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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-05-13

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Overvalued Medicines
  • [02] Agreement with Reservations
  • [03] Accusing Congo Donors
  • [04] Iran Says 'Yes' to Dialogue
  • [05] Papariga Speaks at KNE Convention
  • [06] Opinion Poll for Karahasan
  • [07] Alavanos' Speech
  • [08] Educational Reforms through Dialogue
  • [09] Juveniles before the Prosecutor
  • [10] Arrests for Child Pornography
  • [11] Bomb Explosion in Turkish Province
  • [12] Maroussi Makes it to the Semis
  • [13] Lucky 13 for Iraklis

  • [01] Millions Lost Overvalued Medicines

    13 May 2006 20:50:00

    Sources: NET

    The Greek public sector has lost up to 10 million euros from some 200 types of overvalued medicines, as markets shortages often forced competent bodies to purchase them from foreign wholesalers. The matter came to light in an article that appeared in the newspaper Vima tis Kyriakis, which noted that a company was acting as an intermediary between relevant Greek bodies and drug wholesalers from abroad. As per the newspaper, the intermediaries bargained the price and then marketed the medicines in Greece after having overvalued them by 20%-100%. It was also revealed that a specific drug used to cure hepatitis B had a retail price of 1,030 euros in Athens, while it was being sold for 540 euros in Italy. Moreover, the price of a medicine for pancreatic cancer shot up by 580.8% in just six months, while the newspaper noted that there are plenty more similar examples.

    Investigation into the Complaints

    The Greek Institute of Pharmaceutical Research & Technology (IFET), one of the competent bodies and a subsidiary of the National Organisation of Medicines (EOF), mentioned that they were always aiming for the lowest possible price. "Market research is conducted before we order medicines. We always select the cheapest supplier. When companies are unable to supply us we are forced to buy from European wholesalers at a higher price," noted IFET President Giorgos Kioses.

    Greek Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said that, provided responsibilities arise, they have to be attributed. "The Health sector will operate under absolute transparency, legality and protection of the public health interest of Greek citizens. I have already given instructions for an immediate investigation into the complaints brought forward by the newspaper Vima and asked for responsibilities to be attributed, provided any arise. We are strict when it comes to transparency matters concerning the management of a social good, such as medicines, as well as the Health sector," concluded the Minister.

    The incident of overvaluation of medicines stems from a loophole in a law that has been in effect for the last 10 years and which did not allow companies to import drugs from abroad because they are much cheaper in Greece.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] Major Issues on the Table Agreement with Reservations

    13 May 2006 12:12:00 (Last updated: 13 May 2006 21:57:05)

    Sources: NET, NET Radio 105.8, BBC

    Important decisions for close commercial ties between the EU and Latin America were made at the Vienna Summit, which will end today. In particular, it was decided to open intensive negotiations for the establishment of a free trade zone, however the Europeans voiced their reservations over the energy policy followed by Venezuela and Bolivia. The Summit, which was attended by 62 heads of state from the EU and Latin America, mainly focused on ensuring peace, fighting terrorism and drugs and protecting the environment.

    Wrangling Over Nationalisations

    The Declaration of Vienna underlines the need to boost collaboration between the EU and Latin America over issues of social convergence, environment and energy protection, as well as over fighting terrorism and drugs and consolidating democracy.

    Speaking before the Summit, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said unemployment should become top priority, while the intention of the Bolivian president to exclude US companies from exploiting his country's energy resources caused a stir.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair urged Bolivian President Evo Morales and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez to show responsibility and mentioned that nationalising the energy field is an issue affecting all of us.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: EU and Americas agree closer ties

    Related News:

    Building Bridges of Collaboration

    [03] Accusing Congo Donors

    13 May 2006 10:42:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: AFP, ANA, Reuters

    Developed nations are turning a blind eye to the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 1,000 people die daily from violence, hunger and disease, and have committed "nothing or almost nothing" to the relief effort there, Oxfam said Saturday. International donors have pledged only 94 million dollars or 14 percent of the 682 million dollars needed for the Humanitarian Action Plan developed by the UN, Red Cross and aid agencies and launched in February, it claimed. In the last three months, the British-based NGO said an estimated 100,000 people have died from "conflicted-related causes".

