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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-17

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Opposition's Comments on the Review
  • [02] Special Coverage by NET 105.8
  • [03] Exploring New Horizons
  • [04] Disputes over Iran
  • [05] More Spoilt Food Confiscated
  • [06] Investigations into Extrajudicial Clique
  • [07] Ban on Batasuna Continues
  • [08] Akratitos in the Cup Quarterfinals
  • [09] Foerster Saves Larissa
  • [10] Shielding against Avian Flu
  • [11] A Glimpse Is Just Enough
  • [12] Baby Learning Chair Recalled
  • [13] ERT Honours its Associates

  • [01] Opposition's Comments on the Review

    17 Jan 2006 16:56:00 (Last updated: 17 Jan 2006 19:30:42)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Speaking at a meeting of the Parliamentary Groups Steering Committee, PASOK President George Papandreou voiced the belief that the Government is facing the Constitutional Review with improvisation and puzzlement. At the same time, he repeated that the Government is attempting to evade the problems faced by the country by holding a discussion for the Review, adding that he will not let the dialogue slip into a rehash of the past, as the problems are imminent and daily. However, Mr Papandreou urged all the members of the party not to engage in discussions and await the partys official stance, which, as he mentioned, will be ready by the first Political Council meeting, scheduled to take place after the International Socialist conference on 30-31 January. The statements by PASOK spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis this afternoon were along the same lines. Mr Athanasakis spoke of a poor, conservative, timid and old-fashioned proposal, while he added, "Mr Karamanlis fireworks and efforts for diversion will not disorientate anyone from the real problems of the country."

    Harsh Reaction from the Left-Wing

    In its announcement, KKE urged the citizens to reject the proposed Review, as it follows a reactionary direction, and condemn PASOKs consent.

    It also mentioned that the Constitution needs a radical Review, but towards the opposite direction that the one sought after by New Democracy and PASOK.

    SYNs President Alekos Alavanos spoke of a coup at the expense of labour and social rights, public education and the environment, while he stressed that the Left-wing will oppose the Governments reformist plans.

    ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) also reacted to the Review, warning that it will oppose the Governments will and stance over lifting the permanent status of civil servants in the upcoming Constitutional Review.

    In the meantime, the GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) Steering Committee decided to take initiatives in collaboration with constitutionalists and scientific bodies, and submit a proposal that would expand and secure the democratic liberties, and the social and political rights, and would not undermine the labour rights.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Review in Parliament

    [02] Special Coverage by NET 105.8

    17 Jan 2006 10:28:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Yesterday, radio station NET 105.8 dedicated all of its programmes to the Review of the Constitution, where views of politicians, attorneys, journalists, representatives of social bodies, as well as the listeners, were heard over the issues that have to be included in the forthcoming review.

    Honorary ND President Konstantinos Mitsotakis repeated his proposals over the direct election of the President of the Republic by the citizens and supported the Presidents strengthening of powers, even though, as he stated "conditions are not appropriate at this time."

    Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis underlined that the Review of the Constitution should be adjusted to the economic needs of the country.

    Mayor of Athens Dora Bakoyianni noted that the review is imperative, as is a substantial dialogue between the parties.

    PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos spoke of "a reduction of the Constitution and weakness of the political system" attributing dysfunction to the review system.

    KKE MP Liana Kanelli supported freedom of political expression.

    SYN Parliamentary spokesperson supported a bold review of the Constitution.

    NET 105.8 conducted an opinion poll through ERTs website, which was particularly interesting.

    75% stated that the new Constitution should foresee the separation of State from Church and 25% to remain as is.

    On the election of the President of the Republic, 25% estimated that it should be disconnected by the event of early elections, 16% remain as is and 57% supported the election of the President of the Republic by the citizens.

    On MPs lift of immunity, 56% should be abolished, 36% should be enforced only for crimes relating to political activity and 6% to remain as is.

    [03] NASA's Robotic Craft Heads for Pluto Exploring New Horizons

    17 Jan 2006 20:21:00 (Last updated: 17 Jan 2006 23:13:31)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    NASAs robotic spacecraft New Horizons is set to begin its journey from Cape Canaveral to the furthest and only unexplored planet of our solar system, Pluto. Initially, the launch had been scheduled for Tuesday 18:24 (GMT), but it was postponed due to the strong winds in Cape Canaveral. As announced by NASA, the launch efforts will resume on Wednesday, from 18:16 to 20:16 (GMT). New Horizons will be launched onboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket and is expected to reach Pluto by 2015, so that it can photograph and study the planet, its moon, Charon, and another two moons discovered last year. The launch window for New Horizons will close on 14 February. In case the launch is postponed, the spacecraft will not be able to pass by Jupiter in order to gain acceleration, so the trip will last four years longer.

