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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-09-24

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Queuing for Fuel
  • [02] Two-Day Deliberations
  • [03] Focus on the Economy
  • [04] EFET: "No Milk Has Been Imported in Greece from China"
  • [05] Greek Researcher Gets Julius Springer Prize
  • [06] "Chemical Equator"
  • [07] Trial on Alex's Disappearance Opens Thursday
  • [08] Gov't Distances Itself from Kefalogiannis' Statements
  • [09] Report on Social Security
  • [10] Livni Blasts Iran
  • [11] Armed Teen Tries to Take Hostages in Canada
  • [12] Patra: Reactions on Rises of Toll Prices
  • [13] Rice-Lavrov Meeting
  • [14] On Alert for Milk
  • [15] Finland: Planned Attack since 2002
  • [16] Obama Leads MacCain

  • [01] Petrol-stations Running out of Petrol

    Queuing for Fuel

    24 Σεπ 2008 11:13:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Hundreds of motorists are queuing at petrol stations since early morning fearing that continuing customs officers strike will cause fuel shortages. According to Petrol Station Owners Federation said that only 25% of Attika petrol-stations have unleaded petrol and diesel, warning that petrol stations in Attika will run out of petrol till afternoon if the strike continues. In Thessaloniki about 85% of petrol stations have run out of fuel while no serious problems have been reported in the rest of the country. On their part, customs officers stated determined to go on with their strike, however, they have proposed a meeting with Finance Minister. In the meantime, the market has started facing shortage in frozen and fresh products without a serious impact on its smooth operation. Thousands of lorries remain immobilized at Evzoni Kilkis station - on Greece-FYROM borders- while customs stations in Central and West Macedonia are also closed. At Evzoni Kilkis customs station, drivers and passengers, who had not been informed on the customs officers strike, have been waiting on FYROM territory where cars and lorries have formed 3 and 4 isle queues since Monday morning. The situation is not as bad on the Greek territory side of the customs station, however, there is tension as lorry drivers transporting perishable products are requesting customs clearance. In Thessaloniki, customs clearance is carried out only for fuel going to hospitals, the Armed Forces and means of mass transport.

    State Minister, Th. Roussopoulos called on strikers to considered the problems they are causing. He underlined that the government respects different views and competent ministries are holding talks to reach a solution which will not have an impact on the economy. In an interview with NET 105.8, the general secretary of the Customs Officers Federation Yianna Hronopoulou said that the field is open for a dialogue with the political leadership and they are meeting with Economics undersecretary, Antonis Bezas on Thursday.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [02] Crucial Meeting of ND's Central Committee

    Two-Day Deliberations

    24 Σεπ 2008 12:19:00 (Last updated: 24 Σεπ 2008 14:52:46)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Political interest has been focused on the Prime Ministers speech at the sitting of the ruling partys Central Committee. Kostas Karamanlis is expected to outline his next moves. Government officials and lawmakers, however, have not ceased highlighting the need for initiatives.

    Karamanlis-Pavlopoulos' Meeting

    With their eyes fixed on the forthcoming sitting of the ruling partys Central Committee and hoping intra-party wrangling will be scaled down, government officials and lawmakers are looking forward to the Prime Ministers initiatives to reverse the negative climate.

    The statements Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos made soon after his meeting with the head of the government are indicative of the prevailing climate. Asked whether rebel deputies would be forced to resign, Pavlopoulos said there are no rebel deputies within the Conservative party. Referring to Tatoulis stance, he argued that he is a lawmaker that is struggling along with the other lawmakers to support the ruling partys work.

    "Expressing your opinion is one thing and referring to rebels is another. We are a free, democratic party, where everyone can speak their minds freely," stressed Pavlopoulos. "At the sitting of the Central Committee, the officials will freely express themselves," commented Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos.

    On Tuesday, Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis called for correction moves, terming the sitting of the Central Committee as a decision-making centre.

    "The Central Committee will do just fine, and all the members can take a stand should they want to. Different opinions echo a healthy system," the secretary of the ruling partys parliamentary group, Giannis Tragakis told NET radio station, terming Meimarakis intervention as a constructive criticism.

