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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-05-17

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Panorthodox Synod
  • [02] Confusion in Jerusalem Patriarchate
  • [03] Uzebekistan Walks a Tightrope
  • [04] Public Sector Paralyses Tomorrow
  • [05] Mobiles More Dangerous in Country
  • [06] "Government Resembles Mullah Omar"
  • [07] Evaluation and Mobilisation
  • [08] Arrests Over Ecstasy Pills
  • [09] Newsweek Withdraws its Article
  • [10] Beslan Trial Begins
  • [11] Reinforcement of EU Council
  • [12] Iran Receives UNESCO Award
  • [13] Unsuitable Foods in Drapetsona Warehouse
  • [14] Green Scientist

  • [01] In Phanar Over the Situation in Jerusalem Panorthodox Synod

    17 May 2005 21:41:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The Ecumenical Patriarchate decided on the convocation of the Panorthodox Synod on coming Monday. On the occasion of the Panorthodox Synod, an unscheduled convocation of the Continuous Holy Synod will take place on Friday. At the same time, unconfirmed information has arrived from Jerusalem, where reportedly Patriarch Eirinaios tried to enter the hall of the Patriarchal Throne. While initially it was broadcast that there was an agreement between the Israeli police and the three-member committee of the Synod, in order for the keys to given to him, new information states that the discussions reached a dead end.

    Shady Discussions Over Keys

    According to NET 105.8 sources, the proposal for the keys to given to the Jerusalem police Chief, in order to allow the entrance of Eirinaios, in the presence of a representative of the three-member committee, was not accepted by the Holy Sepulchre Brotherhood.

    The majority of the Holy Synod, those are the clerics that have signed Eirinaios renouncement, will meet on Wednesday in order to make their final decisions over the future of things to come.

    This afternoon, with an announcement, the three-member committee of the Synod of the Jerusalem Patriarchate has placed Mr Eirinaios in the hands of God and the people. "Mr Eirinaios with his actions and omissions, for a large period of time, had driven the Patriarchate to a damage of its prestige, and a fault in the unity of his congregation. Regardless of the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Alexandria Patriarch that had asked for his resignation, and the fact that he had been renounced, losing every moral, ecclesiastical and social foundation, he tries to violate, even by force, the entrance of the Patriarchate asking for the help of the police that does not wish the above violation."

    Holy Synod Convenes Over Phanar Synod

    Earlier, the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided on the convocation of a Panorthodox Synod, over the situation in the Jerusalem Patriarchate. On the above matter, the Continuous Holy Synod will convene unscheduled on Friday morning. According to sources, during the meeting, the stance that Mr Christodoulos will keep and the two prelates that will arrive in Phanar for the Synod will be discussed. The Continuous Holy Synod will also decide who the two prelates that will accompany Mr Christodoulos will be.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Confusion in Jerusalem Patriarchate

    Crucial Developments

    [02] The Keys to Eirinaios Confusion in Jerusalem Patriarchate

    17 May 2005 18:51:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The developments in Jerusalem are rapid. Early on, NETs correspondent Panos Charitos broadcast that an agreement was made between the Patriarch, Hierarch members of the Holy Synod that have renounced him and the Chief of police of the Old Town of Jerusalem, over the entrance of Mr Eirinaios in the Patriarchate, a right that he strongly demanded. The Patriarch stated to the Israeli government that he will not enter the Patriarchate in order to make changes in the Holy Synod, while he was informed that if he does so, Israel will annul the act and will withdraw the policemen outside of his residence. However, up to this moment, he refuses to give a written acknowledgment to the Israeli government for all the above. Furthermore, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided on the convening of the Panorthodox Synod on coming Monday, which will take decisions in order to resolve the crisis.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Crucial Developments

