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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-04-12

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] New Quakes on Zakynthos
  • [02] Order to Prodi in May
  • [03] Clashes at Varvakios Market
  • [04] Greek PM's Visit to Sofia-N. Greece
  • [05] New Code in Parliament on Friday
  • [06] Multi-Fatality Blast in Baquba
  • [07] Iran Provokes with Uranium Enrichment
  • [08] New Work Contract Signed
  • [09] Panathinaikos Won't Go to Prague
  • [10] Olympiacos Wins to Qualify
  • [11] AEK in Cup Final
  • [12] Fishermen Blew up Train
  • [13] Bakoyannis still Receives Threats

  • [01] Two New Strong Tremors New Quakes on Zakynthos

    12 Apr 2006 20:39:00 (Last updated: 12 Apr 2006 21:47:58)

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Two new earthquakes were recorded a little before 8pm on Zakynthos, which were not only felt on the island, but also in the Prefectures of Ilia, Achaia and Cephalonia, as well as in parts of Western Greece. The first quake registered 5.8 on the Richter scale and the second 5.4, while they took place at 7:52pm and 7:56pm respectively, i.e. four minutes apart. As per the Athens Geodynamics Institute, the epicenter of the two quakes was located in the sea south of Zakynthos. Many residents took to the streets, while no damages have been reported so far. Speaking on NETs main news bulletin, the head of the Geodynamics Institute, Gerasimos Papadopoulos, stressed that it was still difficult to tell whether this is a seismic swarm, however, he underlined that if the seismic activity continues with quakes under 6 on the Richter scale, then the consequences would be detrimental. At the same time, he mentioned that similar seismic activity has been recorded on Zakynthos in the past and the residents should not panic.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Seismic Energy on Decline

    [02] Ballot Papers Found in the Rubbish Order to Prodi in May

    12 Apr 2006 17:39:00 (Last updated: 12 Apr 2006 20:56:44)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Although nearly 48 hours have passed since the Italian elections, the situation remains unresolved. Following Silvio Berlusconis insistence on disputing the results and asking for a recount of 43,000 ballot papers, havoc was created when valid ballot papers were located in the rubbish. Specifically, as per local authorities, five ballot boxes had been dumped behind a voting station in the suburb Tuscolana, Rome, while the Prosecutor has already ordered an investigation into the incident, since legislation requires that the ballot papers be transferred to the regional administrative courts and then to the Interior Ministry. However, Romano Prodi declared that the victory has been secured, while he has already started contacting members of the centre-left coalition in order to form a Government. In addition, following the meeting between Prodi and the Italian President, it has been confirmed that the order for the formation of the new government will be given in May, as Carlo Azeglio Ciampis term is nearing its end.

    Prodi: "Clean Victory"

    "I dont have any fear whatsoever that the result will be overturned. It is a clean victory," declared the leader of the centre-left coalition, commenting on Berlusconis demand for a recount.

    Speaking to foreign correspondents in Rome, Prodi also referred to his main priorities. As he said, he aims to fight the Mafia, especially after the arrest of Cosa Nostra boss Bernardo Provenzano, as well as enact a new law over conflict of interests.

    On Wednesday, the leader of the centre-left coalition met with Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. As per the Italian Presidencys announcement, the next Italian President will be giving Prodi the order to form a new government, as Ciampis term ends on 18 May.

    The announcement confirms the articles that appeared in the Italian Press, as well as Prodis earlier statement, whereby "The constitutional decision is that probably it will be the new president who will decide to give me the responsibility to govern. So we would have to wait until the second half of May."

    The two new legislative bodies are expected to convene on 28 and 29 April in order to elect the speakers of Parliament and Senate.

    Furthermore, the parliamentary groups of the various parties will have to be formed and elect their presidents in seven days, i.e. on 5 May.