    "Zero Contribution"

    Oxfam singled out the United States and Japan for making "miniscule commitments relative to the size of their economies"; France and Germany for making "small commitments"; and Italy for pledging nothing at all.

    The troubled central African state is due to hold its first multi-party elections in 40 years on July 30. "Donors have rightly invested over 450 million dollars in support of the elections, but voting alone won't cure the problems in DRC," said Oxfam's Juliette Prodhan.

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Oxfam criticises DR Congo donors

    Reuters: Oxfam says rich states neglect Congo crisis

    [04] USA Says No to Direct Talks Iran Says 'Yes' to Dialogue

    13 May 2006 09:44:00 (Last updated: 13 May 2006 20:39:40)

    Sources: Reuters, ANA

    Just days before the commencement of the new round of talks on the Iranian issue, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country is ready to talk with any country except Israel but not under threat of force. Talking to reporters attending the Developing Eight (D-8) Summit Ahmadinejad said a letter earlier this month to US President George Bush was not related to Irans nuclear programme. He also said Tehran would abide by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in cooperating with other countries. The Iranian President further noted that there is no need for anyone to feel nervous about Irans nuclear plans, since everyone knows that the countrys nuclear programme is peaceful.

    "Tehran Won't Commit"

    Annan urged the United States again on Friday to enter direct talks with Iran to ease a crisis over Iranian nuclear work, which Washington has rejected. "I have ... stated very clearly both in private contacts with the American administration and publicly that I think it is important that the United States come to the table and join the European countries and Iran to find a solution," Annan said at a Vienna summit of European and Latin American countries.

    In response, US Ambassador John Bolton released a statement at the United Nations in New York, saying: "This is not a bilateral issue between the US and Iran. It is an issue between Iran and the world." Bolton said the United States supported European and Russian negotiating efforts and "we see no point in direct negotiations." It should be noted that the IAEA found traces enriched uranium at a high level in an Iranian nuclear facilities, an allegation which Tehran has refuted.

    Annan said in Vienna he was calling for direct talks "because I really believe that as long as the Iranians have the sense they are negotiating with the Europeans ... and what they discuss with them will have to be discussed with the Americans and then (brought) back again to them ... they will not put everything on the table."

    Annan made a similar suggestion on US public television last week. He has long been pushing for a diplomatic solution to avoid a resort to UN sanctions or even military action, a last-resort option the United States has not ruled out. "Ive asked all sides to lower their rhetoric and intensify diplomatic efforts to find a solution," Annan told reporters. "Im happy that the (Security Council) discussions seem to have led to a situation where everyone agrees that not only should one come back to the table and negotiate but there should be a comprehensive package proposed for discussions by all."

    In the latest effort to resolve the crisis, Britain, France and Germany, with backing from the United States, Russia and China, are to unveil in the next 10 days a package of inducements and penalties for Iran. While Iran insists it wants only to enrich uranium as nuclear energy for its economy, the West suspects that program could be a front for an atomic bomb project.

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: US rejects Annan appeal on Iran

    Related News:

    Traces of Enriched Uranium in Iran

    Related Links:


    [05] Calling the Youths to Action Papariga Speaks at KNE Convention

    13 May 2006 21:33:00

    Speaking at the 9th Convention of KNE (Communist Youth), KKE (Greek Communist Party) general secretary Aleka Papariga urged the youths to comprehend the political struggles of the working class and take action in order to overturn the existing policies. Papariga noted that currently, a series of institutions of the urban system have to openly disputed, since the dialogue is marred and workers should not waste any time waiting for the outcome. She also asked the youths to clash with the social dialogue bodies, since, as he noted, the results are predetermined.

