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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-18

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Suspense in Germany
  • [02] Seeking for A Solution
  • [03] Full-Scale Press Conference
  • [04] Referendum on OA
  • [05] Easy Win for Xanthi
  • [06] Overpowering Atromitos
  • [07] Impressive Tie
  • [08] Rivaldo Explains Statements

  • [01] Exit Polls Announced Suspense in Germany

    18 Sep 2005 19:09:00 (Last updated: 18 Sep 2005 22:33:22)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA, NET, Reuters

    The polling stations in Germany have closed, and the first exit polls made public by television network ARD held an unpleasant surprise for the two big parties. Both seem weakened, an expected development in the case of Gerhard Schroeders Social Democrats, but overthrows predictions in the case of Angela Merkels Christian Democrats. Although being on the lead by 35.5%, it cannot however form a government with its allies, the Free Democrats (FDP), who received 10.5%. On the other hand, the Social Democrats seem to have received 34%. The smaller parties are reinforced, as the Greens received 8.5%, and the new Left Wing Party 7.5%.

    The First Reactions

    After the announcement of the exit polls, the leaders of the German parties proceeded with their first official statements.

    Merkel noted that she expected her win, and that the Red-Green coalition of Chancellor Schroeder "was denounced by Germany." She noted that she "has a clear order for the forming of a government," and voiced her wish to discuss the above with all German parties, except for the Left Wing Party, admitting that her aim for a government coalition only with the collaboration of FDP is not feasible.

    On his part Gerhard Schroeder was more enthusiastic in his reaction, regardless of the fact that his party suffered losses. "The Social Democrats succeeded in the elections, even though many thought it was impossible based on the opinion polls. Germany proved its democratic culture, which cannot be defeated by Mass Media manipulation," he said amid cheering by his followers, and described the results as "catastrophic" for the Christian Democrats. The President of the Social Democrats, Franz Munteferings statements were along the same lines: "This is a personal defeat of Merkel. The country voted for Gerhard Schroeder in the Chancellorship," he stated.

    Leader of the Greens Yoshka Fisher stated that the message of the elections is Merkels failure. "We may have not ensured majority, but they also did not," he said to the followers of his party.

    The leader of the Liberals welcomed the percentages with enthusiasm, and spoke of a "clear victory." "We are the only winners," he said, fair enough, since his party was reinforced in the elections by 3.5% in relation to 2002.

    Scenarios for the Day After

    Awaiting the final decision of the polls, the likely scenarios give and take on the change in power.

    The party of East German Merkel ensures the greater percentage of votes. However, there is an issue of enlisting allies. Without the sufficient support from FDP to govern, the scenarios discussed are the following:

    Maybe, Merkel will be forced to form a "great coalition" with Schroeders SDP, even though the solution is not likely. However, a similar incident took place in 1996, but the Germans do not seem to see history repeating. Gerhard Schroeder, on his part, stated today that he is not willing to give over his place in the Chancellorship, and wants to remain head of " a stable government" over the next four years. He also stated that in order to form a government he will start negotiations as of Monday with all German political parties, except for the former PDS Communists.

    Another scenario wants Merkel keeping the Free Democrats by her side and approaching the Greens for the percentage she lacks. The party of the Christian Democrats seems willing to start negotiations, a fact which is not ruled out, regardless of Yoshka Fishers statements of being ready to join the Opposition.

    Whatever the decision may be, certain events are not ruled out until the final official results are announced, which are expected around midnight Greek time, while many say that the last chapter of this story will be written on October 20, when 20,000 voters from Dresden take to the polls.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Seeking for A Solution

    18 Sep 2005 17:17:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET, ANA, Vima

    The issue of Olympic Airlines remains at the focus of interest, since the next 24 hours are of vital importance for the companys future. On Monday, the government will have officially received the Commissions decision, while it repeats that it is seeking for the best possible solution, taking into account the present parameters. It is expected to announce its official decisions within the coming week, after the meeting of the Cabinet.

    Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Aloskoufis, in an interview in Sundays edition of Vima, noted that the company "In its current scheme has ended", and explained that the government awaits the final verdict of its financial adviser, Lazard Bank, before reaching its final decisions. "There will be uncertainty for a few days, but we will investigate every aspect for the sale of the company", he stated. Furthermore, he added, "Even if the denationalisation begins, many things will change, since the investor will implement a rationalisation programme", and concluded, "Labour rights will not be affected".

