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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-04-25

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Rice's Meetings in Athens
  • [02] Rice's Visit to Turkey
  • [03] Papoulias-Christodoulos Meeting
  • [04] Mass Media Bill at Cabinet
  • [05] Returning to the Cities
  • [06] Albania: US Embassy Evacuated
  • [07] Zarqawi Video Message on the Net
  • [08] Changes in Energy Transfer
  • [09] Revenues Increase Deficit Drops
  • [10] Sioufas Optimistic over Oil and Economy
  • [11] Malezani Leaves Panathinaikos
  • [12] Hans Backe for Panathinaikos?

  • [01] Focus on Iran and Greek-Turkish Relations Rice's Meetings in Athens

    25 Apr 2006 13:42:00 (Last updated: 25 Apr 2006 21:12:21)

    Sources: , ANA

    The meeting between US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis focused on the developments with the Cyprus issue, the Greek-Turkish relations, the Balkans and Iran. The Greek Government clarified that Ankara has to respect the conditions and criteria set by the EU so as to become a full-fledged member. In addition, the issues of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Theological School of Halki were also discussed. The US State Secretary asked for Greeces support in the crisis over Irans nuclear programme, while Greece appeared in favour of a diplomatic solution.

    Rice at Maximos Mansion

    The meeting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had with Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis was held in a particularly cordial climate.

    Kostas Karamanlis welcomed Ms Rice at his office at Maximos Mansion at 1pm. Referring to Turkeys EU bid, Mr Karamanlis underlined that Turkey has to live up to its obligations, while with regard to Iran, he favoured a solution via diplomacy. The Greek Premier asked Ms Rice whether it was her first visit in Athens and she answered that she had come in Greece to attend a congress in the early 80s, in her capacity as a university professor.

    Diplomacy is Keynote Priority

    The US Secretary of State favoured Turkeys EU prospects, underlining, however, Ankaras obligations, as well as the "constructive role" Greece has played. Referring to the Cyprus issue, she argued that both parties, namely Turkey and Cyprus, should take steps, underscoring that Cyprus should play its part in the drive to lift Northern Cyprus out of its "isolation."

    With regard to Irans nuclear programme, Ms Rice noted, "The US President doesnt take any options off the table," underlining that boosting diplomatic efforts remains Washingtons keynote priority.

    On the same issue, Ms Bakoyannis stated that the position of Greece is that the international community should achieve a peaceful settlement of that matter. She further added that Tehran has to convince the world that it will not use it nuclear programme for military purposes.

    Upon concluding their meeting, Ms Bakoyannis argued that Greece and the USA are enjoying the best possible relations, although they do not always share the same views when it comes to achieving common goals.

    The agenda of their talks also included the developments in the Balkans and mostly in Kosovo. The two Ministers spoke of a solution that would safeguard stability in the region. They also touched on the situation in the Middle East and the war against international terrorism. The safety of energy sources also drew their attention.

    Following her meeting with Ms Rice, Dora Bakoyannis had a phone conversation with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and briefed him on the content of her talks, reported diplomatic sources. She is also likely to meet with the US Secretary of State anew at the NATO Summit in Bulgaria, added the same sources.

    In her exclusive interview to NET TV network and NETs correspondent to the USA Michalis Grypiotis her first one since the Iranian Presidents explosive statements the US Secretary of State sent the message that he is leading his country to isolation.

    With regard to the issue with Cyprus, Ms Rice said that the problem has been dragging for too long and a solution has to be found. Finally, she appeared in favour of Turkeys European prospects, as long as the country fulfils its obligations.

    Clashes on Stadiou Street

    In the meantime, tight security was enforced during Rices brief working visit to Athens. Police had cordoned off central roads since Tuesday morning, while two street protests were staged. In the morning, Greek leftist parties KKE and SYN, and peace activists gathered at Propylea on Panepistimiou Street and marched towards Klafthmonos Square. Several police officers were stationed along the Greek Parliament to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the US Embassy.

    However, a group of masked youths tried to break through the police cordon and clashed with the riot squads on Stadiou Street. The demonstrators hurled Molotov cocktails and the riot squads fired tear gas. The youths smashed some 15 storefronts and set six vehicles alight. Police officers arrested some nine people.

    Following talks with the police forces, KKEs march changed its course and the demonstrators dispersed shortly after 1pm, without causing any incidents.

