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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-07-09

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Tsekou Released
  • [02] Acrimonious Wrangling
  • [03] US Consulate Hit
  • [04] Nana Moskouri Concert
  • [05] Fire Fronts in Progress
  • [06] Changes in Itineraries
  • [07] Oil Prices to $138
  • [08] New Powers for Municipal Police
  • [09] Inner Cabinet Meeting
  • [10] Temperature Drops
  • [11] Oil Rises Again
  • [12] "Do not watch TV when Having Lunch"
  • [13] Sweden: Research on Sex over 70's
  • [14] Opening of Bank Accounts
  • [15] Deadly Attack

  • [01] After 7 Months Behind Bars

    Tsekou Released

    09 Ιουλ 2008 12:01:0 (Last updated: 09 Ιουλ 2008 18:45:5)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA/MPA

    Detained for extorting former Culture Ministry top official Christos Zahopoulos, Evi Tsekou, 35, was released. A court ruling gave green light to her petition, ordering her temporary release. In the meantime, G. Makrygiannis, a journalist working for Proto Thema paper, was also set free after his testimony. He is not allowed to leave the country though. Makrygiannis is accused of participation in the breach of the personal data Act on Zahopoulos case.

    After spending seven months behind bars, Evi Tsekou, 35, who faces extortion charges, was decided to be released.

    However, she is not allowed to leave the country, while she has to appear to a police station once a month.

    According to the court ruling, Tsekou has a permanent resident, has not prepared her escape and has a clean criminal record. Furthermore, she is unlikely to commit any other crimes if she is set free and has no disciplinary penalties to her credit while in jail.

    Prosecutor G. Voulgaris, on the other hand, opposed to her release petition.

    Exiting the prison, Tsekou avoided touching on the bottom of the case. She said, though, that she feels vindicated.

    She admitted that she made mistakes, yet she stressed that they were not that dreadful to infer such a harsh penalty.

    At the same time, she spoke of other abettors in the case and facts that will be mentioned in due time.

    His lawyer Kostas Chrysikopoulos, on the other hand, said that the court ruling releasing his client echoes the public opinion, further arguing that the case has not yet finished and that there is a long road ahead.

    Free after His Testimony

    G. Makrygiannis, a journalist working for Proto Thema paper, was set free after his testimony, but he is not allowed to leave the country. The journalist is accused of participation in the breach of the personal data Act, with regard to a controversial DVD that implicated Zahopoulos in a scandal. Makrygiannis denied all counts against him.

    "The indictment proved to be shaky and has no luck. Despite some circles efforts, Justice will not turn into a jungle. I would also like to add that I am very well aware that Makis Triantafyllopoulos [former co-editor of Proto Thema paper] will not forgive us for kicking him out of the paper. We will suffer his manhunt, we will not back down and we will be vindicated in the end," stressed he.

    Koukodimos Testifies

    In the meantime, independent MP Kostas Koukodimos testified to First Instance Court Prosecutor Maria Gane, as part of the probe into the accusations made by journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos.

    Koukodimos was summoned to testify, since he allegedly acted as a middleman between Triantafyllopoulos associate and a finance agency with a view to tackling the case in question.

    Having also summoned Triantafyllopoulos to testify on Wednesday, Gane had ruled that the investigation had surfaced no political responsibilities and requested the case be closed.

    Related News:

    Culture Ministry Finances at Parliament

    [02] On the Siemens Case

    Acrimonious Wrangling

    09 Ιουλ 2008 15:35:0 (Last updated: 09 Ιουλ 2008 17:30:5)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA/MPA

    The wrangling sparked between the Government and the opposition parties on the Siemens scandal continues. The Socialist party (PASOK) has requested the Houses Plenum hold a meeting and a committee of inquiry be set up. The Government spokesman, on the other hand, commented that the Socialists want a dialogue, yet they say no to a bi-ministerial community to probe the funding scandal. In the meantime, the Greek Public Power Corp (PPC) defended the contract it signed with the German company, assigning Siemens the upgrading of two power output units in northern Greece. The issue came up when a PPC top unionist said that PPC put aside penalty charges for the sake of Siemens. Development Minister Christos Folias requested the PPC board issue a briefing on the case in black and white.