    Window in Time

    New Horizons, the fastest craft ever to depart from Earth, is 2.1m long and weighs 478kg, while it cost $700 million. The secret of its power is a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, which contains 33kg plutonium, a necessary quantity for such a long trip.

    As planned, the trip to the Moon will last approximately nine hours, while it will take some 13 months for the craft to reach Jupiter, where it will use the planets gravitational field to gain acceleration in order to reach Pluto, which is three billion kilometres away from Earth.

    Pluto is a small icy body and the ninth planet of our solar system. It is located in Kuiper Belt Zone, which is full of comets and large pieces of ice and rocks, left behind from the formation of the planets, some 4.6 billion year ago. The study of its composition could reveal significant clues concerning the formation of the Sun, the planets and life on Earth.

    After passing by Pluto and its moons, New Horizons will head towards two bodies in the Kuiper Belt Zone, both with a diameter of over 50 kilometres, while it will send back images from the borders of our solar system.

    In addition, the scientists are interested in establishing whether the bodies in the Zone are similar in composition to asteroids. If their surface differs, this would be an indication that some of the bodies were formed outside our solar system and were later trapped by the Suns gravity.

    The faraway planet was discovered in 1930 by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh and it has a diameter of 2,280kms. It has a rotation period of 6.4 days, but opposite to the rotation of the other planets (apart from Venus). In addition, just like Uranus, it rotates with its poles almost in its orbital plane. It completes a full orbit around the Sun every 248 years, while the surface temperature is about -220 degrees Celsius.

    For decades, astronomers believed that Pluto was an exception to the solar system and were feuding as to whether it should be included in the planets, as its characteristics resembled those of asteroids.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Forbes: NASA Set to Launch Probe to Pluto

    Der Spiegel: Pluto-Sonde mit Plutonium an Bord

    Related Links:

    New Horizons

    [04] Referral to Security Council at the Focus Disputes over Iran

    17 Jan 2006 19:07:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Irans nuclear programme continues to trigger heated discussions, as well as disputes, after the country reopened three nuclear facilities last week. The European Troika (Britain, France and Germany) and the USA insist on referring Tehran to the UNs Security Council, while the three EU countries are also asking for the emergency convocation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) council on 2 and 3 February. On the other hand, Russia and China, who have the right to exercise a veto to the UN, are in favour of reaching a solution through diplomatic means, supporting Irans request for immediate recommencement of the relevant negotiations. At the same time, through its reprehensive at the IAEA, Tehran threatened to break off collaboration with the Agency if it is referred to the Security Council.

    Differing Views over Sanctions

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appeared in favour of resuming negotiations. "Sanctions are not the best or the only way to solve the problems," said Lavrov, while he used Saddam Hussein as an example, reminding that the sanctions against Iraq in the 90s did not alter his stance towards the international community.

    Beijing is also in favour of a diplomatic solution. "The Chinese government believes that peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations is a good option under current circumstances and is in the interests of all parties," noted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan, urging Tehran to restart diplomatic negotiations. As per Iranian sources in IAEAs headquarters in Vienna, Tehran sent a letter to the three EU countries asking for the immediate resumption of negotiations with the aim of dispelling any doubts about its peaceful nuclear programme. It also announced that the reopening of its nuclear facilities aimed at conducting research into the peaceful production of electric energy and not uranium enrichment or the construction of nuclear weapons, a possibility that concerns the West.

    However, a British official rejected Tehrans request towards the three EU countries to recommence negotiations as pointless, adding that they cancelled a meeting with Iranian officials scheduled for Wednesday.

    On his part, acting Israeli PM Ehud Olmert noted that the international community could prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. "We cant ever let someone with irrational intentions to possess a nuclear weapon," he said at a news conference.

    In the meantime, France announced that Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy will visit Moscow on Wednesday to hold discussions on the matter. Irans nuclear programme will top the agenda this week, while and Russia has had a very active role in the talks and its position is very important, said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, referring to Russias proposal to enrich Iranian plutonium in their country.

    CNN Broadcasts in Iran Once Again

    By order of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, today, the Iranian authorities lifted the ban on CNN broadcasts, after the US network apologised for mistranslating a statement by Ahmadinejad.

