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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-03-28

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Behind the Scenes Diplomacy
  • [02] Voting Held Tonight
  • [03] Joint Struggle against Poverty
  • [04] Myanmar Condemned
  • [05] Informal Foreign Ministers' Meeting
  • [06] Sioufas- Karoyian Meeting
  • [07] "Greece Wants Solution"
  • [08] "The Mediterranean, Crossroads of Civilizations"
  • [09] Heathrow Problems Continue
  • [10] China: Nine Dead in Coal Mine Blast
  • [11] Changes in Suburban Railway Routes

  • [01] On FYROM Name Issue

    Behind the Scenes Diplomacy

    28 Mar 2008 15:38:00 (Last updated: 28 Mar 2008 17:44:06)

    Sources: -NA/PA- 105.8

    Behind the scenes diplomacy is under way in view of the NATO Summit Meeting in Bucharest next week. Meanwhile, US President George Bushs statement that he supports a right decision on Croatia, Albania and FYROMs (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) accession to NATO during the Bucharest meeting has caused sensation. Meanwhile, FYROM party leaders are meeting today to examine Matthew Nimetzs fresh proposal on the name issue. FYROM Foreign Minister Antonia Milososki described the proposal final, stressing that deliberations in Skopje on its stance on the name issue would continue and conclude with a debate in Parliament on Monday.

    At the same time, German Alternate government spokesman Thomas Steg has expressed the German governments interest for a consensus solution on the FYROM name issue, refusing in parallel to make any forecasts as to whether the German side could intervene positively.

    Briefing the Press, in view of the Summit Meeting due to be held in Bucharest from 2-4 April, NATO Spokesman James Appathurai stated from Brussels that the name issue might complicate NATOs expansion.

    Mr Appathurai also reported that NATO is not responsible for the FYROM name issue, adding that all NATO members wish to see all candidate countries to receive an invitation to join the Alliance.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    "Greece Wants Solution"

    "Mock Solution, Is No Solution"

    [02] On PASOK Censure Motion

    Voting Held Tonight

    28 Mar 2008 11:59:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Debate on PASOK party censure motion against the government concludes tonight with a roll- call vote at midnight. Strong disputes continue while PASOK invites all citizens to take part in a protest rally at 19:00 today, outside the Parliament to join in the battle for a fair society and a strong Greece. Members and friends of the party as well as all citizens, who object to the governments plans, are called on to participate in todays rally.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [03] Joint Struggle against Poverty

    28 Mar 2008 16:15:00 (Last updated: 28 Mar 2008 17:33:23)

    Sources: , 105.8, NA-PA

    The Sixth Forum of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty closed its sessions Friday with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis speech, which described poverty as the worst blight of the 21st century. Mr Karamanlis stressed that the war against poverty constitutes a supreme and urgent obligation of all, adding that the society cannot go ahead only with achievements for the few. In parallel, he said that the rise of poverty annuls the positive results of progress. The Forum constitutes an important link in a series of efforts to combat poverty stated Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis. From his side, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos explained that the Self Government is closer to citizens, something which enables them to promote programmes on social welfare more effectively. The Forum was organised by the City of Athens at the Athens Concert Hall under the UN auspices. The programme aims at engaging the local societies to the combating of poverty.

    K. Karamanlis: "For a More Just and Financial Development"

    In his speech Mr Karamanlis reported that despite the rapid rise of wealth worldwide, poverty is expanding and killing more people than wars do.

    He also said that all should combat poverty and help in decreasing the gap between the rich and the poor, adding that Lisbons strategy has as the EUs basic axis of policy the combat against poverty.

    Moreover, world organisations, national and self governments can play an institutional role in tackling the problem.

    Mr Karamanlis spoke of a more just financial development, so that all could benefit equally from the global markets.

    Athens is appealing for a more effective combat against the eradication of poverty, stressed the prime minister.

    Initiatives on the Armouring of Social Cohesion

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis stated that the Forum constitutes a link in a series of efforts that aim at combating poverty in poor and rich countries, adding that globalised economies and competition intensify the problem.

    Mr Alogoskoufis stated that the governments programmes aim at reducing poverty in the next five years for those who live under the poverty line from 20%-15%.

    A series of initiatives will contribute decisively to the armouring of social cohesion and the reduction of unemployment, said Mr Alogoskoufis. The Fund that aims at supporting the unemployed in de-industrialized areas and the Social Cohesion Fund will spend 500 in 2008 in aid to the poor.