    Finally, the Senate and the Lower House will elect the countrys next President on 12 and 13 May, and in turn he will give Prodi the order to form a government.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Corriere della Serra: Pacchi di schede trovati per strada a Roma

    The Guardian: Prodi pushes to form new government

    Die Welt: Berlusconi gibt Niederlage nicht zu

    Reuters: Italy faces political limbo, vote dispute rages

    Related News:

    Prodi Ready to Rule

    Division Ala Italian

    [03] Police Forces Were Employed Clashes at Varvakios Market

    12 Apr 2006 13:16:00 (Last updated: 12 Apr 2006 21:22:08)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Tension ran high Wednesday morning at Varvakios Market. Strong police forces had been stationed to facilitate inspections by crews of the Development Ministry and the Greek Central Food Control Agency (EFET), since inspectors and meat vendors clashed, while shop owners attacked journalists and TV crews, aiming to stop them from taking shots of their shops. On their part, the shop owners switched off the lights and are threatening to close the market, reacting to the presence of journalists. "In the context of the freedom of the press, the norms ruling their profession and with respect to the laws, journalists should be free to do their job," commented Deputy Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros, adding that sanctions will be imposed when offences are reported. Speaking on radio station 105.8, the President of Varvakios Market noted that there was only a verbal dispute. The Development Ministry, the Acropolis police station and President of the Journalists Union of Athens Daily Newspapers Panos Sobolos were informed.

    Inspections Will Go Unhindered

    Commenting on the incidents, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas stated, "No one has the right to hinder the work of journalists."

    On his part, Deputy Development Minister Giannis Papathanasiou argued, "It goes without saying that the market will undergo inspections, for the State is here to protect the interests of the consumers," instructing responsibility and calmness.

    Referring to the inspections in the light of Easter, Mr Antonaros claimed that the Greek authorities protects consumers, while he underscored that it is a minority of traders committing offences that tarnishes the reputation of the sector.

    "Todays sad incidents in Varvakios Market should not in any case stop the flow of inspections by Ministry, EFET and Prefecture panels," was mentioned in PASOKs announcement. It also added, "The presence of the Media secures transparency and raises public awareness, which in the end is to the benefit of professionals who are doing their job right."

    Deputy Athens Prefect Haris Pasvatidis condemned the attacks against journalists, stressing the inspections should go unhindered.

    The inspections conducted so far reported a string of offences relating to misleading labels. Fines were imposed, while two meat vendors were referred to the Prosecutor for selling frozen meat for fresh and failed to observe the safety standards.

    Shop in Piraeus Sealed

    In the meantime, inspection crews of the Prefecture of Piraeus sealed a shop located in the central market of the city for it lack authorisation to operate and sold foodstuffs unfit for human consumption.

    To protect public health, Pireaus Prefect Giannia Mihas demanded the shop be immediately sealed.

    "We are certain that there is no citizen, no serious businessman, who disagrees with our determination to be strict against those who do not respect the consumers," argued Mr Mihas.

    [04] Four-Day Tour Greek PM's Visit to Sofia-N. Greece

    12 Apr 2006 15:12:00

    Sources: ANA - NET 105.8

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis is due to visit Bulgaria on Thursday for talks with Bulgarias leadership, while bilateral agreements will be signed between the two countries. On Friday afternoon, the PM will visit the Prefecture of Kilkis, while he will spend the weekend in Thessaloniki, where he will meet with Mayor Vassilis Pageorgopoulos, Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis and the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace. On Sunday, Karamanlis will meet with the Culture Ministers of the SE European countries, who are in Greece attending an international conference. Asked whether some appointments on the PMs agenda had been cancelled, alternate Government spokesperson Evangelos Antonaros declared that the rumours were fictional.

    The PM's Itinerary in Sofia

    On Thursday afternoon, Kostas Karmanlis will meet with South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon, before he departs for Bulgaria. Upon his arrival in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Karamanlis is to lay a wreath at the monument for the Unknown Soldier and then accompany Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev to the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Alexander Nievski. On Thursday night, the Greek PM will be a guest at a dinner held in his honour by Stanishev.

    On Friday morning, Karamanlis will lead a Greek delegation in talks with the Bulgarian side, during which bilateral agreements will be signed, followed by a press conference at 10:30. At 11:00 on Friday, he will be received by Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, Bulgarian parliament speaker Georgi Pirinsky and the Patriarch of Bulgaria Maxim. The PM will then depart for Thessaloniki and from there to Kilkis.

    Antonaros' Statements

    Alternate Government spokesperson Evangelos Antonaros denied that original plans for a more extensive tour by the PM in northern Greece had been pared down, noting that Karamanlis looked at various proposals before deciding on his itinerary and stressing that the programme of visits by Karamanlis will continue.

    He also denied suggestions that the premier was avoiding "problem" areas, noting that Karamanlis discussed the problems that concerned Greek society with a number of social bodies and ordinary citizens.

