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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-04-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Thriller in Italy
  • [02] Prodi in the Lead
  • [03] Vodafone Held Accountable
  • [04] Learn Karate on the Telly
  • [05] Dialogue on Mass Media
  • [06] Wiretap Findings in Parliament
  • [07] Al Qaeda Not Linked
  • [08] EU Halts Aid to Hamas
  • [09] EU Halts Aid to Hamas
  • [10] Reforms Go on Unhindered
  • [11] "Dolce Vita" in Zurich

  • [01] Percentages and Seats are Close Thriller in Italy

    10 Apr 2006 20:31:00 (Last updated: 10 Apr 2006 23:40:15)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA-Reuters

    The general elections in Italy seem to be assuming thriller dimensions, with election results constantly changing. While initial exit polls and projections from Nexus pollsters pointed to Romano Prodi, a few hours later they indicated that the centre-right bloc led by Silvio Berlusconi was in the lead. According to latest projections, Prodi seems to be enjoying a wafer thin lead. However, uncertainty and puzzlement are prevalent. Projections do not constitute official election results, for they are based upon samples of votes counted so far. Perhaps, this is why Nexus recommended they be cautiously interpreted. However, as per the first partial results, Prodis centre-left alliance seems set to score a wide majority in Parliament and a narrow one in the Senate. Yet, no one can tell what the final results will be and who will be named winner, unless the counting of the votes is complete and the Italian Interior Ministry announces the official results.

    The fact that Prodi decided to suspend the scheduled Press Conference for an hour and Berlusconis team avoids speaking of defeat is indicative of the uncertainty that prevails in Italy.

    Earlier, two opinion polls had shown Romano Prodi winning 50 to 54 percent of the vote, as opposed to 45 to 49 percent of the vote for Berlusconi.

    Turnout reached 83.6% compared to 81.4% for Parliament adnd 81.3% for the Senate in the general elections held in May, 2001.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Prodi in the Lead

    [02] According to Initial Exit Polls Prodi in the Lead

    10 Apr 2006 16:09:00 (Last updated: 10 Apr 2006 21:25:42)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ANA-Reuters

    According to the initial exit polls, Romano Prodi looks set to win the Italian general elections. Two separate exit polls shown on state-run RAI television network and Mediaset television owned by Silvio Berlusconi showed Romano Prodis centre-left alliance garnering 50% to 54% of the vote in both the lower and upper house, as opposed to 45% to 49% for the centre-right bloc led by PM Silvio Berlusconi. Another poll conducted by Piepoli Institute on behalf of Sky TG24 television network, Prodis alliance received 52% of the vote and Berlusconi 47%.

    Political analysts argued that should the exit polls prove right, the centre-left alliance will score a sweeping victory, since it will enjoy the majority both in Parliament and in the Senate.

    Exit polls give Prodi at least 340 seats of the lower houses 630 seats, and between 159 and 170 seats up for the grabs in the upper house.

    Furthermore, the scenarios speaking of a tie between the two rivals, thus leading the country to new elections, have not been confirmed.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Final Battle in Italy

    [03] Karamarios: The Prosecutor Should Intervene Vodafone Held Accountable

    10 Apr 2006 17:57:00 (Last updated: 10 Apr 2006 23:10:24)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ANA

    The intermediate report on the phone-tapping case submitted Monday to the Parliaments Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency by the Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) stroke a hard blow to Vodafone. "Based upon this report, the Prosecutor should immediately press charges against Vodafone," argued President of the Special Committee on Institutions and Transparency Anastasios Karamarios. In the 27-page report, ADAE clarified that the installation of the illegal software at Vodafones premises took place by a person who was there and that its further upgrading was conducted from a distance.

    The report named Vodafones digital centre in Peania as the main one conducting the wiretaps. On January 24, 2005, the day the problem with the SMS was revealed, five Vodafone officials had access to it, while the last one to depart had an access card with the indication "visitor." This card is provided to external visitors, as well as to those Vodafone employees who lack access to these offices.

    However, the company argued it had destroyed the check in an out reports of that particular period of time, thus making the identification of the people given a visitor card impossible. The equivalent evidence from the digital centres in Kifissos and Piraeus, on the other hand, have been submitted.

