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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-05-09
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 May 9 Dedicated to Europe Celebrating Europe Day09 May 2006 14:28:00 (Last updated: 09 May 2006 23:34:12)
Sources: ANA-ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8
The 25 EU capitals are staging events and coffeehouse discussions to mark May 9, the official Europe Day. As for Greece, this year marks the countrys 25th anniversary since it joined the EU. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs held an event at the Zappeion, where FM Dora Bakoyannis, as well as those who negotiated Greeces EEC bid, were honoured. On the occasion of Europe Day, President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias noted, "The EU remains a political and institutional innovation, setting the example for the international community  believing in the European idea and vision for a better and fairer world could lead the EU to its one and only destination." In his address, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis underlined that after 25 years, Greece has a say in the European world, targeting peace, growth and prosperity. Mr Karamanlis pointed out that the recent enlargement process strengthened the EU and that Europe has entered a period of contemplation, seeking a new vision. "Today, more than ever, it becomes obvious that we have to focus our efforts on bringing Europe closer to the citizens," claimed the Greek Premier. On the occasion of Tuesdays celebrations, a three-day meeting will be staged in Brussels, the headquarters of the European Parliament.
Impressive Progress for Greece
"The EU is called to promote its economic growth and competitiveness in the international system, ensure employment and prosperity along with social cohesion, acquire a voice of its own, credible and single in the world stage and mainly regain the trust of its citizens by responding to their needs and expectations," stressed Dora Bakoyannis. Austrian ambassador to Athens Herbert Krel spoke of Greece's impressive progress since its accession to the EU.
"Cafe d Europe"
In the context of Tuesdays celebrations, "Café d Europe," a cultural project, is underway. Famous and historic cafes across Europe turned into open forums of creative and visionary discussions.
In Greece, "Café d Europe" is Ianos café on 24 Stadiou Str, where writer Sotiris Dimitriou commented on his involvement in the book "Stories of Europe," which aims to present the cultural diversity of Europe from Dublin to Athens and from Lisbon to Riga. Furthermore, Greek Education Minister Marietta Giannakou held a tele-conversation with chosen schools across Greece on "Which Europe We Live in, Which Europe We Want."
France celebrated this day honouring, at the same time, Robert Schuman, a highly distinguished French political figure that is widely held as one of the founders of the EU. Paris hosted several symbolic events, including a special edition of metro tickets coloured blue, distribution of European flags, the Eiffel Tower lit blue all day long. In addition, writers participated in open discussions at Les Deux Magots café on the left bank of the Seine River. In Strasburg, seat of the European Parliament, 25 feature films from the 25 EU member states will be on.
Austria, which will be holding the EU reign up until late June, took full advantage of this day to promote ideas that will contribute to the better strengthening of Europe. "Café Central" attracted the Austrians attention, with Austrian writer Joseph Winkler reading texts on Europe.
In Berlin, "Café Einstein" turned into Europes café, with writer and journalist Eva Demski reading texts. Similar events were staged in Germanys greatest cities.
In Warsaw, the "EU House" was inaugurated, while in Lisbon, the Portuguese took part in the contest, calling on participants to write down their own stories on Europe.
In Rome, Vice-President of the European Commission Franco Frattini ushered in an innovation, inviting Italians to provide an image that would present the love for Europe. The Italians also pretended to be "europaparazzi," running after the EU commissioners and political figures to get a photo of them.
In Madrid, several European awards were presented and European feature films are being on for free.
Cafe d Europe
Spring Day in Europe
 Draft Bill Presented to Cabinet Armed Forces Real Estate Exploited09 May 2006 15:34:00
Sources: NET, NET Radio 105.8, ANA
Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis presented the Cabinet with a draft bill providing for the establishment of a company that would exploit Armed Forces real estate. In fact, the bill also provides for the transfer of real estate to the military officers' construction organisation at a price of 60% of the real estate's objective value to house armed forces officers. As per Meimarakis, solving armed forces officers' housing problems is a commitment for the Government. The Defence Ministry draft bill will be handed out to political parties in a week and the Parliamentary process would follow suit.
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis also informed the Cabinet on her morning meeting with Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani.
Translated by Sofia Soulioti
 Deal Struck with Rural Development Minister Geo Engineers Halted Strike09 May 2006 16:27:00
By Tina Valaoura
The geotechnical engineers decided to suspend their collective actions, following their meeting with Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos. As they stated, Mr Basiakos pledged to meet their sectors key demands, including the incorporation of veterinarians into the heavy and health hazardous occupations. In case the Ministry goes back on its pledges, they will go on a strike anew as of May 29.