    [03] Exact Number of Dead Unknown Uzebekistan Walks a Tightrope

    17 May 2005 17:44:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC, Reuters, AFP

    The situation in Uzbekistan continues to be out of control, after the bloody suppression of demonstrations in the town of Andijan last Friday. The countrys chief Prosecutor stated that 169 people had lost their lives, while eyewitnesses speak of at least 500 dead, and the Opposition party Free Farmers of 745. On Monday evening, more clashes broke out in the town, which remains sealed off by a strong army presence, while Amnesty International has called on the government to allow an independent investigation to be carried out into the massacre on Friday, so that those responsible may be brought before Justice. The explosive situation in the country has brought international reactions and concern, while thousands of residents have gathered along the borders with Kyrgyzstan, trying to escape. In an effort to forestall international outcry, the Foreign Ministry of the country is planning a visit for foreign ambassadors, while dozens of members of the Opposition poured onto the streets of Tashkent.

    International Reactions

    The army continues to keep control of the city of Andijan, with armoured vehicles patrolling the streets and checkpoints set up. However, it is still not known how the government will deal with the crisis in the nearby border town of Korasuv, on the borders with Kyrgyzstan. Residents of the town have taken control and it is surrounded by troops.

    In the meantime, talks on the situation in Uzbekistan will be held between American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who asked Tashkent to allow reporters access to the region, in order to uncover the truth.

    State Department spokesman Richard Boucher expressed deep sorrow at the deaths caused by indiscriminate use of violence, but at the same time he condemned the damage to government buildings caused by the enraged crowd, keeping an equal distance from both the authorities and the protestors. "Stability depends on the will of the government to respect human rights and the rule of law," noted Mr Boucher, and he called on Tashkent to allow the Red Cross to approach Andijan.

    Concern was also expressed over the situation in the Asian country by the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany, Michel Barnier and Joschka Fischer, who appealed for dialogue and asked for international humanitarian organizations to have access to Uzbekistan.

    In contrast with western countries, China supported the efforts of the Uzbek government to maintain stability. "We are against terrorism, extremism and separatist action," reports the statement from the Foreign Ministry, adding "we will continue to support Uzbekistan and other countries in the region in their efforts towards peace and stability."

    In answer to western criticism, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry is organising a visit for about 15 foreign reporters and ambassadors to Andijan.

    Concern for Refugees and Protests

    At the same time, concern is at a high point for thousands of residents of the country, who have poured across the borders with Kyrgyzstan. In fact, the UN High Commission for Refugees asked Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to leave their borders open.

    On Tuesday morning, dozens of supporters of the Opposition poured onto the streets of Tashkent. After holding a march, they ended in front of the American embassy, asking the US to help them to remove President Islam Karimov from power.

    "We want the US to see our country not only as an enormous military base in the war on terror, but as a country where the people are asking for human rights and freedom," one of the protestors told Reuters.

    As representatives of the Opposition note, this was the first protest by anti-regime groups in Tashkent, after the bloody suppression of the uprising, and it was organized by the political party Free Farmers.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] ADEDY announces national strike Public Sector Paralyses Tomorrow

    17 May 2005 16:01:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The public sector is expected to operate with difficulty on Wednesday, owing to the 24-hour nationwide strike announced by ADEDY, against collective work contracts. Among those who have announced that they will be participating in the strike action are employees of Prefectures, Municipalities, Hospitals, ambulance services, ministries, public services and tax offices. Furthermore, a work-stoppage will be held by teachers, while universities will also be closed, owing to the three-day strike announced by POSDEP, from 17 to 19 May. At the same time, there will be a four-hour work stoppage from 12:00 to 16:00 held by air traffic controllers. ADEDY is calling for a 1200-euro public sector minimum salary, a new salary scale to replace the current system after 2006, classification as unhealthy for certain public service occupations and a reassessment of work relations. At 11:00, the strikers will hold a rally in Korai Square in Athens.

    Problems with Flights

    Owing to the four-hour work stoppage by air traffic controllers, dozens of flights from all airline companies have been cancelled, while others are changing flight times.

    Aegean Airlines announced that nine flights are changing times, and seven are cancelled: 254/255 Athens Mytilene Athens, 316/317 Athens Heraklion Athens, 720/721 Thessalonica Rhodes Thessalonica, 904/905 Athens Larnaka Athens, 210/211 Athens Rhodes Athens, 111/112 Thessalonica Athens Thessalonica and 340/341 Athens Chania Athens.

