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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-05-04
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Alexis Damianos Passed Away04 May 2006 18:55:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2006 23:41:02)
By Tina Valaoura
One of the myths of modern Greek cinema does not live among us anymore. Director Alexis Damianos breathed his last at the age of 85, leaving behind a valuable intellectual heritage and three landmark creations in modern Greek cinema. "Mechri to Ploio" (1966), "Evdokia" (1971) and "Iniochos" (1995) were the three films directed by Alexis Damianos in the passage of four decades. Creations filled with power, harsh beauty and poetry, as well as a deep social concern, which marked the history of Greek cinema, awarding him many honours and international recognition. He was also an actor, theatre director and author. He studied at the National Theatre Drama School and at the Athens University School of Philosophy. He founded the Experimental Theatre and Poreia Theatre, where he directed many plays. The funeral of Alexis Damianos will take place on Saturday, at the 2nd Athens Cemetery, at 11am.
Condolences by the Political Leadership
President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, KKE General Secretary Aleka Papariga and SYN President Alekos Alavanos voiced their condolences over the death of Alexis Damianos.
"There are moments when simplicity in art touches on great poetry. And these moments are the priceless treasure given to us by Alexis Damianos. His deep knowledge of Greek culture, his love of the land and his great social concern are descriptive of his work. A work that left its mark on Greek cinema," stated Mr Papoulias.
KKE General Secretary Aleka Papariga sent a telegram to Alexis Damianos widow, Artemis, which read: "By his work, Alexis Damianos emerged as one of the most important Greek directors. He created and expresses real cinema for common people."
In a statement, SYN President Alekos Alavanos described his as "one of the braves, who clashed with the commercial cinema stereotypes of the times, turning his lens, with his unique aesthetic and personal honesty, towards the common people."
 Administrative Reforms and Financial Course ERT's New Image04 May 2006 18:05:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2006 23:41:15)
By Anna Kourti
Sources: ANA, NET
In a Press conference on Thursday, ERTs President Christos Panagopoulos presented the new image of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, in the context of administrative reforms. The creation of a complete computerised system, the change in the organisational chart, the training of employees and the establishment of an evaluation system are predominant in the companys new image, as an administrative and financial reformation is being promoted in a quick pace. The President of ERT stressed that the positive results are already apparent both in the economic and administrative departments.
 Testified to Parliamentary Committee New Revelations by Labrinopoulos04 May 2006 13:51:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2006 22:39:21)
The President of the ADAE (Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy) made new revelation on the wiretapping scandal testifying before the Parliaments Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency on Thursday. Andreas Labrinopoulos revealed that Vodafones 14 pre-paid "shadow" phones were communicating with 3 TIM pre-paid "shadow" phones, which had made 11 calls and sent a text message to Maryland State (USA), while text messages had also been sent to Australia, Britain and Sweden in the period from 1/7/2004 until 4/8/2004. On the occasion of Labrinopoulos statements, TIM issued an announcement stating that the three pre-paid phones were never used as "shadow" phones, whilst adding that there was no interception in its network. With the evidence at hand, the ADAE could be able to find the wiretappers in two-months time, when it will have completed its investigation, provided the above-mentioned foreign countries cooperate. What is more, Labrinopoulos spoke of software of unprecedented intelligence, which came integrated and completely tested from parent company Ericsson, which cannot deny its implication. Former ND President Miltiadis Evert asked the Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency to summon the former and current director the National Intelligence Service to provide explanations regarding the evidence Labrinopoulos submitted. Evert also wondered whether the NIS knew all that and ought to have revealed them. Speaking at PASOKs Parliamentary Group, George Papandreou requested an Appellate Examiner be appointed to the wiretaps case, whilst speaking of an operation to conceal the scandal.
Announcement by TIM Hellas
In an announcement TIM stated that the pre-paid phones are not "shadow" phones and never operated as "shadow" phones.
Concerning its networks security and the protection of the confidentiality of communications and personal data, TIM Hellas reassured that there was never any interception in its network or a leak of personal data of the companys customers, a fact which has been confirmed by recent repeated inspections of the relevant authority in TIM.
