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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-05-19

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Prime Minister in the US
  • [02] Jail for Gossiping
  • [03] Aris Relegated to B National
  • [04] Robo Doctors in Action
  • [05] MP Benefit Retracted
  • [06] No Political Responsibility
  • [07] Eirinaios' Intervention
  • [08] Concern for Pregnant Woman
  • [09] Milk Measures
  • [10] UN Meetings on Cyprus Continue
  • [11] Increase in Tourism
  • [12] Supermarkets Get Postponement
  • [13] Extension Granted to Kenderis
  • [14] Prevention with Vitamin E
  • [15] Sleepy Burglar
  • [16] All the Children in the Garden!
  • [17] Meeting Between Karamanlis and Meimarakis

  • [01] Meeting with George Bush on Friday Prime Minister in the US

    19 May 2005 18:10:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus problem, the FYROM problem and further improvement in Greek-American relations will make up the agenda of the talks scheduled for the Prime Minister with US President George Bush on Friday in the White House. This if he second time within a year that the American President is to receive the Greek Prime Minister in the Oval Office. Athens puts especial weight on Mr Karamanlis visit, as it is estimated that it will further upgrade Greeces international position. The Prime Minister is scheduled to leave for the US on Thursday, while on Saturday he will travel to Boston, where on Sunday he will be appointed honorary lecturer of Law at Tufts University.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Meetings with Karamanlis

    [02] Jail for Gossiping

    19 May 2005 20:45:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A Colombian city has introduced a new law under which people can be jailed for gossiping. Under the law in Icononzo, malicious gossiping is punished with up to a 73,000-euro fine or four years in prison! A city spokesman told Terra Noticias Populares newspaper: "People should be aware that using their tongues to speak evil is the same as having dynamite in your mouth." Mayor Jesus Ignacio Jimenez defended the new law against critics who say it is over the top. "It worries me the amount of people going to prison or being killed because of a gossip," he said. Eager to gossip on your neighbour? Well, you better think twice

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Aris Relegated to B National

    19 May 2005 18:05:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Aris is most probably relegated to B National following the Sports Judge decision regarding the incidents that occurred in Kleanthis Vikelidis stadium during the match versus Iraklis, which resulted in its interruption. As EPAE (Hellenic Association of Football Clubs) First Instance body ruled, the match is acknowledged in favour of Iraklis 2-0, the historic Thessalonikan team is penalized with a three-point loss, a 100,000-euro fine and will have to play behind closed doors in the next six matches. The grounds of the decision have not been announced yet, but the penalty is appealable. Aris will exercise their legal rights tomorrow morning, after having received the official decision in writing. However, it must be said that the decision will be very difficult to change.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Dr Robbie and Sister Mary Robo Doctors in Action

    19 May 2005 14:57:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: Reuters

    An invincible pair of metallic twins got to work yesterday at St Marys Hospital in London. The pair are Dr Robbie the Robot and the equally mechanical Sister Mary. No, they dont administer injections. Neither do they change sheets, but instead they take care of patient communication with doctors, whether the latter are in another wing of the hospital or on the other side of the world.

    The robot care is the most advanced expressed of virtual medicine, and is anything but impersonal. The responsibility for medical diagnoses, advice and consolation falls on the stainless steel shoulders of the robots, where there is a screen. Through the screen, the doctors can receive information about the case they are examining, speak to the patients, while by using a joystick they fully control the movements of their electronic assistant. And all this is taking place at the same time as in another London Hospital, Guys the first kidney transplant is been carried out by a surgical robot.

    Robots are now a firm part of health care. No, there is no case for robots replacing doctors on their shifts. The question is to solve the problem of how to be there in person, as experienced doctors are frequently required in many places at the same time, explain the doctors at St Marys. The robots are on a trial on the pilot programme Remote Presence Robots, which is opening new horizons in medicine and promoting the incorporation of technology in patient care.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Proposal unanimously accepted MP Benefit Retracted

    19 May 2005 14:25:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Parliament unanimously accepted the motion by the Speaker of the body to retract the decision to pay a monthly sum of 3300 euros to former MPs, who did not manage to achieve reelection or did not stand as candidates owing to professional incompatibility. Mrs Anna Psarouda Benaki called on the representatives of all parties "to reexamine all issues from the start." Besides this, according to statements by the secretary of NDs steering committee, Apostolos Stavros, the Prime Minister gave clear orders for the issue to be definitively closed. It brought fierce reactions from all sides, while both KKE and SYN called for it to be retracted immediately.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] No Political Responsibility

    19 May 2005 18:19:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Government spokesperson Theodoros Roussopoulos said the action of Prokopis Pavlopoulos associate, T. Choupis, is morally unacceptable. Mr Roussopoulos refuted allegations on Internal Affairs Ministers resignation, underlining there is no political responsibility, as in the particular case the political supervisor had no idea of his employees actions. "The important thing to see is the reaction of the political supervisor after the situation was revealed. Since Mr Pavlopoulos reacted and did not sit with his hands crossed nor showed tolerance, then the problem lies with the person who provoked it," said Mr Roussopoulos, underlining that the PM has faith in the Internal Affairs Minister. What is important, he went on to add, is that the Government has repeatedly shown that whenever a problem occurs, it tries to solve it and not cover it up. Yesterday, after Mr Pavlopoulos was informed on Mr Choupis actions, he asked for the latters resignation.