    Those planning to travel can contact the company on 801 11 20000 and 210 6261000.

    Olympic Airlines have yet to announce which of their flights are to be cancelled, as tomorrow the companys technicians have announced a 24-hour strike. The firms administration have taken the matter to court, calling for the strike to be declared illegal.

    If the court rejects the appeal, then only one flight to each domestic destination and for each country abroad will go ahead.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] As indicated in study by Swedish scientists Mobiles More Dangerous in Country

    17 May 2005 15:03:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Mobile phone users who live in rural areas fall into a higher risk category than those who live in urban areas. According to a Swedish study published in the British journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, mobile phones appear to cause more brain cancer amongst users who live in rural areas. The research was carried out by oncology professor Leonard Hardel, at the University Hospital of Orebro in Sweden. The frequency of cases of brain cancer in the Swedish countryside was studied.

    Further Research Needed

    As the scientists stress, the residents of rural areas who used mobile telephones for at least three years were in at least three times as much danger of developing brain tumours in comparison with users in urban areas. The danger was multiplied by four for those who used mobile phones for four years, the study showed.

    These differences are most likely caused by the fact that in the countryside the distance between transmitters is much greater and consequently the necessary radiation for transmitting is much stronger. However, the scientists stress that although their conclusions are worrying, they must be confirmed in studies on larger samples of the population.

    The research team chose to study an area in central Sweden, where during the time period from January 1997 to June 2000, almost 1400 adults aged between 20 and 80 were diagnosed with brain tumours, both benign and malignant.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] Harsh Criticism at PASOK Steerers Meeting "Government Resembles Mullah Omar"

    17 May 2005 20:10:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The course of public works was at the focus of the meeting of the PASOK Steering Committee. The relative steerer, Giorgos Floridis made harsh criticism to the leadership of the Ministry of Public Works, noting that the public works production system is collapsing due to the insufficient and incapable policy of the government. Mr Floridis raised his voice when commenting on KEPEs proposals over competition. "The government is like Mullah Omar, comes out from a cave and terrorizes the Greek society," he said. The Minister of Public Works immediately answered on the criticism of public works. "The accused do not have the right to become accusers," noted Mr Souflias.

    PASOK Foresees Freeze of Public Works

    The Minister spoke of deplorable insufficiencies on Mr Floridis behalf, noting that such views lead astray and expose the President of his party.

    As he noted, when he took up his duties, he received a completely destroyed public works production system from the former leadership of the Ministry, which he radically changed, receiving praise from the Commission.

    For this reason, he added the accused do not have a right to become the accusers.

    Earlier, Mr Floridis stated that the government decreased the development in the region and has driven the construction department to collapse, a fact that translated into the creation of 65,000 new cases of unemployed.

    Steerer for Public Works issues, Kostas Spiliopoulos was also critical, and spoke of great delays in the assignment of works and unpaid works that have been completed.

    Deconstruction of Government Policy

    In the meeting of the Steering Committee, KEPEs report over competition and the evaluation of Universities was also discussed.

    According to sources, George Papandreou stated that the KEPE report was one-sided and has adopted the governments deconstruction policy.

    "PASOK has to deconstruct NDs policy, which in turn deconstructs the economic and social development of our country," he reportedly said.

    On the issue on the evaluation of education, the President of PASOK agreed with Andreas Loverdos that the handlings of the Minister of Education are superficial.

    As he noted, PASOK supports the evaluation as long as it falls in pace with adequate funding and radical changes in education.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Cabinet approves Bill Evaluation and Mobilisation

    17 May 2005 15:41:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET

    The system of evaluation for universities and polytechnics promoted in legislation from the Ministry of Education is expected to be implemented from September 2006. The relevant Bill received total approval from the Cabinet, despite the differing opinions that were expressed. The Cabinet meeting was held on Tuesday and chaired by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. The Hellenic Federation of Teaching Unions and University Research Staff oppose the Bill and have scheduled three days of action.