    Reactions from the Opposition

    On the occasion of Condoleezza Rices visit to Athens, the Greek political parties voiced their opposition to a possible war in Iran. PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) focused its criticism on the issue with Cyprus, KKE (Greek Communist Party) spoke of the USA keeping equal distances from Turkey and Cyprus, while SYN (Coalition of the Left) asked for the rejection of all scenarios concerning a military intervention.

    In his statements, PASOKs Foreign Affairs section head, Christos Papoutsis, stressed that Rices mention of Northern Cyprus was in the least unacceptable, while it was unfortunate that Dora Bakoyannis did not comment on it.

    Referring to Iran, Papoutsis voiced PASOKs opposition to a possible war in the country, underlining that the party supports a loud No to a new Iraq and adding, "We support every effort that leads to a diffusion of the tension in Iran and the monitoring of its nuclear programme for peaceful purposes."

    Upon concluding, Papoutsis urged the Government to clearly brief the Greek people on its future stances during the crucial decisions that will be made by the UN, the EU and NATO.

    Related News:

    Strict Security Measures

    [02] Focus on Iran and Northern Iraq Rice's Visit to Turkey

    25 Apr 2006 22:02:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA - NET - NET 105.8 - Reuters

    Following Athens, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rices second stop of her SE European tour was Ankara. Apart from the Iranian issue, the discussions she held with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, her Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul and the countrys President, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, also focused on the mounting tension with the Kurdish rebels on the borders with Iraq. Condoleezza Rices visit to Turkey was accompanied by marches and protests, while demonstrators were holding up banners with anti-US mottos. The US State Secretary will depart for Bulgaria on Wednesday to participate in the NATO Summit.

    Talks in Ankara

    In a joint Press conference, Rice and Gul stated that they discussed the issue with Iran, with the US State Secretary asking Turkey to support the Security Councils impending resolution for Iran and Gul wishing for a solution to Irans nuclear activities via diplomacy.

    In addition, the two also discussed the issue concerning security in Northern Iraq and the presence of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels in the area.

    The US Secretary of State said that coordination between the Iraqi Government, the USA and Turkey would prevent terrorism by the PKK and secure peace in Northern Iraq.

    Earlier, the Turkish FM had denied rumours that Turkish forces were planning on attacking the PKK forces, stressing that the deployment of 10,000 added troops in the area formed part of the extra measures being implemented every spring against Kurdish rebels infiltrating Turkish territories.

    They also announced that their countries would proceed with drafting a strategic partnership agreement that would signal more talks and visits between the two countries.

    Gul and Rice also exchanged views on the issue with Cyprus, as well as Turkeys European prospects, while the Turkish FM voiced his countrys gratitude for the USAs support.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Rice in Ankara

    Rice's Meetings in Athens

    [03] Papoulias-Christodoulos Meeting

    25 Apr 2006 17:27:00

    Sources:

    Archbishop of Athens Christodoulos, escorted by the Bishop of Phanar, visited Tuesday the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias. Christodoulos gave Mr Papoulias a copied edition of the "Menologion of the Emperor Vasilios II," a masterpiece of illustrated Byzantine manuscripts dedicated to the Saint or the feast of each day. The genuine edition is kept at the Vatican Library. The reproduction of this manuscript resulted from the cooperation between the Churches of Athens and Rome, which had been working on that for three years. The "Menologion of the Emperor Vasilios II" dates back to the 11th century and is regarded as one of the most celebrated illustrated Greek manuscripts. Mr Papoulias and Christodoulos discussed the firsts recent trip to the prefecture of Evros and focused on the problems the farmers are facing, due to the floods that hit the area.

    [04] Roussopoulos Presented Proposals Mass Media Bill at Cabinet

    25 Apr 2006 13:30:00 (Last updated: 25 Apr 2006 23:00:03)

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    Minister of State Thodoros Roussopoulos submitted his proposals on the compilation of the bill, which concerns the concentration and authorisation of Mass Media, to the Cabinet. It is a bill, which following an extensive dialogue, is expected to put an order to the markets operational rules. The bill foresees the procedure of granting authorisation for establishing and operating free reception private television channels and radio stations by an analogue transmittance. The aim is setting up a framework of guidelines for information, a qualitative basis to programmes, transparency and fair competition in the Mass Media. It also foresees inspections of ownership and financial states, as well as the funding means of Mass Media businesses, during the procedure of granting authorisation. The Minister of State noted that the bill will be in accordance with the directives of the European Union and it will be voted shortly before the recess session of Parliament, as the dialogue with parties and involved bodies has been completed.