    "Offenders Will Be Punished"

    The funding scandal involving Siemens keeps running high on the political wrangling that has been triggered between the Government and the opposition parties.

    Socialist leader George Papandreou has requested a session of the Houses Plenum to authorize the setting up of a committee of inquiry, as well as an emergency sitting of the Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency. In fact, he intends to send the relative letters to the Prime Minister and the House Speaker on Thursday the latest.

    Furthermore, PASOK wants Culture Minister Michael Liapis to brief the Parliament Standing Committee on Cultural and Educational Affairs on the contract his Ministry signed with Siemens. Touching on former Socialist MP Mantelis and ex associate of former Prime Minister Theodoros Tsoukatos, the Socialist party laid emphasis on the presumption of innocence before a court ruling.

    The Government, on the other hand, insisted on the setting up of bi-ministerial committee to investigate the funding scandal, while, with regard to Papandreous positions, it said that PASOK wants dialogue, yet it denies a bi-ministerial committee.

    Touching on the judicial dimensions of the case, the Government spokesman said that the Government is waiting for truth to be surfaced and as soon as the investigation has finished, the offenders will be punished.

    Commenting on PASOKs call to have Siemens excluded from state tenders, Roussopoulos underlined that what Papandreou really asks for is some things that the Government has already announced, and reminded it has already been announced that the State Attorney will be called on to determine whether the Greek state is entitled to exercise legal rights against the company in question.

    At the same time, the Greek Communist Party (KKE) directly asked both the Conservatives and the Socialists whether they know any business groups that do not offer bribes to raise their earnings.

    "They had better stop playing the role of the consolidation Zorro by stepping up so-called measures against Siemens. One cannot be with the business groups and consolidation at the same time. Their responsibilities for the corruption buildup are huge, for their policy boosts and protects centralization of funds."

    SYN (Coalition of the Radical Left) Alexis Tsipras spoke of a drive to have the Siemens scandal covered up and Justice manipulated. Requesting a committee of inquiry, Tsipras noted that SDOE should look for the answer to the regular accounts of the two major political parties.

    PPC: "Our Decision Was Wise"

    At the same time, the Greek Public Power Corp defended its boards decision to assign the upgrading of a power output unit to Siemens, without demanding a penalty charge amounting to 3.3 million euros, due to delay.

    The issue came up when a PPC top unionist said that the Corporation put aside penalty charges for the sake of Siemens.

    PPC executives, on the other hand, claimed that going on with the contract was the wise thing to do, otherwise they would have to call a tender anew, running the risk of losing EU funds and delaying the work.

    Development Minister Christos Folias has urged the PPC board to issue a briefing on the matter in black and white.

    The Government spokesman noted that the Corporation should either dismiss the contract collecting penalty charges amounting to 3.3 million euros or call a tender anew and lose 18 million euros from the 3rd Community Support Framework or turn a blind eye to the companys credibility and leave it finish the work.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Opening of Bank Accounts

    [03] In Istanbul

    US Consulate Hit

    09 Ιουλ 2008 14:51:0 (Last updated: 09 Ιουλ 2008 17:57:5)

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    Gunmen opened fire on Wednesday morning against the US consulate, wreaking havoc among the Turks waiting there to apply for a visa. The gunbattle left six people dead, including three police officers and three gunmen, and two injured in its wake.

    Being on a car, the gunmen opened fire at the police officers guarding the US consulate. One of them, the driver, managed to vanish into thin air.

    A Turkish prosecutor and the US ambassador to Turkey spoke of a terrorist attack.

    The European Commission vehemently condemned the attack outside the US consulate in Istanbul, which is located on the citys European side.

    Murderous Attack

    The murderous attack outside the US consulate has upset not only Istanbul but the whole country.

    Traffic has been reduced to a crawl, since major road arteries have been closed off to facilitate the manhunt against the gunman who escaped.

    The Istanbul prefect confirmed that the death toll has rose to six.

    The US consulate in Istanbul is the target of several extremist groups, ranging from far left groups to fundamental Islamists. However, there is little chance that the hit was masterminded by one of these groups.