    Conforming to European Norms

    Various views were expressed and exchanged, but the Bill as approved in its entirety by the Cabinet, stated Education Minister Marietta Giannakou.

    The disagreements expressed were with regard to the choice of external assessors, since, as certain members of the Cabinet claimed, NDs manifesto adhered to the position that the authorities of each university should choose their assessors.

    As the minister noted, the Bill corresponds to the general principals of the European network on assessment, of which Greece is a member, and to the dialogue that took place in the national education council. She added that it is a good opportunity for universities to prove their abilities.

    Finally, asked about the action scheduled, Mrs Giannakou said that there were probably fears arising. Nevertheless, the principle of ensuring quality and objectivity in the Assessment Council should remove any such fears.

    Speaking on NETs programme Proti Gramnmi Deputy Minister for Education Mr Taliadouros also underlined the constitutional obligation of Greece to conform to European norms

    Tomorrow (Wednesday) the Minister of Education sets off for Bergen in Norway to participate in the Summit of EU Education Ministers, at which the new assessment system will be presented.

    Reactions from KKE, SYN

    The Opposition supports the assessment of tertiary education establishments, while KKE and SYN are opposed to the Bill, as are university professors, who are to hold three-day strikes starting from today.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] 100,000 Pills Confiscated Arrests Over Ecstasy Pills

    17 May 2005 21:14:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    100,000 ecstasy pills, the largest quantity of pills ever found in Greece, were confiscated by coordinated action in Mykonos and Thessalonica. More specifically, the Drug Squad of the Athens Police arrested three Greeks in Mykonos, two brothers 42 and 39 years old from Drama and a 39-year-old from Kavala. As the Chief of the Athens Police Major General Stefanos Skotis and Chief of the Drug Squad Giannis Rachovitsas announced, the policemen appeared as buyers and set up a date with the culprits in Mykonos from whom they received 50,000 ecstasy pills for the amount of 100,000 euros. At the time of the exchange, the culprits were arrested and transported to Athens while after the drawing up of the brief, on Wednesday, they will be taken to the Piraeus Prosecutor. At the time that the culprits were taken to Athens, a raid was performed in an apartment in Eptapirgio, Thessalonica where the 42-year-old rented under a different name, where another 50,000 pills were found and also confiscated.

    Large Quantity

    As it is evaluated, the import of the ecstasy pills was made through Bulgaria and the drug traffickers would approach Mykonos nightclub owners, at a period where many tourists and students arrive at the island.

    Except for the pills, the police also found on the arrestees possession, six grams of cocaine, a small quantity of heroin, a 22 mm handgun with four cartridges, two cars and five cell phones.

    As Mr Skotis announced, for the solving of the case policemen of the Drug Squad with men of the National Intelligence Service cooperated, and the authorities traced the culprits after intensive investigations in the islands.

    The investigation continues, since it is evaluated that this is an organized group, while the event of more people involved in the case is also investigated.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Bloody Clashes Followed Publication Newsweek Withdraws its Article

    17 May 2005 16:16:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC- ANA

    American magazine Newsweek has apologized over an article that spoke of the desecration of the Koran by American interrogators at the Guantanamo base. According to the article which was published last week, the interrogators had thrown the holy book of the Muslims down the toilet. According to the magazine, the interrogation undertook by the American Army could not confirm the story. In the meantime, the publication of the article was followed by clashes in Afghanistan, during which 15 people lost their lives. On its part, a White House representative stated that the withdrawal of the article is a good first step but cannot repair the damage that has been done.

    Whitaker: "Very Upset"

    In the meantime, today the editor of the magazine Mark Whitaker claimed that the Muslim extremists used the article of the so-called desecration in order to instigate clashes.

    "The Islamist extremists used the article deliberately in order to instigate clashes," stated Whitaker on television channel NBC, a few hours after the withdrawal of the article.