    "Today [Tuesday] I submitted to the Cabinet the basic proposals as they were shaped by the public dialogue attended by about 50 interested parties across Greece, the Opposition parties and SYN, while KKE, as you already know, had stated it will present its stance in Parliament," underlined Mr Roussopoulos. He further added that the discussion the Parliaments Special Standing Committee on Institutions and Transparency held in early April was taken into consideration, as well. Mr Roussopoulos also mentioned that the Cabinet welcomed the proposals and went on to say that there were some constructive remarks. He pointed out, however, that the Cabinet would discuss the bill anew as soon as it is ready to be tabled in Parliament. When asked about the frequencies, Mr Roussopoulos argued that a drive has been going on to make sure that more frequencies will be authorized, in the light of the launch of digital television.

    Following the end of the meeting, Minister of Public Works Giorgos Souflias stated that the proposals for the Mass Media constitute a basis so that order is reinstated, while he stated that the relevant Minister will only be responsible of marginal issues from now on.

    "We are awaiting the State Minister to present the bill on the concentration of Mass media in time, after its final draft, so as to hold a constructive discussion over specific regulations," stressed PASOKs spokesperson, Nikos Athanasakis. He further added, "The specific regulations for the concentration of Mass Media cannot end up being spurious or simple settlements of specific situations."

    D. Sioufas: "Smooth Market Operation"

    Following the end of the Cabinet meeting, Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas referred to the smooth operation of the market during Easter time, describing the behaviour of consumers as the key to its smooth operation.

    Mr Sioufas repeated that the inspections were and are continual, systematic and unceasing and noted that whoever predicted a rise in prices, panicking the citizens, was contradicted.

    Referring to oil, the Minister of Development noted that the consecutive records are negatively affecting European and western economies, however, regardless of the difficulties, Greeces economic climate is optimistic.

    In closing, he noted that there is an overabundance of fuel and over the liability limits enforced by international organisations.

    [05] Returning to the Cities

    25 Apr 2006 17:03:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET

    The Easter excursionists are returning slowly to the major cities, although some of them have decided to extend their holidays. According to the Traffic Police, only one-third of the holidaymakers had returned to Athens until Tuesday morning. Forty people were killed in road accidents throughout Greece, while last years Easter toll was 41. Accidents increased by 9.2% from Maundy Thursday to Holy Saturday. This years Easter getaway was the most massive of the last few years. The port of Piraeus has been busy since early on Tuesday morning, while the meteorologists forecast unsettled weather for the next few days.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Emergency Measures

    [06] Following a Phone Call for a Bomb Albania: US Embassy Evacuated

    25 Apr 2006 16:51:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA

    The US Embassy in Tirana was evacuated after an anonymous call for a bomb was received by an Albanian TV network. As per Albanian police spokesperson Jili Mousta, the embassys personnel were evacuated and the police are searching the building, however, it looks like the call was a hoax. The police have sealed off the building in the centre of Tirana.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Warnings by the Leader of al Qaeda in Iraq Zarqawi Video Message on the Net

    25 Apr 2006 22:34:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NA - Reuters - BBC

    Just two days after Osama Bin Ladens message and one day after the bombing attacks in Sinai, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, appeared on a rare video posted on the Internet. In his message, he claimed that his mujahideen were fighting on despite a three-year "crusader" war against the USA, as well as his countrys puppet Government, aiming to free Iraq. The video believed the first to ever show one of the most wanted men of the last three years showed the bearded leader surrounded by armed insurgents who were briefing him on the situation in Ramadi. In another shot, he is sitting with a rifle beside him. The authenticity of the video is being examined by experts.

    In the video, Zarqawi also claimed that the USA will be defeated in Iraq and he warned US President George Bush that he would not enjoy peace in the land of Islam.

    Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is considered responsible for a series of multi-fatality terrorist hits, as well as the beheading of western hostages.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: 'Zarqawi video' posted on website

    [08] During the Period 2006-2010 Changes in Energy Transfer

    25 Apr 2006 19:58:00

    Sources: NET - ANA

    As per the Greek Governments planning for the period 2006-2010, the Energy Transfer System will be upgraded and modernised. The citizens of Western Attica will be particularly benefited, as the study provides for the replacement of high-voltage overhead power lines with underground cables. This intervention forms part of the construction of a high-voltage power station in Rouf, Athens. As per Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, the station will improve the living conditions of the citizens of the western suburbs, as well as the areas Egaleo and Agia Varvara.