    [05] Bill on the Code of Municipalities and Communities New Code in Parliament on Friday

    12 Apr 2006 13:35:00

    The Bill on the New Code of Municipalities and Communities will have been submitted to Parliament by Friday. The new Code is a product of consensus among the Interior Ministry, the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE), the Panhellenic Federation of Workers Associations of the Local Government (POE-OTA) and the Local Government Organisations (POP-OTA). As Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos noted in a Press Conference he gave Wednesday, the new bill aims to:

    1. record the jurisdictions of the Municipalities and Communities, so that boundaries are set and audit inspections are facilitated,

    2. establish the institution of local referendums,

    3. set up the process of voluntary incorporation into a neighbouring Municipality of Community,

    4. turn Communities numbering more than 4,000 inhabitants into Municipalities

    5. and push forward the reorganization of the municipal enterprises.

    Mr Pavlopoulos further underlined that the Kapodistrias Project will not be touched on, nor will any claims for secession from it. He maintained, though, that voluntary incorporations may result from local referendums.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Multi-Fatality Blast in Baquba

    12 Apr 2006 21:49:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters - ANA

    A car bomb exploded on Wednesday night near to a Shiite mosque in the village Howaider, close to Iraqi city of Baquba. According to the local security forces initial estimates, at least 20 people were killed and another 30 were injured. The explosives were detonated at around 9pm, when dozens of people were in the street. A similar explosion near a Shiite mosque in Baghdad a few days ago had killed 90 civilians.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Explosion kills 20 at Iraq mosque

    [07] USA Asking for Sanctions Iran Provokes with Uranium Enrichment

    12 Apr 2006 19:09:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Tehrans announcement that the country has started to enrich uranium successfully in the Natanz nuclear plant has created havoc. US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice asked the UN Security Council for immediate and decisive actions, while the EU, Russia, China and the European Foreign Ministers voiced their condemnation. At the same time, the head of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), Mohammed ElBaradei, is expected in Tehran to settle the crisis. In addition, his report on the Iranian nuclear activities will be ready by the end of the month, at which time it will be submitted to the Security Council and the 35 IAEA member states. Speaking from Syria, former Iranian President Akbar Hasemi Rafsanjani praised this "great achievement", stressing that his country will not succumb to international pressure. At the request of the IAEA, the Security Council granted Iran an extension until 28 April to suspend all nuclear activities, but Tehran ignored the directive.

    International Condemnation

    Condoleezza Rice declared that the Iranian statements constituted proof that Tehran is not willing to compromise and urged the Security Council to "maintain the credibility of the international community on this issue"

    EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said that Irans announcement was "very bad news," as it "goes in the wrong direction," adding that the EU would be looking at possible sanctions if all diplomatic efforts fail.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned the Iranian initiative, rejecting, however, the use of violence to resolve the crisis, while Chinas Ambassador to the UN, Wang Guangya, also condemned sanctions and use of violence.

    British FM Jack Straw voiced his grave concerns, urging Tehran to suspend its nuclear activities and recommence negotiations.

    "If this announcement were confirmed it would go directly against the repeated demands made by the IAEA and the United Nations Security Council," declared French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy

    Finally, Germanys Government spokesperson Thomas Steg considered the announcement a step in the wrong direction

    However, Tehran is not willing to change its stance. "Iranian nuclear activities are like a waterfall which cannot halt once it starts flowing," an Iranian unnamed politician said.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Iran urged to stop nuclear work

    Le Monde: La crise nucleaire iranienne porte le petrole vers des niveaux records

    Washington Post: As Iran Celebrates, Europe Worries

    Der Spiegel: Iran plant Urananreicherung mit 54.000 Zentrifugen

    [08] Satisfaction by Employers and GSEE New Work Contract Signed

    12 Apr 2006 16:03:00 (Last updated: 12 Apr 2006 21:49:17)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The representatives of the employer and labour unions signed Wednesday noon the new twoyear collective work contract, according to which overall wage rises will stand at 11.3%. However, the new work contract met strong reactions by All Workers Militant Front (PAME), which has invited its affiliated federations to participate in a 24-hour strike on Thursday. KKE also voiced its objection to the agreement, terming it as "shameful," and called on the employees to "fight for substantial wage rises." In the meantime, the reforms on DEKOs (public utilities and enterprises) and the banking sector have pushed labour unions to decide a 24-hour strike on May 4. Furthermore, school teachers have announced a 48-hour strike on May 10 and 11, while Technological Educational Institutes teachers have announced to stage a 24-hour strike on May 10. Finally, the Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions (ADEDY) is planning to stage a 24-hour strike on May 11.

