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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-04-11

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Division Ala Italian
  • [02] Multi-Fatality Explosion in Karachi
  • [03] Orbiting Venus
  • [04] Criticism to Govt over Agricultural Policy
  • [05] Subsidies and Rural Development
  • [06] Papoulias Declared Honorary Doctor
  • [07] Vodafone Refuted Press Articles
  • [08] 24-Hour Strike in DEKOs-Banks
  • [09] Debate over Expensiveness
  • [10] Broad Meeting in Super-Prefecture
  • [11] Cicciolina the Altruist!
  • [12] In Support of the Irish Model

  • [01] Berlusconi Requested Recount Division Ala Italian

    11 Apr 2006 21:20:00 (Last updated: 11 Apr 2006 23:34:22)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, NET, Reuters

    Following 12 hours of continuous overturns, the results, even if marginal, indicated centre-left leader Romano Prodi as the winner of the Italian Parliamentary election. In total, Prodi is counting 158 seats out of the 315 in the Senate and 348 seats out of the 630 in Parliament. The coalition of Silvio Berlusconi received 156 seats in the Senate and 281 in Parliament, while a seat has been taken up by an independent MP. As soon as the results of the Ministry of the Interior were announced, Prodi spoke of a clear prevalence of L Unione and voiced his readiness to take up power. However, outgoing Prime Minister Berlusconi counterattacking, requested a recount of votes, while he advised humbleness to his political opponents whilst placing a proposal for a German type co-governance on the table. "These are not serious claims," answered Romano Prodi. At the same time, the international Press spoke of "political algebra," which is expected to lead Italy to a period of instable governance.

    Prodi Optimistic, Berlusconi Not Consenting

    "The Italian Democracy has won. We won after a tough showdown, but with the majority both in Parliament and the Senate, which allows us to govern with the coalition of parties, by which we were presented in the election. The Government of L Unione will be politically powerful in action. The situation is complicated and difficult and we have to work for the implementation of our programme. We are turning the page, leaving behind the acerbity of this pre-election campaign," stated leader of L Unione Romano Prodi, whilst wishing for a speedy reinstatement of calmness in the country.

    On the other hand, Silvio Berlusconi refused to be the loser of the showdown. "No one can state that he is the winner," he noted in a Press conference and insisted on the conclusion of "a very large number of irregularities," which were presented particularly in the voting of Italians who are overseas.

    "We will not hesitate to acknowledge the electoral result, however, only when it is legally clarified," noted Berlusconi, while spokesperson of the centre-right coalition Mr Bonaiuti requested the recount of votes, disputing 43,028 ballots concerning Parliament and 39,833 of the Senate. Moreover, he posed the issue of the number of invalid ballots. It is noted, that in Italys case the distance separating the winner by the loser is estimated to 25,000 votes. However, the President of the Italian Republic voiced his satisfaction over the smooth conduction of the election.

    Berlusconi, which has been running the country for two consecutive terms and is not inclined to leave, referred to the 2001 elections, when the Court of Cassation gave a different version on 36,000 votes, in comparison to the Ministry for the Interior.

    He did not forget to propose a compromising solution to his opponents; the formation of the large governmental coalition. "I believe that we can follow the example of another great nation such as Germany [] this will be an act which reveals humbleness by both sides, as well as realism. I do not believe that our country will proceed to some kind of civil war," underlined Berlusconi in the Press conference.

    The compromising solution was not accepted by the centre-left. Prodi rushed to reject it, saying that there is no reason for such alliances.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Bomb at a Religious Gathering Multi-Fatality Explosion in Karachi

    11 Apr 2006 19:23:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Blood was shed at a Sunni Muslim gathering, marking Prophet Muhammads birth, at Nishtar Park in Karachi, Pakistan. At least 45 persons lost their lives and 50 others injured by a bomb explosion. Straight after, panic took over and many persons were taken to hospital in a state of shock. Infuriated followers threw rocks at the policemen, who were trying to put the situation under control, accusing them of not providing the necessary security. As per initial reports, the explosive device was placed under the wooden stage where religious leaders were praying on, while the causes of the blast have not been made known. The police are investigating all scenarios, without excluding a suicide bomb attack. So far, no organisation has claimed responsibility for the bloody blast, which is considered as the worst of this kind ever in Pakistan.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    The Hindu: Over 30 killed in Karachi blast

    Toronto Star: Bomb at Pakistani prayer service kills dozens

    [03] Orbiting Venus

    11 Apr 2006 14:48:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    The mission of European spacecraft Venus Express met with success, as it entered into orbit around planet Venus early on Tuesday, after travelling for some 5 months! The scientists of the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that Venus Express entered into orbit at 10:08 CET, 400km from the surface of the planet and nearly 120 million kilometres from the Earth. The mission is to observe Venus atmosphere for 486 Earth days. The atmosphere our planetary neighbour is dense and warm and is mostly made up of carbon dioxide (96%).

