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

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] They Were Set on War
  • [02] Turbulent May Day Celebrations
  • [03] Injuries from Firecrackers
  • [04] Panos Geramanis Passed Away
  • [05] Dozens of Suspects in Cairo
  • [06] Bloody Sunday
  • [07] Tayyip Erdogan in Israel
  • [08] Blair Is in the Lead
  • [09] New Attacks against Eirinaios

  • [01] The Sunday Times Reveal Secret Documents They Were Set on War

    01 May 2005 19:31:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Reuters

    Today, Londons Sunday Times reveal the chronicle of war foretold in Iraq. Specifically, the newspaper published secret British documents, according to which US President George Bush and British PM Tony Blair were determined to topple Saddam Hussein at least nine months before launching the war in Iraq. The British PM kept claiming that he did not commit Britain to attacking Iraq until Saddam had been given a final chance to abandon banned weapons, and that "regime change", ie overthrowing Saddam, was never his aim.

    War was Unavoidable

    As per the newspaper, which published secret minutes of a top-level cabinet meeting held in July 2002 to discuss Iraq, Tony Blair allegedly declared, "If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work."

    US Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the case for war was "thin", because "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD (weapons of mass destruction) capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

    Straw proposed giving Saddam an ultimatum to allow in UN weapons inspectors, provoking a confrontation that would "help with the legal justification for the use of force."

    Britains spy chief, Sir Richard Dearlove, fresh from a trip to Washington, had concluded that war was "inevitable", because "Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action", and "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

    Blair then ordered his chief of defence staff, Sir Michael Boyce, to present him with war plans later that week.

    Blair Denies Everything

    In the meantime, the British PM admitted that he had discussed the possibility of supporting the USA eight months prior to the invasion in Iraq in 2003, but denied that his government decided to overthrow Saddam back then.

    "The idea wed decided definitively for military action at that stage is wrong and disproved by the fact that several months later we went back to the United Nations to get a final resolution," stressed the British PM.

    The secret documents may even affect the 5 May elections in Britain, since they may cost Blair many votes, as the issue with Iraq seems to be dominating in the country during the last week of the pre-election campaign.

    [02] Injuries in the Philippines Turbulent May Day Celebrations

    01 May 2005 17:52:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ANA

    Although in Greece, the celebrations for 1 May were postponed until 11 May due to Orthodox Easter, the rest of the globe celebrated May Day with peace rallies and protests. However, many incidents and clashes were recorded for yet another year. In the Philippines, thousands of protesters stormed the streets of Manila chanting mottos against President Gloria Arroyo and clashed with police, which resulted in many people being injured. The clashes erupted when the protesters tried to break through the police cordon and march towards the presidential mansion, which was turned into a fortress. Actually, Ronald Llamas, the leader of the left-wing organization Akbayan, claimed that the police had promised to allow protesters to march in a park in Manila, but later changed their mind. In the meantime, amid rumours of an imminent coup d etat, a presidential spokesperson warned demonstrators to march in peace.

    Clashes in Berlin

    On Saturday, a new movement under the leadership of retired generals, named Alliance for National Salvation, urged President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign. Actually, late on Saturday night, a police bomb squad neutralised a homemade device that had been placed close to the entrance of the Interior Ministry. A police official declared that the bomb was neutralised five minutes before it was set to go off.

    However, clashes between police and protesters were also recorded in Berlin, where the local authorities arrested 65 people. The demonstrators attacked the police officers by throwing objects, including bottles and briefcases, while a man was injured during the violent incidents.

