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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-11

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Markogiannakis Resigned
  • [02] River Evros Subsided
  • [03] Better Cheating Than Overeating
  • [04] No Immediate Danger for Sharon
  • [05] Snowy Weather in Greece
  • [06] Normal Activity
  • [07] German Chancellor Visits Washington
  • [08] Tremor in Indonesia
  • [09] Multi-Fatality Car Accident in Cairo
  • [10] Fruitless GSEE-FGI Meeting

  • [01] After Revelations Markogiannakis Resigned

    11 Jan 2006 00:29:00 (Last updated: 11 Jan 2006 13:31:11)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET

    The Deputy Public Order Minister handed in his resignation late on Tuesday night after revelations he had referred to Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos using harsh language. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis accepted his resignation. In his letter of resignation, Mr Christos Markogiannakis stressed, "I handed in my resignation to Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis because I did not wish to embarrass the Government. I have always respected and respect Justice, which I have served as a public prosecutor for many years and honour its justices. I am sorry because the judgements that were part of a private conversation with my political "friends" were used isolated to create false impressions. However, an important question is raised: does anyone have the right to secretly record Greek citizens private conversations? I reserve all legal rights when it comes to that." On the other hand, State Minister and Government Spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos said, "We all ought to respect Justice and its justices. New Democracy and its members have proved this respect."

    Earlier, private television stations had broadcast that in a party meeting in Kasteli, Crete, Deputy Public Order Minister Christos Markogiannakis had criticised Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos using a harsh language. Mr Markogiannakis categorically denied the relevant article published in a Cretan newspaper and the statements recorded in audiotape, which was already broadcast.

    Supreme Court Prosecution members said, "These things are not serious. The Public Prosecutor will make no comments. Such issues are unworthy of comment."

    On the other hand, PASOK spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis stressed that if all that has been broadcast is accurate, then the Deputy Public Order Minister can no longer remain at office. Not a second longer."

    "The last who deserves to speak is PASOK. The party has many times in the past vituperated against Justice and justices. For once more, PASOK has become a synonym of hypocrisy," government spokesman Mr Roussopoulos replied.

    Finally, the Association of Judges and Prosecutors President has called an emergency meeting of the Associations Board of Directors to make decisions on the revelations in question.

    Asked on Mr Markogiannakis resignation, Employment Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos argued that the issue is over, while in the question why it took the government 4.5 hours to make a decision, the Employment Minister underlined that the government has long before proved its exceptionally sensitive democratic reflexives and that was confirmed yesterday. He also noted that Mr Markogiannakis has traced his own personal and political course and he shouldered his responsibilities.

    At the same time, he reminded that when PASOK was in office, its officials kept accusing Justice of issuing rulings favouring ND.

    When referring to Supreme Court Prosecutor Mr Linos, the Employment Minister pointed out that he is an asset to the Greek public life and that he is a leading figure playing an instrumental role in the reorganizing of Justice promoted by NDs government.

    Reporter Makis Triantafyllopoulos, who surfaced the case, also referred to the resignation issue. Speaking on NETs show Symvainei Tora, he said that Mr Markogiannakis statements were made at a party meeting in Kasteli, Crete, and not during private talks.

    [02] To 5.20m River Evros Subsided

    11 Jan 2006 11:43:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The water level of River Evros subsided to 5.20m in the morning at the Pythio measuring station, 50cm down the safety limit. The relevant authorities of the Prefecture of Evros and of the municipalities across the river remain on high alert for third week running. In his statement, the Prefect of Evros, Nikos Zampounidis underlined, "Cross-border agreements and joint works between Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey, should be signed to settle the matter once and for all," calling cross-border agreements necessary.

    Need for Cross-Border Agreement

    "Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey should sign a cross-border agreement to settle the issue once and for all," Mr Zampounidis said and added that the Bulgarian side should proceed with certain interventions so that we can control the water level at times of crisis. "Interior Ministers are to hold a meeting on the issue in Sofia. I believe that the Foreign Affairs Ministers should also follow suit, for a solution to be provided through a cross-border agreement, which I view as necessary," Mr Zampounidis concluded.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] In Italy Better Cheating Than Overeating