    Turkish officials termed the attack as particularly strange, since the gunmen were lightly armed and all evidence show that the operation was not well-thought out.

    In the meantime, Kurd rebels abducted Wednesday three German tourists on Mt Ararat.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Deadly Attack

    [04] Nana Moskouri Concert

    09 Ιουλ 2008 19:32:0

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ΑNA-ΜPA

    The Chania self-government and municipality are staging a concert at the old Chania port for Nana Moskouri at 21:30, Friday, 18 July 2008. The organizers stated that this is one of a series of concerts for Nana Moskouri in Greece. Nana Moskouri was born in Chania and began her career in 1959. She has recorded 1,600 songs in eight languages and 450 LPs. She has sold over 300 million copies and got 350 gold and platinum LPs. She is a good will ambassadress for UNICEF.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Fire Fronts in Progress

    09 Ιουλ 2008 17:12:0

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    The fire between Miriki and Agios Andreas villages in Evritania near Karpenisi has been raging for the second day. The fire broke out on a high spot with fir trees, spreading to a gorge with pine trees. The fire in Aridaia, which broke in Skopje and passed to Greece, is burning. The fire in Arachnaio at Asklipio municipality, Argolida is under partial control. Two fire-fighting planes, a water-dropping helicopter, four fire engines with 12 firemen are fighting the blaze. About 70,000 square metres of bush has been burnt. Meanwhile, there is a high risk of fire for Corfu, Lefkada, Kefallinia and Zakynthos for today and for Evia, eastern Attica and Samos tomorrow. At the same time, people are advised to be careful with outdoor works that may cause fire. In case of fire, they are advised to call 199.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [06] Changes in Itineraries

    09 Ιουλ 2008 17:03:0

    By Alexandros Moz

    Due to work stoppages to be staged by the Panhellenic Federation of Railway Employees on 10, 15, 16 and 17.07.08, Train OSE will proceed to changes with its services.

    Specifically, trains 604, ICity74 and ICity75 will not run on 09.07.2008 and on 14.07.2008.

    For further information, people can call 1110 or the local stations.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [07] Oil Prices to $138

    09 Ιουλ 2008 14:22:0

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA-MPA

    World oil prices rebounded Wednesday earning two dollars per barrel, covering part of a $5 fall on Tuesday, which was triggered by the missile tests launched by Iran. The test-firing also caused the dollar currency to lose ground against the Japanese and the EU single currencies. US crude oil for August delivery was up $1.77, standing at $137.81. Brent for August delivery also earned $2.12, amounting to $138.88.

    [08] New Powers for Municipal Police

    09 Ιουλ 2008 13:52:0

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105,8

    The cabinet met today, Wednesday under the Prime Minister and approved the draft bill which will define the relations of the Greek and the municipal police. As noted by the competent internal minister Mr. Prokopis Pavlopoulos "municipal police must operate supplementary and must adopt specific roles in the framework of the responsibilities of the local administration. That way the Greek police can be involved with the citizens every day problems." Earlier, Mr. Pavlopoulos who was present at the opening ceremony of the new building of the special secretary of administrative reform stressed that "the battle with bureaucracy and the civilians best service are the governments first priority."

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [09] Karamanlis Meets CSU Delegation

    Inner Cabinet Meeting

    09 Ιουλ 2008 11:22:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8-ΑNA/ΜPA

    This morning Inner Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis, focused on issues of the Interior Ministrys competency. Earlier, Mr. Karamankis had met at the Maximos Mansion with the parliamentary group of the German Christian Socialist Union. No statements were made after the meeting.

