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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-03-03

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Clear Message to FYROM
  • [02] Underwent Urgent Surgery
  • [03] ΟΤΑ New Mobilizations
  • [04] International Markets Spooked
  • [05] Strong Tremor Hits the Philippines
  • [06] Athens Stock Market Reopened
  • [07] Slovak Prime-minister in Athens
  • [08] Man Decapitates 15-Month-Old Nephew in S. Arabia
  • [09] Gri-Gri Tied up at Thessaloniki Coast
  • [10] A.S.E. Transactions Cease
  • [11] Iraq: Mass Grave in Samarra
  • [12] MEVGAL Trial Commences
  • [13] Pakistan: Suicide Bomber Killed 43 people

  • [01] By the Greek President and the Prime Minister

    Clear Message to FYROM

    03 Mar 2008 14:55:00 (Last updated: 03 Mar 2008 18:39:32)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ΑNA/ΜPA

    During his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, sent a message to FYROM, underlining that the Prime Ministers stance, "no solution-no invitation" expressed last week was clear. Scheffer had earlier met with Kostas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. The Prime Minister blamed the neighbouring country for intransigence and repeated that no solution to the name issue meant no invitation for FYROMs admission to NATO. Exiting the meeting, Bakoyannis stressed, "inviolable term for the Alliances enlargement is undeviating commitment to principles and rules governing its operation". On his part, the NATO General Secretary underlined that all the 27 NATO member states should give their consent to the Alliances enlargement, further adding that Greece is a powerful NATO member.

    Papoulias-Karamanlis Intervention

    During his meeting with NATO Secreatry General, the President of the Republic sent a sound message to Skopje, stressing that the Prime-ministers stance, "no solution-no invitation" was clear and reminded that when serving as Foreign Minister, he had experienced intransigence which Skopjes political leadership is still indicating today. Mr. Papoulias, however, expressed hope that the name issue will be resolved through dialogue. In the meantime, Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis sent a new clear message to Skopje after his meeting with his Slovak counterpart, Robert Fico this morning. Mr. Karamanlis repeated that no resolution to the name issue meant no invitation to join the NATO alliance and blamed FYROM for insisting on intransigent stand. "We made moves forward and expect FYROM to follow suit" the Prime-minister said, adding "we have direct interest in the Balkans and back their euroatlantic orientation, but stability depends on good neighborly relations which is also considered assessment criterion by NATO".

    Bakoyannis- Scheffer Meeting

    "Undeviating observation of principles, values and rules which regulate smooth operation of any Alliance is inviolable precondition for the expansion of any Alliance, creation and building of any alliance solidarity bond" underlined Mrs. Bakoyannis after her meeting with NATO Gen.Sec, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. She also stressed that a fundamental principle of any Alliance is when member states indicate with deeds their solidarity it is natural that they expect to receive the same treatment from their partners and allies in their relations with third countries." Mrs. Bakoyannis added that inviolable precondition for an alliances expansion is "that there are no pending issues between a member and a candidate state which have a negative impact in their relations".

    Referring to FYROM name, Mr. Scheffer stressed that NATO does not get directly involved in the procedure, which is coordinated by UN special envoy, Mathew Nimitz, but it is interested in developments and hopes that the dialogue will result in consent in view of April Summit meeting. He added, however, that "this consent should be feasible", adding that it is self-evident that good neighborly relations is NATOs fundamental principle. He also said that all candidate members are obviously not members and there is a difference between a strong member state and a non-member.

    Alternate government spokesman, Evangelos Antonaros said that Greeces position as it was recently expressed by the Prime-minister "no solution-no invitation" still stands. Mr. Antonaros called on Skopje to abandon its intransigent stand in order to open the road towards European and Atlantic institutions. Government sources have reconfirmed that Greece will not agree with NATOs invitation to Skopje unless the name issue is resolved.


    Former Greek Prime Minister and honorary President of the Conservative party, Konstantinos Mitsotakis offered his full backing to the Greek Governments handlings. Giannis Varvitsiotis, head of the Conservative MEPs, argued that Greece should be adopted a harsh attitude if needed.

