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

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Weightlifting Training Centres Raid
  • [02] Washington Keeps Tones Down
  • [03] ND Firmly in the Lead
  • [04] China Vows to Keep Torch on Track
  • [05] Energy Issues at Focus
  • [06] FYROM: Proposal for Early Elections
  • [07] Iacovou to Give Explanations

  • [01] Awaiting Christos Iakovou's Testimony

    Weightlifting Training Centres Raid

    08 Apr 2008 16:31:00

    By Ampelakis Spyros

    Sources: NET 105.8

    Prosecutor Andreas Karaflos authorized Tuesday raids in the offices and the training centres of the Greek national weightlifting team on Syngrou Avenue and Agios Kosmas, as part of the emergency preliminary investigation into the doping scandal Several documents were confiscated, however, no suspicious drugs were located.

    The Prosecutor is also expected to visit a warehouse allegedly related to the controversial drugs, while the pharmacist who, according to all evidence, packaged the illegal substances will be investigated. The Chairman of the Hellenic Weightlifting Federation will testify to the Prosecutor tomorrow.

    In the meantime, the testimonies of head coach Christos Iakovou and the teams doctor Christos Zafiriou to the committee of enquiry set up by the Hellenic Weightlifting Federation are highly anticipated. The Chinese manufacturer said that it accidentally sent the wrong drug. As a result the Greek team had no idea it had received the toxic drug, as head coach Christos Iakovou claimed. However, the Prosecutor will probe why the controversial drugs were not tested by the Greek authorities before administering them to the athletes.

    Responsibilities will be attributed, the state does not favour doping, Deputy Education Minister Andreas Lykouretzos told NET radio station. Everybody knew what had been going on, yet no one wanted to touch the icons, Socialist MP Christos Verelis told NET radio station.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Iacovou to Give Explanations

    [02] Over Fried's Statements

    Washington Keeps Tones Down

    08 Apr 2008 17:00:00

    Sources: - 105.8-ANA/MPA

    Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Dan Frieds references on the existence of "Macedonian ethnicity and Macedonian language" prompted Athens strong reactions. "Such statements are of no help," stressed Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. The Foreign Ministry spokesman, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, noted that Greece would not be drugged into talks that mean to derail the negotiations from its real objective. In response, the US Department of State issued an announcement clarifying that the USA did not offer an official recognition to any language or ethnicity and that any talks on these matters should not have any influence on the solution to the name issue. At the same time, Washington is keeping tones down, urging the two sides not to abandon the UN-sponsored drive and keep working to finding a mutually acceptable solution the soonest possible.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] ND Firmly in the Lead

    08 Apr 2008 09:54:00

    Sources: 105.8

    In a gallop conducted by Public Issue on behalf of Skai channel and Kathimerini newspaper, the ND party is 6.5 percentage points as in March- ahead of the PASOK party. In intention of voting, the ND party gathers 37% against 30.5% of PASOK. SYRIZA maintains its 18%, followed by the GCP with 7% and LAOS with 4.5%. SYRIZA party comes first regarding best performance of opposition policy. Kostas Karamanlis is considered the most appropriate politician for the post of Prime-minister, gathering 39% against 16% of George Papandreou. In response to question on whether Greece has benefited so far from participation in the NATO alliance 47% of respondents said "rather it has" against 37% of those who maintain the opposite. Another telephone MRB gallop sponsored by Alpha TV channel after the NATO Summit in Bucharest also indicates that the ND party is in the lead. In intention of voting, the ND party gathers 30.6% against 28.7% it gathered last month in a gallop of the same company. PASOK went up to 27.1% from 24.1%, the GCP to 6.9% from 7.2%, SYRIZA to 16% from 17.5% and LAOS to 4.2% from 4.5%, Greens 1% from 1.4%, while the percentage of the undecided remains 12.1%.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [04] China Vows to Keep Torch on Track

    08 Apr 2008 10:46:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: French News Agency , NA-PA

    Beijing has said no force can stop the world relay of the Olympic flame after protest demonstrations and incidents in London and Paris. Condemning the disruption to the relay in Paris and London, Beijing Olympic organising committee spokesman Sun Weide told reporters the torch relay would continue as planned. According to representatives of the International Olympic Committee, the Committee is considering possibility to interrupt Olympic Flame journey, which left Paris last night for San Francisco.

