|Saturday, 19 October 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 03-02-12
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Weather forecastRain with local snowfall and low temperatures are forecast all over the country for today and tomorrow. Winds northeasterly, strong to very strong, turning gale force at sea. The temperature in Athens will range from 3 to 8C and in Thessaloniki from 1 to 4C.
(12/2/2003 11:06:00 ðì)
 Air lifts of patients suspended for todayAccording to initial indications, the accident involving an EKAV medical helicopter that went down off the island of Ikaria late Monday night was caused by a mechanical fault.
It should be noted that EKAV chief, who is responsible for the prevention of accidents, had warned in time on the insufficiency of the system for the air transfer of patients, asking all air transfers of patients to stop until the system was re-checked.
Moreover, the head of employees presented a document that proves that damages had been detected in the specific helicopter, adding that the administration was briefed about them in a document sent to it. From its side, however, the EKAV leadership denied that it had been briefed, while ELITALIA, the company that is responsible of the maintenance of the EKAV helicopters, claimed that no damages had been detected in the past with the specific helicopter.
Meanwhile, a massive search and rescue operation is in progress to locate the helicopter's four-member crew, comprised of a pilot, co-pilot, doctor and paramedic.
This was the third crash during a night-time flight involving the same type of Agusta helicopters used by EKAB, following the crash of a helicopter off Sounio in January 2001 and one last summer on Anafi. The previous two crashes claimed the lives of everyone on board, including patients, doctors and paramedics.
At the same time, EKAV employees have decided that no air transfer of patients take place today, while the Ministers of Transport and Health announced that from now on night flights for the air transfer of patients will be the responsibility of the army.
Moreover, the opposition has questioned the flying capabilities of “Agusta Bell” helicopters and hold politically responsible the Ministry of Health and the government for the accident.
From his side, in an interview with NET radio station, ex Health Minister Dimitris Kremastinos and six more PASOK party Aegean MPs expressed their concerns over the armouring of the Health sector in the Aegean islands. Mr Kremastinos also said that “Augusta Bell” helicopters should stop flying until it was verified that they are not problematic.
(12/2/2003 11:26:00 ðì)
 Meetings within the EU & NATO on the Iraqi crisisToday's extraordinary meeting of the Euro Parliament will deal with the Persian Gulf crisis, while the extraordinary European Union summit meeting proposed by the Greek EU Presidency will take place on Monday. During this, Europe will try to adopt a joint stance on the Iraqi crisis.
Moreover, NATO permanent representatives will meet again today after the previous three attempts proved fruitless due to France, Germany and Belgium's veto against the Americans' proposal to offer military help to Turkey in the case of war.
At the same time the Bush administration believes Osama Bin Laden's tape broadcast by El Jazira to almost certainly be genuine and officials say the message heralds a "burgeoning alliance of terror". Additionally, the State Department appears to be certain now that there is a connection between Baghdad and the Al Quaeda network. In his message, Osama Bin Laden is threatening the United States with suicide attacks in the case the hit Iraq, while any country, including Arab ones that will cooperate with it will also be attacked.
Meanwhile, American and British jet fighters bombarded missile installations near Vasora in Southern Iraq that ended to the death of two people according to Baghdad.
Finally, New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis stated yesterday that Europe should adopt a joint stance, while the Secretary General of the Communist party of Greece Aleka Papariga said that the United States and any countries that are for war should be isolated. In an interview with NET 105.8, Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou described the divergence of views within the European Union a strong blow for Europe's future.
(12/2/2003 11:13:00 ðì)
 Denktash complains for pressure exerted by the UNTurkish Cypriot representative Rauf Denktash stated that the United Nations is exerting stifling pressure to the Turkish side to accept a third revised plan for the solution of the Cyprus issue. He also stated that the Cyprus problem could not be resolved before February 28.
Meanwhile, according to diplomatic sources from the United Nations headquarters if Secretary General Kofi Annan submits a third plan this will be non-negotiable and will have to be decided upon in a referendum. If this new proposal is rejected, then the United Nations' initiative will come to an end.
(12/2/2003 11:16:00 ðì)