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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-04-07

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] "Citizens Have the First Say"
  • [02] Neolithic Tooth Fillings
  • [03] Bloodshed in Baghdad
  • [04] Red Dust Settles over Greece
  • [05] Tonnes of Rubbish
  • [06] Suicide Attack in Afghanistan
  • [07] Hamas Proposed a Truce
  • [08] Stavros Xarhakos Resigned
  • [09] Chronic Shortage
  • [10] Solution for Fertilisers Company
  • [11] Proceedings against Six Police Officers
  • [12] Working Luncheon for MEPs
  • [13] Works for Metro in May
  • [14] Three Youths behind Priest's Murder

  • [01] For a Strong Self-Government and Society "Citizens Have the First Say"

    07 Apr 2006 17:21:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Following PM Kostas Karamanlis speech, ministers and ND members presented their views on Local Self-Government. The proceedings of New Democracys National Conference concluded with the speech of the partys general secretary, Lefteris Zagoritis. In his speech, Zagoritis said that the party members will commence their campaign in regional Greece as of tomorrow, transferring the messages of "combative readiness." As he noted, "We have to transfer the message of responsibility and determination, and the message of optimism and assurance of our victory in Self-Government to all the corners of the country." At the same time, he stressed that ND has capable members, who are ready to fulfil the partys vision, noting, "We have to arm our political speech with the arguments heard here today. We have to transfer all over Greece a message, whereby the citizens have the first say." As he said, ND has one priority, providing solutions to the everyday problems and fulfilling its pledges for a continuously stronger Self-Government and society.

    Establishing Local Referendums

    Addressing the partys National Conference, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos focused on the reforms promoted by the Government in the last two years. He also gave a short account of the situation inherited by the Government, painting a picture of "past omissions, party-political cronyism, lack of foresight, obtuseness and financial woes." Pavlopoulos noted that the Government implemented a series of emergency measures to help settle Local Government debts on favourable terms. He also stressed the central role of the new development programme Thiseas, with a budget set at 3.5 billion euros, noting that 45% of the programmes funds had already been distributed. At the same time, he mentioned that a draft bill for the local authorities code will be tabled in Parliament on Monday and includes innovations that were in the most part accepted by Local Government representatives.

    As he noted, the new code will establish local referendums, set up guarantees for social control of local government, establish a charter of rights for municipal citizens, draw up the local residents guide and require that municipal authorities give an annual report its finances in a public session. He added that the bill will also introduce a series of articles that limit supervision by the State, boost the social role of local authorities, modernise their financial management with transparent terms and reforms local authority enterprises.

    On concluding, Pavlopoulos said that in two years, the Government has managed to do everything that PASOK never cared to complete in the last ten years it was in power.

    Pillar of Growth Model

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas launched an attack against PASOK, saying that it is "fishing in muddy waters" and is instilling insecurity in the citizens, the employees and the youth of Greece. As he said, PASOK is continuing to practice its immature policy. Answering to George Papandreou, who had said that the last two years signalled the beginning of the end for the new governance, he underlined that the last two years were the end of the beginning of a long period of governance by Kostas Karamanlis.

    As per Sioufas, ND is the dominant political and ideological power, but it needs more cohesion and solidarity to remain as such. He also termed Local Government the pillar of the growth model. Finally, he noted that the Development Ministry has established relationships of trust and cooperation with the local communities.

    Cooperation and Consent

    In his speech, National Defence Minister Vangelis Meimarakis stressed that the Government is not being judged in the upcoming municipal elections, underlining that ND has demonstrated many things in the last two years. He also mentioned that the Interior Ministry has resolved the age-long problems, and this has to be said to the citizens. As he noted, "We ought to pass the message that the Government supports regional Greece and is putting an end to the Athens-centred state." Meimarakis also said that Local Government was a place of cooperation and consent, while candidates will have to seek local alliances that go beyond the party colours.

    The Defence Minister further mentioned that ND would be announcing more nominees for mayors and prefects before Easter, while he urged the ministers and MPs to support them.