    On his part, President of SYN stated that the citizens are the ones that should decide on the public or private nature of OA, and demanded a referendum. As per a nationwide opinion poll by ALCO, published in newspaper Proto Thema, the overwhelming majority, 73% opposed to 18%, wants the continuation of our national air carrier, even in the case that a purchaser is not found.

    At the same time, OA employees are planning their actions in the context of the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE). On Monday morning the mechanics will stage a rally in the technical base of Eleftherios Venizelos. At noon, the OA Employees Association will participate in an associations assembly from all employment departments of the General Workers Union of Greece (GESEE). On Tuesday, spokespersons of the Workers Centres throughout Greece will meet at airports in order to decide over a single unions stance.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] At The TIF Full-Scale Press Conference

    18 Sep 2005 14:13:00 (Last updated: 18 Sep 2005 22:50:42)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    PASOK leader George Papandreou used harsh tongue against the governments policy at his Press Conference at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF). Mr Papandreou accused Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis of opting for a wrong course and suggested a new leadership model. "Mr Karamanlis calls on PASOK to make proposals, for his part does not have any," stated Mr Papandreou and went on to blame the Prime Minister for employing an uncontrollable neoliberalism as well as state-oriented practices that have involved Greece in a difficult course. When answering a question on the issue of OA, Mr Papandreou described Mr Karamanlis stance as "irresponsible", since, as he said, it undermined the companys future. Government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos described Mr Papandreous speech as "words void of meaning". KKEs announcement read that PASOKs oppositional strategy is worth nothing, while SYN criticised the Opposition President of lacking an alternative proposal. Earlier, Mr Papandreou met with HELEXPO and TIF governing boards as well as with working class representatives. He then toured the Fairs stands.

    "I Am Ready to Shoulder My Responsibilities"

    Mr Papandreou answered to a series of questions with regard to the changes within PASOK as well as the criticism voiced by his partys officials. PASOK leader described the changes and the criticism as an "element of everyday life," and underlined that he does not let certain facts, including the polls, influence him. He also stated that the planning of a new administration is his ultimate objective.

    When referring to the relations enjoyed by his partys officials, he argued that PASOK is a powerful team that is working on an alternative programme to claim the victory at the upcoming elections. When questioned about the viewpoints of independent parliamentarians Stephanos Manos and Andreas Andrianopoulos, Mr Papandreou said that although he has repeatedly disagreed, he fully respects them. As for PASOKs top-ranking official Kostas Laliotis, he maintained that Mr Laliotis is an integral part of the party.

    At the same time, he appeared certain that he will win the upcoming elections and claimed he is ready to shoulder his responsibilities.

    "Mr Prime Minister was mistaken to say from New York that he has no intention of exercising a veto over Turkeys accession talks," argued Mr Papandreou and went on to accuse Mr Karamanlis of idleness in terms of foreign policy. He further added, "Veto is an unwieldy tool that the government does not know how to use."

    He also blamed ND for the way it handled the issue of FYROM in 1990-93 and added that PASOKs governments were close enough to reach an agreement on FYROMs name as opposed to NDs government that failed to adopt the proper course of actions when the USA recognised the neighbouring country with its constitutional name.

    The high cost of living, unemployment, economy and agriculture also topped Sundays Press Conference.

    Mr Papandreou blamed the government for adopting an anti-populist economy policy that burdens the low-income earners, while he argued that with the measures taken by the government "the poor become poorer and the middle-class poor."

    With regard to the high cost of living, Mr Papandreou stated that PASOK has submitted specific proposals and added that the upward spiral of the prices is not only related to oil but also to the uncontrollable profiteering.

    PASOK leader also claimed that the new working-hour scheme is to heighten the problems in families and small and middle-sized businesses and increase unemployment, while it is to benefit the multi-stores, which, due to lack of competition, tend to prevail over the market, thus further raising the prices.

    Mr Papandreou spoke anew about the issue of heating oil benefit, the amount of which should be as high as to cover the needs of the low-income earners, while he accused the government of not fighting profiteering in the fuel market, since it is the only way it has to raise the states revenues.

    "ND is absorbing its own people into the Public Sector and thinks that this is the way to settle the issue of unemployment," said Mr Papandreou and counter-suggested that education be linked to the markets needs and that investment be made in human recourses to attract investments.

