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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-03-27

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Banks on Strike
  • [02] Not Backing Down with Reforms
  • [03] Inspections and Coordination
  • [04] H5 Hits Czech Republic
  • [05] The Chania Airport Open on 24-Hour Basis
  • [06] Bomb against a CITIBANK Branch
  • [07] Opposition Party in the Lead
  • [08] Multi-Fatality Uprising in Prison
  • [09] Bomb Blast in the Philippines
  • [10] Horror Reigns in Iraq
  • [11] Partner to Measure Up!
  • [12] Germans the Brainiest in Europe
  • [13] Aniston ľ Pitt Villa on Sale
  • [14] Blair: Walking Away from Iraq "Unthinkable"

  • [01] On the Social Security of Employees Banks on Strike

    27 Mar 2006 12:46:00 (Last updated: 27 Mar 2006 14:36:59)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Bank employees are performing collective actions following the submission of the amendment on the Joint Social Security Fund to Parliament. On Sunday, during its emergency meeting, the Greek Federation of Bank Employee Unions (OTOE) decided on a 24-hour strike for Tuesday, while employees in Emporiki Bank are staging a 48-hour strike. Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis, referring to the amendment said that it had been announced since 17 February and comes under the context of implementing the relevant law, while answering to OTOE and the oppositions criticism added, "it was submitted at noon and not at nighttime." Moreover, the Minister explained that the integration of to the Joint Social Security Fund will be made by a special amendment of the law. Head of PASOKs Employment Sector Evangelos Venizelos described the amendment as "a monument of political authority and legal nonsense," claiming that the Government is causing tension and debates.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Not Backing Down with Reforms

    Debates and Strikes

    [02] Press Conference by Giorgos Alogoskoufis Not Backing Down with Reforms

    27 Mar 2006 13:55:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis described the reforms as the Governments immovable main option in a Press conference over the results of the recent Brussels Summit Meeting and the priorities of the Greek Economy. "We will not take a single step backwards as that will be catastrophic for the country," noted Mr Alogoskoufis adding that the aim of the measures being implemented is the reinforcement for the growth of employment, the attraction of investments and social cohesion. "It is its right if the opposition wants to join those reacting to the reforms," added the Minister, who also referred to the new operational context of DEKOs, the Olympic Airways issue and the amendment on the Joint Fund of bank employees.

    Positive Evaluation

    Mr Alogoskoufis repeated that the new context for DEKOs will be implemented based on the timetable, while in the case that the Government is asked to legislatively intervene, in order for changes to proceed, by some companies administrations, it will respond.

    Referring to the Olympic Airways issue, the Minister stated that the companys name will not be lost, while noting that efforts are being made in order for consequences to not occur from Skaramagas and Elefsina Shipyards proceeding to filing complaints to the Commission, which is investigating if state funding has been given.

    Answering to OTOE and the oppositions criticism on the amendment concerning the Joint Fund of bank employees, the Minister stated "it was submitted at noon and not at nighttime," and added that it was announced since 17 February and comes under the context of implementing the relevant law.

    Referring to the EU Summit Meeting, Mr Alogoskoufis stated that the Greek reform programme was evaluated positively, while adding that the 25 Member-States decided on the reinforcement of growth with more employment and maintaining the social model at the same time.

    As the Minister said, during the Summit Meeting it was decided for emphasis to be given to research and technology, small-middle sized companies and the rise of employment positions, mainly for the youth and women. Actually, the European leaders agreed that every youngster who drops out of school training or an employment position should be given within 6 months, an event which will be determined by the relevant Ministry of Employment and Social Protection through OAED.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Banks on Strike

    [03] Proposed by the Committee of Experts Inspections and Coordination

    27 Mar 2006 12:24:00 (Last updated: 27 Mar 2006 14:23:26)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A committee of experts met Monday morning with Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis at Maximos Mansion and submitted a package of measures aiming to secure the privacy of telephone conversations. The committee consists of six academic professors, including Messrs Dimitris Tsatsos, Antonis Manitakis, Christos Kapsalis, Panayotis Tsanakas, Nikos Androulakis and Giannis Manoledakis, who asked for ADAEs (Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communcation Security and Privacy) jurisdictions be clarified. Furthermore, the 37-page report underlined the need for better coordination among the parties involved and enhancement of the precautionary inspections the Greek authorities conduct in phone companies. In addition, according to the report, the Independent Authority should hold the right to inspect, apart from telecommunication networks, private telecommunication ones, following complaints filed by citizens. The report also made a reference to what is the case in Europe and proposed changes to come forward in Greece at technical, penal and constitutional level. Mr Karamanlis first met with the professors on February 13, requesting they submit their proposals.

