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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-05-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Inter-Balkan Fever
  • [02] Crucial UN Meeting
  • [03] EU Suspends Talks with Serbia
  • [04] Papandreou Intervenes
  • [05] More Antiquities Discovered
  • [06] 8.1 Richter off Australian Coast
  • [07] Feverish Meeting Over Iran
  • [08] Suicide Attack in Fallujah
  • [09] Oil Prices Cooled Off
  • [10] Gymnastikos Avoided Relegation
  • [11] Iraklis Relegated to A2
  • [12] Panellinios Landed 5th
  • [13] Kifissia in Bloom
  • [14] Win for Panionios
  • [15] Easy Win for Olympiacos
  • [16] Colossos Bids Farewell to A1

  • [01] In Thessaloniki Inter-Balkan Fever

    03 May 2006 21:03:00 (Last updated: 03 May 2006 22:28:16)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ANA

    Safeguarding stability in SE Europe, the Kosovo issue and the full accession of all the Balkan states to the EU, will be at the focus of the SEECP (South-East European Cooperation Process) Summit that opened in Thessaloniki, northern Greece. The leaders of the ten Balkan countries are attending the proceedings of the Summit. On the sidelines of the Summit, Greek Premier Kostas Karamanlis held talks with the leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and FYROM, while he will be meeting with the Prime Ministers of Turkey and Romania, Tayyip Erdogan and Calin Popescu-Tariceanu respectively. On Wednesday evening, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis held meetings with her Albanian, Serbian and Japanese counterparts. Ms Bakoyannis hailed the Greek Presidency as quite constructive.

    The Bourgas-Alexandroupolis Oil Pipeline

    On the sidelines of the Summit, Dora Bakoyannis and her Bulgarian counterpart Ivaylo Kalfin discussed Bulgarias walkout from the consortium on the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project. The meeting was called upon Ms Bakoyannis request, as soon as Bulgarias decision was announced.

    Mr Kalfin assured the Greek FM that the Bulgarian side is still interested in the project. The Bulgarian organisations participating in the consortium will be reshaped, said diplomatic sources. However, the timeline and the agreement struck between Deputy FM Evripidis Stylianidis and the Bulgarian Premier Sergei Stanishev will not be influenced, argued the same sources.

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis gave a reception late on Wednesday in honour of the leaders attending the Intra-Balkan Summit. The President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, S. Tihic, thanked the Greek Premier for co-funding the Friendship building in Sarajevo. "From a building symbolizing war, it will turn into a building symbolizing friendship," Mr Tihic pointed out. They also agreed to set up a business forum, with a view to boosting business ties between the two countries.

    On his part, Albanian President Sali Berisha thanked Kostas Karamanlis for backing Albanias EU prospects, as his countrys stabilization and association agreement will be signed in June.

    Related News:

    SEECP Summit Opens

    [02] Over the IAEA Report Crucial UN Meeting

    03 May 2006 22:54:00 (Last updated: 03 May 2006 23:42:26)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA, ΝΕΤ

    The UN Security Council met late on Wednesday to discuss the International Atomic Energy Agency report on Irans uranium enrichment programme opened behind closed doors. Meanwhile, US President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are to discuss the Iranian crisis. Diplomatic sources stated that no resolutions were expected to be made and the issue would be touched on by the crucial Foreign Ministers meeting of the Security Council five permanent members and Germany scheduled for the coming week. However, Washington, London and Paris are to file a draft resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. The Chapter in question paves the way for the imposition of sanctions, as well as the use of military action, while Beijing and Moscow oppose the imposition of sanctions, at least for the time being. At the same time, according to information that broke through in the USA, US troops have already started operating on the Iranian soil. Tehran, however, remains firm to its stance and announced the uranium enrichment process has reached 4.8%.

    The USA to Move Outside the UN

    US ambassador to the UN John Bolton argued that should the UN fail to strike a deal, Washington will move outside the UN and impose sanctions on Tehran.

    Bolton said that if the Security Council fails to live up to its obligations, the USA has to take actions, and went on to express his certainty that Washington will apply pressure to other countries to also impose sanctions.

    UN diplomatic sources were quoted as saying that the resolution built upon Chapter 7 of the UN Charter paves the way for the imposition of sanctions, as well as the use of military actions, in case Tehran fails to comply with the demands of the international community in two months time.

    The Security Council Members adopted Tuesday the agenda to attract the Councils attention in May. The Irans nuclear programme and the situation in Sudan, Sierra Leone, Somalia and the Middle East, are included on the agenda.

