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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-09

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] "We Move Ahead"
  • [02] Landslide Victory For Mubarak
  • [03] Disappointment in Greece and Cyprus
  • [04] Harsh Criticism By PASOK
  • [05] Russian President in Mt Athos
  • [06] "Education Ministry on the Students' Side"
  • [07] Time Changes In Routes
  • [08] 7.3 Earthquake in Papua New Guinea
  • [09] Moussa Arafat's Son is Freed
  • [10] Iliadis Won the Silver
  • [11] Greek Team Drives AGB Crazy
  • [12] Stress Fights Breast Cancer
  • [13] Robot Hand Rocks the Cradle
  • [14] Accusations of Fraudulent Elections

  • [01] Focus on Reforms and Changes "We Move Ahead"

    09 Sep 2005 21:24:00 (Last updated: 09 Sep 2005 23:32:36)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    "We move ahead, with a clear-cut strategy, and team work. We proceed with the reforms," pointed out Greek Premier Kostas Karamanlis in his speech at the inaugural ceremony of the 70th Thessaloniki International Fair. Mr Karamanlis reviewed the major development works that are underway in Northern Greece, while he made an extensive reference to the programmes meant to enhance the region and turn it into an "interchange of international cooperation." At the beginning of his speech, Mr Karamanlis congratulated the board councils of the TIF and ERT SA on their decision to co-organise the Greek Song Festival.

    Equal Development Throughout Greece

    With regard to the development programmes, Mr Karamanlis underlined, "Greece is not divided into privileged and non-privileged areas," and added that the Strategic Development Plan for Northern Greece, which is based on the technological advances, novelty and competitiveness aiming at a "competitive regional economy that depicts internal consistency and outward looking policies, will have been completed by the end of the year.

    The objective of the government is to make Thessaloniki a "Regional Conventional Centre", added the PM pointing out that Macedonia and Thrace are to acquire an "increasing geopolitical significance and new development potentials."

    Furthermore, Mr Karamanlis, made an extensive reference to the major works that are underway both in Thessaloniki and the wider region underscoring the vision of a modern Greece that relies on the "peace-cooperation-development pillar."

    Reactions From Opposition

    PASOK Press Spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis spoke of a "display of unreliability" and added that the almost inexistent work done by NDs government proves the PMs announcements wrong. Mr Athanasakis also accused Mr Karamanlis of avoiding committing as to when everything he announces is to be competed. "All that Mr Karamanlis can promise with regard to Thessaloniki, Northern Greece and the entire country, is stagnation and downturn," he concluded.

    On its part, KKE blamed the government for trying to "house all kinds of imperialistic bodies in Thessaloniki," thus meeting plutocracys ends, which are posing a considerable threat to the Greek people, who is on the verge of being attacked anew."

    "Mr Karamanlis did not break free from the traditional announcement of pointless pledges that have never been and will never be realised," noted SYN parliamentarian Panagiotis Laphazanis estimating that Northern Greece will encounter a "new economic and social downgrade, rise in unemployment rates and widespread poverty attack in the years to come."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Premiere for 70th TIF

    [02] He Won 88.6% of the Vote- Accusations of Abuses Landslide Victory For Mubarak

    09 Sep 2005 21:46:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Exceeding even the most optimistic estimations, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has been ruling Egypt for 24 years, won the first multi-candidate presidential elections with a striking 88.6% of the votes and sealed a fifth running six-year term as President. Ayman Nour of the Ghad (Tomorrow) party received just 7.5% of the votes, announced late on Friday the electoral committee. Mamdouh Marei, chairman of the Presidential Election Commission said there was a low turnout on Wednesdays elections with only 23% of the 32 million registered voters took part. Human rights groups complained of irregularities, while the Ibn Khaldum Centre led by leading Egyptian sociologist Saad Eddin Ibrahim argued that the real turnout percentage does not exceed 18%.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Disappointment in Greece and Cyprus