    Finally, he congratulated DAP (ND-affiliated students union) on its recent victory, saying it demonstrated that NDs views were widely accepted among youths.

    A Strategy for Victory

    Speaking at NDs National conference, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis described the municipal elections as an important political countdown.

    Bakoyannis mentioned that ND will have to map out a strategy of victory in the Conference, adding that Local Government needs the trust of the party. She also noted that the members running for offices will have to be fully supported.

    Finally, she congratulated DAP on its victory, noting that battles fought with principles and values bring positive results.

    The partys Local Government secretary, Iordanis Tzamtzis referred to the institutional and financial aid to Local Government in the last two years. Tzamtzis also focused on fiscal purgation, the Thiseas programme and the establishment of stable funds for Local Government, allowing for investments.

    He also noted that the municipal elections have their own objectives and do not judge governments, however, conclusions are drawn and dominant figures are promoted.

    Enlisting Citizens

    Athens Mayor nominee Nikitas Kaklamanis described the upcoming elections as a crucial countdown. Addressing the citizens of Athens, he said that they cannot be misled by party conveniences, while he asked them to enlist in the fight for a better city.

    In his speech, he also mentioned that he was officially starting his pre-election campaign today "for the Athens of today and tomorrow, the Athens of our generation and the next, with vision and objectives." He also added that the Greek capital would become a model city for all Europeans, with transparency, hard work, collaboration among all forces, and without segregations.

    Kaklamanis also said he was dedicated to this cause and would fight with all his might to achieve his target, with the help of the people, irrespective of their party beliefs.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    "Capable Candidates"

    [02] Dentist's Drill Made out of Flint Neolithic Tooth Fillings

    07 Apr 2006 16:32:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    If popular cartoon prehistoric character Fred Flintstone would have gone to a dentist he would have been a Pakistani! No, this not a joke, as an archaeologists pickaxe recently dug up findings in the Pakistani region of Baluchistan.

    As per an article in magazine Nature, an international scientific team, which was excavating in the region of Mehgarh, discovered skeletons aged 7,500 to 9,000-years-old, which had their teeth drilled by some kind of a Neolithic dentists drill. The experts estimated that the tool had a head made out of flint, which did a great job, although maybe not painstakingly.

    The prehistoric patients, four women, a man and another two of unidentified sex, had 11 drilled crowns in total. A careful examination of the teeth indicated that the flint drill was surprisingly effective and that prehistoric dentists were particularly skilful in removing rotting dental tissue. The scientists reconfirmed that the drillings were made to living patients, since some teeth had been drilled for the second time after dental decay reappeared.

    Drilling with a flint was not only used on teeth. Archaeologists found other findings that indicated that the technique was used for making mainly beads out of bone, shells and turquoise. The technique was used for at least 1,500 years before it was forgotten.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] At Least 69 Casualties and 130 Wounded Bloodshed in Baghdad

    07 Apr 2006 15:31:00 (Last updated: 07 Apr 2006 19:29:57)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, BBC

    A double bomb attack occurred in a Shiite mosque in an area of Baghdad on Friday. As the Ministry of Health announced, at least 69 persons were killed and 130 wounded. As per the sources of the Ministry, the latest toll was formed based on information from the hospitals, where the victims of the attack were taken. An official source citing the German News Agency spoke of 67 dead and approximately 200 injured. Two suicide bombers detonated the explosives they were carrying; one in the interior of the Shiite mosque and the other in the courtyard. The bombers chose the mosque so that the number of casualties would be the biggest possible. It is reminded that tens of followers gather at mosques every Friday, which is a day of prayer for Muslims. The public television of Iraq made a plea to the people for blood donations.

    Bombers Wore Women's Clothes

    The Shiite mosque of Buratha is situated in a northern part of the Iraqi capital and belongs to the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the most powerful party of the Governments Shiite Coalition.

