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

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Terror Shocks London
  • [02] Measures in Athens
  • [03] Fall in Markets
  • [04] Alert Level to Red
  • [05] Papaligouras Meets With Justices
  • [06] Fire at a Car Show in Alimos
  • [07] “Abolish Agricultural Subsidies by 2010”
  • [08] OECD Asks for Radical Changes
  • [09] Train Derails in Turkey
  • [10] With FGI and GSEVEE Over Labour Issues

  • [01] Bombarded Scenery Terror Shocks London

    07 Jul 2005 16:15:00 (Last updated: 07 Jul 2005 23:41:25)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: REUTERS - AFP- ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The multiple explosions at the centre of the British capital cast a shadow of deep sorrow to the British people, who had been celebrating the citys victorious bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. The union jack flag is flying at half mast over Buckingham Palace, as this will be the case in all public buildings in Britain as of tomorrow. British Pm Tony Blair left Gleneagles, Scotland, to urgently return to London. In his address to the British people, he clearly spoke of acts of terrorism that he associated with the G8 Summit. He described the attacks as savage and made it clear that he intends to fight terrorism. On his part, British Home Secretary, Charles Clarke described the blasts as terrorist attacks. He announced that the subway system will shut down for the rest of the day and he added that the bus routes will also be suspended until further notice. As for the casualties, it is estimated that the fatalities are 37 whereas there are 700 injured. The British police are expected to announce later this evening the exact number of fatalities.Regarding the losses, British police announced that 37 people were killed and 700 were injured. There are no reports on Greeks among the victims or the injured. As per Scotland Yard, there was no warning. In the meantime, late on Thursday night, British Minister of Foreign Affairs Jack Straw accused Al Qaeda for the first time.

    They Fear New Attacks

    In the Press Conference held earlier in the evening, Scotland Yards spokesperson described todays terrorist blow in London as a cowardly attack. Police forces speak of four blasts, three rocked the subway system and one ripped a bus. Earlier reports spoke of seven blasts.

    As for the victims, 37 have been reported dead while according to estimations the number is to rise. Among the dead, there are two Italian citizens as per the Italian Interior Ministry. 45 have been reported injured, with the overall number of the injured reaching the 700. Speaking on a TV channel, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy spoke of 50 dead and 300 injured, with 50 being in a very critical condition.

    The British Police said that there are still in a state of alert for fear that new attacks may be launched. They also made it clear that there was no warning or any kind of information for a possible terrorist attack. However, it is not yet clear whether the attacks were due to suicide bombers or planted explosives devises

    It has not also been confirmed whether Al Qaeda is to be held accountable as Der Spiegel and the Italian news agency ANSA reported earlier citing an announcement released on a website controlled by Islamists.

    Scotland Yard stated that it will take London a long time before the city enjoys it regular pace of life.

    In the meantime, the Scottish police evacuated a crowded street in Edinburgh in order to check a parcel left on a bus. Later on, it was announced that the parcel did not contain any explosives. Thousands of anti-G8 activists have swamped the Scottish capital.

    So far no Greek citizens have been reported among the victims or the injured. However a 19-year-old Greek-Cypriot, who permanently resides in London, has seriously been injured, whereas as per information another Greek-Cypriot has been recorded missing.

    Repulsion And Condemnation

    All European leaders condemned the terrorist attack. Shortly after Tony Blairs address, Queen Elizabeth voiced her condolences to the relatives of the victims and she said that she was deeply shocked by the attacks. The G8 leaders also uttered their repulsion and added that they will work together to combat terrorism.

    US President George Bush told reporters at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles "the war on terror goes on."

    UN Security Council, presided over by Greece, hold an unscheduled meeting and unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the terrorist attacks in London, expressing at the same time their sympathy and their deepest condolences to the families of the victims, the British people and the British government. The UN Security Council also urged all Member-States to join forces and bring those responsible to court, and concluded stating its determination to combat terrorism.

    The EU stands by the side of the British people against terrorism, stated the President of the European Commission Jos&#233; Manuel Barroso, and added that the EU will offer its support and aid to the British authorities to combat this savage acts.

    On his part, NATO General Secretary Jaap de Hoope Scheffer vehemently condemned the attacks and called the North Atlantic Alliance to stay united to fight terrorism. Such criminal acts of hatred have no excuse, he concluded.

    Greek PM Costas Karamanlis offered his condolences to his British peer Tony Blair. Todays act of blind violence makes it crystal clear that the threat of the international terrorism remains active. However, our commitment to effectively combat this threat is also strong, he mentioned.

