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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-06-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] The Day After
  • [02] Eirinaios Dismisses Synod Members
  • [03] Wash Clean with Berlusconi!
  • [04] Deaths at Hospice Investigated
  • [05] Confidence Vote
  • [06] New 48-hour Bank Strike
  • [07] New Creepy Details
  • [08] Aubenas in France
  • [09] Blair's Contacts on the G8 Agenda
  • [10] Incidents in Thessaloniki

  • [01] Review and Planning The Day After

    13 Jun 2005 11:40:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The stormy weekend in Parliament ended at midnight with the vote of confidence to the Government. The day after is a day for review and political planning for all parties. After having received the vote of confidence, the Government will immediately proceed with important reforms in the field of Economy. As for PASOK, its tactics have become more offensive but without any significant differences inside the party. Mr Papandreou made sure to send a strict message to the members of his party, while many Parliamentarians positively commented the fact that there will no early elections, which gives PASOK more time to complete its reorganization. KKE urged people to put an end to PASOK and NDs policy in order to solve workers problems. Alekos Alavanos indirectly rejected Mr Papandreous proposal for a dialogue and stressed that the entire discussion reinforces unreliability. In the meantime, the Prime Minister has had successive meetings with Internal Affairs Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis. On the other hand, PASOK President George Papandreou will travel to Madrid to participate in the Socialistic International meeting.

    Reactions

    'The Parliament's 300 form the political and spiritual leadership of a place and ought to be one step ahead," said Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis on NET radio 105.8. "Taking into consideration that the Opposition truly believes our policy is catastrophic and has lead the country to a dead-end, it has the moral obligation to put an end to this situation and this can only happen via elections," concluded Mr Kaklamanis.

    "The result of the voting process, the vote of confidence to the Government gives Kostas Karamanlis and the government new breath and strength to continue with reforms and structural changes more decisively. New Democracy is a power of reforms. A power of trust," stressed Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas after the voting process and further added," this is how we will proceed towards growth, caring for regional Greece, caring for citizens' daily problems. And mainly face the big social problem of unemployment with more jobs. This is the message sent by this confidence vote, which the Government and Kostas Karamanlis just received." PASOK Parliamentarian Anna Diamantopoulou said on NET radio 105.8 that "true problems have choked us and we can no longer hear what happened years ago," underlining that only three ministers referred to their work, like Mr Sioufas "who doesn't focus on discovering scandals of the past etc." She further added that the three-day discussion had some benefits for PASOK: it proved the political poverty of ND, George Papandreou made quite clear what PASOK means by reforms, and not just a list of changes as the Government thinks, and finally strengthened its positions and defended them. Referring to KKE's stance, Mrs Diamantopoulou underlined that the country is not governed by two parties, it is governed by ND.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Running the Final Mile

    Curtain Call with Voting

    [02] Accusing Them of Conspiracy Eirinaios Dismisses Synod Members

    13 Jun 2005 12:30:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    Former Jerusalem Patriarch Eirinaios, in a diversion tactic and with a notice posted outside the houses of the Synod members who did not attend the meeting of the May 6 Synod, dismisses them from their Synodical duties. This action by Eirinaios is described from the Holy Sepulcher Brotherhood as out of place and not valid. In the notice, Mr Eirinaios accused the members of the Synod, which as it is known declared him deposed, for treason, cabal and conspiracy.

    Korei-Kornilios Meeting

    In the meantime, Jerusalem Patriarch suffragan Petras Metropolitan Bishop Kornilios and a Synod delegation will meet with Palestinian PM, Ahmed Korei in order to discuss the delay of the Palestinian Authority to announce the renouncement of Mr Eirinaios,

    It is expected that Jordan will officially announce the recognition of the suffragan in the coming days.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Wash Clean with Berlusconi!

    13 Jun 2005 11:01:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    47-year-old Italian artist Gianni Motti promises cleanliness and natural care, to whoever buys his latest piece of work. It is a bar of soap that as he claims has created by Silvio Berlusconis fat. The artwork is presented in the context of a modern art exhibition entitled "Art Basel," in the Basilica, in Switzerland and the truth is that the claims of artist have made the audience curious. It is noted that the 67-year-old politician had disappeared last January from politics in order to appear a month later rejuvenated and thinner. He had admitted undergoing a diet and a small corrective operation for the wrinkles around his eyes.