    "We are very upset over the consequences that followed the publication of the article," he added referring to the bloody clashes in Afghanistan.

    On the question of the possibility that certain Newsweek journalists will resign on the occasion of the case, Whitaker defended the work thats been done in the magazine. "From what we know, everyone did what they had to. The writer of the story, Michael Isikoff, based his article on a highly reliable source. We took every caution to show the article to a high-rank Pentagon officer before its publication," stated the editor.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Besayev remains at large Beslan Trial Begins

    17 May 2005 13:32:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The trial of the only arrested survivor of the pro-Chechen commandos who caused the massacre in a Beslan school last September began today in Vladikavkaz. The man in custody is 24-year-old Nur-Pashi Kulayev from the village of Engenoy in the Notzai Yurt region of Chechnya. Kulayev, who was arrested hiding in a lorry on 3 September, faces charges of terrorism and murder. The commandos invaded the school on 1 September 2004 and for three days kept 1100 people hostage, while their operation ended with the deaths of 330 people. Among the victims were 186 children. In the meantime, Chechen warlord Samil Basayev, who is alleged to have planned the attack, remains at large.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [11] Reinforcement of EU Council

    17 May 2005 18:42:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    On Tuesday, the proceedings of the 3rd Summit Meeting of the European Council adjourned with the approval of a common Declaration and Action Plan. In the preface of the Declaration, the leaders of 46 countries recognize that they are witnesses of a never witnessed before Pan-European unity. They express their concern over some unresolved clashes and unsolved problems in some areas of the continent and state that 60 years after the end of World War II, 30 years after Helsinki, 25 years after the founding of Walesas party and 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, they honor those who contributed for the overcoming of the differences and for the range of a democratic security to be broadened.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] For Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Sights Iran Receives UNESCO Award

    17 May 2005 17:05:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    UNESCOs Melina Mercouri Award was given to the historical village of Mahabad, in Iran, for the safeguarding and the better management of cultural sights. Mahabad was chosen among 11 candidacies for its unique agricultural and pastoral character, which has not been altered, regardless of the fact that for the last two or three millenniums has been inhabited, while human interventions do not obstruct its ecological balance. Mahabad was selected from Tequila and its suburbs that belong to Jalisco in Mexico and concerned an area of 30,000 hectares that the plant "agave tequilana," grows and which follow the curves of the plane. The 2005 Melina Mercouri Award will be given in September from alternate Minister of Culture Fani Petralia and General Director of UNESCO Koichiro Matsuura.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] Confiscated by the Piraeus Prefecture Unsuitable Foods in Drapetsona Warehouse

    17 May 2005 15:45:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    The Prefecture of Piraeus confiscated frozen poultry unsuitable for consumption, during an investigation at the companys warehouse in Drapetsona. According to the announcement, the Prefecture crews located and confiscated 25,200 kilos of frozen chicken breast from Argentina, in which the bacteria Listeria was detected. Also, the Veterinary Administration confiscated eight containers of French feta cheese; 128 kilos net weight, in violation of the EU regulation, since the product has Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). The confiscation of the food products, according to the announcement, is the result of continuing investigations of the Prefecture of Piraeus after the Easter holidays.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [14] Green Scientist

    17 May 2005 14:25:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    A German scientist has become an object of research for his colleagues. He claims that he has not eaten any food for the past four years. Dr Michael Werner states that his body receives all the energy it needs from the sun, and all he consumes in the traditional way is a little fruit juice, diluted with water. From what he says, not only is it enough, but at the start of the experiment he even put on weight! He has even written a book about it, under the title "Living with the Energy of Light," in which he describes his ascetic experience. "I cannot explain scientifically what is happening to me, but perhaps a little faith is what is needed," says Mr Werner in his book. Regarding the "alternative energy source" in question, his colleagues are dumbfounded, while dieticians have no answers. Only plants are able to photosynthesise energy from the sun, and with regard to the case of Werner they admit that he is in perfect health. So, with a little watering and a little fertilizer, perhaps we can get faith to bloom!

    Translated by Millie Williams

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