meeting

    24 Feb 2006 13:18:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA

    The Austrian Presidency called an emergency meeting in Vienna on Friday, aiming at exchanging information and coordinating the precautionary measures for public health and safety, in the face of the growing bird flu crisis in Europe. Ministers from Turkey and the Balkan countries that have been affected by the flu are also participating in the summit. As per Austrian Health Minister Maria Rauch-Kallat, the increasing number of cases of fowl infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus "calls for special attention and a need to coordinate." At the same time, she added that a strong message has to be sent, while the efforts should focus on communication of rules and behavioural standards to be applied. Ms Kallat added the EUs obligation is to ensure that avian flu does not reach aviculture, while the threat to human health should be greatly minimised. The Austrian Presidency proposed setting measures concerning high-risk groups, including the elderly, children, poultry farmers, veterinarians and people who travel often.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    France on Avian Alert

    [13] Dead Turkeys Positive to Η5 France on Avian Alert

    24 Feb 2006 10:24:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA - Reuters

    The dead turkeys found in a French poultry farm tested positive to the H5 virus, but it has not be clarified yet whether it is the deadly H5N1 avian flu strain. If it is confirmed, it will be the first case on domestic poultry in Europe. The poultry farm in question is within the protected zone created after the detection of a wild duck, which died of the H5N1 virus on 18 February. This has raised concerns in France, since the authorities fear the disease might spread to other poultry units.

    In Germany, the H5N1 virus was detected in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, where two wild ducks were found dead. Schleswig-Holstein borders Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where Germanys first cases of avian flu were detected.

    The deadly virus surfaced in Georgia for the first time, as the swans found dead in Azaria, tested positive to H5N1.

    A 34-year-old woman who was being hospitalised in Jakarta, Indonesia, after manifesting avian flu symptoms, died on Thursday night, increasing the bird flu death toll in the country to 19.

    In the meantime, the virus was also detected in Cambodia, in dead ducks found on the borders with Vietnam. The disease has killed four people in Cambodia since the end of 2003, while it is the first time it resurfaces after many months, in an area that the experts believe favours mutation of the virus. As part of the precautionary measures for dealing with the virus, the health authorities culled 200 ducks and banned the transfer of 10,000 birds bred in units close to the lake.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Suspected bird flu on French farm

    Related News:

    Avian Flu Meeting

    Seven More Positive Samples

    [14] Mr Papoulias Attended the Inauguration New Aerospace Industrial Unit

    24 Feb 2006 16:23:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET, ANA

    The President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias, attended the inauguration ceremony for the Hellenic Aerospace Industry's (HAI) new aircraft construction and composite materials unit in Tanagra and wished for prosperity. The unit, which has a budget of 34 million euros, is the result of the compensatory benefits from the contract signed by the Defence Ministry for purchasing NH90 helicopters. Deputy Defence Minister Giannis Labropoulos and HAI President Theodoros Damianos welcomed the President of the Hellenic Republic, stressing the new unit is a portal to Greece, national Economy and Greek society, to the future of technological pioneering, progress and development. Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos also attended the ceremony. The operation of the new industrial unit is expected to commence in mid 2007.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [15] He Asked for the Collaboration of All New Athens Mayor Sworn In

    24 Feb 2006 15:14:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET, NET Radio 105.8

    New Athens Mayor Theodoros Bechrakis was sworn in on Friday noon, during an inauguration ceremony held at the old City Hall (Kotzia Square). Referring to his term at the municipality so far, Mr Bechrakis stressed the leading power operated well, even under pressure, and asked for the collaboration of all to materialise the municipality's programme. Dora Bakoyannis appeared rather moved and described the new Mayor as a man of ethos, compassion and hard work. She also thanked everyone for their collaboration, stressing she never felt there was lack of faith. "Athens stays in very good hands," she concluded.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [16] Discussions on the Daily Agenda Growth and Unemployment in Parliament

    24 Feb 2006 14:04:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis sent an official letter to Parliament Speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki, asking her to hold a discussion at a political leaders' level over regional growth. As per the letter, the discussion is necessary, because "the National Strategy on Regional Growth that has been implemented, combined to the new growth model and the promoted changes and reforms, requires coordinated efforts to render Greece more competitive. This aim demands continuous efforts from all. From the Government, local self-governments, political powers, productive and social groups. We can all contribute to the realisation of this goal." On Monday 27 February, the discussion in Parliament at a political leaders' level would focus on unemployment and measures to socially protect the youth.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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