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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-02-07

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Bishops Go to the Polls
  • [02] Brief Handed over to Litigant Parties
  • [03] Clear Message to Skopje
  • [04] Greek PM in Bucharest
  • [05] No Breakthrough in Pension Talks
  • [06] Israeli Raid into Gaza Ztrip
  • [07] Giannakou in Hospital
  • [08] Twisters and Storms Hit USA
  • [09] Turkey: "Yes" to the Headscarf in Universities
  • [10] Ecofin and Eurogroup in Parliament
  • [11] "PASOK Is the Alternative"
  • [12] Turkey Battles for the Headscarf
  • [13] Vgenopoulos' Move to Buy PAO FC
  • [14] Hopes for Olympiacos, AEK and PAO
  • [15] Olympiacos Make It to the Last 16
  • [16] Game to Seal Progress to "16"
  • [17] UEFA Shocked at 26 Match-fixing Cases
  • [18] GSEE-Employers Talks Fall Through
  • [19] Focused on ESPA 2007-13
  • [20] Petralia-ESIEA Meeting
  • [21] Entering Final Stage
  • [22] Microsoft Offers to Buy Out Yahoo
  • [23] Oil Price to $92
  • [24] Last Day for Cyprus Pound
  • [25] GSEE-Employers Meeting Positive
  • [26] Mrs Petralia's Meeting with Lawyers
  • [27] Heating Oil New Tax Rate from 15/2
  • [28] 2008 World Economy Outlook not Favourable
  • [29] The SYRIZA Congress Commences
  • [30] KKE's Head Comments the Political Situation
  • [31] All Roads Lead to Rome
  • [32] Could Not Be Better!
  • [33] Greece Beats Hungary 2-1
  • [34] Greece Hammers Malta 5-0
  • [35] Greece-Croatia 3-4
  • [36] Olympiacos Lost to CSKA Moscow
  • [37] Soccer Fan Dead by Policeman in Italy
  • [38] 2013 Mediterranean Games in Greece
  • [39] 200,000 Bonus
  • [40] ERT-Panathinaikos Agreement
  • [41] Jones Returns Olympic Medals!
  • [42] Draw for All Tastes
  • [43] Jones guilty in steroid case
  • [44] Golden Oars
  • [45] Greece Ended 4th
  • [46] National basketball team in the semis
  • [47] All for the Semis
  • [48] Greece Sent Portugal Home
  • [49] Greece Needs Victory
  • [50] The Beatles in Space
  • [51] Asteroid to Pass Close from Earth
  • [52] NASA and Beatles
  • [53] Communication Satellites in Orbit
  • [54] "Smart Eyes" for Sight-Impaired People
  • [55] Online Media Preferred
  • [56] Airline Websites Misleading
  • [57] "Investigate for UFOs"
  • [58] EUTIC 2007 International Colloquium
  • [59] Airbus A380 Lands in Sydney
  • [60] Lunar Probe Launched
  • [61] International Colloquium EUTIC 2007
  • [62] Free HPV Vaccine
  • [63] Kidney Trafficking
  • [64] Indonesia: 98 Victims from Bird Flu
  • [65] Watch Out! Work Can Kill You!
  • [66] Turkey: Avian Flu Victims
  • [67] Twins-Key to Leukemia Puzzle
  • [68] Ukraine: H5N1 Bird Flue in Crimea
  • [69] Banknotes, Source of Germs
  • [70] Program for Early Detection of Bladder Cancer
  • [71] Three New Cancer Vaccines
  • [72] List to Identify Serious Infant Illnesses
  • [73] Indonesian Girl Infected with Avian Flu
  • [74] Wearable Artificial Kidney
  • [75] Dinos Diamantopoulos "Passed Away"
  • [76] Spiliotopoulos- Jacqueline de Romilly Meeting
  • [77] France: Presentation of New Acropolis Museum
  • [78] Greek-American Cultural Festival
  • [79] Heath Ledger Found Dead
  • [80] D. Soula's Photo Exhibition
  • [81] Events for the New Year
  • [82] Event in Memory of P. Geramani
  • [83] Acropolis Museum Ground Floor Open
  • [84] ERT's Christmas Concert in Athens Concert Hall
  • [85] K. Karamanlis Visits Acropolis Museum
  • [86] Kylie in May, in Athens
  • [87] Ionian Sea: Cartography and History
  • [88] Karamanlis' Answer
  • [89] A. Papariga in Brahami
  • [90] The Prime Minister in Romania on Wednesday
  • [91] SIEMENS' Case
  • [92] In View of Developments
  • [93] Alavanos' Interpellation on Privatizations
  • [94] Papandreou's Interpellation on PPC
  • [95] Electing the New Archbishop
  • [96] Xanthi Mobilizations
  • [97] Auditions and Walk-outs
  • [98] No Cabs Today
  • [99] Countdown
  • [100] A. Georgiadis' Bookshop Attacked
  • [101] Trisagio for Hristodoulos
  • [102] Fatal Road Accident
  • [103] Respirator at ICU Caught Fire
  • [104] "Twin Quakes" Hit Achaia
  • [105] Achaia Hit by 5.4 Magnitude Quake
  • [106] Clinton Slightly in the Lead
  • [107] Cargo Ship in Croatia on Fire
  • [108] Italy Heading to Early Elections
  • [109] Deadly Storms Sweep North U.S.
  • [110] Clinton-Obama Battle to a Draw
  • [111] The Tories Extend Their Lead
  • [112] Headscarf Causes Friction in Turkey
  • [113] Super Tuesday in the USA
  • [114] Quake Kills 43 in Rwanda
  • [115] UN Security Council Meets on Chad
  • [116] Iraq: Civilians Killed in US Raid
  • [117] Iraq: Deadly Bomb Attacks
  • [118] Bomb Attack Killed 5 People
  • [119] Iraqi Central Bank on Fire
  • [120] Bloody Blasts in Iraq
  • [121] Powerful Blast in Mosul
  • [122] Deadly Suicide Attack
  • [123] Iraq a Time Bomb
  • [124] Deadly Gun Battles in Iraq
  • [125] Rice in Baghdad
  • [126] Bombing Attacks in Baghdad
  • [127] Suicide Attack Kills 3 in Israel
  • [128] Bloody Attack in Lebanon
  • [129] Palestinians Surge into Egypt
  • [130] Scores of Palestinians Fled into Egypt
  • [131] UN Calls Meeting on Gaza
  • [132] Gaza Plunged into Darkness
  • [133] Abbas Urged End of Blockade
  • [134] Air attack in Gaza
  • [135] Israel Bombs Gaza
  • [136] EU-Serbia Interim Agreement
  • [137] Eurogroup and Ecofin Meetings
  • [138] European Charlemagne Youth Prize
  • [139] ECB Interest Rate Unchanged
  • [140] Cyprus-Malta Join Euro
  • [141] Two Chapters in Turkey's EU Bid Opened
  • [142] Focus on Serbia-Kosovo
  • [143] Reform Treaty Signed
  • [144] Greek PM's Intervention
  • [145] EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon
  • [146] Romania: Opposition Parties Win EU Vote
  • [147] New Kosovo Talks
  • [148] Commemorative Euro Coin
  • [149] Churchill Never Existed, Brits Say
  • [150] Kiss of Life Saves Tiger
  • [151] Sugar orSawdust?
  • [152] Making a Tale out of His Mother's Murder
  • [153] Squid 4kg in Crete
  • [154] Austria: Driving for 41 Years without a Driving License
  • [155] Bjork Attacks Photographer
  • [156] The 7 Great "Medical Myths"
  • [157] Chimps Have Maths Skills
  • [158] 2.5m-Long Sea Scorpion Claw Unearthed
  • [159] An Airbus as Birthday Present
  • [160] Strands of Che's Hair Sold at US Auction
  • [161] Million Dollar Painting in Garbage
  • [162] Spears under Her Father's Control
  • [163] Katherine Heigl Most Desirable Woman
  • [164] Written Apology and Fine
  • [165] Prime Minister-Chef
  • [166] Australia: Teenager Party Boy Star
  • [167] Nicole Kidman Pregnant
  • [168] Smoking Banned in France's Cafes
  • [169] New Romance for Sarkozy
  • [170] Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actresses
  • [171] Royal Diamond Anniversary
  • [172] "One of the World's Most Glamorous Women"
  • [173] Sarkozy in best-dressed list
  • [174] Napoleon letter

  • [01] Eyes Fixed on the Athens Cathedral

    Bishops Go to the Polls

    07 Feb 2008 09:15:00 (Last updated: 07 Feb 2008 10:41:47)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The ballot for the election of the new Archbishop of Athens and all Greece has been underway since 0900 hours at the Athens Cathedral. The closed session is being attended by the Education Minister, Evrypidis Stylianidis. The Bishops-delegates number 75, as Bishop of Kilkission, who, being the senior, should have chaired the voting process, did not turn up. The Bishop of Karystia is now presiding over the ballot. The first two voting sessions require an absolute majority, while the third requires a relative one, meaning that even a single ballot can elect the new Archbishop. In the event of a tie, the new Archbishop will emerge from a draw. The informal candidates, since there are no official candidacies and ballot papers, are four: the Bishops of Sparta, Thebes, Thessaloniki and Demetrias. Should there be no objections, the process will be completed at 1700 hours on Thursday evening. Prior to the elections, it has to be made certain that at least the two thirds of the acting Bishops are present.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Electing the New Archbishop

    [02] Huge Files

    Brief Handed over to Litigant Parties

    07 Feb 2008 09:28:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The brief on the Zahopoulos scandals is to be handed over to the litigant parties, while the main suspects are likely to be named and charged with extortion in the coming week. The lawyer of Evi Tsekou, who is under detention, Mr Chrysikopoulos and Alexandros Lykourezos, who represents Zahopoulos family, are in the magistrates office to receive the huge files of the brief. In the meantime, businessman Thanasis Lascaridis told the Special Control Directorate he had nothing to do with the 5.5 million euros found in journalist Themos Anastasiadis bank account, and filed a lawsuit against the latter, demanding damages amounting to 2,000,000 euros. "PASOK [Panhellenic Socialist Movement] cannot ask the Prime Minister to appear before the Parliaments Standing Committee on Cultural and Education Affairs, so that the former Culture Ministers during its rule can be excluded from the hearing process," claimed Government sources. PASOK, on the other hand, argued that should Kostas Karamanlis have nothing to fear and hide, then he has to appear before the Committee. In the meantime, Opposition lawmakers making up the Parliaments Standing Committee on Institutions and Transparency have requested Messrs Adrianou, Angelou and Kladas be called on to give explanations.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] From Slovenia, Karamanlis Sent

    Clear Message to Skopje

    06 Feb 2008 13:45:00

    Sources: - 105.8

    From Ljubljana, Slovenia Greek Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis sent a clear message to Skopje: "Intransigence and provocative behaviour have no room in European logic". Mr. Karamnlis, who met with EU President, Janez Jan&#353;a also stressed that a mutually acceptable solution on the issue of FYROMs name is a necessary precondition for the country to continue its course towards Euro-Atlantic institutions. Talks between Mr. Karamanlis and Mr. Jansa centered on the course of the European treaty, situation in Kosovo as well as bilateral relations between the two countries. In parallel, FYROM leadership, insisting on its intransigent stand, makes all efforts to meet NATO member states approval for its admission to the alliance. American ambassador to Athens, Daniel Speckhard appealed to Skopje to cooperate for the finding of a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue. In the meantime, Prime-minister, K.Karamanlis will fly to Bucharest today in order to sign with his Rumanian counterpart, Calin Tariceanu a cooperation pact in the field of energy while he will also meet with the Rumanian President, Traian Basescu and Patriarch Daniel.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [04] Greek-Romanian Energy Deal

    Greek PM in Bucharest

    07 Feb 2008 10:44:00


    Greeces Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who is in Bucharest, is to sign Thursday a Greek-Romanian cooperation agreement on energy. His agenda includes talks with his Romanian counterpart Calin Tariceanu, Patriarch Daniel and Romanian President Traian Basescu. Later in the evening, he will attend a ceremony in honour of the Greeks doing business in Romania.

    [05] No Breakthrough in Pension Talks

    06 Feb 2008 10:08:00 (Last updated: 06 Feb 2008 17:53:09)

    Sources: 105.8

    The unification of social pension funds still triggers frictions between the government and social trade unions. The meeting held Wednesday between Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia and the representatives of the sectors due to make up the Scientists Fund reached no breakthrough. Petralia insisted on the need to have the pension funds unified, further stressing that the pension reforms would aim to cement both the contracts and the provisions offered to pensioners. The chairmen of the scientific bodies, on their part, stuck to their opinions, dismissing the integration as infeasible.

    Asked to comment the statements by Deputy Public Works Minister Themistoklis Xanthopoulos, who distanced himself from the Governments intention to have sound funds, including that of the engineers, integrated, the Employment Minister referred to Xanthopoulos fresh statements, who clarified that his statements "clearly echo his own personal opinions."

    In the meantime, lawyers are on a 24-hour strike. They will also go out on strike on 13 February, the same day Greeces major trade unions, GSEE covering the private sector and ADEDY covering the public sector, have called for a strike. Journalists have also voiced their intention of joining the strike actions on 13 February.

    Furthermore, GSEE and employers are having their second exploratory talks on wage hikes. At the first meeting, GSEE Chairman Giannis Panagopoulos had asked a nearly 10.5% rise in basic salaries and a compensation clause in case of inflationary pressures.

    Petralia Meets the Reps of the Scientific Bodies

    Petralia noted that the philosophy of the pension reform would exclude no one.

    With regard to the unification of funds, which the Government has termed as the core of the pension reform, the Employment Minister made it plain that whichever scheme is to be chosen, the choice will be based upon the schemes operational, the pension systems viability, as well as social justice.

    The representatives of the scientific bodies, (engineers, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, lawyers, notaries, journalists), who attended the meeting, claimed they would keep requesting the Government make its proposal more specific and lay them down in black and white.

    They also said they would not back down from their strike actions. They will join the strike scheduled for 13 February, while they will gather two days later on 15 February outside the Parliament building, when the Prime Minister is to unveil the pension reforms key pillars.

    In a Press conference they gave at the offices of the Athens Bar Association, they argued the meeting with the Employment Minister brought nothing new on the table, stressed that the planned unification would weaken their Funds, and voiced their discontent over the absence, as they said, of dialogue.

    [06] Israeli Raid into Gaza Ztrip

    07 Feb 2008 10:54:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA-MPA

    At least seven Palestinians, including six Xamas militants and a schoolteacher, were killed in joint air and ground operations mounted by the Israeli army. The first raid targeted an area near the town of Jabalya, claiming the lives of four Hamas militants. The second strike was carried out agains the Tufa quarter, in the northern sector of the city of Gaza, killing another two Hamas fighters and injuring four. A Hamas spokesman identified the victims as members of the Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades, Hamas military wing.

    At least seven Palestinians, including six Xamas militants and a schoolteacher, were killed in a joint air and ground operations mounted by the Israeli army

    The air strikes were backed by ground troops, who penetrated the northern part of Gaza. The Israeli fires hit a school in Beit Hanoun, killing a teacher and injuring three students.

    The Israeli operation came as an answer to the rocket attacks against southern Israel, as well as to the latest suicide attack in a shopping centre in the Demona, where an Israeli woman was killed.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Giannakou in Hospital

    07 Feb 2008 09:59:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Former Education Minister Marietta Giannakou is at the intensive care unit of the Errikos Dunant Hospital. An infection caused by a fracture she had sustained in past cost her the lower part of her right leg. Her doctors were trying all night long to avert an infection spread. A medical bulletin is due out later on Thursday.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Twisters and Storms Hit USA

    07 Feb 2008 08:53:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA-MPA

    The tornadoes and storms that tore across the south US states over the last two days have killed at least 52 people and injured more than 150. In Sumner County of Tennessee, a twister sucked up a boy and his mother from their home. The boy was later found safe and sound in a field. His mother, however, did not survive. Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said he was overwhelmed and shocked by the spell of extremely bad weather that battered the area.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] The Parliament Adopted the Reform

    Turkey: "Yes" to the Headscarf in Universities

    07 Feb 2008 08:25:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Turkish Parliament adopted late at night the constitutional amendment easing the headscarf ban in Universities, an amendment that has to be okayed by the Revision Committee, as the Vice-President of the National Assembly said. It is the first step towards lifting the said ban in the nations universities. In the session that lasted for more than ten hours, 397 lawmakers voted for the amendment, while 112 against. The final ballot on the reforms will take place in the Turkish National Assembly on Saturday.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Turkey moves to headscarves vote

    [10] Ecofin and Eurogroup in Parliament

    06 Feb 2008 22:53:00

    Sources: 105.8, ANA

    Greeces Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis advised once again moderate wage hikes lest inflation should flare up. While briefing the Parliaments Standing Committee on Economic Affairs on the outcome of the recent Ecofin and Eurogroup meetings, he stressed that rises in wages and prices should not let imported inflation turn into a permanent plague of the Greek economy.

    "A sluggish EU economy within 2008 is a slim yet actual possibility, however, nothing more than implementing what the Stability and Growth Pact dictates needs to be done. As for the Greek economy, all our announcements are valid. We have major growth reserves due to fact that the bulk of growth depends on domestic investments and initiatives, we have the Community Support Framework, private investments approved by the investment Act, public and private sector partnerships, a programme aiming to boost medium-sized companies. These [measures] will help to deal with any implications may come to light," argued Alogoskoufis.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] Underlined George Papandreou

    "PASOK Is the Alternative"

    06 Feb 2008 21:51:00

    Sources: 105.8, ANA

    "Many are delivering blows to PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) and are trying to create a permanent crisis within the party, however, we [PASOK] prove them wrong day in day out," underlined Socialist leader George Papandreou, while addressing the session of the partys committee on democracy and Greeces political system. He then went on to stress that PASOK will unveil an alternative administration soon. At the session, which was attended by leading Socialist officials Evangelos Venizelos and Kostas Skandalidis, the participants touched on the partys initiatives aiming at the renewal of the political system.

    In this framework, a referendum on the funding of parties, transparency, meritocracy and the electoral law has been scheduled for 24 February among the PASOK members and friends. The final proposal upon which the referendum will be conducted will have been shaped by coming Friday.

    Shortly after the session, PASOK press spokesman Giannis Ragoussis said, "Should Mr Karamanlis [the Greek PM] not be afraid of nothing, should Mr Karamanlis have nothing to hide with regard to the Zahopoulos scandal, then he will have to appear before the Parliaments Standing Committee on Cultural and Educational Affairs."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] Turkey Battles for the Headscarf

    06 Feb 2008 20:35:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ANA-MPA-NET

    The headscarf row has refuelled dispute between the Erdogan administration and the secular elite. The first ballot aiming to ease the headscarf ban in Turkeys universities has commenced in the nations Parliament. The Republicans have already argued that they will refer the case to the countrys Highest Court, claiming that the advanced reform poses a threat to the states secular nature. Wishing to water down reactions, Prime Minister Erdogan said that the constitutional amendment will be applied to universities only, also adding that over the last two decades the headscarf ban has deprived thousands of their right to education.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Headscarf Causes Friction in Turkey

    [13] Vgenopoulos' Move to Buy PAO FC

    17 Jan 2008 15:10:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: ANA

    MARFIN Vice President Andreas Vgenopoulos is leading an initiative by Panathinaikos supporters, fans and old athletes, who wish the FC to change owner and reach the top again.

