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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-01

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Evros Breaks its Banks
  • [02] Heavy Atmosphere
  • [03] Emergency Meeting in Hillah
  • [04] Anchor Dropped
  • [05] Carnage in Hillah
  • [06] Elections at the ABA

  • [01] Water level exceeds degree of danger Evros Breaks its Banks

    01 Mar 2005 12:24:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: NET 105.8, NET

    The weather around Greece is worsening significantly, with a sharp drop in temperature. It has been snowing since this morning in central and western Macedonia, while thick snowfall has even been seen inside Thessaloniki. Things are difficult in Evros, while the state mechanism in the area is on high alert to deal with the Rivers Ardas and Evros breaking their banks, as the rain continues and water is coming in from Turkey and Bulgaria. The water level in the River Evros is continually rising, exceeding the danger level, and the authorities efforts concentrate on protecting the two riverside villages of Pythio and Lavara, where there is extensive flooding, while the last count showed 6.60 metres, while the previous highest measurement, just a few days ago, was 6.25 metres. Speaking on NET 105.8, the Prefect of Evros, Nikos Zambounidis stated that the water level has exceeded all precedents, while he stressed that all necessary measures have been taken. Furthermore, a great deal of damage has been done to agricultural areas, while there are serious problems with the rail network. The Civil Protection Authority calls on citizens not to approach the banks of the river, in order to avoid accidents.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Holy Synod covenes once more Heavy Atmosphere

    01 Mar 2005 09:41:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, Apogevmatini newspaper

    The Holy Synod convened this morning in a heavily charged climate and under the shadow of new revelations and received the official resignation of Metropolitan Bishop Theoklitos of Thessaliotida, while the Metropolitan Bishops of Attica and Chios, Panteleimon and Dionysios respectively, were called to give explanations for accounts that they are said to have in foreign banks.Owing to health problems, Panteleimon did not attend, although he submitted details of his finances. At the same time, a survey by Kapa Research on behalf of TV station Antenna shows that the vast majority of citizens, 54.1% considers the archbichop and his circle responsible for the crisis. Moreover, 44.4% of those asked are in favour of a resignation from Archbishop Christodoulos, while 48.7% are against. In the meantime, a letter from Iakovos, who has been remanded in custody, to Archbishop Christodoulos in 1998 on the election of a new Metropolitan Bishop of Kithira, has been revealed by the newspaper Apogevmatini.

    Poll Delivers Slap

    The majority of citizens hold Archbishop Christodoulos personally responsible for all that has happened amongst the Hierarchy, according to a poll by Kapa Research, on behalf of TV channel Antenna, which was published last night on the programme "Me ta Matia tis Ellis" (In Elli's Eyes).

    It is significant that 54.1% of those questioned considers that Archbishop Christodoulos is personally responsible for what is going on, in contrast with 30.5% who believe that the Archbishop is being involved unfairly.

    However, there is also a large number of people who believe that the leader of the Church of Greece cannot guarantee autocatharsis in the ranks of the Hierarchy, as 42.3% of those polled state categorically that Christodoulos does not guarantee catharsis, while 17.2% answer in an almost negative fashion, saying "probably not." On the other hand, only 17.4% give him the "vote of confidence," while 19.4% believe that "he probably guarantees catharsis." Furthermore, there is a borderline difference between those who believe that the Archbishop should resign, and those who claim that he should remain in office. 32.6% want to see Christodoulos leave, while 11.8% answer "probably yes" to such a possibility. On the other hand, the percentage of those who believe that the Archbishop should not resign stands at 37.4%, while 11.3% answer "probably not."

    In addition, it seems that public opinion is divided regarding responsibility. 31.6% believe that the Archbishop's circle is responsible, 19.3% believe that the Archbishop is entirely responsible, while 8.7% blame the crisis in the hierarchy on "dark circles who want to harm the Archbishop." Regarding answers to the questions of how Vavilis, Triantafillakis and Nikodimos came to be in Jerusalem, 33.4% of those surveyed believe that they went by order of those surrounding the Archbishop, 29.2% answer that the order came straight from the Archbishop, while 26.1% believe that they went of their own accord.

    The poll was carried out by telephone on 25 February, before the Archbishop's televised interview. Besides this, in a poll by Metron Analysis, which was published last week, Christodoulos' popularity suffered a fall of 25% in comparison with last October.

    Giosakis' Letter

    In the meantime, a revealing letter from Archimandrite Iakovos Giosakis to Archbishop Christodoulos is brought to light today by the newspaper Apogevmatini. The letter, which is dated 1998, and co-signed by the close friend of Giosakis, Kirillos Stavropoulos, who has also been remanded in custody, regards the election of the Metropolitan Bishop of Kithira. Giosakis and Stavropoulos propose Kirillos Christakis, who was ultimately elected two months later, and beg that the now bishop of Christinanoupoli and arch-secretary of the Holy Synod, then archimandrite Serafim Metzelopoulos not be elected.

    A large question mark stand over the anger of the two close friends, now in custody, against the bishop of Christianoupoli Serafim Metzelopoulos, whom they describe in heavy expressions, starting with the mild "hardhearted" and going as far as the unheard of "dragon- Metzelopoulos", "vulture and hawk," "bloodsucker" and "reactionary."

    The above descriptions by Giosakis and Stavropoulos can be understood clearly if it is recalled that the new arch-secretary of the Holy Synod was at that time the interrogator of the Holy Synod, as the letter mentions.

    They accuse him of harshness, fearing a pogrom and declare that "in place of a heart he has a volcano of lava," while they even claim that "he doesnt know the meaning of love and forgiveness and houses morals below the waist, in his pants."