    Apart form the station in Rouf, the study of the Energy Transfer System, which was approved by the Development Ministry for the period 2006-2010, also provides for:

    -the construction of a high-voltage power station in Aliveri -the construction of a new station in Schimatari -underwater connection of the Cyclades islands to Lavrio -the development of a system transferring 400kV to the Peloponnese

    In addition, a programme is underway to install capacitors on all buildings housing public and local government agencies.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] In the First Quarter of 2006 Revenues Increase Deficit Drops

    25 Apr 2006 19:06:00

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Net revenues increased significantly by 18.6% in the first quarter, surpassing the initial forecasts for a 10.3%-rise. At the same time, regular budget revenues increased by 11.2%, as opposed to the target of 6.5%, while expenditures dropped by 2.9%, compared to the forecast of 4.4%. At the same time, the revenues of the public investments programme dropped by 1%, as opposed to the set target of a 26.2%-incrase, while expenditures dropped by 6.1%, compared to the forecast for an 11.7%-increase. As a result, the budget deficit decreased by 80.2% in the first quarter, reaching 489 million euros.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Greek Economy Won't Be Affected Sioufas Optimistic over Oil and Economy

    25 Apr 2006 18:32:00

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas confirmed that Greece has an overabundance of fuel that surpasses even the limits set by international organisations. "Over the last two years we have implemented all the necessary measures, in collaboration with distilleries, so that the country can have an overabundance of fuel, over the limits imposed by international organisations," he noted. Sioufas also pointed out that despite the successive records in the price of oil that have been affecting both the European and domestic market, the progress of the Greek Economy will not be negatively affected. As per the Development Ministrys official figures, the average price for unleaded fuel increased by 1.2% last Friday.

    The Race Continues

    At the same time, the price of oil in international markets is once again close to $74 per barrel, amid concerns for a possible escalation of the situation in Iran and the increased demand from China.

    The price of crude oil for June delivery reached $73.80 per barrel, up by 47 cents, while Brent rose to $73.69 per barrel, increasing by 69 cents compared to Monday.

    According to the Greek Development Ministry, the retail price for unleaded fuel is the lowest in the EU, as it is 19.74% lower than the European average.

    Based on the weekly price checks performed by the Ministry on a sample of 2,300 fuel stations, the average price for unleaded fuel on Friday was 1.016 euros per litre, as opposed to 1.004 euros on 14 April.

    Since the beginning of 2004, the price of unleaded fuel in Greece has increased by a total of 38.99%, while Brent has risen by 134.68% in the same period.

    As per the latest price checks performed by the Development Ministry on 19 April throughout Greece, the highest prices were recorded in:

    -Nea Alikarnassos (1.085 euros per litre) -Cephalonia (1.08 euros) -Karpenisi (1.077 euros) -Syros (1.076 euros)

    On the other hand, the lowest prices were recorded in:

    -Tripoli (0.81 euros per litre) -Arta (0.889 euros) -Argos (0.93 euros) -Kordelio (0.934 euros)

    In Attica, unleaded fuel is sold for less than 1 euro in the following areas:

    -Moschato (0.933 euros per litre) -Gerakas, Piraeus and Tavros (0.935 euros) -Drapetsona (0.945 euros)

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Malezani Leaves Panathinaikos

    25 Apr 2006 19:06:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Italian coach Alberto Malezani is officially history for Panathinaikos. As expected, Malezani met with club President Yannis Vardinoyannis and the two men came to an agreement to terminate the contract, since the Italian coachs family commitments proved an unsurpassable obstacle. However, Malezani will hold the reins of the clubs technical leadership for the last two championship rounds, where the team will try to take advantage of any possible hiccup by AEK and finish in second place in the rankings, which leads to next seasons Champions League. The Italian coach will probably be succeeded by Swedens Hans Backe, 54, who has been holding talks with Panathinaikos administration.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Hans Backe for Panathinaikos?

    25 Apr 2006 12:58:00

    Panathinaikos football club is most likely to end its cooperation with football coach Alberto Malezani. The Italian coach stands slim chances of being the teams captain in the new season and will be probably replaced by 54-year-old Swede Hans Backe. Panathinaikos board council has not officially announced the acquisition of the Swede coach, but it is likely to do so in the coming days.


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