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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-04-02

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Decision Time
  • [02] New Industrial Actions in OTE
  • [03] Anti-Racist Rallies
  • [04] Arrested after Chase
  • [05] Multi-fatality Attacks in Iraq
  • [06] Last Farewell to Jules Dassin
  • [07] Cyprus: Ledra Street Barricade Opens
  • [08] 6.1 Magnitude Quake Hits Sumatra
  • [09] Normal Traffic at Toll Station
  • [10] Berlusconi-Veltroni Debate
  • [11] Inquiry on Theoklitos
  • [12] 17yo Schoolboy Breathed His Last

  • [01] On the Alliance's Enlargement

    Decision Time

    02 Apr 2008 14:00:00 (Last updated: 02 Apr 2008 20:06:11)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA/MPA

    All eyes are fixed on Bucharest, Romania, where a crucial NATO Summit to consider, inter alia, the Alliances enlargement is about to open. Led by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, the Greek delegation departed Wednesday noon for the Romanian capital determined to fight against a NATO invitation to FYROM in case no mutually acceptable solution to the name dispute is found. Early on Wednesday, the Greek head of government met with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis at Maximos Mansion, the governments headquarters, and went through the latest details. "We are going [to the Summit] well prepared, and with our arguments fully documented," commented Bakoyannis. She also reiterated that no solution amounts to no NATO invitation. In the meantime, US President George W. Bush, who is in Romania, reconfirmed the US endorsement to NATO invitations to Croatia, Albania and FYROM.

    Greece's Positions Are Crystal Clear

    The Greek delegation is reaching Bucharest determined to exercise its veto right. Focus has been centred on the working luncheon of the leaders of the 26-nation defence alliance, where the thorny issue of enlargement is expected to run high on the agenda.

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis met Wednesday morning with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis and discussed Greeces stance at the NATO Summit.

    Exiting the meeting, Bakoyannis stated that Greece is going to Bucharest well-prepared and with its arguments fully documented. She also stressed that there is no time to consider a new proposal on the FYROM name dispute, reiterating the Greek steadfast position, whereby no mutually acceptable solution amounts to no NATO invitation.

    Drilled whether a tripartite meeting with US President George W. Bush could take place on the sidelines of the Summit, Bakoyannis said: "There is no such information. Greeces positions are crystal clear. They probably clash with other nations positions. However, ours is a national position which, as you know, is endorsed by the entire [Greek] political world."

    In the meantime, George Bush, who has clearly manifested Washingtons interest in FYROM gaining a NATO membership, arrived in Bucharest late on Tuesday.

    "Tomorrow in recognition of their progress, NATO will make a historic decision on the admission of three Balkan nations Croatia, Albania and Macedonia.The United States strongly supports inviting these nations to join NATO," Bush said in a keynote speech before the summit in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

    "These countries have launched the difficult path of reform and built thriving free societies. They are ready to contribute to NATO and their citizens deserve the security that NATO brings," the US President added.

    Asked on Greeces stance on NATOs enlargement, Deputy Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said that Greece endorses the three Balkan countries accession into the Alliance, thats why, he added, Greece expects of its neighbour to live up to the efforts made to have the problem resolved, so that its NATO aspirations can come into being.

    Antonaros then went on to reiterate that the Greek delegation is departing for Bucharest with a firm and crystal clear position favouring a geographically-defined composite name that would take into account regions political reality, be valid everywhere and enjoy the Security Councils approval.

    "Our NATO allies should realise that Greece has a constructive stance and wishes to contribute to peace and stability in the Balkans," commented Transport Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, also noting, "There are some red lines for us [Greece] and the Prime Minister has made that pretty clear. We are really glad that the opposition parties and the Greek citizens are on the PMs side in this major campaign which is underway."

    Greek Opposition Parties' Claims

    Aleka Papariga, secretary general of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), said that they would disagree in case the Prime Minister exercises Greeces veto right, giving something in return to the imperialistic policy.

    Alekos Alavanos voiced his partys grave concerns over the likelihood that Greece would be forced to give something in return to the USA in its drive to have a favourable solution to the FYROM name dispute.

    Addressing Parliament, the head of SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) parliamentary group, requested the Government assure that it will no succumb to pressure to recognize Kosovo and send Greek troops to Afghanistan.

    In response, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos rest everybody assured that the latest Nimetz proposal was rejected and that the NATO process does not replace the UN-sponsored negotiations.

