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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-23

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Aiming to Defend the Constitution
  • [02] Focus on Economy
  • [03] Rehaggel: "Aim is to Win"
  • [04] Lufthansa's Takeover of Swiss Approved
  • [05] PASOK Political Council Meeting
  • [06] Turkish Provocative Behavior
  • [07] "We Will Not Kneel"
  • [08] Witnesses "Burn" Michalopoulos
  • [09] Eirinaios in a Tough Spot
  • [10] AEK Wants to Return to Winning
  • [11] Xanthi Triumphantly Qualifies
  • [12] Greek Team Slips One Spot
  • [13] Guinness Book Syrtaki
  • [14] New Indictments against Judges

  • [01] Greek PM on the Main Shareholder Aiming to Defend the Constitution

    23 Mar 2005 14:59:00 (Last updated: 23 Mar 2005 20:19:31)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    During a Press conference today in Brussels, Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis stressed that disputes similar to the one that has arisen between Greece and the Commission, for some of the clauses included in the Main Shareholder Act, are quite common in a living institution, as is the EU. The PM pointed out that a discussion is taking place with the Community authorities, which will be longwinded, while he did not wish to predict the results. He also noted that the question is whether the Greek Constitution is compatible with Community legislation, while he further stressed that the Government will defend the countrys Constitution, which was voted for by the Parliaments overwhelming majority, and the national interests. He finally added that the whole matter stems from the Governments non-negotiable stance, concerning matters of corruption and transparency.

    Priority on Transparency

    The PM underlined that the fight for transparency and stamping out corruption will continue, while he added that he will insist on pointing out the governments stance on the issue of the Main Shareholder during talks with the EU. Referring to the possibility of losing Community funds, he stressed that the real danger does not stem from the Main Shareholder issue, but from the Commissions assessment concerning errors in utilizing Community funds during the period 200-2004.

    "That is the reason why a great effort is being made to find a consensual solution," he said, adding that the Governments main priority is to deal with the inadequate administration of finances over the last few years.

    "The countrys finances are in a bad state and this cannot be hidden," he added, while stressing that the Economy Ministry is in a constant state of speculation to cut expenses, while it is seeking ways not to shift the financial burden onto the citizens.

    Earlier, speaking to Skai radio station, Minister of Interior, Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated, "if the political forces are focused on their aim, they will defend the countrys Constitution and the battle will be triumphant." On the issue of a possible committal to court, he added that there is no decision that states that the community just is superior to the Greek Constitution.

    G. Papandreou Raises his Voice

    Earlier, however, while speaking in an event hosted by PASOK for the European Constitution, George Papandreou accused the government of hypocrisy when declaring that it defends the Constitution.

    Furthermore, he wondered how it was possible for this to be happening, when the Government was the one that handed over the countrys Economy to the supervision of the EU, following the fiscal inventory.

    Meanwhile, referring to Gerhard Schroeders use of the name Macedonia instead of FYROM, he launched an attack against the PM, accusing him of being a bully, when at the same time he cannot utter words to defend the countrys interests.

    From his side, the Minister of Employment underlined that the government is only defending the Constitution. "We are not the ones that retreat when a battle is being fought," underlined Mr Panagiotopoulos, noting that NDs bill has not yet been applied, thus the EUs objections concern PASOKs bill.

    On the other hand, Aleka Papariga underlined that the Greek Constitution is over and above Community legislation.

    She also claimed that, despite KKEs opposition to the Main Shareholder Act, "We cannot tolerate any EU or Community Directive to prevail over decisions made by Greece and the Greek Government."