    On the issue of agriculture, Mr Papandreou stated, "Although the farmers are the driving force towards growth, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufiss reform failed to address their problems," and added that the Prime Minister lacks any "growth policy" on farmers and does not care about their future.

    "The new Common Agriculture Police (KAP), should it be implemented, is to help the farmers, for it refers to qualitative cultivations instead of mass ones," Mr Papandreou added and pointed out that Greece should be oriented towards the production of qualitative agricultural products that will be competitive.

    Emphasis on new technology and on the Internet

    In following, Main Opposition leader claimed that Greece should invest in culture through making the best of state-of-the-art technology, while he made a special reference to the importance of the Internet. In particular, he stated that the Internet has become "mans second nature" and added, "A culture will either live or die on the Internet."

    The reporters did not miss the opportunity to ask him about his standpoint on the state-church relations. Mr Papandreou argued that a really serious dialogue, which respects tradition, differentiation and multicultural ideals, should precede any decisions.

    "There is also the way of growth and reasonable exercise of power based on human reasoning and sensibility," concluded Mr Papandreou.

    Reactions From the Government and KKE

    "After PASOK leaders speech at the TIF, the Greek people will be able to discern the work, the clear strategy as well as the governments well-thought policy on the one hand, and PASOKs words void of meaning on the other hand," commented government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos, and accused Mr Papandreou of a series of lies in his answers. On Mr Papandreous speech yesterday, Mr Rousopoulos said that the President of PASOK "attempted to persuade the Greek people that he has magic solutions for everything," while in the Press conference "when asked to be more specific, he could not shed light to the grey areas of the his announcements. To give answers to how, when and with what funds he will implement the I wills he was passing out at any given chance." Moreover, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis reacted to the statement of the President of PASOK, in reference to the way the Ministry of Culture is being run, speaking of "far fetched sayings," while he commented on the financing management of the Cultural Capital of Thessaloniki in 1997, and stated "incidents of that kind will not reoccur."

    On its part, KKE issued an announcement that read that PASOKs oppositional strategy is worth nothing. "George Papandreous persistence in proving that PASOKs strategy opposes that of ND, fell through [] George Papandreous repeated motto that speaks of peoples participation means that the Greek people must play the part of the accomplice to a policy that smashes the right of the people," underlined the announcement. Secretary of SYN Mr Chountis criticised Mr Papandreou of not submitting any alternative policy against the governments neoliberal one: "His main aim was to inspect ND, from a viewpoint of effectiveness, decisiveness and reliability in the advancement and implementation of these directions in crucial departments, such as economy, education, insurance and the sale of public affluence to strategic areas" he stated.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    "There is an Alternative"

    [04] Alekos Alavanos Calls For Referendum on OA

    18 Sep 2005 14:45:00 (Last updated: 18 Sep 2005 19:04:50)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    Speaking at SYN Political Committee, the partys leader Alekos Alavanos called for a referendum to let the Greek people decide on the possibility of privatising OA.

    Mr Alavanos used harsh tongue against the governments policy. Commenting on the 2005-2008 national reform programme presented by the Minister of Economy, Giorgos Alogoskoufis, Mr Alavanos noted, "This is not a reform programme, but an ultimatum of the Federation of Greek Industries (FGI)" and added "This programme literally surrendered the country to big industries. The businessmens profits are promoted into a main priority, by the procedure of capital tax exemption though the idea of competitiveness, at a time when the government is indifferent on the heating benefit in comparison with other EU countries."

    Referring to PASOK leader George Papandreous speech, he stated that he discerned no alternatives. "On the contrary he moves in a common field of ideas with the government, and into a competition which will open new privatisation fronts," he noted, and referred to the PASOK Presidents viewpoint on the Office of Employment and Manpower (OAED). "Mr Papandreou said that OAED should not be under public control, and be given to social associates, FGI in other words, while the viewpoint of the labour party is "a public nature OAED with three-party participation and administration and three-party financing," he said.

    With regard to a possible cooperation among the Left parties, he argued that SYN is open to any proposal and added that he has no intention of answering back to Mrs Paparigas statements on SYN, since, as he said, these statements harm the Left as a whole.

