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

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Friendship Message
  • [02] Doping Scandal in Weighlifting
  • [03] No Breakthrough at NATO-Russia Talks
  • [04] Zahopoulos Testimony
  • [05] D. Vrakatselis Free
  • [06] A. Papariga Visits Agia Sophia Hospital
  • [07] Unemployment Benefit to Laid off
  • [08] Invitation to Negotiations
  • [09] Reduction to Second Degree Murder Charge

  • [01] Friendship Message

    04 Apr 2008 15:28:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA/PA

    Greece is ready for a new circle of round table negotiations with Skopje said the Greek Prime-minister in Bucharest. Mr. Karamanlis underlined that Greece backed FYROMs admission to NATO provided it has previously met its obligations regarding good neigbourly relations and made moves towards a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue. In a press interview to Greek journalists, Mr. Karamanlis described climate within the alliance as particularly positive for Greece and ruled out destabilization in Skopje due to the fact that it was not invited to join NATO. He also made clear that Greeces firm position is a compound name for all uses.

    "No Feeling of Isolation"

    In a friendship message to Skopje, the Greek Prime-minister called the neighbouring country to continue negotiations. In a press interview to Greek journalists at noon today, Mr. Karamanlis hailed the incorporation of Albania and Croatia to NATO while in reference to FYROM, he said it failed to be admitted because it had not met good neighbourly relations criterion.

    Specifically, he stressed that Greece supports FYROMs Euro-Atlantic prospect provided the pending name issue is resolved. "Greece has covered half-distance", said the Prime-minister, adding "We will follow specific procedures within the UN framework. We are continuing negotiations. NATO joint communiqu&#233; is a supplementary tool for negotiations under the UN auspices".

    Mr. Karamanlis repeated Greeces firm position for compound name for all uses. In response to a question regarding American involvement in negotiations, he stressed that negotiations will be held within the UN framework and beyond that we accept assistance by any friend or partner. The Greek Prime-minister ruled out destabilization problems in the broader region stemming from FYROMs failure to join NATO ,due to Greeces veto, adding that circumstances will be soon ripe for resumption of negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

    In response to a relevant question on heavy climate in US-Greece relations, the Prime-minister said that our allied relations with the US did not mean coincidence of views, citing the divergence of views in the specific issue to which Greece exercised its veto right. He also stressed, he did not feel isolated during the NATO Summit, on the contrary he had the support of many country leaders and the understanding of others, which has even increased today.

    With regards Greeces stand on FYROMs possible admission to the EU block without the resolution of the name issue, Mr. Karamanlis stressed again that Greeces position was crystal clear and each issue would be judged at the proper time. He refused to comment on opposition political parties criticism from Bucharest, however, he underlined that the diplomatic target was accomplished and this will help towards the finding of a solution.

    In reference to NATOs enlargement to Ukraine and Georgia, Mr. Karamanlis said that no one can impose on whether the alliance will incorporate new members or not, provided that a candidate country has willingness and meets the criteria. The Prime-minister also referred that NATO-Russia cooperation is highly important for world stability and security, noting that the cold war is over and NATO and Russia have to deal with new challenges.

    Concluding, Mr. Karamanlis made clear that there is no question for dispatch of Greek forces to Afghanistan, underlining that Athens is only examining to extend its participation in the countrys reconstruction.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    Related News:

    NATO Says "No" to FYROM

    [02] Doping Scandal in Weighlifting

    04 Apr 2008 16:34:00

    Sources: - 105.8-NA/PA

    Greek weightlifting coach Christos Iakovou was suspended Friday after 11 of the 14 national team athletes tested positive to a banned substance in a surprise check-up by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Iakovou resigned and was suspended after the first samples from the unidentified athletes tested positive. The Greek weigh lifting association has requested tests on the athletes second sample.

    Iakovou Suspended

    WADA announcement that 11 of 14 national weightlifting team athletes tested positive to a banned substance dealt a heavy blow to the Greek weightlifting Association which in its announcement confirms that 11 of its 14 athletes tested positive to a banned substance in a surprise test carried out March, 7, 2008 at the weighlifting teams Athens training ground ahead of the European championships. Test on the athletes second sample will be requested as provided by regulations and then the Council Board will set up a special inquiry committee to examine the issue. After the announcement, coach Hristos Iakovou has been suspended till the clearing of the case. The three athletes, who were not tested positive, are being trained in view of the Beijing Olympic Games but were not following the training program due to injuries. The names of the athletes will not be released till the announcement of results of the second sample. According to anti doping agency regulations, athletes can be banned for as long as two years.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [03] No Breakthrough at NATO-Russia Talks

    04 Apr 2008 15:20:00

    Sources: , ANA-MPA

    No breakthrough was reported at the NATO-Russia talks in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer termed the talks as positive, however, they failed to bridge the gap between the two sides. Vladimir Putin appeared satisfied despite the existing disputes. Describing the talks as constructive, he said a compromise mood prevailed, and stressed that he intended to have his cooperation with NATO further improved. He reiterated, though, Russias long-standing concerns over NATOs plans to expand to the east and underlined that Moscow would view a military coalition to its west border as a "direct threat."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    "Bush Defeat"

    Disagreements in NATO Summit

    [04] Zahopoulos Testimony

    04 Apr 2008 14:41:00

    Sources: 105.8

    Hristos Zahopoulos, former Culture Minister general secretary, today testified for about 2.5 hours before interrogator, Dimitris Oikonomou in the presence of state prosecutor, Hristos Bardakis. According to reports, Mr. Zahopoulos maintained that he was blackmailed by the 35 year-old woman and her two lawyer friends and attempted to commit suicide because he could not put up to pressure and slandering. His interrogation will continue on Monday morning.

