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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-02-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Final Countdown
  • [02] Oil Prices & Euro Soar
  • [03] New EL.AS Leadership
  • [04] Urban Planning Okayed
  • [05] Critical Derby for Obama-Clinton
  • [06] Doctors of the World by the Children's Side
  • [07] Greek Economy Enjoys Strong Growth
  • [08] Municipal Workers on Strike on Thursday
  • [09] Ieronymos' Contacts
  • [10] Wrangling over Kosovo
  • [11] New Round of Talks on Friday
  • [12] Papoulias-Papariga Meeting
  • [13] Bulgaria Adjusts to EU Standards
  • [14] 197 Nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize

  • [01] For Greek Entry to Eurovision

    Final Countdown

    27 Feb 2008 15:42:00 (Last updated: 27 Feb 2008 18:22:09)

    The national final for the selection of the song to represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Belgrade in May will be taking place tonight. At the Athinon Arena, the venue to host the Greek national final, both the organizers and the three hopefuls are prepping themselves for a glamorous show, full of surprises. The show will be broadcast live on NET television at 2200 hours and on ERTs official website, eurovision.ert.gr.

    Dancing, Singing and Surprises

    Lots of dancing, singing, surprises and a musical-like atmosphere will make up the glamorous show at the Athinon Arena venue, during which the song to represent Greece to the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will be selected.

    The three hopefuls, Chryspa, Kostas Martakis and Kalomoira, will perform their songs, "A Chance to Love," Always & Forever" and "Secret Combination" respectively. Greeces last years entrant Sarbel is invited to take part in the big night as a guest singer.

    Jury and televoters will decide who will represent Greece at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. The seven-member jury consists of composer Mimis Plessas, ERA director and lyric writer Antonis Andrikakis, Television General Director Dimitris Gontikas, composer and singer Christos Dantis, Giorgos Kyvelos, ERTs PR Director Evangelia Piskera and TV hostess Renia Tsitsibikou.

    Other 2008 Eurovision Song Contest entrants have been invited to perform their songs for Belgrade as well. In particular, representing Cyprus, Evdokia Kadi Elnur will perform her song "Femme Fatala," Samir from Azerbaijan will sing "Day after Day," Slovenian Rebeka Dremelj will sing "Vrag Naj Vjame," as well as the Romanian entrant.

    The show will be broadcast live by NET television at 2100 CET, on ERTs official website, as well as on Eurovision.tv.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] To New Record High

    Oil Prices & Euro Soar

    27 Feb 2008 14:46:00 (Last updated: 27 Feb 2008 16:44:17)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA/MPA

    Oil prices soared Wednesday to new record highs, as the evidence that suggested that the American economy could be sliding into recession sent dollar down. The US crude oil price reached $102.08 per barrel, posting a new record high. In the meantime, the dollar has been losing ground against the euro currency, as the latter breached the threshold of $1.5. Petrol stations in Greece wasted no time in aligning with the worldwide oil price hikes, thus creating problems to consumers, who keep complaining about the immediate adjustment of oil prices in Greeces petrol stations and their excessively low response to the recession of global oil prices.

    Blame Put on Dollar's Sharp Drop

    Even climbing above $102 per barrel to $102.08, the US crude oil price recorded new record high, standing at about $101. The skyrocketing prices were blamed on the dollars sharp drop against the euro currency. The European single currency managed to breach the threshold of $1.5 after the negative forecast on US economy.

    At the same time, the bad weather conditions reported in the USA and the EU also keep world oil prices up, as the demand for heating oil has been increased. OPEC, on the other hand, claimed it intends to leave output levels unchanged. The OPEC head said Tuesday and the member states will agree against an output rise amid fears for a low demand.

    Investors eyes are now fixed on the weekly figures on US fuel stock to be released on Tuesday. Analysts who took part in a survey conducted by REUTERS, claimed tha the US crude stock rose by 2.5 million barrels last week, posting a seventh consecutive rise.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Oil Price Hit Fresh Record High

    [03] KYSEA Convened in the Morning

    New EL.AS Leadership

    27 Feb 2008 11:48:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) convened in the morning under the Prime Minister, Costas Karamanlis, at 10:00 at Maximos Mansion in order to decide on the new leadership of Greek Police (El.AS). The name of the new leader will be announced officially after the completion of the meeting which is now in progress and it is examining the National Zoning Framework

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [04] For the First Time in Greece

    Urban Planning Okayed

    27 Feb 2008 13:19:00 (Last updated: 27 Feb 2008 18:24:24)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Greece is to get its first ever urban planning, after the inner Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis gave thumbs up. Exiting the meeting, Public Works Minister George Souflias hailed it as a major structural reform aiming at the nations development, further stressing it would be submitted to Parliament in due time. Everyone will be aware of what is allowed and what is not in every region, commented Souflias, while outlining the key pillars of the new urban planning scheme.