    "The positions of the [Greek] Foreign Minister and the NATO Secretary General have confirmed that behind the talks on the FYROM name row the Greek Government is negotiating a more active military involvement in the EU and NATO led occupying forces, as the imperialistic bodies wish," claimed the Greek Communist Party, which voiced its objections to NATOs enlargement.

    The chairman of the Parliamentary Group of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alekos Alavanos, stressed that there is no deadlock in the talks on FYROM. Instead there are obstacles that have to be overcome. Asked whether Greece should veto FYROMs bid to join NATO, he noted: "We [SYRIZA] are not against NATO enlargement. We are worried over NATOs involvement in the Balkans, as the region is being turning into a region of cold war, of NATOs wrangling with Russia."

    Related News:

    NATO S.G. Visits Athens

    [02] Former Education Minister, Yiannakou

    Underwent Urgent Surgery

    03 Mar 2008 13:01:00 (Last updated: 03 Mar 2008 18:48:14)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Former Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou underwent an urgent surgery, after new complications in her amputated leg. It was the fourth surgery she was subjected to within a week. Yiannakou returned to the Intensive Care Unit, where she had been kept sedated and her post-surgery progress is viewed as satisfactory. A blood infection has yet to be confirmed, although the exams are still underway, hospital sources were quoted as saying. The doctors, however, are moderately optimistic.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [03] Create Problems to Garbage Collection

    ΟΤΑ New Mobilizations

    03 Mar 2008 14:34:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Garbage collectors working for local administration have announced 6-day abstention from their duties, starting with a 24-hour strike on Friday, March, 7 in protest against pension reforms. Their mobilizations continue with 3 day abstention from work,on 8, 9, 10 March and a new 48-hour strike on the coming Tuesday and Wednesday. Athens and Piraeus Mayors call people to keep rubbish at home during garbage collectors mobilizations to avoid pollution and littering of streets. Local administration employees appear wiling to continue mobilizations after next Wednesday, when POE-OTA council is scheduled to meet in order to determine further actions.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [04] Dollar Falls to Record Lows

    International Markets Spooked

    03 Mar 2008 17:50:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Oil and gold prices, as well as the euro currency, have set new records. The gloomy report on the US manufacturing sector has spooked investors and pushed the dollar currency down.

    At about 17.00 Greek local time, the US dollar was at a record low against the euro, standing at 1.5262 dollars.

    The US crude oil exceeded 103 dollars per barrel, steadying at 103.26 dollars, while Brent amounted to 102.37 dollars in the London market.

    The looming recession of the US economy and the low demand have rocked the Asian markets. Shrinking export profits, the ongoing fall of the US dollar has given rise to fears. The US currency dropped to record lows against the Japanese one, while the Tokyo market reported a 4.5%, the worst since January. The European markets also suffered losses, with banks shares sustaining the worst hit.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Strong Tremor Hits the Philippines

    03 Mar 2008 17:35:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    A strong earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck off the eastern coasts of the Philippines, said the US Geological Survey. The quake hit at 10:11am local time and its epicentre was located 187km east-southeast of Pandan, Catanduanes in the central Philippines at a depth of 24.2 km.

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected, but it noted that earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that affect areas within 100 km of the epicentre.

    [06] Session not Extended

    Athens Stock Market Reopened

    03 Mar 2008 15:54:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Transactions at the Athens Stock Exchange, temporarily interrupted at 10:52 due to a technical problem with OASIS system, resumed shortly after 15:00. Todays session will not be extended despite the 4-hour interruption. Stock market officials attributed the problem to the strike staged by employees of the Bank of Greece on Monday which has an impact on the basic operations of the Athens Stock market. Also problems in bonds transactions were observed resulting in interruption of e-transactions.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [07] Meetings with Papoulias-Karamanlis

    Slovak Prime-minister in Athens

    03 Mar 2008 14:51:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA

    Slovak Prime-minister, Robert Fico, who is paying an official visit to Greece, was today received by the President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias. Mr. Papoulias referred to the two countries common interests on certain crucial international issues, such as Kosovo, "which should be treated with particular carefulness to avoid chain reactions", as he characteristically stressed. Next Slovakias Prime-minister met with Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis and the two leaders reconfirmed the climate of good relations between the two countries

    Referring to the two countries bilateral relations after their meeting, Mr. Karamanlis said that economic relations could be further promoted as well as cooperation in the fields of culture, tourism, research and technology and energy. Mr. Karamanlis also said that they discussed developments in the Balkans, such as the Kosovo issue and placed emphasis on the need for stability and European prospect in the broader region.