    "The Prime Minister has already undertaken initiatives. There will definitively be a cabinet reshuffle during the four-year term. No one is indispensable," argued Macedonia-Thrace Minister Margaritis Tzimas. The partys parliamentary group is solid and lawmakers have their own way to express themselves, he added.

    In the meantime, Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis denied rumours that he would join LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally). "I have repeatedly said that I belong to the people. To no one else. I cannot betray those who have been granting me the title of the winner for 28 years. After so many victorious years with the Conservative party, I will be last to leave Karamanlis. I am fighting for Karamanliss third term and we will succeed in wining again, for the countrys sake," stressed he.

    [03] Focus on the Economy

    24 Σεπ 2008 14:41:00 (Last updated: 24 Σεπ 2008 18:44:13)

    In his meeting with President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, Governor of the Bank of Greece Giorgos Provopoulos estimated that the financial system will gradually return to normal in the coming quarters. Asked by Papoulias on the global crisis, Provopoulos noted that it is still underway and that things are really tough. "The European governments are not willing to step up measures similar to those taken by the USA," he said. However, he stressed that the European Central Bank has channelled money into the market which is short of cash.

    Wrangling Point

    The Economy minister told the Parliamentary committee that the draft plan of the 2009 state budget secures consistency and flexibility, so that Greece avoids any new adventures.

    As per Mr Alogoskoufis the measures will aim at relieving low brackets.

    In reply PASOK MP Louka Katseli stated that the government had lost its credibility.

    In parallel, PASOK cadre Michalis Chrysohoidis launched an attack against the government on the high cost of living, proposing ceiling prices for petrol. Specifically, he proposed that petrol prices should drop by 11 cents and electric power rates should drop by 7.5%.

    [04] EFET: "No Milk Has Been Imported in Greece from China"

    24 Σεπ 2008 17:58:00

    EFET (Central Food Control Agency) has announced that no milk or dairy products were imported in Greece from China. The announcement came as an answer to cases as per which melamine had been used in dairy products from China. Moreover, it reads that EU member-states are not allowed to import milk or dairy products from China.

    Moreover, it reports that as per the Rural Development and Foodstuffs Ministry checks to date show that no Chinese dairy products have been imported in Greece.

    World Mobilisation due to Toxic Melamine

    At least 12 countries from Indonesia to Colombia have banned the import of Chinese dairy products due to the scandal with the tainted milk with melamine.

    However, Chinese officials have assured that the situation is now under control. EU member-states have summoned an alert for the foodstuffs imported from China as they might have been tainted with melamine.

    The EU has asked the customs authorities of its member-states to speed up their checks on imports of foodstuffs to secure public health.

    At the same time, in Asia parents are hasting to hospitals with their children to check their health despite the Chinese officials assurances that the situation is under control. Meanwhile, at least 12 countries have banned the disposal of Chinese dairy products.

    In China, at least 53,000 children fell sick, the majority of which were babies under two.

    In Britain, Tesco has announced that it will withdraw from its shelves Chinese candies for precautionary reasons.

    Until now, at least four children have died in China.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] For His Pioneering Work

    Greek Researcher Gets Julius Springer Prize

    24 Σεπ 2008 17:08:00

    Sources: Springer

    This years Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics will be awarded to Phaedon Avouris and Tony Heinz for their pioneering work on the electrical and optical properties of nanoscale carbon materials including carbon nanotubes from basic science to exciting applications. The award, accompanied by US$ 5,000, will be presented at the Julius Springer Forum on Applied Physics 2008 at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, on 27 September 2008.

    Future electronics and optoelectronics will be based on carbon nanostructures. Avouris and Heinzs studies of the electronic properties of nanotubes and graphene aim at developing a future nanoelectronic technology with devices that will be vastly more compact, fast and energy efficient than the current silicon-based devices. The optoelectronic studies aim at uniting and integrating this electronic technology with an optical technology based on the same materials. Their research will aid in the development of future high-speed electronics, communications systems, and sensors for diverse applications. Industries ranging from automobile, aviation, space and energy conversion/conservation to bionanotechnology and medicine are likely to benefit from their research.

    Phaedon Avouris received his B.Sc. degree from Aristotle University in Greece and was awarded his Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry at Michigan State University. He is currently an IBM Fellow and manager of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at IBMs Research Division at the Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. He has also been an adjunct professor at Columbia University and the University of Illinois.

