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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-05-04

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] New Bloodshed in Iraq
  • [02] Battle for Knowledge
  • [03] Election Campaign Escalates
  • [04] Meeting Between Karamanlis and Sioufas
  • [05] Inauguration Amidst Obstacles
  • [06] Chirac: "Yes" A One Way Street

  • [01] At Least 45 Dead from A Kamikaze Attack New Bloodshed in Iraq

    04 May 2005 10:39:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The kamikaze attacks have to end in Iraq. This morning, in the center of the Kurdish town of Arbil in northern Iraq, an Iraqi man made a suicide attack in the areas offices of the Kurdish Democratic party, which resulted to the death of 45 people and another 95 to be injured. The offices of the Kurdish party also operate as a police recruit center thus the victims were many. On the scene witnesses state that at least 25 bodies were removed from the area of the attack. At the same time, Prime Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari continues discussions with Sunnis in order to fill empty Minister seats.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] EU To Create Digital Library Battle for Knowledge

    04 May 2005 12:28:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The European Union will answer to the 2004 announcement by American company Google for the creation an international digital library. As EU President Jean Claude Juncker announced, the Union is headed at creating a European electronic library, after a proposal by French President Jacques Chirac. "The issue is to act," stated Mr Juncker and noted "Europe should not give in to the harshness of the attacks." In the meantime, 19 national European libraries with an initiative by the Director of the National Library of France Jean Noel Jeanneney, submitted an appeal asking from the EU to battle the gigantic program of digitizing books that Google is undertaking and is expected to be completed in 2015.

    Culture and Competition

    Google has signed an agreement with a number of important U.S. libraries but also with many European, such as the Oxford University Library, in order to digitize most of the printed matter they contain.

    And while Google ventures in the aspiring program, the EU is preparing its counterattack, with France officiating the initiative.

    Except from the Chirac proposal and the appeal of the libraries, on Thursday six European countries (France, Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain and Hungary) asked from the EU, after a proposal by France, to create "a European digital library" which will collect major European works and coordinate the action of national libraries.

    While the American colossus and the EU will be sharpening their swords, the winners will surely be the Internet users, since their screens will give them the precious treasure of knowledge.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] In Great Britain Election Campaign Escalates

    04 May 2005 07:48:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    A day before elections in Great Britain, the election campaign escalates, with the candidates trying to win over the undecided voters, the percentage of which reaches 36%. At the same time, opinion polls give a steady lead to the governing Labour party regardless of the fact that Tony Blair received harsh personal attacks over his policy in the Iraq War. An opinion poll taken by the company Populus, which was published in The Times newspaper, gives a safe lead of 14 units to the Labour party. Specifically, Tony Blairs party received 41% concerning the intention to vote, the Conservative partys popularity decreased by two units, receiving 27%, while these two units were acquired by the Liberal Democrats that received 23%.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] "Greece Transforming Into an Energy Hub" Meeting Between Karamanlis and Sioufas

    04 May 2005 11:17:00

    By Anna Kourti

    On Wednesday morning, the energy issue and the consequences from the international increase of oil prices were at the focus of the meeting between the Prime Minister and the Minister of Development, Dimitris Sioufas at Maximos Mansion. In his statements, Mr Sioufas noted "Greece is transforming into an energy hub for Europe and acquires geostrategic importance in the field of energy, after the agreements in Paris." Also, the Minister of Development stated that in a meeting with the Italian Minister of Energy it was decided that the Protocol of Cooperation and Support of the Undersea Natural Gas Duct between Greece and Italy, which will branch to the rest of Europe, was signed.

    Greece-Turkey Natural Gas Duct

    Also, the Minister of Development noted that if the above branches are connected with the oil duct of Burgas-Alexandroupoli and with the duct that is being designed from Ipiros to Croatia and Austria, together with the development of electrical networks, Greece acquires the geostrategic importance in the energy field.