    The announcement issued by Mr Vgenopoulos appeals to Vardonogiannis and Yiannakopoulos faimilies for cooperation reporting that "although we feel gratitude to Vardinogiannis family for its past contribution, the Club does not belong to it, but instead as always to its fans and athletes. In parallel, the announcement asks from Vardinogiannis family to sell the Clubs shares.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [14] Hopes for Olympiacos, AEK and PAO

    21 Dec 2007 14:40:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: ANA

    Olympiacos has learnt who his opponents will be for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League at this morning draw in Nyon, Switzerland. Olympiacos was paired with Chelsea. In the first knockout round, the first leg will take place in Athens, February 19 & 20 while the second leg is scheduled for March 4 & 5, London. The draw was not favourable for Olympiacos who avoided though giants like AC Milan, Manchester United and Barcelona. His mission is difficult but not impossible as the Greek Champions have the advantage of playing the first of their two legs at home, fighting to gain a positive result.

    AEK V Getafe, Panathinaikos V Rangers

    The surprise-team of Spains last year Championship, Getafe will play against AEK Athens for the round of 32 of UEFA Cup. The Greek team has to overcome its moderate performance in order to beat the Spanish team. Glasgow Rangers was paired with Panathinaikos. Panathinaikos will travel to Scotland for the first leg, February 13 & 14, while the two teams will meet again in Athens for the second leg February 21. It must be noted that Panathinaikos and Rangers had met 4 years before; the first leg resulted in draw (1-1) while in the second leg Panathinaikos achieved a great victory in Glasgow beating Rangers 3-1.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [15] Olympiacos-Bremen 3-0

    Olympiacos Make It to the Last 16

    12 Dec 2007 00:01:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Olympiacos CFP celebrated one of their biggest victories in the clubs history, reaching the Champions League last 16 on matchday 6. Scoring twice and giving an assist for Darko Kovacevic, Ieroklis Stoltidis was the MVP of the game, earning the Greek champions a stunning 3-0 victory over their Group C rival Verder Bremen in Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Athens.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [16] Game to Seal Progress to "16"

    11 Dec 2007 14:32:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: NA

    Olympiakos goes into Tuesdays meeting lying second in Group C, and needs a point from their final match to qualify for the knock out stage for the first time since 1998/1999- when the Reds and Whites went on to reach the quarter finals. Olympiakos will not take much comfort from their 3-1 win at Werder Bremen on Matchday 2 but will play hard to chase victory at tonights meeting at Karaiskakis Stadium. The game starts at 21:45 and will be aired by Supersport. A draw is a good result but not enough for Olympiakos that will still go for the win. Nonetheless, the Red and Whites will chase the victory rather than sit back and settle for the point that would seal progress to the last "16", their target is to be the winners when French referee, Laurent Duhamel, 41, blows whistle to end the game. Olympiakos coach, Takis Lemonis described it as dangerous when playing for two results, either draw or win as it leads to playing defense. We are determined to fight hard for victory. He also described the German team as a "spectacle", a team one enjoys watching playing football. Tonights game has been defined as final but one can never predict results. The only thing that matters at the moment is qualifying for the next stage of the Champions League.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [17] UEFA Shocked at 26 Match-fixing Cases

    06 Dec 2007 16:40:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: NA

    Seven months prior to the opening of Euro 2008, taking place in Austria and Switzerland an alleged scandal might overshadow the big football feast. Specifically, UEFA is called to investigate a possible big scandal involving match-fixing cases. According to "NB" website UEFA has approached both Europol and the European Committeee for investigations into match-fixing cases. It should be underlined that Champions League and UEFA, European cups games, are believed to have been fixed by Asian bookmakers which operate almost without any control by authorities. The German magazine, Der Spiegel, reported in its Monday issue that Europol has been asked to probe into 26 games, including three in the third preliminary round of the Champions League, two in the UEFA Cup and one in the qualifiers for Euro 2008. Of the 26 games, 15 took place in the current football cups and the other 11 from July, 2005 to November, 2006, mainly in eastern and south European countries. Five UEFA officials visited the Europol headquarters in November to handover a 96-page dossier outlining possible match-fixing practices, according to the German magazine.

    Europol has confirmed that it has been approached by UEFA, the governing body of European football, for investigations into match-fixing cases. "Europol can confirm that UEFA has made contact with Europol about possible match fixing of football games," said The Hague-based police organization that tackles organized crime in the European Union, in a brief press release. But it refused to give any details of the liaison, saying: " Europol has no further comments at this point." "The phenomenon of game fixing in organized sports is one of the areas that Europol has on the radar as a crime on the increase," said the three-sentence press release.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [18] For the 2008 Collective Employment Contract

    GSEE-Employers Talks Fall Through

    06 Feb 2008 17:53:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA, 105.8

    The second round of talks held Wednesday between the trade unions and the employers on the 2008 collective employment contract bore no fruit.

    The Federation of Greek Industries (FGI) proposed a two-year-long contract and 4% wage rises for the first year. They also requested new talks on other issues, including the exception of certain categories of newly-comers in the workforce, or companies and sectors facing crisis problems, from the contract.

    The Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE), on the other hand, said the above proposal could not make up a base of negotiations. Being after a one-year-long contract and hikes amounting to 10.5%, the trade unions appeared willing to discuss the duration of the contract, depending on the wage rises to be agreed on.

    The talks, however, witnessed a slight progress in constitutional grievances, including the increase in the regular holidays by one day for those you have a 25-year working experience, the rise in the maternity leave, as well as certain protection measures in favour of the unemployed who are five years away from retirement. GSEE Chairman Giannis Panagopoulos spoke of "extremely difficult negotiations amid a smelly climate, where institutions and people are degraded."

    Commenting on the duration of the employment contract, GSEE general secretary Kostas Poupakis claimed that an agreement should be built upon clauses on inflation and productivity.

    The Confederations deputy chairman, Alekos Kalyvis, dismissed the package of proposals offered by the employers as "unacceptable," while G. Peros, representing the All Workers Militant Front (PAME), noted, "these proposals lead to slight increases, lower than a euro per day."

    FGI head Dimitris Daskalopoulos underlined that the negotiations are taking place amidst harsh economical and social conditions.

    Without setting a date for a new meeting, the two sides are likely to go on with their talks after the 13 February strike, which, according to the unionists, is to give birth to new standards.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [19] Cabinet Meeting

    Focused on ESPA 2007-13

    05 Feb 2008 12:39:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Inner Cabinet, chaired by Prime-minister, Kostas Karamnlis, convened at the Maximos Mansion this morning to examine the National Strategic Reference Framework for the 2007-2013 period mounting up to 24 billion euros. In his statements after the meeting, Economics Minister, George Alogoskoufis said that he had briefed the Cabinet on the materialization course of the 3rd Community Support Framework as well as ESPA plans, which he described as a high growth opportunity for the country, stressing that operational programs have already being approved by the EU. Mr. Alogoskoufis added that materialization of the program will go ahead till the end of February, following decisions during the recently held meeting of the Intra-ministerial Committee and todays meeting of the Inner Cabinet. We will present the integral ESPA program in Nafplio tomorrow said Mr. Alogoskoufis, underlining that the program concerns regional Greece, new technologies, education and training and infrastructure, therefore it should be firstly presented to regional Greece.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [20] On Social Security

    Petralia-ESIEA Meeting

    04 Feb 2008 18:34:00

    Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia described todays meeting with the ESIEA (Journalists Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers) board on Social Security substantial, sincere and in depth. She reiterated the governments intention for a serious reform in Justice. We are entering the final stretch, since the prime minister will develop the basic principles of the reform in his speech in Parliament on 15 February. Ms Petralia committed herself to take under serious consideration the journalists proposals. ESIEA President Panos Sobolos stated that the ministers commitments today do not differ from those included in the previous government policy, since Ms Petralia insists on the merger of Journalists Social Security Funds with those of scientists and the extraction of 10% of the media tax that supports the journalists Funds. Mr Sobolos stated that following that development, their Unions will continue with their mobilisations and on Tuesday, the board of ESIEA will decide on a more specific programme of mobilisations.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [21] Dialogue on Social Security

    Entering Final Stage

    04 Feb 2008 08:35:00

    Sources: , 105.8

    Employment Minister, Fani Palli Petralia dialogue with social partners on reforms in social security system is entering into its final stage. Concluding circle of contacts, Mrs. Petralia is to meet with the Athens Journalists Union of Daily Newspapers Administration Board ( ESHEA) at noon, on Monday. According to reports, the Journalists Fund will merge with all Press funds while doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, notary publics and engineers Funds will merge into the Scientists Fund. In both cases, merging of funds is only at administration level with regulations on age limits and granting of pensions remaining unchanged.

    Reactions -Mobilizations

    The Funds assets will be deposited in special accounts, however, management will be assigned to one central sector. Moreover, 10% of revenues from social sources will be withheld to finance funds in a deficit position. The above regulation has given rise to reactions, particularly among lawyers and engineers, who have announced strike mobilizations. Engineers are holding daily three-hour stoppages while lawyers are abstaining from duties on 6, February as well as February, 13, the date GSEE and ADEDY have announced a 24-hour general strike. In the meantime, the Prime-minister is expected to announce the basic axis of new draftbill to the Parliament, on February, 15. According to reports, among most important reforms is the abolition of extreme cases of early retirement in DEKO and Banks. The Employment Minister will draw the new draftbill on social security till the beginning of March and will inform social partners prior to its submission to the Parliament.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [22] For $44.6 Billion

    Microsoft Offers to Buy Out Yahoo

    01 Feb 2008 18:07:00

    Sources: ANA

    Microsoft Corp., the worlds biggest software maker, offers to buy Yahoo Inc. for $44.6 billion. The $31-a-share bid of cash or Microsoft stock is 62 percent more than Yahoos closing price yesterday. The two companies had tried a year before to cooperate but Yahoo had rejected the proposal then.

    Yahoo said its board will evaluate the offer. Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer told analysts on a conference that the deal would transform its money-losing Internet division, into a profitable one. According to the company the agreement is expected to be completed and approved within 2008 latest six months.

    Rumors regarding Yahoos buyout began when the company announced the disappointing results for 2007 and the low predictions for 2008.

    In New York Stock Market, Yahoo shares jumped 55,6%.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [23] In International Markets

    Oil Price to $92

    01 Feb 2008 17:31:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-NA-REUTERS

    OPEC decided to keep output levels steady examining whether they are going to proceed to a drop of production in March in order to support oil prices in international markets.U.S. light crude for March delivery lost $1.11 to $90.64 a barrel by 1455 GMT, off highs of $92.12. London Brent crude was $1.08 down at $91.13. Gold price hit a record settling at $933,90 at 10:30 in Londons market. Previous record in gold price was $ 933,33 reported on Tuesday.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [24] Cyprus

    Last Day for Cyprus Pound

    31 Jan 2008 18:00:00

    By Andreas Roditis


    Today is the last day for the Cyprus pound, as dual circulation comes to an end. As of tomorrow all transactions will be carried out in euros. Banks will continue to exchange Cyprus pounds for euros until June 30, 2008. After this date anyone with pounds will have to go to the Central Bank to have them converted to euros. The Central Bank will continue converting without commission coins till December, 31, 2009 and bank notes till December, 31, 2017. According to the Cyprus Central Bank 152 million Cyprus pounds in banknotes and 26 millions in coins circulated till last Tuesday. In parallel, 990 million euros in banknotes and 77 million euros in coins were circulating.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [25] GSEE-Employers Meeting Positive

    30 Jan 2008 12:40:00 (Last updated: 31 Jan 2008 12:00:22)

    The first investigating meeting between GSEE (General Confederation of Greek Workers) and employers on pay rises in the private sector took place in a good climate. The President of the Confederation Yiannis Panagopoulos asked for an estimated 10.5% rise in salaries and a substitution clause in case of inflationary bursts. From his side, SEV (Hellenic Federation of Enterprises) President Dimitris Daskalopoulos spoke of a competition problem with enterprises due to international developments. The fresh meeting will be held in GESEVE (General Confederation of Greek Industrialists) offices at 14:00, Wednesday.

    The Prime Minister is expected to outline the Governments position on Funds on the 15 February off-the-agenda debate in Parliament. In the meantime, the Employment Minister met Wednesday with the lawyers, whom she assured that there would be no surprises. Lawyers, however, have scheduled strikes for 6 and 13 February. Fani Palli-Petralia is to meet with the Athens Journalists Union (ESHEA) on coming Monday.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [26] On Social Pension Reform

    Mrs Petralia's Meeting with Lawyers

    30 Jan 2008 10:55:00

    Employment minister Mrs, Petralia had a meeting with lawyers today at 12:00 on social pension reform. Mrs. Petralia will also meet with representatives of engineers, lawyers, doctors and journalists next Monday to discuss about the unification of their Funds and withholding of 10% of their social sources. Yesterday during her meeting with doctors , employment minister branded the Scientist Funds Unification a loose federation and committed to preserve the statutory provisions of each Fund.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [27] Heating Oil New Tax Rate from 15/2

    29 Jan 2008 15:10:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NA-NA

    The Economy Minister has informed all public services and sectors involved in oil supply that new heating -oil tax rate takes effect as of February, 15, 2008.

    The new legislation allows heating oil importers a ten day deadline for the payment of tax. According to new regulations heating oil tax rate equals to gasoline special consumption tax up to the stage of delivery to gas stations. Consumers will continue paying lower tax for heating oil.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [28] Said the Greek Finance Minister

    2008 World Economy Outlook not Favourable

    29 Jan 2008 11:53:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    The concerted efforts of the competent Ministries and the business world with a view to an export hike are entering a new era. While delivering the opening speech at the 12th conference of the National Export Council, Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis claimed that Greece is ushering itself into a new era regarding export enhancement, using the experience gained so far. He also predicted that the 2008 world economy outlook will not be favourable. Alogoskoufis went on to say that new markets trends will be exploited to the full, while 2008 exports are expected to amount to 9.8% of GDP, compared to 9.2% in 2007 and 8.4% in 2004. We can achieve much more, commented Alogoskoufis, further shifting attention to the volatile economy worldwide. The Greek Finance Minister called on businessmen and all interested parties to submit their proposals so that the bid to have exports increased can be boosted. He also did not rule out taking tax incentives to that end.

    Touching on the Export Promotion Organisation (OPE), Alogoskoufis argued that the Organisation is the spearhead of the drive to have imports soared, also adding that nearly 1,200 Greek companies have done business with 3,000 foreigner ones over the last two years. He reminded that the export hike goes on unhindered. In Romania, in particular, Greek exports rose by 33% in 2007, as opposed to 2006, and by 21.7% in China.

    As for 2008, about 175 OPE-sponsored ventures in 58 countries have been scheduled. It is the most ambitious project the Organisation has ever embarked on, commented Alogoskoufis.

    Furthermore, Deputy Foreign Minister Petros Doukas, who also addressed the conference of the National Export Council, said that several steps have been made towards economy growth.

    He also referred to the hardships and obstacles at international level (high oil prices, hikes in the prices of agricultural products, euro currency). Yet, he voiced his belief that the export hike will go on, given the high growth rates in SE Europe, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Gulf.

    Doukas then shifted his focus on the business missions the Foreign Ministry is to carry out. The Ministry is planning to send delegations to Algeria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, China, Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Vietnam, the USA, Brazil, Venezuela, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

    The Deputy Foreign Minister then remarked that the better all interested parties and businessmen coordinate, the better the proposals to be submitted and the better the results to be yielded.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [29] On Thursday

    The SYRIZA Congress Commences

    06 Feb 2008 20:24:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: 105.8, ANA

    The fifth congress of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) will commence on Thursday. Nearly 1200 members will be called on to decide on the partys political choices and to elect the new president. Fotis Kouvelis and Alexis Tsipras are the two candidates to compete for the post on Sunday. Nikos Hountis, SYRIZA secretary will open the congress at 7pm, while outgoing President Alekos Alavanos will also deliver a speech.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [30] KKE's Head Comments the Political Situation

    06 Feb 2008 18:34:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ANA

    Reacting to the prevalent situation in Greece, the Communist Party (KKE) is after bringing the real issues to the fore, underlined the partys general secretary Aleka Papariga, while addressed a KKE-sponsored event on energy.

    Touching on the recent political climate, Papariga stressed, "Both information and wrangling have been monopolised by certain affairs that we [KKE] do not undermine. They are called and they are scandals. But for us, they are expressions of a general strategy in the field of economy, which undeniably influences the entire political structure. However, the way this discussion is being made, undermines major issues."

    Papariga then went on to claim, "We want to react and we will react to this situation, which tends to evolve to a sickened one, which substitutes talks and debate on crucial matters."

    The Greek Communist Party, continued Papariga, is determined to contribute to the shifting the focus of the political debate to the major and important matters, pertaining to the economy field, the workers living conditions and rights, the today and tomorrow.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [31] All Roads Lead to Rome

    28 Nov 2007 14:00:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    With all eyes being fixed on the Stadio Olympico in Rome, Italy, Olympiacos will try to work their miracle and find themselves just a breath away from making it to the next round. The Greek club will strive to "conquer" the eternal city and celebrate their advance. In case of a tie, Olympiacos will still hold good chances, provided that Real Madrid beats Werder Bremen.

    "We will do our best for a positive result. Our previous games in the stage group, and especially the away ones, will be our guide," commented Olympiacos coach Takis Lemonis. "Speaking of a tie in away matches is far too risky," added Lemonis, also referring to Olympiacos fans expected in Rome in the most glowing terms.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [32] Could Not Be Better!

    25 Nov 2007 20:02:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    Road opened for Greeces National Football team qualification to final stage of World Cup to be held in South Africa, in 2010 following its draw in the second group, playing against Switzerland, Israel, Latvia, Luxembourg and Moldova, avoiding top European teams. Favourable draw makes European Champions qualification to final stage for the Mundial easier. The nine European group winners are guaranteed spots in the final tournament in South Africa. The eight best runners-up will move on to the playoffs to decide the other four spots with exemption the team with the least points in each group which is excluded. Israel, Switzerland and Moldova could threaten the Greek Football team but if it is concentrated it can achieve to end first in the group to avoid baraz play offs. In the same line were the statements by EPO general secretary, Yiannis Oikonomidis "We were very happy at the draw, particularly when Israel was drawn in our group. Its a manageable task. Both Greece and Israel wished to be in the same group as each knows the other teams capacity. Otto Rehagel was also satisfied at the draw. The Greek National Football team is capable to achieve the miracle.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [33] Greece Beats Hungary 2-1

    21 Nov 2007 23:20:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [34] Greece Hammers Malta 5-0

    17 Nov 2007 23:37:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    Fanis Gekas scored three goals to help Greece beat Malta 5-0 Saturday in a European Championship qualifying match. The defending champions had already secured qualification from Group C for next years tournament in Austria and Switzerland. Gekas scored in the 32nd minute and added others in the 72nd and 74th. Captain Angelos Basinas scored another goal in the 54th and Ioannis Amanatidis provided the fifth in the 61st.