    The Secrets of its Atmosphere

    Venus, which is often considered by astronomers as Earths twin, is covered by a dense cloudy layer. The spacecraft is seeking to unravel the mysteries surrounding this layer with the use of seven instruments, in an effort to draw information about the planets geology and its possible volcanic activity.

    Venus Express was launched off a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 9 November 2005. Up until today, only American and Soviet spacecrafts had reached the planet.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Probe makes encounter with Venus

    Related Links:

    Venus Express - ESA

    [04] Fierce Criticism to Government by G. Papandreou Criticism to Govt over Agricultural Policy

    11 Apr 2006 16:17:00

    Speaking at PASOKs Parliamentary Group, which focused on agricultural policy, George Papandreou fiercely criticised the Government over its agricultural policy. The President of PASOK attributed responsibility to New Democracy over the abandonment of farmers and presented three commitments for regrouping regional areas and rural development. The quality and identity of Greek products, the connection of agriculture with high quality services, entrepreneurship of agricultural for the majority, investments in the individual, land-planning designing and the minimisation of production cost are included among others. Moreover, he described PASOK as a government in waiting and invited all citizens, those who voted or will vote for ND, to attend the dialogue for shaping the partys governmental programme.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] As part of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy Subsidies and Rural Development

    11 Apr 2006 14:00:00

    Farming subsidies for the period 2006-2013 were discussed during the Cabinet meeting in Maximos Mansion, chaired by the Prime Minister. The discussion also focused on the prospects for rural development in the context of the European Unions Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos briefed the Cabinet members on the completion of the subsidies programme, as well as the promotion of agricultural exports. "The Government is utilising all the opportunities to support farmers both financially and socially," underlined Basiakos upon exiting Maximos Mansion after the meeting. Moreover, the Rural Development Minister personally pledged that the subsidies for 2006 would be distributed earlier than any other year, as the country will be ready pay them on 1 December.

    In addition, the Minister voiced the Governments satisfaction over the exports of agricultural products for 2005, as they rose by 24%. Finally, with regard to the restructuring of crops, he noted that 13 committees are already recording and examining the possibilities in each region, so as to propose new types of crops to farmers.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Of the University of Macedonia Papoulias Declared Honorary Doctor

    11 Apr 2006 13:55:00

    During a grand ceremony at the University of Macedonia, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, was declared Honorary Doctor of the International-European Economics and Political Sciences Department. In their speeches, the Dean and Deputy Dean of the University of Macedonia, as well as the head of the Economics and Political Sciences Department, praised the Greek Presidents political and scientific ethos, his dedication to the principles and values of sincere patriotism, and his struggles for peace, democracy and national dignity. Evidently emotional, Papoulias thanked the University for the honour. During his speech, entitled "The European Prospects of the Balkans," the Greek President referred to the challenges and prospects of SE Europe, which are to the benefit of Europe as a whole. Karolos Papoulias asked Europe to stop viewing the Balkans as poor relatives, while he urged the leaders of the Balkans to free themselves from the guardianship of international diplomacy, nationalism and secession patterns.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Issued a Formal Announcement Vodafone Refuted Press Articles

    11 Apr 2006 18:53:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, Vodafone

    "Vodafone has discovered a number of mistakes, which alter the factual data, inaccurate and unclear information, not validated conclusions, selective reference to individuals and data quotation, even false dates," read the companys announcement regarding the "coverage of the entire Press publishing the 2nd Intermediate Conclusion/Memorandum of the Independent Information Security Authority (ADAE) on Tuesday."

    This is the first reaction by the mobile telephony company, following the submission of an ADAE memorandum to Parliaments Institutions and Transparency Committee, in which, it is attributed great responsibility on the wiretaps case. In its brief announcement, Vodafone added that it asked both the ADAE and the Committee for an official copy of the relevant report.