    On May 5, the UN Security Council will hold talks to discuss the Darfur crisis. According to information, the international community is applying pressure to three groups of rebels to accede a peace agreement drawn up by the African Union, aiming to cease fire in the area. The Khartoum Administration has already accepted the peace agreement.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Feverish Meeting Over Iran

    [03] Over Fugitive Ratko Mladic EU Suspends Talks with Serbia

    03 May 2006 16:12:00 (Last updated: 03 May 2006 20:41:54)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn announced the suspension of the talks with Serbia, because Belgrade failed to arrest war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic and turn him in to The Hague. After meeting the UN tribunals chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, Rehn termed Belgrades cooperation with The Hague "negative" and the failure to arrest the former leader of the Bosnian Serb army "disappointing." He further added that talks are ready to resume as soon as Serbia-Montenegro accedes full co-operation. The suspension of the talks resulted in the resignation of the Serbian Vice-President Miroljub Labus, who blasted the Kostunica Government for "betraying" the interests of the country.

    Kostunica's Appeal

    Serbian Premier Vojislav Kostunica said his Government had no idea about Mladics whereabouts and underlined that his country had done everything in its power to arrest him. Furthermore, he noted that the fugitive was on his own for all his associates had been arrested and called on him to surrender, so that the state and the Serbian people would suffer no more.

    Carla del Ponte, in turn, accused the Serbian PM of misleading the EU, while she voiced her discontent, since, as she argued, there had been no progress with regard to the arrest of the six remaining war crimes suspects. She also said she was particularly disappointed with the fact that Mladic was still on the loose, despite Serbias claims that he would be referred to he UN War Tribunal by April 30

    "Serbia has to live up to its obligations to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague, yet the EUs message to the Serbian people has to be crystal clear," commented Greek FM Dora Bakoyannis.

    In the meantime, the USA is likely to halt the financial aid to Belgrade. The US ambassador to Serbia-Montenegro stated that at the Congress meeting scheduled for late May, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will probably suggest the aid be halted, due to the poor cooperation between Belgrade and The Hague.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: EU halts Serbia talks over Mladic

    Le Monde: L'UE suspend les negociations de rapprochement avec Belgrade

    The Times: EU tells Serbia: 'No Mladic, no membership'

    [04] In the Dispute between PASOK Members Papandreou Intervenes

    03 May 2006 14:12:00

    PASOK President George Papandreou intervened in the dispute between top party members, on the occasion of Thodoros Pangalos statements regarding the local elections and Evangelos Venizelos response. Speaking at PASOKs parliamentary group meeting, Papandreou stressed that the party members ought to stick to responsible criticism and responsible proposals for the country. A little later, Papandreou met in private with Venizelos and discussed the upcoming local elections and the issue with social security. On his part, speaking on MEGA channels morning show, Pangalos claimed that top political members should run for the major municipalities. Asked whether he was referring to Venizelos in the statements he made to newspaper Ta Nea, he insisted that he was not speaking about anyone in specific. On the occasion of the disputes within PASOK, former PM Kostas Simitis commented that there should be no rules for mayoral candidates.

    Criticism towards the Government

    George Papandreou also referred to the latest developments and the Greek-Turkish relations, as well as the meeting between the Greek and Turkish PMs in Thessaloniki on Thursday.

    "Mr Karamanlis and Mr Erdogan will meet tomorrow [Thursday]. Although we always hope for the best is such meetings, our experience during these last two years has made us especially uneasy. We have witnessed an aggravation in the Greek-Turkish and Turkish-EU relations," noted Papandreou, adding, "I have repeatedly stressed that both the Government and Mr Karamanlis lost two historic opportunities to lay solid foundations for Turkeys European course, while we could have raised issues of specific national interest, such as Cyprus and our bilateral relations in a proper and binding way."

    He also noted that he was expecting the Government, as well as Karamanlis personally, to continue the successful Helsinki policy. Although PASOK had turned those into European matters, the current Government managed to turn them into bilateral matters, reinstating the USA as a chief negotiator in the Greek-Turkish relations, underlined Papandreou.

    Referring to Iran, PASOKs President said that the party had taken a clear stance against nuclear proliferation and in favour of limiting existing nuclear arsenals during Andreas Papandreous era, describing the spread of weapons of mass destruction as one of the greatest threats to humanity.

    As he added, "We support the diplomatic and peaceful resolution to the crisis though multilateral negotiations, in accordance with international legislation," noting that the issue constitutes part of the dispute between the West and Islam.

