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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-01-27

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Papaligouras in High Court Meeting
  • [02] Rio-Andirio Bridge Closed Off
  • [03] Public Dialogue on Journalists
  • [04] From Suicide to Murder
  • [05] Sharon Satisfied
  • [06] Explosions in Baqubah and Kirkuk
  • [07] Satisfaction with Hospital Shifts
  • [08] Thousands of Demonstrators at Social Forum
  • [09] Multi-Fatality Air Accident in Vietnam

  • [01] He will ask for the scandal to be solved Papaligouras in High Court Meeting

    27 Jan 2005 10:28:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8

    The evidence coming daily to light in the scandal of the courtroom gang is taking on the form of an avalanche. Already four justices have been referred to the Plenary Session of the High Court, while the investigations are also touching other people in the Justice sector. Furthermore, the leaders of the High Court are currently receiving a visit from the Minister of Justice, Anastasis Papaligouras, who is expected to ask for the case of the courtroom gang to be cleared up, as well as a thorough check into the work of judges. Those Justices involved, as well as archimandrite Iakovos Yiosakis, who is in the Lebanon, are expected to be charged by the Deputy High Court Public Prosecutor, Giorgos Sanidas.

    New Evidence

    Yesterday, criminal lawyer Alexandros Kougias and reporter Stelios Vorinas, who is alleged to have provided evidence on the courtroom gang, appeared before the Deputy Public Prosecutor to testify.

    In the meantime, First Instance Court Judge Panagiota Tzevi denies any involvement in the gang and yesterday described it as a coincidence that favourable decisions had been made for Yiosakis. She made this remark whilst addressing the disciplinary committee of the High Court.

    In the meantime, Archbishop Christodoulos is expected to ask the Minister of Justice for an amendment to the law on ecclesiastic justice, so that the case of the archimandrite Iakovos Yiosakis, alleged to have been involved in the gang, who has fled abroad, may be dealt with.

    Judges all over Greece have scheduled a two-hour work stoppage for today, from 12:30 till 14:30.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Wires Short-Circuited Rio-Andirio Bridge Closed Off

    27 Jan 2005 12:17:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: ANA

    The traffic of vehicles stopped on the bridge that connects Rio with Andirio at 11:15. The reason was that a fire broke out in one of the construction wires of the bridge, in the lane that leads to Rio. According to the alternate General Director of the bridge operating company, Mr Dimitropoulos, the traffic was stopped due to security reasons, on both lanes two and from Andirio. Technicians of the company have already started to investigate the causes of the problem, in order to be countered and for the traffic of the bridge to be re-opened.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Framework for journalists-state relations Public Dialogue on Journalists

    27 Jan 2005 11:16:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    A broad meeting is currently underway at Zappeion Mansion, by initiative of the Minister of State, Thodoris Roussopoulos, on the topic of forming a framework for the professional relations of journalists with the State. Among those participating in the meeting, apart from the State Minister, is the alternate government spokesman, Evangelos Antonaros, as well as other members of the government and representatives of political parties. From the journalistic community, there are representatives participating from the Hellenic Association of Editors and Reporters, ESIEA, as well as unions from around Greece. The State Minister has raised five main questions for discussion to find a mutually acceptable conclusion. The issue of many jobs in the public sector, work contracts and conditions of pay, as well as professional incompatibility are topics to be discussed, according to Mr Roussopoulos, who pledged that each year he would send the unions the information received by the ministry from public services in which journalists are employed.

    "We will Not Conduct a Witch-hunt"

    "This discussion does not aim to demonise the issue, and neither will we conduct a witch-hunt," underlined Mr Roussopoulos in his speech, stressing that talk of individual cases is not appropriate in this case.

    Representing ND, MP Theodoros Kasimis opposed the publication of a list of names, which he said would lead to problems for all journalists. Furthermore, he said that he was opposed to creating a large number of journalist places in the public sector, and underlined that the state could not place restrictions on the journalistic profession. "Journalist unions must take their own responsibility," stressed Mr Kasimis.

    The former Minister for the Press, Tilemachos Hitiris intervened in the discussion to note that today, based on what has been said, journalists have recently been accused, while he expressed his disagreement with the specific process, noting that this accusation "becomes official with our presence here." Addressing journalist unions, he underlined that they must take the initiative to sort out their own affairs.

    The representative of KKE, Antonis Skilakos, called for a full discussion into work-related topics, and proposed forming an inter-party committee for secret funding.

    SYN representative Nikos Vousis insisted that the matters be resolved by journalist unions, and proposed publication of a list of names, provided journalist unions agree.

    ESIEA President Manolis Mathioudakis asked for the names of all journalists who either have worked or are working in the public sector to be published

    In the meantime, with an ESIEA initiative, a delegation of certified journalists protested to the Ministry of Defence against the restriction measures imposed by the Ministry.

    Regarding this matter, Mr Roussopoulos stated that he has always been in favour of free access to sources of information.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] Eleven dead From Suicide to Murder

    27 Jan 2005 10:13:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Los Angeles is in mourning after yesterdays tragic rail accident, which cost the lives of 11 people and caused the injury of a further 200. It all began when a 25-year-old man, Juan Manuel Alvarez, drove his jeep onto the train tracks in the suburb of Glendale, intending to put an end to his life. At the last minute, however, shortly before the impact of the train on his car, Alvarez changed his mind and abandoned the jeep, without having time to take it off the tracks. Immediately afterwards, a terrible collision occurred, resulting in the derailment of two double-decker trains. Alvarez was arrested near the scene of the accident, and according to Police Chief Randy Adams, he will face at least 10 counts of murder (Adams statement was made before the 11th body was recovered). Alvarez is expected to be formally charged either today or tomorrow.