    Tony Heinz earned his B.Sc. from Stanford University and his Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the David M. Rickey Professor in the Departments of Physics and Electrical Engineering at Columbia University, where he has been since 1995. Previous to this, he worked at IBMs Research Division at the Watson Research Center.

    The Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics recognizes researchers who have made an outstanding and innovative contribution to the fields of applied physics. It has been awarded annually since 1998 by the Editors-in-Chief of the Springer journals Applied Physics A Materials Science & Processing and Applied Physics B Lasers and Optics.

    [06] "Chemical Equator"

    24 Σεπ 2008 16:56:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Scientists have discovered a "chemical Equator" that divides the polluted air of the Northern Hemisphere from the largely uncontaminated atmosphere of the Southern Hemisphere.

    Researchers from Britains University of York found evidence for an atmospheric chemical line about 50 kilometers wide in cloudless skies in the Western Pacific, with levels of carbon monoxide four times higher on the northern side.

    The discovery will provide clues to help scientists model simulations of the movement of pollutants in the atmosphere more accurately, and to assess the impact of pollution on climate, the researchers said in a statement in Singapore on Tuesday.

    Previously, scientists believed that a cloudy Pacific region where the trade winds meet formed a barrier between the Northern Hemisphere and the clearer air of the Southern Hemisphere.

    "Powerful storms may act as pumps, lifting highly polluted air from the surface to high in the atmosphere where pollutants will remain longer and may have a global influence," said Dr Jacqueline Hamilton, of the University of York.

    [07] Trial on Alex's Disappearance Opens Thursday

    24 Σεπ 2008 16:09:00

    The trial of the five minors who are accused of the disappearance of Alex, an 11-year-old boy from the northern Greek city of Veria, commences on Thursday. Expected to last for weeks, the trial will be held behind closed doors. About a hundred witnesses have been called on to give deposition. Under the judgement of the Thessaloniki Appellate Council, the five minors, aged 14 and 15, have been charged with premeditated homicide and offence of a dead body.

    [08] Gov't Distances Itself from Kefalogiannis' Statements

    24 Σεπ 2008 15:54:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA/MPA

    The government distanced itself from Giannis Kefalogiannis statements. The former Conservative Minister lashed out at Justice, after his being convicted. "We stand firm on our position. We never comment on Justices rulings," argued State Minister Theodoros Roussopoulos. He further stressed that the Socialist partys strategy is typical, predictable, and depending on Justices rulings, it either defends it or attack it. "We do not attack Justice. We do not comment on its rulings. We have been firm on that for years. We are not going to change that," said Roussopoulos.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] National Actuarial Authority

    Report on Social Security

    24 Σεπ 2008 14:35:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA

    The National Actuarial Authority has proposed common means for calculation of pensions to apply for all Social Security Funds. According to Employment and Social Welfare Ministry the independent National Actuarial Authority assigned the International Employment Office on 11/4/2006 to draw an Actuarial Report on the sectors of the Greek Social Security system. It is apparent that the report released today was based on data which have been radically changed by article 3655/2008 on Social Security reform. Funds have been reduced to 13 from 133. Number of insured has changed while the administration boards and assets of funds are supervised by pensioners.

    The report of the International Employment Office proposes initiatives to be taken soon predicting surge in deficits in 25 years. Deputy-president of the Authority, Mihalis Bambakas characteristically stressed: "we should not allow another decade of inactivity". Commenting on recent legislative measures, Mr. Bambakas said that Reppas bill did not bear specific results and Petralia bill touches only a small part of the problem.

    In its announcement the Employment and Social Welfare Ministry also refers: significant measures have already been established and others promoted to combat evasion in social security contributions and inspect medical expenditures such as the introduction of the obligatory Health Card carrying a unique identifier number (AMKA) as of 1/6/09. Therefore the report stresses once again the necessity of reforms in social security system despite developments since the International Employment Office undertook the drawing of the report.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [10] Livni Blasts Iran

    24 Σεπ 2008 13:56:00

    Sources: ANA, AFP

    Following her landslide win that put her at the helm of ruling party Kadima, Ehud Olmerts successor Tzipi Livni blasted Irans candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council. "It is absurd that a state unparalleled in threatening the security of its neighbours and calling for the destruction of another state should be a member of a body whose goal is to further global security," Livni said. There are ten non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council, with Iran having launched a bid for Indonesias seat that will become vacant in January.

