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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Reactions to the Interview
  • [02] Molyviatis-Annan Meeting
  • [03] Tickets Inventory Started
  • [04] Developments in Hariri Case
  • [05] New Turn

  • [01] Elusive Vavilis Causes Frictions Reactions to the Interview

    28 Mar 2005 11:42:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Harsh reactions, refutations and many questions arose by the allegations of Apostolos Vavilis in the televised interview on Greek channel Alter, which implicated Greek Police Chief Giorgos Aggelakos, Archbishop Christodoulos and Patriarch of Jerusalem Erinaios. He supported that Christodoulos had sent him to Jerusalem in order to help Erinaios ascend to the Patriarchal throne, while he claimed that the current Greek Police Chief had provided cover for him back in 1998, despite arrest warrants pending against him. Mr Aggelakos described Vavilis' allegations as inaccurate and stressed that he will take the matter to court. Quoting Judas' parable, Christodoulos gave an indirect answer to Vavilis, while the Metropolitan Bishop of Kalavrita Amvrosios described Vavilis as a "snitch," stressing that "a secret services agent could not have told the truth." The Archbishopric is expected to take an official stance on the matter within the day.

    The "National Mission's" Chosen One

    Now, as for the interview itself, Apostolos Vavilis claimed he was the victim of a "conspiracy" or a "series of coincidences." During the interview to Greek journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos, which was aired last night on TV channel Alter, Vavilis implicated the name of Greek Police Chief Giorgos Aggelakos, saying that he had warned him of the arrest warrant pending against him from Italy in 1998 and then covered for him, when Israelis asked for information regarding his activities.

    Regarding his presence in Jerusalem during the critical period of the Patriarch's election, Apostolos Vavilis said that both he and the retired Police official Giannis Triantafyllakis were in Jerusalem performing a "national mission" to help "the Patriarchate remain in Greek hands."

    He also stated that the aim of his mission was to support Erinaios, provide security services, ensure the neutrality of all three sides, ie Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, as well as to prevent "punches below the belt" from Erinaios' opponents.

    Apostolos Vavilis did not explain why he was chosen for this "national mission" by Archbishop Christodoulos, but stressed that "I did not fall from the skies on Jerusalem." However, he denied to further elaborate on his relations with the Archbishop, saying that "I will not speak about Christodoulos, I will not get into details, the terms of public conversation about the Archbishop bother me."

    Regarding the revenue for being present in Jerusalem, Apostolos Vavilis said he hadn't asked for money, but still Patriarch Erinaios promised to give him 300,000-400,000 dollars in 2001, while he harshly criticized Erinaios, saying he "promised money here and there to get things done." However, he flatly denied having received this sum from Patriarch Erinaios.

    Refuting allegations he was a Mossad agent, Apostolos Vavilis stated that Erinaios was marked with a "red line" for being unwanted by Israeli secret services and went on to add that "the alleged Mossad agent, whose agency had marked this man with a "red line" helped him become the Patriarch of Jerusalem."

    Regarding Erinaios' letter to Yasser Arafat, Apostolos Vavilis said that the Patriarch of Jerusalem had told him to write a letter to Arafat, as he had the right to protest to the other implicated powers, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, because the Israelis were interfering with the Patriarchate's elections. "He signed this letter in our presence."

    "Villainies, Lies and Squalor"

    Vavilis described the allegations about him being a Mossad agent as "villainies, lies and squalor," while he challenged anyone who has evidence at hand to submit it to the prosecutor. He further wondered whether the facts former Greek Intelligence agent Mr Christiforaizis mentioned about his person and his involvement in foreign secret services were in any way related to, "The rumours concerning the argument between his [Christoforaizis] brother and the current Chief of Police, and the fact that he could not stand that his brother was never able to become a Police Chief and therefore has to definitely tarnish all the rest for what he has done."

    Referring to the same issue in another part of the interview, Apostolos Vavilis claimed that he could have gotten the Israeli citizenship, due to his wife's origins, and not have any problems.

    Apostolos Vavilis categorically denied any involvement in secret services, while he then mentioned that, after being disappointed by everything that had happened in the Jerusalem Patriarchate, he was moved by the Ecumenical Patriarchate's work in Northern Italy and wanted to assist. Furthermore, Vavilis invited once again "anyone who can prove that the non-government organization "Magna Grecia" had embezzled money to testify," while in answering to a relevant question, he claimed that the organization's account in the Bank of Cyprus in Cholargos was defunct. In addition, he declared that he was not aware whether anyone else, apart from his brother and Triantfyllakis, could authorize cheques pertaining to the account in question.

