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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-27

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Wrangling over Unemployment
  • [02] Judged Guilty over Samina
  • [03] Care and Sensitivity
  • [04] Changing Hands
  • [05] Tsalikidis Family's Lawyer to ADAE
  • [06] Dust Cloud Returns
  • [07] Yes to Subsidy to Turkish-Occupied Cyprus
  • [08] Increase of Interest Rates
  • [09] H5N1 Spreads Alarmingly
  • [10] L. Stathis' Release Claim
  • [11] Dialogue on Mass Media
  • [12] Chief of Fire Service Resigned
  • [13] Work Stoppages by GSEE – ADEDY
  • [14] Zagoritis – Karamanlis Meeting

  • [01] In Parliament Wrangling over Unemployment

    27 Feb 2006 20:40:00 (Last updated: 27 Feb 2006 23:43:11)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ΝΕΤ- ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Tension ran high at the off-the-agenda debate on unemployment taking place at political leaders level in Parliament on Monday night. Greeces economy, labour issues, as well as all current affairs, are also at the focus. In his address, Greek Premier Kostas Karamanlis defended the policy of changes and reforms, which, as he said, safeguard high growth rates and curtail unemployment. On his part, PASOK leader George Papandreou described NDs Government as a Government of insecurity and uncertainty, while he lambasted the Prime Minister for vying to cover up the phone-tapping scandal. "For us [PASOK], your responsibilities on the issue are a fact, for anything else, we will see it in the future." SYN President Alekos Alavanos, who had requested the debate, noted that Greece ranks first among the Eurozone countries regarding unemployment rates among the young. He also asked for a legislative amendment to ban the measure of civil mobilisation. KKE secretary general Aleka Papariga underscored, "The Government is consistent with its anti-populist policy." "Unemployment will never be struck down so long as the principle of profit prevails," she argued, while, when referring to the civil mobilisation order, she blasted PASOK for having stepped up this measure nine times in the past.

    Priority to Reforms

    In particular, the Prime Minister pointed out that curtailing unemployment will stem from three parallel pillars, namely education, growth and employment, while he underlined that extreme views and actions are void of solutions.

    He further highlighted the need for changes and reforms, stressing the Government is determined to proceed with the reforms so that unemployment is effectively dealt with. "Unemployment requires strong social awareness manifested by everyone, the parties, the unions and the enterprises," argued Kostas Karamanlis. He then went on to request everyone submit proposal, since the Government is ready to adopt "any feasible course of action."

    Referring to the Governments objectives, he noted that they include a modern and open education system in line with the latest developments in the EU and the wider international area, a decisive turn to new technologies and fostering new investments, so that Greeces comparative advantage go competitive.

    As for the policies aimed to be employed to boost employment, he listed the individualised approach to the unemployed, the subsidy of enterprises to hire unemployed, the subsidy of new free lancers and the implementation of special programmes aimed for the young and the women.

    With regard to the Governments results yielded so far, Kostas Karamanlis claimed that unemployment dropped to 9.7% in the first quarter of 2005, as opposed to 11.3% in the first quarter of 2004. Furthermore, unemployment among the young, aged 15-29, fell to 19.3% from 21.3%. Unemployment rates in women came down to 15% from 16.8%.

    He also noted that the number of the workforce in Greece exceeds 4,380,000, the largest ever recorded in the country.

    However, he did not miss underlining that neither he "nor a Government member can be contended, as long as unemployment scores high." "Such a problem, so complex, so perplexed, so painful for the citizens, demands a great effort. It demands even faster pace in what we have already put forward. We all have obligations. The Government above all, as well as the total of the political powers. The enterprises and the unions. The challenges are for all," he added.

    The Prime Minister also underscored that the booming sectors have the capability and the responsibility to create new jobs. "Thus, they can manifest their real social responsibility, real corporate responsibility. And this, among other things, means that part of the earnings may be directed at those who contributed to their being accomplished," he maintained.

