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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-03

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] "Fall" Setting
  • [02] Bridging up Differences
  • [03] EURO Victory Still Moves Greece
  • [04] First and Undefeated
  • [05] Undecided Battle with Low Turnout
  • [06] 9 Medals in the 9th Day of Games
  • [07] Tempel 1 Gets Hammered!

  • [01] Showers, Storms and Temperature Drop "Fall" Setting

    03 Jul 2005 16:22:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    the weather change taking place throughout Greece is spectacular. The high temperatures of the last days paved the way for showers, storms and temperature drop. It has been pouring with rain in eastern Macedonia, Thrace and islands of the northern and eastern Aegean sea since last night. Heavy rainfall has also been falling in the centre of the Greek capital and in its suburbs severely disrupting circulation. Pireos Avenue has been flooded from Chamosternas interchange towards Moschato municipal and Omonoia Square. So far, dozens of calls have swamped the operational centre of the fire brigade. The General Secretariat for Civil Protection is also on the alert. As per meteorologists, these unusual weather conditions will be repeated tomorrow to most areas of the country.

    Big Problems in Attica

    At 15:00, two people lost their lives in a road accident that was caused by the slipperiness of the road near Koropi, while roads were inaccessible by the heavy rain and the Fire Department has received hundreds of calls for flooded basements. The traffic accident took place in the 21st km of Lavrio Avenue, when the vehicle veered off and crashed into a tree. Two of its passengers were killed, while the third injured passenger was taken into hospital

    Moreover, in the 1st Glyfada Marina, around 16:30, a boat aboard with a three-member family was swept away by the torrent waters of a water pipe and overturned. A Fire Department vehicle and firemen rushed to the scene and rescued the three persons. They were treated for their injuries by an ambulance crew, which had also rushed to the scene, and shortly after returned to their residence.

    Traffic under the Syngrou Bridge in Kallirois Street was stopped, since the road had flooded by the rain.

    Earlier, traffic had been stopped in Vouliagmenis Avenue in the Iasonidou Street and Elliniko junction, due to the volume of water, but around 17:30 traffic was given one lane for each direction and cars passed with difficulty.

    The traffic of vehicles was also stopped in OLP Piraeus and in the Thivon and Labrakis Streets junction, while it was also stopped in Dimokratias Avenue in Sklaveniti Super Market towards Perama but was given to traffic shortly after.

    Traffic has been given one lane in Poseidonos Avenue, in Alimos, in the direction towards Athens, due to the water volume and the obstacles from the EYDAP gully caps, which had been taken off and placed in the middle of the road.

    The Fire Department has received at least 70 calls mainly from the area of Piraeus, while 30 crews are pumping out water from basements, while they are on alert in several parts of Athens in order to repair the problems in the streets.

    The rain in combination with the return of the Athenian holidaymakers has created a serious problem in the Athens-Corinth National Road, where in the entrance of Kakia Skala the line of cars measures 13km

    Traffic experiences problems during intervals in the Athens-Lamia National Road in the 24th km, where road paving works have started, but an extra traffic lane has been given to the public in the opposite direction lane since 15:00.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Greece-Turkey Pipeline Was Inaugurated Bridging up Differences

    03 Jul 2005 12:55:00 (Last updated: 03 Jul 2005 20:38:53)

    By Tina Valaoura

    At the inaugural ceremony for the construction of the Greece-Turkish natural gas pipeline, which was held in Kipos customs office in Evros, the PMs of Greece and Turkey spoke of a strategic step for energy and a further effort towards friendship and cooperation between the two neighbouring countries. In his opening speech, Greek PM Costas Karamanlis attributed economical and geostrategic importance to the project in question and pointed out that the two countries should provide novel bases for growth and cooperation, "We can cooperate as we have never done in the past, setting an example for all countries with bilateral disputes," he stressed. On his part, the Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan associated the project with the livings standards enjoyed by the two countries and underlined that the improvement that has been achieved in the Greece-Turkey relations will be recorded in history.

    Warm Climate

    Despite the rainy weather at Kipos customs office in Evros, the friendly addresses exchanged by the two political leaders created a warm climate for the inaugural ceremony. Turkish PM spoke first and called Mr Karamanli "my friend". He expressed his satisfaction that this pivotal project coincides with them leading their countries and added that, "It will help to dispel rumours regarding the Greece-Turkish relations," and he wished that the cooperation launched today would lead to better days.