    [35] European Cup Under 21

    Greece-Croatia 3-4

    17 Nov 2007 18:49:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    Ante Rukavina scored two late goals as Croatia came from behind to defeat Greece 4-3 in Athens and move to within a point of Group 1 leaders Italy. The visitors took the lead after five minutes through Kreso Ljubici&#263; but were pegged back in the 32nd when Antonios Petropoulos scored from close range. Croatia went in front again just before half-time when Tomislvav Busi&#263; capitalised on some poor defending, and were pegged back again just after the restart as Theodoros Tripotseris headed the ball in. Greece went in front for the first time in the 65th minute as Elini Dimoutsos impressively connected with a Christos Aravidis corner, although there was plenty of time for Rukavina to have his say. The HNK Hajduk Split forward first levelled with a right-footed shot (79) before wrapping up the points in the 83rd when evading the home defence and drilling in low with his left foot.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [36] Olympiacos Lost to CSKA Moscow

    14 Nov 2007 21:45:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    Olympiacos suffered Wednesday its second consecutive Euroleague defeat after losing 88-79 to CSKA Moscow on match day 4 in Russia. Running out of steam in the fourth ten-minute period, the Greek side was deprived of an away victory that would break its losing streak against the Russian side. Of the winners, Siskauskas was top scorer, yet it was Theo Papaloukas' stiff defence that earned the Russians the victory. Geer, on the other hand, paced for the Greek team with 27 points, but missed the closing minutes with a leg injury after running into CSKA's Andersen. The score per period: 22-23, 45-40, 61-62, 88-79.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [37] Soccer Fan Dead by Policeman in Italy

    11 Nov 2007 19:34:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Lazio fans were travelling to Milan for the game against Inter, while Juventus supporters were on their way to their league fixture against Parma FC when the incident occurred. Lazio and Juventus supporters conflicted. A Lazio fan was killed after being accidentally shot by a policeman. The match between Atalanta BC and AC Milan, meanwhile, was postponed after just seven minutes following disturbances by Atalanta fans. Tradegy Giancarlo Abete, president of the FIGC, said: "We decided to postpone the game between Inter and Lazio to mourn the death of the Lazio fan. We are still trying to discover what actually happened. At the moment it does not seem similar to other previous football-related incidents. Apparently it was a clash between two small groups of fans and probably not even for sporting reasons. The attempt to stop this clash became a tragedy." Chief of Arezzo police, Vincenzo Giacobbe said: "It was a tragic mistake. I want to express my pain and my commiserations to the family of the person."

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [38] Resounding National Success

    2013 Mediterranean Games in Greece

    27 Oct 2007 20:27:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: ANA

    Volos and Larissa, Greece, were named host cities of the 17th Mediterranean Games to be held in 2013. The Greek bid, which had been vying for a year and a half for this result, triumphed over rival bidder Rijeka, Croatia, in the second voting, garnering 37 votes. Rijekas bid trailed with 34 votes.

    In the first vote, the Greek bid received 31 ballots, Rijeka of Croatia 24 and Mersin of Turkey 13. Prior to the voting process, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis had stated, "We [Greece bid] are a strong outsider. We have fought this battle altogether, the local governments, the organizing committee, the Greek Government, the lawmakers."

    Kouvelos: "ICMG and the 23 National Olympic Committees trusted the ambitious Greek bid"

    The President of the Greek Bid Committee for the XVII Mediterranean Games Isidoros Kouvelos gave a news conference shortly after winning the voting process.

    "The International Committee of Mediterranean Games and the 23 National Olympic Committees trusted the ambitious Greek proposal to have the Mediterranean Games upgraded, and named Volos and Larissa host cities of the 2016 Games. We thank the ICMG and the National Olympic Committees of the Mediterranean nations for accepting our bid, trusting and supporting our vision and initiative."

    Kouvelos reiterated that the objective is to give the 2013 Mediterranean Games a strong prospect. "Our goal is to have the most distinguished athletes in the 2013 Mediterranean Games, offer the Games strong future prospects, make them autonomous and attribute them a liaison role for the nations of the Mediterranean, converting it into a sea of peace, cooperation, culture and progress. Our second major mission is the contribution to the regional growth of Thessaly, which will be called on to welcome thousands of visitors in 2013, offering them the best possible infrastructure network."

    Kouvelos then went on to thank the sponsors and those who offered their full backing to the Greek bid. "We commit ourselves to fulfilling the great goal of ours and implementing our proposal. We mean to organize the best Mediterranean Games in history, and assisted by the ICMG and the National Olympic Committees we will get down to work immediately. Thank you and we are waiting for you in Volos in 2013," concluded Kouvelos.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [39] In the Aftermath of the Great Victory

    200,000 Bonus

    18 Oct 2007 14:20:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: ANA

    The Hellenic Football Federation (HFF) decided to award the players of the Greek national soccer club for achieving a resounding victory over Turkey and making it to the UEFA EURO 2008 finals. Otto Rehhagels boys are to be awarded with an extra bonus of 200,000 euros. The total sum of money to be distributed to the players has now reached 450,000 euros, as the HFF had announced last Saturday a bonus amounting at 250,000 euros for the tie with Norway and the victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    Comments by the Turkish Press

    The Turkish Press praised the Greek national soccer clubs supremacy and termed its victory as fair, while blasting Fatih Terims boys for their poor performance. CN Turk spoke of a national failure. "Terims team was tragic." "Turkey Lost 0-1 to Greece," read Hurriyet paper, which made a special reference to the Turkish players who gave a military salute, honouring the Turkish soldiers who perished in the battles with the Kurd separatists. Fanatiks cover read, "Disappointment: 0-1." Milliyet also bowed to Greeces astounding performance, commenting, "Turkey suffered yet another blow in the EURO 2008 qualifiers, since Greece won, getting the three points needed. Greece played better, scoring only once, thankfully."

    Related News:

    Momentous Victory

    [40] ERT-Panathinaikos Agreement

    12 Oct 2007 14:02:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: NA

    The administration board of Panathinaikos Basketball Association has come to a final agreement with state television channel ERT for coverage of A1 Panathinaikos Basketball team home games for the 2007-2008 Greek Basketball Championship period. This agreement materialized the desire of Panathinaikos administration board to give the opportunity to its fans in the most remote regions of Greece, who can not go the OAKA, to watch the games of their favourite team, as the state channel has the strongest signal. The first game to be broadcast is Panathinaikos- Rethymno.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [41] Jones Returns Olympic Medals!

    09 Oct 2007 14:19:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: ANA

    Marion Jones did what she should have doneAfter admitting she had taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs in 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, she returned to the National Olympic Committee the 3 gold medals and 2 bronze she had won. 31 years old Jones admitted that she had lied to federal prosecutors about taking illegal performance-enhancing drugs during 1999-2001.

    At the Sydney Olympics, Jones won gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters and was part of the gold-medal-winning 1600-meter relay team. She won a bronze medal in the long jump and was part of the bronze-medal-winning 400-meter relay team. Jones revealed that she used steroids given to her by her former coach Trevor Graham.

    The National Olympic Committee has not decided yet what to do with the medals.It left open the possibility to give them to the athletes winning 2nd and 3rd places. In that case, Katerina Thanou silver medalist in the 100 meters in Sydney will be given the gold medal.

    Jones is asked to return the 2 medals, gold in the 200 meters, and silver in the 100 meters, won in Edmonton of Canada. Jones may also be asked to return prize money and bonuses earned at Athletics Federations meets.

    The Administrative Board of SEGAS Supports Thanou and Kenteris

    SEGAS (hellenic amateur athletic association), in its announcement released to press supports the Greek champions Katerina Thanou and Kostas Kenteris who were accused of drug use in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [42] Draw for All Tastes

    09 Oct 2007 13:59:00 (Last updated: 10 Oct 2007 15:35:40)

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    The draw for the group stage of the 2006-07 UEFA Cup, hosted at UEFAs headquarters in Nyon on Tuesday, was one for all tastes. Panathinaikos has a much easier task, as it was lined up against Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia), Atletico Madrid (Spain), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Aberdeen (Scotland), in Group B. AEK will face Villarreal (Spain), Fiorentina (Italy), Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic) and Elfsborg (Sweden), in Group C. The third Greek soccer club taking parting in the group stage of the UEFA Cup, Larissa, will meet AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands), Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), Everton (England) and Nuremburg (Germany), in Group A. Aris was drawn against Bayern Munich (Germany), Bolton (England), Braga (Portugal) and Red Star Belgrade (Serbia), in Group F. Finally, Panionios will play against Bordeaux (France), Austria Vienna (Austria), Galatasaray (Turkey) and Helsingborg (Sweden) in Group H.

    Each club will play two home and two away matches between 25 October and 20 December. They are also entitled to one day-off. The clubs to earn the first three spots in each Group will make it to the next round.

    UEFA CUP Group Stage

    Group A: AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands), Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), Everton (England), Nuremburg (Germany), Larissa (Greece). Group B: Panathinaikos (Greece), Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia), Atletico Madrid (Spain, Copenhagen (Denmark), Aberdeen (Scotland). Group C: Villarreal (Spain), AEK Athens (Greece), Fiorentina (Italy), Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic), Elfsborg (Sweden). Group D: FC Basel (Switzerland), Hamburg (Germany), Rennes (France), Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), SK Brann (Norway). Group E: Bayer Leverkusen (Germany), Sparta Prague (Czech Republic), Spartak Moscow (Russia), Toulouse (France), FC Zurich (Switzerland). Group F: Bayern Munich (Germany), Bolton (England), Braga (Portugal), Red Star Belgrade (Serbia), Aris (Greece). Group G: Anderlecht (Belgium), Tottenham (England), Getafe (Spain), Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel), Aalborg (Denmark). Group H: Bordeaux (France), Austria Vienna (Austria), Galatasaray (Turkey), Panionios (Greece), Helsingborg (Sweden).

    1st Matchday Everton-Larissa, Panathinaikos-Aberdeen, Elfsborg-AEK Athens, Helsingborg-Panionios 2nd Matchday Larissa-Zenit St. Petersburg, Aris-Red Star Belgrade 3rd Matchday AZ Alkmaar-Larissa, AEK Athens-Fiorentina, Bolton-Aris, Panionios-Galatasaray 4th Matchday Panathinaikos-Lokomotiv Moscow, Mlada Boleslav-AEK, Aris-Braga, Austria Vienna-Panionios 5th Matchday Larissa-Nuremburg, Atletico Madrid-Panathinaikos, AEK Athens-Villarreal, Bayer Leverkusen-Aris, Panionios-Bordeaux

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [43] Jones guilty in steroid case

    06 Oct 2007 18:29:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Marion Jones admission of using performance-enhancing drugs, which could cost her five Olympic medals, came merely to confirm rumours going around for years

    Sources: NA

    Reversing years of denials, U.S. track superstar Marion Jones pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to federal investigators and admitted using steroids, which could cost her the five medals she won in the Sydney 2000 Olympics. In a sober court hearing and a tear-filled appearance before reporters, Jones, 31, admitted using performance-enhancing drugs. She later told reporters she was retiring from track and field, ending a spectacular career in which she became the first woman to win five medals at a single Olympics. Admission of taking steroids merely confirmed rumours for years. Marion Jones pleaded guilty to two felonies, lying to federal investigators about her steroid use and lying to them about a separate check fraud case.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [44] Golden Oars

    24 Sep 2007 11:20:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    Greece conquered 2 gold medals, a bronze and a silver one in the European Rowing Championship 2007 which took place in Poznan of Poland. Female rowers Chrysi Biskitzi and Alexandra Tsiavou ended first in Womens Lightweight Double Sculls (LW2x). Ioannis Tsamis and Ioannis Christou did a bad start but managed to have a good race and ended first in Mens Double Sculls. Silver World Champions Vasileios Plymeros and Dimitris Mougios conquered the bronze medal in Lightweight Mens Double Sculls (LM2x). Finally, Ioannis Tsilis, Georgios Tziallas, Georgios Tsiompanidis and Pavlos Gavriilidis earned the third place in Mens Four.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [45] Greece Ended 4th

    16 Sep 2007 21:50:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    Our national team ended in the 4th place in the 35th Eurobasket, held in Spain. Greece was defeated by Lithuania in the semi-finals (78-69) loosing the chance to clinch a spot in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Nikos Zisis scored 23 points but the other players seemed tired after the super weight effort yesterday in the semi finals playing against Spain.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [46] National basketball team in the semis

    15 Sep 2007 00:52:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: NA

    Greek National Basketball team qualified for the semi-finals beating Slovenia 63-62 on Friday evening. The Greek heart spoke at the last minutes of the game against Slovenia with leading players, Papaloukas and Zisis achieving 11 and 7 points respectively, the first in the fourth period and the second in the last period to give Greece the pass to the semi-finals. The Greek National team will today face world champion Spain and organizer of 35 th European Basketball Championship. The game starts at 20:00 and will be broadcast by ET-1.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [47] Greece-Slovenia ET1 22:30

    All for the Semis

    14 Sep 2007 14:55:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: ANA

    The fragile Greek national basketball team, also Champions of Europe in 2005 is facing dangerous Slovenia in Madrid at 22:30 Greek time. If the Greek team beats the Slovenians, then it will qualify to the semis. Greek coach Panagiotis Yannakis stated that our players should concentrate and not make any mistakes. Theodoros Papalakoukas will finally play in the game, while Pelekanos participation will be decided on the last moment. Meanwhile, Lithuania is to play against Croatia at 20:00. This match will also be broadcast by ET1.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [48] Greece-Portugal 85-67

    Greece Sent Portugal Home

    11 Sep 2007 22:09:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: ANA

    Our national team achieved an easy victory against Portugal in the qualifying round B of the European Competition. The European Champions having 3 victories-2 defeats in Group E, conquered the third place in the 8 finalists. Greece waits for its opponent who will come up from tomorrows game between Lithuania and Slovenia. Both teams have not been defeated. Greece will face the defeated team.

    At the end of the game the Greek players had achieved double-digit points (Ntikoudis, Diamantidis, Spanoulis), while Ntikoudis almost reached a double-double figure in points and rebounds (17p. 9r.). Joao Santos was the leading player of Portugal, scoring 17 points.

    "We played the game really tough", Greek captain Michalis Kakiouzis said, who scored eight points.

    "And if we play the rest of the games like this, we wont have any problems".

    Greece (Panayiotis Yiannakis): Papaloukas 8 points (1), Bourousis, Zisis 5 (1), Spanoulis 10 (1), Vailopoulos 5 (1), Pelekanos 5 (1), Chatzivrettas 2, Dikoudis 17 (2), Tsartsaris 3, Diamantidis 13 (3), Papadopoulos 9, Kakiouzis 8.

    Portugal: (Valentyn Melnychuk): Minhava 5, Fernandes, Ramos 3, Cunha 10, Jordao 8 (2), Da Silva 6 (2), Gomes 4, Coehlo 2, Simao 2, Evora 4, Miranda 6 (2), Santos 17 (3).

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [49] Greece Needs Victory

    11 Sep 2007 14:01:00

    By Giahanatzis Dimitris

    Sources: ANA

    The Greek basketball team is facing Portugal today (20:00 ET1), in its most critical game of the Competition. Our national basketball players have to win for the qualification of the next round tomorrow. On reference to Portugal, Panayiotis Yiannakis commented: "It is a new team, thirsty for victory. Wasnt that the case with Greece in 1987? Portugal players fight; that is why they beat Latvia and Israel. We have to respect our opponents. I explain to my players that in athletics, your history, background, color or surname does not count. You have to fight hard. Everything starts from zero. What matters is not to make a mistake. Mistake is history. The important thing is not to loose your temper and make a second mistake. The important thing is to stay calm and follow the teams style of playing." The legend of Greek basketball, Nikos Galis will also attend the game.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [50] The Beatles in Space

    02 Feb 2008 10:27:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA

    The Beatles peace anthem "Across The Universe" will be beamed to space by NASA on 4 February to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of NASA and the Beatles. Though it has become commonplace to transmit music to manned spacecraft over the past 40 years as wake-up songs for astronauts -- this will be the first time that a pure blast of music has been targeted to go further than an orbiting spacecraft. This transmission is targeted at Polaris ("The North Star"), which is situated 2.5 quadrillion miles away.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [51] Asteroid to Pass Close from Earth

    25 Jan 2008 09:37:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Asteroid 2007 TU24 will make a rare close pass by Earth on 29 January announced NASA on Thursday, excluding any danger for an impact. The asteroid, which was discovered on 11 October 2007 by scientists is 150-610 metres long and is expected to whiz by Earth on Tuesday with its closest approach at about 550,000 kilometres, or about 1.4 times the distance of Earth to the moon at 07:33 Greek time Tuesday. NASA scientist Don Yeomans says the night-time encounter should be bright enough for medium-sized telescopes to get a glimpse. Asteroid 2007 TU24 will visit Earth one day before asteroid 2007 WD5it approaches Mars at about 26,000 kilometres.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [52] In US

    NASA and Beatles

    01 Feb 2008 21:24:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ANA

    NASA on Monday will broadcast the Beatles song "Across the Universe" across the galaxy to Polaris, the North Star in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of NASA which loaded an MP3 of the song and will transmit it digitally at 7 p.m. EST Monday from its giant antenna in Madrid, Spain. The song will be flying at the speed of light. But it will take 431 years to reach its final destination because Polaris is 2.5 quadrillion miles away. "Send my love to the aliens," Paul McCartney told NASA through Martin Lewis, a Beatles historian. "All the best, Paul." The song was written by McCartney and John Lennon. MacCartney and Yoko Ono gave permission to Martin Lewis to proceed with this idea.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [53] Communication Satellites in Orbit

    22 Dec 2007 14:01:00

    Sources: Reuters, NA-NA

    An Ariane-5 rocket blasted off from French Guiana on Friday putting into orbit telecommunications satellites for Africa and North America, space officials said. The rocket was launched from Europes space base in Kourou, on the northeast coast of South America, at 6:41 p.m.

    Twenty-seven minutes after lift-off the rocket placed into a preliminary orbit RASCOM-QAF1, a telecoms satellite designed to provide service across Africa.

    Six minutes later, the Ariane-5 rocket released Horizons-2, a satellite designed to service the United States, southern Canada and parts of the Caribbean.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    Related Links:


    [54] "Smart Eyes" Navigation System

    "Smart Eyes" for Sight-Impaired People

    18 Dec 2007 17:48:00 (Last updated: 04 Jan 2008 21:59:52)

    Sources: ANA

    Cosmote, Microsoft Hellas, Geomatics companies in cooperation with Thessaloniki University Electrical Engineers Telecommunications Laboratory and Computer Engineers Department joined their forces and created "Smart Eyes" system to assist blind people. In 2004 it won the first prize in an international "Imagine Cup" contest held in Brazil.

    Fifty "Smart Eyes" navigation system devices were presented on Thursday in a special ceremony at Thessaloniki Concert Hall.

    "Smarteyes" consists of a hand-held computer equipped with Bluetooth connections and earphones that can connect to a GPS receiver and a voice communication system. It is also supplied with a digital map that is able to collect data from the GPS, process it and provide the user necessary information. The system issues audio signals warning the user when he or she is approaching a selected destination, such as a bus stop, traffic lights or specific buildings.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [55] Online Media Preferred

    22 Nov 2007 10:35:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    Almost 2/3 of Internet users in Europe prefer online media to traditional ones, suggested a new survey by the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA). In particular, 62% of the respondent prefers logging on to the web, terming it as a key information source.

    Impressively enough, 65% of those questioned visit news web pages at least once a month, whereas 28% admits that they read newspapers less and less. Almost half of the participants (40%) claimed they have stopped switching on their TV sets as much as they used to, while 22% said they do not listen to the radio. Logging on to the Internet to listen to radio programmes or watch television ranks on the top ten of the most popular online activities among the Europeans, with 31% of the respondents listening to radio on line and 30% watching online television and videos. The European Interactive Advertising Association has predicted that more and more will swift away from TV to Internet.

    The EIAA surveyed as many as 7,008 people from Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian nations.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [56] European Commission Survey

    Airline Websites Misleading

    13 Nov 2007 11:16:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: BBC

    A survey conducted by the European Commission last September indicates that at least 200 of the 400 Airways Companies mislead consumers in many ways, violating European legislation. Among more common violations is price of fares not including taxes, free flights that are not free and compulsory insurance attached to special offers.

    A Year's Deadline to Correct Mistakes

    The European Commission did not release the names of the companies but gave them a years deadline to conform with European legislation and correct their mistakes. A similar survey conducted in Spain in the past had indicated that websites of Ryanair, Vueling, Iberia and Spainair were misleading.