    Finally, in Moscow, where the May Day celebrations coincided with Easter, hundreds of citizens holding red flags gathered in the Red Square, chanting mottos against Putin.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] A Young Man Had his Arm Amputated Injuries from Firecrackers

    01 May 2005 16:07:00 (Last updated: 01 May 2005 17:52:43)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8 - NET

    Unfortunately, this years Easter celebrations were once again marred, during the spectacular, but yet very dangerous, tradition of lighting firecrackers on Easter Saturday, right after the Holy Resurrection. In Crete, a 34-year-old man lost his arm when the firecracker blew up as he was trying to light the fuse. The unfortunate man was taken to Heraklions University Hospital, where he underwent surgery. He is being hospitalized in the ICU, while his condition is deemed critical. Another 24-year-old man is being hospitalised in the Panarcadic Hospital in Tripoli, when a firecracker blew up his hands in Karakovouni, Arcadia. The young man sustained serious injuries to his left wrist and face, while the doctors gave a battle so that he wouldnt lose his hand or eyesight. In Cyprus, at least 10 young men have been injured during the last few days in the hands and face from firecrackers. Actually, a 12-year-old boy lost a finger and another young man sustained first- and second-degree burns to his face.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] He Left a Great Legacy Behind Panos Geramanis Passed Away

    01 May 2005 13:33:00 (Last updated: 01 May 2005 16:20:41)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET ANA

    A beloved colleague who paid tribute to the journalistic profession, Panos Geramanis, died unexpectedly a little after midnight in the village Agia of Parga, of heart attack, at the age of 59. Panos Geramanis, who worked for the Greek newspaper Ta Nea, as well as radio station ERA, where he hosted the programme "Laiki Vardi" (Popular Folk Singers), has left behind a great legacy, especially because of his contribution to Greek folk music and rembetika. He was born in Vasiliko, Chalkida in December 1945. In 1964, he started publishing the local newspaper Agrotiki Foni tis Chalkidas (Rural Voice of Chalkida), while he then worked as a sports journalist for the newspaper Fos ton Sport. He worked as a reporter and chief editor for some of the countrys biggest newspapers. He started his career in radio in 1989, when he worked for the radio station 902 Left FM, while he worked for Hellenic Radio since 1990.

    Contribution to Folk Music

    He was a close friend of the legendary singer Stelios Kazantzidis since 1963. As Panos Geramanis had once said, "Through this friendship, this long and close friendship, and because of my discreetness, I took 56 interviews and dozens of tapes, which bring to life Kazantzidis most powerful and amazing moments, concerning his life and Greek folk songs, which, we can say, were born along with him, when he first appeared on stage in 1951, and died with him."

    Panos Geramanis, who received many awards for his 32-year contribution to journalism and his historical research and study of Greek folk music and sports, through 1,500 programmes on national radio, will remain forever alive in the memories of the Greek people, as he combined his immense knowledge to his love for Greek music.

    On 1 April 2004, when ERT honoured the reporter on the 15-year anniversary of the programme "Laiki Vardi", the great Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis said, "Panos Geramanis should be glad, because with his writings and voice he contributed to the spreading and understanding of a type of music that had been cast to the sidelines."

    KKEs General Secretary Aleka Papariga conveyed her condolences to the family of the reporter. Mrs Papariga said, "He was one of the few who studied folk music in depth and brought out its connection to the fights and desires of our people."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Dozens of Suspects in Cairo

    01 May 2005 21:03:00

    Sources: ANA

    The Egyptian police have detained and are questioning 200 suspects for the two terrorist attacks against tourists, which were recorded yesterday in Cairo. The police investigations focused in the district of Shubra Kheima, north of Cairo, where the three suicide bombers, one man, Ihab Yousri Yassin, and two women, his wife and sister, lived. As per the newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, this is the first attack performed by women, comparing the event to the Chechen "black widows" and speaking of a revival of Islamic terrorism, many years after peace was restored in the country. According to terrorism experts, yesterdays attacks should not be linked to the Egyptian groups Jihad and Gamaa Islamiya, which were notorious in the 90s, but to local terrorist cores, inspired by Al Qaedas propaganda.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Explosion of Violence in Cairo

    [06] Ten Dead and 12 Injured in Baghdad Bloody Sunday

    01 May 2005 18:31:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA

    Ten people were killed and another twelve injured in two different militant attacks in Baghdad. The first attack was against the police headquarters, which are being used by US troops as a military base, while the other was against a US military convoy. Five police officers were killed during the first attack, while five civilians were killed in the second, including a little girl. In the meantime, three Iraqis were killed in Fallujah by rockets, which hit the city yesterday.