    The report also referred to the capacities of the illegal software, which allowed the interceptors to bug the SMS messages the bugged either sent of received, while it was able to precisely locate where the bugged, as well as those who called them, were.

    ADAE further clarified that the upgrading of the illegal software conducted on 24/01/05 required the involvement of a person awarded with access rights.

    ADAE also clarified that Kostas Tsalikidis was among the 31 employees who had access. In fact, he was one of the Vodafone officials who received legal software R9.1, which had been delivered by Ericsson in 2003. "The subsystem allowing legal interceptions is included in the capacities the R9.1 software," read the ADAE report.

    "We are not surprised by the report. It confirms our initial claims that Kostas Tsalikidis knew," said Themistoklis Sofos, lawyer of Tsalikidis family.

    The report also proved wrong Vodafones Press Release issued on February 3, 2006, according to which Tsalikidis could not have possibly known what was going on.

    "The responsibilities for the interceptions and the cover-up of the case fell upon Vodafone, yet they are not reduced there. State agencies are also responsible," commented former Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis and voiced his belief that Vodafone CEO George Koronias "should be charged with perjury" before the Parliaments Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency.

    In the meantime, Vodafone sources underlined that the ADAE is a technical text allowing several interpretations and misinterpretations.

    The final report is due out in early May and it is expected to include the fines that will be imposed on Vodafone. According to ADAEs articles of association, the fines will range from 10,000 to 1.5 million euros per offence.

    [04] Education Television Learn Karate on the Telly

    10 Apr 2006 12:32:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    A 75-year-old Romanian woman laid out a burglar with karate moves she had learned on television. Anica D, from Popeni village in Vaslui county, told police she was sleeping when the man broke into her house and attacked her. She said she cried for help but nobody came, so she tried some karate she had picked up from a self-defence TV show. Anica managed to "imobilise" her attacker and then called the Police who arrested the man. The 30-year-old has been charged with burglary and attempted rape.

    [05] Dialogue on Mass Media

    10 Apr 2006 15:14:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8 - ANA

    State Minister Theodoros Roussopoulos will brief Wednesday the Parliaments Standing Committee on Institutions and Transparency on the progress of the dialogue on the bill regarding the authorisation and concentration of Mass Media. On Monday morning, Mr Roussopoulos met with the representatives of the political parties to discuss the clauses of the bill that have yet to be determined. KKE was the only political party that abstained from the meeting. Mr Roussopoulos described the meeting as interesting and argued that there were no major disagreements. Furthermore, the State Minister said that any unresolved issues will be settled as soon as all proposals are submitted by the parliamentarians comprising the Standing Committee on Institutions and Transparency are discussed. Mr Roussopoulos claimed that the bill will have been voted by the outset of the Parliaments Recess Sections.

    "Open Dialogue-Clear Framework"

    On his part, ND parliamentarian Kostas Gioulekas stated that the dialogue is open and noted that the Government is determined to set rules so as to put an end to a 20-year anarchy.

    PASOK parliamentarian Miltiadis Papaioannou recognized the need for a clear, simple and transparent framework, which will safeguard the political pluralism of the Media. He added, however, that some of the Governments proposals lack clarity.

    SYN parliamentarian Fotis Kouvelis put emphasis on the proposals on the number of the authorizations.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Submitted by ADAE Wiretap Findings in Parliament

    10 Apr 2006 13:33:00

    The Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) is currently submitting the intermediate findings on Vodafones wiretapping case to the Parliaments Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency. As per information, the installation and upgrading of the illegal software at Vodafones facilities took place by a person who was physically there and not from a distance. There is also a list of names from the people who had access to the four wiretapped centres. Lastly, there is special reference to Vodafones deceased executive Kostas Tsalikidis.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] To the 7 July London bombings Al Qaeda Not Linked