    As per the police, at least two suicide bombers, who were dressed in womens clothes, were present at the scene of the attacks. Two of the explosions occurred in the interior of the mosque.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Cloud of Sand from the Sahara Red Dust Settles over Greece

    07 Apr 2006 21:30:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The strong southern winds, which have blown over a cloud of red sand from the Sahara once again, have caused disruptions in sea and air transports. The Libyan and Aegean Seas are already covered with red sand clouds, resulting in flights and shipping routes being delayed or cancelled. Specifically, 14 domestic flights bound for Crete and Rhodes, and another three bound for Paros were cancelled. In addition, the Blue Star Ferry route to Paros was also cancelled, while no ships are departing for Chios and Mytilene.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Due to the Municipal Employees' Strike Tonnes of Rubbish

    07 Apr 2006 18:22:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA - NET

    Tonnes of rubbish are covering the streets of Attica and other major urban centres due to strike of municipal employees since Wednesday. The Panhellenic Federation of Workers Associations of the Local Government (POE-OTA) did not rule out the possibility of extending the collective actions. It is estimated that some 20,000 tonnes of rubbish alone are infesting the Greek capital. The Municipality of Athens addressed a plea to all citizens to stop putting their rubbish out in the streets until the situation is resolved.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Suicide Bomber Killed Suicide Attack in Afghanistan

    07 Apr 2006 15:45:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA

    A car bomb went off near a of US and British base in Lashkar Ghar, the provincial capital of Helmand, resulting in the death of the suicide bomber and the wounding of two US soldiers and a civilian. Earlier, the chief of police had announced that the attack was staged against British soldiers and that there were two injured persons. A spokesperson for the Defence Ministry in London confirmed that "no British soldier was present" during the attack. On Thursday, a spokesperson of the German Defence Ministry announced that an Afghan civilian was killed and four German soldiers injured, on of whom seriously, by two attacks against German army patrols in northern Afghanistan. The German soldier, who has seriously injured, was taken to Germany for hospitalisation.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: 3 Americans hurt in Afghan blast

    [07] Rejected by Israel Hamas Proposed a Truce

    07 Apr 2006 11:38:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Hamas proposed Israel of an informal truce with the commitment to end violence by both sides, as per an article published in newspaper Haaretz on Friday. As per the newspapers sources, Hamas proposed for the end of attacks, both by its armed branch and other organisations, in exchange for Israels commitments for ending attacks in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. As per Haaretz, both the political and military leadership of Israel rejected this proposal, which was voiced through Egypt, arguing that this is a trick by Hamas to gain time and reinforcement, in view of a future showdown, at a time when it is receiving pressure by the international community. Hamas has been keeping a unilateral truce as of the beginning of 2005 and as per the viewpoints of Israeli authorities it has stopped suicide attacks, which have killed hundreds of Israelis during the last decade. On its part, Israel has not stopped attacks against selected targets for the eradication of Hamas members, following the assassination of the organisations spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 2004 and his successor Abdel Aziz Al-Rantissi.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] From the Hellenic Foundation for Culture Stavros Xarhakos Resigned

    07 Apr 2006 16:32:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Greek composer Stavros Xarhakos tendered in his resignation from the position of President of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture. In his letter to Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis, Xarhakos cited as a reason his wish to facilitate the initiatives for the progress of the Foundation. Voulgarakis accepted his resignation and thanked him for his contribution. The Dean of the University of Athens, Linguistics Professor Giorgos Babiniotis, was appointed new President.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] The World Lacks Health Workers Chronic Shortage

    07 Apr 2006 12:41:00 (Last updated: 07 Apr 2006 14:52:07)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: The World Health Report 2006, BBC

    A serious shortage of health workers in 57 countries, 36 of which in sub-Saharan Africa, is impairing provision of essential, life-saving interventions such as childhood immunization, safe pregnancy and delivery services for mothers, and access to treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. This shortage, combined with a lack of training and knowledge, is also a major obstacle for health systems as they attempt to respond effectively to chronic diseases, avian influenza and other health challenges, according to the WHOs World Health Report 2006.