Moreover, TIM reassured that the devices and security procedures followed are the strictest, based on BS 7799 international security standards and their application results in the creation of a complete security environment for personal data of TIM Hellas costumers.
Investigation by Prosecution Continuing
At the same time, the investigation by the Prosecution is focusing on one of the calls made from Kostas Tsalikidis land line. As per the lawyer of Tsalikidis family, the call was made after his death, specifically at 07:45 to the number 1898, which concerns the text messages service. Both Kostas Tsalikidis mother and brother denied calling this number, a fact that as they claimed indicates that another person quite possibly was in the house before they arrived.
The Parliamentary Group investigating the wiretaps case will convene next Wednesday and pose questions to the current and former Director of NIS.
 Interventions in its Work Said PASOK Dispute over Justice04 May 2006 22:09:00
Sources: ANA, NET
Relevant PASOK Coordinator Miltiadis Papaioannou lashed out at the leadership of the Supreme Court, accusing Messrs Linos and Papagelopoulos of operating with the rationale of concealment in the wiretaps case and following the orders of the Minister of Justice. Anastasis Papaligouras and alternate Government spokesperson Mr Antonaros accused the Main Opposition of excess irresponsibility and hypocrisy, which is harming the institutions and the quality of democracy.
 Crew of Illegal Antiquities Dept in London Briefs Being Built Up04 May 2006 17:41:00
On Friday, a crew of the Greek Illegal Antiquities Department will depart for London, so that policemen can investigate the route of the artefacts to foreign auction houses. Prosecutor Ioannis Diotis had a lengthy discussion with the departments Chief, Giorgos Gligoris, and as it all seems the cases of Schinoussa and Paros will be co-examined. In the coming week, Italian Chief of the Illegal Antiquities Department Ugo Zottin will arrive in Greece for the second time, so that he can collect evidence over the three murals found in the Schinoussa villa, which based on estimations come from Calabria.
More Antiquities Discovered
 Said an Iraqi Official on Thursday Iran Able to Produce Centrifuges04 May 2006 14:29:00
By Athina Saloustrou
Iran is in a position to massively produce centrifuges used in uranium enrichment, said the Vice President of the Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, according to articles in the Press. "Iran has the ability to massively produce centrifuges. This is a major break, because no other country would be willing to give us the know-how," said Hossein Fayijan. The Chairman of the Organisation, Gholamreza Aghazadeh said Tueaday Iran managed to enrich uranium to 4.8%. Tehran had announced on 11 April it had succeeded in enriching uranium to 3.5%. A French-British draft resolution asking Iran to suspend the uranium enrichment programme was submitted on Wednesday to the UN Security Council, however Tehran is not willing to back down.
Translated by Sofia Soulioti
 On Official Visit Tassos Papadopoulos in Cairo04 May 2006 14:10:00
By Athina Saloustrou
It is the first time in forty years, since President Makarios' official visit in 1996, a Cypriot President visits the Egyptian capital. The meeting between Tassos Papadopoulos and hid Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, has signaled a new era in the two countries' relations and attracted the interest of all Egyptian Media. The two leaders are to sign a number of bilateral agreements aimed at the further elaboration of relations between Cyprus and Egypt in various fields. The agreements include the exploitation of natural gas and hydrocarbons, as well as electricity and renewable energy sources.
Lastly, they are expected to sign a protocol of scientific collaboration on research and development, a memorandum of cooperation on development and a special programme for cultural, scientific and technological collaboration.
Translated by Sofia Soulioti
 US President Threatens to Veto Bill Senate Versus Bush04 May 2006 12:29:00
By Athina Saloustrou
The US Senate is expected to complete on Thursday an emergency spending Bill to fund the war in Iraq and to continue hurricane recovery efforts, ignoring White House objections that it was loaded with unnecessary projects. The Senate was expected to finish work by Thursday on the Bill, which would end up costing about $109 Billion, around $17 Billion more than the total approved in March by the House of Representatives. As the Senate tried to wrap up a nearly two-week debate on the Bill, President George W. Bush threatened to veto it. "Congress needs to hear me loud and clear. If they spend more than the $92.2 (Billion) plus pandemic flu emergency funds, I will veto the Bill," Bush said.