    Furthermore, Mr Alavanos described the election of mayors and prefects with a 42% of the votes as running contrary to the Constitution and he voiced his concern over Turkeys accession talks, for they are to commence without Greece having secured Ankaras pledge to recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Easy Win for Xanthi

    18 Sep 2005 21:06:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    With two goals in the first half, Skoda Xanthi defeated Apollon Kalamaria 2-0 in the context of the 3rd round of the Greek Championship. With this win, the team of Giannis Matzourakis reached 7 points, and is in second place of the standings. The goals, which earned the win for Xanthi, were scored by Labriakos in the 26, and Luciano with a penalty in the 45.

    Done Deal

    Xanthi started of the game very well. Having taken over midfield, it made its presence felt in the opponents nets several times, but without a great opportunity. Finally in the 26, its superiority was proven with Labriakos sending the ball in the nets and scoring 1-0. From then on, nothing important happened, however shortly before the end of the first half, it managed to score a second goal. In an effort by Maghradze, Ioannous hand touched the ball and the referee whistled a penalty, with Luciano executing and sending the ball in the nets. All this time, Kalamaria only threatened in the 25 with Pappas, who after a solo performance was face to face with Pizanowski but missed.

    In the second half, Xanthi just retained control without chasing after a third goal. On the other hand, Apollon Kalamaria tried, but could not threaten Pisanowskis area, and thus 2-0 was the final score.

    Referee: Zografos (Athens)

    Yellow cards: Sikov-Ioannou


    Xanthi: Pisanowski, Torosidis (64 Antzas), Chinquinho, Sikov, Paviot, Emerson, Leo Mineiro, Maghradze, Lafata (68 Kidana), Luciano (77 Changui), Labriakos.

    Apollon Kalamaria: Radivojevic, Petkakis, Papadopoulos, Fytanidis, Murawski, Ioannou, Parmaxidis, Karamanlis (64 Mouzaoui), Wellington (82 Christoforidis), Cleyton, Pappas (77 El Omari).

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Overpowering Atromitos

    18 Sep 2005 20:12:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Atromitos earned a great win against OFI, which it crushed 4-0, in Peristeri. The players of Giorgos Paraschos, even though they were missing Milen Petkof due to an injury, managed to domineer from the start. Even though OFI was the one with the first opportunity of the game, in the 5 with Machlas, Atromitos had a better grasp in the pitch and soon enough took an initiative in its moves and the lead. In the 28 Skarmoutsos scored 1-0 with a shot outside the penalty area, and this was the score of the first half, since Michailidis kept the zero in Atromitos defence in the 30 with a kick by Kounenakis and in the 41 in an effort by Deyanof.

    With the start of the second half, OFI entered more powerfully and attempted to tie, but in the 58 was left with ten players. Machlas was offside and complained, and thus shown the yellow card. Straight after he started clapping ironically and received the second yellow card and was sent off. This paved the road for Atromitos to domineer. In the 60 Katemis passed to Sifakis and scored 2-0, in the 65 scored 3-0 and in the 85 Koutsis with a kick scored the final 4-0. In the 91 OFI missed out on a goal opportunity when Nwafor won a penalty, Kazatzis executed but Michailidis saved with his legs.

    Referee: Polatian (Pella) Red cards: 58 Machlas (2nd yellow) Yellow cards: Thomas

    Atromitos: Michailidis, Sotirchos, Pappas, Geladaris, Karadimos, Dimos, Dagas, Skarmoutsos (46 Katemis), Koutsis, Korakakis, Zacharopoulos.

    OFI: Sifakis, Gonzales, Arvanitis, Khachatryan, Kounenakis, Roubakis, Thomas (56 Nwafor), Machlas, Plousis, Davidson, Deyanof (59 Kazantzis).

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Impressive Tie

    18 Sep 2005 19:45:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    The game for the 3rd round of the A Division Championship between Panionios and Ionikos ended with a "British" score. The final result was 3-3, with the two teams playing a great and exciting game in the Nea Smyrni Stadium. The home team was on the lead thrice, with Exouzidis (4), Oravec (19) and Fernantes (63), and Sakis Tsiolis team managed to tie three times with Macor (penalty 17), Da Costa (30) and Konstantinidis (75).

    Suspenseful Game

    Panionios started the game off powerfully, and in the 4 got ahead. Fernantes executed a corner kick, and Oravec with a back heel kick passed to Exouzidis, who with a strong kick sent the ball in Kantimiris nets.

    However, Ionikos did not lose its cool and counterattacked immediately. Thus it tied quite quickly in the 16. Makos threw Macor down in the home teams goal area, and Efthymiadis whistled a penalty, which the Ionikos forward successfully executed.