    [06] Public Opinion Divided Opinion Poll for Karahasan

    13 May 2006 19:56:00

    Sources: NET

    Gul Karahasan, PASOKs candidate for the Thessaloniki Prefecture, and Vaso Papandreou visited Xanthis open-air market on Saturday. As per Vaso Papandreou, PASOKs candidate will be judged based on her abilities and not her religion. In the meantime, in an opinion poll conducted by Kappa Research and published in newspaper Thema, 46.1% of those asked agree with PASOK President George Papandreous decision to nominate Karahasan, while 38.9% disagree. In addition, PASOKs candidate received 27.9% of the votes, as opposed to 41.9% for New Democracys candidate. Furthermore, nine out of ten declared that they heard Karahasans name for the first time when she was nominated by George Papandreou. In the same opinion poll, six out of ten citizens disagree with the opposition policies exercised by the leader of PASOK. Specifically, 19.9% declared satisfied, 16.8% somewhat agree, 48.5% are not satisfied and 13% somewhat disagree. The poll was conducted over the phone on 10 and 11 May on a sample of 2,000 households in the Prefecture of Drama.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Constitutional Review without Conveniences Alavanos' Speech

    13 May 2006 15:27:00 (Last updated: 13 May 2006 20:21:43)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8 - ANA

    The SYN (Coalition of the Left) Central Political Committee convened on Saturday to discuss the current political developments. In his speech, party President Alekos Alavanos referred to the Constitutional Review, stressing that an effort is being made to institute an attack against the social state and abolish stable labour relations. Alavanos pointed out that a new Constitutional Review is underway, when the laws from the previous reviews in 1996 and 2001 have not been enacted yet.

    "Electoral Games"

    Alavanos stressed that constitutional reviews are composed of two elements.

    The first element is the need to introduce games around the Constitution in relation to the electoral planning of the two major parties, and especially New Democracy. As per Alavanos, the involvement of a constitutional review in the election of a new Parliament could work in a way that would benefit the current Government.

    The second element, as she noted, is the effort to launch an attack against the social state and the public sector, and this has been borrowed from certain EU powers. According to Alavanos, this has been evidenced by NDs proposals, including the reduction of protection for forests and forested areas, the establishment of private universities and the abolishment of stable labour relations in the public sector.

    SYNs President also referred to the social security talks, underlining that his party is doing everything it can, especially within Parliament, in order to promote its proposals, as well as its fixed stance on the issue.

    In addition, Alavanos launched an attack against the Government on the issue with the Pakistanis, stressing that it has been exposed because it provided assurances that the abductions never took place.

    As for the proceedings of the 4th European Social Forum, he voiced his satisfaction, while stressing that the way KKE (Communist Party of Greece) attacked the ESF has created a major issue. Alavanos explained that it was not SYN that was attacked, "but the wider presence of the powers of the Left, the unions and the movements in Europe."

    On Saturday morning, Alavanos met with representatives of the Pakistani community and voiced his support, noting that he might ask for the formation of an investigative committee that would attribute any political responsibilities that might arise. SYNs President repeated that the Government has been exposed because it confirmed that no abductions took place and the Greek secret services were not involved in any way.

    On the other hand, the Pakistanis lawyers, Frangkisos Ragousis, said that now is the time for the abettors, both in Greece and Britain. In addition, the President of the Pakistani community, Javet Aslam, thanked all the parties and the bodies that supported the case, and declared that the justice sector demonstrated that it does not make distinctions among people.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Polydoras: "Legal Paradox"

    [08] Giannakou on NET's "Zoom" Educational Reforms through Dialogue

    13 May 2006 22:17:00

    Greek Education Minister Marietta Giannakou voiced the Governments volition to commence a national dialogue for the reforms in higher education, after the end of the national level examinations. Speaking on TV network NETs show "Zoom," Giannakou referred to the impending changes in the examination system. As she noted, she is willing to adopt the proposals of ESYP (Greek National Education Council) for predetermined years of study, so as to stop the problem with eternal students, while she also announced changes in the existing framework for academic immunity. As per the Education Minister, the professional rights of TEI (Technological Educational Institutes) graduates will be protected legally, while the professors who will be assigned to TEIs in the future will have to have qualifications similar to those for university professors.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Juveniles before the Prosecutor