    "We have an issue to address with regard to FYROMs NATO bid, for which the Prime Minister has clearly stated that no solution amounts to no invitation," stressed he.

    Socialist parliamentary spokesman Haris Kastanidis clarified that George Papandreou did not link the FYROM issue to the US Naval Support Activity Souda Bay in Crete. What he did, added Kastanidis, was to make the USA understand what respect for the alliance by both sides means.

    Asked to comment on the latest developments, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) head George Karatzaferis stressed: "It is beyond my grasp why the Greek diplomacy has left everything to the last moment. We are indeed in a really difficult situation. I hope that everyone has realized why the Americans wish to impose solutions in the area, solutions which are not favourable to the Greek interests. We should realize that it is probably high time we thought that we can live without the Americans."

    Referring to the NATO Summit Meeting in Bucharest, SYN (Coalition of the Left) President Alexis Tsipras stated that the government's determination and bravery will not be judged by its stance to the neighbouring country, but by its stance on the summit's overall agenda. As per Tsipras, this agenda is putting into danger peace and security on a world and regional level.

    Awaiting Final Solution

    Over the last two days, FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski had been contacting his NATO counterparts, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, from whom he asked to endorse FYROMs candidacy.

    As per "ΜΙΑ", all the NATO states, apart from Greece, are willing to unconditionally offer their backing to FYROMs NATO bid, claiming that the country meets all required standards.

    In view of the final decision, the FYROM delegation led by President Branko Crvenkovski and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski will have a series of meetings on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Bucharest.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Mutual Front

    [02] New Industrial Actions in OTE

    02 Apr 2008 16:42:00 (Last updated: 02 Apr 2008 19:18:00)

    Sources: NET, ANA/MPA

    Protesting the introduction of a strategic investor in the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and the possible transfer of management to private interests, the OTE personnel are continuing their industrial actions. The Transport and Communications Minister assured that moves related to OTEs future are built upon the countrys national interests. LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) head George Karatzaferis, who was briefed by the employees on the developments in the issue, spoke of handlings that clash with Greek interests.

    G. Karatzaferis Meets with Employees

    OTE employees continue reacting with rallies to the selling off of 20% of OTE shares from Marfin to Deutche telecom and the possible assumption of OTE management by the private sector.

    They will stage a 24-hour strike on 7 April and will decide on further mobilisations.

    At the same time, addressing KEDKE (Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece) Transport Minister Kostas Hatzidakis stressed that the whole effort is serving national interests as well as the company and employees interests.

    Meanwhile, OTE employees met with LAOS president in the morning.

    George Karatzaferis accused the government of its privatisation policy.

    OME-OTE (Federation of OTE Employees) President Panagiotis Koutras stressed that the employees would not allow this national, social and economic crime to take place.

    OME-OTE Secretary General Antonis Birbilis referred to the persecutions launched against employees and Trade Unions.

    OTE employees may include in their strikes agenda the new collective work agreement, as negotiations with the management until now have not satisfied them.

    [03] Anti-Racist Rallies

    02 Apr 2008 19:08:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ANA

    Within the framework of the campaign "Asylum and Open Boarders to Refugees" anti-racist rallies will be held at the same time in Athens, Thessaloniki, Volos, Patra and Samos on 5 April. The Panhellenic Network in Support of Anti-racist and Migration Organisations has announced that protests rallies will be held in Warsaw in June, in Hamburg in August, in Malme, Sweden in September and in Theouta, Morocco in October.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [04] Arrested after Chase

    02 Apr 2008 19:00:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: Mercantile Marine Press Office

    The port authorities arrested a 34-year-old slave trader in an inflatable boat after a long chase in Koutsoukidi sea area in Lesvos. After his arrest, the authorities discovered 17 foreigners near the airport, where the slave trader had brought them earlier. In parallel, 15 illegal immigrants were arrested at Farmakonisi as they lacked the necessary documents. An additional four arrests took place at Akra Machaira, Lesvos. The arrested stated that they had set off from the Turkish coast in a boat, which they destroyed when they discovered that the authorities had discovered them.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Multi-fatality Attacks in Iraq

    02 Apr 2008 17:43:00

    Sources: ANA

    As per the police and the Media, at least 14 people have been killed, including policemen and civilians and seven were injured, two of which were journalists in attacks launched in Iraq today.