    Finally, Kostas Karamanlis claimed that there is no room for populism and embellishments when it comes to unemployment and that despite the initial positive results "we [Greek Government] are not complacent."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] The Sentence Terms Judged Guilty over Samina

    27 Feb 2006 15:06:00 (Last updated: 27 Feb 2006 19:15:40)

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ANA

    On Monday, the Piraeus Three-Member Appellate Felonies Court found the captain and second-mate of Express Samina guilty of felony over the ship sinking that cost the lives of 82 persons, on 26 September 2000, just off the port of Paros. The two men were taken to prison straight after the court session. Five out of the seven co-defendants were found guilty of a felony and another two acquitted. The court judged that the sinking was due to bad navigation by the officer at the bridge, while the fact that the watertight doors were open contributed to the above. As per the court, the ship was old but able to sail. In an announcement, KKE stated that the courts decision is a challenge, as it did not justify the 80 victims and favoured the real perpetrators.

    The Court's Verdicts

    The following persons were judged guilty:

    Vasilios Giannakis for intentional breaching of shipping security resulting in the death of persons, causing a shipwreck, manslaughter with possible malice aforethought, bodily harm through negligence and not changing the captain to automatic pilot under extreme conditions. The sentence is 16 years, 1 month and 15 days. Anastasios Psychogios, for the same charges with the captain, apart from the last. The sentence is 19 years, 1 month and 15 days. Giorgos Triantafyllos for breaching of shipping security through negligence, manslaughter, bodily harm through negligence and abandoning ship without the captains consent. The sentence is 8 years, 9 months and 29 days. Gerasimos Skiadaresis for breaching of shipping security, manslaughter and bodily harm through negligence, shipwreck through negligence. The sentence is 8 years, 6 months and 28 days. Dimitris Tsioumas for abandoning ship without the captains consent. The sentence is 15 months. Nikos Vikatos for intentional exposure to danger and instigating the issuing of a false certificate. The sentence is 4 years, 3 months and 3 days. Konstantinos Klironomos for the same charges with Mr Vikatos. The sentence is 4 years, 3 months and 3 days.

    The court allowed the five defendants (G. Triantafyllos, G. Skiadaresis, D. Tsoumas, N. Vikatos and K. Klironomos) the reprieving of their sentence until the appellate trial, while radio officer Mr Tsioumas received a three-year reprieve.

    Seaman Panagiotis Kasdaglis and Mercantile Marine Ministrys inspector Panagiotis Tsodras were acquitted.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Care and Sensitivity

    27 Feb 2006 22:43:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ANA

    Favourable conditions for hiring youths grown up in institutions to the public sector services announced on Monday night Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos while attending a special event hosted at the Presidential Mansion. The aforementioned provision is to be officially presented by the Government within March. At the initiative of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, some 800 primary and secondary school children from various Childrens Care Centres were welcomed at the Presidential Mansion and Karolos Papoulias discussed with them their problems. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos praised the initiative taken by the President of the Republic, who, as he said, is popular for his feeling of social sensitivity. Mr Pavlopoulos announced that the Ministry is reconsidering the existing provisions, aiming to make them more effective, for there to be a gradual, but real job creation for those brought up in institutions. The children also had the opportunity to meet Panayotis Yannakis and Olympic winners, including Pyrros Dimas and Dimosthenis Tabakos.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] At the Meeting of ND's Central Committee Changing Hands

    27 Feb 2006 20:05:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ANA-NET

    At the meeting of NDs Central Committee, new secretary Lefteris Zagoritis took over the reigns of the Committee from former secretary Evangelos Meimarakis. NDs action plan to be implemented the end of the year was also presented at the meeting. Mr Meimarakis was quoted as saying that there is communication and harmonious cooperation and that the party will move on stronger. On his part, Lefteris Zagoritis thanked Evangelos Meimarakis for his contribution to the party and stressed, "We will see to avoid any vacuum, there is going to be cohesion and we will succeed."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Re-enactment of Phone-tapping on Tuesday Tsalikidis Family's Lawyer to ADAE