    However, before the Ionikos players celebrated their goal, Panionios got in the lead once again. It was the 19 when Nalitzis found Oravec who easily scored 2-1. The game though had not finished, since in the 30 the visitors tied with Da Costa.

    The second half held much excitement as well. Once again, Panionios entered the pitch with power and in the 63 took the lead for the third time with a straight foul kick by Fernantes. However, the final score was a tie, since in the 74, and after Panionios losing a great chance to score 4-2, straight after, Konstantinidis was face to face with Vaniak and scored 3-3, which was the final score.

    Referee: Efthymiadis (Drama)

    Yellow cards: Kontodimos, Giannopoulos, Makos-Gutman, Kotitsas, Vourexakis.


    Panionios (Nikos Pantelis): Vaniak, Maniatis (64 Galanopoulos), Kontodimos, Giannopoulos, Exouzidis, Makos (46 Lazaridis), Magdy, Goundoulakis, Fernantes, Nalitzis (56 Breska), Oravec.

    Ionikos (Sakis Tsiolis): Kantimiris, Poulopoulos, Melabianakis, Tsimblidis, Vourexakis, Da Costa, Lettieri, Gutman (58 Pajuelo), Macor, Konstantinidis (80 Kotitsas), Coimbra (70 Benitez).

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Rivaldo Explains Statements

    18 Sep 2005 17:28:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    In yesterdays game between Kallithea and Olympiacos, Trond Solleid substituted Rivaldo with Kafes. Straight after the game, the Brazilian player pointed the finger at the Norwegian coach, saying that as a football player cannot perform on the right side of the pitch and prefers to play freely in the goal area. Ribo, after seeing the reactions on the issue, made a statement in his official website, noting that he never wanted to criticise his coach, who he respects. It is reminded, that the Brazilian player had made the same so-called mistake with his former coach Dusan Bajevic.

    "I Made Self-Criticism and Not Criticism"

    With the above statement, Rivaldo wanted to calm the situation after the victorious game of the "red and whites" against Kallithea. What the Brazilian player noted was that he did not want to criticise his coach, but himself, saying that he didnt want to play on the right side, but midfield and in front of the two attackers, as he can perform better. and not from the right side. Actually, he stated, "Do not forget that I am left footed." Furthermore, he said that he doesnt have a problem with Trond Solleid and that he thinks he is a great man and coach, and asked for time and trust from the fans.

    The Announcement

    "I believe that my first interview in my official website should address the fans of the team, and not my viewpoints and explanations over my statements after the victorious game of our team yesterday. Making self-criticism and not criticism to my coach, who you all know how much I respect, I spoke about Rivaldo and his performance. You know who I am and what I can do, my professionalism and my love for Olympiacos and football, but I play in a position that I cannot perform my best.

    I never mentioned systems or the game style of the team, as they are issues of the coach. I will not participate in the games of persons who use me and my statements to create a problem in the team and to the coach. Unfortunately for all, I do not speak Greek and cannot fully express and communicate my thoughts. I am very happy in Greece and Olympiacos, as our team is first in standings, however we had an unfortunate result in Champions League, but I promise you that it will never reoccur. I am in Olympiacos in order to play, and not make statements, but having high demands and goals as a player in Champions League, Greece and the national team of Brazil, I make my self-criticism and find my mistakes and weaknesses.

    In the games against Espagnol, Panathinaikos, Rozenborg and Kallithea I played on the right side with a bad performance, and my substitution. It is logical that my coach and our fans are not satisfied. Why? I have never played in this position, and do not forget that I am left footed. I have learned to play in midfield and behind the attackers in a free role, and allow me to say, as is know myself better than anyone else, that I can offer more from this position. Is it better that I dont play, when the coachs system does not include that position?

    What I do not want to project is that Rivaldo has a problem with the team and the coach. It is not that way. The coach decides what is good for the team, and I respect his choices, and if there is an issue you can be certain that Mr Sollied will listen to my views, and we will find the best possible solution. He is an amazing person and coach.

    Please do not look back in the past and compare, as you are comparing wrong figures and circumstances. I want to protect Olympiacos, my teammates and my history. I have worked very hard to get where I am. I do not allow anyone to use me as the main actor in invented scenarios. Give us all time and trust, as we play for you, and let us make Olympiacos an even bigger team.

    It is my honour to play in this team and collaborate with Mr Sollied and his associates. My name is Rivaldo."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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