    On Monday, Tehran had banned CNN journalists from working in the country, after the broadcaster misquoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. CNNs simultaneous translation of Ahmadinejads lengthy news conference on Saturday included the phrase "the use of nuclear weapons is Irans right." In fact, what the Iranian president said was that "Iran has the right to nuclear energy." CNN later clarified in an apology on Sunday night.

    It should be noted that the American network does not have a permanent office in Iran, but a local journalist is a contributor to the network, while visiting correspondents are occasionally given permission to enter the country on short assignments. The ban came as CNNs Iranian-born chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, was in Iran to report on the nuclear issue.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: Iran crisis: World powers at odds

    Al Jazeera: Iran urges new nuclear talks

    Le Monde: Nucleaire iranien : la Russie et la Chine se posent en moderatrices

    ZDF: Sicherheitsrat oder nicht?

    Related News:

    New Discussions on Tehran

    [05] Tonnes of Spoilt Meat in Athens and Piraeus More Spoilt Food Confiscated

    17 Jan 2006 21:12:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA - NET

    Incidents of dishonesty by food merchants, who up until recently were trusted by consumers, are on the daily agenda. The gruesome butcher stall in Varvakios Market was opened today by order of the Prosecutor since the owner has disappeared, the rotten meat was removed and destroyed in a special kiln, and the shop was sealed by the municipal police. However, the Prefectures inspections brought to light a new incident today in another stall, a few metres away from the first one. Half a tonne of meat unfit for consumption was confiscated, while the owner, Spyridoula Panagiotopoulou, kept insisting that the meat was to be used as dog food.

    Another owner of a butcher stall in Piraeus Central Market (crn of Gounari and Lykourgou Sts) abandoned his business about two weeks ago, as the stall was changing hands, and as a result the foodstuffs were spoilt. Veterinarians from the Prefecture of Piraeus confiscated 470kg of pork and 46kg of feta cheese that were unfit for consumption. The stall was sealed, while the case will be referred to the Prosecutor.

    Other inspections in Piraeus brought to light serious violations of the Market Code in three supermarkets. In all three cases, the shelf prices were different to the prices at the checkout counter. Although the differences were minimal they were all at the expense of the consumer. The three supermarkets were AB Vasilopoulos (one product), Veropoulos Bros (two products) and Carrefour-Marinopoulos (five products). These constitute both penal and administrative violations.

    The market inspections will continue both by the Ministry of Development and the prefectures.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Varvakios Store Shut Down

    Super Market Shut Down in Piraeus

    [06] Investigations into Extrajudicial Clique

    17 Jan 2006 18:47:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET

    Within the next few days, Deputy Supreme Court Prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas, who is conducting the investigation into the extrajudicial network, is expected to call lawyer Christina Valinaki to testify. In the meantime, according to information, the lawyers who handled the lawsuit between businesswoman Maria Kestegoglou and Anastasios Bizanis have already been subpoenaed. Meanwhile, First Instance Prosecutor Panagiotis Poulios ordered SDOE (Body for the Prosecution of Economic Crime) to commence a preliminary investigation into Giorgos Alifantis law firm, after receiving a report from the Body. It should be noted that the name of Mrs Valinaki, wife of the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister, was implicated in the case by Iakovos Giosakis, who was remanded in custody after his testimony on Monday, this time for his involvement in the extrajudicial clique.

    An older lawsuit of the well-known lawyer against convicted cocaine dealer Dimitris Kondylios was also attached to Alfantakis file.

    The object of the investigation is to establish whether there are grounds to support SDOEs accusations and whether Alfantakis firm is connected to punishable actions, and specifically money laundering.

    According to articles that appeared in the Press, Alfantakis allegedly assisted Dimitris Kondylis is legalising profits from illegal activities through an off-shore company.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] By Decision of Spain's High Court Ban on Batasuna Continues

    17 Jan 2006 19:45:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Spains High Court decided to suspend the political activities of the Basque party linked to ETA for a further two years. The ruling also banned a big rally planned for Saturday 21 January in Barakaldo, in the Basque territory. In addition, it ordered that all of Batasunas local offices were to remain closed, while its website had to suspend operations. The High Court judges ratified the Prosecutors petition, asking for the national assembly to be stopped and the existing ban to be extended. It should be noted that the suspension of all political activities has been in force since 2002, by decision of Judge Baltazar Garzon, due to Batasunas ties to ETA, while party leader Arnaldo Otegi has served jail sentences for ETA-related activities.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    El Pais: La Audiencia Nacional suspende las actividades de Batasuna y prohibe su congreso