    "Huge Mistake"

    Internal Affairs Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos described the parallel activities of his former Press Office director as a "huge mistake."

    However, in statements Thanasis Choupis mentioned he wanted to increase his income, just like many other Greek citizens.

    "Those claiming that Caesar's wife must be above suspicion are right. The close associates of a minister who is at the focus of intrigue should be very careful, because their actions could be easily misunderstood by those who are ready to make a mountain out of a molehill," he stressed.

    PASOK Asked Pavlopoulos to Resign

    The Opposition harshly reacted to the matter. PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis asked Prokopis Pavlopoulos to resign, noting this is a major issue of ethics and political order for the government, the Prime Minister and the Internal Affairs Minister.

    At the same time, 37 PASOK MPs submitted a question to 17 ministers (excluding the Ministers of Culture and Justice) asking to receive information whether "contracts with natural or legal entities (private citizens or companies) have been signed regarding hiring personnel in any agency, organisation or legal entity supervised by a Ministry (including Banks where the Greek State has shares).

    SYN president Alekos Alavanos made comments on the issue, underlining that such incidents do not follow the PM's statements on modesty and humbleness.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Interior Minister Employee Resigns

    [07] A Few Days Before the Panorthodox Synod Eirinaios' Intervention

    19 May 2005 19:52:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Late on Thursday afternoon, Patriarch Eirinaios gave an answer to the members of the Holy Sepulchre Brotherhood who are accusing him. In a written announcement, he accused all those questioning him for the situation in Jerusalem, speaking of a "conventicle" and a "faction." At the same time, he said he is ready to apologize and make it up, but only if and as soon as there will be solid evidence, while he also stressed he will not resign and offered "an olive branch" as a token of peace, calling the Holy Sepulchre Brothers to consider their huge responsibilities "before God, the nation and history" and help the restoration of calmness. Lastly, he addressed Easter salutations to the Ecumenical Patriarch asking to increase his prayers along with the rest of the clergy and the people so that "God may have pity on us, forgive us and bring the much-anticipated peace to the church of Jerusalem."

    Several members of the Holy Synod believe that Eirinaios will dismiss and replace those questioning him before the Panorthodox Synod, which is due on Monday in Phanar.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] She took boric acid instead of glucose Concern for Pregnant Woman

    19 May 2005 17:09:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    Doctors at Aghios Andreas Hospital in Patra are fighting to save a young woman and her unborn child. The woman needed to take glucose, and unfortunately the pharmacist mistakenly gave her boric acid. The pregnant woman suffered poisoning and was initially admitted urgently to Amaliada Hospital. Owing to her critical condition, it was judged necessary to move her as soon as possible to Patra Hospital. According to the doctors treating her, the next 48 hours are considered especially critical, both for the woman and for the baby.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] Milk Measures

    19 May 2005 15:32:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Measures to reduce the retail price of fresh milk are in a packet promoted by the Ministry of Development, in collaboration with the Ministry for Rural Development. In the meeting held on Thursday with the General Secretary of Trade, with all parties concerned attending, it was also decided to intensify checks, so as to avert incidences of corruption involving dairy products. As Development Minister Mr Papathanasiou stated, there will be corresponding meetings on other agricultural products.

    Strict Controls

    Regarding the prices of dairy products, the matter is under investigation by the Competition Committee and results will soon be announced.

    Mr Papathanasiou stated that discussions are taking place to lengthen expiry dates on milk, while the aim is to implement the law to avoid any illegal relabelling as Greek of foreign products, with correct labels on all products.

    All those participating stressed that fresh pasteurized milk comes from Greek milk, but that there are imports for other products amounting to 150,000 tonnes of milk in concentrated form, which is used in cheeses, yogurts and other products, some of which are sold as Greek.

    Regarding fresh milk, it was stressed that domestic production amounts to 700,000 tonnes, of which 600,000 are sold for drinking.

    Referring to the question of prices, the president of the Greek Food Industries Association, Mr Daskalopoulos, underlined that if there is a way to reduce prices, it only comes through competition, while giving price details, he stated that on average the price of milk in Greece is 12% more expensive than in the rest of Europe, although production price in Greece is 36 cents per litre, against less than 31 cents in the EU.