    At least 1.3 billion people worldwide lack access to the most basic healthcare, often because there is no health worker. The shortage is global, but the burden is greatest in countries overwhelmed by poverty and disease where these health workers are needed most. Infectious diseases and complications of pregnancy and delivery cause at least 10 million deaths each year. Better access to health workers could prevent many of those deaths. There is clear evidence that as the ratio of health workers to population increases, so in turn does infant, child and maternal survival.

    Shocking figures and unbelievable incidents are a part of real life for most of the world. On the occasion of the World Health Day, the World Health Organisation urged the international community to focus on the chronic shortage of doctors and medical personnel that has been affecting health services worldwide.

    It is estimated that more than four million additional doctors, nurses, midwives, managers and public health workers are urgently needed to cover global needs, while 2.3 million are necessary in developing countries.

    Unequal Battle With Time

    "The global population is growing, but the number of health workers is stagnating or even falling in many of the places where they are needed most," said WHO Director-General Dr LEE Jong-wook.

    "Across the developing world, health workers face economic hardship, deteriorating infrastructure and social unrest. In many countries, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has also destroyed the health and lives of health workers," noted UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. He also addressed an appeal for cooperation on a national and international level in various fields. Africa alone, he stressed, needs one million young health workers. If the aim is not achieved, then children's vaccines will not be given, epidemics will not be prevented, diseases will remain untreated and women will continue to lose their lives during labour.

    Statistic figures verify the seriousness of the situation. Shortages are most severe in sub-Saharan Africa, which has 11% of the world's population and 24% of the global burden of disease but only 3% of the world's health workers.

    Read the story on other sources:

    World Health Organisation

    [10] Assured the Development Ministry Solution for Fertilisers Company

    07 Apr 2006 20:58:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA

    The discussion in Parliament over the Thessaloniki Phosphoric Fertilisers plant was tense. Deputy Development Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos said that the Government guaranteed to all employees that whatever the solution, they would be secure as far as the Development Ministry was concerned. Responding to a relevant interpolation filed by PASOK, he noted that the Government could not intervene, since the negotiations are between the management and the employees. "However, it has reviewed plans and we are positive that the future will not be uncertain. A solution will be found so that the employees will be able to continue." Answering to KKE, which asked for the factory to become fully operational and no employees to be dismissed, Giakoumatos noted, "This mentality of everything or nothing is risky." At the same time he underlined the Ministry would be ordering a full-on audit as soon as the case closes.

    Strong Reactions

    On the other hand, PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos spoke of "autocratic closing down of the factory," which "is a monument to the social harshness, and political unreliability and inconsistency of NDs Government.

    "Thessaloniki cannot handle another business closing down," noted PASOK MP Chrysa Arapoglou, accusing the Government of watching the unemployment rate of the city rising with apathy, and lack of social sensitivity and developmental plans.

    "The Government gave the right for the factory to close down," declared PASOK MP Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    "You let the fertilisers sink into bankruptcy and now you are returning with crocodile tears to demonstrate you are the El Cids of the employees riding on a white hose, and not the green horse of PASOK," responded Gerasimos Giakoumatos.

    On the part of KKE, MP Angelos Tzekis described the talks as"pretence" and urged the employees to walk out of the discussion, since the proposals for re-operating the business signal dismissals and pay cuts for the employees. He also attributed responsibilities to PASEGES (Panhellenic Confederation of Unions of Agricultural Coops) affiliated to PASOK for its choices in the purchase of and payment for the fertilisers.

    Finally, SYNs T. Leventis claimed that the plant is profitable and everyone should stop talking about debts. He also said that responsibilities should be attributed to both PASOK and ND.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] For the Rape in a Police Station Proceedings against Six Police Officers

    07 Apr 2006 17:52:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    On Friday, the First Instance Prosecutor of Rhodes, Giorgos Economou, brought criminal proceedings for felony against six police officers for the case concerning the rape of a 29-year-old woman from Bulgaria. The two policemen who are directly implicated in the rape the woman, the one inside the Ialyssos Police Station on the island of Rhodes and the other at his home, were charged with rape and abuse of power, while the third was charged with simple complicity and abuse of power. The Stations Chief and another female officer, who was at the guard post at the time of the rape, were charged with violation of duty (misdemeanour). The Bulgarians complaints prompted reactions from the Hellenic Police, while the Police Chief, Lieutenant General Anastasios Dimoschakis, ordered an administrative procedure and the three officers were placed on suspension.