    IOC Meeting

    IOC press commission chief Kevan Gospar told journalist that the International Olympic Committee starts a three-day meeting on Wednesday to discuss whether torch relays should continue for future Games. Gospar said that the main issue to be discussed is whether the Olympic torch relay should be confined to the host country at future games or continue its world journey as it is in effect now. He, however, added that so far it has not been decided to cancel the ongoing Beijing torch relay. "I am a firm believer that we had the right template in the first place, that the torch should go from Olympia, Greece to the host country, and I would expect that the executive committee will review that," he told reporters.

    He condemned protest demonstrations, saying that demonstrators reactions stemmed from their hatred to China and described them "professional rioters". "Organized protests are an insult to Olympic Flame which is a symbol of good willingness, peace, understanding and sports excellence" he concluded.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: China vows to keep torch on track

    [05] The Governmental Committee Convenes

    Energy Issues at Focus

    08 Apr 2008 16:20:00

    Sources: 105.8, NA

    The governmental committee convened on Tuesday and focused on development and energy issues under the Prime Minister Mr. K. Karamanlis.

    Development Minister Mr. Christos Folias after the meeting said that he briefed the Committee on the issues of energy policies and the latest developments.

    "We repeat our dedication we have to re advance our country to an energy node of South Eastern Europe, in a key-position. Our will, intention and dedication are to secure for our country efficient energy supplies and to avoid pollution in the best price. In addition, we want to be the trade-transit center for energy transmission to our partners in the European Union", Mr. Folias underlined.

    Answering question whether the co operation with Russia will expand Development Minister said that cooperation with anyone that is partner of European Union in energy issues will not be terminated.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [06] Submitted by the Opposition Party

    FYROM: Proposal for Early Elections

    08 Apr 2008 10:59:00

    Sources: ANA, MNA

    DUI (Democratic Union for Integration), the main Albanian opposition party in FYROM, of Ali Ahmeti submitted today in Parliament proposal for the dissolution of Parliament. "We believe that the current Parliament and the government do not have the strength to face the challenges the country confronts. We are waiting our proposal to be supported by other parliamentary parties," Mr Ahmeti said.

    According to Skopje newspapers the biggest party of the governmental coalition, NMRO-DPMNE leader of which is the Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski is in favor of early elections in June. It is estimated that DUI supports its decision.

    VMRO DMNE governmental party is in favor of early elections because it thinks that the government may encounter difficulties preserving its fragile majority in Parliament as the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) led by Menduh Thaci may withdraw from the governmental coalition while the New Social Democratic Party (NSDP) party of Tito Petkovski is disputing Mr. Gruevskis choices.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [07] To Weightlifting Association Committee

    Iacovou to Give Explanations

    08 Apr 2008 10:24:00

    Sources: , 105.8, NA-PA

    Weightlifting team coach, Hristos Iacovou will face the examining committee of the National Weightlifting Association for the first time today to express his position on issue of the illegal substances use to which 11 athletes tested positive. A judicial investigation has been ordered to see whether there are punishable actions. Mr. Iacovou lawyer yesterday spoke of an "awful mistake" admitted by the Chinese company in a letter in which it recognizes that it sent by mistake the controversial substances instead of those ordered. Specifically, in its letter the Chinese company, one of the largest Chinese pharmaceutical companies, apologizes for the mistake. Mr. Dimitrakopoulos, lawyer of the national weightlifting coach, Hristos Iacovou maintains that the national team was not aware that the drug was toxic. The state prosecutor, however, is to investigate why the specific drugs were not tested in Greek laboratories prior to be given to athletes. A crew of the National Drug Administration stormed the weightlifting premises in Syggrou Av. late last night. Earlier, Culture Minister, Mihalis Liapis had announced the setting up of a committee, who will propose specific anti-doping measures within 10 days.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    Related News:

    Liapis: "Penalties Will Be Harsher"

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