    10 Apr 2006 10:58:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Citing government sources and a forensic account to hit the Press soon, British newspaper "The Observer" revealed on Sunday that the 7 July London bombings, which claimed the lives of 52 people, were "planned on a shoestring budget from information on the Internet and no direct support from Al Qaeda." As per the paper, the bombers planned and carried out the attack with cheap means that did not cost over a few hundred pounds. "The London attacks were a modest, simple affair by four seemingly normal men using the Internet," read the paper, citing a Government source. Investigations pointed there were four "suicide bombers bent on martyrdom and there was no fifth-bomber," as British authorities originally believed. The four men had visited Pakistan, but had no link to Al Qaeda, nor did Mohammed Siddique Khan, the brains of the attack, meet with Al Qaedas number two Ayman al-Zawahiri. "A videotape of Mohammed Siddique Khan released after the attacks also featured footage of Osama bin Ladens deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Home Office believes the tape was edited after the suicide attacks and dismisses it as evidence of al-Qaedas involvement in the attack," reads the Observer.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    The Observer: Leak reveals official story of London bombings

    [08] EU Halts Aid to Hamas

    10 Apr 2006 18:46:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: BBC, ANA

    The EU Foreign Ministers met Monday in Luxemburg and decided to suspend aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. At the same time, the EU Foreign Ministers voiced their will to stand by the Palestinian people, meaning that they will maintain some humanitarian aid. The halt decided relates to the direct aid to the Palestinian Government and the payment of civil servants through EU funds. Speaking to journalists, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner clarified that the EU will not abandon the Palestinian people and will keep humanitarian aid running. Furthermore, the EU bloc decided to break off any political ties with the Palestinian Authority. Any contacts will continue just to settle practical issues.

    Gloomy Predictions

    However, despite the assurances by the 25, their intention to suspend the aid has already sparked of reactions on the part of the Arabs.

    Leading Arab papers read that this move will plunge the Palestinians into major financial problems that will stir up social unrest, while they argued that the EU aims to weaken the Palestinians.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] EU Halts Aid to Hamas

    10 Apr 2006 18:46:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: BBC, ANA

    The EU Foreign Ministers met Monday in Luxemburg and decided to suspend aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. At the same time, the EU Foreign Ministers voiced their will to stand by the Palestinian people, meaning that they will maintain some humanitarian aid. The halt decided relates to the direct aid to the Palestinian Government and the payment of civil servants through EU funds. Speaking to journalists, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner clarified that the EU will not abandon the Palestinian people and will keep humanitarian aid running. Furthermore, the EU bloc decided to break off any political ties with the Palestinian Authority. Any contacts will continue just to settle practical issues.

    Gloomy Predictions

    However, despite the assurances by the 25, their intention to suspend the aid has already sparked of reactions on the part of the Arabs.

    Leading Arab papers read that this move will plunge the Palestinians into major financial problems that will stir up social unrest, while they argued that the EU aims to weaken the Palestinians.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] Reforms Go on Unhindered

    10 Apr 2006 19:14:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    The Governments reforms are continuing unhindered stated Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and underlined that the objectives set by this years budget will not change. While yielding the results of the recent Eurogroup and Ecofin Informal Summit held in Austria, Mr Alogoskoufis announced that the Government is awaiting the EU to approve the cuts in the tax on building repairs.

    [11] Athens Ranks 79th "Dolce Vita" in Zurich

    10 Apr 2006 10:59:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters, ANA, NET

    The list of cities with the best quality of living in the world for 2006 was released by Mercer Human Resource Consulting without presenting any surprises from top to bottom. Zurich enjoys the top of the list, while Baghdad ranked lowest for the third year in a row. As for Athens, the Greek capital landed on the 79th spot, while Geneva and Vancouver join Zurich at the top three. Other low-ranking cities for overall quality of living, like Baghdad, include Congo in Brazzaville and Bangui in the Central African Republic. The three top cities in the survey were the same as last year.

    Taking Dozens of Parameters Under Consideration

    Chicago is the city with the greatest progress, climbing 11 spots from 52nd to 41st, thanks to combating crime, while Cairo dropped 9 places to 131st position.

    "This is due to political turmoil and terrorist attacks in the city and surrounding area," announced the company, regarding Cairo's fall.

    Mercer's criteria for the evaluation of a city are based on 39 basic categories on the quality of living, from political stability to schools, bars and restaurants to the environment.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    Mercer Human Resource Consulting


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