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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-03-08

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Weather Worsens
  • [02] e-Tax Against Spammers
  • [03] The Portrait of Modern Greek Women
  • [04] Garganas Sounds the Alarm on Overspending
  • [05] Greek Parliament Honours Women
  • [06] Protests in France
  • [07] Social Security Talks at the Focus
  • [08] Aris Makes it to the Top 4
  • [09] New H5N1 Victim in China
  • [10] Bloody Attack in Patisia

  • [01] With Rainfalls and Snow Weather Worsens

    08 Mar 2006 07:29:00 (Last updated: 08 Mar 2006 12:55:38)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA

    Rainfalls, snow and gusty winds make up the weather for today. In Attica, it will probably snow in mountainous areas and the northern suburbs, while it has been raining since early morning. Snow chains are necessary for vehicles traveling on Parnitha Avenue from the cable-car onwards, as well as from Kleiston Monastery to Dervenochoria, while the old Athens-Thebes highway, from Villia to Thebes, closed to traffic overnight but circulation was restored in the morning. It is also snowing in Thessaloniki, but no problems have been reported so far. The Chortiatis-Agios Vasileios junction remains closed, while snow chains are necessary at some parts of Central and Western Macedonia. "Macedonia" airport operates as normal. According to the HNMS, snowfalls, locally strong in eastern Macedonia and Thrace, are expected within the day. Temperature in the north will range from 3 to 6 degrees Celsius, in the Ionian Sea and the mainland from 1 to 10 degrees and in the Aegean islands from 5 to 14 degrees Celsius. Winds will be blowing in from the north medium to strong and very strong in the east. Temperature will range from 4 to 9 degrees Celsius. Thessaloniki will experience cloud cover and snowfalls, winds will be blowing in from the northwest medium and locally strong and temperature will not exceed 5 degrees Celsius.

    Biting Cold

    Temperature in Polygyros, Chalkidiki, has dropped to 3 degrees, while drivers are advised to be very cautious when traveling on the Central and Northern Chalkidiki road network, because of frost conditions.

    Temperature in Kilkis dropped half point below zero, in Edessa it cannot exceed 1 degree, while in Katerini it is fixed at 2 degrees Celsius. Despite snowing in mountainous areas, Veroia is not experiencing any problems.

    In Kozani, temperature has dropped to 4, but there are no problems on the prefecture's road network. The prefecture of Grevena is also not experiencing any problems, while temperature in Kastoria is 1 degree Celsius.

    Snow chains are necessary for vehicles traveling from Kastoria to Florina through Vitsi, as well as on the Kastoria-Ioannina road.

    The Traffic Police advise drivers to be very cautious when traveling on the Central and Western Macedonia road network, because of frost conditions in the morning hours.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    Hellenic Meteorological Service

    [02] AOL Sticks Stamp on Emails e-Tax Against Spammers

    08 Mar 2006 12:26:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: BBC

    Net giant AOL announced the upcoming implementation of the much discussed and controversial measure of charging email deliveries and has already triggered official reactions. In collaboration with Goodmail, the company decided to provide a new service, which would allow email senders to bypass AOL's junk mail filters and be sure that their messages get delivered to users. Each email will be charged with a small fee ranging from 0.25 of a cent to one cent. Opening an account is optional, but those who won't pay risk having their emails stuck in junk filters and marked as spam. Writing an open letter, fifty non-profit organisations rushed to condemn AOL's plan, speaking of a threat to a free and open Internet.

    Reactions

    AOL, whose example Yahoo is ready to follow, stressed the measure would discourage spammers, because they were unlikely to pay the high fees required to get their messages to users. According to estimations, this practise could reduce the accumulation of junk emails by 70%.

    Meanwhile, more than fifty groups including Oxfam America, the Democratic National Committee, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Gun Owners of America and the AFL-CIO trade union have banded together to condemn the charging plan. They underlined they would suffer a serious blow, given that emails is the main means of communication with their members, as well as a useful method of fundraising. The cost of the service may seem small, but the sum corresponding to mass email deliveries is unbearable. In fact, they warned AOL the measure could lead to opposite results.

