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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-03-28

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Lethal Blood Transfusion
  • [02] Printer-Quality Pens
  • [03] Chaos in France
  • [04] Banking Sector on Strike
  • [05] Yes to "Green Energy"
  • [06] Bakoyannis-Annan Meeting
  • [07] Energy Policy
  • [08] Ukraine: Vote Counting Continues
  • [09] Tragedy in SW China
  • [10] Election Day in Israel
  • [11] Daniilidou Fails to Qualify
  • [12] Panionios: New Club President
  • [13] Two Afghan Suicide Bombers Killed
  • [14] Moussaoui's Shocking Testimony

  • [01] Blood Infected with AIDS to a 17yo Lethal Blood Transfusion

    28 Mar 2006 09:12:00 (Last updated: 28 Mar 2006 14:41:28)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: мет - мет 105.8 - "Ta Nea" ANA

    Greek Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos ordered the implementation of nucleic acid amplification technology (NAT) testing of blood donors to the countrys blood donation centres, after blood infected with the HIV virus was transfused to a 17-year-old girl suffering from thalassaemia. The tragic incident occurred last August at the Thessaloniki Hippokration Hospital, while the girl was found positive to the virus in January. Mrs Avramopoulos, who gave a Press Conference on the issue Tuesday noon, promptly requested all necessary measures be taken, as well as the Thessaloniki Prosecutor be informed. The infected blood came from a male donor, while the infection has been put down to the fact that it takes 20 days to confirm whether a blood donor is an HIV carrier.

    A Short Account of the Story

    The blood transfusion took place on August 18, 2005, the infection was confirmed on 18 January, 2006, while the Health agencies were informed on March 23, following a series of lab tests.

    The tests conducted on the donors blood failed to confirm the infection, since specialised tests are needed to locate the HIV virus at the early stages of the disease. An investigation carried out by the Thessaloniki Hippokration Hospital showed that the infected blood had also been transfused to a 76-year-old woman.

    As it was made public by a document of the General District Hospital of Athens G. Gennimatas, the donor is a 38-year-old male. Mr Papagiannis argued that he had donated the infected blood to help a relative of his. It was the first time he had become a blood donor, while his wife is pregnant.

    Speaking to the Athens News Agency, head of blood donation department of Thessaloniki Hippokration Hospital Leonidas Papagiannis put down the tragic incident to the fact that the NAT testing of blood donors has not been implemented, and concluded, "At this moment, the girl is an HIV carrier, but it takes 20 years for the symptoms to be developed."

    In his interview with NET 105.8, Deputy Health Minister Thanasis Giannopoulos advised calmness and stated that blood transfusions are safe.

    Finally, the results of the investigation launched by the First Regional Health Directorate of Central Macedonia are due out on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related Links:

    Greek Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity

    [02] Inkjet Ballpoints Printer-Quality Pens

    28 Mar 2006 12:54:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: New Scientist

    The printing method widely known as inkjet will literally become an extension of our hand, since it will soon replace the ballpoints of everyday pens. The inspirers of the invention, which was recently patented by Australian company Silverbrook Research, used the advantages of the method in question, which is known for its low-cost high-quality printing.

    In inkjet printers, characters are formed as a result of electrically charged or heated ink being sprayed in fine jets onto the paper. What the inventors did was shrink the replaceable cartridge so as to encircle a tiny cylindrical axis, touching the smooth roller point at the tip of the pen that holds the jet at a fixed distance from the paper. Varying the pressure varies the thickness of the line. The roller point can also sense the direction of movement over the page and make the jet change shape to mimic the behaviour of a pen nib.