    27 Feb 2006 19:02:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    Themistocles Sofos, lawyer of Tsalikidis family met with the ADAE (Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Secutiry and Privacy) President, Andrea Lambrinopoulo, in the context of his investigation into K. Tsalikidis death. As per information, Mr Sofos set the questions posed by the family to ADAE and was briefed on the inquiry into the death of the former Vodafone official. Furthermore, the two men discussed the content of the two notebooks the Tsalikidis family brought before the Prosecutor. Upon exiting the meeting, the lawyer called his meeting with the ADAE President interesting, while he underlined that the Tsalikidis family stands by ADAE. He also stated that Kostas Tsalikidis knowing of the illegal software is not ruled out, yet this is not the issue, "The issue is why he was found hanged."

    Evert's Letter

    In the meantime, former ND leader Miltiadis Evert sent in the morning a letter to the ADAE President, arguing that one of the two centres, where the phone-tapping was mounted, was installed in Intracom in Peania. His letter also read that Vodafones Technology Director Nikos Mastorakis had worked for Intracom in the past. Mr Evert estimated that tampering with Vodafones network would have not been feasible had Mr Mastorakis, as well as several other Vodafones top-ranking technicians, not been involved in.

    In addition, the ADAE has scheduled for tomorrow the re-enactment of the phone-tapping at Ericssons headquarters in Kantza, before Vodafones top-ranking technicians. The re-enactment is believed to yield important evidence as to who and how had installed the illegal software.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    New Names on the Wiretaps List

    ADAE Convenes Over Wiretaps

    [06] Tomorrow, But not That Intensive Dust Cloud Returns

    27 Feb 2006 18:32:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    The thick dust cloud from the Sahara desert, which covered the whole of Greece last Friday, is coming back tomorrow. As per the experts, the phenomenon will not be that intensive this time, however, they advise those suffering from respiratory problems to limit their movements. They also noted that we had better protect our eyes. According to the figures released by the Athens University, the concentration of dust recorded on Friday across Greece exceeded 600 micrograms per cubic metres, while the average February rates never exceed 15 micrograms.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Satisfaction in Athens and Nicosia Yes to Subsidy to Turkish-Occupied Cyprus

    27 Feb 2006 21:20:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ANA

    The 25 EU Foreign Affairs Ministers agreed to financially support the Turkish-Cypriot community. The EU General Affairs Council decided today in favour of a 139-million euros subsidy. Greek FM Dora Bakoyannis, who also attended the Council, hailed the development as positive. Furthermore the EU General Affairs Council gave the green light for direct trade negotiations with the Turkish-occupied Cyprus to open, so long as decisions are made unanimously. However, Turkish FM Abdullah Gul called the decision "unacceptable." In the meantime, the meeting scheduled for tomorrow between Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in Paris is to bring the Cyprus issue back to the limelight. The meeting between the two men aims to exhaust the possibilities of resuming talks.

    Satisfaction in Greece and Cyprus

    Mrs Bakoyannis underlined that Turkey has to meet its obligation towards Cyprus within 2006.

    Furthermore, the Greek FM had the chance to discuss the issue of Turkeys accession to the EU with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn. As she said, these talks will go on in the near future beginning with Rehns imminent visit to Athens on March 9.

    The statements by Cyprus Foreign Minister Giorgos Iakovou were also on the same wavelength. Mr Iakovou reminded that the Cypriot Republic had been in favour of financially supporting the Turkish-Cypriot side all along.

    In the meantime, Olli Rehn voiced his satisfaction, pointing out, "The European Commission hails the Councils decision." As per the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, the decision constitutes the first step towards lifting the isolation of the Turkish-Cypriot community, as well as reuniting Cyprus.

