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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-04-14

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] With Clear Positions in the Talks
  • [02] Doping Scandal: Testimonies Expected
  • [03] Berlusconi in the Lead
  • [04] African Dust Subsides
  • [05] Karamanlis-Petralia Meeting
  • [06] H. Zahopoulos Testimony Concluded
  • [07] K. Papoulias to Visit Hellenism in Ukraine
  • [08] Focusing on Administrative Reforms
  • [09] Memorandum of Understanding
  • [10] End to Plastic Bags
  • [11] Kalomoira Online

  • [01] On the FYROM Name Row

    With Clear Positions in the Talks

    14 Apr 2008 15:00:00 (Last updated: 14 Apr 2008 17:28:49)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA/MPA

    UN envoy Matthew Nimetz is to undertake a new initiative on the FYROM name dispute, signalling new developments in the matter within the week. Greece is willing to enter the talks with crystal clear arguments, said Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, while addressing a conference on security in the 21st century Southeast Europe organised by Diplomacy magazine. Tensions ran a bit high when the head of FYROMs Association in Greece touched on FYROMs stance.

    "We Will Continue Our Efforts"

    UN Matthew Nimetz will have new talks with the negotiators of the two sides on Thursday and Wednesday.

    He is not expected to put forth a new name on the table, but to reassess the situation and invite both parties in New York.

    Addressing a conference staged by Diplomacy magazine, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stressed that Greece would keep pursuing a mutually acceptable and feasible solution to the name issue.

    "Free of fear syndromes, we are seeking the resolution of the problem based on an erga omnes, truly compound name, with a geographical qualifier. We are seeking a solution that is mutually acceptable and feasible. That is, we want a solution that is definitive, functional and feasible in every aspect. We believe in the power of dialogue; in the soundness of what we are saying, in the greatness of our principles. We will continue our efforts in these negotiations with unflagging interest, because security, progress and prosperity of the Balkans is a great vision. It is a grand perspective," underlined Bakoyannis, further adding that sincere friendships and indissoluble alliances presuppose good neighbourly relations.

    Tensions ran a bit high when the FYROM representative to the conference, ambassador Blagoi Hadjinski, took the stand. He said that inviting him to the conference as the ambassador of FYROM and not of "Republic of Macedonia" was an insult, and stressed that the solution Greece is after amounts to giving up on his countrys national identity.

    In response, Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos underlined that a nation seeking to join an international organisation, including NATO and the EU, should not have pending issues with a member-state of these organisations.

    "We are pursuing a mutually acceptable solution," added Koumoutsakos, "that will not justify the use, in military academies, of maps depicting a territory that starts from the neighbouring country and goes down to Thessaloniki and Halkidiki with the name Macedonia. This is the solution we wish for."

    Socialist MP Vaso Papandreou, on her part, said that the EU was clearly incapable of shaping a cohesive policy in the Balkans.

    Touching on Nimetzs new initiative and on the possibility of new negotiations on the FYROM name, Deputy Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros stated that Greeces contribution to the UN-sponsored drive is positive and constructive.

    "Our goal is a mutually acceptable, feasible and functional solution. We want a solution. This is crystal clear," noted Antonaros, who, when asked whether the elections in FYROM would influence the negotiations on the name issue, stressed that the Greek government does not interfere with the domestic affairs of any country and under no circumstances will it make any comments on the domestic affairs of any country.

    Asked whether there would be a meeting between Matthew Nimetz and the Greek Prime Minister, Antonaros said he had no idea about UN envoys agenda.

    FYROM-USA Talks

    Zoran Stavreski, one of the FYROM Governments Vice President, met Monday in Washington with US Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo.

    As per the FYROM news agency, MIA, DiCarlo stressed that the USA would remain FYROMs strategic partner and that it would offer their backing for a compromise to the name issue, which, as she said, obstructs FYROMs NATO aspirations.

    On his part, Stavreski said that DiCarlo assured him that the USA would do anything in is power to help negotiations reach a solution that would not harm the countrys national identity and at the same time guarantee FYROMs accession to NATO.