    "The Greek Government should stop mumbling and clearly state that it will not obey the EU," added KKEs General Secretary.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] Greece Welcomes the Review of the Pact Focus on Economy

    23 Mar 2005 14:44:00 (Last updated: 23 Mar 2005 18:52:38)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis welcomed the ratification of the agreement by the 25 leaders of the EU Member-States, for reviewing the Stability and Growth Pact. During a Press Conference he gave this afternoon in Brussels on the sidelines of the Summit, he said that this review reestablishes the credibility of the Pact, by providing flexibility that facilitates economic growth. The PM also noted, "We are very satisfied because Greeces views were incorporated in the agreement," although, as her said, what is paramount for Greece is "the reduction of the large deficits and debts, left behind by our predecessors." The Prime Minister also made reference to the Lisbon Strategy, while he evaluated his meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister.

    Long Road Ahead

    Furthermore, he underlined the need for structural changes in the Economy, stressing, however, that despite the fiscal difficulties, the Government will not shift the financial burden onto the citizens. "There is constant concern for finding was that will contribute to a desirable result. One thing is certain. In two years the Greek economy and our fiscal status will have countered their problems."

    As the Prime Minister stated, the Ministry of Economy is in constant concern in order to find solutions for the decrease of state expenses and the broadening of the tax basis.

    With regard to the review of the Lisbon Strategy, which deal with employment and competitiveness, the PM claimed, "We have reached a landmark as far as the agreement is concerned." At the same time he considered the report as mediocre, recognizing, however, that some steps have been taken. Furthermore, the 25 agreed on the peremptory need to reactivate the Lisbon Strategy and review its priorities.

    Mr Karamanlis also underlined, "Our side has to continually bear in mind the social dimension of all our policies, as well as our environmental policy and our aims for viable growth."

    Channel of Communication with Turkey

    "Greece and Turkey ought to have an open channel of communication," underlined the Greek PM, thus commenting on the outcome of his meeting yesterday with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Furthermore, he described the progress of Greek-Turkish relations as tough, recognizing, however, that improvements have been made, which the previous government had commenced.

    "We support Turkeys European prospects, based on the commitments made by Ankara to the EU, including signing the customs union prior to 3 October," noted the PM, while he also mentioned that the violations in the Aegean are an issue that he always raises when meeting with the Turkish PM.

    Asked whether he was annoyed when Chancellor Schroeder called FYROM with its constitutional name, he declared that it was not something he likes to hear, however, he stressed that the international community has been using the term for years now, due to errors and omissions by the Greek side.

    He repeated that Greece wishes for a mutually accepted solution, in the context of the UN. Mr Karamanlis also made reference to the meeting between his Spanish counterpart, Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero and noted "issues of common interest were discussed in a friendly climate, such as fiscal prospects and the advancement of European-Mediterranean cooperation." He also made known that Mr Zapatero and himself at some point will visit the two countries.

    What the "25" Decided

    During the Summit Meeting, which was completed today in Brussels, the leaders of EU countries and governments decided on the ratification of the reviewed Stability Pact as this was set by the Economy Ministers in the Ecofin Meeting last Sunday.

    According to the reviewed text of the Pact, the main principles of the Economic and Monetary Union are not reformed and the highest percentage limits for the fiscal deficit will be at 3% of the GDP, while for public deficit at 60% of the GDP. The ratification proceedings that will be enforced to a member state, in the case of fiscal derailment will be lax, a fact that makes the reviewed Pact more flexible.

    They also ratified the interim review of the Lisbon Strategy and concluded that besides the measures taken, the progress is insufficient. They agreed that a new advancement has to be made for the reinforcement for the competitiveness of European economy, the advancement of employment and the counter of unemployment.

    Also the "25" agreed on the preservation of the main goal set.