    Robert Fico asked for closer economic cooperation with Greece, increase of number of Greek investors in Slovakia and extended official invitation to the Greek Prime-minister to visit Slovakia accompanied by delegation of Greek businessmen. He also said that talks focused on two sectors, state assistance on the part of Slovakia in investments in tourist sector and cooperation in defense industry. Finally, the Slovak Prime-minister committed himself that his country will soon ratify the Lisbon treaty, to which Greece attributes high importance.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [08] Man Decapitates 15-Month-Old Nephew in S. Arabia

    03 Mar 2008 12:13:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A Syrian man clinched a knife and decapitated his 15-month-old nephew in front of his mother in a supermarket in Saudi Arabia after quarrelling with his sister and mother of the toddler, reports English speaking newspaper Arab News today. The 25-year-old culprit picked up a knife from inside the store and chopped off the boys head before the customers eyes. The mother fainted and was hospitalized. Manslaughter in Saudi Arabia is punished with decapitation.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [09] Gri-Gri Tied up at Thessaloniki Coast

    03 Mar 2008 11:35:00

    Tens of fishermen from Nea Mihaniona, tied up their fishing boats(gri-gri) along Thessaloniki coastline, participating in nationwide fishermen mobilizations which started this morning to express their objection to EU new regulations on fishery. According to the new EU regulations aimed to protect the Mediterranean Sea environment, fishing boats have to fish at certain depths, further away from coast and use smaller size fishing nets.

    The EU regulation has gone into effect since 1/1/2008, but mobilizations started on Saturday with the opening of the small boats fishing period which starts on March, 1 in Greece. The president of Central Macedonia Coastal Fishing Federation, Panagiotis Pagonis said that new regulations create many problems for small fishing boat owners and shortage of small, cheap fish in the market.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [10] A.S.E. Transactions Cease

    03 Mar 2008 11:13:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Transactions at the Athens Stock Exchange ceased at 10:52 due to a technical problem with OASIS system. When the Athens Stock Exchange ceased operating General Share Price Index had reached 4,022.28 units and transactions amounted to 35.47 million. Officials attributed the problem to the strike launched at the Bank of Greece on Monday. Presently board officials are holding a meeting to see how they will solve the problem. Earlier, a group of employees had prevented Bank executives to enter the building, while now the administration and employees are negotiating, so that the Bank re-opens.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [11] Iraq: Mass Grave in Samarra

    03 Mar 2008 11:04:00

    The U.S. military said today it had found a mass grave near Samarra, 125km north of Baghdad containing the bodies of 14 executed people, believed to be either Iraqi police or members of a U.S.-backed security unit recruited to fight against Al Qaeda. The victims discovered in the grave had their hands tied behind their backs and all had gunshot wounds to the head. The U.S. military blamed Al Qaeda for the deaths.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [12] MEVGAL Trial Commences

    03 Mar 2008 10:16:00 (Last updated: 03 Mar 2008 12:40:43)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The trial of the three accused in MEVGAL case was suspended for 18 March as lawyer Alexis Kougias defending one of the accused could not attend the trial.

    The accused areformer General Manager of the Competition Committee Panagiotis Adamopoulos, customs officer Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos and cereals trader Konstantinos Konstantinidis, who are accused of extortion and passive bribery, as well as of instigating bribery.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [13] Pakistan: Suicide Bomber Killed 43 people

    03 Mar 2008 09:39:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    At least 43 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a traditional tribal meeting near Darra Adam Kheil region, in north-western Pakistan on Sunday, according to a recent official report . A young man detonated a device while tribal leaders were holding an outdoor meeting. The last report spoke of 35 people dead, however, "the number of dead went up to 44(including the suicide bomber) and may increase" said a local official. The aim of the five tribes leaders meeting was to finalize the formation of a committee of locals to take steps to improve security in the region were clashes are raging between the Taliban and the countrys army.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

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