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

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Final Countdown
  • [02] Greek Inflation at 4.9%
  • [03] Political Turbulence
  • [04] In Support of Farmers
  • [05] Wildfires Have Abated
  • [06] New Head of the Money-Laundering Authority
  • [07] Blast in a Black Sea Resort
  • [08] Georgia Prepares for Conflict with S. Ossetia
  • [09] Agreed on Removing Musharraf
  • [10] Heat Wave in Spain
  • [11] Greek Olympic Team Arrives in Olympic Village
  • [12] Constantinople Hit by Blasts
  • [13] Slave Trader Punished
  • [14] Malia: No End Incidents
  • [15] China: Tension before the Opening Ceremony

  • [01] On the Beijing Opening Ceremony

    Final Countdown

    07 Αυγ 2008 12:03:00 (Last updated: 07 Αυγ 2008 16:19:46)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    China is ready to launch the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Friday. The torch relay continued at the Great Wall of China, while the Greek flag is already waving in the Olympic Village. The Greek team entered first the Olympic Village in the presence of the Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, the President of the Greek Olympic Committee Minoas Kyriakou, the Head of the Greek mission in Beijing Isidoros Kouvelos and Head of the Organising Committee of the 2008 Olympic Games Liu Qi. Attending the ceremony were the Greek national Basketball team with Coach Panagiotis Giannakis and his assistant Lefteris Kakiousis, athletes from the swimming team, polo, boxing, rowing and canoe-kayak. Absent were Vlassis Maras and members of the Weightlifting team, who were practicing, as well as athletes who have not arrived in Beijing yet. Besides, Katerina Thanous participation in the Games will be decided tomorrow. The Beijing Olympic Games will continue today with mens football matches. Representing Greece will be Ms Bakoyannis and Culture Minister Michael Liapis.

    Commenting on FYROMs (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) wish to parade under the name "Macedonia" at the opening ceremony, the Head of the Greek Olympic Committee Minos Kyriakou described FYROMs wish drollery as the countrys official name is FYROM, a name used by the UN and the International Olympic Commission. BOCOG President Liu Qi has already been informed about FYROMs reference to its athletes as Macedonians in the Olympic Games official website. Mr Lambis Nikolaou presented his position on the issue to IOC President Jacques Rogue.

    Statements' by Michael Liapis

    After his meeting with BOCOG President Liu Qi, Greek Culture Minister Michael Liapis said: "Tomorrow is a big day for China. We are certain to enjoy a stunning opening ceremony, for they have a rich artistic experience. I am equally certain that they will stage successful Olympic Games. We, the Greeks, have helped them. We have offered them our know-how and rich experience we got from the Athens Olympic Games and they appreciate that. We are living through an era of excellent ties with China. And this is what I said to the BOCOG President, that it is a great opportunity to make the best of this fine coincidence. Our people are very close to each other. With our cultural intervention over the last year, we have conveyed Greeces culture to China. It is a unique chance to boost and develop our relations at all levels. The people of China appreciate, respect and love the people of Greece and they have been manifesting that ever since we arrived in Beijing. It is a great country, a great civilization. For us, coming closer to the people of China, making the best of this coincidence that will be proved beneficial to our people, is a great advantage."

    Greek Prime Minister's Address

    In view of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis issued the following announcement:

    "Four years ago, in the summer of 2004, the Olympic Games returned to their birthplace. Greece undertook a double responsibility: to stage the worlds major sports event safely and successfully, as well as to resoundingly highlight the values and principles upon which the Olympic movement was built.

    With sacrifices and hard work, joining our forces ahead of the grand goal, the people of Greece proved successful, beating all expectations. In the history of our nation, the year 2004 will go down as a landmark, as the advent of a new era of self-confidence in our nations capabilities.

    Today, it is Chinas turn, the worlds most highly populated country. A country that bears, just like Greece, the burden of responsibility for constantly living up to the legacy of a grand and long-lived civilization.

