|Thursday, 15 April 2021|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-04-07
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 On Name Issue SolutionFresh Message to Skopje
07 Apr 2008 14:42:00
Sources: ÍÅÔ-ÍÅÔ 105.8-ÁNA/ÌNA
A few days after the conclusion of the NATO Summit Meeting in Bucharest and Greeces veto, there are signs of new mobility regarding the Skopje name issue. Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis today briefed the President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias on the latest developments, underlining that Greece will continue working with responsibility within the UN framework for a mutually acceptable resolution of FYROM name issue. Receiving Mr. Karamanlis, the President of the Republic described the outcome of Bucharest NATO Summit as a success and the basis for a new beginning. On the part of Skopje, Prime-minister, Nikola Gruevski will have separate meetings with all political leaders.
"Working for a Mutually Acceptable Solution"
After Greeces veto in Bucharest, Athens states ready for a fresh round of negotiations with Skopje within the UN framework. Prime-minister, Kostas Karamanlis today briefed the President of the Republic on the outcome of the NATO Summit in Bucharest and the latest developments in FYROM name issue following Greek veto to the neighbouring countrys invitation to join the Atlantic Alliance.
"I briefed the President of the Republic on the negotiations and the outcome of the NATO Summit in Bucharest. We all know that the name issue is not easy, however we have drawn a strategy to which we adhere with consistency, confidence, sobriety and responsibility. We will continue working within the UN framework for a mutually acceptable solution. I hope that the other side will also respond to the benefit of the broader region, the Prime-minister stressed after his meeting with Mr. K. Papoulias.
During the dialogue between the Prime-minister and the President of the Republic in the presence of journalists, Mr. Papoulias described the outcome of the Bucharest Summit as a success, creating a new basis for negotiations. The Prime-minister added that the course towards the resolution of the name issue is long, but expressed hope for a positive outcome. In the same line, Mr. Papoulias ascertained that Bucharest Summit brings a message of optimism and the final target will be accomplished.
On Sunday, Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyianni had a telephone contact with US State undersecretary, responsible for European and Eurasian affairs, Daniel Fried, following his initiative. Mrs. Bakoyianni told the American official that Greece was ready to restart negotiations on FYROM name issue, however, adding that the question lies on Skopjes stand. In the meantime, particular importance has been placed on the visit of undersecretary of US State Department, Matthew Braiza, who arrives in Athens on Thursday as guest to attend ECONOMIST magazine conference.
Government spokesman, Thodoris Roussopoulos stressed that there is no scheduled meeting so far between Mr. Braiza and the Foreign Ministry leadership, but it will be accepted if there is such request. Mr. Roussopoulos said that the government is exercising a consistent and firm policy which is bearing fruit, stressing that the target is continuation of negotiations within the UN framework to reach a mutually acceptable solution to name dispute. "We want neither acceleration nor freezing of name dispute, we want resolution within the UN framework", characteristically stressed Mr. Roussopoulos.
In reference to Skopje name dispute and recent developments after NATO Summit during a speech delivered to Athens Law School students today, PASOK President, George Papandreou stressed that Greece did right to play defense in Bucharest, however, it has to step into offensive role with new initiatives
Deliberations in Skopje
On the part of Skopje, intensive deliberations are being held to resolve the pending name issue as soon as possible. FYROM Prime-minister, Nikola Gruevski will have separate meeting with the countrys political party leaders, to brief them on the outcome of the NATO Summit in Bucharest as well as the result of the leaders of the "Adriatic Chart" (Croatia, Albania, FYROM) meeting with the US President, George Bush in Zagreb, on Saturday. According to reports, there will be exchange of views on the further course of negotiations during the meetings.
Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis
New Initiatives Ahead
 Liapis: "Penalties Will Be Harsher"07 Apr 2008 14:19:00 (Last updated: 07 Apr 2008 15:16:42)
By Ampelakis Spyros
Prompted by the doping scandal that hit the Greek national weightlifting team, Culture Minister Michael Liapis and Deputy Sports Minister Giannis Ioannides invited the reps of the Hellenic Olympic Committee and the federations of the Olympic sports to a meeting.