    The Commissions study found that Belgian airlines were the worst offenders, with 46 of the 48 Belgian websites surveyed breaking consumer guidelines. Meanwhile, Austria was the best performer, with none of the 20 Austrian airline websites judged to be misleading.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [57] "Investigate for UFOs"

    13 Nov 2007 10:16:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Pilots of the civil aviation and the Air Force are calling on the U.S. government to re-open investigations into Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) that it shut down 40 years ago. "We want to demonstrate that the phenomenon is real and that its happening world wide and we want the United States government to start an international exchange of information (and) dialogue on an official level, openly," stressed pilot Fife Symington to journalists. The appeal has been signed by an international group of 19 pilots, scientists and politicians the majority of which visited Washington today to describe their experience with UFOs.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [58] EUTIC 2007 International Colloquium

    03 Nov 2007 21:05:00

    Sources: , NA - NA

    Application of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in the field of mass media and its future will be the focus of interest from 7-10 November 2007 within the framework of International EUTIC 2007 Colloquium entitled "Challenges and uses of ICT Effective information diffusion : towards open society". The colloquium is being organized by the Athens University New Technology Laboratory in Communication, Education and Mass Media while developments and prospects in the field of publications, diffusion of information and new digital means of production and distribution of news will be the subject of talks during the four days of works. Emphasis will be also placed on online communication, such as digital games which are rapidly flourishing in broadband era. Other fields such as e-government, distance learning and social networks will be discussed.

    EUTIC 2007 is the third conference organized by the European Intrascientific Group on ICT Challenges and Uses. Coordinator is professor Mihalis Meimaris. The works of the conference on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, respectively on November, 8, 9 and 10 will be held at "Apollon" congress center in Piraeus. For further information call 210 45 39 395.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [59] Airbus A380 Lands in Sydney

    25 Oct 2007 11:26:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters, BBC, NA - PA

    The Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 superjumbo emerged from low-lying cloud to touch down on time on a damp Sydney afternoon, completing its flight from Singapores Changi Airport. Its 455 passengers paid between $560 and $100,380. The money collected from tickets will be spent on charity.

    The new aircraft -- which boasts two passenger decks and, in Singapore Airlines version, first-class suites with proper beds enjoys low-noise standards and lowest possible fuel consumption.

    Singapore Airlines, which was the first client of Airbus to receive the aircraft with an 18-month delay, will purchase an additional five A-380s in 2008.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [60] By China

    Lunar Probe Launched

    24 Oct 2007 20:31:00

    Sources: Associated Press

    China launched its first lunar probe Wednesday, an initial step in an ambitious 10-year plan to send a rover to the moon and return it to Earth. The Change 1 orbiter blasted off with a trail of smoke from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province in southwestern China, according to images from state television. The launch comes just weeks after Chinas regional rival Japan put a probe into orbit around the moon in a great leap forward in Asias undeclared space race. India is likely to join the regional rivalry soon, with plans to send its own lunar probe into space in April. The Long March 3A rocket carrying the probe was launched shortly after 6 p.m. local time after officials from the China National Space Administration said weather conditions were good for a lift-off. Several thousand people living within 1 1/2 miles of the launch centre and under the rockets trajectory were evacuated two hours beforehand, the official Xinhua News Agency said. More than 2,000 tourists were also on hand to watch it soar into space. The Change 1, named after a legendary Chinese goddess who flew to the moon, will orbit Earth while technical adjustments are made, and will enter the moons orbit by Nov. 5, administration spokesman Li Guoping said when the launch plans were announced Monday. The projects goal is to analyze the chemical and mineral composition of the lunar surface. The probe will use stereo cameras and X-ray spectrometers to map three-dimensional images of the surface. The 5,070-pound Change 1 is expected to transmit its first photo back to China in late November, and to conduct explorations of the moon for a year.

    [61] Challenges and Uses of ITC

    International Colloquium EUTIC 2007

    18 Oct 2007 21:28:00

    By Andreas Roditis


    Opening session of International Colloquium EUTIC 2007 will be held on November, 7, 2007 at the Kapodistriako Athens University ( Main Hall, 30 Panepistimiou St.). The EUTIC 2007 Colloquium is the third in a series of events organised by the European Interdisciplinary Group on Challenges and Uses of ICT. The first, organized by CEMIC-GRESIC, the groups coordination organ, was held at Universit&#233; Michel de Montaigne (Bordeaux, France), in September, 2005 and was focused on "Social and Cultural dimensions of ICT". The second, held in Brussels, in September, 2006, was organized by CREATIC (Centre de Recherche en Ergonomie Appliqu&#233;e aux Technologies de l Information et de la Communication) on the subject "Social Bonds and Professional Integration". The scientific committee is comprised of : Jordi Colobrans- University of Barcelona. Carlos Correia- University of Lisbon. Maria Cristina Matteucci- University of Bologna. Mihalis Meimaris-University of Athens. Christine O Dowd Smith- University of Waterford. Ren&#233; Patesson- University of Brussels. Nathalie Pin&#232;de Wojciechowski- Universit&#233; de Bordeaux 3. Larry Stappleton- University of Waterford. Pascale Steinberg- University of Brussels. Lise Vieira- Universit&#233; de Bordeaux 3.

    Works of the conference will be held at the "Apollon" conference center, on Thursday, 8, Friday, 9 and Saturday 10 of November. The address is Ermoupoleos and 1 Piliou St., Piraeus (Kaminia), 600m away from Faliro electric train station. To contact : telephone and fax number 210 45 39 395

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [62] Free HPV Vaccine

    05 Feb 2008 12:09:00

    Employment Minister, Fani Pali Petralia signed decision for free provision of HPV vaccine by health insurances since it was not affordable by a large number of the female population. This is the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer and other diseases in females caused by certain types of genital human papillomavirus which cause 70% of cervical cancer and 90% of genital warts. Since its inclusion in the National Vaccination Program, a circular has been sent to all health sectors for free provision of the vaccine to girls/women, ages 12-26.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [63] Kidney Trafficking

    30 Jan 2008 11:24:00

    Sources: , 105.8

    Everyone is shocked by the fact that an illegal organ-trafficking operation had harvested kidneys from hundreds of poor Indian donors, often without their consent. As per publications, the illegal transplant operation took place without the necessary hygiene rules on behalf of the doctors. The authorities discovered five foreigners in the guest house where the illegal operation had taken place. Among them were also three Greeks.

    In an interview with NET 105.8, the president of Greek nephritic patients George Kastrinakis has asked from the relatives of nephritic victims to testify to the Prosecutor and inform him on everything they know on the networks that had lured their relatives into kidney transplant in foreign countries, where the necessary hygiene conditions for an operation are not met.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [64] Indonesia: 98 Victims from Bird Flu

    24 Jan 2008 13:57:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Indonesian Health Ministry announced today that a 30 years old Indonesian who was affected by H5N1 bird flu died today in Jakarta rising the official death toll in the country to 98. The unfortunate man had tested positive for bird flue. According to the doctor of the hospital he was probably affected by birds bred in his house. The campaign for the death of birds in Jakarta last January 2007 was not convincing enough as many residents are still reluctant to apply the regulation. According to the International Health Organization (IHO), half of deaths from bird flu have been recorded in Indonesia since the beginning of 2005. The virus was quickly spread in many Indonesian provinces.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [65] Watch Out! Work Can Kill You!

    24 Jan 2008 12:32:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Work really can kill you, according to a study on Wednesday providing the strongest evidence yet of how on-the-job stress raises the risk of heart disease by disrupting the bodys internal systems. The findings from a long-running study involving more than 10,000 British civil servants also suggest stress-induced biological changes may play a more direct role than previously thought, said Tarani Chandola, an epidemiologist at University College London.

    Change Habits

    Heart disease is the worlds leading cause of death. It is caused by fatty deposits that harden and block arteries, high blood pressure which damages blood vessels, and other factors.

    The researchers measured stress among the civil servants by asking questions about their job demands such as how much control they had at work, how often they took breaks, and how pressed for time they were during the day.

    The team conducted seven surveys over a 12-year period and found chronically stressed workers, people determined to be under severe pressure in the first two of the surveys, had a 68 percent higher risk of developing heart disease. The link was strongest among people under 50, Chandola said.

    Behaviour and biological changes likely explain why stress at work causes heart disease, Chandola said. For one, stressed workers eat unhealthy food, smoke, drink and skip exercise, all behaviours linked to heart disease.

    [66] Turkey: Avian Flu Victims

    22 Jan 2008 08:14:00

    Turkish Agriculture Ministry announced that bird flu outbreak was discovered in a village in northern Turkey. The virus was confirmed after positive tests results on samples taken on Saturday from poultry in the village Saz, in Zonguldak province on the Black Sea coast reported Anotolia news agency. According to the announcement all measures have been taken in and around the village, it has not been clarified, however, whether the virus detected was highly-contagious and potentially-deadly H5N1 for humans. Four children died of avian flu in a small town, in east Turkey, in January, 2006 before it spread to over one third of Turkeys 81 provinces. Turkey was the first country beyond south and south-east Asian countries where humans died of H5N1 virus. Turkey declared itself free of the virus in April 2007. Avian flu has killed over 200 people worldwide since 2003.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [67] Scientist Appear Optomistic

    Twins-Key to Leukemia Puzzle

    19 Jan 2008 13:54:00

    Sources: , BBC

    A rare medical case of four-year-old twin girls, one of whom is suffering leukaemia has identified a rogue cell that is the root cause of childhood leukaemia. Scientists believe that this study will open the road for the treatment of the disease.

    Olivia Murphy, from Bromley in Kent, developed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was two-years old - but so far her twin sister, Isabella, is healthy. Both twins were found to have the "pre-leukaemic" cells in their bone marrow, although to date only one has developed leukaemia. Bone marrow released the "aggressive" cells which cause the disease.

    According to doctors if Isabella does not appear signs of the cancer until she reaches adolescence it is thought the rogue cells will disappear. Current treatments are far too aggressive, often carried out by chemotherapy and have serious side effects just like in Olivia who has lost the sight in one eye. Researchers estimate that the two different courses of the disease traced in the twins will help them find out important information and discover the cause of the disease. Through analysis of evidence they hope to discover new effective treatments and to develop a prediction disease transmission test so as children not to be submitted to chemotherapy

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [68] In the Village of Rovnoye in the Crimean Peninsula

    Ukraine: H5N1 Bird Flue in Crimea

    18 Jan 2008 12:25:00

    By Christina Liapi

    Ukraines Veterinary Inspectorate said an H5N1 outbreak was detected this week in the village of Rovnoye in the Crimean peninsula, the same region hit in late 2005. Tests concluded today that H5N1 virus was traced today Thursday in 150 birds which were found dead in a private firm in Rovnoye where more than 25,000 poultry are kept. The village has been sealed off.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [69] Switzerland

    Banknotes, Source of Germs

    16 Jan 2008 15:57:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ANA

    At the request of a Swiss Bank, a research conducted by scientists in Geneva proved that the flu virus can survive for over two weeks on a banknote.

    As per todays issue of the Les Temps newspaper, the Bank the name of which has not been revealed was concerned over a possible pandemic from banknotes exchange. About 20-100 million banknotes are exchanged only in Switzerland on a daily basis.

    Scientists discovered that the certain virus strains on used banknotes kept in room temperature survived from many days and when the virus was mixed with mucus, then it could survive for two and a half weeks!

    have long known that various types of germs and bacteria can survive on paper currency, but until now medical experts have thought that flu only spread through small droplets in airborne transmission. But Thomas said his team found that some types of flu virus could also survive and spread on everyday objects, like door handles as well as banknotes.

    Yves Thomas, head of the National Influenza Research Centre at Geneva University Hospital, said "Our studies have convinced us that it is possible to catch flu from banknotes, but the chances are very, very slim and there is no cause for concern among the general population."

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [70] At Agios Sabbas

    Program for Early Detection of Bladder Cancer

    14 Jan 2008 12:12:00

    The Urolology Department of Agios Sabbas Oncology Hospital has launched an ambitious program to catch bladder cancer early. Bladder cancer cases are increasing lately, while it is the cause of 3% of malignant tumors in humans. Indeed after prostate cancer is the second most common tumor in men.

    The program is addressed to healthy women and men above 50 years-old and necessary tests will be free of charge. For further information, those interested can call the Urology Department from 08:00-14:00 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The phones are: 210 6409300 -6409399- 6409400.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [71] Extend Lifespan

    Three New Cancer Vaccines

    13 Jan 2008 15:00:00

    By Andreas Roditis


    Researchers are working on three trial cancer vaccines at present designed to induce a systemic immune response against the patients cancer. The vaccines concern lung, prostate and breast cancer, while the vaccine against lung cancer was designed by Greek scientist Mihalis Papamihail and is already in use at many oncology centers abroad.

    Mihalis Papamihail, director of Agios Savvas Immunology Department and president of the European Society for Immune Therapy against cancer said: we take cells from relatives which we culture and modify in the lab and then vaccinate the patient. These cells have an anti- cancer action and reduce lung tumors. The vaccine against prostate cancer activates the patients immune system response through a different mechanism. A breast cancer vaccine to prevent from possible metastasis is being tried in women who have completed radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Agios Savvas Immunology Department in cooperation with 5 US Oncology Hospitals are extending trial vaccines to hundreds of patients in order to reach statistically reliable results.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [72] Simple but Crucial for Prevention and Treatment

    List to Identify Serious Infant Illnesses

    11 Jan 2008 14:55:00

    Sources: NA-Reuters

    Medical experts in Hong Kong have compiled a checklist of seven signs that mothers and healthcare workers can use to identify severe illnesses in newborn infants requiring urgent treatment in hospital. Around 4 million babies around the world die each year before they are a month old, and three-quarters of them die in the first week of life mainly from bacterial infections, birth complications and prematurity.

    In an article published in the Lancet journal, the researchers said the list can help identify serious illnesses in infants under two months and bridge a gap in a previous checklist that did not cover infants in their first week of life. Anyone looking after children, mothers, should know that if children are not feeding well, it is a sign of serious illness, they should take it to care," said Martin Weber of the World Health Organisation in Jakarta, Indonesia. "It seems very simple, but these are messages we need to promote more widely. If the baby is not moving spontaneously and only doing so when you touch it, that should alert you that the baby has problems," Weber told Reuters in a phone interview. He also stressed that mortality figures can only be reduced if proper healthcare is available to these children.

    The seven clinical signs are:

    - history of difficult feeding - history of convulsions - movement only when stimulated - breathing rate of 60 breaths per minute or more - severe chest indrawing - over 37.5 degrees Celsius - under 35.5 Celsius

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [73] Indonesian Girl Infected with Avian Flu

    11 Jan 2008 09:40:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A girl, 16, from western Java, Indonesia, was infected with the avian flu, raising the total number of the Indonesians stricken down with the disease to 117. An Indonesian official said the girl had developed the symptoms a month before. A hospital official argued the girl was in the intensive care unit. In Christmas, the avian flu was blamed for the death of a 24-year-old woman in Jakarta, who had bought live birds from a market. A total of 94 people have died of avian flu in Indonesia.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [74] Developed by British Researchers

    Wearable Artificial Kidney

    14 Dec 2007 09:31:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Patients with chronic kidney failure could be freed from fixed dialysis machines, thanks to a wearable artificial kidney that has shown promising results in a pilot study. British researchers said the battery-powered device, developed by U.S. firm Xcorporeal Inc, had proved successful when worn for periods of 4 to 8 hours.The researchers long-term goal is round-the-clock use, doing away altogether with the need for patients to be hooked up to a fixed haemodialysis machine in a hospital or clinic for 12 hours a week according to an article of Andrew Davenport and colleagues published in the Lancet medical journal. Further tests, however, are needed, since their small study involved only eight patients, who were established on regular haemodialysis before being fitted with the wearable -- though rather bulky -- device. Two of the patients experienced blood clotting, due to receiving insufficient anticoagulant medication, and one was temporarily disconnected when a needle became dislodged. Nonetheless, all patients said they would recommend the treatment to other patients with kidney failure, the researchers reported. Nearly 1.3 million people worldwide suffer from chronic kidney failure that requires treatment with dialysis while a lucky few receive a kidney transplant but donor organs are scarce.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [75] By Heart Failure

    Dinos Diamantopoulos "Passed Away"

    05 Feb 2008 11:04:00

    One of the most famous photographers Mr. Dinos Diamantopoulos died today. He was only 55 years old. Both his father and grandfather were photographers so Diamantopoulos was captured by the magic of photography from childhood. He worked hard and left an important collection of works of art which are characterized by his personal perception of beauty, geometry, experience and mainly his emotion. His most famous phrase was: "Even in an ugly face there is a beautiful side. My purpose is to find and photograph it." The portrait maker left early, betrayed by his heart.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [76] Spiliotopoulos- Jacqueline de Romilly Meeting

    26 Jan 2008 16:50:00

    Greek Minister for Tourism, Aris Spiliotopoulos, who is in Paris, met with French scholar and ambassadress for Hellenism, Jacqueline de Romilly. After the meeting, the Greek Minister spoke of the activities of the French ambassadress of Hellenism, with the Greek citizenship, underlining that it was a special honor for him to meet people, who have dedicated their life and efforts to their love for Greece and Greek culture and promotion of Greek language and history. He characteristically said: "With the contribution of these significant friends we will go beyond the narrow and limited for the Greek spirit borders of Greece and reach what we deserve, the great borders of Hellenism, which can embrace many more". On her part, Jacqueline de Romilly said that she was highly moved by the fact that common efforts for the promotion of the Greek spirit were recognized. General directors of EOT offices, who continue their works, are expected to announce outcomes in the afternoon. In his address to EOT offices directors yesterday, Mr. Spiliotopoulos announced the setting up of a committee headed by Mr. Kalligeros-member of EOT Administration Board- aimed to be the link of the Ministry with the offices abroad. Finally, he announced modernization of EOT offices, stressing that they are Greeces "picture" abroad.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [77] At FNAC Central Store

    France: Presentation of New Acropolis Museum

    26 Jan 2008 16:40:00

    Sources: NA-PA

    "Greece eternal and marvelous" is the title of a cultural week organized by the Greek Embassys Press Office in Paris in cooperation with FNAC central store, on the chic Boulevard Saint Germain, near the Arch of Triumph. A picture of a beach of an Aegean island is on the stores window shop. Within the framework of events, an audio-visual presentation of the new Acropolis Museum yesterday attracted high interest while among reactions of visitors were: "now the Parthenon Marbles must return", " we must visit Athens in spring", "marvellous, we must visit the museum". In his speech in the crowded store, general secretary of Information, Panos Leibadas underlined: "the knowledge of the past is literally an action of the present and wins recognition a the future prospect. This is how the past is linked to the future". Social Science professor, Ioannis Metaxas spoke of "the role of a modern museum in the life of a large city". Archaeology professor and president of the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum, Dimitrios Pantermanlis with the aid of pictures and videos presented the building in combination with the landscape and the criteria considered to decide on the architectural design. He added that "top aim was for the visitor to discover what interests him. Not to have the feeling of an academic lesson but the feeling of a magic space". Events conclude today with the presentation of "Modern Greece as a tourist and gastronomy destination" by Tourism Minister, Aris Spiliotopoulos and general secretary of Information, Panos Leibadas.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [78] In N.Y