    United Press International: Batasuna barred from politics 2 more yrs

    [08] Akratitos in the Cup Quarterfinals

    17 Jan 2006 22:18:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    In the rematch for matchday 5 of the Greek Football Cup, Akratitos qualified to the quarterfinals, defeating Egaleo by 5-4 in the penalties. This completed the preliminary round for the Greek Cup, while Akratitos will now play against Larissa for a place in the semis. The match in Stavros Mavrothalassitis stadium ended with a score of 1-1. The goal for Egaleo was scored in the 20 by Manousakis, while Omos own goal during added time tied the game.


    EGALEO: Tsatsos, Cesarec, Skopelitis, Chloros AKRATITOS: Badas, Marinescu, De Francesco, Sales, Dieng

    Referee: Germanakos (Athens) Yellow Cards: Manousakis, Chloros, Omo Pagonis, Sales, Pipinis, Dieng

    Red Cards: 89 Papoutsis

    EGALEO: Gennamo, Psomas, Papoutsis, Zapropoulos, Popov, Omo, Tsatsos, Skopelitis, Manousakis (69 Chonos), Nikolopoulos (60 Agritis, 82 Cesarec), Chloros

    AKRATITOS: Kostakis, Obradovic (32 Apostolakis), Pipinis, Badas, Gustavo, Dieng, Pagonis (52 De Francesco), Marinescu, Skoufalis, Macquet (73 Londo),

    Quarterfinals (First matches 24-26 January, Rematches 7-9 February 2006)

    9. Niki Volos-มลส

    10. Olympiacos-Xanthi

    11. Ethnikos Asteras-Agrotikos Asteras

    12. Larissa-Akratitos

    Semifinals (First matches 21-22 March, Rematches 11-12 April 2006

    Winner 9-Winner 11

    Winner 10-Winner 12

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Foerster Saves Larissa

    16 Jan 2006 23:30:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Sources: ANA

    With an excellent goal by Marco Foerster in the 80, Larissa managed to defeat Panionios in the match for round 16 of the Greek Division 1 football championship. After this victory, the home team climbed to 9th place in the rankings with 20 points, while on the other hand, Panionios remained at 12 points and in danger of being relegated.

    Referee: Kakos (Corfu)

    Yellow Cards: Foerster Breska, Kampantais

    Red Card: Kampantais (90, yellow-red)

    LARISSA: Kotsolis, Galitsios (46 Brachamis), Dabizas, Foerster, Katsiaros, Digozis, Vela Junior (61 Spasic), Sherban, Aloneftis, Kalantzis (82 Gikas), Kyparissis

    PANIONIOS: Vaniak, Exouzidis, Giannopoulos, Gaspar, Makos, Zografakis, Fernandes (66 Magdy), Langer, Koutsopoulos (88 Kampantais), Goundoulakis (77 Maniatis), Breska.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Conference on H5N1 Shielding against Avian Flu

    17 Jan 2006 15:45:00 (Last updated: 17 Jan 2006 19:30:20)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    An international conference is taking place in China, where experts from all over the world are considering measures to deal with avian flu. As many as 90 countries and 25 international organisations are attending the conference. Their keynote objective is to raise 1.5 billion dollars, which is believed to be the cost of a three-year action plan to avert the spreading of the virus. European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection Markos Kyprianou announced that the EU is to donate 120 million dollars, an amount that is 20 million dollars more than the amount of money announced last week in Brussels and that equals that pledged by the USA. A Greek delegation is also attending the conference. In the meantime, Swiss drug maker Roche announced to pledge 20 million doses of anti-viral Tamiflu believed to fight the avian flu virus.

    Death in Indonesia, New Case in Turkey

    In Indonesia, a three-year-old boy died possibly after being infected with avian flu. He is the brother of the 13-year-old girl that died of avian flu at the weekend.

    The doctors were suspicious of the little boy being affected with the deadly H5N1 strain, however, the initial tests have not confirmed the causes of his death.

    The eldest sister of the two victims, who has developed similar symptoms, remains hospitalised.

    News from Turkey is also gloomy, since the health of a five-year-old boy, who has been treated since last week in a hospital in the town of Van, eastern Turkey, has deteriorated.

