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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-05-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Growth in SE Europe
  • [02] Psychiatric Reform in Peril
  • [03] Millions for a Picasso
  • [04] 27 Sailors Missing
  • [05] Greek Post Offices Closed
  • [06] Moussaoui Gets Life
  • [07] Fox Will not Sign the Act
  • [08] Bloody Attack in Baghdad
  • [09] Olmert to Be Sworn In
  • [10] Oil Prices Start Dropping
  • [11] Panathinaikos' Grand Finale

  • [01] Karamanlis' Speech at SEECP Summit Growth in SE Europe

    04 May 2006 09:54:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2006 12:09:29)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Upon opening the second day of proceeding of the South East European Co-operation Process (SEECP) Summit in Thessaloniki, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis voiced his optimism for further developing cooperation between the Balkan countries. "Thanks to the common efforts, we have laid the foundations for a future of prosperity and stability," stressed Karamanlis, underlining the need to create a stable environment. At the same time, the Greek PM communicated a message of good neighbourliness, reminding that Greece supports the European prospects of the Balkan countries. Referring to the talks for the future Kosovo regime, Karamanlis asked for a mutually acceptable, fair and operational solution to a multicultural and multi-nationalistic Kosovo. On the sidelines of the Summit, the Greek PM met briefly with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while he then had a talk with Romanian PM Calin Popescu-Tariceanu.

    Important Agreements

    The Summit focuses on the European prospects of the SE European countries, economic relations, the issue with Kosovo, and the political crisis in Serbia, following the failed arrest of wanted General Mladic and the freezing of negotiations with the European Union.

    Moreover, the Greek presidency is promoting two economic agreements, for boosting free trade and improving the railroad network, which will be signed a little after noon on Thursday.

    As per the Greek PM, a uniform free trade agreement would boost commerce and attract new investments, In addition, Karamanlis welcomed the signing of the agreement for constructing a state-of-the-art railroad network in SE Europe, which as he said, would modernise rail transport, reduce travel time and increase the quality of the services provided in the region.

    In the meantime, Sofia denied the reports in Bulgarian Media, whereby the Bulgarian public sector was backing out of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipe construction.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Inter-Balkan Fever

    [02] As per the Hellenic Psychiatric Association Psychiatric Reform in Peril

    04 May 2006 09:57:00

    The Hellenic Psychiatric Association is sounding the alarm for the future of psychiatric reform in Greece, as it is looking grim due to lack of funding. In a Press conference on the occasion of the 19th Panhellenic Congress of Psychiatry, the Associations Chairman, Giorgos Christodoulou, as well as the members of the Executive Council, mentioned that the funds pledged for psychiatric help by the Health Ministry in 2006 were not satisfactory. Specifically, the budget allows for 27 million euros, while the expenses for the operation of new infrastructure exceed 50 million euros. As a result, there is insufficient funding of new infrastructure in the community, while its operation is in peril.

    The deinstitutionalisation rate in Greece is considered satisfactory, since the number of hospitalised patients has dropped by 72% since 1984. Three of the countrys eight psychiatric hospitals (Petra in Olympus, Chania and Corfu) have closed down, while the Tripoli Psychiatric Hospital will be closing down soon and another three will stop operating by the year 2012. However, apart from hospitals closing, the point is to improve the quality of life of the patients. If this is not achieved with the new infrastructure, then the reforms will not be deemed successful.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Millions for a Picasso

    04 May 2006 08:51:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters - ANA

    Pablo Picassos painting "Dora Maar au Chat" (1941) was sold for the astronomical sum of $95.2 million in a Sothebys New York auction on Wednesday. It is a portrait of one of Picassos most celebrated lovers, with a back cat on her right shoulder. The final bid exceeded the valuators wildest estimates. Moreover, on Tuesday, Vincent Van Goghs "L Arlesienne Madame Ginoux" (1890) was sold for $40.3 million through Christies. The portrait, one of the famous artists true masterpieces, depicts the owner of a French caf&#233; in Arles, where Van Gogh was staying along with his friend Paul Gauguin. The new owner has not been identified.

    Works by Matisse, Gauguin and Monet

    Both paintings were sold as part of the Impressionist and Modern Art Auction, with proceeds exceeding $207,564,800! A few other paintings by Picasso also fetched high prices as well as paintings by Matisse, Paul Gauguin and Claude Monet. However, the world record in the history of art auctions is held by another Picasso painting, "Boy with a Pipe", which was sold for $104 million two years ago.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Sotheby's

    Christie's

    [04] 27 Sailors Missing

    04 May 2006 08:01:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2006 11:37:35)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8 - ANA

    The search to locate four Greek and 23 foreign sailors who were aboard the merchant ship Alexandros T is continuing. The vessel sank on Wednesday night, 300 miles south of South Africa. The names of the Greek sailors were released on Thursday morning. They are: Captain Panagiotis Vlismas, 60; Second Officer Ioannis Karaminas, 58; 1st Engineer Nearchos Boukouvalas, 52; and 2nd Engineer Ilias Efstratiou, 62. Six foreigners have been recovered so far. The ship, under St. Vincent and the Grenadines flag, was carrying iron ore from Brazil to China.

    Immediate Mobilisation

    At noon on Wednesday, the ships captain sent a message for inclination and a water leak to the Greek Mercantile Marine Ministrys operation centre.

    The relevant coordination centre in South Africa was notified immediately and a search operation was launched.