    The challenge for the Olympic Games is still the same, as was in 2004, in 1896 and in 776 BC, when the first ever recorded Games were celebrated in the ancient Greek land of Ilida: to prove, on the one hand, that surmounting limits limits we usually set is an integral part of the human nature, and on the other hand, to prove that replacing hostility and violent competition with friendly rivalry and cooperation between people and nations is not only a desire but also a feasible goal.

    With these thoughts and the hope that the Olympic Games will keep instilling their ideals into the world, the men and women of Greece, the historic guardians of the Olympic spirit, are sending our most heartfelt wishes to the athletes and the members of the Olympic family worldwide, to all those who serve the sports ideals. We are uniting our thoughts with all those who envisage and work hard for a world, where the values to be honoured during the Olympic Games, will be the one and only pillar of our collective activities."

    Related News:

    Athletes in favour of Human Rights

    China: Tension before the Opening Ceremony

    [02] In July

    Greek Inflation at 4.9%

    07 Αυγ 2008 13:00:00 (Last updated: 07 Αυγ 2008 17:27:02)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8, ANA

    Inflation in Greece stood at 4.9% in July, while the average inflation rate in the first seven months of 2008 amounted to 4.45%, as opposed to 2.60% last year. The Greek statistic agency said that the general index of consumer prices fell by 0.8% in July, compared to last month. Manolis Kontopyrakis, the general secretary of the Greek statistic agency, commented that the average harmonized indices of consumer prices in the first seven months of 2008 stood at 4.56%, compared to 2.76% last year, while the current world oil prices are expected to slightly bring inflation down.

    Budget's Revenues Rebound

    Last years budgets revenues posted a significant rebound, rising by 11.5%. Between January and July, the annual revenues growth stood at 6.7%, still behind the annual target of about 12.5%. Revenues were boosted by the increased customs earnings and the payment of the first installment of the single property tax from legal persons.

    Reactions

    These announcements echo a further economic slowdown, commented Socialist PM Louka Katseli.

    The Deputy Press spokeswoman of the Socialist party, Maria Karaklioumi blasted the Government, underlining that inflation remained high for yet another month. She also stressed that the Government, yet again, was incapable of executing the budget, and that the people suffered the consequences of its policy.

    Karaklioumi then went on to argue that the high cost of living was still plaguing the citizens. She also spoke of a tax tsunami masterminded by Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and underscored that the Socialist party has specific proposals, believing that imposing taxes is the easy solution.

    "The high inflation levels have proved how harmful the deal providing for a euro-rise to the wages is to the working class. Decisively claiming real pay hikes, along with organizing struggle in every workplace, are an imperative to the working class family," read an announcement issued by the Greek Communist Party (KKE).

    The Coalition of the Radical Left spoke of an economic impasse. Panagiotis Lafazanis noted, "Inflation and the high cost of living have been on the increase, while wages and pensions have hit bottom, with the Government planning a new tax raid at the expense of the working class."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Political Turbulence

    07 Αυγ 2008 11:39:00

    Sources: NET

    ND (Conservatives) MP Petros Tatoulis has criticized the ND ruling party for letting the people and himself down as its promises have not been materialized. He also expressed his objection over the way the ND party is ruling. He also told Kefalonia Press newspaper that he is concerned over party and countrys future, adding that those who believe that the ND should have Stalinist structures should leave the party. Meanwhile, ND MP Vassilis Michaloliakos told NET 105.8 that his disagreements with the Minister of Economy George Alogoskoufis concern the ministers policies. Trade Unionist Thanasis Kokinoulis also criticized Mr Alogoskoufis over the return of tax to farmers. At the same time, PASOK (Socialists) cadres have expressed their objection over the way the partys tactics, while many object to prospects regarding PASOKs cooperation with SYN (Coalition of the Left).