    13 May 2006 14:46:00

    Sources: ANA

    Two Albanian pupils, aged 16, who injured two Greek pupils outside the 62nd Petralona High School with a knife and a screwdriver on Friday, will appear before the Prosecutor on Saturday. As per the police, the four pupils got into an argument when the two Albanians passed by the school on a moped, which one of the Greeks thought was the one stolen from him some time ago. The two injured youths are fairing well.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Arrests for Child Pornography

    13 May 2006 14:27:00

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Two men aged 40 were arrested in Athens and Mykonos for distributing pornographic material depicting children over the Internet and making profits from the people visiting their website. As was announced by police, the perpetrators, one of whom is a businessman on the island of Mykonos, had created a website, through which they were redirecting Internet users to foreign sites containing pornographic material, featuring mainly children. At the same time, every time users visited their site, their phone numbers were redirected to phone numbers abroad, overcharging their phone accounts.

    Before the Prosecutor

    Two computers, four hard drives, a gun, 270 cartridges, 18 credit cards, through which they were wiring the money from the telephone calls, and eight Greek bank books, were confiscated from their homes.

    As per the police, the hard drives contained tens of thousands of video and photo files with very explicit material depicting children, boys and girls, engaging in intercourse with adults and animals.

    The two men appeared before the Prosecutor.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Three Children Killed Bomb Explosion in Turkish Province

    13 May 2006 17:40:00

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Three children were killed and another two were seriously injured in a bomb explosion recorded east of Turkey on Saturday, as per the Turkish news agency Anatolia. The device exploded outside a garage in Erzincan province, killing two boys, aged around 10, instantly, while another 12-year-old boy succumbed to his wounds in hospital. The authorities declared that no one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, while they are not ruling out the possibility of the bomb having been placed by Kurdish PKK rebels, while it may even have been an attack to settle old scores.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Maroussi Makes it to the Semis

    13 May 2006 21:18:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Maroussi was the team that managed to qualify for the semifinals in the sole third game that took place in the first round of the playoffs. Playing in a packed hall, Panagiotis Yannakis team defeated PAOK by 83-74, winning two out of the three games and earning a place in the semis. This is the third year running that Maroussi has made it to the semifinals, where it will play against Olympiacos. The first match will take place next Tuesday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, since Olympiacos has the home team advantage. PAOK officially finished in sixth place. The score per period: 19-17, 42-40, 59-56, 83-74.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Lucky 13 for Iraklis

    13 May 2006 20:19:00

    Iraklis welcomed Kallithea, which has already been relegated, in Kaftatzoglio and the contrast of feelings was evident. However, the guests did not give up that easily, forcing Iraklis to fight for the victory, with a score of 3-2. The home team kicked in the first goal in the 11 with Georgiadis. In the 37, Clember tied the score, as Sznaucner was unable to clear the ball away. Iraklis had no time to stress in the second half, as Georgiadis kicked in his second goal in the 46. The home teams fans started cheering even louder in the 55, when Epalle scored a third goal for his team, increasing the lead to 3-1. The only thing Kallithea managed to do was to close the gap in the 79, when Randovanovic scored the last goal of the match.

    Referee: Florakis (Fokida) Yellow Cards: Georgiadis Clember

    IRAKLIS: Abaris, Prittas, Sznaucner, Drougas, Katsabis, Lagos (90+ Kapetanos), Lawal, Poursanidis, Georgiadis, Epalle, Herrera (82 Papapostolou)

    KALLITHEA: Souloganis, Karatzas, Mijatovic, Georgiev, Behi, Yanchev (65 Passas), Psarris (54 Tsigas), Randovanovic, Clember, Sylla.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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