    Brief to the Examiner

    At the same time, criminal proceedings for procurement and violation of the law concerning foreigners were brought against two businessmen, one from Rhodes and one from Crete, who, as per the woman who was raped, are implicated in her transfer from Crete to Rhodes.

    Given that the Prosecutor described the unprecedented case as extremely urgent, the brief has already been submitted to Rhodes Examiner, Rebousis, who will subpoena all those implicated in the case.

    On the other hand, the police officers are denying all the charges, saying the woman is seeking revenge as she was going to be deported.

    By order of the head of Rhodes First Instance Prosecutions, the plaintiff was admitted into the witness protection programme, as provided by the law, and is being guarded around the clock at Rhodes Hospital.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Hosted by the Greek FM Working Luncheon for MEPs

    07 Apr 2006 16:46:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Greek FM Dora Bakoyannis hosted a working luncheon for all the Greek Members of the European Parliament at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The MEPs who could not attend due to prior obligations were Stavros Arnaoutakis (PASOK), Dimitris Papadimoulis (SYN) and Giorgos Karatzaferis (LAOS). The discussion focused on the issue with Cyprus, the latest developments in the Balkans, and mainly Kosovo, the Greek-Turkish relations and Turkeys European prospects. In addition, the FM briefed the MEPs on the results of her recent trips to the USA and Cyprus. According to information, Bakoyannis voiced her intention to meet with all the political leaders so as to discuss the Cypriot issue.

    "It is important for foreign affairs to fair well," declared Antonis Samaras after the luncheon, saying that the meeting fortified foreign policy and was a "good start" for fostering understanding among parties.

    Giannis Varvitsiotis termed the exchange of opinions constructive. On the other hand, referring to Samaras attendance, Manolis Mavrommatis said that the ice had been broken in Rome, while he voiced the belief that a homogenous European parliamentary group, with collaboration on foreign policy matters, exists.

    Upon exiting the Ministry, PASOK MEP Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou described the meeting as interesting, stressing that her partys MEPs mentioned the need for greater mobility concerning national matters, and noting that opportunities have been lost.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] In Thessaloniki Works for Metro in May

    07 Apr 2006 15:06:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The first worksites out of the 16 for the construction of the metro will be set up in May, in Thessaloniki. All of them will be set up by the end of the 2006, while the works are expected to last 6.5 years. The above was stated by Minister for the Environment Giorgos Souflias during the signing of the contract for the construction of the works. The supervision of the construction has been taken up by Attiko Metro SA, a relevant service of which will be stationed soon in Thessaloniki. The metro in Thessaloniki will connect the New Railway Station with Nea Elvetia, a distance of 9.6km, will have 13 stations and facilitate more then 250,000 passengers daily.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [14] Had Benefited from the Victim in the Past Three Youths behind Priest's Murder

    07 Apr 2006 13:40:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The three youths who brutally murdered priest Panagiotis Vozinakis, on Sunday night, were faced by the anger of his relatives. Following their arrest by the police, the three youths confessed their act and taken to the Prosecutor. The priests three sons and relatives were waiting for the perpetrators outside of the Court of Justice and once they saw the youth their emotions outpoured. The three perpetrators were arrested on Thursday night by the police, after an evaluation of evidence collected by the authorities. All three admitted their involvement in the priests murder, which shocked the island. It was a well-planned crime, as they knew that the priest gave money to persons in need. Actually, the three youths were benefited by the victim in the past. As per the police, they took 500 euros, his wallet, his mobile phone and the keys to the church. Actually, the mobile phone was sold for 15 euros to a store in Chania.

    The three perpetrators were known to the police, as they were involved in narcotics, handbag snatchings and violations of the highway code. Actually, prior to the priests murder they had stolen two chickens from a hencoop. The youths are faced with the charges of intentional manslaughter and robbery.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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