    Smiles among Social Partners

    The President of SEV (Federation of Greek Industries), Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, described the new contract as quite good, noting that "it was achieved under tough conditions." He also added that the rises granted were the highest out of all Eurozone countries for the specific period.

    "I hope that the SMBs will have a proportionate increase in profits during the same period," declared the President of GSEVEE (General Confederation of Small and Medium Sized Businesses), Dimitris Asimakopoulos, referring to the 11.3% pay rise provided for by the contract.

    The President of ESEE (National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce), Dimitris Armenakis termed the result of the negotiations as "the toughest agreement of the last few years," which was complimented by some institutional measures, including the improvement of severance pay and parental concessions.

    On his part, GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) President Christos Polyzogopoulos declared happy with the deal. In addition, he urged the Government to follow the example of the social partners in the issue with DEKOs (public utilities and enterprises), by securing pay rises through collective bargaining agreement and avoiding the distinction between old and new employees. At the same time, Polyzogopoulos criticised all those who reacted to the new contract, saying, "Those who are criticising the unions leadership for the content of the contract, which was finalised under tough conditions, are wrong."

    It should be noted that based on the agreement, the rises are as follows: 2.9% as back payment from 1 January 2006, 2.9% as of 1 September 2006 and 5.1% as of 1 May 2007.

    Related News:

    Unrest and Strikes

    Satisfaction over Deal

    Deal Struck over Contract

    [09] Panathinaikos Won't Go to Prague

    12 Apr 2006 22:52:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Panathinaikos failed to qualify for Euroleagues Final Four. The Greek team was defeated by Tau Ceramica in the packed OAKA Hall, losing the third and last quarterfinal with a score of 74-71 and missing the ticket to the basketball event in Prague. The Spanish team, on the other hand, qualified for the Final Four for the second year running, mainly due to its players determination and stamina. In the semifinals, Tau will play against the winner of the Maccabi Tel Aviv-Olympiacos match, which will take place Thursday. The score per period: 14-21, 36-42, 53-52, 71-74.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Olympiacos Wins to Qualify

    12 Apr 2006 21:13:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Sources: ANA

    And now its the two of them, AEK and Olympiacos. After defeating Larissa in the second semi, the team from Piraeus qualified to the Greek Cup final and will play against AEK in Panktritio Stadium on 6 May. Olympiacos had also won the first semi in Larissa with 3-1. Castillo, who entered the match in the 90 as a substitute, scored the sole goal of the rematch in the 94. It should be noted that Larissa finished the game with 9 players, as Dabizas and Helder were sent off with yellow-red cards. In addition, Larissas goalkeeper, Kotsolis, was injured during added time and had to leave the match, while he might not even able to play in Sundays championship match between Larissa and Olympiacos. Midfielder Bachramis replaced Kostolis in the last two minutes, as the coach had used up all three substitutes.

    Referee: Vassaras (Thessaloniki) Yellow Cards: Vela Junior, Kyparissis, Hleder, Dabizas Djordjevic, Pantos, Castillo Red Cards: Dabizas (73), Helder (+90)

    LARISSA: Kotsolis, Galitsios (46 Kalantzis), Helder, Dabizas, Katsiaros, Vela Junior (67 Chloros), Dogozis, Bachramis, Serban (78 Ziagas), Aloneftis Kyparissis

    OLYMPIACOS: Nikopolidis, Pantos, Anatolakis, Schurrer, Bulut, Maric, Stoltidis, Kafes (81 Taralidis), Djordjevic, Babangida (61 Dani), Okkas (90 Castillo).

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] AEK in Cup Final

    12 Apr 2006 18:36:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Sources: ANA

    AEK qualified to the final of the Greek Cup, which will take place in Pankritio Stadium on 6 May, despite losing to Agrotikos Asteras in Evosmos, during the second semi match. After winning the first semi in Olympic Stadium with a score of 3-0, AEK had practically secured its place in the final. The sole goal of the rematch was scored in the 92 by Tsouklis. Agrotikos Asteras managed to score an historic victory against a strong team and bade farewell to the event with its head held high, as it became the first Division Three team ever to reach the Greek Cup semis.