    The whole system will fit in the body of a common pen and will be battery-operated, while the cartridge will have separate chambers for colours (cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink), operated by a switch on the side of the pen.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] National Strike in France Chaos in France

    28 Mar 2006 08:28:00 (Last updated: 28 Mar 2006 12:49:44)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Reactions to the CPE First Job Contract culminate in France, since the union trades are staging a nationwide strike, with more than 130 protest demonstrations having been scheduled. Most of the Paris subway lines and the suburban railway have stopped operation, several flights have been cancelled, while public agencies, schools and universities are also on strike. Union trades and university students have scheduled a mass demonstration in Paris for 3:30pm (Greek local time). The protestors will march from Italy Square to Democracy Square, demanding the controversial law be withdrawn. Similar demonstrations have been planned to take place in some 135 French cities, while police are on alert to avert clashes. French PM Dominique de Villepin, on the other hand, declined to scrap the law, arguing that it is meant to curtail unemployment, currently standing at 9.6% and at 23% among young people.

    Crash Test for the French PM

    As per analysts, Tuesdays strikes constitute the biggest crash test for PM de Villepin, who has been some 300 days in office. On his part, the French PM is waiting for the outcome of the strikes to determine his further stance on the issue.

    In fact, Mr de Villepin has invited the union leaders to meet with him on Wednesday, in a new bid to break the deadlock. According to information, he will propose new changes in the CPE, however, the union trades have declined to discuss anything but the laws withdrawal.

    In the meantime, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the PMs main rival for the 2007 presidential elections, appeared more conciliatory. Sarkozy asked for a compromise, while he suggested anew the law be temporarily suspended.

    It is noted that the Constitutional Court is to consider on Thursday the Oppositions appeal, asking the CPE law be declared unconstitutional.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Le Monde: "Mardi noir" attendu pour la quatrieme journee contre le CPE

    Reuters: French PM in battle of wills over youth jobs law

    [04] Joint Social Security Fund in Parliament Banking Sector on Strike

    28 Mar 2006 06:45:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Bank transactions will not be carried out on Tuesday, since the Hellenic Federation of Bank Employee Unions (OTOE) is staging a 24-hour strike, reacting to the amendment on the Joint Social Security Fund, which is to be voted Tuesday evening by the Greek Parliament. Regardless of the objections expressed both by the union trades and the Opposition parties, the Government appears determined to proceed with the reform. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis underlined that the reforms will go on unhindered. Both Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis and Government spokesman Thodoris Roussopoulos described the allegations speaking of an unexpected move as groundless, provided that it was a common knowledge that an amendment was on the way. PASOK claimed that the employees and the funds are hit, KKE called on the bank employees to be immediate and determined in their reactions, while SYN argued that employees are stripped of their ability to resort to Justice. On its part, OTOE, whose presiding board is due to meet Tuesday noon with NDs secretary Lefteris Zagoritis, spoke of an unconstitutional reform, and has organised a protest demonstration outside the Parliament the time when the amendment will be on vote.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Not Backing Down with Reforms

    Banks on Strike

    [05] Cabinet Approves Relevant Bill Yes to "Green Energy"

    28 Mar 2006 13:46:00 (Last updated: 28 Mar 2006 14:38:57)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: мет-ANA

    The Cabinet, which held a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, gave the draft bill introducing novel reforms on the authorisation and operation of renewable energy resources the green light. Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas spoke of a new reality, ushering into investments in the electricity production field, from renewable energy resources, including geothermal pumps, wind parks and hydroelectric works. Mr Sioufas in collaboration with Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis is due to announced tax incentives for private individuals using natural gas and renewable energy resources. The incentives in question will be included in the tax bill expected to be submitted by the end of 2006, and will be on force as of 1/1/2007.

    No Rise in Power Prices

    When asked to comment on information according to which the Public Power Corporation (PPC) requested a 7.5% rise in the PPC invoices, Mr Sioufas made it clear that there is neither such a proposal, nor such a percentage at the moment.