    Furthermore, he stressed that in the last six years, the real price of milk has been reduced, as the increases have been lower than inflation, and this will continue in the future.

    The President of the General Federation of Farmer Collectives in Greece, Mr Goniotakis asked for corruption to be wiped out, for both producers and consumers to be protected, and for the gap between production and retail prices to be narrowed. It currently stands at 0.32-0.38 euro per litre (production price), against 1.15-1.40 euros per litre (retail price).

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [10] Fourth meeting today UN Meetings on Cyprus Continue

    19 May 2005 13:49:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    At 17:00 Greek time today, the fourth meeting on Cyprus will take place at the United Nations in New York. Those attending will be the deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Sir Kieran Prendergast and the diplomatic councilor from the President of the Cypriot Republic, Tasos Tzionis. In the meantime, as announced yesterday by the spokesman for the Secretary General, Mr Prendergast will retire at the end of June, but it seems that he will visit Athens, Ankara and Nicosia towards the end of May. Last nights meeting went on for an hour and ten minutes. According to a spokesperson for the secretariat of the UN, "the discussions will continue on Thursday and Friday." Among the Cyprus delegation, apart from Mr Tzionis, those taking part include Cyprus permanent representative at the UN, ambassador Andreas Mavrogiannis, the alternate permanent representative Andreas Chatzichrisanthou and the advicor to the Cypriot President, Clare Palli.

    Process Not Affected

    Cyprus Foreign Minister Giorgos Iakovou stated that the retirement of the assistant Secretary General of the UN, Sir Kieran Prendergast will not affect the process of negotiations to start talks on the Cyprus problem, saying that Mr Prendergast is not a special representative of Mr Annan for Cyprus.

    He also observed that negotiations for the Cyprus problem have yet to start and added that another person will continue, as Mr Prendergast is working to establish the procedure. Mr Iakovou also stated that the government of Cyprus has not received any information with regard to who will take over the process. Sir Kieran Prendergast has asked to retire and will do so in a few months.

    Mr Iakovou stated that the aim of the negotiations by the Cypriot delegation in New York is to establish the negotiations framework and method of a new dialogue on the Cyprus problem, one that will bring results.

    Answering questions after a meeting with his Latvian counterpart Artis Pabriks, Mr Iakovou said that the negotiations in New York are confidential and there is an agreement with the United Nations not to give out information. He added that the negotiations will be held in at least two places: in New York and in Nicosia, with Kieran Prendergasts visit.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [11] 7% increase from the US, Far East and Europe Increase in Tourism

    19 May 2005 16:48:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    The prevailing messages regarding tourism this summer are especially encouraging, according to the Minister for Tourism. In a Press conference on Thursday, Dimitris Avramopoulos presented the estimation of the Greek Tourist Board abroad on the increase in tourism. Mr Avramopoulos spoke of a 7% increase in tourists from the US, countries in the Far East and Europe, as well as a 40% increase in charter flights from outside Greece, and said that cruise bookings have more than doubled. In view of the new tourist season, the minister addressed a stern warning to any planning to indulge in illegal activities, underlining that businesses caught committing illegal acts would be shut down. He announced that there would be strict controls.

    Stability and Turn Around

    As Mr Avramopoulos noted, stability has now been achieved in Greek tourism, while in the coming years there will be a turn around and growth, as a result of the policies initiated by the ministry.

    In fact, he estimated that in 2006, the first results would be seen.

    The highest percentage of arrivals is expected to come from the US, with a 40% increase in relation to 2004.

    High levels are also expected from the markets of Spain (increase of 25-28%), Australia (increase of 25%), as well as Canada (18% increase).

    The good image presented by Greek tourist offices abroad is also reinforced by data from passenger traffic at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in Athens over Easter, during which time a 13% increase was seen in comparison with Easter 2004.

    Charter flights increased by 79% and domestic flights by 6%. The increase in the number of passengers from abroad amounts to 17%, which in numbers translates to 506,577 passengers.

    Bill on Health and Green Tourism

    Furthermore, Mr Avramopoulos noted that a qualitative upgrade of tourist offices is underway, stating that the total number will increase in the near future from the current 23 to 49.

    Referring to the development of the advertising campaign, the minister underlined that so far 26 million euros have been made available, while for the first time the procedures for the 2006 campaign have been completed.

    Emphasis is put on attracting foreign cinema companies to film in Greece, with the announcement that a Cinema Committee is to be formed for the 2006 campaign.

    Regarding tourist information offices for the public, these will be set up at all tourist destinations, as well as in regional capitals.

    Citizens Information Centres will also play a role in informing tourists.

    Another initiative by the ministry regards the forming of a team of tourism volunteers, who will offer their services at museums and archaeological sites.