    Related News:

    COREPER's Decision on Turkish-Occupied Cyprus

    [08] By the Central European Bank Increase of Interest Rates

    27 Feb 2006 13:11:00

    Sources: NET

    As per all indications, the European Central Bank will announce the increase of its basic rates of interest on Thursday. This is the second rise following December, a development that will burden borrowers who have received a housing loan with a floating rate of interest, as well as persons planning to receive loans. The forthcoming increase will form the interest rate from 2.25% to 2.5%. This development will be extremely burdening to households that have borrowed money with a floating interest rate and are on alert due to overlending, as the installments paid will be increased. The alternate solution to the increase of installments is the constant interest rate. A few days age, Governor of the Bank of Greece Nikos Garganas advised persons who cannot assume the risk of developments to borrow at a constant interest rate.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] In Russia and Georgia H5N1 Spreads Alarmingly

    27 Feb 2006 11:41:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The deadly bird flu virus is spreading, as Georgia and Russia announced their first cases. According to the head of the veterinary department at Georgias Agriculture Ministry, Jambul Maglakelidze, wild swans were found dead at the village of Adzhara, not far from the Turkish city of Trabzon. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili declared the country in a state of emergency, while authorities proceeded with culling all domestic poultry in and around Adzhara. As per Interfax news agency, the deadly virus was also located in southwestern Russia. The exact number of dead birds has not been confirmed yet. Experts from the Russian Emergency Ministry fear south Russia will soon be affected by the avian influenza. Experts from SE European countries will be meeting in Sofia on Monday to discuss ways for dealing with the deadly virus. It should be noted that in Bulgaria, the deadly virus was detected only in wild birds.

    Mass Culling of Birds

    A total of 570 poultry were culled on Sunday in Croatia, in three poultry-breeding units at a 3km-range from the Pandan National Park, after detecting the bird flu virus in a dead swan. Croatian Agriculture Ministry spokersperson Mladen pavic said all owners would receive compensation.

    The bird flu virus was first detected in a dead swan on island Ciovo, near Trogir, in mid February and one more dead swan, found at the Pandan national park, was confirmed infected. The swans belonged to the same flock that moved from Ciovo island to the national park and access in the area, which is guarded by the police, is prohibited.

    Precautionary measures have been implemented throughout the country, while hunting in swamps has been banned and poultry breeders are obliged to keep poultry in confined facilities. In case of violations, fines reaching 2,700 euros would be imposed.

    Ornithologists will be collecting samples on Monday and Tuesday from at least 60 wild birds at the national park to see if they are infected. In Great Britain, veterinarians are concerned over the sweeping invasion of the deadly strain within a weekend. In Germany, three new cases have been confirmed, while the first cases were reported in Switzerland and Slovakia.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    H5N1 in Switzerland

    H5N1 Strain in Domestic Birds

    [10] New Charges against Judicial Workers L. Stathis' Release Claim

    27 Feb 2006 17:19:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The Appellate Prosecutor proposed that former First Instance Judge Leonidas Stathis second release claim be accepted. It is reminded that Leonidas Stathis is remanded in Korydallos prison, charged with money laundering and bribery. The Appellate Prosecutor underlined that the charge of money laundering is a misdemeanor, since it relates to the charge of bribery, which is also a misdemeanor. In the meantime, new names of judges involved in the extrajudicial ring were made public today.

    New Charges

    Charges against judicial workers are to be filed for breaching the law regarding the financial audit of declaration of assets.