    09 Sep 2005 16:50:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Athens and Nicosia are greatly disappointed by the stance of the British Presidency in the EU on Europes answer to Turkish persistent refusal to recognise the Republic of Cyprus, at the talks of the Permanent Representatives Committee held in Brussel. "It is obvious that no EU Presidency should make use of its power to promote its clearly national choices," said Greek spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Giorgos Koumoutsakos and added, "The principle of impartiality is substantial for every EU Presidencys successful mission. The latest developments during the talks in Brussels (COREPER) on the issue in question, make it necessary that it is restated." On his part, commenting on Mr Koumoutsakos statement, British ambassador to Athens Simon Gass noted, "The British Presidency meets its obligations with impartiality and it will keep doing so in its effort to bring the EU Member-States closer." As per diplomatic sources, the latest talks were marked by Britains unwillingness to reach a joint agreement that would respect all Member-States. As a result, the efforts for consensus at the emergency summit of the Permanent Representatives Committee may end in a stalemate.

    British Commissioner to Cyprus Voiced his Complaint

    Earlier, British High Commissioner to Cyprus Peter Miller answered, "Britain deems that Turkey should not be urged to recognise the Republic of Cyprus before the commencement of the accession talks, for it runs contrary to the decision the European Council reached last December." He also voiced his complaint that Cyprus is under a false impression with regard to the efforts of the British Presidency and added that Britain insists on fully complying with the expansion of the Customs Union Protocol.

    Furthermore, he pointed out that both the short-term and the long-term objective is that Turkeys accession talks promote the much-awaited reforms in Turkey.

    He maintained that no one should stick to a timetable that may cause Ankara to adopt a negative stance and therefore avert reforms in the country.

    Two Different Views

    Among others, Mr Iakovou underlined that currently there are two different views on the case of the non-existent negotiating context. One is that the negotiations will start without a road map and will begin on October 3 but will not proceed further, and the other is that the negotiation cannot begin.

    "In either case, the point is that the negotiation cannot proceed," stated the Cypriot FM. He added that Turkey wanted a triumphant start of negotiations, but voiced doubts over its success without a road map, "because on that day the chapters which will start the negotiation will have to be selected."

    Mr Iakovou, after a meeting with the President of the Democratic Rally party (DISI), stated that there are serious doubts whether the final counterstatement to the one sided statement of Ankara on the non-recognition of the Cypriot Republic, will be adopted by the European Union.

    He added that Cyprus has given the assurance that with the spirit of European partnership is willing to continue cooperating aiming at the adoption of a counterstatement that will protect Cypriot interests.

    The Cypriot FM stated common ground was found in his meeting with Mr Anastasiadis, and that this period is quite difficult, as many different approaches are needed in order to achieve the desirable results. Commenting on DISIs action to send a letter with its viewpoints to parties leaders, which participate in the European Peoples Party, the FM stated it could only support the efforts made by the government.

    On his part, the President of DISI stated that the FM briefed him on the latest developments in relation to the discussions in the European Union over Brussels counterstatement to the one-sided statement of Ankara not recognising the Cypriot Republic.

    He also added that he explained the views of his party, which he submitted with a four-page memorandum, and concluded that no problem arose over the time it was been submitted, at least from the Ministers side. He also added that the views given to President Papadopoulos would be sent to parties and governments leaders, members of the European Peoples Party. Mr Anastasiadis noted that for DISI the reconnection of the Cypriot solution with Turkeys accession course and the roadmap of Turkey not in the future but in a logical period, which will lead to the solution of the Cypriot issue, are understandable.

    Furthermore, he said that he didnt get the impression that the government disagrees with his views. He warned that the restriction of discussion on the issues of recognition and regulations Protocols will not contribute to the resolution of the Cypriot issue but its perpetuation with the known consequences.

    [04] Presented the Government's "Unreliability Bible" Harsh Criticism By PASOK

    09 Sep 2005 14:54:00 (Last updated: 09 Sep 2005 20:55:29)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    PASOK is toughening its stance in view of the Prime Ministers speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair. Presenting the 128-page "Unreliability Bible" of the government, the Opposition partys spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis spoke of a non-correspondence of pledges and works, while he harshly criticised the Minister of Economy for the 10% of OTE shares given to foreign institutional investors. "Every line of the book reveals a lie," noted Mr Athanasakis, calling on the Ministers to reply to "the unprecedented annulment of every pre-election pledge." As per the Press spokesperson, "we are dealing with a government of unreliability, deception, which beguiles the Greek people," and PASOK will continue to record the government policy. Moreover, Mr Athanasakis added that the publication could also be named "The Manual of A Good Liar" and spoke of a "sad statement of accounts," which is paid daily by the Greek people. ND government spokesperson Thodoros Rousopoulos and the Ministries for the Interior and Economy harshly replied.