    Greek-American Cultural Festival

    24 Jan 2008 20:41:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NA-PA

    A Greek-American festival is taking place in Queens, NY from Thursday till Sunday within the framework of presentation of ethnic cultural elements. Rebetico music concert, performed by singer Grigoris Maninakis accompanied by "Microcosmos" orchestra opens the festival today. On Friday, the omogeneia group "Mondernos" will perform modern dances while Saturdays program includes a literature event with the reading of excerpts from "Night Blooming Cereus" referring to stories of Greek immigrants in the US, screening of movies by creators of Greek origin, and a special event dedicated to Maria Kallas by soprano Alexandra Skedrou. Thessaloniki dance group "Kyklos" and American Folk Club will perform traditional dances in costumes representative of many regions of Greece.The festival was organized by the "Queens Theater in the Park" with the significant cooperation of Greek-American Jenifer Xrisoulas Howuz.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [79] Heath Ledger Found Dead

    23 Jan 2008 09:03:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters, BBC

    Australian-born actor Heath Ledger, 28, was found dead in his apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday. It was his housekeeper that found him lying unconscious, when she entered his house to tell him his masseuse had arrived. The New York police said he probably died of an overdose of prescription pills, as there were prescription pills near his bed. Ledger was an Oscar nominee for his role in Brokeback Mountain and had numerous other screen credits. He played a heroin addict in Candy, the suicidal son of Billy Bob Thornton in Monsters Ball and had starring roles in A Knights Tale and The Patriot.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Heath Ledger is found dead in US

    [80] D. Soula's Photo Exhibition

    06 Jan 2008 17:23:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The Photography Museum of Thessaloniki will exhibit photographs by Dimitris Soulas, who worked as a reported at Munich (1967-1974). The exhibition, which takes place within the theme "Hellenes of the Diaspora" will last from 12/1-29/2. Soulas black and white photographs focus on immigrants, the homeless and students who used to hold rallies for peace. He had cooperated with the Associated Press and with the most famous German newspapers and magazines. The exhibition is a co-production of Fotomuseum im Muenchner Stadtmuseum and the Photography Museum of Thessaloniki, supported by Goethe Institute in Thessaloniki. It will also travel to other European cities. A bilingual edition (German-Greek) accompanies the exhibition, the editors of which are Ulrich Pohlmann, and Iraklis Papaioannou.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [81] Events for the New Year

    28 Dec 2007 16:18:00

    Sources: NET

    The Municipalities preparations for festive events in honor of the New Year are on the finishing line. Filippos Pliatsikas, Onar and Blue will perform in the events of the City of Athens at Kotzias Square that will commence at 22:30. Fireworks will illuminate Kotzias Square and Lycabettus. Inhabitants of Piraeus will welcome 2008 with a lot of music surprises for visitors at Marina, Zeas and not at Korai Square as in the past. A cauldron with raki will be set up at Eleftheria Square, Heraklion on New Years Eve. Events in Heraklion will commence at 18:00 with Cretan songs and dances from traditional groups.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [82] Event in Memory of P. Geramani

    22 Dec 2007 14:24:00

    Sources: , NA - NA

    ESHEA Educational Institute held an event on Friday in memory of journalist, Panos Geramanis ( 1945-2005). The hall of the Daily Newspapers Journalists Union was crowded as most of his counterparts and friends responded to the invitation to attend the honorary event in his memory. In his radio programs he interviewed top Greek popular music performers and composers and great footballers of the 60s and 70s in his articles in the newspaper "Ta Nea". Speakers at the event spoke of his life and presented the book "My life a song", including interviews with Tsitsanis, Mitsakis, Kaldaras, Gavalas and other top composers, published after his death.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [83] Acropolis Museum Ground Floor Open

    22 Dec 2007 12:00:00

    Sources: NA-NA

    The New Acropolis Museum ground floor opens to the public today Saturday inviting the young and the old to visit the exhibition entitled "The Museum and the Excavation". Excavation of the land where the museum was constructed brough to light an ancient neighborhood of Athens. The exhibition will be open on week days from 10:00-12:00 till March, 31, 2008. It should be mentioned that only the museums ground floor is accessible to visitors as archaeological works regarding exhibits are still in progress. The exhibition was organized under the auspices of the Culture Ministry, the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum and the A Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities Department.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [84] ERT's Christmas Concert in Athens Concert Hall

    17 Dec 2007 13:05:00

    ERTs great Christmas Concert was held in the Hall of the Friends of Music on 16 December. The music feast began in the Hall of the Friends of Music at 12:00, Monday with the participation of ERTs National Symphony Orchestra and Choir. The Modern Music Orchestra performed Christmas melodies from all over Greece in the foyer. The first part of the concert began with Silent Night, followed by excerpts from Tchaikovskys Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty, Khachaturian and Lowes Fair Lady. Soloist Maria Mitsopoulou performed Memory from musical Cats. During the interval, ERTs Modern Music Orchestra accompanied Apostolias Quasi Stellar on Ul. Sommerlattes Metropolis. The second part included orchestral versions on Spanish and Italian canzonets with Duo Fina. Parts of Mary Poppins Musical will be performed by Tania Tripi and Nikolas Stylianou. The concert ended with Strauss Blue Danube. Alexis Kostalas presented the concert, while conductor was Loukas Karitinos and Director Themis Moumoulidis.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [85] K. Karamanlis Visits Acropolis Museum

    17 Dec 2007 10:48:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: 105.8

    Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Kostas Karamanlis visited the new Acropolis Museum, in the morning. Mr Karamanlis stated that the re unification of Parthenons sculptures constitutes a national goal. Athens has got a museum which is equal to its history, a museum that is aesthetically complete, hospitable, secure and signals the ripe demand for the return of marbles as all opposition arguments are now contradicted, the Prime Minister stated. Mr. Karamanlis will fly to Russia in the afternoon after Vladimir Putins invitation. Discussion between the two leaders is expected to focus on the relations of the two countries and their cooperation developed regarding the energy sector. In his interview in TASS News Agency and "Hellas" magazine, Mr. Karamanlis stressed that energy links are Greeces strategic choice. As per his meeting with the Russian President the Greek Prime Minister underlined that he will boost the energy plans promoted by the two countries.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [86] At Terra Vibe

    Kylie in May, in Athens

    16 Dec 2007 18:53:00

    Australian pop star, Kylie Minogue, who for the last two decades has millions of fans worldwide is giving for the first time a concert in Greece, on 22, May, at Terra Vibe."Kylie X 2008" is the title of Kylie Minogue tour of Europe which begins in Paris, on 6, May. Among cities she will visit are: Stuttgart, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Munich, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Berlin, Belfast, Glascow, Manchester and London at famous O2 Arena. Selling of tickets for the concert begins on Wednesday, 19 December and prices are: P11- 100 euros, P12- 70 euros and P13- 50 euros.

    cket House: thens, 42 Panepistimiou St. phone : 210 3608366 cket House : Thessaloniki, 102 Mitropoleos St. phone: 2310 264880 Online sales:

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [87] Ionian Sea: Cartography and History

    16 Dec 2007 18:32:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A map exhibition on the Ionian Sea is on show at the Eynardos Mansion. The maps come from the collection of the Greek Space Cartography Archive, founded in 2002 with the donation of Mela couple map collection to the National Bank Educational Institute. The Ionian Sea map exhibition as the two previous exhibitions on Crete and the Peloponnese- aim to indicate the historical significance of the 15th - 18th centuries maps for the periods they depict. Significant cartography material regarding Nafpaktos battle, where the Christian fleet dealt heavy blow to Ottoman fleet, may be for the first time presented in Greece.

    The exhibition is being organized with the close cooperation of the Greek Parliament Library, Preveza Aktia Nikopolis Institute, Thesprotia Historical Studies Center, and old map collectors. The exhibition will be open till May, 4, 2008.

    Eynardos Mansion, 20 Agiou Konstantinou St. and enandrou. Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 14:00 Tuesday and Thursday 18:00 -20:00 For further information call: 210 3234 267, 210 5221 420 (9 a.m.3 pm) 210 5223 101(during opening hours)

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [88] Mutual Solution

    Karamanlis' Answer

    05 Feb 2008 20:46:00 (Last updated: 06 Feb 2008 17:21:34)

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: , NA

    Skopje does not seem willing to find a resolution to the name issue. Sending a letter-challenge to the President of Republic Mr. Carolos Papoulias, Skopje asks from Mr. Papoulias to support its demand to enter NATO. The same letter was also sent to the leaders of all Greek political parties-members of the EU ally. Skopje pursues to secure allies at the sight of NATO Summit Meeting taking place in April, in Bucharest. The leadership of the neighboring country has started a race to secure the support of NATO members as there is intense concern over Skopjes entrance in the EU . Mr. Karamanlis answered to Skopje from Ljubljana, where he will hold talks with Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa. The Greek Prime Minister stressed that Greeces stance is clear and familiar; a mutual solution in the framework of EU decisions without winning and defeated countries. Greece has made steps and the neighbouring country should do the same so as to come out from isolation, Mr. Karamalis added. U.S. ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard called on Skopje to indirectly contribute to the finding of a resolution mutually accepted by both countries.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [89] A. Papariga in Brahami

    A. Papariga in Brahami

    05 Feb 2008 20:25:00

    Sources: ANA

    KEE Communist Party of Greece) General Secretary Mrs. Aleka Papariga spoke in a rally initiated by Brahami Communist Organizations entitled "Political Developments and KKE suggestion for power". Mrs Papariga answering question on the latest political scenery said: "We will not deal with the political setting because the setting is interpreted as change of work and we are not interested in just changing the work. What is important is the popular movement not to take off the gauzes from a political scenery that is full of wounds and is rotting but to set the radical change and overturn for a new political power."

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [90] Mr. Karamanlis' Successive Meetings

    The Prime Minister in Romania on Wednesday

    05 Feb 2008 19:06:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ANA

    Within the folllowing two days Mr. C. Karamanlis will have successive meetings with Romania Patrarcaht Daniel and the Prime Minister Mr. C&#259;lin Popescu-T&#259;riceanu. During his visit to Rumania a "Cooperation Agreement in Energy Sector" is expected to be signed between to two countries. Rumania President Traian Basescu will welcome the Prime Minister in the Presidential Mansion Cotroceni. Mr. Kostas Karamanlis will also attend reception hosted by Greek businessmen in Rumania. The Greek Prime Minister will return in Athens on Friday morning.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [91] SIEMENS' Case

    05 Feb 2008 17:19:00 (Last updated: 06 Feb 2008 17:20:18)

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ANA-- 105,8

    Prosecutors Panayiotis Athanasiou, Eleni Vasiliadou and Panayiotis Meidanis will fly to Switzerland and Germany on Friday 15 in order to investigate Siemens case.

    Meantime, "Kathimerini" newspaper journalists Mr. Tasos Teloglou as well as "EXTRA" channel journalist Mr. Yiannis Papayiannis testified today to prosecutor Mr. Athanasiou. The two journalists have been involved in the case with extensive reportages.

    The government repeated that it disagrees with PASOK demand for the set up of an inquiry committee because this initiative would halt the probe that has already started. However, the case will be discussed in Parliament next Tuesday February 12. In the meantime, a spat has broken out between Socialist former Ministers of Public Order and National Defence, Mihalis Chrysohoidis and Giannos Papantoniou respectively, over the C41 security system procured by the Greek Government for the 2004 Olympic Games. SYRIZA president Mr. Alekos Alavanos asked for explanations from PASOK and New Democracy.

    OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization) asks from SIEMENS to submit "evidence, names and dates as in the general meeting of SIEMENS taking place in Germany there were hints that OTE members may have received money under the table."

    This statement was made by OTE consultant Mr. Panagis Vourloumis adding that if SIEMENS will not answer within a month OTE will precede to lawsuits.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [92] Zahopoulos Health State Stable

    In View of Developments

    05 Feb 2008 15:44:00

    Sources: , 105.8, NA

    According to judicial circles, it is a matter of few days that 2nd special interrogator, Dimitris Oikonomou will name the persons charged with involvement in the Zahopoulos case and summon them to make their statements. In the meantime, the file on the Zahopoulos case is to open on Friday and litigants will be informed on the material collected during questioning. State of health of former Culture Ministry general secretary, Hristos Zahipoulos remains stable but he is still treated in Evangelismos Hospital intensive care unit. PASOK party, however, has announced that it will not attend the Parliament Educational Affairs Committee meeting this afternoon, where former Culture Ministers, Th. Pagalos, Ev. Benizelos and E. Papazoi have been invited to refer to activities during the periods they served in the Culture Ministry.

    PASOK will not Attend Meetings

    In a press interview, Anna Diamantopoulou, Tilemahos Hitiris and Yiannis Ragousis said that PASOK will not attend Parliamentary Committees meetings on the Zahopoulos case where former Culture Ministers are also called. Anna Diamantopoulou said that PASOK will abstain from the Educational Affairs Committee meeting objecting to ridiculing institutions, disorienting public opinion and covering up the case and accused Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis of arrogance and fear. PASOK senior members spoke of a governments "farce" and attributed responsibilities to the Prime-minister, saying that Hristos Zahopoulos was referring to him. Furthermore, they called the government to state why it protects Mr. Kladas. They also expressed their intention to ask for the setting up of an inquiry committee on the Zahopoulos case.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [93] Alavanos' Interpellation on Privatizations

    05 Feb 2008 12:42:00

    Leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Alekos Alavanos filled an interpellation requesting Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis elaborate on the issues of privatizations and downsizes in state-run corporations, including the Hellenic Railways Association, the port authorities, the Olympic Airlines and the Public Power Corporation. His interpellation also touched on the recent staggering disclosures, namely the Zahopoulos and Siemens scandals, the mismanagement of public money and the proportion of the corruption.

    Alavanos asked the Prime Minister whether he would revise his Governments plans to have state-run strategic corporations shrunk and privatized, whether he would claim responsibility for the public sectors inefficiency and whether he would cease employing methods, such as thousands of voluntary redundancy plans, transfers and breaking labour relations, just to serve the profiteering aspirations of both domestic and multinational private interests.

    [94] Papandreou's Interpellation on PPC

    05 Feb 2008 12:09:00

    Socialist leader George Papandreou filed an interpellation requesting Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis elaborate on the Government policy on the Public Power Corporation (PPC).

    Papandreou noted that the ruling conservative partys policy has been shaped by "suspicious, opaque and arbitrary choices that lead to the privatization of the Corporation." He also blasted that the poor administration and the mismanagement have converted a profitable corporation into a loss-making one.

    He then went on to calle on the Prime Minister to answer upon which studies the construction and operation of so many hard coal units had been based, whether their implications on the environment had been taken into account and whether the said planning is in accordance with the EU-sponsored gas emissions trading scheme regulations.

    Touching on the partnerships between the PPC and other companies, Papandreou requested to know, "Why does the PPC board choose to seek for partners through such a suspicious and opaque path over calling an international tender?"

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [95] On Thursday

    Electing the New Archbishop

    06 Feb 2008 19:18:00

    Sources: 105.8, ANA

    The archbishop race has entered the final stretch. The Athens Cathedral has already been prepared to host the election process, while the bishops have arrived in the Greek capital city to cast the ballots. A prayer at 0900 hours on Thursday will signal the beginning of the elections, which will be held before Education Minister Evrypidis Stylianidis. Should there be no objections, the process will be completed at 1700 hours on Thursday evening.

    The four candidates, the Bishops of Sparta, Thebes, Thessaloniki and Demetrias, will be at the judgment of 75 delegates, as three, the Bishops of Maroneia, Langadas and Ghytheion, have said they will not attend because of illness. The Bishop of Karystia will be chairing the election process. Prior to the elections, it has to be made certain that at least the two thirds of the acting Bishops are present. The first two voting sessions require an absolute majority, while the third requires a relative one, meaning that even a single ballot can elect the new Archbishop. In the event of a tie, the new Archbishop will emerge from a draw.

    Theology professor Alexandros Kariotoglou told NET radio station that the State-Church relations and the ties with the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate are thorny issues that have to be addressed. He also underlined that things will not be the same, as late Archbishop Christodoulos work will continue in a different manner.

    The new Archbishop will be called on to continue the work done by Christodoulos, without meaning that he will be Christodoulos clone, Theology Professor at the Thessaloniki University Militadis Konstantinou told NET radio. He also added that no candidate can be singled out, for all candidacies are serious.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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    [96] SEBATH-SEPEK-RODOPI Employees

    Xanthi Mobilizations

    06 Feb 2008 14:53:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: 105.8

    Workers in cooperative industries in the Xanthi prefecture blocked the Nestos bridge on the Xanthi-Kavala borders for over 4 hours today in protest against the decision of the Agriculture Bank administration to to close four production plants. Workers in SEKAP, SEKEP, SEBATH and RODOPI industries are staging strike mobilizations in the last month calling for the lift of the Agriculture Bank decision and the financial purging of cooperative industries, change of administration boards and volunteer participation of the prefectures social sectors in the administration board. Local authorities are backing workers mobilizations as well as Xanthi Trade Association, who closed their shops to indicate their support and protest against high unemployment rate and the continuing deindustrialization of the prefecture. A meeting will be held tomorrow to decide escalation of mobilizations in the event their demands are not met. Cars en route from Xanthi to Kavala and opposite are being deviated to the provincial Xanthi-Stavroupolis provincial road.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [97] Auditions and Walk-outs

    06 Feb 2008 13:52:00

    Sources: , 105.8, NA-PA

    Political confrontation continues in strong tones in awaitance of the names of those prosecuted and the summoning of new suspects, involved in the Zahopoulos case, to testify. In yesterdays session of the Parliament Cultural Affairs Committee on the Culture Ministry controversial issues, the PASOK party abstained and the GCP walked out, both parties denouncing procedures.

    PASOK, SYN and LAOS parties submitted separate requests, calling the Prime-minister, as a former Culture Minister and responsible for H. Zahopoulos selection, to testify while the GCP requested all former Culture Ministers serving from 1996 and on to testify. In parallel, PASOK refused participation in the committee of Culture Ministers serving during its ruling.

    Former Culture Minister, Fani-Palli-Petralia in her statement before the Committee clarified that K. Karamanlis "placed himself as head of the Ministrys political leadership, in a clearly symbolic move to guarantee the successful organization of the Olympic Games". She assumed full political responsibility for the Ministrys economic management and the signing of projects financing provided that expenditures had been previously approved by the administration hierarchy. She also referred to temporary contracts of 3.500 employees turned into permanent in accordance to Interior Minister, P. Pavlopoulos decree. In a new request today, the opposition parties call the head of the Financial Crime Department, Spiros Kladas, Yiannis Aggelou and Yiannis Andrianos to appear before the Parliament Institutions and Transparency Committee. In their letter to the president of the Committee, Apostolos Stavrou, PASOK, GCP and SYRIZA deputies attending the Committee call to be briefed on all developments in the Zahopoulos case and extensions to former SDOE( Financial Crime Squad).

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [98] No Cabs Today

    06 Feb 2008 09:35:00

    No cab will be running throughout Greece today Wednesday 6 February. Requesting a fare hike due to the soaring world oil prices, cabbies have scheduled a 24-hour strike across Greece for Wednesday. At 12:30 they will gather at "Peroke" theatre and they will then drive their taxi to Ministry of Transportation. Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis has mad an appeal to municipal police to smooth the transportation of nephritic patients who will need kidney dialysis.

    [99] Countdown

    06 Feb 2008 10:58:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Two days have remained until the new Archbishop is elected by 75 Metropolitans behind closed doors at the Athens Cathedral. The Metropolitans of Lagadas, Maroneias and Gythio will not attend the election while Attika and Lefkada bishoprics are vacant. In a letter to the Holy Synod secretary, Lagadas Metropolitan Spiridon says he will not attend due to health reasons. On the contrary, Metropolitan Apostolos of Kilkisiou will attend the election process and asked to preside over the election procedure as having seniority. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan of Karystia has assumed presidency of the Holy Synod and monitoring the election process, as Metropolitan of Lefkada died a few hours after Christodoulos and Metropolitans of Lagada and Kilkisiou had health problems .