    On his part, the Greek PM Costas Karamanlis described the pipeline as an "instrumental connecting link of the natural gas in Europe," meant to transport great amounts of gas from Caspian, Caucasus and Middle East to Central Europe, a project which coincided with the rise in oil prices. "The natural gas is an alternative favouring significant economical and environmental benefits," he claimed.

    The Greek PM maintained that, ever since ND assumed power, Greece precipitated the project and pointed out that the pact on the marine pipeline signed between Greece and Italy is of equal significance.

    The two PMs then proceeded with the unveiling of the memorial plaque and passed to the Turkish side to perform a similar ceremony. In the speech Mr Karamanlis delivered on the Turkish soil, he underlined the significance of the international energy sources management describing it as the driving force of modern economic diplomacy that can positively influence the whole region. In addition, he made reference to the upgrading of Greece and Turkeys geostrategic role as well as to the mutual development and economic benefits provided. At the same time, he once again emphasised the projects key role to peace, stability and cooperation. "The message is that we want and we can plan joint actions and carry out projects that contribute to a better future. We wish for the bridge we have just crossed to stand for bilateral cooperation and continuous approach, " he concluded.

    Turkish PM then took turn and also spoke of the future prospects and described the project as "A priceless heritage we pass down to next generations."

    At the end of the ceremony the two men shook hands under Stamatis Spanoudakis music.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] EURO Victory Still Moves Greece

    03 Jul 2005 19:40:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Exactly a year ago, everyone in Greece was watching the developments in the EURO Championship. More than 10,000 Greeks arrived in Lisbon on July 3, 2004, while the ones who remained in Greece had set up their own competition for the most inventive and greatest banner of worship to the Greek National team. From Sakis Rouvas t-shirt to the small car flags, all Greeks had purchased the absolutely necessary for the nightly celebrations, which continued for the following 20 days and filled with surprises! The July 4 final was the postlude of ecstasy of a month filled with celebrations! Omonoia Square had changed to its old name of Othonos Square and June had become August, a month that everything is put on the side for a much-awaited vacation. The full speed that Rehhagel and his team had taken left unfinished business for most Greeks, and of course it could have not been done any other way.

    Unforgettable Feelings

    Greeces great surprise was its course towards the July 4 final and the unrepeatable feelings do not start in the final against the event organizer team of Portugal. They begin from the first meeting of the two teams in June 12, and peak on this day! Never felt before feelings for big and small fans, for optimists and pessimists, for the faithful and unfaithful. Shivers ran down spines, tears of happiness, a frenzy of enthusiasm, unforgettable moments for a country accused of not celebrating easily, but the only thing certain is that it knows how to enjoy similar times. Lately it proves that it can keep the memories of an unrepeatable triumph alive, seeing past bad moments and honoring the key figures of this victory in the best of ways.

    Gagatsis: "I Continue Being Moved"

    President of HFF Vasilis Gagatsis could not be absent from Portugal and certainly could not forget what he lived. Today, speaking at SuperSPOR Fm about Portugal and the Greek National team, he remembered those days. "I continue being moved," he noted, and added, "Not in our wildest dreams could we have foreseen such a victory. The dream did not start on June 12, but three years before when we decided to turn the page and hire Otto Rehhagel. Our aim was not to conquer the EURO but for the first time in the history of Greek football to get into the "8" of the event. When the goal was achieved, the players, coaches and the people were liberated and step-by-step we reached this dream. Regardless of the years that will go by, it will remain carved deep in our hearts. It was an overcoming of the difficulties of the Greek team." Mr Gagatsis also talked about the future and stated that the Greek team is following its goals and the efforts will not stop.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] First and Undefeated

    03 Jul 2005 18:42:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Yesterday, Greek beach volley stepped up higher on the podium, with Vaso Karadasiou and Vicky Arvaniti winning the gold medal in the 6th World Championship Tournament. The Greek athletes dominated in the final against Brazilians Franca and Felisberta, which are considered the best duo in the world, with a 2-1 set, and thus concluded an excellent performance in the 6th Tournament in Norway, since they won the gold and remained undefeated. The sets of the final were 12-21, 21-16 and 15-10 in an exceptional game where the Greek athletes deserved their win. This was the first Greek medal in the World Championships since the Brazilians won second place in Milan and Sfiri and Karadasiou third place in 2002 in Rhodes.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Critical Parliamentary Election in Albania Undecided Battle with Low Turnout