    They also describe him as the "unloved, bloodthirsty Dracula," comparing him to the "harsh figure of an Inquisitor from the Dark Ages" and in their efforts to make their statements convincing, they accuse him of advocating "priestly law" and "medical testing of those to be ordained." All this stems from the fact that Serafim suspended many active clerics.

    Theoklitos Testifies

    Furthermore, today the resigned Metropolitan Bishop Theoklitos Koumarianos of Thessaliotida is currently testifying before High Court Inspector Christos Baltas on the declaration of a false address in Piraeus, so that his case might be tried there.

    In the meantime, the court report on Apostolos Vavilis, who is wanted by Interpol, was been passed onto the Public Prosecutor. According to Foreign Ministry files, in 2000-2004 no diplomatic or ministerial passport was issued for Vavilis, as stated by alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros, stressing that there is no need to talk of danger of national dimensions on the case of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. At the same time, SYN MP Giannis Dragasakis told NET 105.8 that he will submit a motion calling for an immediate check of all Metropolitan Bishops, with a view to recording their property details, with a thorough financial audit of Metropolitan Bishops.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] Emergency Meeting in Hillah

    01 Mar 2005 11:36:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The number of those who died in the bomb attack in Hillah has reached 125, while a hospital spokesperson stated today that the number of victims is expected to increase, as many of the 146 people who were injured are in critical condition. The governor of Babylon Province called an emergency meeting of security chiefs for this morning, to discuss measures to be taken to avert such terrorist activities. The attack occurred on Monday morning, when an Islamic suicide-bomber blew up his car, which was packed with explosives, in front of a government building whilst hundreds of Iraqis were waiting to secure the health documents required to submit applications to the Civil Service. So far, no organisation has taken responsibility for the explosion.

    International Condemnation

    The bloody attack was wholeheartedly condemned by the international community. The White House announced that "terrorists who commit such acts are enemies of the Iraqi people and opposed to the prospects of a free and peaceful future."

    The UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan appealed to Iraqis to "refrain all acts of violence, to set aside their differences and work together in a spirit of national reconciliation."

    The attack was also condemned by the head of European diplomacy, Xavier Solana, British PM Tony Blair, who described it as "beastly" and Italy, stressing that it "was the most savage of recent months."

    In the meantime, in a message from the deputy of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, which was published on an Islamic website, the "Mujahedin are called to continue the Holy War in Iraq against the crusaders and their agents."

    The attack in Hillah followed the arrest of Sabawi Ibrahim, Saddam Husseins half-brother, who is believed to have funded Iraqi rebels. Sabawi Ibrahim was arrested three days ago on the borders with Syria, as announced by Iraqi officials.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Carnage in Hillah

    [04] 48-hour strike by Greek sailors Anchor Dropped

    01 Mar 2005 11:56:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Ships of all categories with Greeks among their crews remain tied to port, owing to the 48-hour strike from today at 6am, which has been organized by the Hellenic Marine Federation (HMF), whose main demands regard combating unemployment, doubling direct payments and an increase in welfare payments, the withdrawal of the motion requiring an act of approbation in order for a craft to be recorded on shipping registers in Greece, and for an independent unemployment fund to be founded for sailors. HMF trade unionists will meet again at 3pm with the Minister of Mercantile Marine Manolis Kefalogiannis, who has described most of the sailors demands as justified. The Body of Corinth Canal Workers are also participating in the strike, with scaled four-hour work stoppages.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Possibly Made by Sunni Insurgents Carnage in Hillah

    28 Feb 2005 22:40:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The situation in Iraq is out of control, after this mornings suicide attack in the town of Hillah, 100 km south of Baghdad. A suicide bomber crashed with his vehicle, trapped with explosives on a group of people waiting in line in order to issue medical papers. The latest account increases the number of dead to 125 and 130 injured. The situation, which took place after the terrorist attack, was chaotic with many dismembered bodies lying in the streets. Up to this moment no organization has taken responsibility over the attack. The Iraqi authorities however evaluate Sunni insurgents are possibly involved, which oppose the Shiites majority of the countrys new government.

    Blood Bath

    The explosion was so powerful that the only part that remained from the vehicle was its engine.

    Parts shot off and landed in the towns central market, across the street. The Iraqi authorities made a plea for blood donations, while the towns hospital, not being able to counter the situation, asked for the help of doctors in neighboring towns.

    At the scene witnesses stated that two passengers were aboard the grey Mitsubishi that later crashed into the crowd. A few minutes before the crash, the one passenger embraced the driver and stepped out of the vehicle. Following, the suicide bomber fell into the crowd, which had gathered outside a clinic to receive medical papers in order to be hired by Iraqi security forces. Todays attack is one of the bloodiest in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Nearly a year ago, on March 2, at least 170 people were killed in simultaneous suicide attacks in mosques in Karbala and Baghdad.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Paxinos wins first round Elections at the ABA

    01 Mar 2005 00:17:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    With a more than 20-point lead, the outgoing Chairman of the Athens Bar Association (ABA), Dimitris Paxinos, was the victor in the first round of the elections. After 100% of the ballots had been counted, he was shown to have 42.75% against his main rival, outgoing general secretary of the ABA, Dimitris Vervesos, who gained 21.94%. A difference will be made in the second round of ballot-casting between the two candidates on 6 and 7 March by Theodoros Schinas, who is supported by SYN, who received 12.8% of the vote, and Panagiotis Galetselis, who received 8.95%. Of the 18,346 members of the Athens Bar Association, 12,855 turned out to vote, while voter apathy stood at 30%.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Greek Lawyers Take to the Polls

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