"A committee will be set up in ten days time to propose anti-doping measures. Penalties need to become harsher, with misdemeanors turning into felonies and subsidy incentives being revised," commented Culture Minister Michael Liapis.
Giannis Ioannides noted: "We have to be clean in Beijing. We are expecting the Hellenic Weightlifting Federation to account for the drugs. Unfortunately, there is no sports medicine in Greece, something that has to be established the soonest possible. We need science to help the athletes. We will introduce science into sports. A training school for coaches and athletes should be founded. Under the penal code, movement of substances is a misdemeanor. Penalties must become harsher."
SEGAS (Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics) head Vasilis Sevastis underlined: "We have to find a solution to a problem that has been pending for several decades. Greece is not the only country troubled by this plague. Scandals in several other countries are huge. The USA had been covering up positive tests for 25 years. Greece lacks sports infrastructure. There is no body to address to and get information on the contents of a substance."
The meeting went on with the opinions of the rest of the representatives, who demanded stiffer sanctions. They disagreed, however, on the abolishment of subsidy incentives.
Chinese Drug Manufacturer Claims Responsibility
In the meantime, there has been a new development that could give a new dimension to the scandal plaguing the Greek national weightlifting team. In particular, the Chinese manufacturer of the "guilty" drug has told the Greek authorities that it would send a document claiming responsibility for the mistaken dispatch.
Translated by Areti Christou
Meeting on the Doping Case
 "Possibility" for Suspension of MobilizationsAlogoskoufis Bank of Greece Meeting
07 Apr 2008 11:33:00
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA
A meeting today between Economics Minister, George Alogoskoufis and the Presidium of the Bank of Greece Employees Union, entering sixth week of industrial mobilizations, was held in a positive climate. They decided on the setting up of a tripartite committee to examine the transfer of the Bank of Greece Pensioners Fund within the frame of the law. The Committee, to be comprised of representatives from the Economics Ministry, the Bank of Greece and the Union of the Bank of Greece Employees, is to draw a relevant proposal within a month from its setting up and the latest till 10/5/2008 which will be submitted to the competent Employment and Social Welfare Ministry. Bank of Greece employees are to hold a general meeting today to decided on the future of their mobilizations. The Economics Ministry, however, believes that mobilizations will be suspended.
In the meantime, OTE employees continue a new circle of repeated industrial mobilizations with a 24-hour strike on Tuesday in protest against the taking over of the companys management by Deutsche Telekom. OME-OTE will meet tomorrow to asses the situation and decide on the course of mobilizations.
Minor incidents occurred in Thessaloniki Court House when striking lawyers and students attempted to occupy the building within the framework of mobilizations in protest against reforms in social security system.
Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis
 Zahopoulos Continued Testifying07 Apr 2008 11:10:00 (Last updated: 07 Apr 2008 15:45:08)
In his four-hour testimony given Monday at Evangelismos hospital, where he has been treated ever since he attempted suicide, former top Culture Ministry official Christos Zahopoulos touched on the key role the former Culture Ministry employee had in the blackmail campaign against him.
During the first questioning on Friday, Zahopoulos allegedly testified that he had been blackmailed by the Culture Ministry employee, who has been detained since December, and the two lawyers she had introduced to him and whom he fired shortly before handing in his resignation.
 Bakoyannis-Pascoe MeetingCyprus Row: Time for New Initiatives
07 Apr 2008 14:29:00
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ANA-MPA
The Cyprus standoff and the developments after the 21 March deal brokered between the leaders of the two communities, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, topped the meeting held between Greeces Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and UN Under-Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe on Monday.
The Greek Foreign Minister reiterated that Greece champions a well-prepared negotiation process for a fair and viable solution to the Cyprus issue.
"We had very fruitful talks with Ms. Bakoyannis about Cyprus. We both agreed that there is a very good chance to proceed and we must find a way to help. We will work together in order for procedures to be accelerated. We will cooperate firmly with Greece, Turkey and all the people in Cyprus to reach a solution," commented Pascoe.
Pascoe then had a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister G. Valinakis.
Prior to his visit to Greece, the UN envoy had visited Cyprus, while later on Monday he is due in Ankara as part of his contacts on the Cyprus issue.