    11 Jan 2006 11:27:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Italians have not given up on their famous ancestor Giacomo Casanova. They still nourish the myth of the Latin lover and get involved in love affairs, even though they are not sexually available. What if they have a wedding ring shining around their finger? A minor detail! A recent survey conducted by psychology journal Riza Psicosomatica showed that adultery ranks last on the list with the seven deadly sins. To everyones surprise, it was over-eating and spending that topped the list, instead. They also feel guilty when they neglect their friends and their families, when they sustain professional failures and when they do not pay particular attention to their physique. The survey of nearly 1,000 Italians aged 25-55 also proved that religion plays the least role in their lives, irrespective of the deep-rooted Roman Catholic traditions Italy enjoys. Just 7% of the participants in the survey stated that religious rules made them feel guilty.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] No Immediate Danger for Sharon

    11 Jan 2006 07:27:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: ANA

    News on Israeli Premier Ariel Sharons condition seems promising. The on-line edition of Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth, citing hospital sources, read that there was no immediate danger to Ariel Sharons life, therefore, his doctors would keep reducing the amount of the anaesthetic drugs to evaluate his neurological condition. Yesterday night, one of Mr Sharons anaesthetists, Dr Yoram Weiss, argued that Ariel Sharon ran no immediate danger, he spoke of "slight improvement," and advised "patience." He also made it clear that only if the process of weaning off the sedation is complete, will the doctors be able to fully assess his condition. Furthermore, Hadassah hospital director Dr Shlomo Mor-Yosef claimed that there was an improvement in the neurological function of Sharons brain, saying that he moved both his hands and his right leg. However, all Sharons doctors underlined that, if Sharon survives the stroke, he will not be able to get involved anew in the countrys political arena under any circumstances.

    Following the brain haemorrhage Sharon suffered, he was sedated. His son, Omri Sharon, thanked the hospitals doctors, as well as the Israeli people who stand by his familys ordeal.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Slight Improvement for Sharon

    [05] Weather Worsens Snowy Weather in Greece

    11 Jan 2006 12:48:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET

    Further worsening of the weather is expected as of Wednesday night, according to the HNMS (Hellenic National Meteorological Service), while the State is on alert to deal with any adverse weather conditions. The temperatures have dropped significantly throughout the country, while many areas in the North are covered with snow. An emergency meeting took place on Wednesday morning in Malakasa, chaired by the general secretary of Civil Protection Authority, Panagiotis Fourlas, who reported that no extreme conditions are expected. However, drivers travelling on national and regional roads are advised to abide by the traffic rules and follow the directions of the Traffic Police. In Attica, it will remain cloudy with light drizzle, but the conditions are expected to worsen during the night, while it might snow in the northern suburbs.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Following the Quake on Kythira Normal Activity

    10 Jan 2006 19:51:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Seismologists are reassuring 48 hours after the strong quake on Kythira, as the post seismic activity is minimum and since there has been no increase of seismic activity in neighbouring areas, a fact that could have happened if the 6.9 magnitude quake was a surface one. Scientists described the 4.3 magnitude quake on Kefalonia at 10:10 this morning as a separate event. At the same time, engineers from the Piraeus prefecture have completed the first round of checks on Kythira. Inhabitants ask for financial aid to restore damages on their houses and the government reassured it would soon announce measures to help those affected by the quake.

    Michaloliakos on Kythira

    Deputy Defence Minister Vasilis Michaloliakos traveled on Kythira today, joined by Interior Ministry Secretary General Athanasios Vezyrgiannis and a delegation from the Attica Union of Municipalities and Communities, in order to be informed on the condition on the island after the recent quake.

    Both the Deputy Defence Minister and the Secretary General reassured the State will stand by the affected.

    Schools Checked

    Schools in Attica were inspected and only two kindergarten facilities in Athens were found unsuitable in case of an earthquake. The 117th Kindergarten (Kato Patisia), which sustained damages from the quake, will be temporarily housed at the 118th and 131th Kindergartens (Kato Patisia) and the 96th Kindergarten (Petralona) will remain closed and competent bodies will decide on its transfer tomorrow.

    Schools in Chania were also under inspection and nine of them were found unsuitable. Their operation in suitable buildings will be decided soon, following Education Agencies' decisions.

    At the same time, Achaia Prefect Dimitris Katsikopoulos ordered a precautionary inspection of all school and public buildings in the prefecture.

    Government Spokesperson's Statements

    After two days of talks and clashes whether quakes can be accurately predicted, experts decided to keep a low profile.

    Speaking on the matter, Deputy Government spokesperson Evangelos Antonaros repeated the Environment Ministry never received a letter from professor Vasilis Papazachos.

