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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-04-09

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Iakovou: "I Told the Truth"
  • [02] "Yes" to Fresh Talks
  • [03] Pension Reforms Are of Paramount Importance
  • [04] Radio-Internet Trustworthy News
  • [05] University Students Go to the Polls
  • [06] Port Workers' Strike Illegal
  • [07] Papoulias Visits Fire-Stricken Mt Parnitha
  • [08] Metro-ISAP Extend Working Hours
  • [09] Papandreou Raises Question on Privatizations
  • [10] Heroin Trafficker Arrested
  • [11] Extends Old Objective Values
  • [12] Awaiting the Report
  • [13] Peru Convicts Former Officer

  • [01] Investigation on Doping in Progress

    Iakovou: "I Told the Truth"

    09 Apr 2008 16:39:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: - 105.8

    Weightlifting coach Christos Iakovou did not wish to get into details on the doping scandal after he testified to the Federation. He said that whatever he had to say he would say it when summoned to testify. "As I have lost my father recently, I did not have much time to think. My father taught me to love sports, ancient Greece and always tell the truth; and this is what I have done today. I told the truth. Before the Prosecutor I will add more." Mr Iakovou did not answer any questions asked by journalists.

    Meanwhile, the results of checks on the capsules found at pharmacy in Kolonos yesterday are expected to prove determining. At the same time, EOF (National Organisation for Medicines) security has carried out an inspection at the importers warehouse in Larissa.

    In parallel, Prosecutor Panagiotis Poulios has ordered a check on the originality of the e-mail sent by the Chinese company, on reports about a mistake.

    As per information, the e-mail was received at the gymnasts company in Larissa. The gymnast admits that Christos Iakovou had asked him to provide him with specific amino acids.

    Furthermore, ESKAN (National Anti-doping Council) Vice President Asterios Deligiannis told NET that fresh doping cases would be announced in todays meeting held by ESKAN.

    Culture Minister Michalis Liapis will chair a meeting of a Committee to propose measures against doping.

    Mr L. Zagoritis stated that an investigation in depth would be carried out and the government is determined to be strict.

    In an interview with NET 105.8 Mr Kostas Kartalis reported that doping had not been the rule.

    Finally, SYN (Coalition of the Left) Parliamentary spokesman asked from the prime minister to take the right measures, while LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) President George Karatzaferis proposed a check to the Ministry of Culture on lack of attention, in view of the Olympic Games.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Awaiting the Report

    Investigation Continues

    Weightlifting Training Centres Raid

    [02] Prime-minister Sends Skopje

    "Yes" to Fresh Talks

    09 Apr 2008 14:26:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA/PA

    Athens states prepared to enter into a new round of negotiations for a mutually acceptable solution to Skopje name issue within the UN framework as presentation of new proposal in the next two weeks has not been ruled out. In his speech during the meeting of the ND party political council, Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis stressed that Greece is against contrariness and expressed conviction that the neighbouring country will face reality with sobriety. Mr. Karamanlis described as successful the battle in Bucharest, adding "the road for a definite solution to the name issue, which is a mutually acceptable, viable and permanent solution, is long and difficult". Addressing to Skopje during her speech at the "Economist" magazine conference, Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyianni stressed "Greece will gladly welcome FYROM to the North-Atlantic alliance and European institutions, provided a mutually acceptable, viable and functional solution on the name issue is reached.

    "No to Contrariness"

    In his speech to the ND party political council, the Prime-minister once again made clear that Athens is firmly in favour of the opening of a new round of talks aimed at a mutually acceptable solution to name issue within the UN framework. "We say no to contrariness and I believe that the leadership fo the neigbouring country will face reality with sobriety", K.Karamanlis stressed.

    Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyianni repeated Greeces firm position for a compound name, including a gerographical term for all uses in her speech at the "Economist magazine conference. "It is self-evident that Greece will gladly welcome FYROM to the Euro-Atlantic alliance as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to name issue is reached. This was the alliances position adopted by NATO member states in Bucharest last week", said Mrs. Bakoyianni. Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Ivailo Kalfin expressed conviction that the name dispute will be soon resolved provided there is good willingness, adding "good neighbours should be good allies". In the same line was Rumanian Foreign Minister, Adrian Cioroianu statement, who expressed optimism for the achievement of solution and FYROMs NATO membership.