    "Matter of National Security"

    Upon exiting Maximos Mansion, Mr Tsatsos said that the report, whose full content will be released at noon, described the situation abroad, the form of e-crime and the legal regime which is in force in Greece. When asked whether ADAEs jurisdictions should be further enhanced, Mr Tsatsos said they have to be clarified.

    However, Mr Tsatsos noted that the issue should not turn into a gossip, underlining it is a matter of national security that strongly relates to the defending of Democracy and protection of civil rights. He added, "We have produced work, but this does not mean that we are privileged with wisdom," inviting others to contribute by submitting their own proposals. "It is the lawmakers that will decide in the end," he concluded.

    Christos Kapsalis, both a committee and ADAE member, claimed that the Vodafone issue was not brought up. Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras also attended the meeting, while Transport Minister Michael Liapis visit to Brussels kept him away from the meeting. It is noted that he attended the first one on February 13.

    Following the meeting, Mr Papaligourals announced the setting up of a Standing Committee in the Ministry of Justice, with a view to assessing the proposals both of the academic society and the rest of the parties involved, as well as the reports of ADAE. He then went on to underscore that the Government intends to make the best of the existing views to enhance legislature.

    When questioned about articles according to which former Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis was involved in the phone tapping scandal, Mr Papaligouras dismissed the allegations as lacking seriousness.

    On the Phone Tapping Case

    Speaking on NETs show "Proti Grammi" (Front Line) Monday morning, Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis unleashed an attack against PASOK with regard to the phone tapping case. Mr Voulgarakis called on the Main Opposition party to submit all the evidence on the case to the Prosecutor. "Anyone having evidence on the phone tapping case should submit it to the Prosecutor, otherwise they are but common slanderers, playing games with Democracy," said Mr Voulgarakis. He then argued that he did not reveal the case in 2004 to safeguard the smooth conduct of the Olympic Games. "Had I talked about it, the Games would not have taken place," he stated. "We are not talking about an 11-month cover-up, but an 11-month investigation. As I was in charge, everything went by the book," concluded Mr Voulgarakis.

    In the meantime, head of First Instance Prosecutor Office Dimitris Papangelopoulos is due to brief Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos on the inquiry into the phone tapping case, as well as Kostas Tsalikidis circumstances of death.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Proposals on Privacy

    [04] Swan Found Dead H5 Hits Czech Republic

    27 Mar 2006 12:04:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The first avian flu case was confirmed in the Czech Republic, since a dead swan found dead was tested positive to H5 virus, announced Agriculture Minister Jan Ml&#225;dek in a Press Conference given in Prague. The authorities fear it might be a H5N1 case and the Minister said that it will have been confirmed by Wednesday, adding that samples were taken to the EU lab in Britain. The dead bird was found some 150km south of Prague, stated the countrys head of Veterinary Service. The Czech authorities have taken all precautionary measures to deal with the disease.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] A Long Established Claim Satisfied The Chania Airport Open on 24-Hour Basis

    27 Mar 2006 11:15:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A long established claim by those involved in the tourism industry in the prefectures of Chania and Rethymno was satisfied by YPA (Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority), since as of Sunday and up until the end of the tourism season on October 30, 2006, the Chania airport will operate on a 24-hour basis. The first charter flight from France is due to land Monday, while some 81 Norwegian tourists arrived Sunday evening with a SAS flight. The executive manager of SAS in Greece and Cyprus claimed that the flight marked the outset of direct flights from Oslo to Chania to be held on Sundays and Tuesdays. Should the plan carry off, more direct flights from Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm to Chania will follow. Crete is one of the most important destinations and we are interested in introducing more flights, noted the SAS representative in Greece.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Went Off Bomb against a CITIBANK Branch

