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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-02-17

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Overflowing Rivers in Evros
  • [02] Internet Attack and Retraction
  • [03] Awaiting Results in Iraq
  • [04] EU Regulates Airline Compensations
  • [05] Rumsfeld's Wide-Ranging Speech
  • [06] Greek Economy in Brussels
  • [07] One Step Closer to Qualification
  • [08] Unpredictable Iraklis
  • [09] Who Wants to Marry Me Now?
  • [10] Drunk on Mouthwash

  • [01] Prefecture on Alert Overflowing Rivers in Evros

    17 Feb 2005 10:51:00 (Last updated: 17 Feb 2005 12:42:21)

    Sources: NET 105.8

    The situation in Evros and Ardas is considered extremely difficult and uncontrollable, at least for the next few hours. The overflowing of the rivers, which was caused by the heavy rainfalls and the increase in temperature that melted the snow, is posing threats for major disasters, especially to crops. Fields and farms have already flooded, while the waters swept buses and cars away. What is worst, the waters continue to rise. Two dykes have already cracked. Prefecture crews are already at the scene, trying to control the damage. The whole Prefecture is on alert, while the Civil Protection Authority asked citizens to evacuate the area immediately. As per the initial estimates, the floods have already covered an area of 50,000 acres.

    Controlled Floods

    Both the Turkish, as well as the Bulgarian authorities are unable to hold the large volumes of water from the rivers flowing into River Evros and as a result, the waters have risen 20cm over the danger and alarm level at the Pythio measuring centre, reaching 5.90m.

    At the Kyprinos damp, the level of the water was measured at 5.50m, ie 80cm over the limit of alertness.

    The Vice-Prefect of Evros, Michalis Kougioumtzis, asked through radio station NET 105.8 that no one approach the banks of the rivers Adras and Evros, adding that efforts are being made to control the flooding of the plain.

    Actually, earlier on Thursday, a controlled flood was attempted over an area of 20,000 acres at the Pythios dyke, in an effort to temporarily decongest the situation.

    Already as of yesterday, there were floods recorded in the areas Psarades, Vrysika, Koufovounio, Ellinochori, Kornofolia, Chimonio, Thourio and the Orestiada Plain.

    Dimimoticho seems to have escaped the danger of floods, at least temporarily, while the level of waters in Erythopotamos River, which had risen dangerously yesterday, is subsiding.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] "Holy War" Against Media, Judges, Politicians Internet Attack and Retraction

    17 Feb 2005 09:43:00 (Last updated: 17 Feb 2005 13:45:04)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A message, which appeared yesterday in the official website of the Church of Greece, seems to be playing hide and seek. The message, under the name "Analysis by Internet Unit", lashed out against politicians, judges and the Media. As of yesterday, it kept being posted, retracted and reappearing under different sections. Finally, after 12 hours, it was permanently withdrawn and was replaced with a brief announcement by the head of the Archbishoprics press office, Charis Konidaris. The message reads, "Neither the Holy Synod, nor the Athens Holy Archdiocese were aware of the existence of the message, which appeared yesterday in the newsletter Pronaos and was posted in the Churchs website. Its content does not reflect its views, or has its approval." However, no answers were provided regarding who was responsible for posting the message on the Internet. The item initially appeared on the page under the section News. Then it was withdrawn and reappeared under the heading Newsletter, but was permanently retracted a little before noon today.

    Against the Media

    It launched an attack against former PM Kostas Simitis and his circle, while it accused the judges of brain damage.

    "How is it that all judicial authorities, which are legally responsible for defending the institutions, as well as the citizens of Greece from defamation, are all suffering from brain damage?"

    At another point the writer wondered, "When the advisors of the then PM, K. Simitis, revealed that they had gambled in the stock market and made profits, the Media only publicized the matter for a week at the most, and not with full-page reviews, despite the fact that the PMs close circle was accused of participating in the blatant robbing of the Greek people. Now, we are seeing full-page articles about the Archbishops circle for over a month, in spite the fact that neither Giosakis, not Vavilis were ever part of the Primus close circle, in spite the fact that they were never close to him!"

    Furthermore, the writer even had the gall to say, "Other members of the political-journalistic circus, which is guided by unknown circles, are saying that the separation will allow the Church to deal solely with its spiritual duties and not intervene in politics. They are thus trying to persuade us that the Church will only deal with after-death life and will leave the rest to the hands of the circus."