    His 16-year-pld sister, also suffering with avian flu, died on Sunday at the same hospital.

    Furthermore, Turkeys health authorities announced that a child hurried to a hospital in the city of Erzerum, eastern Turkey, was tested positive to avian flu, thus shooting the total number of the avian flu cases up to 21.

    The child comes from Dogubeyazit, like the four children that have already died of H5N1 virus, clarified the countrys Ministry of Health.

    Erdogan: "We Successfully Dealt With the Crisis"

    However, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that his country was ready to deal with avian flu, and that so far it has successfully combated the virus.

    "Turkey has successfully dealt with the disease and there is no reason for our citizens to panic," reassured Erdogan, clarifying that Turkey has been on alert since early 2004.

    After making an in-depth reference to the measures taken so far, Erdogan described his governments response as "immediate" and highlighted the transparency of his tactics against the crisis.

    Meeting for the Flu

    In Greece, 13 of the countrys regional heads met with Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos to discuss the details of the emergency plan

    "The country is thoroughly equipped and shielded. All the measures provided for by the EUs emergency plan have been implemented and we are closely collaborating with the relevant self-governments responsible for the countrys veterinary services," stressed the Rural Development Minister.

    At the same time, Mr Basiakos asked the regional heads to issue recommendations so that all domestic and free-range poultry be confined in hen-houses, especially those close to the borders and wetlands.

    In addition, special seminars for producers, hunters and other local bodies will be organised soon and will focus on the risks associated with the disease, the measures that should be taken and any possible sanctions.

    In the meantime, as announced by the Prefect of Triakala, Ilias Vlachogiannis, the results of the lab tests on the chickens found dead in the village Pigi last Friday and feared to have been infected by avian flu were negative.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    International Conference in Beijing

    [11] For World Wide Web, Too A Glimpse Is Just Enough

    17 Jan 2006 15:14:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    First impressions do not only count for human relations. They help us make up our minds about the quality of a website, as well. To the surprise of the Canadian researchers who conducted the study, Internet users decide on the quality of a website in just 50 milliseconds. This is how the blink of an eye lasts. The study in question, published in the journal Behaviour and Information Technology, suggested the users first impressions do not only count for, but, most of the times, they have a pretty lasting impact.

    First Impressions Count

    The volunteers were called on to rate several websites based upon aesthetic criteria. The results yielded stunned even the researchers themselves.

    "My colleagues believed it would be impossible to really see anything in less than 500 milliseconds," said head researcher Gitte Lindgaard of Carleton University in Ottawa.

    This means that a judgement on a website is formed as quickly as the eye can take in the information.

    We Like to be Right

    But where do researchers put down the power of first impressions when it comes to the Internet?

    Why is that when people think highly of a website in terms of their aesthetic appeal, this positive opinion spreads to its content, too?

    Psychologists have the answer.

    The fact that people like to be right means that they will continue using the website that struck them well, for this proves that their initial decision was correct.

    Companies specializing in creating websites had better draw their attention to the aforementioned finding, suggested the researchers, should they want their website be profitable.

    Internet users are unbiased judges and can give up on you in record time, without even bothering to look for your assets over your competitors.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related Links:

    Carleton University

    [12] Manufactured by Fisher-Price Baby Learning Chair Recalled

    17 Jan 2006 17:01:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Multinational company Mattel is proceeding with reinstating the problem that arose with Fisher-Prices toy Musical Learning Chair (code no. H-7170), due to three cases of child injury reported in the USA. The Musical Learning Chair for ages 6-36 months has a problem with the opening, as childrens necks could get trapped in it. The toy consists of a plastic chair and a rotating table that plays music, while the hazardous opening is located between the two parts. Consumers who have already purchased the product should contact Mattel and ask the company to send them free of charge a package containing a special plastic cover that can be placed in the opening.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] Dinner Party for TV Personalities ERT Honours its Associates

    17 Jan 2006 16:05:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET

    ERT honoured the TV personalities who excelled in the past year. On Monday night, NET and ET1s families attended a dinner party in Thiseio. All of the channels associates gathered once again, pledging to do their best in the coming year. The guests included the members of the News Dept and Sports Dept, the crew of the solidarity telethon for the victims of the tsunami, as well as the crew of the TV show "Niobes Children", which won six awards for the Greek public TV. ERTs Director Christos Panagopoulos reviewed the year that passed and referred to the new era of Greek television, which commenced on Monday with the introduction of the new digital technology.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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