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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-03-03

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Great Escape Begins
  • [02] 3% Pay Rises
  • [03] Meetings at Presidential Mansion
  • [04] Prospects for Tourism
  • [05] GSEE-Pavlopoulos to Papoulias
  • [06] Bomb Hoax at Petrakis Monastery
  • [07] Inspections in Supermarkets
  • [08] Skier Missing in Italian Alps
  • [09] Iraqi Insurgents Attack Workers
  • [10] Israeli Attack against Catholic Church
  • [11] Recommendations on Fuel Price Cuts
  • [12] Heavy Sentence for PAOK
  • [13] Gone for Twelve Years
  • [14] Peru Demanded Yale Return Treasures
  • [15] New H5N1 Cases
  • [16] Jane Fonda: Just Be You
  • [17] Prison Release Motion Filed

  • [01] Disruptions at Airports Great Escape Begins

    03 Mar 2006 23:23:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Those who were planning on leaving for the long weekend by plane were met with flight delays and long hassles on Friday, as the Federation of Greek Security Personnel announced an unexpected 24-hour strike in the afternoon. The employees went on strike, protesting over the recent redundancies of airport security personnel, which, as they claim, were instigated by the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority. Passenger and luggage checks were performed by emergency personnel. Late on Friday the employees stopped their collective actions, as the First Instance Court deemed the strike illegal and excessive. However, they have announced a new 24-hour strike, as of 11am Saturday. In the meantime, no problems with traffic have been reported on any of the countrys major road networks, while the Traffic Police is on alert to facilitate the long weekend excursionists. The ports, railways stations and KTEL bus depots are also quite busy, while emergency measures for the safety of the holidaymakers have been implemented throughout the country.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Excursion Prompts Alert

    [02] Easter Bonuses on 13 April 3% Pay Rises

    03 Mar 2006 18:20:00

    Sources: NET - ANA

    The legislative regulation on revenue policy for 2006 was submitted to Parliament in the form of an amendment to the pending bill and provides for 3% rises in public sector wages. As announced by Deputy Economy Minister Petros Doukas, the readjusted pensions for public servants and military officers will start being paid as of 19 April, along with any payments owed from 1 January 2006. In addition, the readjusted wages for public servants and military officers will start being paid as of 27 April, along with any payments owed from 1 January 2006. Finally, the Easter bonuses for public sector employees and pensioners will be paid on 13 April.

    Reactions from PASOK

    Commenting on the revenue policy in the public sector, PASOKs head of the Economy Sector, Vaso Papandreou, stressed, "The Economy Minister announced the revenue policy, which does not even cover the inflation rate, in a fax and submitted it in Parliament on the Friday before the long weekend. He is deceiving himself, however, if he thinks that with those tricks the employees will not comprehend the outcomes of the governments policy." Ms Papandreou further mentioned that Giorgos Alogoskoufis is also "deceiving himself if he believes that a reform is when companies suffering losses pay out dividends so as to creatively cover the deficits created by the Government."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] With GSEE and Messrs Pavlopoulos and Meimarakis Meetings at Presidential Mansion

    03 Mar 2006 16:01:00 (Last updated: 03 Mar 2006 22:58:50)

    Sources: NET - ANA

    The President of the Hellenic Republic held a series of meetings with Minister for the Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the Presidency of the General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) and Minister of Defence Vangelis Meimarakis. Prokopis Pavlopoulos briefed Karolos Papoulias on the main provisions of the new civil servants code, while during the meeting with the representatives of the Confederation he was briefed on the problems concerning employees, such as dismissals, price rises, unemployment and collective work contracts. In statements made following the meeting, GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos said that Mr Papoulias opposed the civil mobilisation of seamen. "The same applies for the Government," commented from London Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis.

    GSEE-President Meeting

    The meetings were held in an exceptionally cordial climate and Mr Papoulias said to Mr Polyzogopoulos that he will depart for Kos on Ash Monday and attend the events for the liberation of the Dodecanese Island, while he also mentioned his experiences from his trip to Psara.

    During the discussion with the GSEE President, he voiced his disgust over the attack on the institution and said,

    "You are at the forefront of the defence of employees rights, a very important issue, as Greeks are hard-working, as per European statistics. The myth, that we dont work, has to be broken."

    On his part, following the end of the meeting, Christos Polyzogopoulos mentioned that the Greek President supported the proposals and stance of the employees on matters concerning collective work contracts, non-insured labour and the recent mobilisation of seamen, stressing that all margins for discussion have to be exhausted.

    Following, newly appointed Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis visited the President of the Republic. Referring to the matter of the civil mobilisation, Mr Meimarakis stated,

    "The dialogue never stops. However, the point is not whether there are margins for dialogue, but whether specific social needs, whereby a civil mobilisation constitutes a social demand, have been created."

