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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-03-29

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] No Other Patients Infected
  • [02] Fuel Stations Won't Close Down
  • [03] Vavilis Soon in Greece
  • [04] Floods Threaten the Czech Republic
  • [05] Serbs Urge Del Ponte to be Understanding
  • [06] Canada Reacts to Hamas-led Government
  • [07] Social Security Dialogue Begins
  • [08] PAO Made it to Top 8
  • [09] Thessaloniki Song Festival Renewed
  • [10] Woman Prankster Redials 911!
  • [11] Berlusconi Angers China
  • [12] Baby Smugglers Testified

  • [01] By the Blood Donor and HIV Carrier No Other Patients Infected

    29 Mar 2006 15:01:00 (Last updated: 29 Mar 2006 20:45:01)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Scientists reassured that no other patient had received a transfusion of the infected batch of blood belonging to the 38-year-old blood donor and HIV carrier. The story broke out when a 17-year-old girl suffering from thalassaemia and a 76-year-old heart male patient received blood infected with HIV at Hippokration Hospital, in Thessaloniki. The First Instance Prosecution of Thessaloniki ordered an investigation to determine whether responsibilities arise for negligent or dangerous bodily harm and whether all the necessary measures for transfused blood testing were implemented. Director of the Blood Donation Centre at the Thessaloniki Hippokration Hospital Leonidas Papagiannis was called on to testify to Prosecutor Vasilis Floridis, upon Thessaloniki First Instance Prosecutor Panayotis Ioannidis request. The Prosecutor will investigate whether all standard checks on blood aimed to be transfused were followed. Then the 38-year-old blood donor and HIV carrier will be called on to testify, as well.

    In a Press conference given by Minister of Health Dimitris Avramopoulos on Tuesday, it was announced that procedures for equipping nucleic acid amplification technology (NAT) in all hospitals are stepped up. However, scientists stressed that no method reduces the danger, as NAT leaves open the "silent window" period for 11 days.

    Checks Intensify

    By the end of May the nucleic amplification technology (NAT) will be available in all 14 blood transfusion centres in Greece, where blood will be checked before it is transfused. Only eight have the ability currently to perform the NAT test.

    However, as it was stated, no method ensures patients full safety, while a determinative factor is the blood donors honesty, as per a survey 7% of occasional donors lie about their sex life before donating blood.

    The two infected patients, as well as the blood donor, whose wife is in advanced pregnancy, are under medical and psychological supervision.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Lethal Blood Transfusion

    [02] They Accepted Sioufas' Proposal for Dialogue Fuel Stations Won't Close Down

    29 Mar 2006 23:36:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    The operation of fuel stations, as well as the heating oil deliveries, will go undisrupted across Greece, since the federations of fuel station owners and fuel truck owners decided late on Wednesday to suspend the 48-hour strike scheduled for March 30 and 31 for a fortnight. They reached this decision following a new intervention by Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, who proposed a dialogue on the issues troubling the Geek oil market immediately commence.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Fuel Stations on 2-Day Strike

    [03] His Extradition Is a Matter of Time Vavilis Soon in Greece

    29 Mar 2006 21:02:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ANA- ΝΕΤ- ΝΕΤ 105,8

    Apostolos Vavilis extradition to Greece is but a matter of time. The Italian Ministry of Justice sent a letter to the Greek Ministry of Justice requesting Interpol contact the Greek Interior Minister and the relevant Italian authorities to agree on the way, place and time Vavilis, who is being held in Italy, will be extradited. The letter also made a reference to the Venice Appellate Court, which ruled in favour of Vavilis extradition to Greece to serve the rest of his sentence imposed by the Italian Justice on charges of drug trafficking. On his part, Greek Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras underlined that Vavilis extradition to Greece is but a "matter of time." "The judicial procedures for Apostolos Vavilis extradition to Greece has come to an end, thus paving the way for a fresh chapter of the purgation campaign the Government and independent Justice are pushing forward," he added. It is noted that Vavilis will testify to the Greek Justice for a string of major offences he has been charged with.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] Thousands of People Are Fleeing their Houses Floods Threaten the Czech Republic