    Motti, who lives and works in Geneva, has a different view. He claims that he acquired the "celebrity" fat from an employee at the plastic surgery clinic for the "rich and famous" in Lugano, Switzerland. "Mr Berlusconi had a face lift and a liposuction. The people I know provided me with a part of the fat. It looked like jelly and smelled terrible," says Motti commenting on the materials of his work, which is valued at 15,000 euros for anyone who would like a piece of the Italian PM.

    The cleansing soap is called "Mani Pulite," which means "Clean Hands," and expresses the artists opposition to corruption, the mafia and Berlusconis policies. "Either way soap is made out of pork fat and I thought it would be very fitting for people to wash themselves using a piece of Berlusconi," stated Motti.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    Art Basel

    [04] Emergency Meeting at Health Ministry Deaths at Hospice Investigated

    13 Jun 2005 10:11:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    An emergency meeting will be held at 13:00 at the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity to discuss the reasons for the death of five elderly at the Athens Hospice in Kypseli from June 2 to June 7. According to the first indications, the deaths were due to pathological reasons. However, on May 26 thirty-five cases of gastroenteritis had been reported after consuming bad bacon. The investigation is run by the Health Inspectors Body. Experts will decide based on the findings and the evidence submitted to them by the foundation's administration if the gastroenteritis was the cause of death for the five unfortunate elders. The First Instance Public Prosecutor's Office has been informed on the matter and a Public Prosecutor is expected to go to the Hospice today. The Special Infections Control Centre and the Food Control Body have also been informed. A Press Conference will be given after the end of the meeting at the Health Ministry.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Received the Government from the Parliament Confidence Vote

    13 Jun 2005 00:25:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The Parliament gave the government a confidence vote with 165 votes for and 120 against. The MPs of New Democracy voted for, while PASOK and SYN against. KKE MPs did not attend the voting session. Earlier, in speech that concluded the relative discussion in Parliament, Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis noted that the government follows the policy of composition and social consensus that responds to the challenges of the times and the citizens needs. He also referred to the government work that has been achieved in all areas during the last 15 months of rule by New Democracy, and noted that the commitments are being materialized. Furthermore, he developed the main aims of the governments policy, while he made harsh criticism of the PASOK government during 2000-2003, and accused the Opposition of being held captive of the past. He also accused George Papandreou of incoherence and a lack of views and proposals.

    Answering to Criticism

    During his speech, the Prime Minister answered to the criticism made to the government by PASOK. Referring to the EU fine of 518 million euros he stated: "The question is not when the trial took place but when, how and with whose toleration was the crime committed. It all took place in 2000-2003, when you called on to whoever had evidence to go to the Prosecutor. Everything concerns poor workmanship, excess, direct assignment, illegalities of a specific period."

    He also made reference to the LAFKA issue, stating that the government has materialized its commitments, banning it since last July, and bringing forth a reform for the return of the back payments.

    "We do not conceal any problem," he noted speaking on inflation and expensiveness. We are making strong efforts to counter expensiveness and stated the relative measures taken by the government such as the doubling of checks, the reinforcement of the Competition Committee, the reestablishment of the Consumed Secretariat and the countenance of consumer organizations.

    "Some, however, seem to ignore that in 2003, the inflation was 3.5% and in May 3.2%. And this regardless of the explosion of the international price of fuel by 50% during the last 15 months," he added.

    In relation to unemployment, he noted that when ND took rule of the country in March 2004, it was 11.3%, according to data of the National Statistical Service of Greece and Eurostat, while at the end of the year it was 10.4%.

    "We Want and Can Change the Country"

    Kostas Karamanlis underlined the governments intention to work for "the unity of the Greek people and national unanimity," and brought on the example of the choice of Karolos Papoulias for the seat of President of the Republic.

    He also made reference to the countrys aims in foreign policy, setting as priorities the functional and viable solution for the Cypriot issue, the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations, the agreed solution of the pending issue of the FYROM name, and peace, stability, and partnership in our region.