    In the meantime, the so-called "deep throat" of the case, met with the lawyer of Kostas Tsalikidis family, Themistoklis Sofos, and appeared convinced that the Vodafone employee was murdered, claiming that he holds evidence over his death and the wiretaps case. The witness stated that he is ready to be summoned to the Prosecutor and submit the evidence.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Vodafone Held Accountable

    [08] GSEE's Decision on Friday 24-Hour Strike in DEKOs-Banks

    11 Apr 2006 13:43:00 (Last updated: 11 Apr 2006 17:17:48)

    The unions are continuing their dispute with the Governments policy, announcing a 24-hour strike in DEKOs (public utilities and enterprises) and banks on 4 May, as decided Tuesday during the meeting between GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) and the DEKO Federations over the matter of collective bargaining agreements. The strike will be officially decided on Friday, during GSEEs meeting, although President Christos Polyzogopoulos basically announced his intention to propose it. During the meeting, the employees appeared determined not to allow the enactment of the law on DEKOs, which provides for a 3% ceiling in 2006 pay raises for DEKOs showing deficits. In addition, the changes in personnel regulations constitute another thorny matter. Meanwhile, the National General Collective Bargaining Agreement between GSEE and labour unions will be signed on Wednesday. Moreover, ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) is considering staging a 24-hour strike on 11 May, over financial demands.

    [09] Between the Ministry of Development and PASOK Debate over Expensiveness

    11 Apr 2006 20:26:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, NET

    In a joint announcement, the Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas and Deputy Minister Giannis Papathanasiou gave details on the issue of rises in prices of goods and services, in the last two years, on the occasion of the inflation announcement for March.

    The announcement stated that regardless of the consequences by international fuel prices, inflation in March stands at 3.35% and is lower than in 2003 (4.1%), while noting that rises in prices during NDs governance are under the inflation rate and in lower levels than in 2005, 2004 and 2003.

    Referring to Eurostats new data on changes of prices in the Eurozone, Messrs Sioufas and Papathanasiou called on PASOK members stop doubting the height of increases, as in any other case "they are doing nothing more than consequently assisting the profiteers."

    The two Ministers spoke of a "black propaganda" by PASOK and accused it of "fishing in murky waters, offering bad services to Greek households." "There is expensiveness, but in lower levels than in the last four years and is continually monitored, as well efforts being made for prices to be controlled," noted Messrs Sioufas and Papathanasiou.

    As they stated, as per a data analysis by Eurostat and the National Statistical Service of Greece it emerged that prices of 31 out of 52 goods and services were under the inflation rate in March 2004, while rises above the inflation were presented in 35 out of 52 of these items in 2003.

    "The Government has lost touch with reality and is daily proving its weaknesses and incompetence in facing the citizens problems," answered head of PASOKs Development Sector Anna Diamantopoulou. "Regardless of the predictions by the relevant Ministers, inflation was greatly increased in March by 0.4%, than last year (3.3% as opposed to 2.9%). Expensiveness in basic necessities is clearly squandering the rises in revenue policies and compressing the incomes of households even more," added Mrs Diamantopoulou.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    Ministry of Development

    [10] Over Profiteering Broad Meeting in Super-Prefecture

    11 Apr 2006 17:50:00

    On Tuesday, a broad meeting was held in view of Easter at the Athens-Piraeus Super-Prefecture and attended by market bodies. Following the end of the meeting, Super-Prefect of Athens-Piraeus Fofi Gennimata stated that the Local Self Government and the markets representatives are waging a joint battle against profiteering. "We are all determined to protect consumers and honest businessmen," said Mrs Gennimata whilst noting: "We would like to send a message; inspections will be even more intensified during Easter holidays. We are addressing those who are planning to make violations on these days and we are saying that they will be faced with difficult times." Athens Prefect Giannis Sgouros focused on the need for greater cooperation between the Local Self Government and businessmen.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Cicciolina the Altruist!

    11 Apr 2006 12:39:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    "It is time someone did something about Bin Laden, and I am ready to do it." Who would have ever thought that the quote belongs to Italys most famous porn star? However, once again, Cicciolina is going beyond the call of duty, offering her heart and soul to Bin Laden, "in exchange for an end to his tyranny," as she noted. Speaking at an erotic fair in Bucharest, Romania, Anna Ilona Staller, 55, declared she was ready to strike a deal with USs most wanted criminal. Besides, in the 1990s she had offered herself to Saddam Hussein. "Who knows what might have happened if he had taken up my offer," wondered Cicciolina.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] By the Minister of Economy In Support of the Irish Model

    11 Apr 2006 15:57:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ANA

    On Tuesday, speaking at an event where a UN report was presented over the global economic situation and organised by the Economic and Industrial Research Institute (IOVE), Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis described the Irish model as the most suitable for Greece. Mr Alogoskoufis said that reforms in the Greek economy are focusing on cuts in taxation for businesses and natural figures as of 2007, as it was implemented in Ireland. The Minister explained that the Irish model is based on low taxation and public expenditures, as opposed to the Scandinavian model that foresees high social expenditures and taxation, as well as open dismissals together with a guarantee of the dismissed employees income. Moreover, he noted that there was political consensus on the drastic reforms in Ireland, resulting in an impressive turnaround in its economy.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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