    [11] Armed Teen Tries to Take Hostages in Canada

    24 Σεπ 2008 12:39:00

    An armed teenager was arrested Tuesday after failing to take a pastor and 300 students hostages, police said. A former student of the Luther College high school in Regina, the teenager put a gun to the pastors head before 300 students, reported CBS. A schoolgirl said that he gave the pastor a three-page letter and threatened to open fire if he did not read it. Information on the content of the letter remains sketchy. Another student told CBS that the gun used was a fake. The teachers managed to safely take the students out, while the pastor was reading the letter. Police arrived soon after and arrested the teen. A student told CKRM radio station that the culprit had been expelled from school the previous year.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] Patra: Reactions on Rises of Toll Prices

    24 Σεπ 2008 11:53:00

    Toll prices in Corint-Patra highway are expected to raise at the sight of the new construction works for the new road axon. Prefecture of Achaia and Municipalities of Patra, Sympoliteia, the Chamber of Achaia and Western Greece as well as Professional Traders Federation have expressed their opposition to the new measure. Achaia Committee as well as SYRIZA will stage a protestation rally in the toll station of Rio tomorrow, Thursday at 17:30.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [13] Rice-Lavrov Meeting

    24 Σεπ 2008 11:47:00

    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is set to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday in what is expected to be a tense encounter following Moscows incursion into Georgia last month. "We are obviously in a rocky period in our relations with Russia," said a senior U.S. official on the eve of the meeting at Rices hotel.ices spokesman said the afternoon talks would focus on Iran and North Koreas nuclear programs, but that she would also raise Russias military actions in Georgia, the key factor that has sunk relations to post-Cold War lows.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [14] 12 States "Block" Chinese Diary Products

    On Alert for Milk

    24 Σεπ 2008 11:16:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    At least 12 states from Indonesia and Colombia banned Chinese dairy products after the scandal that broke out when melanin was traced in Chinese milk. However, Chinese officials confirmed that the situation is now under control. The European Union has asked from custom authorities to speed up controls in food imports as well as in bread and chocolate so as to secure public health.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [15] Finland: Planned Attack since 2002

    24 Σεπ 2008 10:34:00

    Twenty-two-year-old Matti Juhani Saari, the gunman who killed 10 people and himself at a college in Finland left behind suicide notes which disclosed the massacre had been planned since 2002.He left two notes revealing his rationale for the slaughter was because he hated the human race. The notes were uncovered in a dormitory at the school Saari attended as a culinary student, 220 miles north of Helsinki. In his writings he referred to the solution being a Walther 22, which is thought to be a reference to the Walther 22 calibre handgun he chose to commit the murders. Questions are already being raised over why Finnish police had not recognised Saaris dangerous nature. Particularly as the murderer had been visited by police one day prior to the massacre for posting a series of video clips on YouTube which showed him at a shooting range firing the gun he used on his victims. The bodies of victims were transferred to Helsinski in order to be identified as he had also made some homemade petrol bombs - Molotov cocktails - which he set off during the frenzy, burning some of the bodies.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [16] By 52% to 43%

    Obama Leads MacCain

    24 Σεπ 2008 09:06:00

    Democrat Barack Obama has opened a 9-point lead over Republican John McCain in the U.S. presidential race amid turmoil in the financial system and growing pessimism about the economy according to a Washington Post-ABC News national opinion poll released on Wednesday. Among likely voters, the poll found Obama now leads McCain by 52% to 43%. Two weeks ago the race was essentially even, with McCain at 49% and Obama at 47%.The financial crisis which has brought on the collapse of the credit market has become the number1 issue leading up to the Nov. 4 presidential election. Fifty-two percent of those polled said they believe the economy has moved into a serious long-term decline, 80% said they are concerned about the overall direction of the economy, nearly three-quarters worry about the shocks to the stock market, and six in 10 are apprehensive about their own family finances. The 50% of the respondents called the economy and jobs the single most important issue that will determine their vote, up from 37 % two weeks ago. The poll found that more voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face, "Washington Post" newspaper said. Obama also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street, and as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support, the report said.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

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