    KKEs Reaction

    KKE describes the decisions of the"25" as a new attack to peoples income and social political rights, and calls for mobilizations against the anti-populist politics of ND, PASOK and the EU. It also described the Stability Pact and the Lisbon Strategy as "a whip intensively used by the Greek government against the people and especially the youth." for the investment percentage at 3% of the GDP and with correct allocation between private and public investments. They also agreed that the member states will have to continue their efforts for the decrease of the main level of state funding.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Aiming to Defend the Constitution

    Focus on Lisbon Strategy

    [03] Rehaggel: "Aim is to Win"

    23 Mar 2005 16:11:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Tomorrow morning, the Greek national team is departing for Tbilisi, where it will face Georgia in the context of the 6th round of B Group, of the preliminaries of Germanys 2006 World Cup. On Wednesday, in view of the tough match, the coach of the European Champions, Otto Rehaggel gave a Press interview, making clear that Greece is going to Tbilisi aimed at winning as to remain in the second place of the group and near Ukraine. As the German coach announced, the only loss for the Greek team is Trainaos Dellas who is injured. The rest of the players who were injured will play as is, while today Giourkas Seitaridis will be placed in the team roster.

    "A Tough Game"

    The coach did not hide behind his finger, as far as the opponents strength is concerned, and also the difficulties his players will face in frozen Tbilisi. Mr Rehaggel appreciates Georgias football and knows that his team awaits a very tough game.

    "Georgias national team has players abroad, mainly in Germany. In the past, many of Georgias players played in the USSR national team. It is a team that plays technical football with combinations. I have told my players that our opponents performance is up to us. Whoever is aware of the points, knows that on Saturday we will have to acquire a good result, in order to chase the qualification. If for example our opponents are better, a tie will be good also. Our team should not be afraid of anyone, as we have proven in the past."

    Making reference to the new players, Gekas and Vyntra, Mr Rehaggel noted that they were called in due to their performance, since as he said "it was worth calling them as their performance was excellent," while for Michalis Kapsis readiness he stated that the next training sessions will indicate if he will participate in the game.

    On the review of the first round of the 2nd qualifying group, who will be completed with Saturdays game, the German coach said: "Saturday is the last game of the first round and we must keep 2nd place. We have a long road until the end. From the day that I took up the team, the last four years, all our official games were determinative, for example north Ireland and Spain."

    As always, Mr Rehaggel made a comment on the fans: "This excitement also depends on the players. If you are successful, fans will follow you. We are preparing only for the game against Georgia. The players have to adjust to the demands of the game, since the game with Albania will follow."

    In the meantime, the 1,500 tickets for the game with Greece which were on sale today, that the Albanian Football Organization returned for the game next Wednesday in Karaiskakis Stadium were instantly bought by Greek fans.

    Down a Place in World Standings

    In closing, as the Word Football Federation announced, the Greek national team went down a place from February in the World rankings, and is at no 14. However it remains in a top place from all the opponent teams in the 2nd Group for the preliminaries of the World Cup. Greeces opponents for the preliminaries of the 2006 World cup are in the following places: Turkey: no. 15 Denmark: no. 17 Ukraine: no. 46 Albania: no. 88 Georgia: no. 100 Kazakhstan: no. 149

    Based on last months data, the first 10 teams of the Coca-Cola Rankings are as follows: 1. Brazil 2. France 3. Argentina 4. Czech Republic 5. Spain 6. Mexico 7. The Netherlands 8. Great Britain 9. Portugal 10. Italy

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Keeping the Logo Lufthansa's Takeover of Swiss Approved

    23 Mar 2005 14:24:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: BBC - ANA

    On Tuesday, the Boards of Directors of the companies Lufthansa and Swiss International Airlines gave their final approval, leading to the takeover of the latter by the first. The German airline will now manage the operational side of Swiss, while the company has been allowed to keep its logo and business autonomy. A Lufthansa official, however, said that they had essentially bought the logo and the Swiss routes with the agreement. The bid had been awaiting the go ahead from the Swiss government, the airlines largest shareholder. With regard to the smaller shareholders, they all appeared willing to sell their shares.

    Major Investment

    The Swiss government owns 20% of the airlines shares. Other shareholders include the Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse, Nestles, Roche and Novartis, which own approximately 86% of the companys share capital.

    Swiss was established in 2001 after investors poured in 2.6bn euros, following the collapse of Swissair.

