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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-02-20

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Spain Votes on Euro Constitution
  • [02] Polls Open
  • [03] Vavilis' House Searched
  • [04] Security Operations in Ramadi
  • [05] Britons Abducted in Darfur
  • [06] Ship Sinks in Bangladesh
  • [07] Portugal at the Polls

  • [01] The first European country decides Spain Votes on Euro Constitution

    20 Feb 2005 11:05:00

    By Anna Kourti

    In Spain, the polls opened at 9am (10:00 Greek time). About 34.5 million Spaniards are to go to 23,646 polling stations to vote to approve or not the new European Constitution. The polls will close at 8pm and following this the results will be announced on state television. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapateros socialist government fears a low voter turnout and for this reason they conducted an impressive campaign to encourage citizens to vote. The majority of Spaniards are expected to answer positively to the question, according to an opinion poll. Spanish citizens show very little interest, and this means that even if 40% of the electorate vote, this will be considered a success. Among the first to go to the polls was King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, who voted at 10.15 (Greek time) at a polling station close to the palace. The result of the referendum must be approved by Parliament.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] To choose 4,000 Convention representatives Polls Open

    20 Feb 2005 09:55:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Since this morning, members and friends of PASOK have been coming to the polls, in order to choose 4000 representatives for the Convention, which will be held from 3 to 6 March. The voting began at 9am and will finish at 6pm. In all branches of the organisation around Greece, 9600 candidacies have been submitted for the election of representatives. To facilitate members and friends who will come to exercise their voting rights, 1020 polling stations have been set up around Greece.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] New evidence Vavilis' House Searched

    20 Feb 2005 09:36:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Police from the Attica organised crime unit yesterday entered a flat in Holargos. Sources indicate that Apostolos Vavilis lived there recently. At the house, they found a priests cassock, crucifixes and rosaries. A high ranking police officer stated that the flat appeared to have been rented by Archimandrite Nikodimos Farmakis, and if enquiries prove that Vavilis did indeed live in the flat, then it is clear that the archimandrite will be held responsible, although he has so far been accused of nothing. On Thursday, Vavilis sent a letter to the Public Prosecutor of the High Court, declaring that he was ready to turn himself in to the Greek authorities.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Vavilis Wants to Turn Himself In

    [04] Curfew imposed Security Operations in Ramadi

    20 Feb 2005 13:10:00

    By Anna Kourti

    With the aim of restoring order in Ramadi, which is controlled by rebels, American forces are conducting wide-scale operations in the city. According to a statement from the American military, the operation is targeting rebels and terrorists who are trying to destabilise Anbar Province, terrorising the population with violence, as a curfew has been imposed from 8pm to 6am. "The Iraqi government has requested us to extend our security operations in the city in order for us to locate, isolate and neutralise the anti-Iraqi forces and the terrorists," stated lieutenant general Richard Natonski, of the marines.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Released after six hours Britons Abducted in Darfur

    20 Feb 2005 12:56:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Two Britons, who worked for a charity organisation in Darfur in the Sudan, were abducted by Sudanese rebels, reported Arab network Al Jazeera. According to UN sources in the Sudan, the hostages were held for six hours before being released. The Arab-language television network reported that the governor of the state of Northern Darfur, Osman Kendir, told their correspondent in the Sudan that the British embassy in Khartoum began negotiations from the very first moment with the rebels in order to secure the release of the two hostages.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] Ship Sinks in Bangladesh

    20 Feb 2005 11:44:00

    By Anna Kourti

    A ship sunk late on Saturday night, near the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka. Thirty seven people lost their lives and a further 150 are missing. According to the authorities, the ship M.V. Maharaj carried approximately 200 people. The area was suffering from adverse weather conditions. So far 37 bodies have been recovered, as stated by a representative of the police. The accident happened on the River Buriganga in the Pangla Bazar district, at a short distance from Dhaka.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] Socialists are the favourite Portugal at the Polls

    20 Feb 2005 10:33:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The polls opened at 8am local time (10:00 Greek time) in Portugal, to choose the countrys fourth government in the last three years. The polls will close at 7pm. According to the latest opinion polls, the Opposition Socialist Party is expected to win the elections with a great difference from the ruling Social Democrat Party. The pre-election campaign centred on the need for political stability and economic development. The President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, declared early elections, citing the instability of the centre-right governing coalition. "Portugal is at a crossroads. At this moment, the best way to respond to the crisis is in the hands of the citizens. In a democracy, all crises have a solution," said Sampaio in his speech on Saturday.

    Jose Socrates is Favourite

    The Socialists led by former Environment Minister Jose Socrates will win an absolute majority in the 230-member Parliament, according to the latest opinion polls. If this should happen, it will be the first time in the last ten years that a party wins an absolute majority.

    47-year-old Socrates has promised to create new employment positions through education on technology, and has pledged to reduce the number of workers in the public sector.

    On the other hand, Social Democrat PM Pedro Santana Lopes intends to implement a programme to reduce public spending. Santana Lopes took over as prime minister of the country when his predecessor Jose Manuel Duaro Baroso resigned in order to become president of the European Commission. The countrys economy is gradually coming out of recession, and the Central Bank predicts that in 2005 the rate of development will reach 1.6% - below the EU average for the fifth consecutive year. In the last three months of 2004, unemployment reached 7.1%, the highest percentage since the start of 1998.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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