    The national urban planning scheme lays out the key pillars for development in Greece in the following 15 years. Special urban planning schemes will be compiled for certain regions.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Before the Critical Race in Ohio and Texas

    Critical Derby for Obama-Clinton

    27 Feb 2008 10:45:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: Reuters

    Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton clashed sharply in a high-stakes one-on-one debate on Tuesday accusing each other of falsely portraying their stances on health care, trade and other issues. Clinton went on the attack early in the debate at Cleveland State University in Ohio. The debate which was more intense than the one that took place in Texas focused on personal issues.

    We should have a good debate that uses accurate information, not false, misleading and discredited information, especially on something as important as whether or not we will achieve quality, affordable health care for everyone," the NewYork senator said.

    Obama, an Illinois senator, said Clinton has frequently misrepresented his health care plan, which does not include mandates and which some critics suggest could leave 15 million Americans uninsured.

    Senator Clinton has ... constantly sent out negative attacks on us, e-mail, robo-calls, flyers, television ads, radio calls, and we havent whined about it because I understand thats the nature of these campaigns," he said.

    Clinton attacked Obama for claiming she supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, which she said she believes should be renegotiated. She was first lady when her husband, President Bill Clinton, approved the deal.

    "You know, I have been a critic of NAFTA from the very beginning. I didnt have a public position on it because I was part of the administration. But when I started running for the Senate, I have been a critic," Clinton said.

    Clinton also said Obama, an early opponent of the war, had the advantage of not being in the Senate in 2002 when she voted to authorize the war. "He didnt have responsibility, he didnt have to vote,"she said. Clinton also claims that she better briefed than Obama in issues of international politics

    [06] Doctors of the World by the Children's Side

    27 Feb 2008 16:44:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    The Mobile Dental Unit for Children of the Doctors of the World LITO has been visiting parts of Greece since 2003, giving priority to remote areas and the province. Within this framework LITO will visit children at Fthiotida prefecture (27-29/02) and remote Patmos (02-06/03) to offer its medical support. The Unit aims at briefing children on oral hygiene and dental treatment and proceed with vaccinations.

    The Unit will visit Elateia on 27 February, Tithorea and Fthiotida on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 February and Patmos from Sunday 2 to Thursday 6 March. The Unit will offer its services at the areas Health Centre, as well at the Highschool and Lyceum of Patmiada, the primary school and kindergarten school of Kampos, the Primary School and kindergarten school of Skala, as well as the primary school and kindergarten school of Chora.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [07] Alogoskoufis' Speech

    Greek Economy Enjoys Strong Growth

    27 Feb 2008 16:09:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: NET, ANA

    The Greek economy enjoys a strong growth potential, thanks to the measures and reforms promoted by the Greek Government, commented Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis in a Press conference staged by the Foreign Press Association on Wednesday. A rapid cut of the fiscal deficit, the improvement of the Greek economic competitiveness coupled with a further reduction of unemployment are the immediate goals of the Greek economy, whose 2008 growth rate is projected to stand at 4%. Touching on the developments in the Balkans, Alogoskoufis argued, "Greeces choice is to contribute to the regions growth. Bearing the development of SE Europe in mind, Greece encourages the efforts made by the regions nations to enter the European community."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Municipal Workers on Strike on Thursday

    27 Feb 2008 15:59:00

    The municipal employees throughout Greece will go out on a strike on Thursday, reacting to the planned, as they have claimed, unification of their pension funds in the framework of the social security reform. Apologizing for the inconvenience, the City of Athens urged the Athenians not to leave their refuse to the bins.

    [09] With the State and Political Leadership

    Ieronymos' Contacts

    27 Feb 2008 15:49:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ANA-MPA-ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Ieronymos held talks with the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, and the Parliament Speaker. Exiting the Presidential Mansion, Ieronymos said his talks came a day prior to the session of the Holy Synod, further adding that they touched on matters pertaining to the Churchs charitable, social and legislative work. Asked whether the FYROM name dispute was brought up, Ieronymos gave a negative answer. Asked whether the Church should have a say in Greeces national affairs, he said that the Church is interested in the developments, as it is closely related to the people and its dreams.

    Speaking on behalf of his Parliament colleagues, Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas pledged dialogue and cooperation.