    Translated by John Crystallidis

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    In the Final Stretch

    [100] In Exarchia, Athens

    A. Georgiadis' Bookshop Attacked

    05 Feb 2008 20:20:00

    Sources: NET 105,8

    About 20 young men wearing helmets and hoods and riding motorcycles attacked the book shop of LAOS parliamentary member Mr. Adonis Georgiadis at around 6:30 in the afternoon in 114 Solonos St. The criminals used stones and broke the shop window scattering around books and throwing paints. When police patrolling the area arrived they had got away.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [101] Trisagio for Hristodoulos

    05 Feb 2008 12:38:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    After morning mass at the Athens Cathedral today, Kesariani Metropolitan, Daniel headed a memorial service for Archbishop Hristodoulos, who passed away nine days ago. Next a Trisagion was held at the Athens A Cemetery, where Hrsitodoulos was buried, attended by the Metropolitans of Karistias and Skyros Serafim, Dimitriados Ignatios, Dramas Pavlos, Syros Dorotheos, Messinias Hrisostomos and Glyfadas Pavlos. Meanwhile, tens of faithful visited late Hristodoulos grave to leave a flower. Shortly after arrived Hristodoulos spiritual father, former Piraeus Metropolitan Kallinikos, accompanied by his spiritual children- the Metropolitans of Dimitriados Ignatios and Samos Efsebios who also held a Trisagion.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [102] Fatal Road Accident

    05 Feb 2008 12:23:00

    Sources: , 105.8

    The Traffic Police is looking for a driver who ran down a pedestrian in a side lane of Athinon Avenue. The unlucky man, a foreigner, had been also hit by another car before, while trying to cross the avenue. When hit he was hurled to the side road, where the driver of a car tried to help him. However, by the time she approached him a second car hit him and killed him.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [103] Respirator at ICU Caught Fire

    05 Feb 2008 12:21:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Misdemeanour Court chief Prosecutor, George Kosmidis has ordered preliminary investigation into the case of respirator which caught fire at Larissa General hospital intensive care unit. The patient in the respirator was seriously burned while the director of the hospital, who sped for help, suffered minor burns.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [104] Ilia-Aitoloakarnania Also Rocked

    "Twin Quakes" Hit Achaia

    05 Feb 2008 08:41:00 (Last updated: 05 Feb 2008 18:18:56)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Seismologists are monitoring the situation, following Mondays twin quakes registered 15 kilometres south of Patras. The first quake measured 5.4 on the Richter scale and took place at 22:25, while the second one measured 5.5 and took place at 00:15. The epicentre of the first quake was located 155 kilometres south-west of Athens and 15 kilometres from Patras on mountain range Evrimanthos in Halandritsa. The tremor rocked the prefectures of Achaia, Ilia and Aitoloakarnania, causing concern to seismologists, who have stressed that the rift that caused the quakes was theoretically defunct. A fresh quake, measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale was registered in the same epicentre at 00:15. Civil engineers will check the areas schools, as well as houses and public buildings, although no damages have been reported yet. Meanwhile, professor of Seismology of Patras University Akis Tselendis and seismologist Gerasimos Houliaras told a TV programme on Monday that VAN group had forecast the quake.

    Van Group Forecasts the Quake

    "I have spoken with Mr Varotsos, who told me that this was one of his most successful forecasts," said Mr Tselendis, who reassured the people as the VAN Group forecast was referring to 5.8-magnitude quake.

    Mr Tselendis statements were verified by Mr Houliaras, who said that he had read in scientific magazines that VANs forecast last November referred to a 6-magnitude quake in the specific region. Mr Varotsos international scientific prestige cannot be questioned by the fact that the quake of a smaller magnitude. However, seismologist appeared reassuring on the seismic activity in Halandritsa, Achaia.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Achaia Hit by 5.4 Magnitude Quake

    [105] Achaia Hit by 5.4 Magnitude Quake

    04 Feb 2008 22:56:00 (Last updated: 05 Feb 2008 08:44:34)

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA- 105.8

    A strong earthquake, measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale shook Erymanthos in the prefecture of Achaia at 10:25 Monday. The epicentre of the quake was located in Halandritsa, Achaia 155 kilometres south-west of Athens and 20 kilometres from Patras. The tremor was felt in the city of Patras, as well as in the wider region and in Aitoloakarnania. No damages have been reported yet. On Tuesday morning, 20 civil engineers will visit Patras to carry out a precautionary check on the areas school buildings. Meanwhile, an aftersshock was registered at 22:54. It is noteworthy that a quake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale had struck the same area last Sunday.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [106] Clinton Slightly in the Lead

    06 Feb 2008 17:00:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton faced a protracted battle while John McCain took charge of the Republican race after the "Super Tuesday" presidential nominating contests in 24 US states. In the biggest day of voting to choose party candidates who will contest the election to succeed President George W. Bush in November, Obama won 13 states and Clinton took eight. Clintons wins included the key prizes of California and New York, making for a virtual draw in the hard-fought Democratic duel. McCain won nine contests, including victories in California and the Northeast, to take a commanding lead in the Republican race.

    A new round of contests in a half-dozen states are scheduled within the next week, including Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, which are likely to give a clearer idea whether Obama can continue his surge against Clinton.

    [107] All 31 Passengers Rescued

    Cargo Ship in Croatia on Fire

    06 Feb 2008 13:26:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The Turkish ship Undadriyatik caught fire this morning some 15 nautical miles west of Rovinj (northern Adriatic), Transport and Infrastructure Ministry reported without announcing more details. A local official said that the ship was heading to Italy and was carrying 11 tonnes of dangerous cargo- oil products and 200 trucks. According to Croatian News Agency Hina twenty-two crew and nine passengers have been saved by the crew of the Greek ship Ikarus Palace at around 7 am.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [108] Decree to Dissolve Parliament

    Italy Heading to Early Elections

    06 Feb 2008 11:46:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and caretaker Prime Minister Romano Prodi are expected to sign a decree to formally dissolve Parliament at noon today, putting the country on the road to early elections. A cabinet meeting is due to be held shortly after Romano Prodi signs the decree to decide the date of the election, widely expected to take place on April 13 and 14, two years after the last elections won by the center-left coalitions. This is the fifth time Berlusconi, a 71-year-old billionaire, is candidate for the premiership, leading the rightist coalition. His rival will be Romes 52-year-old mayor Walter Veltroni, who had supported an interim government to change voting rules that were widely blamed for the fragility of Prodis government.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [109] Deadly Storms Sweep North U.S.

    06 Feb 2008 09:47:00

    Sources: Reuters

    At least 18 people were killed in storms as tornadoes and lethal thunderstorms tore through areas of the U.S. South on Tuesday. According to CNN many people are reported missing. Tennessee State has been declared in a state of emergency. Arkansas emergency services reported seven dead in four counties, with as many as eight counties hit by tornadoes. Tennessee media reported one dead in that state. Widespread damages include part of a shopping mall and a dormitory at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, where some students were trapped but not seriously injured. Several polling stations in Tennessee were closed early because of the storm.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [110] MacCain Leads on Votes

    Clinton-Obama Battle to a Draw

    06 Feb 2008 08:47:00

    Sources: ANA, BBC

    Democrats Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama battle to a draw on "Super Tuesday" and John McCain took charge of the Republican race in presidential nominating battles in 24 U.S. states. Hilary Clinton won New York and California, the two "big" trophies for the nomination while her opponent won 13 states. According to analysts California may be proved very crucial as from a historical point of view California has been the state that sealed victory. However, its influence has been reduced during the last years.

    Delegates will be the key to selecting the Democratic and Republican party nominees for U.S. president at national conventions in August and September. None of the candidates has ensured a certain number of candidates that will secure the partys presidential nominee. According to estimations, Hilary Clinton has 760 delegates and Obama 692. Both candidates must continue their pre election campaign with irreducible tension. In the Republicans race, McCain had 570 delegates to Romneys 251 and Huckabees 175.

    McCain won nine contests, including victories in California and the Northeast, to take a lead in the Republican race. "Tonight, I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party front-runner for the nomination," McCain told supporters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    Polls give a slight lead to John MacCain if coming to battle against Hilary Clinton and to Barack Obama in the case him facing the Republican senator in the camp of the Democrats.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [111] The Tories Extend Their Lead

    05 Feb 2008 11:44:00

    The Tories, Britains Conservatives, have extended their lead over the ruling Labour Party led by Gordon Brown, a new opinion poll that appeared Tuesday on The Time paper suggested.

    The poll gives the Labour Party 31%, two percentage points down compared to last month.

    Losing two percentage points since a month ago, the Labour Party garnered 31% in the voting intention. David Camerons Conservatives, on the other hand, stood at 40%, gaining three points.

    The Liberal Democrats, the smaller opposition party, fell two points, trailing with 17%.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [112] Headscarf Causes Friction in Turkey

    05 Feb 2008 10:59:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Turkeys President Abdullah Gul has no intention of calling for a referendum on a constitutional amendment aiming to lift the headscarf ban in universities, read Milliyet paper. Holding referenda on matters pertaining to fundamental freedoms and rights is of no purpose, said Gul while meeting with Turkish writers. "It is not a problem that relates to the majority of the Turkish people. The vast majority [of the Turks] knows how to co-exist," commented Abdullah Gul. The Turkish Parliament is expected to approve the constitutional amendment within the week. The nations secularist elite, Armed Forces, as well as the judicial and university authorities oppose to the amendment sponsored by the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party. On Saturday, more than 120,000 people took to the streets of Ankara and other cities to protest against the lifting of the headscarf ban.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [113] 24 States Go to the Polls

    Super Tuesday in the USA

    05 Feb 2008 09:31:00 (Last updated: 06 Feb 2008 10:18:05)

    Sources: REUTERS

    Voters in 24 states make their choices in an unpredictable US presidential campaign on Tuesday, with Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in a close fight and Republican John McCain aiming for a knockout blow against Mitt Romney. On the biggest day of voting ever in a US primary race, candidates in both parties compete on "Super Tuesday" for a huge haul of delegates to this summers nominating conventions. More than half of the total Democratic delegates and about 40 percent of the Republican delegates are up for grabs on Tuesday.

    Opinion polls show a tight Democratic race in many states, but a Reuters/C- PAN/Zogby poll showed Obama opening a 13-point lead on Clinton in California, which alone has 441 delegates to the nominating convention, more than one-fifth of the total needed to win. Among Republicans, McCain had solid leads in most of the big battleground states. But McCain, an Arizona senator, and Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, changed their plans so they could make late dashes to California, where opinion polls showed a tighter contest. A new Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll showed Romney up by 7 points in California, although McCain held commanding double-digit advantages in New York and New Jersey.

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC - US voters set for Super Tuesday

    CNN - Obama the choice of Democrats in Indonesia

    Related News:

    Obama in the Lead

    [114] Quake Kills 43 in Rwanda

    04 Feb 2008 15:59:00

    Sources: ANA

    The 6.0 magnitude tremor that hit the Great Lakes region has claimed at least 43 lives. Nearly 450 people have been injured and thousands have been left homeless in Rwanda and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. Both countries suffered major damage. The earthquakes epicentre was located 20km to the north of Bukavu, the capital city of the South Kivu province, Congo. It is one of the strongest earthquakes ever reported in the area, an official said.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [115] UN Security Council Meets on Chad

    04 Feb 2008 11:28:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA, BBC

    Despite the temporary ceasefire, the Chadian capital city of NDjamena looks more like a conflict zone. With bodies being scattered along the streets, the resident of NDjamena are fleeing the city crossing the Logone-Chari river into Cameroon.

    The government army announced late on Sunday that it pushed rebels back, freeing the Chadian capital. The rebels, on the other hand, claimed they made a strategic retreat, as they are waiting for more forces to join them from the east.

    The turmoil in Chad prompted the European Union to postpone the deployment of peace troops in the area.

    Gravely concerned over the upset in the country, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all parties to lay down their arms and enter peace talks.

    The UN Security Council held Sunday an emergency session upon the request of France, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Libya. The session meant to adopt a France-sponsored text condemning the attack against Chads government and the efforts to have it overthrown.

    No joint decision was made, since the Russian delegation requested more time to consult with Moscow. The UN Security Council is to meet anew on Monday.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [116] Nine Civilians, among them One Child

    Iraq: Civilians Killed in US Raid

    04 Feb 2008 09:45:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The U.S. military said it had accidentally killed at least nine Iraqi civilians, including a child, while pursuing al Qaeda fighters south of Baghdad. The incident was recorded on Saturday near Iskandariya, 50 km south of Baghdad. Three other civilians, including two more children, were wounded said the US army announcement. The wounded were taken to U.S. military hospitals for treatment. Earlier eyewitnesses spoke of 20 people killed in US raid, with 17 of them being members of the same family. According to the announcement U.S. military commanders in the area met a tribal sheikh in the area after the incident. An investigation is being carried out.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [117] 43 People Killed and 85 Wounded

    Iraq: Deadly Bomb Attacks

    01 Feb 2008 11:05:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: ANA-BBC-Reuters

    At least 43 people were killed and 85 wounded in twin bomb attacks in busy markets in Baghdad, security forces said. The first bomb, which was hidden in a box of birds, exploded during a busy time for the Ghazil pet market, killing at least 35 people and injuring 75. A second blast 20 minutes later tore through another crowded market in the southeast of the capital killing 8 people and wounding ten. According to eyewitnesses ambulances to reach the site of the attack in Ghazil market as it is crowded with people.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [118] In Baghdad

    Bomb Attack Killed 5 People

    31 Jan 2008 21:24:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA

    At least five people were killed and another 8 injured when a bomb in a parked car exploded near Salahaddin Square in Kadhimiya, a Shiite district in north-western Baghdad According to Iraqi police the bomb exploded at 16:00 Greek local time in an area where workers looking for job gather every day. The victims were workers and passengers in vehicles running by. Earlier today 12 people were wounded in three separate bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [119] Major Damage. No Casualties

    Iraqi Central Bank on Fire

    28 Jan 2008 12:51:00

    A fire broke out early on Monday morning at the offices of Iraqs central bank, badly damaging three of the ten storeys of the building. The fire broke out after midnight, said an Interior Ministry spokesman, clarifying that the fire was contained around 05.00am local hour. An investigation is underway to shed light to the causes of the fire. US and Iraqi forces have been patrolling the surrounding area.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [120] Bloody Blasts in Iraq

    24 Jan 2008 11:14:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters, NA-PA

    A police chief in Mosul was wounded seriously by a bomb blast on Thursday. The chief was on his way to the location where Wednesdays bomb attack killed 20 people. Specifically, Saal Al-Jumburi and five persons were wounded, while his bodyguard was killed. At the same time, two policemen were killed from a bomb blast in Karanta district, Bagdad as police patrol cars were passing by. The blast wounded a policeman and two civilians.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [121] Seven Killed and 70 Wounded

    Powerful Blast in Mosul

    23 Jan 2008 17:58:00

    A powerful blast ripped through a residential building in Iraq's main northern city of Mosul on Wednesday, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 70, among whom children and women

    A powerful blast ripped through a residential building in Iraqs main northern city of Mosul on Wednesday, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 70, among whom children and women. As per the police the number of victims is expected to rise. A police official reported that the police had been notified that a big amount of explosives in the building was found. However, when the police and soldiers arrived there the blast took place in the town, 390 kilometres north of Bagdad.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [122] Deadly Suicide Attack

    21 Jan 2008 22:07:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    A suicide bomber killed 15 people and wounded 10 others on Monday at a funeral near the volatile northern Iraqi oil refinery city of Baiji, security officials said. It was the latest in a spate of suicide bombings in northern Iraq, where U.S. and Iraqi forces have launched a major operation to drive out al Qaeda militants. The Sunni Islamist group is seen as responsible for most suicide attacks in Iraq. The bomber walked into a funeral tent for a local tribal leader and blew himself up among mourners, who included Salahuddin provincial government officials and members of a local US-backed anti-al Qaeda Awakening Council.

    [123] Iraq a Time Bomb

    19 Jan 2008 18:33:00

    Sources: NA, Reuters

    A top police officer has announced that seven Iraqis who were returning from a Shiite religious event were killed in north-western Iraq on Saturday. Eight more people were killed when a Katyusha rocket hit a group of people returning from an event on the occasion of the Ashura religious festival held in Tal Afar, 420 kilometres north-west of Baghdad, added the officer.

    In other violent incidents in other areas, at least 25 people were killed and nine injured, while 40 suspects were arrested, Iraqi officials and the Media reported.

    Meanwhile, an identified number of people were killed and others arrested in Basra in clashes between the police and armed men of the religious organisation Jund al-Sama that was set up in 2007. This organisation aims at gaining control of Najaf.

    Meanwhile, two people were killed and seven civilians injured in Kirkuk, 250 kilometres north of Baghdad, while an explosive device in Bakuba killed three and injured two civilians.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [124] Deadly Gun Battles in Iraq

    18 Jan 2008 16:02:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA-MPA

    At least four people were killed in gun battles between Iraqs security forces and Shiite gunmen in Basra and Nassirija, in southern Iraq. The gun battles in Basra started around Friday noon between Iraqi security forces and members of a Shiite sect, the citys police head was quoted as saying. He also said that the conflicts, which had been underway in three separate areas of the city, began at 1200 hours (local time). There has been no official report of casualties so far.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [125] Rice in Baghdad

    15 Jan 2008 10:14:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    As per an American source, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to visit Baghdad Tuesday. Ms Rice will meet with her Iraqi counterpart and then they will give a Press Conference. A US Embassy spokesman stated that the secretary of state had visited first Saudi Arabia. Ms Rice was accompanying President George Bush at his tour to the Middle East. Mr Bush is arriving in Egypt today, the last leg of his tour.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [126] At least 9 Dead and 18 Injured

    Bombing Attacks in Baghdad

    06 Jan 2008 14:45:00

    Sources: ANA, MNA

    4 people were killed in a trapped car bomb blast reported in Baghdad.

    In the northern Baghdad suburb of Qahira, a car bomb outside a restaurant killed three people and wounded 12, police said.

    This tragic incident occurred a few hours before another attack targeting the offices of a non-governmental organisation called the Iraqi Unity Gathering. A suicide bomber killed nine people during celebrations to mark Army Day in the eastern Baghdad suburb of Karrada on Sunday.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [127] Suicide Attack Kills 3 in Israel

    04 Feb 2008 12:22:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    At least three people were killed and another ten were injured when a suicide bomber detonated himself in the shopping centre of the southern Israeli town of Dimona, police sources said. The suicide bomber was among the dead, the same sources added. Hamas hailed the suicide attack as "heroic," also stressing the bombing was the natural aftermath of the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation. "It confirmed the Palestinian peoples commitment to resistance against the Israeli attacks," a Hamas spokesman claimed.

    In the meantime, the "Army of Palestine" wing of Fatahs al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack, aired the Israeli radio, citing the Hezbollah television and the Palestinian news agency.

    The Israeli police said the suicide bomber and at least one civilian were killed in Dimona, while a second suicide bomber was shot dead before blowing himself up.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Rare suicide bombing hits Israel

    [128] Bloody Attack in Lebanon

    25 Jan 2008 10:56:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters, Associated Press

    At least 10 people were killed and more than 18 wounded in a bomb blast that shook up the Christian suburb of eastern Beirut Friday morning and which was targeted at a senior police official. An officer of the Lebanese security forces was one of the victims. Captain Wissam Eid was a member of the Internal Security Forces.