    Deranged Personality

    The person who, according to evidence available so far, was responsible for the fatal accident, is described as a person with a deranged personality and suicidal tendencies, while his criminal record contains drugs-related cases. In any case, Alvarez himself admitted his part in the accident, while according to the Police Chief, eye-witnesses saw him get out of the jeep shortly before the collision.

    In fact, according to the sister of Alvarezs former wife, after the divorce, his estranged wife asked for a court order to keep him away, but he frequently tried to approach her.

    "We are all in mourning today," stressed Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn, adding nonetheless that the disaster could have been bigger.

    Enormous Rescue Operation

    The accident took place during the morning rush hour, while the trains were full of commuters. An enormous rescue operation started immediately, with more than 300 firemen participating, and it took many hours to free the trapped injured people.

    "For me, this is the worst accident I have ever seen," stressed the Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department, Rex Willoughby.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] With the Palestinian Authority's measures Sharon Satisfied

    27 Jan 2005 10:03:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: ANA

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appears to be very satisfied with the measures that have been taken by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Mr Sharon stated in an interview today to the newspaper Yediot Ahronot: "There is no doubt that Abu Mazen (as Mahmoud Abbas is also known) has started action. I am very satisfied with the measures that he has taken and we can jointly promote many things," stressed Sharon. "I intend to take a step towards Abu Mazen, continuing to keep my eyes open and to examine the situation," concluded the Israeli Prime Minister.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] Explosions in Baqubah and Kirkuk

    27 Jan 2005 09:47:00

    By Anna Kourti

    A car packed with explosives detonated near the offices of the governor of the Iraqi city of Baqubah. At least one person was killed, according to Reuters photographer, Nicola Solich. Earlier, homemade bombs exploded at three polling stations in Kirkuk, as an American patrol was on its way. "One bomb exploded at a polling station 10 kilometres outside of Kirkuk, and two in polling stations on the eastern side of the city, without claiming any victims," stated army representative General Kader Mohamed. According to General Mohamed, two Iraqi civilians were injured last night by a shell detonating near a police station in the town of Kaza, 10 kilometres south of Kirkuk.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] "Fold-up beds reduced by 88%" Satisfaction with Hospital Shifts

    27 Jan 2005 12:12:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, MNA

    The results of the new system of hospital shifts are positive, according to the Minister of Health, Nikitas Kaklamanis. In a Press interview which he held yesterday, he stated that fold-up beds have been reduced by 88% over the last month and a half, which is the time that the new system has been operating. Mr Kaklamanis expressed his satisfaction with the results of the system. "In order for the new shift system to fully succeed and not only have quantitative but also qualitative results, we must give priority to the living," stressed Mr Kaklamanis, and he announced that 2000 positions for nursing staff would be created in February, with 2500 nursing recruitments scheduled for June through ASEP.

    "We'll Win the Wager"

    Mr Kaklamanis stressed that over the last two months, 9 out of ten fold-up beds have disappeared from major hospitals. He admitted, however, that it is impossible to make fold-up beds disappear completely from hospital corridors. "Well never get it down to zero. But we can reduce them by 80-90%. And I think that this would be a great wager to win. And I think it will be won."

    Regarding 60 cases of fold-up beds at the Red Cross hospital shift yesterday, the Minister of Health said that it is a question of peoples attitude, and stressed that we must "promote small hospitals in the suburbs, what fully equipped departments they have, so that people find out and go there. Yesterday, when the Red Cross brought out fold-up beds, suburban supporting hospitals had empty beds."

    Moreover, the Minister of Health underlined that the new shift system was faced with skepticism by doctors, while Mr Kaklamanis targeted doctors public relations, bribery and long waiting lists at surgeries.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] Bush's policy targeted Thousands of Demonstrators at Social Forum

    27 Jan 2005 08:04:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA

    Thousands of people demonstrated yesterday in Porto Allegre, Brazil as part of the fifth World Social Forum, protesting against the policies of the American President George Bush, the war in Iraq and globalisation. The police estimate that approximately 200,000 people participated in the demonstration. The protestors started out in nine different points and met up in Borjes de Mendeiros Avenue, one of the central roads through Porto Allegre. In the last stage of the march, a group of representatives from Africa took the lead, holding a banner which read: "Social Forum in Africa 2007." As part of the Social Forum, there will be a concert on Thursday, in which the Minister of Culture of Brazil, Gilberto Gille, will participate.

    The World Social Forum is organized in response to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, and its aim is to give greater emphasis to poor and developing countries.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] All on board killed Multi-Fatality Air Accident in Vietnam

    27 Jan 2005 07:44:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA, Reuters

    Tragic death for the 16 people on board a military helicopter, when for a so far unknown reason, it fell into the sea on Wednesday. As reported by state media in Vietnam, among the dead are two senior officers and the three crew members. In fact, according to the radio station Voice of Vietnam, the two senior officers were of the rank of general. The accident occurred when the helicopter had only just taken off and was heading for an island in central Vietnam. The authorities in the country have recovered all the dead, while the Ministry of Defence has ordered an investigation into the cause of the crash. Air crashes involving military aircraft are rare in Vietnam, which is supplied with military helicopters from Russia.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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