    In concluding, it said, "And through all this mud and sewage smell that has daunted not only the Church, but also the media, no one pointed out the grace demonstrated by the Archbishop, who has refused to defend himself.

    Clean Up Measures

    In the meantime, yesterday, the Continuous Holy Synod, aiming to curb any future corruption incidents, similar to the ones recoded recently, approved a number of measures for the clean up of the Church, which were proposed by Archbishop Christodoulos to the Hierarchys extraordinary Synod.

    The measures include the modernization of ecclesiastical justice, the participation of low-level members of the clergy and citizens in the Churchs administration, more detailed audits in its finances, the ordainment of priests after the completion of their military service, as well as forbidding Metropolitan Bishops from demanding money in order to perform sacraments.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Holy Catharsis Underway

    [03] Announced Today At Noon Awaiting Results in Iraq

    17 Feb 2005 10:43:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Results for the 30 January Iraqi elections will be ratified today, according to an announcement issued by the country's central election commission. The commission's spokesperson Adel al-Lami, said the announcement and ratification of results will take place at 16.00 (15.00 Greek time) at a Press Conference, while the names of the elected candidates will also be made known. Mr al-Lami added that the commission is looking into the 48 objections filed by various candidates.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] New Regulation Applies as of Today EU Regulates Airline Compensations

    17 Feb 2005 10:18:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    A new EU Regulation is implemented as of today, Thursday, regarding the compensations that airlines would have to grant in the case when passengers are not able to fly, although they have booked their tickets well in advance. The Regulation allows for severe penalties in the case when flights are overbooked, as well as compensations in the case of flight cancellations or delays. It should be noted that in the last three years, the EU received over 2,000 complaints from passengers regarding the airlines refusal to allow them to board flights. The passengers should also be aware that the regulation applies even when they are traveling with an airline that does not belong in the EU, just as long as the plane departs from a Community airport.


    The compensations granted to airline passengers in case the company does not allow them to board increase as follows:

    i. from 150 to 250 euros for flights up to 1500km ii. from 150 to 400 euros for flights between 1500km and 3500km iii. from 300 to 600 euros for flights over 3500km

    This compensation can be halved if the delay does not exceed 2,3 and 4 hours respectively.

    The passengers rights also extend to the cases when flights are cancelled or overbooked, at which case passengers are entitled to the same amount of compensation. Furthermore, they are entitled to additional services (ie meals and accommodation), as well as money return or another flight to the passengers final destination.

    In the cases of long delays, the company ought to provide meals, beverages, hotel accommodation and transportation. If the delay exceeds five hours, it has to also offer money return and possibly a free flight.

    The rights apply for all types of flights of European airlines, as well as charter flights, departing from an EU airport (including the French territories) or flights departing from non-EU airports and bound to an EU airport, provided the airline belongs to the EU and the passenger has not received compensation from a third country.

    Information for Passengers

    As of today, passengers can direct their inquiries to the national control organizations, which are authorized to deal with their complaints and differences with the airlines.

    The citizens can also lodge their complaints by phoning Europe Direct on 00800-67891011 (toll free), where European Commission employees can provide advice and receive complaints in their native language. The call centre operates daily. Charges can also be filed at local European Commission offices.

    Furthermore, passengers can send an e-mail to

    In Greece, the Civil Aviation Authority has been appointed as the national control organization and is authorized to deal with passengers complaints, differences and charges against airlines.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:

    Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority

    Europe Direct

    [05] Rumsfeld's Wide-Ranging Speech

    17 Feb 2005 07:22:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld focused on Al-Qaeda, Syria and Guantanamo during his speech to the Senate. Quoting US intelligence, Mr Rumsfeld repeated that Al-Qaedas terrorist network is planning new attacks on American soil, stressing the "successes of the USA" in Iraq and Afghanistan do not mean that the war against Bin Ladens group is over. Actually, he stated once again that the USA needs the help of the allies in order to achieve its goal. Then, the Defense Secretary condemned Syria for its stance, saying that it is harmful towards the Middle East and especially towards Washingtons efforts to reinstate stability and democracy in Iraq.

    Syria Assists Terrorist Groups

    During his speech, Rumsfeld claimed that the Syrians have investments in Iraq, which they are refusing to unblock. Furthermore, he said that they are protecting members of Baath, they are occupying Lebanon and, along with Iran, are assisting Hezbollahs entry to Lebanon and Israel.