    Accusations Over OTE Shares

    Mr Athanasakis criticism did not stop at the "Unreliability Bible." The PASOK Press spokesperson made harsh criticism to Giorgos Alogoskoufis for the sale of the package of OTE shares.

    As per Mr Athanasakis, the distribution of the shares in the specific price caused a loss of at least 150 million euros, and asked Mr Alogoskoufis to answer to four questions, whilst emphasising that money is not the Ministers.

    Furthermore, the PASOK Press spokesperson criticised the Minister of Transport, Michalis Liapis, over the same issue, accusing him of keeping silent "which seems to run in the family, as it occurred in the emergence of Achilleas Karamanlis as MP."

    Furthermore, Mr Athanasakis described Minister of Public Works Giorgos Siouflias advertisement over the five great works in northern Greece as "a gift of propaganda" and spoke of the evaporation of Karamanlis pledges.

    In closing, Mr Athanasakis referred to todays story in "The Nea" newspaper, which states that the Ministry of Economy "opened a door to illegal traders" violating a intergovernmental agreement with FYROM, allowing customs clearance from Niki and Doirani. The PASOK spokesperson spoke of a "moral issue" since the action favours the illegal trade of cigarettes and fuel and asked the government to immediately reply.

    Harsh Reply by ND

    PASOK and its President with its black bible" have decided to colour their oppositional speech with the shade of reaction and permanence. Reaction to every change and reform, and a permanence of deception and the alteration practices of the 20-year rule of PASOK," government spokesperson Thodoros Rousopoulos replied to Mr Athanasakis, noting that the Greek people condemned the PASOK governments over the deficit, unemployment, price rises and corruption.

    "The citizens trusted and support the government as they are well aware that the reforms are a one way street that leads to a humane, fair, and social state," added Mr Rousopoulos, accusing PASOK of unreliability, lack of views and proposals and an attempt "to annul and downgrade the existent and effective work of the government."

    "The answer the Economy Ministry gave to Mr Athanasakis yesterday was absolutely clear and cannot be disputed," said in its announcement the Economy Ministry and called on Mr Athanasakis to cease misleading the Greek people.

    The announcement noted that the reversible bond loan PASOK government signed in 2001 was an unfortunate investment choice that blocked OTE shares for a large period of time.

    "The government has paid off the loan and its paying off is not related to the absolutely successful release of OTEs shares. The sale price stood at 17.02 euros per share and rose by 70% as opposed to its price a year ago," said the announcement. Following the reorganisation plan, OTE has restored the confidence of the Greek people and the international investors, concluded the announcement.

    "The government is proceeding without delay to the necessary reforms. We understand how some are bothered by our reforms," stated Deputy Economy Minister Adam Regouzas and added, "no intergovernmental agreement has been violated and it is self explanatory that the operation of the countrys customs should be made with the same rules and regulations."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] A Pilgrimage Russian President in Mt Athos

    09 Sep 2005 13:59:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA

    At noon, the pilgrimage of Russian President Vladimir Putin took place under strict security measures. Mr Putin arrived in the small port of Dafni and headed towards Karyes, where the Mount Athos Holy Community warmly welcomed him. Following, the Russian President will visit the Iveron Holy Monastery and in the afternoon the Holy Monastery of Panteleimonos where Russian and Ukrainian monks reside. The leadership of Mount Athos held him a grand Byzantine order welcome. In the central square of Karyes the Head Custodian Pavlos welcomed him and together they walked towards the entrance of the Protatou Church where the monks of Athos monasteries were waiting for the honourable guest together with the members of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. "In Russia we value people who enter monasticism and treat them with great respect. My country always had strong ties with Mount Athos. All of its spiritual sources are connected with Mount Athos. We have great respect for Mount Athos and all social classes," said Mr Putin.