    On the issue of the government plan in the rest of the departments, he focused on health and the fold-up beds, which, as he stated, New Democracy solved in the first quarter of its term, while PASOK had committed to a solution since 1981.

    He noted that the government gave solution to the issue of added interest charges and is adjusting the zoning plan that was also pending. As Mr Karamanlis announced, the country, starting from 2006, will have zoning plans and a National Zoning Plan, since a new context of permits issue for businesses that decreases bureaucracy, time and cost for its 3-year establishment has been planned.

    He repeated the strong will of the government to fight and counter vested interest and corruption, and brought on the example of "a new Justice bill targeted at destroying the circuits of judicial and extra-judicial exchanges and the radical reform in the system public works production."

    He also made reference to the measures for the reinforcement of development "the decrease of tax factors, the new development bill, policies for the reinforcement of competition, reforms in trade, the new generation of denationalization, the freeing of the energy market, the institutional context of the cooperation between Public and Private Sector and the operation of DEKO."

    "Greece is going from the creative accountancy to the notion of substantial creation," he said.

    In closing, he noted the need for reforms, changes and progress that, as he stated, have to be made with the wider possible consent. "The changes and reforms, the progress in the state, are our duty. It is a realistic and necessary choice for Greece, that is far from dogmas and past policies," he added.

    "We want and can change the country. We answer responsibly to the social demands and modern needs," underlined the Prime Minister at the end of his speech.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Running the Final Mile

    [06] "They Have All Agreed to the Strike" New 48-hour Bank Strike

    13 Jun 2005 08:46:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET Radio 105.8

    The reform for the banks' social security will be submitted to Parliament within the week. The regulation provides for the formation of a new social security fund for bank employees. In the meantime, OTOE (Hellenic Federation of Bank Employees Unions) will proceed with a new 48-hour strike as of Monday, while it has also warned for more mobilisations. What is more, according to statements he made on NET radio 105.8, OTOE President Dimitris Tsoukalas stressed that by "breaking collective contracts we are fitting the suit Mr Alogoskoufis has made for us. All sides have agreed to the strike, as they completely oppose to this Bill, which increases age limits and reduced pensions." Furthermore, he underlined that mobilisations will last for quite some time.

    Emergency Personnel

    During the strike, people will be able to withdraw money only from ATMs, while emergency personnel has been provided only for pensions.

    What is more, bank executives stress that borrowers will not be facing any problems, ie they will not have to pay for late payment interests.

    Stoppage on Thursday

    At the same time, ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) and GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) have announced a three-hour work stoppage for Thursday, while dock workers continue their mobilisations with a 48-hour strike on Thursday and Friday, reacting to the eventuality of privatizing the Organisation.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Demanding Guantanamo to Close Down New Creepy Details

    13 Jun 2005 07:44:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    And while US Parliamentarians are asking for the close-down of the US prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, Time magazine is publishing a creepy 84-page notebook, which thoroughly describes the 50-day interrogation of Saudi Arabian Muhammad el-Katani. The Saudi Arabian was a suspect for terrorism and was in fact considered by the Americans as the "20th possible hijacker" of the September 11 attacks and was apprehended in Afghanistan. During his interrogation from November 2002 to early January 2003, State Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had authorized even harsher interrogation practices for some of the prisoners.

    Tortures and Christina Aguilera

    As the magazine reports, Katani was subject to long interrogations. When he was about to fall asleep, US military officers threw water on his head or forced him to listen to a Christina Aguilera pop album. They also forced him to stand up straight whenever they played the US national anthem. They shaved his head and beard. Later on, they stripped him off his clothes. They even forced him to bark like a dog and growl whenever they showed him pictures of terrorists. They hanf pictures of lightly dressed women around his neck. In the end, Katani told them he wanted to commit suicide and asked them for a pen and a piece of paper to write down his will.

    Harmful for Bush's Image

    In the meantime, US president George Bush said last Wednesday that he is going over "all alternatives" regarding the Guantanamo Bay prison, even though both State Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney have stated that the closing down of the prison is not among the US government's top priorities.