    AOL, on the other hand, said the service would be charge-free for non-profit organizations.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Women Have Higher Life Expectancy The Portrait of Modern Greek Women

    08 Mar 2006 10:29:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Greek women live longer, decide to have children at a higher average age, are worse paid than men, when they manage to get a job, and have a harder time advancing on the career ladder. The portrait of Greek women was outlined by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, as part of a survey within the European Union on the occasion of the International Women's Day. According to the survey, Greek women are in no rush to give childbirth, as the average age of women at the birth of their first child in 2004 was 27.9 years, compared to the average of 26.4 years in 1994. The fertility rate in Greece in 2004 was 1.29 (compared to 1.28 in 2003), when fertility rate in Finland was 1.80 and 1.99 in Ireland, thus recording the highest rate in the EU25. The gender pay gap in Greece in 2004 was 10% (meaning Greek women were paid 10% less than men doing the same job), while the share of Greek women among tertiary students is 51%. The employment rate, i.e. the percentage of the working age population in employment, was lower for Greek women than men (15.5% and 6.4% respectively). Meanwhile, women have a harder time advancing on the career ladder, as the share of female managers in Greece does not exceed 25.8%, when the EU average is 32.1%. It is noted the gender pay gap is higher in other European countries, with Germany recording 23%, the United Kingdom 22%, the Netherlands 19% and Denmark 17%.

    Higher Life Expectancy

    However, the life expectancy in Greece has risen to 81.4 years in relation to 80.7 years in 2003. The highest life expectancy in women is recorded in France and Spain with 83.8 years. As for men, the most long-lived are the Swedes with 78.3 years, while those with the lowest life expectancy are the Latvians with 65.9 years.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] He Voiced his Concern in Parliament Garganas Sounds the Alarm on Overspending

    08 Mar 2006 08:50:00 (Last updated: 08 Mar 2006 11:59:38)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Governor of the Bank of Greece Nikos Garganas, who briefed the Parliaments Standing Committee on Economic Affairs on the 2005-2006 Economic and Monetary Report, voiced his concern over the frenzied increase rate in lending. Mr Garganas estimated that interest rates will further increase in the future and advised both banks and borrowers to be cautious, stressing loan instalments should not exceed 30%-40% of their income. At the same time, he asked for the reinforcement of the really poor through a redistributing policy, so as to lift social inequality, stressing the need to exercise social policy in the context of economic rationalism.

    "Dialogue over Social Security Needs to Open"

    "Poverty percentage ranges from 20% to 22% over the last decade and the majority is senior citizens and pensioners that no longer participate in the labour market. The only way to increase their income is with the help of a redistributing policy through the Budget. It is necessary to take big steps and establish a framework of social policy," stressed Mr Garganas. At the same time, he stressed poverty among senior citizens and pensioners is mainly due to the ineffective and unequal social security system and the inexistent social policy system.

    Mr Garganas voiced his concern with regard to overlending. In fact, he referred to an ICAP survey, which is to be presented shortly and reveals that 88% of borrowers ought to pay monthly instalments that exceed 40% of their income. What is more, 12% of borrowers fail to meet their obligations.

    Regarding social security, Mr Garganas underlined dialogue should open, clarifying however it is not is his job to indicate the way, and voiced the hope the solution would result from consensus.

    Answering to ND Parliamentarian Giannis Manolis, who had criticised his stance on departmental contracts and on the incidents at the Bank of Greece with OTOE (Hellenic Federation of Bank Employee Union) unionists, Mr Garganas spoke of inaccuracies. "I cannot allow the violation of the Bank of Greece's security regulations," he underlined and added the employees were simply transferred to equivalent positions.

    As for departmental contracts, Mr Garganas stressed it does not fall in his jurisdiction to indicate or oblige Banks to sign them. Lastly, the Governor advised Stock Exchange investors to be cautious, as they need to evaluate long-term investments and not be based on immediate and short-term profit.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Fifty Years of Suffrage Greek Parliament Honours Women

    08 Mar 2006 09:45:00

    Parliament is hosting an event Wednesday honouring Greek womens fifty years of suffrage, on the occasion of the International Womens Day. PM Kostas Karamanlis, Speaker of Parliament Anna Psarouda-Benaki and party leaders are scheduled to speak at the special Plenary Session meeting. In the meantime, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, delivered a message on this special day. "The equality of the sexes has become a priority matter globally. The progress recorded in the last few years is important, since the differences between the two sexes and the discrimination against women have diminished significantly. However, the gap remains, since the institutional changes alone are not enough. Equality in a democratic society is not a given. It is demanded and requires struggles, reforms and mainly changes in mentality. The International Womens Day constitutes a good opportunity to reflect upon the struggles we all have to put up in order to bring down the last walls, to remove the dividing lines between men and women, and to actively and substantially support working mothers, so as to attain a more equitable society," mentioned Mr Papoulias is his message. Finally, in an announcement, the General Secretariat for Equality noted, "In our days, equality has become a pressing need for millions of women; it is a force much needed both by our economy and our societies."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Opposing New Youth Employment Contracts Protests in France