    The Spanish Government also expressed its repulsion and offered its sympathy to the citizens of London, the British government and authorities. Moreover, Spanish Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso pointed out that he expects Britain, which has recently taken over the rotating EU Presidency, to call the Interior Ministers of the EU in an emergency meeting.

    Irish PM Bertie Ahern voiced his aversion and claimed that such inhumane actions will not influence the decisions to be made by the G8 leaders. It is a blatant blow against mankind, he stated.

    French President Jacques Chirac expressed his deep repugnance and the French peoples solidarity towards Britain. On his return from Singapore, French Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said, We are all Londoners.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed a message to the civilized world on a joint fight against terrorism, and he condemned todays attacks.

    Pope Benedict said the blasts were "barbaric acts against humanity" in a message to the Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy OConnor

    In his message to Queen Elizabeth, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi uttered the repulsion of the Italian people for this atrocious act as well as his sorrow for the Loss of so many people.

    Dutch President Jan Peter Balkenende also spoke of horrible terrorist acts.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul pledged that Turkey will contribute to the fight against terrorism.

    IOC President Rogge voiced his support and solidarity to the British PM Tony Blair and the London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

    The strike in London wasalso condemned by Cyprus,Denmark,Egypt,Syria, Israel, Ira and Iraq's President.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Measures in Athens

    London Under Attack

    [02] After the Terrorist Hits in London Measures in Athens

    07 Jul 2005 17:18:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Many European countries take emergency security measures after the series of terrorist attacks in London. In Athens, the Greek police have taken draconian measures to guard locations of British interests. The British embassy is still under tight guard, while one of the roads passing in front of it is still blocked. The British Council and businesses related to British businessmen are also under protection, while policemen escort all British diplomatic officials in Athens and Thessaloniki. At the same time, the Greek Police are in constant contact with the Scotland Yard in London, mostly for Muslims who are in Greece and could be potentially linked to the group that held the attacks in London.

    Contact Lines

    The Greek government is closely monitoring the developments in London and the Foreign Ministry has set up an open bridge of communication with the Greek diplomatic authorities in the British capital in order to see if there are Greeks among the victims or the injured.

    Special lines are operating at the Greek embassy in London and at Londons General Consulate for information:

    * 0044 207 727 7570 * 0044 207 313 5623 * 0044 207 313 5626

    Authorities urge all interested parties to call these numbers ONLY if there are serious reasons of concern in order to help cases, which are in true need of help. It is worth noting that after the terrorist attacks, the mobile telephony network in London has sustained serious damages.

    Athens Expresses Solidarity

    Greek PM Costas Karamanlis offered his condolences to his British peer Tony Blair. Todays act of blind violence makes it crystal clear that the threat of the international terrorism remains active. However, our commitment to effectively combat this threat is also strong, he mentioned and he concluded, Our thoughts lie with the families of the victims.

    The Speaker of the Greek Parliament, Anna Benaki-Psarouda on behalf of the Greek people voiced her warm condolences to her British peer and condemned the terrorists acts which aim at destabilizing democratic institutions and undermining human values.

    Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis expressed his repulsion for the attacks to the British ambassador in Athens Simon Guss, and voiced his solidarity and sympathy to the injured and to the families of the victims.He also said that his Ministry is willing to offer expert personnel to London if needed.

    The British ambassador in Athens was deeply moved by the feelings of solidarity that the Greek people generously demonstrated, and he added that the democracy-oriented way of life, a principle highly valued in both Greece and Britain, proves more powerful than the intention of terrorist to spread death.

    Archbishop Christodoulos addressed a message of world peace and voiced his deep sorrow for these inhumane attacks.

    PASOK, KKE and SYN also voiced their repulsion, while Governemtn Spokesperson Thodoris Rousopoulos, Foreign Affairs Minister Petros Molyviatis, Tourism Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and Athens Mayor Dora Backogiannis sent telegraphs expressing their deepest condolences.

    Delays in Flights

    In the meantime, scheduled Olympic Airline and British Airways flights are due to Athens airport Eleftherios Venizelos with considerable delays.

    Airline companies delayed their flights from Heathrow airport so that all travelers could reach the airport, since the British transport system had severely been disrupted.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Fall in Markets

    07 Jul 2005 19:36:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105,8

    The attack in London had an immediate adverse effect on the oil and international markets. Oil prices fell to 60 dollars per barrel, although earlier in New York they had recorded a new record high at 62.10 dollars per barrel. Brent prices recorded the heavier losses reaching a session low of 56 dollars, before recovering to 59.15 dollars.

    Adverse Effects on International Markets

    The terrorist attacks also sustain a blow to the international markets. Europes stock markets suffered a heavy loss. The recovery that was recorded later was of minor importance. The UKs FTSE 100 index records a 2% fall, with the shares on tourism sustaining a heavy loss. Market Germany has a 2.1% loss and France 2.2%.