    Mr Putin is the first Russian leader to visit Mount Athos. Vladimir Putin attempted to make two pilgrimages in the past, once on December 2001 and last September but both were cancelled; the first visit due to bad weather conditions, and the second due to the tragedy in Beslan.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Giannakou's Address in View of New School "Education Ministry on the Students' Side"

    09 Sep 2005 18:54:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Both the Greek Education Ministry and the education community will be at the disposal of the students and their parents in order to work out every problem, said Education Minister Marietta Giannakou at her address to the students in view of the new school year. "School offers both the rudiments of knowledge and the prospects for a complete personality," she added and put emphasis on dialogue, tolerance as well as on settling problems in a democratic way. Mrs Giannakou wished "good luck" to the students and promised that the Ministry will stand by them "doing its best."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related Links:

    Υπουργείο Εθνικής Παιδείας και Θρησκευμάτων

    [07] As of Next Monday Time Changes In Routes

    09 Sep 2005 16:23:00 (Last updated: 09 Sep 2005 18:52:01)

    By Anna Kourti

    As of next Monday, Metro and Suburban Railroad routes will change due to works by the Hellenic Railways Association (OSE) in the line of the Suburban Railroad at Doukissis Plakentias-Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. Analytical charts of routes and arrival times of trains have been posted in all Metro stations in Athens for the better service of passengers.

    The changes in the Metro routes are as follows: The first morning route from Monastiraki to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport is at 05:51. The first morning route from Doukissis Plakentias to the Airport will be at 06:01. The first morning route from Eleftherios Venizelos Airport to Monastiraki will be at 06:30, while the last route from Monastiraki to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport is at 19:21, and the last route from the Airport to Monastiraki at 20:30.

    The changes in the Suburban Railroad are as follows: From Larisa Station (Athens) the first route to the Airport will depart at 06:06 and the last at 19:36, while from the Airport the first route to Larisa Station will depart at 07:20 and the last at 20:20.

    Expansion of Bus Lanes

    Until the end of September, bus lanes in Attica will be expanded by 9km, thus totalling 48km. The inspection system for its enforcement will be reinforced with 15 crane vans and 14 cameras, while the fee imposed in a case of violation will be 83 euros.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] 7.3 Earthquake in Papua New Guinea

    09 Sep 2005 15:12:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    A strong earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale rocked the area of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. As per the spokesperson of the US Geological Institute, which is observing the phenomenon, there were no reports of damage. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre immediately issued an announcement that states that there is no threat over a destructive tidal wave, however it does not rule out such an event occurring along hundred of kilometre shoreline around the epicentre of the quake.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Moussa Arafat's Son is Freed

    09 Sep 2005 15:08:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The son of former Palestinian security chief Moussa Arafat, who was shot dead last Wednesday by gunmen, was freed. Moussa Arafat was adviser to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but he was removed from his post last April on charges of corruption. A militant coalition, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), claimed responsibility for assassinating Moussa Arafat and kidnapping his son Manhal. However, they denied any involvement in the case in an announcement a few hours later.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Moussa Arafat Shot Dead

    [10] Iliadis Won the Silver

    09 Sep 2005 18:58:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Ilias Iliadis of Greece added a new gold page in the history of Greek judo. The 2004 Athens Olympics gold medallist enriched his collection with yet another medal at the Judo World Championship in Cairo. He won the silver medal in the below 90kg category, thus smashing Greeces negative record according to which there was no Greek judoka in the seven first positions in the 26 previous world championships.

    The Biggest Success in a World Championship

    The Greek judoka achieved something that was beyond belief until 2003. He achieved five victories that led him to the final, where he played against Athens Olympics silver medallist Hiroshi Izumi.

    Despite fighting hard for the gold, he did not make it to the top of the podium and won the silver, which is the second biggest hit the Greek judo has achieved, following the gold at Athens Olympic Games in 2004.

    Iliadis success is ever greater given that the Greek champion had undergone a joint test, which did not seem to bother him.