Translated by Areti Christou
 Estonian "Yes" to EU Constitution09 May 2006 14:07:00
By Tina Valaoura
On 9 May, Estonia chose to celebrate the Day of Europe by ratifying the European Constitution. The countrys parliament said "Yes" by 73 votes for and one against. Estonia is the fifteenth EU country to ratify the Constitution, whose future seems uncertain following its rejection by the French and Dutch.
Translated by Eirene Nisiriou
 For Bulgaria and Romania Accession Talks on Hold09 May 2006 11:37:00
By Athina Saloustrou
Accession talks for Bulgaria and Romania are most likely to be on hold, reported a European Commission source. Bulgaria or Romania, or both may be given extra time to better prepare their bids before any proposal is made, said the source. The European Commission will release on May 16 reports on the progress the two countries have made in view of their EU membership talks. Bulgaria and Romania have singed an association agreement, but their accession may by delayed by a year up until 2008, should they be viewed as unprepared to join the EU.
Translated by Areti Christou
 Sioufas' Meeting Completed New Greek-Egyptian Collaborations09 May 2006 17:22:00 (Last updated: 09 May 2006 22:41:52)
After signing the relevant memorandum, the collaboration between the governments of Greece and Egypt on energy issues and especially on oil and natural gas will give a significant boost to the growth of the two countries economic relations. So was underlined by Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas after the end of his official visit to Egypt. All of Mr Sioufas meetings with members of the Egyptian Government focused on the mutual will to expand collaboration on key fields of economy and entrepreneurship. Apart from his contacts and meetings, Sioufas also visited Cairos industrial area, where there are Greek businesses too, like TITAN cements, the National Bank of Greece, Pireos Bank, the Thrace paper industry, ERLAK, Chipita Foods, Hellenic Petroleum, the Vardinogiannis Group and many others.
Important Meetings and Collaborations
Sioufas met with the Egyptian Investment Minister and discussed the operation of a ferry line connecting Alexandria, Egypt, to Crete and Piraeus, Greece.
On his part, the Egyptian Minister voiced his satisfaction over the reforms recently adopted by the Greek Government, creating a much better business environment and attracting new investments.
In an effort to accentuate this bilateral effort, Sioufas underlined that 250 executives working in Egyptian companies have been trained in Greece so far, while Greek know-how in matters of standardization, certification and small-medium sized businesses are at the disposal of competent Egyptian organisations to expand the cooperation between the two countries. He also wished for quick and profitable results.
In Cairo, Dimitris Sioufas also met with Greek businessmen and Egyptian investors interested in investing in Greece.
Translated by Sofia Soulioti
 Gionis Joins World Elite09 May 2006 13:55:00
By Stathis Petropoulos
Greek table tennis player Panagiotis Gionis is listed among the world table tennis elite. Thanks to his outstanding performances at the recent world championship held in Bremen, Gionis "bounced" to 51st place of the ITTF ranking board for May. This is by far the best ranking place he has achieved in his career, meaning that the Greek champion is establishing his place in the world table tennis. The rest of the Greek table tennis male players plunged to lowers places in the world standings, unlike the Greek female players who did it pretty well. Panagiotis Gionis won a total of 47 points and he climbed 11 places. In April, he was world no 62 with 1.675 points, while he now is world no 51 with 1.722 points. "I missed the top 50 for one point. Never mind, though, I am pretty satisfied, for I didnt expect to win so many places. This is quite a progress, but I have to keep up the hard work to stand up to leading players," said the 26-year-old defender.
Translated by Areti Christou
 Explosive Underwear09 May 2006 16:52:00
Two bags with a note warning they would go off wreaked havoc, triggering a bomb alert at a Japanese University, before bomb technicians founded their explosive content: womens underwear and a chocolate cake!
Police had the pharmacology department of Kyushu University in southern Japan evacuated and called a bomb squad, when a member of the Universitys personnel found a white paper bag with a note reading, "To Yoko, if you open this it will explode," and a pink plastic bag reading "This one too." When he opened them, police found womens underwear inside the pink bag and a chocolate cake in the white one.
The probe into the case showed that two university students meant them to be a birthday present for a friend and wrote the note to deter anyone from opening the bags. They placed the bags outside the post room and emailed their friend to tell her to go and collect them. However, the latter totally forgot all about the two bags. Police announced that they had had the two students questioned, yet it was too early to decide whether they would be charged or not.