    Government spokesman, Thodoros Roussopoulos refused to comment on rumors about the neighbouring countrys claims on Greek territories and about "Macedonian language and nation", stressing that Greece is only seeking to resolve the name dispute, nothing less nothing more than that.

    In the meantime, diplomatic sources do not rule out a fresh US initiative in the next two weeks. The Prime-minister will take the stand at the Parliament tomorrow after a request by the LAOS party on FYROM name issue. LAOS President, George Karatzaferis said that we must capitalize on the outcome of NATO Summit in Bucharest and called the Prime-minister to listen to tomorrows parliament debate on foreign policy.

    Skopje Facing Elections

    US ambassador to NATO, Victoria Nuland, who is on a visit to Skopje today, called FYROM leadership to continue negotiations to reach a solution to name issue under the auspices of Mathew Nimitz."We must take advantage of momentum and resolve the pending issue in the next days or weeks, however, not months".

    In the meantime the largest Albanian party has submitted proposal for the holding of early elections, with which Prime-minister Nikola Gruevski appears to agree. The VMRO-DPMNE executive committee, headed by FYROM Prime-minister in its meeting yesterday decided to propose dissolution of the Parliament as it does not operate efficiently due to continuous obstacles by opposition parties.

    In parallel, the VMRO-DPMNE condemned Greeces veto speaking of an irresponsible move by Greece which "put in danger both the two countries good neighbourly relations and regional security, development and prosperity in the whole region".

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [03] Karamanlis: Decisions Are Essential and Necessary

    Pension Reforms Are of Paramount Importance

    09 Apr 2008 14:35:00

    Sources: , 105.8, ANA-MPA

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis said the pension reforms were necessary and called them a debt to the future generations, since, as he said, it meant to mend the wrongdoings of the past through mild interventions and to lay the solid foundations for a viable and socially fair system. Addressing the sitting of the ruling partys Political Council on Wednesday morning, Karamanlis said that the Government did not go back on its pre-election pledges. "We [Greek Government] are boldly moving on with essential and necessary reforms, with a view to the citizens benefit," stressed he. Touching on the political wrangling over the pension reforms, he said that the Government was after consensus and therefore it held talks. However, he went on, it came up against political parties that competed one another in exaggeration, nihilism and opposition. "We are a political party that takes difficult decisions," said Karamanlis, further adding that, despite the temporary political cost, they are to the benefit of the country, as they guarantee a permanent national, economical and social benefit.

    "We Are Taking Steps Forward"

    Kostas Karamanlis referred to the reforms in general. Placing emphasis on the education reform, he noted that implementing the relevant bill is one of the goals. He also touched on the national zone planning and the regional ones, as well as on the reforms in ports and the Greek national air carrier. Kostas Karamanlis said that the Governments goal is to kick off a major reform in the nations administrative structure with less, yet more effective local authorities. Finally, with regard to the cooperation between the ruling party and the Government, the Prime Minister hailed the Parliamentary Groups role and the party for its backing to the reforms. He then called for a closer cooperation, consisting of new ideas, proposals and initiatives in social affairs.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    National Affairs and Reforms at the Focus

    [04] Radio-Internet Trustworthy News

    09 Apr 2008 16:14:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA/PA

    Radio and Internet are the two most trusted sources of trustworthy news while television is believed to be source of low quality news, having further dropped in the last 2-3 years, despite being the most popular means of information. This data is included in a research conducted by the Communications Institute and was presented on Thursday in an open forum entitled "Mass Media: Ethics, Profit and Power" organized at the initiative of the Hellenic Industrialists union(SEB).

    According to the research, television is source of information at 60%, radio at 40%, newspapers at 37% and Internet at 26%. During December 2007-February 2008 period, when Zahopoulos case was the top issue, state channels were most trusted by viewers, at 65% compared to private channels at 66.2%. At the same time, radio received the highest percentage points 40.9% of positive and negative comments. People attributed the negative climate during that period to journalists and politicians.