    Referee: Polatin (Pella) Yellow Cards: Tziokas - Malbasa

    AGROTIKOS ASTERAS: Theofanous, Tziokas (76 Arabatzis), Boulgouridis, Barbas, Mallous, Kalliakis, Tsouklis, Kyzeridis (81 Nikic), Telliadis (71 Ladakis), Bekiaris, Sakellaridis

    AEK: Sorrentino, Moras, Alexopoulos, Malbasa, Kontis, Chanko, Kyriakidis, Sapanis, Lakis (87 Koutroumanos), Soares (70 Ivic), Kapetanos.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Fishermen Blew up Train

    12 Apr 2006 10:55:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Three fishermen from Russia, who had planned to go dynamite fishing near Vladivostok, eastern Russia, went completely out in their calculations. The only way to carry the explosives was by train. So, without giving it second thoughts, they loaded the much dangerous cargo on one of the trains carriages. What was to follow was beyond anyones imagination. The explosives went off while they were being carried to the seaside town of Ussurisk, where the trio of the cunning anglers had planned to fish. The explosion destroyed part of the carriage. No passengers were hurt, but this unexpected incident landed the three blunderers in the hands of the police, since they are charged with causing damage to the train and illegal fishing, as well.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [13] "Giotopoulos Was the Leader" Bakoyannis still Receives Threats

    12 Apr 2006 17:54:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Testifying at the appeal hearing of terrorist group 17 November, Greek FM Dora Bakoyannis admitted that she is still receiving phone threats against the life. Referring to Alexandros Giotopoulos, she voiced the belief that he was the leader of the group. In addition, referring to the defendants, she noted, "There is nothing worse that seeing people exploiting the ideas of the Left-wing. The people of the Left-wing do not fight with 45mm guns. Such a notion is an insult to them. The peoples fighters fight for life and everyday living. The peoples fighters are not in here [Korydallos Prison] and they do not rob banks and have two or three houses." She also said, "Terrorism is absolute fascism, since in democracy, people are elected," while adding that democracy protects minorities. Pavlos and Dora Bakoyannis two children, Konstantinos and Alexia, as well as Pavlos Bakoyannis brother, Nikos, testified next.

    Easy Target

    "Are you aware what it means to use the title 17 November and do nothing more than drink coffee in Paris and pass your time philosophising, and then judge everyone and perform murder?" wondered Bakoyannis, referring to Alexandros Giotopoulos, who has been convicted to 21 life sentences as the leader of 17N.

    The Greek FM commenced her testimony by giving an account of the life of her assassinated husband, Pavlos Bakoyannis.

    She then referred to the day of the assassination (26/9/1989), saying that he started the day by bidding "good morning" to everyone, even his assassins. "They, however, didnt even have the courage to look him in the eye, as they shot him in the back. So here we are in court with Pavlos murderers, who have already been convicted at first instance."

    Referring to the motives of the murderers, as well as the consequences of his assassination in politics, the Greek FM said that Pavlos Bakoyannis had come close to some figures during his investigation into terrorism and they decided to wipe him out. She also noted that his assassination had no consequences whatsoever to the countrys political life. As she said, the consequences were suffered by herself, her children and the Prefecture of Evritania.

    She finally said that Pavlos Bakoyannis was an easy target, while on the fated day he had no security guards with him. She also mentioned that the fact he was shot while he was lying on the ground demonstrated the "absolute bullying" of the culprits

    Tension in Court

    Tension was stirred in court when some of the defendants lawyers, and mainly Dimitris Koufontinas defence, launched a verbal attack against Dora Bakoyannis, prompting the chief judge to gag lawyer Ioanna Kurtovic.

    A little latter, Koufontinas told the court that her pain, anger and grief were understandable. However, he added that a politician playing a major part in the political scene is judged on his work, claiming that the group was targeting the crumbling system and not Pavlos Bakoyannis.

    He also added that the Greek FMs views are political, adding that "it was impossible to use inexperienced 20-year-olds or newly-initiated members" in Pavlos Bakoyannis assassination. Finally, he claimed that the politicians attempted to convict defendants whose relationship to the group had nothing to do with the grave accusations.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Greek FM Testifies in 17N Trial

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