    Finally, Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis repeated his stance for dialogue between banks and OTOE (Hellenic Federation of Bank Employee Unions), saying, "The Government never washed its hand of it. It is always present, doing what it has to do."

    Briefing on Civil Servants Code

    Earlier, the President of the Republic met with Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

    The Minister for the Interior briefed him on the basic provisions of the new civil servant code, which will be publicised in the coming week and the operational project concerning Public Administration, which will be discussed at the Cabinet next week.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    GSEE-Pavlopoulos to Papoulias

    [04] "Time for Great Leaps" Prospects for Tourism

    03 Mar 2006 13:55:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    This years tourist season is deemed successful as Fani Palli-Petralia stated, following her first meeting as Minister of Tourism with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, on Friday. She stated that the signs are positive, noting that tourism is Greeces "heavy industry" and stating that there is strategic plan aimed at competitiveness and the quality of Greek tourism. "We are proceeding with a quick pace. Steps were taken but we are aiming at great leaps," stated the Minister.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] They Briefed Karolos Papoulias GSEE-Pavlopoulos to Papoulias

    03 Mar 2006 12:27:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos briefed on Friday morning President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on the key provisions of the new public servant code, which he is to release in the coming week. Upon exiting the meeting, Mr Pavlopoulos voiced his hope that the final text of the code will enjoy ADEDYs (Surpeme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) consent. ADEDY is to present its own views in the week to come. The Interior Minister described the evaluation, training and transfers, as the codes keynote changes. Mr Pavlopoulos also informed Karolos Papoulias about the operational plan that exclusively relates to Public Administration and which is to be discussed by the Cabinet in the coming week. As per the Minister the lack of a separate operational plan can be held accountable for the difficulties in absorbing the 3rd Community Support Framework.

    Then, the President of the Republic met with GSEEs presiding board. The GSEE delegation briefed the President on the problems the working class is facing, namely, dismissals, high cost of life, unemployment and collective work contracts. The President of the Republic is also scheduled to hold a meeting with National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] The Holy Synod Interrupted its Session Bomb Hoax at Petrakis Monastery

    03 Mar 2006 19:10:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    A stir was created on Friday afternoon at Petrakis Monastery, when someone called the Monastery saying that a bomb had been placed in the building. The police rushed to the scene, evacuated the building and blocked the roads surrounding the Monastery. After searching the place, they discovered that it was a hoax. Due to the phone call, the Continuous Holy Synod was forced to interrupt its proceedings, as the Hierarchs were in a meeting at the time, chaired by Archbishop Christodoulos. The Archbishop referred to the incident with humour, saying that someone probably wanted to leave for the long weekend earlier. However, he added that he will stay in Athens, since, as far as the Church is concerned, it is a time of prayer and concentration, in view of Lent.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] By Prefecture of Athens Panels Inspections in Supermarkets

    03 Mar 2006 17:55:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The Prefecture of Athens discovered insufficient health and safety regulations and differences between prices at the shelf and the registers, during inspections performed at supermarkets, smaller stores and greengroceries. At total of 26 shops were inspected, while 28 lawsuits were filed. The inspections took place from the end of January to 24 February

    The supermarkets where violations were discovered were:

    AB Vasilopoulos in Zografou, where they found a cockroach in a fridge and containers with moldy olives Metro Supermarket in Zografou, where expired products were located AB Vasilopoulos in Nea Smyrni, where the inspectors discovered differences between prices at the shelf and the registers Atlantic Supermarket on Patision Street, where violations of health and safety regulations were recorded

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Skier Missing in Italian Alps

    03 Mar 2006 15:13:00 (Last updated: 03 Mar 2006 18:18:54)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: BBC, ANA

    A large-scale rescue operation for locating survivors in the western Italian Alps is in development, as an avalanche struck the province of Cuneo, in the north of Italy. Twelve skiers, who had been buried under the snow, were rescued as Italian media broadcast. The President of Piemontes rescue crews, Maurizio Marucci, announced that one person is missing, and two athletes, who were lightly injured, were rescued by crews. Earlier, Italian news agency ANSA reported that it is quite likely that 20 persons were crushed. As per initial information, the accident occurred at an altitude of 2,200m at the Artesina Rocca Giardina piste, in the province of Cuneo, north of Italy, during a skiing competition, in which 250 skiers from 34 countries participated.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Skiers hit by Italian avalanche

    [09] Iraqi Insurgents Attack Workers

    03 Mar 2006 13:09:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters - BBC

    At least 25 Shiite workers were killed, when dozens of Sunni gunmen mounted late on Thursday an attack against a brick factory and a power station in the town of al-Nahrawan, east of Baghdad. So far, police have recovered 21 bodies from the factorys facilities, while further four workers were found dead in the neighbouring power station. It is by far the deadliest attack over the last fortnight in Iraq, whereas blind violence keeps escalating, following the blast of a Shiite holy mosque in Samarra on February 22. In the meantime, the Iraqi authorities have imposed a vehicle curfew in and around Baghdad in a bid to trim violent clashes.