    27 Mar 2006 07:39:00 (Last updated: 27 Mar 2006 12:54:08)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET

    A makeshift explosive device went off shortly after midnight causing damage to a CITIBANK branch in the area of Gyzi, central Athens. Bomb technicians estimated it was a time bomb. Earlier, an unknown person had called daily Eleftherotypia to warn of the imminent blast. The small-scale blast smashed the banks windows and damaged two parked cars. The anti-terrorist squad have not ruled out the fact that the blast might have been masterminded by the same group that had planted a bomb outside BNP bank in Marousi. So far, no group has claimed responsibility.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] As per the Initial Results Opposition Party in the Lead

    27 Mar 2006 08:00:00 (Last updated: 27 Mar 2006 11:51:57)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: Reuters, BBC, ANA

    With 10.06% of the ballots having been counted, former Ukrainian PMs pro-Russian Regions Party has gained a 24.7% lead. The Regions Party is ready to form a new government, Viktor Yanukovych told Interfax news agency and called on all the political parties to join the government coalition. At the same time, former Orange Revolution ally Yulia Tymoshenkos party gathered 23.8%, while Yushchenkos Our Ukraine has been beaten into third place, receiving 17.11%. The counting of the ballots is still underway and the president of the central electoral committee said they will keep working Monday even Tuesday. Exit polls conducted Sunday gave Regions Party a clear lead against the rest of the parties.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Ukraine voters punish president

    Reuters: Ukraine's Tymoshenko seeks to head coalition

    Related News:

    Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine

    [08] Six Prisoners Dead and 13 Injured Multi-Fatality Uprising in Prison

    27 Mar 2006 11:27:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    As television network Roustavi 2 reported, six prisoners were killed and 13 persons injured, among whom two wardens, in an uprising at a prison in the capital of Georgia at nighttime. "My information is that seven people died and 19 were hurt as a result of the clashes between prisoners and riot police," MP Yelena Tevdoradze told Reuters. Order has been restored in prison no. 5 in Tbilisi, where prisoners linked to organised crime staged a group escape stated Minister of Justice Gia Kavtaradze. "It was a well planned outbreak that started at dawn. Security Forces rushed to the scene and begun negotiations, however, with no result," he noted. "We warned the prisoners that we would be forced to use violence and conducted a special operation. Some prisoners were killed and twelve policemen injured, two of whom seriously," he added.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] 9 Dead-20 Injured Bomb Blast in the Philippines

    27 Mar 2006 10:27:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA

    Nine people were killed and some twenty sustained serious injuries, when a bomb went off on the island of Jolo in the southern Philippines. A police spokesman stated that nine deaths have been confirmed so far. The explosive device had been planted on the ground floor of a two-storey building in central Jolo.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] Horror Reigns in Iraq

    27 Mar 2006 09:40:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ┬┬C, REUTERS, ANA

    Eighteen young Shiites were found dead north of Baghdad and further nine, who had been tortured and strangled, were also located in the Iraqi capital, announced the Iraqi police. The bodies of the 18 young Shiites were shot dead by gunmen, said the police source. A top-ranking official of the Iraqi army noted that the police officers had been searching for the bodies during the night. Some 130 bodies have been recovered in Iraq over the last eight days. In the meantime, the US army has dismissed that the Sunday raid against a Shiite shrine was masterminded by US troops. Sixteen people were killed, including insurgents.

    An announcement of the US forces read that the Iraqi Special Forces mounted a raid in Baghdad aiming a terrorist cell late on Sunday. They arrested fifteen people, released a hostage and discovered materials used for bomb construction. A Defence Ministry source announced on Sunday that 17 Shiites were killed and five were wounded during a US-led operation north of Baghdad.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Operation Against Insurgents

    Blast Kills Student in Iraq

    [11] Giant is Looking for Marriage Partner to Measure Up!

    27 Mar 2006 13:07:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Love is blind. With this saying in mind and the hope that his height will not become an obstacle to his happiness, a 55-year-old from China is desperately seeking to find a woman that will measure up to him! However, to no avail as his 2.36 metre height and his 165 kilos weight hinder any interested woman in approaching him.

    Seeking for Love

    Bao Xishun from China is the worlds tallest man as per the Guinness World Records.

    However, due to his height he has been deprived of one of the most basic rights in ones life; love.

    He cannot only find a woman to marry but also one to date.

    The gentle giant descends from Mongolia and has five more siblings, all of normal height.