    However, the new company recorded total losses of about 1.3bn euros, struggling through the Sars crisis, high oil prices and competition from low-cost carriers.

    The first takeover attempt by Lufthansa was made in 2003, as initially, Swiss tried to form an alliance with British Airways.

    Just in the last three months was Swiss able to make 16 million Swiss francs in profits, after continuous losses.

    The last desperate survival measure was made in January 2004, when nearly 1000 employment positions, as well as 13 regional routes were cut.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Papandreou Harshly Attacks Government PASOK Political Council Meeting

    23 Mar 2005 18:22:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    President of PASOK, Giorgos Papandreou made a harsh attack against the government, during the first meeting of the Political Council. "The government stumbles and the consequences of ND rule are harrowing," stated Mr Papandreou, saying that the citizens, after twelve months of rule, are faced with unemployment, rise in prices, lack of growth and inequality regionally. Mr Papandreou made reference that the people are turning to PASOK and support its attempts to regroup. He also stated that the people appreciate the seriousness and consistency of the party and have placed their hopes in it.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Claim that Greek F-16 Harassed their Phantoms Turkish Provocative Behavior

    23 Mar 2005 20:30:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Turkish National Defense General Staff made a provocative announcement, at a time when violations are continuing in Greeces airspace. According to the Turks, on March 21 two Greek F-16s harassed two Phantoms, southwest of Rhodes. The spokesperson of the Greek Defense General Staff, Colonel Loukopoulos, said that the claims are fictitious, stating that the Turkish fighter planes entered the national airspace without submitting a flight plan. As he stated, the Greek fighter crafts were on a recognition mission and were armed as they were on alert. Also, Mr Loukopoulos stated that the Turkish claims that "all aircrafts, including the Air Force are allowed to fly in international airspace, without asking permission" is not true since the Turkish side "isolated article 3 of the Chicago Treaty." "The Turkish illegal activity in the Aegean continues," stated the Colonel.

    New Violations

    Today, 32 Turkish aircrafts penetrated the Aegean without submitting a flight plan, and in five cases violated national airspace in northern and central Aegean. As it was made known, four of them were armed.

    In all the cases, the Turkish aircrafts were recognized and intercepted by Greek fighter planes while in one case the interception evolved into an iconic air fight.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Archbishop in Evros "We Will Not Kneel"

    23 Mar 2005 20:14:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    During his visit to the flood stricken areas of Evros, the Archbishop appeared certain that the Church will be reinforced by the crisis it is currently going through. "From this adversity and by making our self-critique and catharsis we are sure that good will arise for our sake and our peoples," he stated, while he underlined that the hierarchs life should be an example to the followers. He also sent a clear message to the Churchs criticizers, noting that the fight will continue. "We will not kneel on the face of adversity, we will remain standing. It is only allowed to kneel in prayer," he added.

    Aid to the Stricken

    The Archbishop visited the inhabitants of the areas of Evros, who were stricken by the floods. Mr Christodoulos passed out provisions and financial aid to twenty families that suffered from the flood, while announcing the Churchs initiative to organize an ecological meeting concerning Evros River with the participation of Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.

    Apart from the village of Lavara, the Archbishop visited Pithio, the headquarters of the Prefects of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria in Orestiada and Ormenios.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Trial Will Continue on Monday Witnesses "Burn" Michalopoulos

    23 Mar 2005 17:40:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Todays testimonies in the Three-Member Criminal Court of Appeals were a blow to Grigoris Michalopoulos. The widow of Nikos Momferatos, editor of Apogevmatini newspaper, described Mr Michalopoulos as an accessory to her husbands murder. As Eirini Momferatou claimed, her husband "received certain types of threats" by the Eleftheri Ora editor, since articles against him were published in the newspaper, thus giving 17N reasons for his murder. The mayor of Vouliagmeni and former husband of Marianna Liatsi, Grigoris Kassidokostas, also testified in court, and claimed that he gave the editor 3,000 euros after threats against his ex-wife and sons lives.