    They Ask for Military Protection

    A spokesman for the Iraqi Government argued that the attack was religiously motivated and voiced his fear that the death toll will rise.

    An Interior Ministry source claimed that there were several other dead around the factory and the fields, underlining that the police officers are afraid to carry out investigation without military protection.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: Gunmen kill 18 workers east of Baghdad

    BBC: Curfew widened amid Iraq violence

    [10] In Nazareth Israeli Attack against Catholic Church

    03 Mar 2006 22:48:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Incidents broke out on Friday night in Nazareth when three Israelis set off firecrackers in the Catholic Church of the Annunciation during a service. This caused panic among worshippers, as well as protests outside the church. The Christians surrounded the culprits and would not let them leave the church, while they also stopped the police from entering and catching the three Israelis. Teargas and smoke bombs were fired, while the enraged crowd threw rocks at an ambulance that had rushed to attend to seven injured person. In addition, five police officers were injured during the incidents, while a special police unit also arrived at the scene.

    As per Israeli Media, the three attackers (two women and one man), whose motives remain unknown, were all members of the same family, while police sources mentioned that one of the culprits has mental problems.

    It should be noted that the Church of the Annunciation constitutes one of the holiest sites of Christianity, since it is located at the spot where it is believed that Archangel Gabriel announced the birth of Christ to the Virgin Mary.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Unrest after Israel church attack

    Reuters: Police remove Israelis from church after standoff

    [11] In a Seminar on Fuel Transport Safety Recommendations on Fuel Price Cuts

    03 Mar 2006 12:48:00 (Last updated: 03 Mar 2006 14:08:51)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Strict recommendations were made by Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas to fuel companies, in order for price cuts to be made. In a speech the at a seminar of the Council of Companies of Marketing and Petroleum Products (SEEPE), the Minister asked of companies representatives to systematically activate all mechanisms in their disposal, such as inspectors and conduct checks in order for price cuts and low prices to be achieved. "Sometimes this does not happen," noted Mr Sioufas and added, "you have to respect the customers, which means that care is needed for good prices and we have to protect the consumer. Our role is to be useful and not pleasant." Moreover, he stated that the Ministry of Development, in cooperation with the Transport Ministry, Prefectures and the Ministry of Internal Affairs Public Administration and Decentralisation (YPESDA) is starting an inventory of all storage areas and public use transport means. Actually, the Minister stated how adulteration and illegal fuel trade are frequented in Greece, while he announced that in the effort of combating these occurrences the relevant crews of the Ministry imposed fines totalling 6.5 million euros in 2004 and 2005.

    Fuel Transport Safety

    Public Works General Secretary Mr G. Tryfonidis stated that two studies are being conducted; one on the categorisation of dangerous cargo in sea transport and one on road transport, while he repeated the importance given by the Public Works Ministry to the good image of the countrys road axis, while stating that six work contracts will be made for 700km of roads and public contracts for 200km of roads, in Greece, until the end of the year.

    President of SEEPE Mr N. Mamidakis stated that the sector has been sensitised and contributing to its upgrade, but voiced the importance of a modernisation programme for equipment and for the sector to be adjusted to new conditions.

    On his part, President of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dr Foundoukakos stated that needs in fuel are heightened and it is necessary for attention to be given on transport safety.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] Heavy Sentence for PAOK

    03 Mar 2006 16:40:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Sources: EPAE

    As expected, the verdict of the Sports Judge was tough on PAOK FC over the incidents caused by its fans during the game with Olympiacos for the Championship. Specifically, the sentence is three games behind closed doors as well as an 80,000-euro fine. If sources are confirmed, PAOK will not file an appeal and the team will play without the presence of its fans in the games against Panathinaikos, Kallithea and AEK, an event that will cause great losses to PAOKs cash-in.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] Gone for Twelve Years

    03 Mar 2006 17:07:00

    Sources: NET

    Twelve years have gone by since the death of Melina Mercouri, the woman whose vision and personality illuminated Greece. Melina was a great actress and a fighter, while her radiance spread well over the borders of her birthplace. Her partner, Jules Dassin, her brother, Spyros Mercouris, former Minister Kostas Laliotis and many close friends attended her memorial service at the First Cemetery of Athens on Friday morning.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] Of 5,000 Inca Artefacts Peru Demanded Yale Return Treasures

    03 Mar 2006 10:10:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The Government of Peru announced that it will sue Yale University, asking for the return of 5,000 artefacts derived from Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, which was controlled by the US University for nearly a century. The artefacts were excavated by American explorer Hiram Bingham during explorations in Peru from 1911 until 1915, which were funded by Yale University and the National Geographic Foundation. Perus Embassy in Washington claimed that the archaeological treasures were taken to Yale University, which had made a commitment on their gradual return to their native country. Peru Ambassador Eduardo Ferrero accused the American University of refusing to discuss the issue with the Peruvian Authorities and of not exhibiting willingness. The National Geographic Foundation supported Perus views. "The artefacts discovered in Peru during these joint explorations were transported to the US and should have already been returned to Peru," announced the National Geographic Foundation.