    Stavreski, reported MIA, also underlined that entering NATO remains FYROMs keynote priority, further adding that the countrys political parties endorse this goal.

    Related News:

    Week of Developments

    [02] 11 Weightlifters Summoned as Suspects

    Doping Scandal: Testimonies Expected

    14 Apr 2008 10:20:00 (Last updated: 14 Apr 2008 15:12:49)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The 11 Greek weightlifters that were tested positive to illegal substances are to be referred to the Prosecutor on Wednesday. Prosecutor Andreas Karaflos, who is carrying out the investigation, have summoned them to testify as suspects, while he has requested the exact analysis of the amount of substances detected in the German labs. He has also summoned experts, athletes and members of the Weightlifting Federation to testify as witnesses. Former weightlifter Christos Konstantinides, who had accused head coach Christos Iakovou of trying to give him illegal substances back in 1997, testified Monday. Weightlifter Nikos Kourtides, one of the three members of the Greek National Weightlifting team that were not tested positive, also testified Monday.

    Illegal Drugs Confiscated

    The Special Checks Service has confiscated a big quantity of illegal drugs that had been imported in Greece through a courier service.

    In cooperation with the French Customs Service the Drugs service in Athens has confiscated 91,200 pills.

    The illegal substances had been located at Roissy Charles De Gaulle airport in a parcel that had been despatched from Bangog, Thailand. When the parcel arrived at Eleftherios Venizelos airport the competent service confiscated them.

    The recipient, whose address was in Iliopoulis, had never collected the parcel.

    The drugs included ALAZO ANDROLIC, ANABOL STANZOL, ΚΑΙ CETABON pills and had been produced in an illegal lab in Thailand.

    The investigation continues.

    [03] Berlusconi in the Lead

    14 Apr 2008 17:46:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    First exit polls after the closing of poll stations on Monday put Silvio Berlusconi ahead day in Italys parliamentary election. The 71 year-old media mogul, leader of Italys right party is winning a majority in both chambers, the Lower House and the Upper House gathering 42% and 42.5% respectively over 40% of his center-left rival. The difference between the two rivals is marginal as exit polls allow two percentage points mistake. It should also be noted that exit polls failed to predict results in 2006 elections in Italy.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [04] African Dust Subsides

    14 Apr 2008 11:32:00

    The Saharan dust that spread across Greece over the last days is expected to subside as of Monday afternoon. It has reached Bulgaria, covering the biggest part of the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey and Cyprus, and in combination with high temperatures, it created unbearable weather conditions. The showers forecast today and the northerly winds expected on Tuesday are believed to clean the atmosphere throughout Greece. Experts have advised people to be patience, noting that the transport of Saharan dust to Greece is not an unusual condition. "It is a rather usual phenomenon. In a rainy weather it looks like mud rain. The unusually high temperatures for this time of the year, the constant southerly winds and humidity keep dust particles coming from northern Africa trapped in the wet atmosphere, giving the sky this milky look that makes us believe it is going to rain," explained Vasiliki Kotroni, a member of the Athens Institute of Environmental Research.

    The truth is that this time it lasted longer than before. Experts, however, have stressed that it was expected, since the long-lasting southerly winds, which usually help the dust to spread across the Attica basin, resulted in spreading it up to the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

    Kotroni said: "Weather conditions are forecast to improve, as the southerly winds are going to turn northerly. Showers are expected to fall in mainland Greece, cleaning the atmosphere. However, similar weather conditions are also expected at the end of the week, so we should not be taken aback by it."