    Ten policemen were killed and five were injured in a double bomb attack in Diyala reported police sources to VOI News Agency.

    A bomb attack against a police patrol in Muqdadiya, northeast of Bakuba killed eight policemen and wounded two. In another bomb attack killed two and wounded three near Muqdadiya.

    Al Arabia has reported that a bomb attack was launched against a convoy with Defence ministry officials, including a ministry spokesman. However, no casualties have been reported.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [06] Buried Next to Melina Merkouri

    Last Farewell to Jules Dassin

    02 Apr 2008 16:43:00 (Last updated: 02 Apr 2008 17:29:09)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Jules Dassin, the man who loved Greece as his own home, was laid to rest Wednesday noon at the Athens A Cemetery. Dassin, who breathed his last on Monday at the hospital where he had been treated, was buried next to his beloved wife Melina Merkouri, as he himself had requested. Shortly before his burial, a memorial service was held at an Israeli synagogue. The Association of Greek Film Directors expressed its most profound sorrow over his death. It also unanimously decided to establish a "Jules Dassin Award" for young film directors.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Zules Dassin "Passed Away"

    [07] Movement Allowed on Production of Passport

    Cyprus: Ledra Street Barricade Opens

    02 Apr 2008 14:52:00

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    Having been erected 44 years before, the Ledra street barricade splitting Nicosia in two opens on Thursday, announced Cypriot Government spokesman Stephen Stefanou, UN spokesman Jose Diaz and Turkish-Cypriot representative Ercakica.

    The opening of the barricade will allow movement from and to the Turkish-occupied section of Nicosia on production of ID or passport.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] 6.1 Magnitude Quake Hits Sumatra

    02 Apr 2008 12:49:00

    A strong quake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale hit Sumatra. There have been no reports of casualties or damage, so far, said Indonesias National Meteorology and Geophysics Agency. Its epicentre was located 67 kilometres south-east of Bengkulu. The western coast of Sumatra is rather earthquake-prone. The worlds two strongest earthquakes over the last 40 years were reported in the area on 26 December 2004 and 28 March 2005. Experts worldwide still believe that the western coast of Sumatra has not escaped the risk of a strong earthquake and a devastating tsunami.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] Normal Traffic at Toll Station

    02 Apr 2008 12:20:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The situation at the Afidnes toll station is gradually returning to normal after the early morning problems with kilometer long vehicle queues, as motorists were not informed on the rise in tolls, moreover the old toll fees were left on the board ahead of the tolls and there was shortage of coins for change. The resentment of motorist, the majority of them going to work at that time, was so strong that some of them did not hesitate to immobilize their cars few meters ahead of the tollgate. The consortium, which has undertaken the construction of the national road network, agreed to open tollgates for half an hour after traffic police pressure. In parallel, it decided to temporarily reduce toll fees by 5 cents to round off sum to 2.70 euros. The situation returned to normal shortly after 10:30 when a large volume of traffic had gone through tolls.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [10] Berlusconi-Veltroni Debate

    02 Apr 2008 12:01:00

    Two weeks prior to the Italian elections, the two main hopefuls for the Premiership, Silvio Berlusconi and Walter Veltroni took part in a debate, which was nothing like an ordinary pre-election debate. The two candidates were given the chance to elaborate on key issues, like how they plan to help pensioners live up to the ever growing cost of life. Both men pledged tax reliefs, while Berlusconi said he would abolish the tax on first house.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] Inquiry on Theoklitos

    02 Apr 2008 11:35:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Bolos state prosecutor has ordered an inquiry on embezzlement of $100.000 deposited for fire victims, involving Bresthenis Bishop, Theoklitos. Bolos prosecutor, Ahilleas Zisis is conducting interrogations to prove whether the sum was allocated to fire victims or was invested in bonds by Bishop Theoklitos.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [12] 17yo Schoolboy Breathed His Last

    02 Apr 2008 08:44:00 (Last updated: 02 Apr 2008 17:10:43)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The schoolboy, 17, who had been treated with meningitis at the intensive care unit of the Rio University Hospital, southern Greece, breathed his last. His parents have blamed the deterioration of his health on the doctors slow response. The Ministry of Health ordered Monday a sworn administrative inquiry into the Pyrgos Hospital, where the boy had been initially admitted in. The doctors, on the other hand, have spoken of a rather serious incident which deteriorated rapidly.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Meningitis Victim

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