    03 Jul 2005 15:12:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The elections in Albania have been nearly concluded with several illegalities and a low turnout, while they are considered critical over the EU future of the country. Regardless of the fact that polling stations closed at 19:00, many stations remained open until 20:30, as many people were waiting to cast their vote. The cause was the illegalities that were observed, since there were not any ballots, while the disputes of the two candidates also made the situation difficult. The first official results are expected to be announced by the Central Supervisory Committee at 20:00. According to the latest opinion polls, the Democratic Party of former President Sali Berisha receives one point (35%) more than the Socialist Party of Prime Minister Fatos Nano (34%). International observes have arrived in the country for the monitoring of the election procedure, while the police is on alert for the guarding of polling stations since fears are expressed over incidents taking place. In the meantime, the President of the Central Supervisory Committee, Elian Felibaci, once again made a plea for exit polls to not be conducted after the sealing of ballot boxes, as television channels KLAN and ALSAT have announced. Mr Felibaci in his first Press interview stated that if the law does not ban them, the exit polls should not be conducted due to the mixed election law in opinion polls that cannot give a trustworthy picture over the results thus complicating the situation and creating reactions to the parties followers. During the past days, the same plea was voiced by the President of the Republic, Alfred Moisiu, and foreign observers.

    President Makes Plea

    According to Mr Felibaci, until 12:00 (local time), around 25% of the 2,844,493 voters had visited the polling stations.

    On his part, the President of the country made a plea to the citizens, and mainly the youth, to exercise their election right in order, as he said, to contribute to the progress of the country

    The first official results are expected to be made public by the Central Supervisory Committee around 22:00, three hours after the sealing of the ballot boxes.

    In the meantime, the first complaints from the parties over small incidents and illegalities have been placed in the towns of Koritsa, Tirana, Dirachio, Avlona etc. However, according to the two big parties, besides the incidents, the election procedure is taking place as normal.

    From the four opinion polls that were conducted during the election campaign, the three indicated Sali Berishas Democratic Party first in the intention to vote, followed by Fatos Nanos Socialist Party, and Ilir Metas Socialist Movement for Integration, who seems to be a determinative factor for the formation of the new government in the case that the two big parties do not ensure the necessary number of 71 seats in the 140 member Parliament that is needed to form a government.

    Berisha Attempts to Involve Greece

    According to the Greek Foreign Ministry, the Greek government is observing the election procedure in Albania with great interest, while the Ministry spokesperson Giorgos Koumoutsakos stated, "It is positive that all the Albanian parties support the good relations between Greece and Albania." In the meantime, Greece facilitated the transport of voters in order to participate in the election procedure.

    However, the political parties did not hesitate to voice their views in support of the good Greek-Albanian relations, as well as trying to involve the Greek government in the election procedure.

    After the statement of the Democratic Party of Berisha, that Kostas Karamanlis expressed his satisfaction over a win of the Opposition Party in Albania, the governing Socialist Party immediately reacted and stated that this statement is an awful lie, noting through Luan Rama, a member of the Executive Committee, that the Greek PM has not made such a statement, and at this point cannot intervene in the internal affairs of Albania.

    Questioned by a journalist, leader of the Opposition Sali Berisha, in relation to the statement of his partys spokesperson that Kostas Karamanlis expresses his satisfaction over a win of the Democratic Party, he avoided answering and stated, "there is not doubt that Kostas Karamanlis is a friend of mine."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Elections in Albania

    [06] 9 Medals in the 9th Day of Games

    03 Jul 2005 15:24:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    On Saturday, Greeces schedule of games was completed with a gold medal, four silver and four bronze, in the context of the 9th day of the 15th Mediterranean Games in Almeria. The gold medal of the day was won in rowing, and specifically by Olympians Vasilis Polymeros and Nikos Skiathitis (Mens Lightweight Double Sculls).

    Third Place in Rowing

    A gold and two silver medals were won by the Greek rowing crews in the context of the 9th day of the 15th Mediterranean Games in Almeria, thus Greece is in third place of the medals, behind Italy with 7 and France with four. The gold medal was won by Olympians Vasilis Polymeros and Nikos Skiathitis, who finished in first place in the final of the lightweight double sculls. The two Greek Champions rowed 100m in 2:57:70. The first silver medal for Greek rowing was won by Giannis Christou and Nikos Pagounis who finished in second in the final of coxless pair in 3:06.61. It is noteworthy to say that the Greek rowers did not win the gold medal for just a few centimeters, when Giannis Christous oar got stuck a few meters before the finish line, and besides the misfortune a photo finish was needed in order to prove they were second and not first. A silver medal was also won by the Greek oars, in womens lightweight single sculls with Chrisi Biskitzi finishing second in 3:38.95 in 1000m, centimeters behind Mirna Rajle of Croatia. Until the award ceremony Chrisi Biskitzi was celebrating the win of a gold medal, and she was informed that she had come in second in 3:38.95 when she stepped up the podium.