    Until the age of 15 his growth was normal. However from that age and onwards his height took an upward spiral and at 20 years of age he measured 2.1 metres.

    His current weight is 165 kilos and the length of his feet is 1.5 metres while the width of his soles is 36 centimetres!

    In order to find a partner he reached the point of putting an ad in the paper, however, with no result.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] They Scored an Average IQ of 107 Germans the Brainiest in Europe

    27 Mar 2006 10:11:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Germans are the brightest of the Europeans, way ahead of Britons who landed 8th place, Spaniards (15th place), Greeks (18th place) and French (19th place), suggested a study carried out by the Northern Ireland University and published by The Times. Scoring an average IQ of 107, the Germans earned first place, ahead of the Dutch and Poles (106), Swedes (104) and Italians (102). Britons with an IQ of 100 confined to eight place ahead of the Japanese with an IQ of 98, Greeks with 95 and French with 94, who outdone the Bulgarians, Romanians, Turks and Serbs, who rank last in the standings. Head of the research team Professor Lynn underlined that the different IQ scores between the British and French can account for Britains more military victories over France.

    Colder Climates Boost IQ

    Professor Lynn put down the different IQ scores to the fact that the population lining in northern Europe, where the climate is much colder, tend to develop larger brains. as per calculations by the Northern Ireland University, the average brain size of people residing northern and central Europe is 1,320cc, as opposed to 1,312cc for those living in SE Europe. Professor Lynn argued in 2005 that men are more intelligent than women by about five IQ points. A "normal" IQ score ranges from 85 to 115, but when it comes to particularly brilliant people, IQ scores start from 145.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Germans are brainiest (but at least we're smarter than the French)

    [13] Worth 22.5 Million Dollars Aniston Pitt Villa on Sale

    27 Mar 2006 12:08:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt are putting their once loved villa in Beverly Hills for sale for 22.5 million dollars. The famous couple had bought the villa in 2001 for 13.5 million euros and paid approximately three to four million more for restorations and repairs. The first time it was up for sale was in 2005 for 30 million dollars, but no purchaser was found. Brad Pitt has been residing with his partner Angelina Jolie in Malibu for the past months. On the other hand, Greek-American Jennifer Aniston is expected to move to Chicago, where her new partner, Vince Vaughn resides.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [14] It Would Encourage the Terrorists Blair: Walking Away from Iraq "Unthinkable"

    27 Mar 2006 09:25:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The withdrawal of British troops from Iraq would work in favour of the terrorists and religious fanaticism, rather than Democracy, said British PM Tony Blair in his interview with an Australian paper, underlining that it would be "unthinkable" of Britain to walk away. Speaking to Australian paper The Australian, prior to his official address to the countrys Parliament he will meet Monday with his Australian counterpart, Blair championed his country strategic alliance with the USA. "When I look at the problems of the world today, none of them can be solved without America," Blair pointed out and went on to say that the public is illusinated if it puts down the political unrest in Iraq to the presence of foreign troops. It is noted that Tony Blair is on a three-day visit to Australia, in the context his tour in the region. He is also to visit New Zealand and Indonesia.

    "We Will Withdraw when the Iraqi Government Wants To"

    "Whats happened is that since Saddam has gone the whole mindset of our (public) opinion is almost that if there are insurgents or terrorist killings, and if people in Iraq stop the political process, thats a reason for us not being there. In my view, thats a reason to see the job through. Otherwise, what we are saying is that when people want democracy and terrorists are trying to stop them, then we walk away. This to me would be unthinkable," argued Blair. In his interview, he avoided giving a clear time as to when Britain is to withdraw its troops from Iraq. He just reiterated that the British troops will walk away "when the Iraqi Government wants that to happen and at the moment they need us as they build up their own strength." The British PM also pointed out that there are too many at stake both in Iraq and in Afghanistan, two regions where Britain and Australian have been involved. "In the end, it is extremely important that we make sure that this succeeds."

    While speaking on the Australian state radio, Blair stated also stated that a mass pullout of the British troops from Iraq is quite possible, provided that the Iraqi forces will be capable of defending their own country.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    ďhe ┴ustralian: Iraq struggle pivotal: Tony Blair

    ABC: Stand firm in fight for democracy, Blair says

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