    Educations Minister Evrypidis Stylianidis described Ieronymos meeting with the Prime Minister as customary, yet essential. Stylianidis said that a new era of cooperation between the State and the Church is about to commence.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] Between Russia and the USA

    Wrangling over Kosovo

    27 Feb 2008 15:27:00

    Sources: REUTERS

    The United States is inciting instability in Europe by backing Kosovos independence, Russias likely next president, Dmitry Medvedev, said on Wednesday. "You have these decisions which ... if we are frank about it, are being incited from across the ocean," Medvedev, a first deputy prime minister and presidential candidate, said on a visit to the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod. "They are putting Europe in a very difficult position ... We understand that America is risking nothing, it is far away," he said. "The saddest thing ... is that the stability and security of the whole region are being put under threat. All you have to do is put a match to it and the whole thing will catch fire."

    [11] FYROM Remain Intransigent

    New Round of Talks on Friday

    27 Feb 2008 14:58:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8

    All eyes are fixed on the new round of talks between Athens and Skopje set to commence on Friday in New York. Calm and responsible, Athens keeps a low profile. As per UN sources, Matthew Nimetz is expected to submit a new proposal after discussing the objections and counter-proposals of the two sides. Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos reiterated the firm Greek stance with regard to the positive consequences that a successful outcome could bring about.

    Koumoutsakos then went on to say that the NATO Secretary General is due in Athens on Monday to hold talks with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on the NATO enlargement, the Kosovo issue, as well as the NATO-EU ties.

    Lefteris Zagoritis, secretary of the ruling party of ND, requested all politicians take a responsible stand on the FYROM name dispute.

    The Church of Greece is gravely concerned over the issue and it will be wise and serious in its actions, commented Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Ieronymos. George Katatzaferis, head of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), called for an off-the-agenda debate in Parliament.

    The FYROM President appeared transigent in his meetig with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, claiming that there are some red lines that cannot be surmounted.

    [12] Focusing on the Developments in the Balkans

    Papoulias-Papariga Meeting

    27 Feb 2008 13:38:00

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: ANA-MPA-ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Welcomed by the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, Secretary General of the Greek Communist Party Aleka Papariga voiced her partys concern over the unilateral declaration of Kosovos independence. Exiting the meeting, Papariga said that the Kosovo issue is of paramount importance to the region and that it will even influence the FYROM name dispute. Papariga dismissed the positions by several nations, whereby Kosovos independence is something extraordinary, noting that everyone should be alarmed by such positions. Touching on the creation of a US base in Kosovo, she claimed that US bases in the Balkans are being multiplied, further adding that even if the region remains calm at the moment, the future has many problems in store for it. The head of the Greek Communists also blasted the Government for its stance on the Kosovo issue, arguing it could have vetoed the US expansion in the region.

    Asked on the likelihood of a political leaders council on the FYROM name row, Papariga said that KKE does not oppose such a council, however, it believes that nothing will come out of it, as the decisions are made in Brussels, Berlin and elsewhere.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [13] Bulgaria Adjusts to EU Standards

    27 Feb 2008 12:39:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Bulgarias drive to adjust to the EU standards has started bearing fruit, as it ranks second among the 27-nation bloc. Its national legislation has been aligned with the EU standards to a large degree.

    Legal services in Bulgaria are getting better and better, offering a true dynamic to business investments, said the nations European Affairs Minster while addressing a business forum held in Sofia to mark the first anniversary of Bulgarias accession into the EU. This year will witness an even extended alignment of Bulgarian legislation with the EU standards. With regard to unemployment, the Minister said that Bulgaria has touched the EU average, however, things are still difficult as the country lacks trained workforce. In the meantime, Bulgaria is vying to intensify the utilisation of EU funds and speed up reforms in the sectors of health and education.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [14] 197 Nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize

    27 Feb 2008 12:12:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The 2008 Nobel Peace Prize nominations have reached 197, the second largest group of nominees in the awards history, said the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo. In 2005, the individuals and groups that had earned a nomination stood at 199. The shortlist includes 33 groups and 164 individuals, claimed the director of the Institute, Geir Lundestad. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was proposed by Algerian statesmen, and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, whose candidacy enjoys the backing of former Nobel Peace Prize laureate, ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, are among the nominees. Furthermore, two Swiss lawmakers have suggested Esperanto, the international language devised in late 19th century, claiming it is a vehicle of peace and brotherhood. Thousands of people, namely lawmakers and ministers, former Noble laureates, certain international bodies and university professors, can propose candidates.

    Lundestad said that the winner or the winners (up to three people can be awarded) will be released in early October in a ceremony scheduled to take place in Oslo on 10 December. The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was given to former US Vice President Al Gore and a United Nations panel on the environment.

    Translated by Areti Christou


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