    On the question of how many foreign tourist businesses are currently operating in Greece, Mr Avramopoulos stated that there are already three or four investments amounting to 200 million euros each.

    Next week, the direct airlink between Qatar and Athens will begin operations, while in the next few days, a Bill on eco-tourism and health tourism is to be submitted.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [12] On the issue of fines Supermarkets Get Postponement

    19 May 2005 15:12:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The meeting of the Competition Committee, scheduled for today, has been postponed until 3 June. They were to have discussed the matter of the fines imposed on SESME and seven supermarket chains for the practice of coordinating prices. The businessmen were granted the postponement after their recourse to the Court of Appeal, which will rule on whether the fine was correctly imposed by the Competition Committee. The Court of Appeal is expected to have released its ruling by 30 May, which means that until then, the Competition Committee cannot make its own ruling.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [13] Extension Granted to Kenderis

    19 May 2005 13:37:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Over the next few days, the new date for Kostas Kenderis to come fbefore Justice is expected to be set, as yesterday the Greek Olympic winner submitted a request by telephone via his lawyer and received an extension from the magistrate. The charges against the athlete are evasion of a doping test, incitement to false witness and dereliction of duty and regard the events of 12 August. The same charges are also faced by Katerina Thanou, has been called to testify before the magistrate next Wednesday. On the other hand, the former coach of Kenderis and Thanou, Mr Christis Tzekos, faces charges relating to the law on banned substances.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [14] Prevention with Vitamin E

    19 May 2005 12:17:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: BBC

    High levels of vitamin E in the blood are considered to have a valuable preventative action against an army of chronic illnesses, one of them Parkinsons disease. According to the data published in the medical journal Lancet Neurology by Canadian researchers of Queen University, people that include food rich in vitamin E such as leafy green vegetables, nuts and vegetable oils in their diets, are less likely to manifest the disease in relation to people that follow a non-balanced diet.

    Natural Intake Vs. Vitamin Supplements

    More specifically, the researchers carefully scrutinized eight studies conducted between 1996 and 2005, on the effect of vitamin E, C and Carotene B on the body. They all agreed that moderate and high doses of vitamin effectively shield against Parkinsons disease, which cannot be said about vitamin C and Carotene B.

    However, they stated that they do not have an indication that the desired effect can be achieved by taking vitamin E supplements. It is a known fact that vitamins are absorbed better when taken in their natural form, a fact that means the simultaneous intake of other nutrients that contribute to the work of the vitamins.

    It is noteworthy to say that vitamins should not be taken without a doctors advice and monitoring, especially considering that vitamin E in high doses can become toxic.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [15] Sleepy Burglar

    19 May 2005 21:11:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A burglar was arrested in China after he overslept when taking a nap at the scene of his latest crime. The 18-year-old had sneaked into a decoration company through an open window and was about to leave with his haul. But he looked in a fridge first and found some milk and cakes, and decided to sit down to eat first. Feeling a little sleepy after his meal, the teenager pushed four chairs together to take a short nap. He was still fast asleep, his haul of stolen goods by his side, when the company's workers arrived in the morning. Staff called the police and the man can now take a nap in his jail cell.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [16] Get to know Athens in Bloom All the Children in the Garden!

    19 May 2005 15:54:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The opportunity to explore and enjoy the beauties of the National Garden will be given this weekend to the children of Athens. A two-day event for children has been organized by the Municipality of Athens, with a programme rich in activities and actions which are expected to amaze both young and old. In the enchanting natural backdrop of the National Garden, Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, the Forest Fairy, Harlequin and many other favourite childrens heroes will come alive to play with the children and anyone who still feels like a child.

    Spring Festival

    The surprises of the Municipality of Athens do not stop here.

    The children will also have the opportunity to watch puppet shows and shadow theatre shows and let their imagination fly free in artistic workshops, making handicrafts with exclusively natural materials.

    They will also be able to attend lessons on road safety, along with Prodromos, Vodafones road safety mascot, and learn ways to take care of their plants. While their children are playing in the National Garden, the parents will be able to attend floristry lessons given by professionals.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [17] At Maximos Mansion Meeting Between Karamanlis and Meimarakis

    19 May 2005 16:20:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The programme of party action for the next month was discussed at Maximos Mansion by Prime Minister Mr Kostas Karamanlis and the Secretary of the party steering committee, Vangelis Meimarakis. According to information, a possibility of the prime minister touring a prefecture in the Peloponnese at the start of next month cannot be ruled out. According to the same source, Mr Meimarakis is said to have underlined to the prime minister the need for there to be cuts on the questions of OTE, Olympic Airlines and national insurance, in order to strengthen the Economy. After the meeting, answering a question on the matter, NDs Secretary stated that the Choupis matter is considered closed for the government.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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