    "Greece has the opportunity to play a significant part in this emerging conflict, as it has traditional relations with the countries of the region, and could communicate, collaborate and build bridges of understanding between Europe, the West, the Arabs and the Muslims. Just as long as it is not absent, as is the case currently," stressed Papandreou.

    At the same time, he criticised the Government, accusing it of keeping a hidden agenda for the economy, which, as he noted, it is trying to push, camouflaging it as reform. "Following the latest developments, the Government is demonstrating that it cannot correctly evaluate the crucial events domestically, as well as at a regional and international level," mentioned the President of PASOK.

    He also referred to the farmers, pensioners and freelancers incomes, which are shrinking because of the international events affecting the everyday life of Greek citizens, without any efforts being made by the Government.

    Papandreou added that PASOK would continue to promote its responsible policies and proposals, demonstrate its differences with ND and provide hope to the Greek people.

    Finally, he urged his MPs to stay focused on the problems of the county and the aims of PASOK, "as the Opposition today and the Government tomorrow."

    Roussopoulos' Response

    Referring to Papandreous statements, Government spokesperson Theodoros Roussopoulos noted:

    "Mr Papandreou is today attempting to declare he is present, resorting once again to distortion, denial, scaremongering and populism. Once again, he tried to shift the problems associated with PASOK to others: the lost opportunities for the country, which bear the seal of PASOK; the absence of responsible political views, clear stances, realistic proposals, which bear the seal of PASOK; the hidden agendas being revealed daily, which bear the seal of PASOK."

    Related News:

    Full-Scale Interview by Pangalos

    [05] At Marion True's House More Antiquities Discovered

    03 May 2006 15:58:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA

    Antiquities were discovered at the house former curator of the G. Paul Getty Museum Marion True has on the Aegean island of Paros, in the context of the investigation into the art smuggling ring revealed on the island of Schoinoussa. The Department of Smuggling of Antiquities searched Marion Trues house and found another 12 items, including two marble sarcophaguses. Charges are to be pressed against Marion True, who is currently abroad.

    [06] Tsunami Warning Recalled 8.1 Richter off Australian Coast

    03 May 2006 19:39:00 (Last updated: 03 May 2006 23:08:54)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA

    A strong earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale rocked the Tonga islands, off the eastern Australian coast. As per the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) website, the quake hit the area at 18.26 (Greek local time). So far, zero damages have been reported. A tsunami warning issued for Fiji and New Zealand was recalled

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Security Council Convenes Feverish Meeting Over Iran

    03 May 2006 15:23:00 (Last updated: 03 May 2006 23:31:18)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The UN Security Council is meeting at 22:00 CET in New York behind closed doors to discuss the International Atomic Energy Agency report on Irans nuclear programme. Rumours on the draft resolutions promoted by the USA, France and Britain are running rampant, while many speak of two drafts, depending on China and Russias stance, as the two countries still oppose the imposition of sanctions. The diplomatic bargain will escalate in the coming days in view of the crucial Foreign Ministers meeting of the Security Council five permanent members and Germany. Meanwhile, Wednesdays meeting between US President George Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected with great interest, because Berlins intentions will be made clear.

    Sanctions at Focus

    There seem to be two versions to the draft resolution promoted by the USA, Britain and France.

    The first and milder draft is estimated to give Tehran a three-month deadline to postpone its nuclear programme, while if the deadline expires, then a second resolution will be issued for the imposition of sanctions.

    On the other hand, the second draft will invoke Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. The Chapter in question paves the way for the imposition of sanctions, as well as the use of military action "if there is a threat to world peace."

    However, the rumoured first draft resolution is more likely to be adopted, as China and Russia react to the imposition of sanctions on Iran.

    Tehran, however, remains firm to its stance, stressing its nuclear programme has peaceful purposes, while the process of uranium enrichment has reached 4.8%, percentage enough to produce nuclear fuel.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: U.S. leads drive on Iran sanctions

    Die Welt: Grundzuge einer UN-Resolution gegen den Iran liegt vor

    ABC: Western powers make case on Iran to U.N. council

    [08] 18 Dead and 30 Injured Suicide Attack in Fallujah

    03 May 2006 14:08:00

    Eighteen people were killed and some 30 were injured on Wednesday during a suicide attack in Fallujah, outside a recruitment centre, where men had formed long lines to seek employment in the police forces. As per security forces sources, a suicide bomber strapped with explosives blew himself up in front of a queue of people waiting to be hired by the Fallujah Police Department. The blast claimed the lives of 18 people and injured 30 more. Attacks at recruitment centres are many, especially in Al Anbar, stronghold of the Sunni revolt, near the cities of Rammadi and Fallujah, some 60km west of Baghdad.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] Oil Prices Cooled Off

