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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] Strike, not Public Holiday
  • [02] Snake in his Cereal!
  • [03] Is Stress Hereditary?
  • [04] Karamanlis Tours the Ministries
  • [05] Head-On Attack by G. Papandreou
  • [06] Meeting at the Foreign Ministry
  • [07] Record of Turkish Challenges
  • [08] "Reforms Are Necessary"
  • [09] New Facts for Agriculture
  • [10] World Cup Virus
  • [11] Toilet Train Your Cat
  • [12] Two's Company
  • [13] Main Shareholder at Maximos Mansion

  • [01] Next Wednesday is not a Holiday by Law Strike, not Public Holiday

    04 May 2005 20:29:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    In an announcement, the Interior Ministry clarified that 11 May will not be considered a public holiday, stressing that this is also not provided for by the law. However, in a circular sent to civil services, it recommends that employees who want to participate in the celebrations and take the day off should not be burdened financially or suffer any consequences. On the other hand, GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) stressed that the day should be declared as a public holiday, so that employees could participate in the trade union events without facing any problems. Finally, employees in the private sector who are planning on participating in the strike will not be entitled to any wages by law.

    Giakoumatos' Explanations

    "The Ministry of Development declared 1 May as a public holiday, although it coincided with Easter, so that whoever did not work on that day would be paid as normal. Therefore, the holiday cannot be shifted," declared Deputy Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos on radio station NET 105.8.

    GSEE and ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) have called a public and private sector strike for 11 May, while trade unions are preparing rallies for the day.

    The majority of GSEE and ADEDY members are organizing a central rally at Pedion Areos for 11am, while PAME (trade union linked to KKE) is inviting workers to join their rally at Syntagma Square an hour later.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] Corn Snakes in Britain Snake in his Cereal!

    04 May 2005 21:54:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: Reuters

    Although it may seem unbelievable, it is actually true. A five-year-old boy from Telford, central England, came face-to-face with an unpleasant surprise at breakfast. As soon as he opened a packet of "Corn Puffs", a 60cm snake slithered out. At first the boy did not realise that it was a real snake, but thought it was some sort of toy, like the ones usually found in packets of cereal. The parents immediately notified the discount store Netto, where they purchased the packet. The store in turn talked to the supplier, which said they would check their stock. The serpent belonged to the corn snake variety, which feed on mice and birds, and are commonly kept as pets.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Research by American and British Scientists Is Stress Hereditary?

    04 May 2005 16:04:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC- Reuters

    American and British scientists, that studied pregnant women that witnessed the September 11 attack in New York in September 11, 2001, consider that the possibility of stress being transferred from mothers to newborns is great. According to research undertaken by the Mount Sinai Medical School, in New York and the Edinburgh University, the babies and mothers had low levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, a fact that indicates that they have been affected by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The results indicated that the mother that suffers from PTSD can pass on a less effective or different type of protection to her baby or a biological sign that is sent to the baby through the placenta. The scientists are planning to monitor the children during their growth so they can see if the levels of cortisol will develop normally or if psychological disorders will appear.

    Traumatic Experiences Passed On to Baby

    During the research undertaken in 2002, the scientists studied 38 pregnant women that were near the Twin Towers or inside the buildings. The mothers were asked at what stage of their pregnancy they were in on September 9, and when they confirmed they suffered from PTSD. A year later samples of saliva taken from the mothers and their babies were also studied.

    According to the results, the women with PTSD had lower levels of cortisol than average. The same was also observed in their babies, that where tested a year later. Also, it is noteworthy to say, that the low levels of cortisol were observed in the mothers that were in the third trimester of the pregnancy during the attack.

    "This shows that exposure to severe stress in pregnancy is associated not only with PTSD in the mothers but also with the biologic marker of it, low hormone levels in the saliva, in the offspring long before they could have been listening to tales," stated Professor Jonathan Seckl, of the University of Edinburgh.

    From her side Dr Racher Yehuda from the Mount Sinai Medical School stated that the "programming of the cortisol could start from birth."

    A research taken in children whose parents survived the Holocaust, showed similar findings, however the scientists had attributed the above to stories that the babies listened to.