    "I Gave Him 3,000 Euros"

    As Mr Kassidokostas testified, in 1998 Mr Michalopoulos asked for 9,000 euros, hinting that Marianna Latsi and his son were in danger.

    Finally, the mayor gave Mr Michalopoulos 3,000 euros and the editor reassured him of their safety. Also Mr Kassidokostas claimed that the editor asked him to set up a meeting with Mrs Latsi.

    From their side, Mr Michalopoulos defense lawyers stated in court that Mr Kassidokostas gave the money to their client in order to support his television channel.

    Earlier, Giannis Latsis associates, Christos Papadakos and Dimitris Tontos, said that Mr Michalopoulos tried to approach their employer through a third party. As they said Mr Latsis stated that he "did not want anything to do with Michalopoulos."

    The editors defense stated that the people mentioned in the witnesses testimonies have passed away.

    The court adjourned and the trial will re-commence on Monday.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    The Michalopoulos Trial Continues

    [09] Eirinaios in a Tough Spot

    23 Mar 2005 12:48:00 (Last updated: 23 Mar 2005 16:50:48)

    Sources: NET - MPA

    The rumours concerning the possible resignation of Patriarch Eirinaios have been intensifying since Wednesday morning, following the developments over the last few days. As a matter of fact, Mr Eirinaios called an extraordinary convocation of the Patriarchates Holy Synod for Thursday morning. This decision has triggered even more rumours, however, none of them have been confirmed just yet. On Wednesday, the alternate government spokesperson, Evangelos Antonaros, declared that the Government is concerned about the issues of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem., while he mentioned that the Patriarchates has recorded a long history through the ages and has specific elements that those close to it cannot abandon or forget. In the meantime, Jordan asked for the formation of an investigative committee, which will probe into the case regarding the sale of property by the Patriarchate to Israelis. At the same time, the Palestinian legislative body asked for the lowering of the Greek flag from all of the Patriarchates monasteries and other properties.

    Thorough Investigation

    An auditing committee, sent to the area by the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry, met with the Patriarch of Jerusalem for four hours on Tuesday.

    The committee visited the financial services department and the auditors proceeded with checking all the relevant documents.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Crisis Deepens in Jerusalem Patriarchate

    [10] AEK Wants to Return to Winning

    23 Mar 2005 17:16:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    AEKs coach Fotis Katsikaris blamed the recent defeats of his team from Treviso for the Euroleague event, but also from Aris in Thessalonica, on lack of concentration, stating that he trusts his players and has asked of them to win Prokom in order for the team to return to successes and to take one of the two places that lead to the next round of the "8." "Besides our last defeats in Treviso and Thessalonica from Aris, we believe that we are in good shape and we have to be more focused in order to achieve great victories. We return to the demands of the Euroleague and we have to win Prokom in order to start winning again," stated Mr Katsikaris.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Xanthi Triumphantly Qualifies

    23 Mar 2005 18:18:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Today, Xanthi is the third team to qualify in the Greek Cup semifinals, since in front of thousands of its fans, in the Pigadia stadium dominated Larisa by 4-1, and turned over the score of 1-0 in the previous game in Alcazar. That result seemed fictitious, Xanthis performance was good in the second part, but the team kneeled in the second half opposed to the opponents apparent superiority. The game in the fist half was bad but had a few good moments with Giorgos Donis paying special attention to the defense lineup of his team, even though many important players were absent. From the other hand, the home team did not manage to make any good opportunities but some sporadic actions, so 0-0 was the score of the first half.