    30 Mar 2006 00:04:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Some 10,000 people residing south Moravia in the Czech Republic are forced to flee their houses to avoid the threatening water levels on rivers, following the recent torrential rainfalls and the melting of snow. Government officials were quoted as saying that the residents of the villages along the Dyje River, about 200km SE of Prague, have to flee their houses by Thursday morning at 7. Furthermore, the threatening rise in the water levels on the areas rivers coupled with the recent heavy rainfalls evoked painful memories of the devastating floods that plagued the country in the summer of 2002. It is noted that authorities in Prague had stepped up emergency measures to enhance the levees erected on the banks of the Vltava River, aiming to protect the citys historic centre. Furthermore, a chemical plant decided to suspend its production, fearing that the floods might cause damage to the plants premises.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Serbs Urge Del Ponte to be Understanding

    29 Mar 2006 22:59:00

    By Vicky Ghionis

    The Serbian government urged Chief Prosecutor of the UN War Tribunal Carla del Ponte to take into account the complicated political situation in Serbia-Montenegro and not propose the EU break off talks with Belgrade, due to the fact that Ratko Mladic is still on the loose. Carla del Ponte, who arrived in Belgrade under tight security, is to report to the EU on Serbias cooperation with the court regarding the arrest of war crime suspects in former Yugoslavia. Following his meeting with del Ponte, Serbian PM Voislav Kostunica stated that Belgrade will live up to its pledges towards the UN War Tribunal. The Serbian Government is determined to put an end to the issue, announced the Prime Ministers office. Earlier, Rasim Ljajic, the Minister who heads the countrys cooperation with The Hague-based war crimes tribunal, had warned that a possible break-off will have an adverse effect on the efforts to promote political stability and proceed with democratic reforms in the country.

    Pressure by the EU

    However, the EU Foreign Ministers warned Serbia that the establishment of closer ties between the two sides will be halted unless Mladic, who is accused of genocide during the war in Bosnia, is arrested.

    Brussels are exercising pressure to make sure Mladic gets arrested prior to the outset of the next round of talks, scheduled for April 5.

    However, the Serbs think that suspects should not be brought to court. As per a poll released Wednesday, 53 percent of the Serbs think that no suspect should be referred to The Hague-based court, namely 8% more than that released three months ago.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] It Decided to Break off Diplomatic Ties Canada Reacts to Hamas-led Government

    29 Mar 2006 21:30:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Canada decided to break off diplomatic ties with the Hamas-led Government and to suspend any assistance to the Palestinian Authority. The announcement issued by Canadian FM Peter MacKay read that the programme presented by the Hamas-led Government fails to respect the principle of non-violence, recognise the state of Israel and live up to the previous agreements and pledges, including the (peaceful) road map. Therefore, the announcement continued, Canada wishes to have no diplomatic ties with the members if the Palestinian Cabinet and suspends the assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Announced the Minister of Employment Social Security Dialogue Begins

    29 Mar 2006 17:02:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ANA

    The Government is determined to begin a dialogue over the social security issue with social partners, who wish to participate in it, as announced the Minister of Employment Savvas Tsitouridis speaking at the 23rd Conference of the Panhellenic Federation of Social Policy Organisation Staff (POPOKP). "We will find the solutions and achieve a social security system that will have three main characteristics. It will be socially just, economically rationalised and of an extended prospect," noted Mr Tsitourids noting that the aim of the dialogue is for the actuarial deficit of banks to be chartered. On his part, head of PASOKs Employment Sector Evangelos Venizelos spoke of "a medical council aimed at severing the employees rights."

    New Collective Actions in Case of No Agreement

    In the meantime, President of the GSEE Christos Polyzogopoulos announced new collective actions, as he considered that an agreement will not be reached by the GSEE and employers, in a meeting scheduled for Thursday. Moreover, he announced that he not rerun for the GSEE presidency.

    It is noted that, as per the address by President of the Employees Giorgos Koutroumanis, the discussion on the problems of the social security issue is causing a wave of flight by the employees, resulting in the average age of pensioners falling from 62.9 to 63.3 years of age.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] PAO Made it to Top 8

    29 Mar 2006 23:53:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Panathinaikos made it! Obradovics boys defeated Benetton 81-70 in a packed OAKA stadium with spectators buzzing with excitement. Panathinaikos win along with Cibonas victory over Efes Pilsen with 84-77 earned the Greek team first place in Group G. In the round of 8, Panathinaikos will play against Tau of Spain. The score per period: 16-12, 34-34, 60-51, 81-70.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] Scheduled for November 2 and 4 Thessaloniki Song Festival Renewed