    However, the American University objected and stated that the excavation in Peru and the transport of the treasures in the US "was based on the practices enforced at the time," and Yale has full ownership. The University proposed for the treasures to be divided between the Peruvian Government and the institution, an event that Peru considered unacceptable.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [15] Global Concerns New H5N1 Cases

    03 Mar 2006 20:53:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    The detection of dead birds that were carriers of the deadly H5N1 virus is becoming a daily occurrence. On Friday, Romania, Turkey and Switzerland reported new cases, all in wild birds. At the same time, the scientists are concerned over the discovery of a dead mink, known for its fur and which may have been infected by avian flu, in Sweden. In Greece, 22 migratory birds in total were confirmed carriers of the H5N1 virus, while the H5 strain was detected in another eight, which are being tested for the deadly N5 strain. The experts are not concerned, though, since no domestic poultry have been infected in Greece, while they are stressing that the consumption of cooked chickens is absolutely safe.

    Embargos and Economic Crisis

    However, the poultry industry throughout Europe is going through crisis, since avian flu has resulted in loses of millions of euros. In France, the only European country where a poultry farm was infected by H5N1, the farmers are in despair, since the embargo imposed on their poultry is costing them 40 million euros per month. In addition, 10,000 jobs are under threat.

    On Thursday, Bulgaria, where four wild birds carrying the H5N1 virus have been found, banned the import of poultry, wild birds, eggs and poultry products from parts of nine EU countries.

    The ban pertains to the 10km protection zones established around sources of the disease, as well as areas where precautionary vaccinations of birds have taken place, in France, Italy, Cyprus, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Croatia and Greece.

    Global Concerns

    However, China is overly concerned, since the migratory birds will start returning soon, increasing the risk of the disease spreading further.

    Azerbaijan reported its first bird flu case in a poultry farm in the area of Gilyazi, where some 500,000 birds were culled.

    In addition, Romanian authorities started culling massive numbers of birds in a particular province, while village Morteni has been quarantined, after new cases were detected there.

    In Montenegro, the veterinary authorities started implementing added measures, after it was confirmed that a dead swan found in Vojvodina, Serbia, had been infected by the H5 virus. In addition, all imports and transport of poultry and poultry products from Serbia, via Montenegro, were banned. Furthermore, all vehicles entering Montenegro from Serbia are being disinfected at the border crossings, while experts from Podgorica arrived in Sobor, where the dead swan was found.

    In Iraq, a young woman died on Friday, while as per the doctors she had manifested suspect symptoms.

    At the same time, the news that a dead cat in Germany had been infected by bird flu has upset pet owners. In Britain, the largest animal protection centre mentioned that dozens of citizens are abandoning their parrots and canaries daily.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Europe counts bird flu cost amid fresh cases

    Related News:

    Fears for H5N1 Outbreak

    [16] Jane Fonda: Just Be You

    03 Mar 2006 13:39:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Hollywood star Jane Fondas new book, "My Life So Far," calls on women to rediscover their real selves and stop falling prey to fashion and plastic bliss. While promoting her book from Melbourne, Fonda underlined that it has taken her 60 years to discover herself and advised women against plastic surgeries. In fact, the 68-year-old movie star stressed she removed her breast implants, since they were a reminder of someone she wasnt anymore and she was ashamed. She also pointed out that fashion has made women look the same and talk the same. She then went on to speak of social taboos forcing women not to speak the truth, but, as she argued, letting truth come out makes women stronger.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Herald Sun: Jane Fonda says plastic not so fantastic

    ABC: Jane Fonda "My Life So Far"

    [17] Prison Release Motion Filed

    03 Mar 2006 15:50:00

    Sources: ANA

    Konstantina Bourboulia demanded her temporary release from prison in a motion filed by her lawyer on Monday 27 February, previous to the verdict by the Appellate Court, over her extradition to the Greek Authorities, on Wednesday. "It is quite rare for a prison release motion to be filed after the court decided on an extradition," stated a spokesperson for the Prosecution. The prison release motion will be discussed on coming Wednesday, without the presence of the former examiner or the Greek States lawyer. As the spokesperson stated, this is an action solely concerning Mrs Bourboulia, as well as the Prosecutor who will decide on the spot. Moreover, Konstantina Bourboulia has a deadline to file an appeal to the Court of Cassation until Monday night.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Freezing of K. Bourboulia's Residence

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