    "Rises are forwarded during summertime by the Development Minister, following a proposal by the PPC and approval by the Regulatory Authority for Energy," underscored Mr Sioufas, adding that any decision should be built upon financial an social figures, relating both to households and enterprises.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Energy Policy

    [06] Cypriot Issue at the Focus Bakoyannis-Annan Meeting

    28 Mar 2006 01:00:00

    Sources: NET - ANA

    The issue with Cyprus was at the focus of the talks between Greek FM Dora Bakoyannis and Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the UN headquarters in New York. After the meeting, which concluded the FMs visit to the USA, Bakoyannis issued the following statement, "There is a new momentum in the Cypriot issue, following the Secretary-Generals meeting with President Papadopoulos. A new effort is beginning, based on technical meetings, which, however, would have to lead to a properly prepared new initiative, for a viable and operational solution to Cyprus problem. It is time for both partners to agree on this effort and advance. As I have said before, we cannot endure another failure in the Cypriot issue. A well-prepared new effort, without tight deadlines and without predetermined decisions, would constitute the best possible solution." Other matters discussed during the meeting included the developments in the Balkans and Kosovo, while the FM had the opportunity to once again present Greeces views on FYROMs name. After the meeting, the Greek FM departed for Athens.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Greece Is Standing by Haiti

    [07] At the Cabinet Energy Policy

    28 Mar 2006 11:09:00 (Last updated: 28 Mar 2006 14:25:16)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: мет 105.8, мет

    The keynote pillars of the energy policy, placing particular emphasis on environment-friendly renewable energy resources, are at the focus of the Greek Cabinet, which is holding a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. Earlier, Mr Karamanlis held talks with Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas. The relevant bill due to be submitted to Parliament introduces novel reforms on the authorisation and operation of renewable energy resources and ushers into incentives to attract investments in the energy sector, aiming to its prompt growth, so that Greeces dependence on oil and conventional fuels is gradually diminished.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Ukraine: Vote Counting Continues

    28 Mar 2006 12:16:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA

    As announced by the electoral committee, Ukraines pro-Russian Opposition party is in the lead with 29.54%, after Sundays general elections and with 63% of the votes counted so far. Yulia Tymoshenkos party is second with 22.51%, followed by the presidential coalition with 15.61%. The counting of votes is continuing at a slow pace, since the procedure is extremely complicated, as there are more than 45 different parties, while some ballot papers are over a metre long.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Coalition Government Possible

    Opposition Party in the Lead

    [09] 25 Killed, 4 Injured Tragedy in SW China

    28 Mar 2006 11:43:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters - ANA

    At least 25 people were killed and another four were injured when the bus they were riding plunged off a cliff in SW China. One of the wounded is in critical conditions, As per the Xinhua news agency, the bus carrying 29 people tumbled into a valley more than 100 metres deep in Laodian, a town in the province of Yunnan. Chinas roads are the deadliest in the world. Traffic accidents killed almost 100,000 people last year, or 270 a day.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Kadima Closer to Victory Election Day in Israel

    28 Mar 2006 07:20:00 (Last updated: 28 Mar 2006 12:50:03)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    More than five million Israelis are going to the polls to elect the new Knesset under tight security. As per the latest opinion polls made public Monday, Kadima, the party Ariel Sharon founded, is expected to garner 34 to 120 seats, the Labour Party led by Amir Peretz 13 or 14 seats and Likud by Benjamin Netanyahu 13 or 14 seats. However, the biggest rival of the 31 parties that are participating in the elections is low turnout and the undecided voters who exceed 22%. The 8,726 polling stations opened at 7am (Israeli local time) and will close at 10pm. The official results are due out on Wednesday, while analysts estimate that Kadima and Labour face the prospect of building a coalition with other parties. Israeli President Moshe Katsav called on the Israelis to shoulder their responsibilities by participating in the elections.

    Borders at the Focus

    As per the analysts, the election results will portray the decision of the Israelis to map out the borders of the Israeli state. This issue has been repeatedly postponed and is a keynote priority of Kadimas pre-election campaign.

    Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, 60, has repeatedly stated that Israel will map out its borders following domestic talks, as well as talks with the USA, without, however, taking into consideration the Palestinians stance on the issue.