    "In the meetings between the Ministers of Energy and Economy of the 30 member states of the OECD, the consequences of the phenomenal increase of petrol prices was discussed and it was decided that there should an extensive and systematic dialogue between the OPEC country members, other countries and Russia, in order for the countries to counter the consequences, which are important for the consumers," Mr Sioufas stated. Also the Minister of Development commented on his meeting with his Turkish counterpart and stated that the possibilities of the inauguration of the Greek-Turkish Natural Gas Duct from the two countries PMs was investigated, while he expressed the hope that this will take place by the end of June. The duct will be connected with the duct that will be branch towards Italy.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Inauguration Amidst Obstacles

    03 May 2005 23:22:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    With violence surging in the cities of Kaim and Ramadi, the new Iraqi government and Prime Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari were sworn in today before the National Assembly, although seven posts in the cabinet remain empty. During the inauguration ceremony, which was held in delay inside the Green Zone, two vice presidents and 30 ministers assumed their duties, while seven crucial posts, including the Defense Ministry, which was destined for a Sunni official, as well as the Oil Ministry remained empty. The Iraqi Prime Minister said the non appointment of a defense minister is due to differences between the Sunnis. President Jalal Talabani said this was a historic day because a democratic government assumed power and wished Jaafari and his associates good luck.

    Differences Between Sunnis

    "There are major differences between the Sunni brothers and we preferred not to proceed quickly, so that the choice of the person who will fill the Defense Ministry post is satisfactory for all and respected by both the Iraqis and the Sunnis," said Jaafari in a Press Conference after the cabinet inauguration ceremony.

    According to information, Mr Jaafari himself is acting defence minister, while Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi is acting oil minister.

    Mr Jaafari highlighted the difficulties Iraq faces as he was sworn in, citing "corruption, lack of services, unemployment and mass graves", the Associated Press news agency said. "I would like to tell the widows and orphans ... your sacrifices have not gone in vain."

    Mr Jaafari is a Shia, the majority group in Iraq which was long denied power. His government has 15 Shias, seven Kurds, four Sunnis and a Christian. One deputy prime minister is a Shia and another is a Kurd. The seven posts left vacant are: oil minister, defence minister, electricity minister, industry minister, human rights minister and two deputy prime ministers.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Chirac: "Yes" A One Way Street

    04 May 2005 00:41:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    In a television message, French President, Jacques Chirac made a new plea to the French citizens for voting for the Euroconstitution, and warnings for the event of voting it down. After two opinion polls that indicated that voters will vote positively for the EU Constitution, Jacques Chirac described it as a "French inspiration," but also as the "best possible choice for France," which if rejected will weaken the country, while at the same time will make the EU stagnant.

    "Difficult Times for France will Follow"

    "If we do not adopt the Constitution, one of the first consequences will not only be that we will remain in the past, a past that has received a lot of criticism, but we will also weaken," stated Mr Chirac in an interview to France 2 television.

    "I do not know, if it will be a difficult time for myself, but what I do know is that there will difficult times for France," noted the French President and added "France will come out of this adventure weakened, in defending its interests and values, while being responsible for the break up of the structures of Europe, for which the development we have been fighting for 50 years," he noted.

    Mr Chirac, answering to journalists questions, rejected worries over the destruction of the French social model and the turn towards an economic reality focused on Anglo-Saxon prototypes.

    He also described the Euroconstitution as an "1989 child," the year that the Berlin wall fell, and a "1789 child" making reference to the French Revolution, while he assured that it will strengthen the influences of France and Germany, in the context of the 25 EU member states.

    Todays appearance left the best impressions in comparison to the previous one to an audience of French youth on April 14, which was judged as not so successful.

    But the opinion polls indicate that there is a lot of work ahead for the "yes" campaign. Even if both the opinion polls published yesterday and today for "Le Parisien," "Le Figaro" newspaper and "Europe 1," indicate that "yes" is taking the lead with 51% and 53% respectively, while another two opinion polls continue to foresee that "no" will win at the May 29 referendum. More specifically, in the opinion poll taken for "L Express" indicates that 48% supports the EU Constitution, at the time when 52% opposes it. The opinion poll taken for "Liberation" was at the same wavelength and indicated 49% supporting it and 51% rejecting it.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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