    It is noted that cortisol counters stress by increasing sugar levels in the blood while causing changes in memory and mood.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    University of Edinburgh

    Mount Sinai Medical School

    [04] First Visit to Public Order Ministry Karamanlis Tours the Ministries

    04 May 2005 19:09:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    On Thursday, PM Kostas Karmanlis will embark on a tour of the Greek ministries, starting with the Public Order Ministry, where Giorgos Voulgarakis will brief him on matters concerning the safety of citizens. Earlier today, the PM held successive meetings with the ministers of Interior, Development and Rural Development. The issue of the main shareholder was at the focus of his meeting with Prokopis Pavlopoulos. A little while later, Dimitris Sioufas briefed the PM on the energy developments, following the agreement with Italy for the natural gas pipe line and the memorandum for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipe. Finally, the new regulations for the agriculture bill were discussed during his meeting with Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    New Facts for Agriculture

    Main Shareholder at Maximos Mansion

    Meeting Between Karamanlis and Sioufas

    [05] During the PASOK Coordinators' Meeting Head-On Attack by G. Papandreou

    04 May 2005 19:04:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2005 22:49:58)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    "We will be ready to govern from day number one," declared PASOKs President George Papandreou today, during his partys coordinators meeting. Mr Papandreou harshly criticized the Government and underlined that the results of NDs governing so far are poverty, high prices, downgrading of public services and a feeling of insecurity. Furthermore, he spoke of a busy summer, while, concerning the main shareholder act, he underlined that PASOKs members ought to stop NDs propaganda and start defending transparency. In addition, he accused ND of petty purposes, while he noted that the Governments inadequacy has been confirmed.

    Committee to Combat Corruption

    PASOKs President announced that the Opposition is entering a new era, while working towards a new governing proposal, based on discussions with social bodies for all the major issues. Actually, he stressed that in view of his partys new programme, it is very important to discuss with citizens.

    Furthermore, he underlined that the programme and the discussions with social bodies should conclude prior to the elections, while he also advised his members to be sincere and serious when dealing with the citizens and not make promises, as was the case with ND.

    According to sources, after voicing their satisfaction over the formation of a committee to combat corruption, the members asked that it completes its task as soon as possible.

    Asked to comment on the fact that Evangelos Vanizelos was not included in the Committee for the promotion of transparency, Mr Papandreou answered that the partys political Council will be discussing and approving any proposals made by the aforementioned Committee.

    On the other hand, commenting on his non-inclusion in the Committee, Mr Venizelos claimed that he is not just an expert within PASOK, but a leading member.

    Referring to the opinion polls, and after having noted that they confirm the peoples growing displeasure towards Karamanlis government, Mr Papandreou spoke of a significant shift of voters towards PASOK. However, he noted that it is natural for the citizens to be apprehensive, since they are awaiting a new, reliable proposal.

    Roussopoulos-Athanasakis Cross Swords

    Answering to the President of PASOK, State Minister and government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos said the following,

    "Mr Papandreou said that he wants the Economy to be put in order, thus confirming in the most indisputable way that the policies followed by PASOKs government brought disorder to the Economy. Although a bit late, Mr Papandreou has understood the damage his party made to the Greek Economy. This is something."

    On the other hand, PASOKs spokesperson, Nikos Athanasakis, declared, "Everyone, and the government spokesperson in this instance, understands what he wants to. Even so, we are urging the government spokesperson to reread PASOK Presidents statements and stop being exposed with similar answers. Today, the Greek citizens can judge the state of the Economy, as well as their financial situation last year, and realize how much it has worsened just one year after ND started governing the country."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] US Undersecretary of State in Athens Meeting at the Foreign Ministry

    04 May 2005 16:31:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2005 20:12:38)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The US Undersecretary of State, Laura Kennedy, met with the Greek Foreign Ministrys general secretary Ambassador Giorgos Gennimatas. Her visit is in the context of regular discussions between Greece and the USA concerning matters of general interest. The meeting focused on the latest developments over the issue with Cyprus, as well as the progress of the Greek-Turkish relations. According to sources, Mr Gennimatas stressed that the Greek Government primarily aims at achieving a fair, permanent and viable solution for the reunification of Cyprus, based on the Security Councils decisions and the Annan Plan. The Greek side believes that, following last years referendums, a possible attempt for recommencing negotiations should be prepared carefully, both concerning the administrative matters, as well as the content.

    Meeting with Papoutsis

    As per the Greek Foreign Ministry, the final target has to be a solution that would be put to separate referendums, without arbitration or timeframes.

    During the meeting, both Ms Kennedy and Mr Gennimatas agreed that the bilateral relations between the two countries are excellent.

    Later in the afternoon, Ms Kennedy met with PASOK MP Christos Papoutsis.

    Mr Papoutsis pointed out the need for Turkey to sign and implement the customs union protocol with the 10 new EU Member-States.

    Mr Papoutsis also stressed that by implementing the protocol, Turley would be demonstrating its good will towards reaching a solution over the issue with Cyprus.

    He further added that such a solution would have to be reached based on the UN Security Councils decisions, under the aegis of the Secretary-General and with the contribution of the EU.

