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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-01-17
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA 5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
17/1/2001 2:47:55 μμ
 Araxos air-base closed by May. NATO disassociates cases of leukemia from the use of depleted uranium weapons.Under strict security measures, the American conventional and nuclear armament is being gradually removed from the Araxos base in Greece. The military equipment is transferred to the Aviano base in Italy. Similar operations are taking place in other European countries. The Greek goverment has not confirmed the existence of nuclear armament in the country. However, reliable international newspapers say that 9-11 old- fashioned bombs have been stored for 27 years in the Araxos air-force base . According to reports, the Araxos air-force base -operating since 1978 and employing 70 Greek civilians apart from the American personnel - will be closed down till the end of May.
The result of a research carried by the National Technical Institute of Athens indicates increased levels of depleted uranium and thorium in Kossovo .In reference to Greece it is underlined that there was no reason for panick without though exempting the dangers from the transfer of radioactivity through the water and the food chain.
At the same time, NATO disassociates the recent cases of leukemia in soldiers who served in Bosnia and Kosovo, from the use of missiles with depleted uranium, claiming that there is no " Balkan syndrome ".
According to the existing evidence the NATO Medical Committee announced recently, it cannot be recognized that there is a cause - result relation between the depleted uranium and the illnesses that appeared in certain soldiers who served in the former Yugoslavia.
The medical committee submitted its report to the newly established Committee for Depleted Uranium which met in Brussels yesterday.
 Balcan Syndrome, focus of talks between the state leadership and Yiougoslav President CostunicaDevelopments in the Balkans, and of course the issue that has been raised with the uranium-tipped missiles, were the object of talks held in Athens yesterday, between the Yiugoslav President Vojslav Kostunica and the state leadership.
Referring especially to the so-called " Balkan syndrome ", President Kostunica talked about ''depleted conscience'', while Prime-minister Costas Simitis reiterated that Greece has already asked NATO for more comprehensive information, stressing that at the next inter-Balkan conference he would bring up the issue of setting up a special committee.
 At the Stransbourg meeting, depleted uranium weapons should be included in the nuclear armament systemsAt a meeting in Stransbourg yesterday on the Balkan syndrome, organized by the United European Left and the Greens, Athanasios Geranis , professor of Nuclear Science at the Athens University, stressed that efforts should focus on the re-definition of the depleted uranium missiles and their inclusion into the category of radioactive weapons in order to speed up procedures for a general withdrawal of depleted uranium weapons .
 The debate on the constitutional revision opens in the parliament on WednesdayThe debate on the constitutional revision begins in the parliament today and will conclude in 23 sessions until Easter.
Political party speakers will take the floor in the morning session, while Prime-minister Kostas Simitis and political party leaders will address the session in the afternoon.
 Investigation on the causes of the crash of the first-aid helicopterThe Public Prosecutors' Office has ordered an investigation into the causes of the crash of the "First Aid" helicopter Augusta Bell. However, hopes of finding any survivors are fading away.
In repply to the ND party's accusations, the National Health Minister Alecos Papadopoulos stressed that the political leadership of the Ministry was at the site of the accident at the very first moment and blamed the opposition for political exploitation of the accident.
 Bad weather wave abatingThe bad weather wave which caused grave problems across the country is gradually abating.
Cars still move with non-skid chains in most parts of the rural roads, while in Hania, Crete, the heavy rains caused extensive damages to cars and houses.
On the island of Zakynthos, the body of 8-year old Maria Giatra was recovered. Her mother and uncle drowned on Sunday in the effort to rescue her.
 New draftbill provides for tax reductions for the purchase of the first house and transfer of propertyAccording to National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, a new draft bill tabled in the Parliament yesterday, provides for significant tax reductions in the purchase of the first house as well as tax reductions in the transfer of real estate.
In another development, the opposition ND party Spokesman yesterday, called on the National Economy Minister to resign accsing him of being unable to convince that he would speed up structural reforms and implement a new legislative framework for the operation of the Athens Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, the general share price index on the Athens bourse yesterday further dropped by 1.08%, closing at 3,133 points.
 Changes in fuel pricesAs from Wedesday, the price of gasoline will go up by 6 dr per litter, while heating-oil will go down 3 dr per litter.
 EU Commissioner, responsible on the union's enlargement concerned over Turkey's intransigent standIn Brussels yesterday, EU Commssioner Gynder Ferhoihen, responsible on the union's enlargement expressed his concern over the recent developments in the Cyprus issue due to Turkey's and Turkish-Cypriot side intransigent stand. He repeated his support to the UN Secretary General efforts for the solution of the Cyprus issue and called on the interested parties to intensify their efforts towards this direction.
In parallel, Mr.Ferhoihen warned the Turkish goverment that it was an illusion to believe that the Northern part of Cyprus could be admitted into the EU as part of Turkey's territory while referring to Mr.Dektash he underlined that there was no question of separate admission negotiations with the Northern part of Cyprus. The EU Commissioner also added that any attempt for the annexation of Cyprus territories by Turkey would consist further violation of international law by Turkey.
 Ippocratio Hospital suspended operation of its cardiac surgeryThe Administration Board of the Athens Ippokratio Hospital suspended the operation of its cardiac surgery after the confirmation that a patient suffered burns during an open- heart operation.
 Airway Companies not obliged to inform passengers on possible health problems during flightsThe Law Department of the Olympic Airways Company stated that Airway Companies were not obliged to inform passengers on possible health problems contracted during air trips.The statement followed a relative law-suit intended to be filed by a British passenger against the Olympic and Air-France Airway Companies.
 Weather forecastThe National Metereological Service has forecast cloudy weather thourough the country today and strong to gale force winds in the Central and South Aegean. In Athens temperature will range between 5 - 13 degrees centigrade while in Thessaloniki between below 1 - 9 degrees centigrade.