    In the meantime, Interior Minister, Prokopis Pavlopoulos this morning inaugurated the Special Administrative Reform Secretariat premises. Mr. Pavlopoulos underlined that the governments top priority is to combat of bureaucracy and better serve citizens. He also said that this target must be achieved soon as citizens can not and must not show further patience.. Finally, he underlined that activation of 40% of the program-of 200 million euros total cost- will have been materialized till the beginning of October.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [10] Services in Alert

    Temperature Drops

    09 Ιουλ 2008 10:36:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    After the heat wave that hit Greece, temperature is expected to drop. However, local administration services remain in alert in order to copy with possible problems. According to EMY (National Meteorological Service) strong north western winds are expected in islands and sporadic rainfalls may appear in northern-eastern mainland. More analytically, in Attika weather will be clear. Temperature will rise form 22 to 35 C °. In Thessaloniki, cloudiness will prevail. North western winds will rise from 4 to 5 Beaufort. Temperature will settle to 32 C °.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [11] Oil Rises Again

    09 Ιουλ 2008 10:26:0

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Oil prices rose again today in electronic trading of Asian Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil for August delivery rose to $136.15 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude oil for August settlement climbed as much to $136.64 a barrel. A slight drop has been recorder during the last two days due to fears for reduction of demand in international markets. The 8 leaders of the most powerful countries appealed yesterday to oil production countries of the world to rise their daily production and to block the wild race of oil prices.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [12] According to Canadian Research

    "Do not watch TV when Having Lunch"

    09 Ιουλ 2008 10:00:0

    Sources: ANA

    As we all known it is quite unhealthy to watch TV for too many hours. A study conducted in Canada showed that too many hours in front of the TV can increase the quantity of food we consume

    Studying child obesity, nutritionist Harvey Anderson from Toronto University concluded that children who watch TV during lunch or dinner receive 228 more calories than children that do not watch TV.

    "The research of the Canadian Institute of Research for Health led to the conclusion that watching TV when having lunch blocks us from realizing when we have satisfied our appetite. Mr. Anderson suggests parents to shut the TV down at lunch and dinner time.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [13] Sex Increased in Elderly Couples

    Sweden: Research on Sex over 70's

    09 Ιουλ 2008 09:19:0

    More men and women over 70 are having sex and finding it satisfying than 30 years ago support Swedish scientists following a research that will give much hope to many elderly couples. "People this age nowadays are more open-minded and have positive attitude" said Nick Bekman, a scientist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, whose research was published at the British Medical Journal. The scientists from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden interviewed 70-year-olds in 1971-2, 1976-7, 1992-3 and 2000-2001. Swedish researchers asked 1,500 older people across a 30-year period about their sex lives. They found that during the 1971-2001 period the number of 70-year-olds reporting sexual intercourse rose in men and women, married and unmarried. More than two-thirds - 68% - of married men in the most recent survey said they had sex, an increase from 52%, while the percentage of married women having sex rose from 38% to 56%.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [14] On Siemens "Black Money" Case

    Opening of Bank Accounts

    09 Ιουλ 2008 10:49:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Public Interrogator is expected to order in July opening of bank accounts of 5 persons involved in the Siemens "black money" scandal. According to reports, handwriting analysis asked by state Prosecutor, Panagiotis Athanasiou has indicated that Anastasios Mantas, close aide of former Transport Minister Tasos Mandelis was the writer of the note asking the sum of 10 million marks from Siemens to be deposited in a bank account at the CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK in Geneva code named "Rokos". In the meantime, PASOK party leader, George Papandreou has requested immediate convention of the Parliament Plenum for the setting up of an Inquiry Committee and the activation of the Institutions and Transparency Parliamentary Committee with regards Siemens case. Mr. Papandreou the latest tomorrow will send relevant letters to both the Prime-minister and the Speaker of the House. Furthermore, PASOK party has called on Culture Minister, Mihalis Liapis to brief the Parliament Cultural Affairs Committee on Siemens contracts with the Ministry and all sectors in its competency. Commenting the government spokesman said:"Mr. Papandreou calls for a dialogue on transparency but refuses to participate in an inter-party committee".

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [15] Rocks Istanbul

    Deadly Attack

    09 Ιουλ 2008 11:47:0

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Four people were killed and at least six sustained injuries when gunmen opened fire at the US consulate in Istanbul, said CNN Turk television. As per information, all three assailants along with a police officer were killed, while other police officers were injured. CNN Turk reported that armed assailants opened fired against the policemen stationed at the US consulate, which is located at the citys European side. A US embassy spokesman in Ankara said that the embassy was aware of the case, but had no further information.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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