    Finally, he was cautious in submitting to the authorities evidence about his connection to politicians, leaving, however, the subject open. Addressing the Supreme Court Prosecutor, Mr Linos, via television, he said, "I will soon be at your disposal," while previously he had declared that he is waiting for the situation to settle before turning himself in, as he considered that at the moment there are negative feelings towards him.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] This Afternoon in New York Molyviatis-Annan Meeting

    28 Mar 2005 07:37:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The Greek Foreign Minister, Petros Molyviatis, and the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, will meet this afternoon in New York. Their discussion is expected to focus on the Cypriot issue and the situation in the Balkans. What is more, they will also talk about organizational matters of the Security Council and put emphasis on UN affairs regarding Africa and Kosovo. The Annan-Molyviatis meeting is also expected to focus on FYROM's name.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] At WSBO Offices and Citizen Service Centres Tickets Inventory Started

    28 Mar 2005 10:48:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The Workers' Social Benefits Organisation (WSBO) started the inventory this morning for all beneficiaries, workers and pensioners, entitled to get tickets for seven-day free vacations. The inventory is being held with alphabetical order at the offices of the WSBO and the Citizen Service Centres of 10 Municipalities from 10.00 to 18.00. Families entitled to receive the free tickets rise to 320,000. In particular, beneficiaries include low-salaried workers, low pensioners of IKA, DEKOs and banks, who have WSBO deductions. What is more, workers with 100 wages or unemployed people with 50 days of unemployment benefit, as well as protected family members from 5 to 26 years of age, if they are unemployed or study in public schools, as well as people with over 67% of disability and their escorts. Of course, people who received no WSBO benefits last year are also entitled to get tickets. For the first time this year, unemployed mothers and long-term unemployed people are also entitled to tickets without revenue criteria.

    Surprises for Beneficiaries

    This year's vacation schedule includes new recreation opportunities for beneficiaries.

    In particular, the schedule includes cruises in the Ionian and the Aegean, which will start over Easter and will last for five weeks. The fortunate ones are entitled to free breakfast and sightseeing. As for the food, it will be low priced.

    For those who love fishing, there is always the alternative of fishing tourism.

    What is more, 80,000 farmers will also be given the chance to go on an eight-day free holiday with the WSBO.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Tape Aired by Al Arabiya Developments in Hariri Case

    28 Mar 2005 08:29:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Yesterday, Arab satellite channel Al Arabiya aired a videotape reinforcing the belief that former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was the victim of a suicide bombing attack. In particular, the tape showed the moments preceding the explosion, when a pickup truck believed to have caused the blast that cost Hariri his life, was captured by a closed circuit camera near the site. The pickup truck drove slowly past the bank in the same direction as Hariri's convoy of black cars and seconds later a burst of light floods the camera. According to Al Arabiya, this videotape was using during investigations and preliminary hearings.

    Lebanon Decided to Work with UN

    At the same time, Lebanon decided to send a high ranking diplomat of the Foreign Ministry to New York after a Security Council request, in order to be present in negotiations held for an international inquiry regarding the murder of the former Prime Minister.

    The decision for holding an international inquiry is expected to be made tomorrow by the Security Council. In the meantime, the Syrian army withdrew from the last air defence positions in Lebanon after 29 years of occupation, while Kofi Annan said he expects Syria to complete the pull out before Lebanese elections due in May.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] New Turn

    27 Mar 2005 21:58:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    It could be that Panathinaikos is at the top of the standings, however their defeat by Maroussi has now given them only one point in the lead, while there are several more games before the play-offs. What Maroussi are hoping from now on is victories, as well as another defeat for Panathinaikos, thus occupying first place, as Maroussi have also covered the difference from the first match against the Greens. However, it will all come down to Panathinaikos.

    Many Candidates for Top Four

    With the first two spots taken, what remains to be seen is the other two teams that will complete the final four. Of course, such a thing will become evident in the end, since there is a quartet of teams that would very much like to occupy third and fourth place, especially after the results of the 22nd championship week. AEK defeated by Apollon gave three teams the opportunity to claim a place in the play-offs. In particular, after Aris prevailed over Panellinios, PAOK defeated Olympia in an away match and Panionios easily claimed victory from Ionikos NF, now all four teams have equal shares to getting the two tickets. As for the final eight, it is still an open contest. After prevailing over indifferent Iraklis, Makedonikos has booked a ticket for the play-offs, playing versus Apollon Patras, which defeated AEK and taking advantage of Olympiacos' defeat by MENT is now among the top eight.

    Bottom of Rankings Changed

    Ionikos and Panellinios are the two teams of the bottom. MENT is up one point after prevailing over Olympiakos and is trying to catch its breath. Olympia Larissa is sharing the same sport, and the four teams will have to do their best in order to avoid relegation.

    Panellinios-Aris 74-82 Panionios-Ionikos N.F. 100-74 Makedonikos-Iraklis 103-92 Olympia L.-PAOK 66-75 Maroussi-Panathinaikos 75-55 ΑΕΚ-Apollon P. 76-77 ΜΕΝΤ-Olympiakos 89-87

    Rankings

    Panathinaikos 40 Maroussi 39 ΑΕΚ 35 Αris 35 Panionios 35 PΑΟΚ 35 Makedonikos 34 Apollon Patras 32 Olympiakos 32 Iraklis 31 ΜΕΝΤ 29 Olympia Larissa 29 Ionikos NF Amaliada 28 Panellinios 28

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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