    12 Medals for Track and Field

    Greeces participation in the Mediterranean Games in Almeria was completed with another three medals, which raised the total to 12. Argyro Strataki came in 2nd place in heptathlon with 5.943 points and received the silver medal. The Panellinios athlete was 3rd in the 100m hurdles with 14.04, 3rd in high jump with 1.76, 1st in shot-put 13.47, 2nd in 200m in 25.00, 6th in long jump with 5.85, 3rd in javelin with 43.51 and 5th in 800m in 2:17.53. In 400m hurdles, Platon Gavelas finished third with 49.99 and won the bronze medal, as did Stergios Nousios in long jump with 7.91. From then on, Maroula Papageorgiou was 4th in high jump with 1.86, Konstantina Efentaki 5th in 1500m with 4:12.47, and Areti Abatzi 53.38, while Michalis Gelasakis in 5000m finished 10th in 14:07.44 and Magdalene Gazea in the half-marathon finished 11th with 1:22.21. In closing, the mens 4x400 relay team, made up of Sotiris Ioakovakis, Giorgos Doupis, Platonas Gavelas, Stellios Dimotsios came in 4th place in 3:08.72.

    2nd Place for Women's Volleyball Team

    The Mediterranean womens volleyball team compromised with a silver medal in the tournament in Almeria since it was defeated by 3-0 by Turkey in the final. The girls of Dimitris Andreopoulos fought hard but finally lost by 25-22 in all three sets. In rhythmic gymnastics Eleni Andriola came in third place. The Greek athlete received 56.575 points, and was 7th in rope with 13.450, 4th in ball with 13.950, 1st in clubs with 15.200 and 2nd in ribbon with 13.975. In the meantime, Eftichia Mantzaraki will return with a bronze medal to Athens, since she ranked 3rd in the single-handed dinghy-laser. Mantzaraki was 3rd in her 11th and final race. A good performance was made by Virginia Kravarioti with 45 net points and 5th place. Moreover, Mirto Chiona and Nefeli Sabati received 4th place in the womens 470 and did not win the bronze for a small difference. Giannis Chrisochoou came in 6th place in surfer Mistral group with 46 points. Andreas Kosmopoulos and Andreas Papadopoulos finished 7th in double-handed-dinghy-470 with 57 net points. Also, in the single-handed dinghy lazer group Vangelis Chimonas ranked fifth in his last race and 6th in the final standing with 61 net points, while Iason Georgaris who was 13th today, ranked 11th with 87 net points.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Collision in the Name of Science Tempel 1 Gets Hammered!

    03 Jul 2005 14:26:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: AFP- BBC- ANA

    Rocket Deep Impact has unfinished business with comet Tempel 1, who is in a distance of 430 million kilometers from Earth. The reason is certainly not personal, but investigative, since the fleeting comet hides some very interesting facts about the creation of the solar system, and the chemical beginning of life in the universe in his depths. And since the frozen rock giant is unmovable, NASA decided to make Deep Impact pay him an "in depth" visit. Six months ago the rocket started his journey from Cape Canaveral, and this morning, being in a battle position, launched a missile that is called to play the role of a geologists hammer, which will surface important information.

    What is Behind Tempel 1?

    The missile, which weighs 370kg and is the size of a washing machine, was launched at 09:07, Greek time, and travels with the speed of 37,000km/h. If all goes well, it will crash into the comet tomorrow morning, at exactly the same time.

    The scientists evaluate that the collision, which is equivalent with the explosion of 4.5 tonnes of trinitrotoluene, will open a 25m deep and 100m wide crater, the size of a soccer stadium. At the same time, it will create a temporary storm of particles and gasses, which is the exactly the aim of the operation.

    Comets are porous spheres made out ice and rock. The materials that are found under the outer shell have remained intact from the beginning of the universe. " These materials have not seen the light of day for 4.6 billion years," explains mission scientist Jessica Sunshine. "Like any good geologist would, we want to hit Tempel 1 with a hammer and see whats inside," she added.

    Such a task will not be easy. "It is like a bullet trying to hit another bullet with a third bullet in the right place at the right time," said project manager Rick Grammier, whilst stating his certainty over its accuracy.

    The collision and its consequences will be observed and recorded by the cameras and equipment inside Deep Impact. Space telescopes Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer and XMM Newton will be on alert, as will the ones on Earth. It is evaluated that the operation will provide important information about the origin of our solar system, as well as possible deflecting strategies of comets orbits in the case they threaten Earth.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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