    As per the Olmert plan, the large Jewish settlements in the West Bank will stay as they are, while a "security wall" will be erected around them. Without clearly determining the borderline, Mr Olmert thinks that the state of Israel should include the settlements of Gush Etzion in the West Bank, Jerusalems perimeter, the settlements of Ariel and Maale Adumim, as well as a "security zone" in the Jordan River valley and eastern Jerusalem.

    However, the Palestinians oppose the plan in question. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the Israelis to vote for peace and underlined, "We are sounding the alarm to let the whole world know that we will not accept Israels unilateral plans, which will not lead to peace under any circumstances."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Ha'aretz: Low turnout likely to hurt Kadima and Labor

    Die Welt: Wahlen im Schatten des Ubervaters

    New York Times: At crossroads, Israeli voters wait for a signal

    Liberation: Kadima vient chambouler Israel

    Related News:

    Opinion Polls Point to Kadima

    [11] Daniilidou Fails to Qualify

    28 Mar 2006 12:02:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Greek tennis champion Lena Daniilidou did not manage to qualify to the round of 16 at the 2006 NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami, USA. Lena was defeated by Russian Nadia Petrova with 2-0 sets (6-2, 6-0) in the round of 32. The Russian tennis player is currently ranked No 7 in the world.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Panionios: New Club President

    28 Mar 2006 12:24:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Achilleas Beos was appointed president of Panionios Football Club once again, replacing singer Lefteris Pantazis, as per an announcement issued by the Greek Division 1 club. The Greek singer, however, will remain on the Board of Directors. The announcement read: "As of today [Tuesday] Mr Achilleas Beos is returning to the position of President of Panionios FC. Mr Eleftherios Pagozidis [Lefteris Pantazis] will remain a member of the Board of Directors."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Due to a Technical Mistake Two Afghan Suicide Bombers Killed

    28 Mar 2006 10:21:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters, ANA

    Two Afghans suicide bombers were killed when one of their bombs detonated prematurely. As per a police official, the two suicide bombers were walking along a road on the outskirts of the southern city of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, which has suffered a wave of hits against foreign troops. "Weve established that the two were suicide attackers and were killed prematurely by their own bombs because of some technical fault," provincial police chief Maalik Wayezi said. The identity of the two and their targets has yet to be determined, however, members of the Taliban or Osama bin Ladens al Qaeda are suspected.

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Two suicide bombers die in Afghan blast

    [14] Moussaoui's Shocking Testimony

    28 Mar 2006 08:58:00 (Last updated: 28 Mar 2006 11:16:25)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ббC, REUTERS, ANA

    Moroccan-born French citizen Zacarias Moussaoui stated he is happy about the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York. US Prosecutor Robert Spencer asked Moussaoui whether the view of the dead Americans and the ruins of the World Trade Centre made him happy. "Yes," replied Moussaoui, while he pointed out that it was Osama bin Laden that ordered him to attack the White House in a fifth hijacked plane on September 11. He also named Briton "shoebomber" Richard Reid as his accomplice. Moussaouis lawyers, on their part, read Monday before the federal court assigned to try the case the statements by the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who argued that the French islamist was not supposed to participate in the attacks. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been detained in a secret place in the USA since March 2003.

    He Didnt Obey Orders

    Judge Leoni Brinkema explained that he was not allowed to testify before the jury for "security reasons". However, extracts of what he had said during the interrogation process were read to the court.

    As per the documents, Mohammed dismissed claims that Moussaoui was to play any part in the attacks. He was just supposed to take flying lessons. Mohammed planned to dismiss him as "unfit," for he had too much confidence in him, failed to obey orders and "talked too much."

    In fact, in September 200, he was reportedly to have said another Islamist in Malaysia, that he would mount an attack against the White House. However, he did not let him, obeying to Osama bin Laden. Moussaoui, who faces a death penalty, testified Monday that shortly before he was arrested in mid-August, 2001, he was expecting orders to attack the White House. He did not elaborate, though, on the reasons why he had been isolated from the rest of the suicide bombers.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Moussaoui lies 'let 9/11 happen'

    Reuters: Moussaoui: I was supposed to fly 5th jet

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