    On the other hand, republican parliamentarians, like Florida Senator Mel Martinez, voiced worries over the cost of Guantanamo to the Bush Government image, while speaking on CNN former State Secretary Henry Kissinger suggested the formation of an independent investigative committee that will look into detention conditions.

    A Senate Committee will study the issue on Wednesday.

    The Guantanamo prison opened in 2002 and houses over 500 prisoners, considered either Taliban or al-Qaeda members.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Aubenas in France

    13 Jun 2005 02:09:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    French reporter Florence Aubenas returned back to her homeland late on Sunday night, after five months of being held hostage with her Iraqi translator, who had also been abducted on January 5. The conditions under which they were released have not been known, however the French government refuted allegations for ransom paid. French President Jacques Chirac welcomed Aubenas at the airport and made a TV appearance to inform people of the developments. French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy had traveled to Cyprus where the airplane carrying her to France made a short stop- to escort her back home. The French Press is in seventh heaven after the Liberation correspondent and her driver's release, mainly focusing on the unprecedented solidarity and mobilisation both on a national and an international level in the case of the French reporter.

    "Correspondents Are Unprotected"

    Chief Editor of Liberation Serge July said: "a reporter's place is not in some dungeon, but out in the open air, in circulation, in exchange, this is obvious for the entire world" and "this demand spread along the total of French society, in Belgium and Italy, throughout Europe. It was not cast aside by other public priorities. Thank you. Thank all of you."

    For right newspaper Figaro, "the solid joy with which we are celebrating the return of Florence Aubenas is a tribute to all those who have been fighting over the past five months for her release. The promotion of solidarity, which we have witnessed, proves the devotion of all to journalism, to an immediate contact with reality which we are called to comprehend."

    Communist newspaper Humanite estimated that "the status of reporters-correspondents in war zones is no longer protected by international treaties. Many reporters are paying the price of fighting for the freedom of information with their lives. We should convict such inhumane tactics."

    "Many hostages in Iraq, Colombia, have not felt yet the cool breeze of freedom. Many peoples, like the Iraqi people, remain captives of violence, condemned to silence, objects of clashes that pass them by," stressed Catholic La Croix.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] Debt Cut at Focus Blair's Contacts on the G8 Agenda

    13 Jun 2005 09:16:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    On Monday, the British PM will meet with the Russian President in an attempt to pave the road for the G8 Summit Meeting for the debt cut of poor countries and the change in climate. Following, Tony Blair will visit Germany, France and Luxemburg where he will meet with the countries leaders, speeding up the preparations for the G8 Synod in the Gleneagles Hotel, in Scotland, on July 6-8. It is noted that on Saturday, the Ministers of the eight more developed industrialized countries of the world agreed to the gradual cut of the debt of the poorest countries of Africa and Latin America.

    Meeting with Putin

    According to British officials, one of the main issues in the contacts of Blair is the disagreement in the EU over the budget and the allowance that Britain asks of him.

    However, Blair, in the meeting with Vladimir Putin, will discuss other issues, such as the concern of the western countries over the human rights violations in Russia.

    As a spokesperson of the British PM stated, Great Britain believes that Russia supports the priorities that London has set for the G8, and considers that Moscow is unable to force pressure to other emerging economic powers, such as China, India in order to decrease carbon monoxide emission.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Third World Debt Cut

    [10] Incidents in Thessaloniki

    12 Jun 2005 19:18:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Tension and incidents occurred in two areas of Thessaloniki last night. A group of supporters of the nationalist organization Golden Dawn (Chrisi Avgi) on a march at the Seaside, on the occasion of the death anniversary of Alexander the Great, clashed with 150 left-wing protestors at a book exhibition and resulted in the intervention of the MAT police. The march continued in Nikis and Tsimiskis Streets, with the accompaniment of police forces and was broken up quietly. Shortly after, at 1:00 a group of masked men, who were in the area of the University, set fire to ATMs and threw a molotov bomb in Egnatia Street, in front of the west gate of the International Expo. However, the incidents did not stop there. The young men threw other bombs at the buildings of the Expo and the ET3 studio, in Aggelaki Street, causing damage.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou


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