    The Oppositions MP, who is responsible for the Foreign Affairs sector, also pointed out that his party would continue its efforts towards a solution, by urging both the Greek government and Cyprus to take the relevant initiatives.

    The US Undersecretary will depart for Cyprus today, where she is scheduled to meet with President Tassos Papadopoulos. She will then head for Brussels and London.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Over the Aegean Sea Record of Turkish Challenges

    04 May 2005 22:34:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Today sixty Turkish fighter planes breached the Athens FIRs air traffic control regulations 31 times, while they then proceeded with 16 violations of the national airspace over the northern, central and southern Aegean Sea. Eight of the Turkish planes were armed, while four belonged to the Navy. The Turkish fighter planes were intercepted by Greek, while air battles were recorded in three cases.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Respect for Non-Muslims "Reforms Are Necessary"

    04 May 2005 15:05:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8 - ANA

    On Wednesday, during a joint Press conference with the Turkish PM, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder declared that the date set for the commencement of accession talks between Turkey and the EU, which is 3 October, will not change. Meanwhile, he reminded Ankara of its commitment to sign the customs union protocol with the EU, without exceptions or circumspections, otherwise they cannot begin accession negotiations. Earlier, the German Chancellor met with Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the context of his official two-day visit to Turkey, which will focus the reinforcement of the bilateral economic ties and Ankaras accession into the EU. On Thursday afternoon, Mr Schroeder met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Fanar. At the same time, during an interview, the leader of the Turkish army, General Hilmi Ozkok, declared that Turkey, as well as the Turkish armed forces, will proceed with immediate changes, in view of the countrys accession into the EU.

    Long and Difficult Negotiations

    Gerhard Schroeder also reminded Turkey that it would have to provide more rights to the non-Muslims living in the country.

    On the other hand, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his satisfaction for the very good economic ties between the two countries. However, he also voiced his governments deep concerns and expectations towards Germany, since on 21 April, the countrys MPs called on Turkey to deal with its past and the slaughter of Armenians in 1915, during the Ottoman rule, without using the word genocide, though, which Ankara rejects vehemently.

    Furthermore, in an interview to the Turkish newspapers, the German Chancellor stressed that Turkeys accession talks with the EU would be "long and difficult" and their outcome would depend on Ankaras will to render the necessary reforms as "irrevocable".

    In the afternoon, Mr Schroeder met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Fanar.

    According to sources, it was pleasant meeting, which focused on the problems faced by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey.

    It should be noted that Chancellor Schroeder and Germanys government coalition are in favour of Turkeys accession into the EU, while the Christian-Democratic Opposition rejects this, opting for the establishment of a special regime in Ankara.

    Ozkok, "Turkey's Safety in Danger"

    In an interview, Turkish General Hilmi Ozkok praised the success of the 17 December Summit Meeting, during which a date was set for the commencement of accession negotiations, while he noted that Turkey has entered a new and difficult era, which will last a long time.

    Meanwhile, he underlined that the views for the dangers and threats to Turkeys safety are changing in this new international context.

    Specifically, General Ozkok mentioned "the partitioned (Kurdish) and the retrogressive (Islamic) activities, international terrorism, drug trafficking and the fight against illegal migration," as the main dangers and threats against Turkey.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Meeting Between Karamanlis and Basiakos New Facts for Agriculture

    04 May 2005 14:13:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2005 19:31:38)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET- ANA

    After his meeting with the Prime Minister at Maximos Mansion on Wednesday, Minister of Rural Development Evangelos Basiakos stated that Greek farmers need to prepare for a new competitive environment. When asked on the reactions from ND farmers and union workers in relation to the regulations over cotton, Mr Basiakos noted that for the first time the return of 0.1115 euro was given earlier than any other year, before Easter and not in September when it usually took place.

    Biggest Community Funds for Cotton

    Mr Basiakos stated, "We should not give them fish for a year, but teach them how to fish in order to have fish every year."

    The Minister also said that the farmers are very satisfied, while he noted that the government has won the biggest community funds for cotton than previous years.

    He also mentioned that there was a problem in the 3% dispensation and noted that the Ministry kept the original agreement that was made, but following, some changed their mind and there were disputes.

    Mr Basiakos noted that the Ministry went forth to a new dispensation of the 3%, which all farmer Co-ops agreed on.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Hackers Hit at World Cup World Cup Virus

    04 May 2005 14:09:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC

    An alarm has sounded to football fans and users of Windows after the appearance of a new virus on Monday that takes advantage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The threat reaches the PC via email, which supposedly comes from FIFA and informs the user that he has won tickets for the event. Also, another form of the virus contains false notifications for loss of codes or messages that did not manage to be sent to FIFA. As the specialists state it called Sober worm that uses emails in English and German, while many PCs in around 30 countries have fallen in its trap. In an attempt to protect Internet users, FIFA announced that the emails it sends do not contain attachments.