    Hassan's Murderers Confess

    Meanwhile, five Iraqis, arrested today south of Baghdad, confessed to the murder of British aid worker Margaret Hassan, who was abducted on 19 October. Early this morning, 11 people believed linked to the killing of the British hostage, were arrested by Iraqi and US forces, after raids in militant hideouts. Personal items belonging to Hassan were also recovered during the raids. Iraqi Interior Ministry sources mentioned that another six people, who were also arrested, are linked to the case.

    A British diplomat declared that members of the British police have already arrived in Iraq to participate in the investigation.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Agreement for Military Aircraft Tayyip Erdogan in Israel

    01 May 2005 16:26:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on his first official visit to Israel. The main aim of this trip is to strengthen the bilateral ties between the countries. As soon as the Turkish PM arrived in Ben Gurion Airport, outside Tel Aviv, he headed for Jerusalem for a meeting with Israeli President Moshe Katsav. Later, Mr Erdogan, who is accompanied by a delegation of ministers, officials and businessmen, will meet with his Israeli counterpart, Ariel Sharon, the two Vice-Presidents of the Israeli government, Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert, and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. In the meantime, according to the Israeli Press, the Turkish PM is expected to sign an agreement, whereby Israel will supply military aircraft to Ankara.

    Offered to Intervene

    As per Palestinian sources, tomorrow, Mr Erdogan is expected to pay his first visit to Ramallah, West Bank. According to sources, he will meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and PM Ahmed Qorie.

    Top Palestinian officials are expecting that Mr Erdogan will reaffirm the Turks support for the establishment of a Palestinian state on the territory that Israel has been occupying since 1967.

    Besides, Mr Erdogans harsh criticism against the Israelis policies concerning the issue with the Middle East resulted in a freezing of relations between Turkey and Israel.

    Before departing for Israel, the Turkish PM had offered to intervene in improving the relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] In Pre-Election Opinion Polls Blair Is in the Lead

    01 May 2005 13:23:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA

    Just a few days before the general elections on 5 May, opinion polls are giving British Prime Minister Tony Blairs Labour Party a three- to eight-percentile-unit lead. According to the latest opinion poll conducted by YuGov and published in todays Sunday Times, Labour received 36%, the Conservatives, which is the main Opposition party, 33% and the Liberal Democrats 23%. As per the newspaper, if the percentages remain unchanged until the elections, then Labour looks set to gain 369 seats in Parliament, the Tories 181 and the Liberal Democrats 65. This basically means that Labour will have a 92-seat majority, which would be far less than their 161-seat majority, following their sweeping electoral victory in June 2001.

    Third Consecutive Electoral Victory

    In another opinion poll published today in the Independent on Sunday, Labour received 39% of the preferences, as opposed to 31% for the Conservatives and 23% for the Liberal Democrats.

    Furthermore, a poll conducted by MORI and published in todays Observer, gives Labour 36%, the Conservative Party 33% and the Liberals 22%.

    Finally, according to a poll by ICM for the Sunday Telegraph, the Labour Party looks set to win 39% of the vote, the Tories 31% and the Liberal Party 22%. The newspaper claimed that if this eight-unit difference is confirmed on election day, the Labour Party will have secured 146 seats more than the Conservatives, signalling their third major consecutive electoral win.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] From Justice Fugitive Nikos Papadimas New Attacks against Eirinaios

    01 May 2005 12:41:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Justice fugitive and former financial administrator of the Patriarchate, N. Papadimas, launched a severe verbal attack against the Patriarch of Jerusalem Eirinaios, through the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Specifically, he accused Mr Eirinaios of selling off land to secure Israels favouritism. According to the newspaper, during a telephone interview, Papadimas allegedly said, "He [Mr Eirinaios] wanted to prove to the Israeli authorities that he does not support the Palestinians and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation." The newspaper further mentioned that Patriarch Eirniaios has filed a lawsuit against Papadimas for embezzling large sums of money.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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