    07 Mar 2006 18:18:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET - ANA - Reuters

    The new youth employment contracts, proposed by the French Government and which, as per PM Dominique de Villepin, would reduce youth unemployment, caused uproar in France. As per the labour unions and the students, the new measures will do nothing more than increase job insecurity, as they will allow companies to dismiss new employees without providing explanations. For his reason, de Villepins proposal, known as First Employment Contract (CPE), prompted thousands of employees and students to take to the streets and stage rallies in many French cities. The demonstrations were accompanied by strikes in public transport, the educational sector, post offices, airports and other public services.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: French protest at youth job plan

    [07] Meeting over the Context Social Security Talks at the Focus

    08 Mar 2006 11:08:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    During their meeting Wednesday, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis will set the context and procedures of the dialogue on social security between social bodies and political parties. On the other hand, GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) announced it will not be participating in the talks if a solution is not found for the labour issues, with the main one being the collective work contracts in the banking sector. An independent committee will be formed soon which will record the parameters of the problem and submit proposals for the viability of the social security funds.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Aris Makes it to the Top 4

    07 Mar 2006 22:54:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    On Tuesday night, Greek basketball team Aris qualified to the semifinals of the Uleb Cup and is prepared to write history once again. Playing in front of its fans in Alexandrio Melathro, Thessaloniki, Aris defeated French team Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne 77-67 in the second leg of the Cups quarterfinals, while it had also won the first leg last week. The score per period: 19-19, 37-34, 56-54, 77-67.

    The Greek team is set to play against Serbian Hemofarm, which defeated Italian Landi Renzo 77-75. The first semi will take place on 21/3, while the second leg will be played on 28/3. The other semifinal will be played between Dynamo Moscow, which defeated Crvena Zvezda 86-56, and Hapoel Migdal, which overcame Lottomatica Roma 74-56.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Virus Detected in Two More Cats in Germany New H5N1 Victim in China

    08 Mar 2006 08:26:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Greek Health Authorities are on alert awaiting migratory birds from Africa, where the avian influenza is spreading rapidly. According to experts, the situation in Greece is for the time being showing signs of improvement. Meanwhile, the spread of the disease in mammals has triggered particular concern throughout Europe. In Germany, the virus was detected in two more dead cats. At the same time, the death toll in Asia grows bigger. Another nine-year-old girl in China lost the battle to life after being infected with the deadly strain of the avian influenza.

    Two More Cats Dead in Germany

    According to the German Agriculture Ministry, two more cats were found dead after being infected with the bird flu virus on Ruegen island, northeastern Germany. "Tests on the two new cases proved they were infected with the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the avian influenza virus," said a Ministry spokesperson. The two cats were located not far from where the first cat was recovered last week. "The avian influenza was been detected in 170 birds in six regions of the German state," announced local authorities.

    A nine-year-old girl from Zhejiang province, eastern China, lost her life after being infected with the deadly strain, thus raising the bird flu death toll to 10.

    The girl died on Monday night, when all efforts to save her failed, broadcast New China news agency, citing the Health Ministry information agency. The young girl is the fifteenth person in the country to have been infected with the H5N1 strain. Last Thursday, a 32-year-old lost his life to the same reason in the southern province of Guangdong, near Hong Kong. According to competent authorities, 35 bird flu outbreaks have been verified in China since October 2005.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: China reports new bird flu death

    [10] Two Foreigners Injured Bloody Attack in Patisia

    08 Mar 2006 00:08:00

    Sources: ANA - NET

    A bloody incident was recorded a little after 10pm on Tuesday in Patisia, Athens. Two foreigners were injured when two unknown assailants opened fire against them from a car, at the intersection of Acharnon and Pipinou Streets. One of the foreigners was wounded in the abdomen, while the other in the leg. As per eyewitnesses, two groups of Russians and Albanians started fighting, while the reasons remain unknown. Fortunately, no one else was injured, even though the bullets ricocheted and hit the window of a packed restaurant. The assailants fled the scene and the police have launched a search.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis


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