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [04] At Maximos Mansion

    In Support of Farmers

    07 Αυγ 2008 11:52:00 (Last updated: 07 Αυγ 2008 14:40:19)

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ANA

    After his meeting with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Rural Development Minister Alexandros Kontos stated that he briefed the PM about the ministrys efforts to help farmers. From now on the state budget will bear the expenses for the activation of the farmers rights, while the special fuel consumption tax for farmers may be returned to farmers as of 2009. Regarding the progress of reclaimed works, Mr Kontos told the prime minister that each drop of water should be utilized for irrigation, which cover 85% of the water consumed in Greece today. Moreover, he said that the Axios River project and modernization of its networks had been proclaimed. Today, the ministry will proclaim the bidding tender for Filiatrinos River, a major project for Messinia, while a contractor will be appointed at Omalos, Chania tomorrow. The minister also informed the prime minister on the draft plan fro the upgrading of rural research in Greece. This will help Greece produce qualitative and competitive products, which will be preferred in the Greek market and abroad.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] High Risk of Fires Today

    Wildfires Have Abated

    07 Αυγ 2008 08:10:00 (Last updated: 07 Αυγ 2008 17:10:14)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The fire that broke out in a forest land in Elefsina behind TITAN factory has abated. Fire extinguish forces, 18 firemen, two water dropping planes and a helicopter are trying are still operating in the area. However, the wildfire burning forest land in the area of Limenaria on Thasos Island has yet to be contained. Ground and air forces have been dispatched to the area. Meantime, the fire front in Lakoskitis area near Agios Athanasios convent, has also abated. Two firefighting helicopters are dropping water. Fire fronts in Lihada of Evoia and Evritania are abating while fires in Messinia, Lesvos and Aitolokarnania are under control. According to the General Secretary of Civil Protection, there is risk of fires today in Athens, Eastern and Western Attika, Piraeus, Voiotia, Corinth, Evoia, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Ikaria and Cyclades.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [06] New Head of the Money-Laundering Authority

    07 Αυγ 2008 15:06:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Supreme Court Vice Prosecutor Stylianos Grozos was named new head of the money-laundering authority in Greece. He was unanimously appointed by the 11-member Supreme Council of Judicature. Furthermore, the 15-member Supreme Court of Judicature named Supreme Vice President Kyriakos Karoutsos and Prosecutor Ioannis Sakellakos head of the Athens Appeal Court and head of the Athens First Instance Court respectively.

    [07] Blast in a Black Sea Resort

    07 Αυγ 2008 12:03:00

    Two people were killed and three injured when an explosive device went off on a city beach in Russias Black Sea resort of Sochi early on Thursday. The bomb went off at 10:35 local time on the city beach of the Loo settlement, in Sochis Lazarevskoye district. An investigating brigade is working at the site.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [08] Georgia Prepares for Conflict with S. Ossetia

    07 Αυγ 2008 11:17:00

    Georgia is preparing for war in its breakaway South Ossetia region, said Thursday the Russian Foreign Ministry after overnight clashes in the province. "Concern was expressed that the action of the Georgian side around Tskhinvali can be regarded as war preparations," the foreign ministry said on its website after a telephone conversation between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and South Ossetias leader, Eduard Kokoity. Russia has accused Georgia of building up troops near South Ossetia and the second breakaway province of Abkhazia. Tbilisi has denied war build-up.

    [09] Agreed on Removing Musharraf

    07 Αυγ 2008 11:04:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    According to information, the two parties of the governmental coalition in Pakistan agreed on starting procedures for the removal of Pervez Musharraf. "The coalition parties came to this decision after discussions taking place for days", representatives of the parties said adding that within the following days there is going to be an official announcement. President Musharraf is going to Beijing today to attend the Olympics opening ceremony.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [10] High Risk for Fires

    Heat Wave in Spain

    07 Αυγ 2008 10:32:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    Temperature in Spain exceeded 40 degrees Celsius and many provinces have been declared in a state of emergency for precautionary reasons while the residents are escaping to local beaches. High temperatures have raised the risk of fire burst outs. In Saragossa a big fire burned many hectares of forest land while according to the metrological weather forecasts the heat wave will also prevail during the following days.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [11] Greek Olympic Team Arrives in Olympic Village

    07 Αυγ 2008 15:59:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    The Greek Olympic team arrived Thursday in the Olympic Village. The head of the Greek delegation, Isidoros Kouvelos exchanged souvenirs with the major of the Olympic Village, and attended the flag-raising ceremony.