    What to Be Aware Of

    The English emails that contain the virus concern message delivery failures to FIFA or the loss of ones code from the organization. They usually have the following written in their messages: Re: Your Password, Re: Registration Confirmation, Re: Your email was blocked and Re: Mailing error.

    On the other hand, the dangerous emails written in German state that you have won tickets for the FIFA World Cup. Hackers took advantage of the fact that on May 2, FIFA started informing whoever made a successful application for the "lucky tickets" through emails. The titles in the messages are the following: Ihr Passwort, Mail-Fehler, Ihre E-Mail wurde verweigert, Ich bins was zum lichen, Glueckwunsch: Ihr, WM Ticket, WM Ticket Verlosung and WM - Ticket-Auslosung.

    Sober worm affects the function of Windows 2000, 95, 98, Me, NT, Server 2003 and XP while specialists suggest upgrading anti-virus programs.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    FIFA's Announcement

    [11] Toilet Train Your Cat

    04 May 2005 13:20:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Do you own a cat and are annoyed by the cat litter, where your pet usually does its doo-doo? A new invention comes to relieve you and to eliminate unpleasant odors from the house. It is a device, specially designed for cats that a cat lover from Australia invented. Jo Lapidge, mother of two, created Litter-Kwitter in a moment of divine inspiration and after she taught her cat to go to the toilet on its own. The only thing you have to do is to teach your cat the three steps required. Firstly, start with the red disc, filled with cat letter, which you will leave next to the toilet. Following, you will place the disc on the toilet seat in order for your cat to get used to climbing onto it.

    When the cat has gotten used to the view from above, replace the red tray with the amber one, which has a small hole and be patient. When your pet gets used to the water below it the time has come for the final step that is to replace the amber disc with a green that has a larger hole.

    Mrs Lapidge managed to toilet train her cat, although the poor thing ended up in the toilet several times. The question remains is she taught the cat to flush!

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    Litter - Kwitter

    [12] Revealing Studies of Loneliness Two's Company

    04 May 2005 11:47:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: New Scientist

    Do you not enjoy going out frequently and believe that you are better off on your own? Two new researches from scientific magazine New Scientist sound the alarm for anti-social people that do not frequently socialize with their peers. According to the above researches, low levels of social life negatively affect the immune system and heart. Specifically, as the first research indicated, the immune system of anti-social people does not respond to the flu vaccination. Also, according to the second research lonely men face a high risk of developing atherosclerosis that could lead to cardiac and brain ailments. The doctors suggest that one should remain in close contact with their loves ones!

    Heart Sounds the Alarm

    Researchers from Pittsburgh University handed out questionnaires to 83 students in order to find out to how many people they had talked to the past fifteen days. They also handed out palmtops that recorded every lonely feeling, since low cortisol levels are associated to stress.

    According to the findings, the students that felt lonely had an immune antibody that fights the flu, decreased by 16%, in relation to more social students.

    Also, the same antibody was decreased by 11% in students that had talked to four to twelve people, as opposed to students that had conversed to more than twenty people.

    In the second research, 3,000 men took part in, and the findings were presented in a conference of the American Heart Association. It indicated that whoever had small activity of social behavior i.e., single, or with a few friends, had a high percentage of interleukin-6, a protein that is increased when a heart condition, arthritis, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers were apparent.

    However, as scientists observe there is not a clear way to curing loneliness. The only thing one can do is to be in constant contact with family and loved ones.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] Meeting Between Karamanlis and Pavlopoulos Main Shareholder at Maximos Mansion

    04 May 2005 13:30:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET 105.8- ANA

    The main shareholder issue was at the focal point of the discussion between the Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis and the Minister of Interior, at Maximos Mansion. Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated that the measures have been taken in order for the Constitution to be strictly enforced and for common ground to be found with the EU. He also added that the major aim of the transparency will dominate and not a single euro will be lost. Also, a discussion took place on the course of implementing a bill for the counter of bureaucracy, issues that concern the Information Society and the bill for immigration policy, which will be submitted in Parliament next week.

    Necessary Reforms

    "The biggest matter is why Greece is threatened by a freeze of payment and return of funds for constructional defects, irregularities, and bad work allocation for 2001-2993, which were co-funded by the community," stated Mr Pavlopoulos.

    In the coming days, an answer will be sent to the European Committee on the "objectionable view," where the will over the start of negotiations is stated, in order for the necessary reforms and the common ground to be found on the main shareholder issue.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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