    Viewers, among others demand short and condensed news bulletins, reduction in tabloid news and objectivity in presentation of news. Welcome addresses were delivered by the presidents of SEB, Dimitris daskalopoulos, EHEA, Dimitris Kalofolias, Union of Private TV Channels of national range, Kostas Kimbouropoulos, POESY, Dimitris Tsalapatis and ESHEA, Panos Sobolos.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [05] University Students Go to the Polls

    09 Apr 2008 11:58:00

    University students throughout Greece have been casting their ballots since Wednesday morning to elect their representatives. However, elections at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki were kicked off with incidents. A group of about 20 people with helmets on stormed into a lecture theatre at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, burnt ballot papers and caused damage in the theatre. The ballot papers were replaced and the elections are now underway in another lecture theatre. Minor incidents took place late on Tuesday at the Polytechnic School, when a gang of people stormed a pre-election event and torn down banners and posters of the student parties. Turnout is believed to be similar to last years one, while it is expected to escalate in the afternoon. Polls close at 2000 hours.

    [06] Port Workers' Strike Illegal

    09 Apr 2008 17:15:00

    Sources: 105.8

    The Piraeus Appeals Court has ruled the rallies held from 5 January-31 March by port workers illegal, banning any similar rallies staged on the same grounds. The port workers had reacted to the privatization of cargo stations. If port workers proceed with more rallies with the same demands, then the defendants will have to pay a fine amounting to 4,000 euros.

    Finally, the Federation of Port Employees in Greece and the Association of Permanent Port Workers of the Piraeus Port has asked from the Supreme Council to rule illegal the tender on the privatisation of Cargo Stations.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [07] Papoulias Visits Fire-Stricken Mt Parnitha

    09 Apr 2008 16:22:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ANA

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias has visited the fire-stricken areas of Mt Parnitha today at the invitation of "Mt Parnitha Observatory". The President was briefed by scientists and civilians on the reforestation works being carried out.

    Mr Papoulias said that the protection of the environment is our life and our childrens life, adding that we would be historically irresponsible if did not proceed with the restoration of damage.

    He also thanked all who are participating in the reforestation work, including firemen and volunteers.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [08] Metro-ISAP Extend Working Hours

    09 Apr 2008 15:54:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    The Transport and Communications Ministry has decided to extend the working hours of the Metro and ISAP (Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways CO) on Friday and Saturday to 02:00 after a successful trial period.

    As per Transport and Communications Minister Kostis Hatzidakis an average of 4,020 passengers used the above transport means on Friday and 7,458 on Saturday during the extra two hours.

    Moreover, the minister announced that both companies would hire additional personnel to cover the additional demand. ISAP will hire 300 people and the Metro 45 technicians in 2008.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [09] Papandreou Raises Question on Privatizations

    09 Apr 2008 15:00:00

    Main opposition leader, George Papandreou has submitted a question regarding privatizations of state companies of strategic importance to the Prime-Minister. PASOK leader maintains that the government is trying to cover the large deficits of the state budget selling off state property. According to Mr. Papandreou "if the government plans are materialized, Greece will be the only European country where the larger ports, the total of large airports, telecommunications, power production and other vital sectors of the economy will have been either transferred to private sector or managed by respective foreign companies".

    Mr. Papandreou underlined that this is an "outmoded and unsuccessful policy" implemented in the past by extreme neo-liberal governments, such as Thatcher and Mitsotakis while today all governments even the US have realized the need of inspection and control of the markets for the protection of the economy and the citizens while they are taking measures to shield their strategic companies even the private ones- against aggressive take over by commercial capital.