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos stressed the importance of the Self Government in the aid to the poor, adding that the related existing programmes should be improved.

    Finally, he said that the combat against poverty and discrimination is not only a challenge for governments but for all, adding that the Interior Ministry will help the Self Governments, so that Greece will prove effective until 2015.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [04] Myanmar Condemned

    28 Mar 2008 18:48:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ANA-AFP

    The UN Human Rights Council condemned Myanmars human rights record Friday, and urged the military regime to release all political prisoners and to take urgent measures to end abuses. The 47 countries comprising the Council agreed that the government is systematically violating the peoples human rights and fundamental liberties. The resolution demands that those who have violated the peoples human rights are persecuted.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Informal Foreign Ministers' Meeting

    28 Mar 2008 15:12:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    The agenda of the informal Foreign Ministers meeting, the sessions of which opened in Slovenia Friday morning includes an attempt to revive the "Thessaloniki Agenda" and reconfirm the Western Balkans European future, the examination of the peace process in the Middle East, with Syria and Irans leading role and the EU-Russia Summit Meeting. Participating in the meeting is Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis.

    Invited in Brdo are also Serb Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, UNMIK (Special Representative of General Secretary of United Nations) head Joakim Riker and the Prime Minister of the self-declared state of Kosovo Hashim Thaci.

    The meeting will conclude on Saturday afternoon with a dinner, during which the Foreign Ministers will discuss Inter-Cultural Dialogue to which the EU has dedicated 2008. Candidate country ministers will attend the dinner.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [06] Sioufas- Karoyian Meeting

    28 Mar 2008 11:54:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    President of Parliament Dimitris Sioufas met with the new House President of Cyprus Marios Karoyian before the opening of the Fourth Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Meeting. Mr Sioufas congratulated his Cypriot counterpart on the assumption of his new duties, wishing him success in his high institutional role. He also stressed the perfect cooperation between the two Parliaments and the importance of the opening of Lydra Street in terms of symbolism. Furthermore, he referred to the Greek Parliaments efforts for a viable solution of the Cyprus issue.

    From his side, Mr Karoyian expressed his satisfaction over the excellent relations between the two Parliaments and the conviction that new steps can be made in the near future. Finally, he referred to the role of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Meeting in developing the cooperation among Parliaments of European and Mediterranean countries. He also briefed his counterpart on the efforts made by the Cyprus House to upgrade inter-Parliamentary relations.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [07] To Skopje Name Issue

    "Greece Wants Solution"

    28 Mar 2008 11:46:00

    Sources: 105.8,

    A few days prior to NATOs crucial Summit, in Bucharest, Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis sent a message to all interested parties that Greeces veto should be considered certain unless a mutually acceptable solution to Skopje name issue is reached. In his address to the ND party Parliamentary Group, Mr. Karamanlis expressed objection to Mathew Nimitz new proposal, labeling it as mock solution which can not be accepted. The Skopje issue gave rise to strong dispute between the Foreign Minister, D. Bakoyianni and opposition parties, who demanded the government not to retreat from its position "no solution, means no invitation to join NATO". According to reports, the UN special envoy is likely to come up with a new proposal at the weekend. In the meantime, the US President, George Bush attributes high importance to Bucharest NATO Summit, describing it as historical as it is expected to reach decisions on the Alliances expansion.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [08] Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly Conferen

    "The Mediterranean, Crossroads of Civilizations"

    28 Mar 2008 10:55:00

    Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis inaugurated the 4th Conference of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, held in Kabouri, this morning. In his speech, he stressed that the Mediterranean, as the crossroads of civilizations and cultures, must be the source of wealth, development and progress, stressing the need for cooperation for the best utilization of "common opportunities" and consolidation of the regions vision where "the historical past meets the hopeful future". In reference to the Conferences agenda, focusing on energy and the protection of the environment issues, Mr. Karamanlis stressed that it is a "double contemporary challenge on the peak of European interest" and called on the 37 members of the Assembly to "jointly deal with challenges and take advantage of opportunities".

    In his opening speech, the Speaker of the House, Dimitris Sioufas, who presides over the Conference, referred to the establishment of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership 14 years ago by the Barcelona process and the founding of the Parliamentary Assembly 4 years ago while its renewal and strengthening has been recently encouraged by the leaders of France and GermanyRegarding the Conferences agenda, he said that development, energy and protection of the environment are "interlinked targets" and referred to the Athens 2005 treaty which adopted the Southeast Europe energy community. Mr. Sioufas also spoke of Greeces proposal for creation of Euro-Mediterranean Energy Partnership and attributed high importance to talks on a new energy policy to promote viable development and environmentally friendly sources of energy. "Europe, the Mediterranean, the people and the states can today send a clear message from Athens: Environmental protection is the best policy and the most valuable heritage to future generations", Mr. Sioufas stressed.