    It is noteworthy that in the semi-finals, Iliadis achieved a clean victory over a new promising judoka from Belarus Andrei Kazusionak. As for Kyriako Iosifidis (-81kg), he was defeated in the preliminary round by Marat Ntanaibayev of Kazakhstan and was prematurely disqualified.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] Greek Team Drives AGB Crazy

    09 Sep 2005 14:22:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Although the performance of Otto Rehhagels boys in Almaty against Kazakhstan was not at all reminiscent of the team that was crowned European Champion in Portugals pitches last year, around 1.5 million Greek viewers watched the game. The number is quite striking given the time set for the game (16:00). Prime viewing time reached 14.7%, while AGB devises that measure TV ratings went crazy along with the Greek funs when Greek striker Nikos Lymperopoulos scored the victorious goal in the 94.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] Stress Fights Breast Cancer

    09 Sep 2005 16:22:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC

    Dane scientists brought to light new findings in the fight against breast cancer. The scientist claim that stress ranks among the factors that lower the risk of this type of cancer. The aforementioned findings contrast with past researches, which argued that stress doubles the risk. However, the Danish team point out that regular, daily doses of stress are beneficial, as opposed to a burst of stress caused by a life event, including the loss of a loved one. The research in question appeared in the British Medical Journal and studied 7,000 women living in Copenhagen between 1981 and 1983. The researchers tracked the medical records of those women 18 years later and reported 251 of them that had developed breast cancer.

    Risky Treatment

    At the beginning of the study, the researchers classified the women depending on their stress levels in their daily life and divided them into three categories low, medium and high, while they had stress fallen into six levels.

    The researchers defined stress as tension, nervousness, impatience, anxiety and sleeplessness.

    As per the study, the women that experienced high stress levels had 40% less chances to develop breast cancer than the rest, while for every increased level of stress they reported, they were 8% less likely to develop the disease.

    The researchers explained that the sustained stress levels are likely to affect the levels of oestrogen, which in turn may play its role in developing breast cancer.

    But they pointed out that it is just a study, which cannot yet produce specific results. They also underlined that changes in hormonal balances caused by stress are not a healthy response, and continued stress is highly likely to lead to other health problems, including heart diseases. Dr. Emma Pennery from Breast Cancer Care in Britain said that the personal stories of women who suffer from breast cancer run contrary to the new findings. They believe that stress makes things worse.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related Links:

    British Medical Journal

    [13] Developed by British Scientists Robot Hand Rocks the Cradle

    09 Sep 2005 13:35:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC

    Scientists are a step nearer to creating prosthetic hands capable of feeling. A research team of the Southampton University in Great Britain developed the first robotic hand with independent moving fingers and a thumb. "Remedi-Hand" can be connected with muscles in the arm by a small processing unit and is controlled by small contractions of the muscles that move the wrist. Human hand movements are very hard to be duplicated by machines, as they are very complex and most prosthetic arms are inflexible or can only grip one item in their palm. However, scientists claim that "Remedi-Hand" can mimic the human hand." The aim is to create a hand with the sort of functionality a human hand has but also a sense of touch," stated the head of the research team, Dr Paul Chappell.

    Development in Prosthetic Hands

    "Remedi-Hand" weighs 400g (less than a human palm) and its skeleton is made out of carbon fibre. The three middle fingers are similar while the small finger is a miniature of the others.

    The secret of the new robot hand hides in the thumb, as it is composed of three parts, however it has two motors instead of one and allows it to flex, rotate and touch the middle finger.

    "The real thumb can move in five types of way. We have managed to create a thumb that can mimic at least two of these like hold a ball, move the thumb and middle finger, as when unlocking the door or gripping an object like a hammer or microphone," Dr Chappell said.

    The next goal of the research team is to equip the hand with sensors in order to be able to touch and feel.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    Southampton University

    [14] For Distorting the Results Accusations of Fraudulent Elections

    09 Sep 2005 20:21:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Current President Hosni Mubaraks two serious contenders for Egypts Presidency, Ayman Nour and Nomaan Gomaa, accused the administration of distorting the election results. The accusations came a few hours prior to the release of the official results of the first multi-candidate elections held on Wednesday. As per information, 77-year-old Hosni Mubarak is expected to be re-elected with around the 80% of the votes cast. 40-year-old Ayman Nour is reported second with about 10% of the vote, while Nomaan Gomaa is to finish third. On his part, though, Nour estimated that the percentage of the votes he received range from 30% to 38%, and expressed his belief that in 2011, when the new six-year term is over, Mubaraks fifth term running, he will run for the countrys Presidency with Mubaraks son aged 42. In closing, he requested the elections be re-run.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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