    With regard to its influence on humans, Hellenic Thoracic Society chairman Panagiotis Behrakis was clear: "It does not harm humans. It is a natural phenomenon, tested and risk-free. Only those suffering from chronic pulmonary diseases or asthma could possibly run some sort of risk, but only in case they get tired. Air pollution or a cigarette lit indoors is much worse that this phenomenon, which is mild, natural and does not originate from human activities."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Karamanlis-Petralia Meeting

    14 Apr 2008 12:58:00 (Last updated: 14 Apr 2008 16:18:32)

    Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia was welcomed by Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis at Maximos Mansion on Monday morning. Exiting the meeting, Petralia said that the new pension Act has started being implemented and that pension funds unifications have been underway. "I briefed the Prime Minister on the elaborate plan to have pension funds unified, as well as on the policy aiming at curbing unemployment rates," said Petralia. Asked whether redundancy ceiling would be lifted and labour relations modified, Petralia underlined, "Both the Governments positions and mine are specific and firm." The Governments policy is after full-time and quality work, claimed the Employment Minister. In the meantime, Deputy Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros denied information on changes in the civil servants pension system. Petralia is currently holding a meeting with the IKA (Social Insurance Institute) board.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] "Evangelismos Hospital"

    H. Zahopoulos Testimony Concluded

    14 Apr 2008 17:43:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    Former Culture Ministry general secretary, Hristos Zahopoulos concluded his testimony to special interrogator, Dimitris Oikonomou on his blackmailing case. This is the fifth time the interrogator has visited Mr. Zahopoulos at the Evangelismos Hospital, where he has been hospitalized since his suicide attempt in December. Next developments are expected after Easter.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [07] K. Papoulias to Visit Hellenism in Ukraine

    14 Apr 2008 16:52:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ANA

    The President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias will pay a 3-day visit (15-17 April) to Ukraine where among others he will be proclaimed honorary Citizen of Marioupolis and Honorary Professor of the citys university. Shortly after his arrival to Kiev tomorrow, Mr. Papoulias will meet with the Ukranian President, Viktor Yushchenko who will host a dinner in his honor. Next he will visit Nizna cemetery where the Zosimades family are buried to hold a memorial. Among others, his agenda includes a tour of the city center, the Greek Medical Center and the town hall where he will meet with members of the Greek community. In Mariopolis, the Greek President will meet with the rector of the citys university and will inaugurate the Hellenic-Ukraine Friendship and Hellenic Studies Institute at the Mariopolis University and next will be proclaimed Honorary professor at a special ceremony. Some 150.000 Greeks ( Ukrainian citizens of Greek origin) live in Ukraine mainly in Donetsk prefecture.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [08] Focusing on Administrative Reforms

    14 Apr 2008 16:15:00

    Greek Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos briefed Monday Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis on the administrative reforms planned by the Government. Pavlopoulos said the draftbill would be submitted to Parliament after talks with local authorities have come to an end. The Interior Minister stressed that the talks with the national municipal and prefecture unions KEDKE and ENAE had been put on the right basis, with the issue of local government finances being the cornerstone upon which the administrative reform would be built.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] Memorandum of Understanding

    14 Apr 2008 12:18:00

    The 7th Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) resulted in a memorandum of understanding for inter-parliamentary cooperation in SE Europe. Greek Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas stressed that Greece would take on initiatives to turn Parliaments into guarantors of policies that will bring nations closer. During his stay in Sofia, where the conference is taking place, he held private talks with Bulgarian Regional Development Minister Assen Gagauzov, with whom he had signed the agreement on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline in his former capacity as Greeces Development Minister.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] End to Plastic Bags

    14 Apr 2008 10:33:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A pilot programme aiming at replacing plastic bags with recyclable ones in nine supermarket chains and many more shops has begun today. Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis inaugurated the programme at Syntagma square Monday morning. The Mayor reported that many mayors across Greece have already asked for information on the programme in order to introduce it in their municipalities.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [11] Kalomoira Online

    14 Apr 2008 14:46:00 (Last updated: 14 Apr 2008 16:29:28)

    Kalomoiras fans will have the opportunity to get in touch with her on Eurovision.ert.gr at 15:00!

    Eurovision friends will be informed from their favourite singer about the promo tour, the preparation of the Greek entry, as well as about what she thinks about the contest.

    At 15:00, Kalomoira will talk live and answer her fans questions on http://eurovision@ertonline.gr. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

    During the interview, fans will be able to ask direct questions on the site.


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