    Foreign undersecretary, Yiannis Balinakis underlined Greeces high interest for the Mediterranean region while referring to the course of EU Partnership Relations with Mediterranean countries, he underlined the development of political dialogue, strengthening of economic relations, intercultural dialogue and cooperation on security and immigration issues. "What we are discussing now is substantial development of the regional dimension of an integrated cooperation between EU and South Mediterranean member states, stressed the Greek official, promoting the role of the role of the Parliamentary Assembly. Mr. Balinakis also proposed the creation of a Mediterranean Erasmus Program for inter-university cooperation, underlining that cooperation is the key for stability, development and progress.

    Earlier in his speech, the European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso noted that EU decisions have an impact on Mediterranean countries and conversely, therefore inter-active function demands cooperation to dealing with our ears big challenges. At this point he stressed "the Mediterranean is a top priority for the EU", underlining that the 27 leaders of the EU member states called for the upgrading of the Barcelona Process while referring to tangible results, he spoke of the imminent foundation of the Euro-Mediterranean University, in Slovenia as well as cooperation in immigration issues. The European Commission President also said that some 10 billion euros from the communitys funds go to the Mediterranean and added that Mediterranean product imports increase by 4% annually.

    He stressed, however, that prospect for the setting up of a Mediterranean Free Transaction Zone is still far away, noting that obstacle for further development of Euro-Mediterranean Partnership is instability in the Middle East, adding though that only dialogue and cooperation can consolidate security and peace in the region.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [09] Cancelling of Flights out of New Terminal

    Heathrow Problems Continue

    28 Mar 2008 10:27:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    British Airways cancelled a fifth of scheduled flights on Friday out of its new T5 terminal, whose cost mounted to 5 billion euros. Chaos prevailed yesterday as many domestic flights were cancelled leaving hundreds of passengers distraught with most of them spending the night at the terminal. The company, however, announced that 80% of the flights will take off today. British Airways chief executive, Willie Walsh, took the unusual step of apologising to customers as the baggage-handling and check-in problems at the much-vaunted terminal provoked a public relations disaster for carrier that once styled itself the "worlds favourite airline". Only passengers with hand luggage travelled yesterday. The company issued an announcement stressing that the personnel were not acquainted with the baggage handling and transfer system. When the new T5 terminal operates normally, it has a capacity to serve 30 million passengers annually.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: T5 disruption moves into day two

    [10] China: Nine Dead in Coal Mine Blast

    28 Mar 2008 10:05:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Nine miners were killed and another five were missing after an explosion in an illegally operating Chinese coal mine, which brought down an estimated 100 tonnes of coal, the New China news agency said. The accident at the Zhangjiazhou mine in central Hunan province happened on Wednesday evening when 17 people were working underground. Three managed to escape while rescuers were hunting round the clock for other survivors. The mines operating permit expired last year and it was not using gas monitoring equipment, New China agency quoted a local work safety official as saying in its report late on Thursday. A pit collapse the same day in central Henan province killed one and trapped five miners. China, the worlds largest producer and consumer of coal, has the worlds deadliest mining industry. The number of deaths from accidents at Chinese coal mines dropped one-fifth in 2007 from the previous year, although 3,786 people still lost their lives. That was a big improvement over 2005, when the death toll was nearer to 6,000.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [11] Due to Infrastructure Works

    Changes in Suburban Railway Routes

    28 Mar 2008 08:31:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: 105.8

    There will be changes in Athens-Thessaloniki suburban railway services from April, 3 till June, 1 due to infrastructure works. Specifically all Piraeus-Kifisia-Piraeus services are suspended, instead a new Kiato-Airport-Kiato route of 36 services is being introduced while the Airport-Neratziotisa-Airport route continues as regular. The Kiato-Piraeus-Kiato route will have a direct connection to Athens at Ano Liosis with no in between stops at Neratziotisa and Kifisias. Kiato commuters to the Athens center are advised to change to the Metro or electric train at the Neratziotisa or Doukissis Plakentias stations. The Suburban railway will have information leaflets at all stations as of April, 1 while people can dial 1110 for information.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

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