Translated by Areti Christou
 Dozens Were Killed in Iraq07 Apr 2008 12:04:00
By Betty Savourdou
Eight people were killed when a blast destroyed their house in Basra. Eyewitnesses put down the blast to a US air strike. The British troops, which are in charge of the military operations in the city, denied any role and said they had no explanation for the blast.
In the meantime, the fierce fighting between Shiite militants and US soldiers in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad killed at least 22 people. The clashes were triggered off following the Iraqi authorities request all parties and political blocs dismantle their militias.
Translated by Areti Christou
 UN-Led Probe into Mitrovica Incidents07 Apr 2008 11:55:00
A UN-led investigation into the incidents that took place in Mitrovica on 17 March will be held, upon Serbias request. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon responded to Serbias call, noting that the investigation will be carried out by the UN headquarters and not by UNMIK (United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo).
While submitting Serbias petition to Ban Ki-moon, the Serbian Foreign Minister and the UN Secretary General also agreed that the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1244 should continue and that UNMIK should go on with working to that end.
According to an announcement posted on the official website of the Serbian government, the two men also touched on the forthcoming Serbian elections (parliamentary, local and regional) in Kosovo.
 Karamanlis-Folias Meeting07 Apr 2008 11:24:00
By Anna Kourti
Sources: ANA-MPA, ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8
Energy issues topped Monday the meeting held between the Prime Minister and Development Minister Christos Folias, who briefed Kostas Karamanlis on his recent trip to Azerbaijan. "The Government remains committed to its target to turn Greece into an energy hub in SE Europe, with a view to safeguarding energy sufficiency and becoming a reliable energy transit centre," commented Folias. Asked whether the cooperation with Russia on energy matters is to be expanded, Folias noted that the cooperation continues and that the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline has been elevated to a partner level. The Development Minister also stressed that Greece favours cooperation with all those who can contribute to the goals they are after. Drilled whether the developments in the FYROM name dispute could affect the Greek enterprises in the neighbouring country, he estimated that things would soon smooth out.
 By Pro-Tibetan DemonstratorsOlympic Torch Relay Marred
07 Apr 2008 09:38:00
The Olympic Torch arrived at Charles de Gaulle International Airport shortly after Monday midnight in view of the relay to take place Monday in Paris. Chinas ambassador to France Kong Quan and former French athlete Guy Drut welcomed the torch. It was then carried to one of the Meridien hotels in the French capital. A strong police force has been deployed around the hotel, AFP said.
The relay held Sunday in London was marred by pro-Tibetan activists, who tried to snatch the Olympic torch and even put it out. Tight security measures have been stepped up in Paris, due to the demonstrations heralded to take place during todays relay through the French capital.
At the same time, Chinas media blasted the "vile misdeeds" of the protesters, who disrupted the relay through London. At least 35 pro-Tibetan demonstrators, who chanted "Shame on China," were arrested in London. In fact, police had to help the Olympic Flame escape on a double-decker bus, when throngs of protestors tried to snatch it.
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge voiced Monday his grave concerns. "The torch relay has been targeted. The IOC has expressed serious concerns and calls for rapid, peaceful resolution in Tibet," he said in a speech to the Association of National Olympic Committees in Beijing.
Translated by Areti Christou
Read the story on other sources:
BBC: IOC chief speaks out over Tibet
 Chaired by the Culture MinisterMeeting on the Doping Case
07 Apr 2008 10:58:00
By Vivian Papastefanou
A meeting on the doping scandal is underway, chaired by the Culture Minister and the Deputy Sports Minister. All the federations of the Olympic sports, as well as the board of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, have been invited to attend the meeting. In the meantime, Athens First Instance Prosecutor chief Panayiotis Poulios assigned Prosecutor Andreas Karaflos to carry out a preliminary investigation in the matter.
At the same time, the 13 members of the Greek national weightlifting team testified before the committee of inquiry set up by the Hellenic Weightlifting Federation. Its report will be handed to Deputy Sports Minister Giannis Ioannides. Head coach Christos Iakovou, who has been suspended, will also be called to testify in the days to come.
The results of the second test the Greek weightlifters underwent are due out within the week and are to determine whether they are going to barred from the European Championships and the Beijing Olympic Games or not.
Translated by Areti Christou
Investigation in Doping Scandal