    Specifically, Mr. Papandreou calls the Prime-minister to make clear the governments intentions whether the state will keep the management of OTE, ELTA, Post Office, DEH, OSE, EYDAP, EYATH and other strategic public utilities corporations and explain what is the benefit for the Greek consumer.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [10] Heroin Trafficker Arrested

    09 Apr 2008 12:17:00

    A 35 year-old Kurd, of British citizenship was arrested in Igoumenitsa port while trying to board a ferry to Italy. He was transferring 22.5 kg of heroin by land from Turkey in a specially fashioned compartment in his car. The large quantity of clean heroin was vacuum packed in 44 packages. The heroin trafficker, who was transferring one of the largest quantities of heroin confiscated so far, will face state prosecutor today. The Narcotics Igoumenitsa Port Squad have confiscated over 100kg of heroin and 56 tones of cannabis since 1987 while in cooperation with other national and foreign authorities have confiscated over 25 tones of cocaine and hundreds of thousands of narcotic drugs from merchant marine ships.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [11] Fin Ministry Regulation

    Extends Old Objective Values

    09 Apr 2008 12:01:00

    Sources: 105.8

    An Economics Ministry regulation to be submitted to the Parliament extends the drawing of deed of sales and transfer of properties according to the old objective values till June, 6, 2008. This possibility is given due to revision of objective values of land not in the city plan, however, submission of statement to Taxation Offices till April, 7 is a necessary precondition to take advantage of the regulation.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [12] Investigation towards All Directions

    Awaiting the Report

    09 Apr 2008 11:00:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Investigation on the 11 weighs lifting athletes who were found positive to the anti doping control they were submitted to continue intensively. New doping cases are expected to be announced after the meeting of the National Committee for the Fight against Doping taking place today. The President of Weight Lifting Federation testified to the prosecutor today. The councilor of the teams coach, Christos Iakovou submitted to the Prosecutor a commentary. Mr. Iakovous explanations are expected with interest. Mr. Iakovous lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos asked for an investigation to be conducted regarding the authenticity of the e-mail sent by the Chinese company which admits that it made a mistake. Mr. Dimitrakopoulos visited the Prosecutor Mr. Andrea Karaflos and asked him the contribution of the authority of electronic crime in order for light o be shed in the case. His lawyer also said that Mr. Iakovou feels very sorry for the deafening silence of the politicians. The importer of the nutrition supplements and trainer Panayiotis Katselos admitted in Mass Media that coach Christos Iakovou had asked him to be provided with the amino acids because he could not find them in the national market. It must be noted that Mr. Katselos has not been called yet from any authority to testify

    The road the dangerous substances that were prescribed to the Greek athletes was China, Larissa and Athens. The importer of nutrition supplements and trainer Panayiotos Katselos from Larissa who is working in Athens and Thessaloniki said that he imports the products from an English company and explained to Mass Media that he provided to Christos Iakovou the deadly cocktail which after the WADA control was traced to the 11 athletes members of the National Team of Weight Lifting.

    In his statements, he admits that the national team coach Christos Iakovou had asked him to be given these particular amino acids because he could not find them in the market himself. Then Katselos says that he ordered from the Chinese company the substance L-tyrosine.

    After the scandal broke out the coach from Larissa contacted with the Chinese company which answered that the substance was sent by mistake. When he was asked why he had ordered these amino acids from China he answered that the price was low. It must be noted that so far Mr. Katselos has not been called form any authority to testify.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    Related News:

    Awaiting the Report

    Iacovou to Give Explanations

    Doping Scandal in Weighlifting

    [13] Peru Convicts Former Officer

    09 Apr 2008 09:52:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: NA-PA, BBC News

    A Peruvian court convicted former General Julio Salazar Monroe of murdering 9 students and a professor at Lima state university suspected of rebel links in 1992. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison, one of the heaviest sentences so far imposed in Peru to a state official on violation of human rights.

    Also three former officers of an army death squad were sentenced to 15-year imprisonment while two other former officers were acquitted. Former Peruvian President, Alberto Fujimori and other senior army officers are also standing trial on the July, 18, 1992 killings.

    Salazar Monroe held one of the most significant posts in the army during Fujimori ruling. According to testimonies during his trial, he was carrying out orders by Bladimiros Montesinos, former chief of Peru Intelligence Service and Fujimores closest aide. Montesinos is serving prison sentence on charges of corruption and arms smuggling while he is to stand trial for many pending counts, including murder.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC News: Peru convicts death squad members

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