    2nd Half: A Different Picture

    In the second half, the picture changed dramatically! As the situation was getting tougher, Xanthi opened up and chased the goal that would get rid of the stress. It nearly came in the 57 when Christopoulos excellently stopped a shot by Garpozis. Two minutes later, Lambriakos with an exceptional shot outside of the goal area beat Larisas goalkeeper and opened the score. From that point on the pace of the game was better and Larisa was making attempts to reach Pizanofskis nets, but in the 66 Garpozis did not hesitate in the goal area and scored 2-0. Donis players aim did not change, since with 2-1 they received the qualification, which lead to a loose defense, and Luciano scored 3-0 in the 75.

    Crazy Finale

    At that point, the home team seemed to relax and in the 83 Makris took advantage of that and scored 3-1, giving the game another twist, since it was obvious that Larisa was in a hurry to chase 3-2, which was the qualification score. Finally in the 90 Luciano scored his second personal goal and sealed the triumphant qualification for Xanthi in the next round of the Greek Cup, where it will face Aris. This is the second time in Xanthis history that the team reaches the Cups semifinal.

    Referee: Tsikinis (Messinia) Yellow cards: Torosidis, Karabas, Gikas, Tsiatsios, Ziagas, Makris

    Xanthi: Pizanofski, Zikov, Zapropoulos, Maghradze, Garpozis, Prittas, Antzas (90 Kazantzis), Lambriakos, Baykara (72 Bosabal), Karabas (46 Torosidis), Luciano.

    Larisa: Christopoulos, Ferster, Gikas, Papakostas, Nedelkovic (66 Bahramis), Ziagas (72 Abuna), Tsiatsios (67 Serban), Stournaras, Makris, Katsiaros, Digozis.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Greek Team Slips One Spot

    23 Mar 2005 13:11:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    During the last month, the Greek National Football team dropped by one spot. In the rankings posted by FIFA every month, the reigning European champions in 2004 slipped from 13th place to 14th with 711 points. However, the National team of Cyprus suffered an even great loss, as it fell to 113th place with 437 points. Brazil is first with 836 points, France second with 782 and Argentina third with 777.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Guinness Book Syrtaki

    23 Mar 2005 12:28:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Melbourne, Australia earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, by dancing the Greek dance syrtaki, from the world-renowned movie Zorba the Greek by Michalis Kakogiannis. On 18 July 2004, for ten minutes, 1280 people danced in a circle to the popular music composed by Miki Theodorakis in one of Melbournes main squares, in an effort to raise money for the Australian Olympic Team.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] Kalousis Receives Extension New Indictments against Judges

    23 Mar 2005 15:18:00 (Last updated: 23 Mar 2005 17:22:17)

    Sources: NET 105.8

    In the context of the investigation into illegal activities in the area of Justice, yet another judicial officer, Athens First Instance Judge Anna Korovesi, has been referred to the Supreme Courts plenary session facing permanent dismissal, following the decision by the Supreme Courts Chief Justice. Ms Korovesi was allegedly involved in the extrajudicial circle that ruled in favour of Iakovos Giosakis. With regard to the Kalousis case, the First Instance Judge, who is facing criminal proceedings, asked the Supreme Court Inspector, Christos Baltas, for an extension until Wednesday, at which time he will testify. In the meantime, on Wednesday, Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos met with the Director of Athens Prosecutions, Dimitris Papaggelopoulos, and the head of the Antiterrorist Unit, Dimitris Asprogerakas. As per sources, they are coordinating their efforts for the arrest or surrender of Apostolos Vavilis.

    Letter for Vavilis

    Meanwhile, the prosecutors and the Antiterrorist Unit have put under the microspore a letter submitted to Mr Linos by New Democracy MP Panagiotis Kammenos.

    The letter was written by a detainee in the Trikala prison, serving a sentence for procuring, who, according to the same sources, is claiming that he has evidence pertaining to Anna, of the 17 November terrorist group, as well as Apostolos Vavilis.

    Specifically, Vavilis is alleged to have said that in 1999, he killed a Turk in front of another prisoner.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Minister of Justice Visits Supreme Court

    Interpol Informed About Vavilis


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