As Bush issuing the threat, senators were adding, not subtracting funds, including $60 million for United Nations efforts in the Darfur region of Sudan. Once the Bill passes, the House and Senate will try for a compromise to head off a Bush veto.
Like the House-passed measure, the Senate's legislation would provide around $67 Billion to finance the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon would get a new round of funds to replace aircraft and other equipment worn out in the wars. Nearly $500 million would be spent to recruit and retain more soldiers. With this Bill, US spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would be nearly $400 Billion, with more than three-quarters being spent in Iraq.
 To Attend Eurogroup and Ecofin Councils G. Alogoskoufis in Brussels04 May 2006 17:07:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2006 23:42:01)
Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis departed for Brussels, where he will represent Greece in the Eurogroup and Ecofin Councils, which will be convening on Thursday and Friday. Eurogroup is expected to focus on the results of the G7 Summits, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which took place on 21 and 22 April, in Washington. Moreover, views will be exchanged over the increased price of oil in international markets. Ecofin will make preparations for the European Council Summit, on 15 and 16 June, and the European strategy for sustainable development. The agenda for discussion includes the preliminary draft of the EU 2007 Budget, tax issues (a package of proposals of the European Commission aimed at simplifying bilateral obligations arising from VAT), a completed Internal Control Framework, access of Mass Media to state provisional contracts, as well as the new strategy actions for the European Investments Bank outside of the EU.
 60-Year-Old with Bird Flu Symptoms Suspect Case in Papanikolaou Hospital04 May 2006 15:30:00
A 60-year-old man, who had recently visited Egypt, is hospitalised in Papanikolaou Hospital, in Thessaloniki, with bird flu symptoms. The first tests came out negative; however doctors are carefully observing his condition and are expecting a second round of tests so that they make a valid diagnosis.
 Over the Privatisation of the Organisation 24-Hour Strike in ELTA04 May 2006 16:07:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2006 23:42:15)
By Anna Kourti
Post offices throughout the country did not operate due to the 24-hour strike staged by ELTA and Greek Postal Savings Bank employees, who are voicing their opposition to the organisations privatisation. At noon, the employees gathered at Kotzia Square shouting mottos against the privatisation and stressed the importance of maintaining ELTAs public character. Following, a peaceful march was staged towards the Ministry of Economy, where a delegation of employees gave a petition to the Ministrys General Secretary. The participation of the employees in the strike reached 100%. The demonstration rally was attended by a delegation of SYN, led by Mr Lafazanis, a delegation of GSEE and delegations from other federations, labour centres and social bodies. President of the Greek Federation of Post Office Associations Filippos Thomas stressed the importance of the organisations public character and said "the Governments plans for privatisation and the creation of a new bank will not be passed."
Greek Post Offices Closed
 Attack Against MAT Bus04 May 2006 15:58:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2006 23:42:27)
Whilst leaving Poytechnioupoli, in Zografou, a group of youths threw petrol bombs at a MAT Special Police Forces bus at 14:30. No damage was reported. Earlier, the youth had torched two traffic camera wiring boxes on Katechaki Avenue.
 With Bail Kechagioglou Released from Prison04 May 2006 14:03:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2006 19:03:23)
By Athina Saloustrou
Sources: NET, ANA
Lawyer Sakis kechagioglou, who is charged with implication to the extra-judicial ring, was released from prison at the decision of the Court of Appeals. Despite objections raised by Prosecutor Kyriakos Karoutsos, the petition from release was accepted with bail. As per the ruling, Kechagioglous bail was set at 100,000 euros, while he is banned from leaving the country and has to appear at his local police station once a month.
It is reminded that the known lawyer had been remanded in custody last December, facing charges for his implication to the extra-judicial ring.