    Earlier today, Supreme Court President Pomilos Kedikoglou and Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos briefed Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras on the course of the investigation into the extrajudicial ring.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] Authorisation Within 2006 Dialogue on Mass Media

    27 Feb 2006 16:28:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET-ANA

    Τη βούληση της κυβέρνησης να αδειοδοτήσει τους τηλεοπτικούς σταθμούς εντός του 2006, επανέλαβε τη Δευτέρα ο υπουργός Επικρατείας, Θοδωρής Ρουσόπουλος, κατά τη διάρκεια της δεύτερης φάσης του διαλόγου με τους εμπλεκόμενους φορείς για τις ρυθμίσεις που αφορούν στο ραδιοτηλεοπτικό τοπίο. Επίσης, έδωσε προθεσμία 15 ημερών για να καταθέσουν οι κοινωνικοί φορείς επιπλέον προτάσεις ή διευκρινίσεις τους σχετικά με ορισμένα θέματα που αφορούν τη συγκέντρωση και την αδειοδότηση, ενώ δήλωσε ότι μέσα στην εβδομάδα θα συναντηθεί και με τις ανεξάρτητες αρχές. Όπως σημείωσε ο κ. Ρουσόπουλος, έχει στείλει δύο επιστολές στους επιτρόπους της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, τους αρμόδιους για την εσωτερική αγορά και τα ΜΜΕ, προκειμένου -όπως είπε- να τηρηθούν οι σχετικές Κοινοτικές οδηγίες.

    Setting the Guidelines

    "The Government aims to put in order the 20-year-long anarchy prevailing on the Mass Media, without serving party ends. Party ends usually lead to wrongdoing," underscored the Minister and added that nothing is pre-arranged with regard to the dialogues outcome.

    Referring to more specific matters, he stated that regarding the age criterion, ignoring it would be unfair of the state. While touching on the issue of the regional Mass Media, he pointed out that it is impossible for a Prefecture to have 11 television networks, at a time when there are EU countries that do not have so many networks at a national level.

    He further claimed that the Ministry of Transport and Communications is fighting a battle against time to register more frequencies.

    He concluded saying, "The Government wishes to set the guidelines and not give the authorisation itself. We cannot afford to stay behind. This effort should be viewed as an effort to fall in line with the EU standards."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] KYSEA Meeting on Tuesday Chief of Fire Service Resigned

    27 Feb 2006 16:09:00 (Last updated: 27 Feb 2006 20:02:57)

    Chief of the Fire Service Lieutenant-General Christos Smetis submitted his resignation to Minister of Public Order Byron Polidoras, who in turn accepted it. Following the resignation of Greek Police Chief Giorgos Aggelakos, head of Olympic Games Security Department Vasilis Konstantinidis also handed in his resignation. In a meeting on Tuesday, the State Council of Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) will select the new leadership of the Fire Service and Police.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    G. Aggelakos Submitted his Resignation

    [13] From 11am until 3pm Work Stoppages by GSEE ADEDY

    27 Feb 2006 15:46:00

    Sources: NET, ANA

    The Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) and the Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions (ADEDY) have announced a 4hour work stoppage from 11am until 3pm on Tuesday, while bank employees will stage a 24hour strike. Employees of the Greek Thermal Buses (ETHEL) will not participate in the strike. The collective actions are taking place for the defence of the collective work contracts institution and for substantial raises in employees incomes. The Federation of Employee Associations in the Radio and Television Sector (POSPERT) will also participate in the 4hour nationwide strike, staging a 2hour work stoppage from 1pm until 3pm. The protest rally will be staged at 12pm at Klafthmonos Square, in Athens and at 2pm at the Venizelos Statue, in Thessaloniki, with the participation of unionists organisations of Northern Greece.

    The reactions by unionists will escalate with a 24hour nationwide strike announced by GSEE and ADEDY on 15 March.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [14] At Maximos Mansion Zagoritis Karamanlis Meeting

    27 Feb 2006 15:05:00

    Sources: NET

    The newly elected Secretary of New Democracys Central Committee held his first meeting with the Prime Minister at Maximos Mansion. Answering journalists questions on municipal elections, Lefteris Zagoritis said that all elections are crucial, while referring to opinion polls he stated that most indicated that the government is on the lead. The handing over ceremony by outgoing Secretary Vangelis Meimarakis will take place in a meeting of New Democracys Intersecretariat Committee this afternoon.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    New Secretary at Maximos Mansion

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