    Fine Imposed to Two Newspapers

    In the meantime, Personal Data protection Authprity imposed 150.000 fine to "Proto Thema" and "Avriani newspapers for publishing pictures of former Culture Ministry general secretary, Hristos Zahopoulos intimate moments with the defendant, the 35 year old woman. According to the Authoritys decision, publication of photographs of his exclusive intimate moments is illegal, provided by the Constitution and the European Treaty for Human Rights protection. The Authority obliged the two newspapers to destroy the photographs and archive.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [05] Until His Trial in Second Degree

    D. Vrakatselis Free

    04 Apr 2008 16:02:00

    Sources: 105,8

    Athens Supreme Court accepted the appeal for the defense of D. Vrakatselis and replaced his detention with prohibition of leaving the country and to an obligatory attendance to the police department once a month. The Court decided unanimously to change the charges against him for causing a deadly injury and recognized him his previous honest life. In parallel, the Court ordered investigation in order to see whether his former wife as well as the two private police officers who went to the house the victim lived bears any criminal responsibilities.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [06] A. Papariga Visits Agia Sophia Hospital

    04 Apr 2008 14:01:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: NA, GCP Press Office

    GCP general secretary, Aleka Papariga today visited the Agia Sophia Childrens Hospital. In her statements she said that her party is conducting a research in the health and social policy regarding children, particularly children from low income class, immigrants, as well as abused and abandoned children. During her visit, she noted large inefficiency in hospital staff and doctors and described as unjustifiable bureaucracy and organization procedures for not hiring the necessary personnel in this and all other hospitals. Self-denial and dedication of doctors and hospital staff is great but we can not rely on volunteerism and humanitarian feelings when it regards children health. She concluded saying tha focus has been placed on the private health sector for children which we consider unacceptable.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [07] By Naousa Mills

    Unemployment Benefit to Laid off

    04 Apr 2008 13:38:00

    Sources: 105.8

    According to regulation issued by the Economics and Development Ministries, employees laid off by the Naousa Mills will receive unemployment benefits. Eligible for the special unemployment benefit are workers who will have turned 50 years-old till 31/12/2008 and have at least 7.500 social security insurance stamps.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [08] From Greece to FYROM

    Invitation to Negotiations

    04 Apr 2008 13:17:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: , 105.8, ANA-MPA

    Greece is willing to resume talks with FYROM, said Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis from Bucharest. The Greek Premier championed the neighbouring countrys bid to join the alliance provided that it would take steps towards a mutually acceptable solution to the name dispute. Karamanlis, who is in the middle of a Press conference, described conditions within NATO as pretty positive for Greece. At his Thursday address, Karamanlis invited FYROM to take part in a new round of UN-sponsored talks, stressing that the Greek Governments goal is not to humiliate its neighbours but to reinforce them. The Greek state of government had a telephone contact with President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, who briefed him on the developments in the issue.

    "Foreign Policy with Self-Confidence"

    "What has happened in Bucharest speaks volumes for Greeces power to defend its interests. There are two prerequisites that help us meet our goals: Reliability abroad and unanimity at home. I believe that party rivalry should not interfere with national matters, for it harms the nation. We should always bear in mind that a foreign policy built upon self-confidence, crystal clear strategy and systematic work can yield results," stressed Greek Premier Kostas Karamanlis in his address to the Greek people from Bucharest.

    The Prime Minister noted that only if the name issue is solved will FYROM join NATO. "I had said in all tones that no solution means no invitation. And this is what I did," said Karamanlis, further adding that this development favours the Greek national interests. He also noted that determination and arguments bear fruits when well-used.

    "Greece had been waging a tough battle over the last months. It is exercising its foreign policy with self-confidence, determination and prudence. At the NATO talks, we reiterated our solid arguments. We were not isolated, as some had feared we would. Instead, we found supporters. This issue does not end her, we have a long way ahead. What is coming to a head is the illusion of those who believe they can participate in the international community without fulfilling their commitments. Rules should be respected by everyone," underlined Karamanlis.

    "We are in the middle of a harsh path, I am proud for what we have achieved together. Our goal is not to humiliate our neighbours, but to help them stand on their feet. We are pursuing a solution that respects all parties sensitivities," added Karamanlis.

    "We are a society that is entitled to feel self-confidence. The hardships are many, yet we can address both minor and major problems with lots of work and systematic efforts," noted Karamanlis. He then concluded his address, thanking the Greek people for their trust in him.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    NATO Says "No" to FYROM

    [09] Prosecutor Proposed

    Reduction to Second Degree Murder Charge

    04 Apr 2008 11:09:00

    State Prosecutor, Evdokia Poulou proposed reduction to second degree murder charge against Dimitris Brakatselis, who is standing trial for murder of Yiannis Bartholomeos, former IKA director general. In parallel, she asked for the brief of evidence to look into possible penal responsibility of the defendants wife, who despite knowing of the fight outside her apartment, did not come out and did not call for help.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

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