    At the same time, he asked everyone to be very responsible when approaching the issue of earthquakes, because citizens panic for no reason.

    "Scientific research is the work of experts. However, nowhere in the world has there been a quake prediction. Greece is a country with high seismic activity and the State's obligation is to safeguard citizens by taking all necessary measures so there can be no losses. And we fully live up to that obligation," noted Mr Antonaros.

    PASOK Environment head Kostas Spiliopoulos said the quake on Kythira brought back the major issue of the country's quake protection.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] To Boost German-US Ties German Chancellor Visits Washington

    11 Jan 2006 10:50:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is paying her first official visit tomorrow to the US capital city of Washington aiming to bridge the Berlin-Washington gap and put aside the "battles of the past" between Germany and the USA. Following her December meeting with the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held in Berlin, Merkel will have the opportunity to give a new boost to the German-US ties, which they had been plunged into crisis due to her predecessors opposition to the war in Iraq. The German Chancellor will hold talks with US President George W. Bush at the White House, and the two leaders are expected to give a joint Press Conference on Friday. The German Press expresses the hope that Angela Merkels visit to Washington will revive the relations between the two countries. The Americans, on the their part, think very high of Merkel, after her successful arbitration during the EU Summit in Brussels, and wish for Berlin to turn into a US ally along with London.

    "Serious Differences" at Political Level

    "Our ties have grown closer," underlined US Deputy Secretary of State Nicolas Burns in his interview with the Berlin paper. "Our discrepancies were much graver in 2002 and 2003. I know that for sure, for I was a US ambassador to NATO at that time," Burns argued.

    Karsten Voigt, the German Foreign Ministrys co-ordinator for German-American cooperation, estimated that Washington has a positive attitude. He then went on to remind that Americas reputation among the German public is waning, while "social differences" still remain at a political level.

    Merkel herself had also unleashed harsh criticism against the US policy on the Guantanamo base.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] No Reports of Victims or Damages Tremor in Indonesia

    11 Jan 2006 07:55:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    A tremor measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale rattled in the early hours of Wednesday Indonesia off the island of Nias, while no injuries or serious damages have been reported so far. The earthquake occurred at 07:46am local time (02:46 Greek local time) and its epicentre was located 18km beneath the ocean floor, and around 100km southeast of Nias capital Gunungsitoli, said a meteorological official. Nias, as well as several neighbouring islands have been stricken by hundreds of earthquakes and aftershocks since the March 2005 8.7 strong earthquake that had claimed the lives of more than 600 people and had injured thousands. It is noted that a massive tsunami-producing earthquake measuring 9 on the Richter scale off the coast of Sumatra on December 2004 killed or left missing at least 260,000 people.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] Australian Tourists Were Killed Multi-Fatality Car Accident in Cairo

    11 Jan 2006 10:17:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Six Australians were killed and some 25 were injured when tourist bus overturned outside the Egyptian capital city of Cairo. As per the Egyptian police, the bus was carrying about 35 people, including Australian police officers and their families. Fatalities included five men and one woman. The injured were transferred to Al-Haram hospital. The bus overturned on Tuesday night when coming back from Alexandria. The Australian embassy has not issued an official announcement so far.

    [10] Over National Collective Work Contract Fruitless GSEE-FGI Meeting

    10 Jan 2006 19:37:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The second meeting between GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) and FGI (Federation of Greek Industries) ended without reaching a solution over the National Collective Work Contract. Both sides agreed to continue negotiations until finding the golden medium. The third round of talks was set for late January. GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos spoke of a non-collision choice. On the other hand, FGI President Odysseas Kyriakopoulos said, "Industrialists do not question the institution of the National Collective Work Contract and the minimum wage does not affect big and lucrative businesses but small and medium sized businesses and hence the level of employment."

    Statements

    The FGI President clarified that during negotiations he suggested to leave out of the next collective contract the prefectures of Drama, Imathia, Kastoria and Florina, which high unemployment rates.

    The GSEE president spoke of a difficult year with changes in working and labour rights." Unions do not forget the consequences of these changes," he concluded.

    On the other hand, ESEE (National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce) president D. Armenakis said, "its organisation is defined by faithfulness to the value of the contract and social dialogue," but called employees to "realise the difficulties for small and medium sized businesses."

    Lastly, GSEVEE (Greek Confederation of Small and Medium Sized Businesses) President Dimitris Asimakopoulos underlined negotiations are tough and mainly concern newly-hired personnel, ie 15% of the workforce.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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