    The ceremony was also attended by Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, the President of the Greek Olympic Committee Minoas Kyriakou, Head of the Organizing Committee of the 2008 Olympic Games Liu Qi, the Greek national Basketball team with Coach Panagiotis Giannakis and his assistant Lefteris Kakiousis, athletes from the swimming team, polo, boxing, rowing and canoe-kayak. Absent were Vlassis Maras and members of the Weightlifting team, who were practicing, as well as athletes who have not arrived in Beijing yet.

    [12] Constantinople Hit by Blasts

    07 Αυγ 2008 09:55:00

    At least one blast took place in a public building in Constantinople this morning, injuring one person. Anatolia News Agency reported that the blast took place in Uskudar, the Asian part of the city, reminding that two explosive devices had exploded in Constantinople a week ago, killing 17 people. CNN Turk from its side spoke of several blasts, which might have been caused by hand grenades. CNN Turk also added that two persons on a motorcycle fled from the spot of the explosions. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has a house in this area.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [13] Slave Trader Punished

    07 Αυγ 2008 09:48:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ΑNA, Mercantile Marine Press Office

    A 39-year-old slave trader arrested at Kato Gialos, Psara on 3 August for trafficking 72 foreigners has been sentenced to 11 months in prison and fined with 19,100 euros. The illegal immigrants were led to Agathonisi and the slave trader to Patmos, where a preliminary examination is taking place.

    Another slave trader was arrested on Srogili islet this morning, after having transferred to the islet 16 illegal immigrants (five men, eight women and three children). Meanwhile, the coastal guard arrested ten illegal immigrants in Mitylini because the lacked the necessary documents. All stated that they passed from the Turkish coast to Greece in an inflatable boat.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [14] Tourist Fell off Balcony

    Malia: No End Incidents

    07 Αυγ 2008 15:08:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    New incidents involving young tourists under the influence of alcohol have emerged in Malia, Crete. A group of drunk young British tourists attacked with a bottle a woman who complained about the noise they were making and another group of tourists caused extensive damage to the hotel where they were staying.

    A 26 year-old Dutch tourist fell off the balcony-8m high above the ground- of the hotel he was staying, and is hospitalized at Benizeleio Hospital in Herakliowith serious head injuries. A 17 year old tourist had fallen off the balcony of a hotel in Makia a week ago.

    A 20 year-old tourist in Faliraki, Rhodes said she was raped. She said she accepted a ride by unknown driver to her hotel after a party but instead he rapped her.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [15] In the Olympic Games

    China: Tension before the Opening Ceremony

    07 Αυγ 2008 08:13:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ANA, AFP, German News Agency

    Lopez Lomong, a former refugee from Sudan who spent a decade in a Kenyan refugee camp before coming to America, will carry the United States flag during tomorrows opening ceremonies in Birds Nest Stadium. This choice may trigger discomfort to China because of the policies adopted by Sudan (it is the biggest inventor in oil industry of the country and the main gun supplier). On the other side, the US and the Western world have accused China that it contributes to the genocide taking place in the area. Lomong, the 13th track and field athlete to serve as flagbearer, is the first since Francie Larrieu Smith in 1992. The opening ceremony will be broadcasted at about 1 million people around the world. "This is the most exciting day of my life," said the 23-year-old runner, who will compete in the 1,500 meters. "Its a great honor that my teammates chose to vote for me. The opening ceremony is the best day and the best moment of Olympic life.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou


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