    Meanwhile a car bomb destroyed a car of a US diplomat 10 days ago, killing three men, while in another bomb attack General Francois El-Hajj lost his life.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [129] Palestinians Surge into Egypt

    24 Jan 2008 09:18:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Israel would like to sever its remaining connections with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip after militants blasted open the territorys border with Egypt, a top Israeli defence official said on Thursday. "We need to understand that when Gaza is open to the other side we lose responsibility for it. So we want to disconnect from it," deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai told Army Radio. Egyptian forces are posted along Gazas southern border, where militants set off bombs on Wednesday destroying the border wall, allowing tens of thousands of Palestinians to pour through to stock up on goods in short supply due to an Israeli blockade.

    [130] Parts of the Border Wall Destroyed

    Scores of Palestinians Fled into Egypt

    23 Jan 2008 09:22:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Scores of Gazans fled Wednesday morning into Egypt, after a string of blasts destroyed parts of the border wall separating the Gaza Strip and Egypt, Egyptian security forces were quoted as saying. Their surge into Egypt being illegal, Egypt has yet to decide what course of action to take, the same sources said. On Tuesday, Hamas, which has been running the Gaza Strip since June 2007, staged a street protest at the passing between Rafah and Egypt against the Israeli blockade. A few hours after the demonstration, blasts caused at least five cracks on the border wall. The demonstrators had demanded Egypt open the passing to buy supplies. Gaza has been suffering a full blockade by the Israeli army since 17 January. Israel blamed the blockade on the rockets attacks mounted by Hamas.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [131] UN Calls Meeting on Gaza

    22 Jan 2008 09:58:00

    Sources: NA-PA

    UN Security Council has called an urgent meeting today to discuss situation in the Gaza Strip and particularly the humanitarian crisis after the 4-day Israeli blockade. The meeting has een scheduled to start at 17:00 Greek time. In the meantime, Israel restarted fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip after decision to ease blockade of Palestinian territories. According to eye-witnesses a fuel lorry crossed Israel-Gaza Strip border while a shipment of food and medicine is expected to cross later. Palestinian prime-minister, Salam Fayet warned that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement could not be reached, prior to the end of American president, George Bush term in office, unless Israel puts a halt on construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

    Under US pressure, Israeli prime-minister, Ehud Olmert ordered halt of construction of new settlements, however, Israel does not consider construction projects in the annexed part of the West Bank as "settlement construction".

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [132] The Arab League Calls for a UNSC Meeting

    Gaza Plunged into Darkness

    21 Jan 2008 19:47:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters, AFP, , ANA-MPA

    Prompted by the international outcry triggered by Israels measures, Israel eased the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, allowing power plant fuel and medicines into the area. Earlier on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had argued that only after Gaza is off Hamas grip would supplies be allowed in. A big part of the Gaza Strip has been plunged into darkness over the past 24 hours, as the territorys sole power plant has been shut down, since the Israelis cut fuel supply.

    Both humanitarian groups and the Palestinian President have requested the plant resume operation lest hospitals, refrigerators and food stocks should be delivered a blow. Tel Aviv, on the other hand, accused Hamas, which runs the area, of the shutdown, arguing that Hamas intention is to earn the international communitys sympathy. The Arab League is to call for a Security Council meeting on the blockade Israel imposed on the Gaza Strip.

    In the meantime, humanitarian groups have been warning that a humanitarian crisis is hovering over the Palestinian people. A Red Cross spokesman said that hospitals fuel supplies could last for two days or three and that medicine stocks have dramatically dwindled. At the same time, hundreds of Palestinians, including Hamas officials, took to the streets in Rafah, demanding the border closure, which has been in force since June 2005, be lifted.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Israel to ease blockade of Gaza

    [133] In Gaza Strip

    Abbas Urged End of Blockade

    21 Jan 2008 09:27:00

    Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas today urged Israel to end blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip late on Thursday. According to Palestinian spokesman, Nabli Abu Rudeina, Abbas has called the Israeli government to allow fuel delivery to facilitate life of innocent people otherwise hospitals will run out of fuel for generators. He also stressed that Abbas appealed to for an extraordinary meeting of Arab League Ministers Council to hold talks on the situation in the Gaza Strip. We will refer to the UN Security Council unless Israel eases blockade in the next days, Rudeina stressed.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [134] Air attack in Gaza

    19 Jan 2008 10:56:00

    Palestinian medical sources reported that 2 member of Hamas at least were killed today, Saturday in an air attack launched by Israeli air force North of Gaza strip.

    According to the same sources, Israeli army has not confirmed the incident yet which resulted in another 4 injuries.

    A little later Israeli army forces invaded the area controlled by Hamas with about 12 tanks and other army vehicles.

    Death toll rised to 6.087 in 2002. According to an unofficial toll report by French News Agency, most of the victims were Palestinians.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [135] Israel Bombs Gaza

    18 Jan 2008 21:57:00

    Sources: , 105.8

    Israel bombed the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza on Friday evening. The building, which was flattened, was empty, as it had suffered major damage after the Israeli air raid in July 2006. Eye witnesses said that at least a woman was killed and more than sixty civilians were wounded, since the building stood in central Gaza. Israel claimed the bombing operation was an answer to the rocket-firing by Palestinian militants.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [136] EU-Serbia Interim Agreement

    28 Jan 2008 21:22:00

    The EU has finally invited Serbia to sign an interim agreement on 7 February, as the 27 EU Foreign Ministers have not succeeded in agreeing on signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement. The Dutch insisted on their position that Serbia should first cooperate fully with the International Court at the Hague. Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis hailed todays political agreement, stressing that that agreement proves that the EU wishes to see Serbia joining sometime. Ms Bakoyannis, described Serbia a European country, expressing her satisfaction that the Council had adopted the five points of cooperation of the EU with Serbia, proposed by the Greek government. In parallel, she stressed the economic and commercial importance of the agreement.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [137] Eurogroup and Ecofin Meetings

    21 Jan 2008 15:30:00

    Sources: NA/PA

    Economics Minister, George Alogoskoufis flies to Brussels today to represent Greece at the Eurogroup and Ecofin councils which meet today Monday and tomorrow Tuesday respectively. Talks will focus on EU economic policy in the next 4-year period, priorities of Slovenias EU presidency and current economic situation in the financing sector. Ecofin meeting will discuss organization of spring European Council to be held in March. EU Slovenian presidency will try to achieve effective management of economic policy, improvement of EU public finances and promotion of domestic market integration, particularly in the sectors of financing and taxation.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [138] European Charlemagne Youth Prize

    10 Jan 2008 11:27:00

    With a view to promoting European conscience among the youths and encouraging their participation in EU projects, the European Parliament and the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen decided to introduce the "European Charlemagne Youth Prize." The prize is awarded to youths, aged 16 to 30, for projects that promote mutual understanding, shape a shared sense of European identity and offer real examples of European who living together as a community. Applications should be filled in until 8 February at the Greek office of the European Parliament.

    [139] ECB Interest Rate Unchanged

    10 Jan 2008 10:53:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    European Central Bank policy makers, who met in Frankfurt today, left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4% as expected. Also the Bank of England made a similar move keeping its interest rate at 5.5% despite increased concern over slow consumption because of an ongoing credit squeeze.

    According to a gallop conducted by Reuters, all 71 economic analysts questioned had predicted that the European Central Bank would keep its interest rate stable with half of them maintaining that it will be left unchanged during 2008 while only 8 analysts predicted rise in interest rate and the rest seeing drop.

    Mr. Gunderman, Dresdner Kleinwort senior executive said "We predict stable interest rates for a long period, we do not expect any rise in the next six to nine months on the contrary drop in interest rates is more likely".

    In a relative development, the Bank of Englands decision to keep its interest rate unchanged comes after shop-owners disappointment at slow consumption during Christmas and continuing drop in the real estate market.

    For the first time since August, 2005, the Bank of England Administration Board dropped interest rate by 0.25% while some analysts predict a new drop next month.

    The Dilemma

    Despite being the first session of the year, the ECB is dealing with the old same dilemma. For months, world bankers have been running up against the risk of stagnation, as increased inflationary pressures and lower world economy growth have been boosted.

    However, the majority of the analysts believe that the ECB board will keep key interest rate steady at 4% amid the markets hopes that the lending cost within the euro area will also stay as it is throughout 2008.

    [140] Cyprus-Malta Join Euro

    01 Jan 2008 12:39:00

    By Anna Kourti

    European Union newcomers Cyprus with a population of 800,000 and Malta with 400,000 adopted the euro Tuesday, becoming the 14th and 15th members respectively to join the eurozone with a population of 318 million

    Sources: NA-PA, , 105.8

    European Union newcomers Cyprus with a population of 800,000 and Malta with 400,000 adopted the euro Tuesday, becoming the 14th and 15th members respectively to join the eurozone with a population of 318 million. The Economy Ministry in Cyprus celebrated the development with an event, during which the President of the Cyprus Republic Tassos Papadopoulos made as short address. He said that the adoption of the euro would improve the Cypriots life, securing monetary stability and opening new perspectives to the Cyprus economy. Finally, he hoped that the euro would signal a fresh hopeful era for Cyprus.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [141] Officially Opening Set for Wednesday Morning

    Two Chapters in Turkey's EU Bid Opened

    17 Dec 2007 20:48:00

    The 27-nation bloc gave Monday thumbs up for the opening of two new chapters in Turkeys EU membership talks, announced the EUs Portuguese Presidency. Relating to "Trans-European networks" and "Consumer and Health Protection," the chapters official opening has been scheduled for Wednesday morning in the presence of Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. It was the formation of a "reflection group" on Europes future that allowed the EU member states to reach the said decision. France had insisted that the group be set up as a precondition for giving the green light to the opening of new chapters. Upon Frances demand, whose President Nicolas Sarkozy objects Turkeys EU bid, the 27 EU leaders adopted last week a text determining the meetings of the talks with Turkey in view of the latters possible accession under the term "intergovernmental conferences," instead of "accession talks."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [142] At EU Summit in Brussels

    Focus on Serbia-Kosovo

    14 Dec 2007 09:41:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    stabilise Kosovo

    European Union leaders are set to offer Serbia a fast track to candidacy for membership in the bloc and pledge to step up preparations for a police mission to stabilise Kosovo according to a draft statement for Fridays EU summit in Brussels. The text, obtained by Reuters hours before the 27 EU leaders meet, said negotiations on the breakaway Serbian province have been exhausted and a settlement of Kosovos future status is essential for Balkan stability. On Serbia, the EU reiterated its confidence that Belgrade progress on the road towards the EU, including candidate state status can be accelarated. In the meantime, the EU 27 are called to affirm that developing a common migrant policy, complementing national rules, is a fundamental priority as well as agree on a mandate for the setting up and role of the so called "reflection group" on the long term future of the lock.

    Serbia Determined to be Acceded to the EU

    In an interview with the newspaper Politica , Serb President Boris Tadic stated that his country is determined to be acceded to the EU despite the support of 27 EU member-states to Kosovos independence.

    "Those who argue today that in the case of a non-favourable solution, Serbia should not be acceded to the EU, they are opposing the vital interests of the majority of Serb citizens and aim at isolating Serbia, leading it on an economic wane," said the Serb president.

    Furthermore, he makes it clear that Serbia will never accept Kosovos independence and will continue its peaceful and democratic struggle for as long as necessary.

    However, he points out that he will not allow to anyone to question Serbias future and its European prospect with his irresponsible stance.

    From his side, Serb Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic stressed that his country will never agree to abandon Kosovo in exchange for the acceleration process for Serbias accession to the EU.

    Karamanlis' Intervention in the EPP

    Before the beginning of todays meeting, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met with the President of the European Parliament President of the European Parliament Hans Gert Petering.

    Meanwhile, at the diner of the European Popular Party leaders, where present was Mr Karamanlis, the participants discussed the Slovenian Presidencys agenda and views were exchanged on he Reform Treaty signed in Lisbon on Thursday.

    EPP President Wilfrid Martin referred to the Mediterranean Union, arguing that its constitution should begin after the ratification procedure for the European Treaty begins.

    Mr Karamanlis stressed that as Greece is a Mediterranean country it wishes to be included, adding however that other EU member-states should not be excluded. In parallel, he disagreed with any overlapping of procedures and actions proposed by the Barcelona procedures with those of the EU.

    Regarding Sarkozys proposal for the setting up of a Wise men Committee, Mr Karamanlis said that a constructive discussion should take place.

    In a news conference he gave, Kostas Karamanlis elaborated on domestic issues, pertaining to the pension system and the Olympic Airlines standoff. Asked about the pension reforms, the Greek Premier stressed that the nation needs the reforms, noting that all parties have agreed that the pension system has to be revised. Karamanlis underlined that the Government would soon unveil its proposal and submit them to Parliament. Regarding the Kosovo row, he made it plain that for Greece diplomacy has yet to go beyond its limits. As for the FYROM name dispute, the Greek Premier claimed that nothing but a mutually acceptable solution would cement good neighbourly relations.

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: EU to offer Serbia fast track to candidacy: draft

    Related News:

    Reform Treaty Signed

    [143] Reform Treaty Signed

    13 Dec 2007 15:15:00

    Sources: NA/PA

    Participating in the signing ceremony of the Reform Treaty that in fact is replacing the EU Constitution was Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Mr Karamanlis stated that todays signing of the "Lisbon Treaty" signals a long and hard, but determining procedure for the EUs future, stressing that Greece would ratify it the soonest possible.

    The common objective for the EU member-states is for their Parliaments to ratify it before the 2009 Euro elections.

    The prime minister expressed his satisfaction over the successful outcome of efforts for a new treaty, reporting that that development boosts the European institutions. In parallel, it constitutes the EU capable of meeting successfully the new challenges, adding that Greece play and active and substantial role.

    Finally, Mr Karamanlis praised the efforts of the EU countries that had presided during the last years, as well as the European Commission.

    After the ceremony, the prime minister will visit Brussels, where he will be hosted a dinner by the European Popular Party at 22:00 on Friday and meet with European Parliament President Hans van het Loo Gerrit Peterink.

    Then he will participate in the sessions of the European Commission and before returning to Athens he will speak to the Media.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Greek PM in Portugal

    [144] At the EU-Africa Summit

    Greek PM's Intervention

    08 Dec 2007 17:18:00 (Last updated: 09 Dec 2007 19:39:44)

    Sources: , ANA/MPA, Reuters

    On the occasion of the Global Day of Action on Climate Changes, Greeces Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis underlined the need for emergency measures against global warming and climate change, while addressing the second EU-Africa Summit held in Lisbon, Portugal. Terming it as a threat knowing no boundaries, Kostas Karamanlis commented on the devastating wildfires that ravaged Greece last summer, speaking of an untold tragedy, and stressed Greeces support to policies favouring the promotion and use of renewable energy sources. Apart from environmental issues, Karamanlis also touched on the issue of illegal immigration, underlining the need for cooperation between Europe and Africa.

    On Climate and Immigration

    "We [Greece] have confirmed yet again our nations support to global efforts, as well as to EU initiatives for forging and implementing a joint European environment policy," commented Kostas Karamanlis. He also reiterated the commitments and goals set regarding the promotion and use of renewable energy sources and the gas emission cuts by 2020.

    The Greek Prime Minister then shifted his attention to immigration, which, as he said, "is undeniably key priority for the EU-Africa relations, and our country [Greece] is particularly affected by this phenomenon."

    Touching on the EU-African relations, Karamanlis noted that the Summit was necessary, as cooperation between the two continents has to be modernized and expanded, so that a strategic relation meeting modern challenges can be established. The handling of humanity crisis and cross-border conflicts, trade and immigration are but a few shared challenges meaning to shape our future ties with Africa," argued he.

    "This summit is a step towards a relation of equal partners sharing a common past and a interdependent future," added Karamanlis, further stressing, "We share responsibilities for global challenges, like peace, stability, democracy and the rule of law, human rights, growth, public health and environment protection. Greece has been experiencing the implications of those challenges, therefore it is highly interested in the upgrading of EU-African ties," concluded the Greek Premier.

    On and off the Agenda

    The EU-Africa Summit, the first to be held in seven years, has brought around the same table 53 heads of state and government of the AU nations and 26 of the 27 EU leaders. Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi and Turkish Premier Tayyip Erdogan are also in the Portuguese capital.

    Among the cons of the Summit are the omission of thorny issues, including the crisis in Darfur, and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabes presence. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown refused to show up, because of Mugabe, whom the western nations have accused him of totalitarian rule, blaming the destruction of his countrys economy on him.

    "The situation of Zimbabwe is damaging the image of the new Africa. The whole European Union has the same view of what is happening there," argued German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also adding, "Zimbabwe concerns all of us, in Europe and in Africa."

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy claimed that France has started to normalise its relations with Rwanda, after his meeting with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame on the sidelines of the EU-Africa Summit. Rwanda broke off its ties with France in 2006, after a French judge issued arrest warrants against Kagames close associates, in a probe into the assassination of former President Juvenal Habyaramana.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon

    [145] With the participation of the Greek Prime Minister

    EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon

    08 Dec 2007 11:09:00

    years on Friday. Sudan's Darfur crisis is not included in the agenda

    Immigration, trade, climatic changes and human rights are some of the issue to be discussed by European and African leaders gathering for their first summit in seven years on Friday. Sudans Darfur crisis is not included in the agenda. Zimbabwes Robert Mugabe presence has triggered European interest. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown boycotted the summit because Mugabe would be there, an incident that was commented by the European Union Commissioner Jose Manuel Barosso. Muammar Kadafi and Tayipp Erdogan will also attend the summit.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [146] The Democrats Landed First with 29.23%

    Romania: Opposition Parties Win EU Vote

    26 Nov 2007 10:28:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Garnering 29.23% of the votes, Romanias opposition Democrat party has landed first place in the countrys first election to the European Parliament held Sunday. The ex-communist Social Democrat Party (PSD) has come in second with 21.65 percent, trailed by the Liberals (PLD) with 8.3%, the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania with 5.84%, the New Generation Party (PNG-CD) with 4.92%, the Greater Romania Party (PRM) with 4.12%. Sundays EU elections were the first to be held after the nation joined the EU on 1 January 2007.

    [147] Meeting in Brussels

    New Kosovo Talks

    20 Nov 2007 12:37:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    The talks meaning to break the Kosovo stalemate are to resume Tuesday in Brussels., The German diplomat leading the negotiations within a "troika" of EU, US and Russian mediators, Wolfgang Ischingers proposal calling for a so-called "status-neutral" is likely to run high on the agenda. The proposal, commented the Serbian press, means to call the area "neutral" and have talks started from scratch until Kosovo is freed from the UN-sponsored international administration. The Kosovo standoff also topped the EU General Affairs Council held Monday. "We unanimously decided to give our backing to the troika in the three remaining weeks, with a view to striking common ground on the Kosovo issue," underlined Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who attended the meeting.

    Harsh Stance by Serbia

    Serbia has already rejected the proposal in question, championing the UN Security Council resolution 1244 agreed in 1999, whereby Kosovo is Serbias part. It was announced that the Serbian delegates will try to outline their plans on autonomy based on the Hong Kong model and the Swedish minority in Finland.

    Serbian President Boris Tadic, who is leading the Serbian delegation, appeared rather pessimistic over the outcome of the negotiations. He also said that the Albanian side was unlikely to back down at the last stage of the negotiations, noting, however, that he would not accept Kosovos independence and the establishment of yet another state within Serbia.

    The Albanians, on the other hand, went to Brussels to fight for their claim for independence, arguing that they would only discuss matters directly relating to what will follow after the independence, including the status of the Serbian minority and the bilateral ties with Serbia.

