|Friday, 21 February 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 04-03-14
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Russia's Putin heads for easy re-election14/3/2004 8:33:00 ́́
President Vladimir Putin, who has pledged to deliver stability to Russia and end poverty, has swept back into the Kremlin according to an exit poll today that showed him with a huge lead in elections.
 10 dead in Israeli oprt blasts14/3/2004 8:30:00 ́́
Two Palestinian suicide bombers killed at least ten other people today in a double-attack at Israels port of Ashdod, prompting Israel to cancel talks on arranging an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit.
Police said at least 20 people were hurt in blasts that tore through a warehouse and gate at Israels second-busiest port as day-shift workers were heading home. Bloody limbs protruded from a shed that had been crumpled to a heap of twisted metal.
 G. Papandreou speaks in Crete today about new Pasok14/3/2004 8:29:00 ́́
From Lasithi Crete today, Pasok president George Papandreou spoke about the major changes to be made within his party in the near future. While referring to the new Pasok, Mr. Papandreou spoke of a new moral force in the countrys political scene and called on everyone to participate in its creation. While commenting on the election results, Mr. Papandreou stressed that the political stigma of the partys expansion was not properly given nor was there ample time available.
 Two general secretaries appointed to Interior Ministry14/3/2004 8:26:00 ́́
Following an agreement between Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and PM Karamanlis, two new general secretaries have been appointed with the ministry. Assuming the post of general secretary of Public Administration will be Vasilis Andronopoulos while the former mayor of Psyhiko, Thanasis Vezyrgiannis, will assume the post of general Secretary of the Interior Ministry
 PM asks ministers for programmatic statements by Wednesday14/3/2004 8:24:00 ́́
Prime Minister Karamanlis requested from his ministers to submit their memos with their programmatic statements by next Wednesday. Tomorrow, Mr. Karamanlis will meet with New Democracy honorary pres. Konstantinos Mitsotakis.
 PM Karamanlis meets with Cypriot president in Athens14/3/2004 8:22:00 ́́
Greece will press to break an impasse in talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots so that a unified island can join the European Union on May 1, Premier Kostas Karamanlis said today. Karamanlis also said after meeting with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos that a deadlock in U.N.-sponsored talks to reunify the eastern Mediterranean island must be broken and a positive result «must come out this time.» The PM stated the fixed goal is the accession of a reunified Cyprus to the European Union, so that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can enjoy with security and peace the goods of a new European reality that starts typically on May 1. Papadopoulos has blamed Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for the latest deadlock. accusing Denktash of cultivating a climate of goodwill in public but of keeping a hardline stance during talks.
 Spaniards vote in general election14/3/2004 8:21:00 ́́
Traumatised Spaniards voted in droves today in a general election thrown wide open by a new claim that al Qaeda rather than Basque separatists was behind the Madrid train bombs that killed 200 people last week.
If Osama bin Ladens men did mount their first direct strike in the West since September 11, 2001, and if, as claimed, it was an act of reprisal for Spains support of the United States in Iraq, it could cost the ruling conservatives dear in an election they were widely expected to win before Thursdays bloodshed.
Other Spaniards were more vitriolic in their accusations against Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar over Iraq and for "manipulating" public opinion by spending three days blaming the bombs on the Basque militants ETA, despite the groups denials. Just hours before polls opened, three Moroccans and two Indians were arrested and the Interior Ministry revealed a video
tape in which an Arabic speaker claimed the bombings were al Qaedas punishment on the government for siding with Washington.
U.S. officials today said it was still unclear if al Qaeda or some other group was behind last weeks train bombs in Madrid, but urged European
leaders to renew their commitment to the war on terrorism. Spanish officials were studying a tape purportedly from al Qaeda claiming responsibility for the attack that killed 200 people and wounded 1,500 after originally blaming ETA, the armed Basque separatist group, for the Thursday blasts.
In Athens, Minister of State and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos announced today that the Greeks, together with all the peoples of the European Union, will observe three minutes of silence on Monday to participate in the mourning of the Spanish people for the victims of this weeks terrorist attack in Madrid. Roussopoulos said Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos has already issued a relevant circular to all services in the public and wider public sector.
 Weather Forecast14/3/2004 8:14:00 ́́
Light clouds are forecast with temperatures increasing slightly throughout the country. Winds northerly moderate. Temperatures in Athens will range between 7-16 C and in Thessaloniki from 6-15 C.