    The conditions were quite harsh, with high waves and freezing waters. The vessel sank due to a crack that appeared on the bottom.

    The ship Fordstown Express, under Panamanian flag, rushed to the scene and collected the six sailors.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:

    Greek Ministry of Mercantile Marine

    [05] Greek Post Offices Closed

    04 May 2006 10:14:00

    Sources: NET 105.8

    All post offices will remain closed on Thursday throughout Greece due to the 24-hours strike staged by Hellenic Post (ELTA) employees. They are reacting to the compulsory 10% trade of ELTA and Greek Postal Savings Bank shares.

    Related Links:

    Hellenic Post

    [06] Rather than Become a Martyr Moussaoui Gets Life

    04 May 2006 07:38:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters - ANA

    A Virginia, USA, jury decided Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent and the only person convicted in a US court for the 9/11 attacks, should go to prison for life rather than be executed. As he was leaving the courtroom, Moussaoui, 37, shouted "America you lost! I won!" The jury, made up of nine men and the women, reached this decision after seven days of deliberations. Despite the fact that the federal prosecutors had asked for the death penalty, the defence argued in favour of life imprisonment, since Moussaoui would have been converted into a martyr if he was executed. On his part US President George Bush noted, "The end of this trial represents the end of this case, but not an end to the fight against terror."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: Jury spares 9/11 plotter Moussaoui

    BBC: Moussaoui is spared death penalty

    [07] Decriminalising Drug Possession Fox Will not Sign the Act

    04 May 2006 12:12:00

    Sources: Reuters

    Mexican President Vicente Fox will not sign widely criticised narcotics legislation to decriminalise the possession of small quantities of drugs, passed by Senate and Congress last week and widely criticised by the US Government. The presidents office said the law would be sent back to Congress for revision. "In our country the possession of drugs and their consumption are, and will continue to be, crimes," the office said in a statement. The legislation had shocked the Bush administration, while it was also criticised by authorities in Mexican tourist towns who worried about a flood of drug addicts attracted by the new, lenient rules.

    Related News:

    Mexican Drug Reforms Shock USA

    [08] Suicide Attack near Courthouse Bloody Attack in Baghdad

    04 May 2006 10:27:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A new bloody attack was recorded in Iraq, just one day after the multi-fatality explosion in Fallujah, where more than 18 people were killed. At least nine people died and another 33 were injured in the attack in Baghdad, when a suicide bomber attempted to enter a courthouse in the Iraqi capital. As announced, the bomber was caught while trying to gain access to the building in Shiite Sadr City, and as a result he detonated his explosives at the entrance. Security forces and ambulances rushed to the scene. Earlier, insurgents opened fire against cars in Yarmuk, Baghdad, killing Brigadier Mohammed Reza Abdelatif and an employee of the Human Rights Ministry.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Vote of Confidence from Knesset Olmert to Be Sworn In

    04 May 2006 10:52:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Ehud Olmerts 24-member coalition government will appear before the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, on Thursday, asking for its vote of confidence in order to officially assume duties. The winner of the 28 March elections will refer to his aims for the economy and social justice, as well as his plan to map out permanent borders for Israel by 2010. Moreover, his plan includes the evacuation of West Bank and the destruction of isolated Jewish settlements, with or without Palestinian approval. The vote of confidence is a somewhat standard procedure, since the four coalition partners hold the majority in the Knesset with 67 seats. The leader of opposition party Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu, will take the stand next. Netanyahu opposes a new territorial concession, following the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Then, the MPs will elect Dalia Itzik as Speaker of the Knesset, the first woman to assume this post ever.

    Call from Abbas

    In the meantime, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked the Israeli PM to resume peace negotiations as soon as possible.

    Abbas told the Israeli daily Maariv that Israel should not be deterred from renewing peace talks despite Hamass control of the Palestinian Authority. "It is my intention to bring the results of the negotiations [with Israel], if and when they end, to the Palestinian people in the form of a referendum and to give the Palestinian people the right to decide," he added.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Jerusalem Post: Olmert cabinet, comprising 4 parties, to be sworn in today

    Die Welt: Olmert bringt Koalitionsvertrag in Israel unter Dach und Fach

    [10] After the US Announced Adequate Reserves Oil Prices Start Dropping

    04 May 2006 12:07:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The oil prices in the Asian markets started dropping, following Wednesdays announcement by the US Energy Department about oil reserves rising, thus easing concerns for adequate supplies in the market in view of summer, when most of the transports take place. The price of light crude for June deliveries dropped to $72.03 per barrel in Singapore, down by 23 cents since Wednesdays close in New York. The prices of black gold have fallen by over $3 per barrel since 26 April, when they had exceeded $75. In its weekly report, the US Energy Department announced that oil reserves increased by 2.1 million barrels, at a time when analysts feared a 650,000-barrel reduction. It is the first time in nine weeks that oil reserves recorded a rise.

    [11] Panathinaikos' Grand Finale

    03 May 2006 23:24:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Panathinaikos saved the best part for the finale of the A1 Greek basketball championship dazzling Makedonikos with 114-77 on the last match day for the season. Having already conquered the Greek Cup, Panathinaikos will now play against Panionios in the playoffs. On the other hand, Makedonikos ranked twelfth, avoiding relegation to A2. The score per period: 36-20, 66-41, 98-51, 114-77.

    Translated by Areti Christou


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