    03 May 2006 22:47:00 (Last updated: 03 May 2006 23:29:28)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    Oil prices in the international markets cooled off, beating analysts expectations. In particular, light crude steadied at $73 per barrel, while Brent fell to $73.38 per barrel. However, concerns over Irans nuke programme are still running rampant, since Iran is the fourth biggest oil-producing company.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Oil Prices Surge to New High

    [10] Gymnastikos Avoided Relegation

    03 May 2006 20:36:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    PAOK finished off the Greek A1 basketball season earning sixth spot. PAOK defeated Gymnastikos with 90-88, and will now play against Maroussi in the playoffs. Despite their defeat, Gymnastikos avoided relegation, thanks to Iraklis loss to Aris. The score per period: 25-26, 48-56, 73-71, 90-88.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] Iraklis Relegated to A2

    03 May 2006 20:21:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Aris showed no mercy to Iraklis, who were battling to avoid relegation to A2 basketball championship, and scored an 84-65 victory, earning fourth place in the regular season. Iraklis returned to A2 for the first time since 1978. Combined with AEKs victory over Panellinios, Mantsons squad celebrated their 15th victory that earned them fifth place and will now play against Panellinios in the playoffs. The score per period: 18-17, 37-33, 62-53, 84-65.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] Panellinios Landed 5th

    03 May 2006 19:57:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Despite defeating Panellinios with 70-65, AEK finished seventh on last match day for A1 basketball season, and will play against Olympiacos in the playoffs. On the other hand, Panellinios fought for the victory that would bring them to fourth place, but settled with fourth place. Panellinios will play against Aris in the playoffs, starting as of May 8. The score per period: 26-8, 32-35, 48-50, 70-65.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [13] 52nd Flower Show Kifissia in Bloom

    03 May 2006 09:46:00 (Last updated: 03 May 2006 14:24:08)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    Over 50 different species of roses and camellias, hydrangeas and gardenias, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, chrysanthemums, gladioluses and dahlias, as well as rare flowers from foreign countries along with a great variety of other flowers and indoor/outdoor plants welcome visitors at the 52nd Kifissia Flower Show, which will remain open until 14 May. The Shows 124 stands offer visitors complete proposals for their home, garden or veranda and interested parties can find much more than flowers, such as books, pots and pesticides.

    Although the majority of exhibitors is from Attica, there are producers from regional Greece too, mainly from Volos and Thebes, while the Goulandris Museum has its own stand for the first time. The Flower Show also has producers from foreign countries, like Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Bulgaria (the Sofia Botanical Garden).

    This year, the Flower Show hosts stands with special themes, like the "old Garden in Kifissia" or the "Garden of the Cyclades", where visitors can get a glimpse of plants in various Greek regions and get ideas for their own gardens.

    Apart from the intoxicating scents and colours, the Flower Show has daily events to inform and entertain visitors and this is a fine reason not to postpone your date with Spring any longer.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [14] Win for Panionios

    03 May 2006 19:11:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Panionios finished off the Greek A1 basketball season defeating Maroussi with 79-65 on last match day. However, their victory was rather pointless, as they still landed eighth on the scoreboard and didnt avoid playing against Panathinaikos in the playoffs. On the other hand, having secured third spot, Maroussi were not motivated to play for the victory. The home side were ahead right from the start and were not threatened throughout the encounter. The score per period: 19-15, 40-38, 55-52, 79-65.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [15] Easy Win for Olympiacos

    03 May 2006 19:04:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Olympiacos finished off the Greek A1 basketball season with a victory. Jonas Kazlauskas squad defeated Olympia Larissa with a score of 99-72, reaching nine away wins and a total of 22 victories this season. On the other hand, Olympia finished in ninth place, the highest ranking ever in the history of the team. The guests were ahead right from the start and were not threatened throughout the match. Moreover, the gap kept increasing after the second period. The score per period: 21-29, 38-54, 56-77, 72-99.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [16] Colossos Bids Farewell to A1

    03 May 2006 18:45:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Colossos Rhodes bade farewell to the A1 basketball championship. In their last match of the regular season, Colossos lost to Apollon Patras 94-92. It was their eighth home defeat, while Apollon Patras scored their fourth away victory in the championship and a total of 20 defeats this season. With nothing to lose or gain, the home side did their best to conclude their course with a victory. However, Apollon Patras didnt want to end this years championship with a defeat and won the game. The score per period: 18-27, 46-49, 63-74, 92-94.

    Translated by Areti Christou


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