    29 Mar 2006 16:25:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Thessaloniki, northern Greece, is to open its arms to host the Song Festival for the second time, following its rather successful revival last year, upon the initiative taken by ERT and the TIF (Thessaloniki International Fair). This years objective, as it was set out in a Press Conference given Wednesday, is that the Thessaloniki authorities also play their part in the organisation of the Song Festival. "It is vital that the city [Thessaloniki] embrace the Festival and its revival," was quoted as saying ERTs President and Managing Director Christos Panagopoulos, noting, "this Festival can turn into an institution." ERT and the TIF have undertaken to fully cover the organisations expenditure, paying 1 million euros and 700,000 euros respectively. This years event will be different, since the regulations of the Thessaloniki Song Festival underwent changes.

    Entries to be Submitted until June 2

    Thessaloniki will host the Song Festival on November 2 and 4, instead of October. The Festival will be held in two stages, while the venue to host the event remains the same as last year. Entries should be submitted until June 2, 2006, the latest, while all artists are entitled to participate in the Festival invariably.

    Candidates financial contribution to this years Song Festival was reduced from 80 to 50 euros.

    Each artist has the right to submit two songs only, otherwise their entries will not be considered valid.

    Sixteen songs will compete in the semifinal, while the first ten will earn a place in the big final. The choosing of the songs will be made by a panel of judges and the audience (televoting-SMS) by a 50-50 percentage. The same voting procedure will be followed for the final to single out the first three winning songs. Furthermore, the panel of judges will present further three awards for best music, performance and lyrics.

    The songs will be performed with the ERTs Orchestra. A week of music events scheduled to take place on Thessalonikis streets, squares and theatres will precede the semifinal and the final.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] In Croatia Woman Prankster Redials 911!

    29 Mar 2006 14:27:00

    A woman in Croatia played with the nerves of nursing staff and ambulance drivers in the town Sibenik. As she said to the policemen who arrested her, she made hundreds of calls to the emergency services for revenge and for fun, citing health problems and asking for the dispatch of an ambulance. Her audacity is descriptive by the fact that she had called for an ambulance more than 200 times! The woman, against whom criminal proceedings were ordered, has broken the record for pranks, as she called 10,000 times within a month. As she explained she did it fueled by revenge, because they had not treated her well in an emergency situation previously.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Berlusconi Angers China

    29 Mar 2006 19:37:00 (Last updated: 29 Mar 2006 21:29:00)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: BBC, Reuters, ΝΕT

    Another provocative recital was given by Italian PM Silvio Berslusconi, whose statements keep wreaking havoc. This time, it was the Chinese communist regimes turn. Addressing his supporters in Naples, he blasted Chinese Communism saying, "I am accused of having said that the [Chinese] Communists used to eat children. But read The Black Book of Communism and you will discover that in the China of Mao, they did not eat children, but had them boiled to fertilise the fields." It goes without saying that the aforementioned statements triggered off a strong reaction by the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry, which issued an announcement expressing its discontent over the groundless remarks.

    But Berlusconi went even further. Answering a rather provocative question set by a journalist, who told the Italian PM that the people think he has gone mad, Berlusconi replied, "When the Communist parties of the Eastern bloc ran out of arguments, they used to accuse their rivals of being crazy and send them to mental clinics."

    Berlusconi has been accused by his political rivals of having an obsession that Italy runs the risk of "communistic threat," while his bombastic statements have repeatedly stirred various comments.

    "I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone," he had claimed at the launch of his 2006 pre-election campaign.

    However, it seems that his statements on China are far more serious than the rest. His chief rival Romano Prodi, who enjoys a 5% lead in the opinion polls, termed Berlusconis statements as "unthinkable," underlining that the damage Italy suffers by the insult against a nation numbering 1,3 billion is by all means a considerable one.

    It is noted that China has declared 2006 as the Year of Italy.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] Baby Smugglers Testified

    29 Mar 2006 17:35:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    After testifying to the Examiner, lawyer Panayotis Papaleloudis, charged with being involved in a baby-smuggling case, was set free on a 15,000-euro bail. Mr Papaleloudis claimed that he only drew up the adoption papers, and argued he did not know it was illegal. The three women of Bulgarian descent also, charged with being involved in a baby smuggling ring, also testified and were remanded in custody. The women denied any involvement in the ring, while the mother of the baby said she was to give her child, because she couldnt afford to bring it up. She claimed that she would take no money in return.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Criminal Proceedings for Baby Smuggling

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