    Outgoing Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku claimed that nothing can prevent independence. In his interview with a French paper, he said that independence would be declared as soon as a government was formed, expressing the hope that it could happen before the new year dawned.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [148] To Circulate in 2008

    Commemorative Euro Coin

    13 Nov 2007 12:24:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The European Union will issue a special 2 euro coin to commemorate the 10th anniversary of implementation of common European currency, announced the prime minister of Luxembourg on Monday evening. The new coin is expected to circulate in 2008 while its design will be decided after a public bid. So far 13 countries are using the euro while Malta and Cyprus are joining the euro zone in 2008. The use of the euro currency was decided on January, 1st, 1999 while coins and banknotes first circulated in January, 2, 2002.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [149] Churchill Never Existed, Brits Say

    04 Feb 2008 10:20:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    Believing that Sherlock Holmes really existed, nearly a quarter of British teenagers dismissed Sir Winston Churchill as a fictional character, a survey commissioned by UKTV Gold has showed

    Of the 3,000 respondents, almost half of them (475) think that English king Richard the Lionheart never really ruled Britain. In reality, Richard was at the helm of England from 1189 to 1199.

    World War II Prime Minister Churchill is also a myth, answered 23% of the respondents. Queen Cleopatra, Gandhi and writer Charles Dickens are also believed to be fictional figures.

    Meanwhile, 58% said that Sir Arthur Conan Doyles fictional detective Holmes actually existed.

    [150] Kiss of Life Saves Tiger

    02 Feb 2008 10:06:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA-REUTERS

    A medical student under the name Janine Bauer watched in horror at a zoo in Germany as the tiger cub began to choke on meat he had been gnawing. Ms Bauer was with her one-year-old son Johann at Halle Zoo in eastern Germany when she saw the tiger falling unconscious as it gagged on its food. Immediately she hurried to help the keeper, said Andreas Jacob, director of the zoo in the eastern German city of Halle. "The tiger tried to eat a piece of meat that was too big and started choking and shaking and then fell over," said Janine Bauer. The zoo, which held a ceremony Friday to thank Bauer, has decided to call the tiger Johann, after her one-year-old son.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [151] Sugar orSawdust?

    01 Feb 2008 09:39:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters

    Neither an economist nor an expert stockbroker but an Ohio pig is believed to forecast the course of American economy during an event in Greenville, Ohio, northwest of Dayton, where "Darke County Dave" will be called to choose between a trough of sugar or one of sawdust to gauge the economys future course . Sugar means the U.S. economy will run sweetly, while sawdust indicates a poor taste and sour economy.

    Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray will not only attend the event but also be the keynote speaker at the event, which is sponsored by a Darke County Realtors association. Dave the pig follows in the footsteps or of forecasters such as Phil, a groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, said to predict how bad winter will be

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Guardian Unlimited: Ohio forecasting pig will opine on US economy

    [152] Japanese Teenager Hannibal Lecter's Fan

    Making a Tale out of His Mother's Murder

    24 Jan 2008 13:10:00

    A Japanese teenager, who is accused of murdering his brother and his sister before placing a doll in a large incision in the mothers abdomen, had composed on his computer a tale describing a similar scene, media reported. The teenagers father, who has requested a death sentence for his son, said that his 18-year-old son admired Hannibal Lecter, a fictional character in a series of novels talking about a brilliant psychiatrist who turned into a cannibalistic serial killer. The teenager admitted stabbing his brother, 15, his sister, 13, his mother to death in their apartment in early January.

    Psychologists have been arguing on the influence of violence found in literature, videogames and cinema. Some think it encourages sensitive people to make it true, while others believe it has relieving powers, as it gives vent to their morbid impulses.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [153] Hania

    Squid 4kg in Crete

    15 Jan 2008 17:58:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: NA

    A 1.5m long squid weighting 4.200gm was washed ashore Koum-Kapi beach in Hania, Crete. A resident of the area saw the giant squid as he was trying to park his car. His son, who was accompanying him went straight to collect the squid, which is usually fished in deep waters in the Mediteranean. The squid probably seeking for small fish lost orientation. Wondering on the fate of the squid, it is certain to end up a tasty fish dish for the family of the lucky finder.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [154] Austria: Driving for 41 Years without a Driving License

    15 Jan 2008 10:19:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A 61-year-old Austrian was discovered in Klagenfurt, southern Austria by the police in a routine check to be driving without a driving license. The man lacked a driving license for 41 years. The Traffic Police discovered that he had been deprived of this driving license in 1968; however the man had never taken a test to get a new one.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [155] Bjork Attacks Photographer

    14 Jan 2008 10:00:00

    Sources: AFP

    Icelandic pop singer Bjork attacked a photographer who tried to take photos of her arrival at the Auckland airport in New Zealand, said press reports on Monday. "I took a couple of pictures, and as I turned and walked away, she came up behind me, grabbed the back of my black skivvy (long tee shirt) and tore it down the back," Jeffrey was quoted as saying. "As she did this she fell to the ground. At no stage did I touch her or speak with her," he added.

    [156] The 7 Great "Medical Myths"

    21 Dec 2007 15:52:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-NA-REUTERS

    Theories deeply rooted in humans consciousness published on Friday in the British Medical Journal entitled seven "medical myths". Two U.S. researchers took seven common beliefs and searched the archives for evidence to support them. Reading in dim light wont damage your eyes, you dont need eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy and shaving your legs wont make the hair grow back faster. More specifically:

    Eating turkey makes you drowsy Turkey contains amino acid called tryptophan that is involved in sleep and mood control. But turkey has no more of the acid than chicken or minced beef. Eating lots of food and drink at Christmas are probably the real cause of sleepiness Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight The majority of eye experts believe it is unlikely to do any permanent damage, but someone who reads in dim light may squint, blink more and have trouble focusing. Shaving makes hair grow back faster or coarser Shaving has no effect on the thickness or rate of hair regrowth, studies say. But after shaving, hair has a harsher feel, giving the impression of coarseness. We use only 10 percent of our brains A myth which arose at 1907, but imaging shows no area of the brain is silent or completely inactive Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death This idea may come from grim novels. The researchers said the skin dries out and retracts after death, giving the appearance of longer hair or nails. Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals Despite risen concerns over this idea, studies have found minimal interference with medical equipment Drinking 8 Glasses of Water Makes you Healthier. Actually drinking a lot of water does not make someone healthier.

    The research was conducted by Aaron Carroll, assistant professor of paediatrics at the Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, and Rachel Vreeman, fellow in childrens health services research at Indiana University School of Medicine.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [157] Suggested US Researchers

    Chimps Have Maths Skills

    18 Dec 2007 12:21:00

    Chimps can do almost exactly as well as humans when it comes to maths skills, suggested a study that appeared in the US Science journal PLoS Biology. Earlier findings had showed that both humans and animals have the ability to distinguish numbers and quantities. Non-human primates can spell the difference between four and eight objects. There has been no indication, however, proving they were capable of making calculations. "This is the first study that looked at whether or not they could make explicit decisions that were based on mathematical types of calculations," said Jessica Cantlon, one of the studys writers. Cantlon and her colleagues worked on macaque monkeys. The task was to mentally add two sets of dots that were briefly flashed on a computer screen. The chimps were awarded for picking the correct answer from two choices. 76% of the chimps did great. The same task was given to students, who were also called on to mentally add the sets of dots. 94% of the students performed the task correctly.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [158] 2.5m-Long Sea Scorpion Claw Unearthed

    21 Nov 2007 15:45:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ANA

    Researchers unearthed a fossilised claw of a 2.5m-long sea scorpion, which lived on the Earth long before the dinosaurs.

    The 390-million-old fossil, discovered during excavations works in a quarry in Germany, proved that pre-historic spiders, insects and crabs could by much larger than previously thought, said Wednesday researchers from the University of Bristol, UK. Dr Simon Braddy, one of the leading figures of the research, said they had been aware of the existence of super-sized millipedes, huge cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies, however, they had not realized how huge some of the prehistoric insects had been.

    The claw of the sea scorpion, which has been named Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, is 46cm-long, suggesting that the sea scorpion was at least 50cm longer than previously thought.

    The exact reasons lying behind their huge size are rather sketchy. Scientists have put it down to the high oxygen levels existing in the atmosphere back then.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [159] An Airbus as Birthday Present

    02 Nov 2007 14:51:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Indias richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has bought his wife a luxury jet with entertainment cabins, a sky bar and fancy showers for her birthday, a newspaper said on Friday. Ambani, who owns the countrys biggest private company, Reliance Industries Ltd, gifted the $60 million Airbus plane to wife Neeta on her 44th birthday on Thursday, the Mumbai Mirror newspaper said. The jet is custom-fitted with an office and a cabin with game consoles, music systems, satellite television and wireless communication, the report said. t also has a master bedroom, a bathroom with a range of showers and a bar with mood lighting. The newspaper said Airbus sources had confirmed the sale and the jet had arrived at New Delhis airport and would be brought to Mumbai soon. A spokesman for Reliance, estimated to have a market capitalization of nearly $100 billion, told Reuters, "we are neither denying nor confirming the report".

    With business interests ranging from oil to retail and biotechnology, Ambani is not known to shy away from conspicuous consumption. He is building a $1-billion home in Indias financial capital of Mumbai, considered to be one of the worlds most expensive houses, local media reports have said. The 27-storey home, for a family of six, with a helipad, health club and six floors for car parking and 600 staff, has awed Indias rich. But it has also drawn criticism as an edifice to vulgarity in a country where hundreds of millions live in crushing poverty.

    [160] For $119 Thousands

    Strands of Che's Hair Sold at US Auction

    26 Oct 2007 09:42:00

    Strands of socialist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevaras hair were sold for $119 thousands at an auction carried out at the Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, US

    The buyer and lone bidder was a Houston bookstore owner, 61, who said he would display them on his bookstore.

    Other objects, including photographs, Ches fingertips, as well as a hand-written document one of his comrades had written to him, were also sold along with the strands of hair.

    All the items were part of a collection belonging to Gustavo Villoldo, 71, a Cuban-born CIA operative who helped Bolivian troops capture him in 1967, and who claimed he had trimmed the lock of hair from Ches body, before burying him

    The hair may turn out to be a rather pivotal finding, as it can prove whether the remains located in Cuba really belong to Che Guevara through DNA tests.

    Che was arrested 8 October 1967 by Bolivian soldiers backed by CIA operatives and was executed the following day in a school. Several years later, bones believed to belong to Che were unearthed and transferred to Cuba. However, six more bodies were found in the same grave, while Villoldo claimed that only two bodies had been buried in the same grave with Che. He also argued that he knows exactly where the grave is.

    Villordo appeared vexed by the fact that Che has been elevated to an icon, saying he was but a murderer and burglar, and that hunting him down was the right thing to do.

    The auction was conducted under tight security, for there were fears that people might want to protest against the exploitation of the revolutionary who made history.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [161] In New York

    Million Dollar Painting in Garbage

    25 Oct 2007 15:44:00

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ANA

    A painting drawn by the famous painter Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) which had been stolen 20 years ago was found in a garbage bin in New York. This painting will be one of the most important works disposed in the auction taking place in November by Sothebys auction house. It is estimated that the paintings value rises to $ 1million. Tamayos work was found randomly by a New York passing-by woman.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [162] Spears under Her Father's Control

    05 Feb 2008 10:43:00

    A Los Angeles court granted Monday pop singer Britney Spears father control of her personal and financial affairs, while the child custody battle was postponed for 19/2. Lawyer Adam Streisand, who claimed he was Spears attorney, unsuccessfully tried to reverse the court ruling. The physician appointed by the court to evaluate her mental abilities said that the pop singer is unable to realize the court process, nor has the competence to make any decisions. The LA judge also ordered her friend and manager Sam Lutfi to have no contact with her.

    [163] Los Angeles

    Katherine Heigl Most Desirable Woman

    01 Feb 2008 16:15:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA-REUTERS

    Lifestyle Web site, which boasts seven million readers a month, said it polls users annually for a list of 99 women who best embody the qualities of an ideal girlfriend or wife, as judged by intelligence, humour, charisma and ambition among attributes. Heigl, 29, starred in last years hit comedy movie "Knocked Up" and currently is in theatres with romance "27 Dresses," playing a woman who is always a bridesmaid but never a bride until she finally finds love. Following Heigl on the list was model Alessandra Ambrosio in the No. 2 position and just behind her was British actress Kate Beckinsale.

    [164] Written Apology and Fine

    01 Feb 2008 16:01:00

    Sources: ANA, MNA, German News Agency

    According to German Courts decision the student who came to a verbal fight with his teacher for an MP3 has to apologize in written and pay a $3.700 fine. The student admitted that he had grossly insulted his Chinese teacher. When his teacher took his MP3 the 17 years old became furious, he started grossly insulting her and began looking for his MP3 in her bag. Then his teacher called the police. According to Court, it is up to the student to decide whether his apology will be written in the English or the Chinese language.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [165] Prime Minister-Chef

    28 Jan 2008 22:44:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA-REUTERS

    Samak Sundaravej, who was elected Monday as Thailand's new prime minister, said he would not celebrate his victory and would continue to lead a normal life in his new office. "I will still go to the market to buy groceries before returning home to cook and share meals with my wife, he told reporters as voting got underway in parliament to choose the new premier. "There will be no celebration. I will continue with my normal life." Samak, 72, is a combative but charismatic politician who is also famous for hosting television talk shows and a cooking programme"Tasting, Grumbling".

    [166] Australia: Teenager Party Boy Star

    25 Jan 2008 09:25:00

    Sources: NA - PA

    An Australian teenager who became a controversial media star after a wild party at his parents house has decided to become a professional party organizer. Top Australian manager, Mark Marxon has offered him 100.000 dollars a year to organise more teen parties, mass media pay him to have exclusive interviews while companies and shops addressed to youth offer him their products free just to advertise themselves. All is the follow-up of a wild party at his parents house became a near riot. Corey Delaney, 16, decided to throw a party while his parents were on holidays, but the event descended into chaos forcing police to call in a helicopter and the dog squad after party goers threw bottles at police cars. He posted a notice on his MySpace site about the party and 500 people turned up to his suburban home in the southern city of Melbourne on Saturday. The party turned sour after revellers clashed with police called in by frightened neighbours. Police have been considering to bill him A$20,000 bill for damages and do not like the attention he has attracted. Corey Delany The unrepentant Delaney- who appears everywhere wearing big bright yellow sunglasses - described the chaos as "the best party ever" and has become a controversial media star since the party, with his exploits making television news around the globe. Delany, who was arrested along with another teenager but freed on bail, is Australias last star and the hero of many teenagers his parents and several other parents appeals.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [167] Nicole Kidman Pregnant

    08 Jan 2008 10:10:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman confirmed today that she is expecting a child from her country music singer husband Keith Urban. Kidman, 40, ha adopted two children, Connor and Isabella when she was married with Tom Cruise. The children spend most of their time with Tom Cruise and his present wife Katy Holms. Kidman has said she had an ectopic pregnancy at the beginning of her marriage to Cruise and suffered a miscarriage at the time the couple split. Kidman got married to Urban 18 months ago and the couple spends most of its time in Nashville, Tennessee.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [168] Smoking Banned in France's Cafes

    03 Jan 2008 09:29:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: AFP, BBC, ANA, MNA

    Smoking is banned in Frances cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Frances smoking ban went into effect Tuesday with the start of the new year. This measure is considered a major cultural change as many artists and intellectuals used to meet in traditional coffee shops and chat lighting a cigarette with their morning coffee. Eight states in neighboring Germany also launched restrictions on smoking in bars and restaurants despite the fact that reactions are strong since smoking ban was first promoted by Hitler.

    Controls in Public Places

    Frances smoking ban went into effect with the start of the new year. However, Ministry of Health has "silently" provided an extra deadline until Wednesday to smokers to comply to the measure stressing that during New Years Eve there will be no controls.

    However, according to the ministry, special health inspectors will perform constant controls, starting from Thursday, in public places in order to check whether the measure is being applied.

    Those caught lighting up inside face a 450 fine while bar, caf&#233; and restaurant owners who turn a blind eye to smoking in their establishments will have to pay 750 .

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [169] New Romance for Sarkozy

    17 Dec 2007 17:33:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy was photographed at the weekend with former supermodel turned singer Carla Bruni, fuelling rumours of romance just two months after his divorce from his second wife. Pictures of Sarkozy and Bruni, a dark-haired, blue-eyed Italian, visiting Disneyland Paris were splashed over the French newspapers on Monday and the couple are also expected to make the front page of several glossy magazines this week. Sarkozys office declined to comment on the reports which suggested he had wasted no time in getting to know Bruni after meeting her last month. The right-leaning Le Figaro newspaper, which is regarded as close to the 52-year-old Sarkozy, ran a front page headline "Carla Bruni, the presidents girlfriend" above a photo of the smiling 38-year-old in a fur coat. Le Parisien newspaper carried a front-page picture of the pair together at Disneyland Paris surrounded by three unidentified children with the caption "The head of state and his girlfriend Carla". Sarkozy and his second wife Cecilia split in October after 11 years of marriage. It was the first time in modern French history that a serving president had divorced.

    [170] Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actresses

    01 Dec 2007 10:30:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ANA/MPA

    Reese Witherspoon, 31, and, Angelina Jolie are Hollywoods highest-paid actresses, since they earn $15 to $25 million per movie. Oscar winner Witherspoon was second on the list of the highest-paid actresses behind Nicole Kidman. Angelina Jolie, landed first place after her latest release, "Beowulf," her first hit since 2005, when she featured in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." Earning more than $15 million per movie, Cameron Diaz, 35, finished third place.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [171] In Britain

    Royal Diamond Anniversary

    19 Nov 2007 15:37:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh are marking their 60th wedding anniversary with a service of celebration at Londons Westminster Abbey. On Tuesday November 20, the actual day of their wedding anniversary, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will travel to Malta where they lived as a young married couple from 1949-51 while The Duke was stationed there as a serving Royal Naval officer.

    [172] Queen Elizabeth on the Vogue List

    "One of the World's Most Glamorous Women"

    05 Nov 2007 21:01:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-MPA-REUTERS

    Queen Elizabeth of Britain was included on Vogue Magazines list of the worlds most glamorous women, despite being 81 years old. Joining top models Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer, the Queen was declared to be "as glamorous in her brogues and headscarf at (her country estate) Balmoral as she is wearing the crown jewels." Starring the Oscar-winning movie "The Queen", actress Helen Mirren also found its name on the Vogue list.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [173] According to Vanity Fair magazine

    Sarkozy in best-dressed list

    31 Jul 2007 11:43:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Newly elected French president, Nikola Sarkozy named to the 2007 international best-dressed list. According to the American magazines editors, the French president was distinguished by his manly and romantic dressing choices in his public appearances. Sarkozy made the best impression when he chose to wear a Prada suit at assumption of office ceremony. In addition to Sarkozy in the list are actors George Clooney and Brad Pitt, soccer player, David Beckham, rock singer Lenny Kravitz. In the list of best dressed women are French actress, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Angelina Jolie and Demi Mour.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [174] Sold at record price

    Napoleon letter

    05 Jul 2007 18:08:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-NA

    A love letter from Napoleon to his future wife, Josephine, was sold at 276,000 ( 412.000 euros) at an auction in London. The letter is one of the three letters Napoleon had written to Josephina prior to their wedding. Initally it was estimated that the leter would fetch some 50.000 pounds. The letter was sold among a collection of 570 manuscripts of other European historical personalities, Lord Byron, Queen Elizabeth A, Isaak Newton, Einstein, Churchill, Oliver Cromwell, Oscar Wilde, Martine Luther at the Christies auction house.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

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