    It is worth noting that on Wednesday, the US Defense Ministry recalled their Ambassador in Damascus indefinitely.

    Changes in Guantanamo?

    Mr Rumsfeld also referred to the issue with the Guantanamo prisons, supporting the $ 42 million plan, which aims to improve the conditions for inmates and comply with the Geneva Treaty.

    Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also referred to the issue of the long-term prisoners. He declared that the authorities are moving to implement a model of long-term imprisonment, as some prisoners are so bad that they should not be released.

    It should be noted that 550 men are held in Guantanamo, most of whom were arrested in Afghanistan in 200, suspected for terrorism.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    US Applies Pressure on Syria

    [06] ECOFIN and Eurogroup in Session Greek Economy in Brussels

    16 Feb 2005 13:18:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The Greek Economy will be the focus of ECOFIN and Eurogroup on Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow, ECOFIN is expected to adopt the European Commissions proposal on how to deal with the fiscal problem. The matter will be discussed this afternoon in the Eurogroups meeting, which the Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis will be attending. As per the Economy Ministry, the final decision will be formulated during ECOFINs meeting on 17 February. It should be noted that Greece has until 21 March to submit its report regarding the measures that have to be implemented in order to bring the deficit to under 3% of the GNP by the end of 2006.

    Alogoskoufis' Contacts

    On Thursday, Mr Alogoskoufis will meet with the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Danuta Hubner, as well as the Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Joaqu&#237;n Almunia. Furthermore, he will meet with the Commissioner for the Environment, Stavros Dimas, as well as the Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, Markos Kyprianou.

    Other matters that will be discussed by ECOFIN include Lisbons strategy and the preparations for the upcoming Spring Summit, which will take place on 22 and 23 March 2005.

    The stability and development programmes of Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Finland are also expected to be ratified during the meetings.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] One Step Closer to Qualification

    16 Feb 2005 21:56:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Although they were better in the first half than in the second, Panathinaikos managed to claim victory with Vintra's amazing goal and thus set the basis for qualification to the next round of the UEFA Cup. They entered the pitch with high spirits and gained control from the very first minute, thus threating Sevilla's post at least three times. However, none of Gekas' nor Gonzalez' attempts made it to the nets and complete domination was left unexploited. In the rerun, the Spaniards were better than in the first half and managed to threaten a bit, but at the most critical point, as it proved, Loukas Vintra released a thunder outside the area and scored the unique and rather precious goal of the match.

    European Comeback

    Panathinaikos entered the pitch in Leoforos completely adjusted to the demands of a European match having full knowledge of what they wanted to achieve. From the very beginning, they showed their teeth to Sevilla and made sure to use the same force in offense as the Spaniards used in defence. As a result, Panathinaikos prevailed and created many fine opportunities to score, which however failed to reach Esteban's nets. Panathinaikos' main problem was exactly that, which accentuated by misfortune and hasty choices deprived them of the goal, which they rightfully deserved.

    Gekas in Europe

    The most important gain for Panathinaikos at the moment is perhaps Fanis Gekas' complete adaptation to his new demands. The offender from Larissa seems to have already been used to playing in European matches and was a real pain in the butt for the Spaniard defenders, but failed to finish off three amazing opportunities to score. At the 4', his diagonal kick was sent away by Esteban, while at the 11' his tete-a-tete with the Spaniard goalkeeper had the same fate. At the 36', his last chance to score, the ball hit on Esteban's fingers and went wide.

    Good in Defense Too

    At the same time, the only thing Sevilla managed to do was to threaten Galinovic' post once and in fact very early in the match. At the 7', in an effort to counterattack for Gekas' kick, Zordi sent the ball slightly wide with a header. And that was all folks! Attempts were broken off by Panathinaikos' defence, while Ilias Kotsios assisted by Morris had blocked Baptista.

    Harder Rerun

    The rerun was a bit more difficult for Panathinaikos. Zordi was substituted by Sales, which allowed the Spaniards to be more flexible at the centre and make more attempts for the much anticipate goal, which would never come. Sales unsuccessfully tried to defeat Galinovic at the 57' and Renato's kick at the 68' had the same fate.

    Successful Balance

    From that point on, Panathinaikos pulled themselves together again and focused on victory. Konstantinou was not in a good day and failed to create opportunities, while Gekas was now surrounded, as the Spaniards had come up with a way to stop him. However, redemption was near but came from afar! At the 76' Munch was awarded a corner kick, the guests tried to block it, but the ball landed on Loukas Vintra's feet, who literally unleashed a thunder from 30 metres and defeated Esteban. The Spaniards tried to react, but they couldn't go past Panathinaikos' defence. In fact, at the 82' Panathinaikos almost scored a second goal, but Esteban blocked Konstantinou's header.

    Referee: Claude Colombo (France)

    Red Cards: Jordi, Gonzalez

    PANATHINAIKOS: Galinovic, Morris, Goumas (55' Andric), Kotsios, Munch, Vintra, Basinas, Scacel (52' Konstantinidis), Gonzalez, Gekas, Konstantinou (88' Maric)

    SEVILLA: Esteban, Pablo, Alfaro, Aitor Ocio, David, Daniel Alves, Renato, Marti, Baptista, Adriano, Jordi (46' Sales), Makukula (63' Antonito)

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Unpredictable Iraklis

    16 Feb 2005 21:59:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Panathinaikos was beaten for the fourth time straight in Iraklis home ground "Ivanofio". After losing to Ionikos in the same court, Iraklis tried hard, played well and defeated Panathinaikos, which is just the third loss for the team this season. The big winner of this round though was Marousis, which struggled to defeat Panellinios, in a match that was decided in the last seconds. This victory placed Panagiotis Giannakis team in clear second, and provided it beats Olympiacos in their postponed game, it will equal Panathinaikos in first place. On the other hand, Panellinios is a step away from relegation to A2.

    MENT and Panionios Move Ahead

    However, the real winners of this round were MENT and Panionios, which not only defeated Ionikos Amaliada and Apollo Patra respectively, but the first has probably secured a spot in A1 and the latter reached the third place in the rankings. With its loss, Ionikos basically lost the advantage it gained after his victory against Iraklis last week.

    Another team that lost some valuable ground was Olympia, which did not manage to make it against Aris and stayed at 23pts along with MENT and Ionikos.

    AEKs victory against Makedonikos gave them a breather, especially considering PAOKs loss to Olympiacos, and is now looking at a place in the top four.

    Finally, following its dreadful performance against Panathinaikos in the last round, Olympiacos achieved a consolation victory against PAOK, which once again showed its bad face in away games.

    The Results

    Ionikos Amaliada - MENT 70-79 Apollo Patra - Panionios 66-70 Panellinios Marousi 74-76 AEK - Makedonikos 79-67 Iraklis - Panathinaikos 80-73 Olympiacos - PAOK 65-60 Aris Olympia Larisa 86-66

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Who Wants to Marry Me Now?

    17 Feb 2005 09:16:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    No woman would want to be in her spot; and neither would any man. To be left stranded by your future spouse just minutes before the wedding is not easy. However, a bride from India, Suggi, was determined to go ahead with the marriage, even if it was not to her beloved. So, when the groom got cold feet at the last minute, she remained calm and invited volunteers from the audience to marry her. What is weird though, is that a replacement was found and the wedding went ahead. But we have to show some lenience for the runaway groom, as it was an arranged marriage.

    Fled After Scuffle

    Actually, the fleeing groom had some serious reasons to get out of the whole affair. He claimed that Suggi was not the same person he had been introduced to before the arranged wedding.

    The relatives of the bride, though, reacted immediately and tried to stop him from escaping. However, he was determined to leave and after putting up a fight, he managed to get away.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Drunk on Mouthwash

    17 Feb 2005 08:30:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    We have all heard of stories where alcoholics resort to alternative alcoholic substances, including colognes, when they cannot get a glass of some type of spirit. However, the case of a 50-year-old American goes beyond the realm of reality, as she managed to get drunk on mouthwash! Her original drinking binge was revealed when the woman decided to go for a drive, after downing three glasses of a strong mouthwash. The influence of the mouthwash was immediate, since the 50-year-old not only got plastered, but also failed to stop at a red light, thus rear-ending the car in front of her.

    After the accident, the police breathalysed the woman and found that she had three times the legal level of alcohol in her blood. After searching her car, the police also found the hard evidence, a bottle of mouthwash.

    And if you are wondering how one can get drunk on mouthwash, you should know that some brands in the market contain up to 27% alcohol, which is almost double the content found in wine.

    The company that produces the mouthwash reacted immediately and issued an announcement saying that as per the instructions, the solution should not be swallowed, and if used according to the recommendations, it does not affect one's driving skills.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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