    In New York, the Dow Jones index record a relatively low fall at about 0.5%. The negative climate also influenced Athens Stock Market with the index recording a fall by 1.28%. Sterling fell to a 19-month low against the dollar.

    Investors drew their attention to the Swiss franc, state bonds and gold in their effort to secure their investments.

    Despite the havoc, brokers pointed out that there was no panic.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Terror Shocks London

    Black Gold Sears

    [04] In All Europe Alert Level to Red

    07 Jul 2005 19:00:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The bloody terrorist attack that rocked the British capital sparked feelings of strong repulsion and cast a shadow of fear throughout Europe and America. All European capitals as well as the USA immediately increased the security measures fearing new attacks. England is in a state of alarm after the blasts in London, pointed out the Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu. He further added that an emergency state has been declared in all the airports of the country and that all services dealing with emergency situations are on alert and in close cooperation with the British authorities and the Italian embassy in London. As per the Italian Interior Ministry spokesperson, the special anti-terrorist group, which is made up of several police units, is to hold a meeting to decide on security measures.

    Spanish PM Jose Luis Zapatero ordered all security forces in Madrid to be on alert.

    At the same time, the Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt decided to call an emergency meeting of the countries key intelligence and security services. In France, PM Dominique de Villepin increased the security measures of the country from orange to red level, and urged the French people to be extremely vigilant.

    Moscow also raised the number of the police forces in the citys subway following the prescheduled action plan, as per security sources. In Portugal, airports, public transport system, foreign delegations and other possible targets are effectively guarded, according to the security forces spokesperson.

    Tough security measures have also been employed by the police in Poland, which has been on anti-terrorist alert since the terrorist attack in New York. We have everything under scrutiny, pointed out the police spokesperson.

    USA on Alert

    Todays terrorist attacks brought back to memory the nightmare of the strike in the American capital on September 11. Security measures in Washington have been draconian, especially in the subway.

    In New York the presence of the police forces in subway stations, bus stops, tunnels and ports has increased.

    Hundreds of policemen along with specially trained dogs conduct checks on suspects at the subway stations, as well as on all vehicles heading for tunnels and bridges.

    Earlier today, Homeland Security Secretary assured there were no clear indications for an imminent attack similar to that in London, and he further added that no immediate increase in security measures is underway.

    The Homeland Security Secretary has no specific or credible information indicating that attacks were planned in the United States. However, I would like to say that we are continuously examining the information we have on threats, as well as our security measures, said the Secretarys spokesperson.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] "Justice Without Shadows and Smears" Papaligouras Meets With Justices

    07 Jul 2005 13:01:00

    By Anna Kourti

    On Thursday morning, Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras welcomed the newly promoted presidents of the Supreme Court, Romylos Kedikoglou, and of the Supreme Administrative Court, Giorgos Panagiotopoulos, as well as the 9 new vice presidents of the three high courts of Greece. Our common aim is a respectable, modern and humane Justice, stressed Mr Papaligouras, adding that you are called to complete the task of clean-up with determination. We are aiming at a Greek Justice system without shadows and smears, a system which ill nt tolerate corrupt justice. At the same time, Mr Papaligouras repeated that the choice of leadership was made based on entirely meritocratic criteria, clarifying that the problems of Justice are not politically coloured.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Efforts to Locate the Perpetrators Fire at a Car Show in Alimos

    07 Jul 2005 10:23:00

    By Anna Kourti

    A car show at 70 Alimos Street under the name of Spicar was wrapped up in flames early in the morning, after unknown men launched an explosive device. Seven cars were seriously damaged, while the perpetrators disappeared. A Fire Brigade crew put out the fire, while the Police are running an investigation to locate the men. Attica Security officials, who are on the case, speculate that the most probable cause is that the men were part of a blackmailing network and set the show on fire, because the owner did not pay them money for the so-called protection.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] US President Bush Asks of G8 and EU Abolish Agricultural Subsidies by 2010

    07 Jul 2005 15:02:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    At the EU Summit, US President George Bush urged the leaders of the eight richest countries of the world as well as the EU to end the agricultural subsidies by 2010. Our objective is to work with the EU to abolish the agricultural subsidies, he underlined shortly after his meeting with the British PM Tony Blair, who is host of the G8 Summit currently taking place in Gleneagles, Scotland. I hope that by 2010 the Doha Round of international free trade negotiations will achieve that objective," Bush said. The European Commission expressed its satisfaction on Bushs proposal as well as his commitment to work with the EU to abolish farm aid. It does not view the goal of 2010 as credible though.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] The Organisations Report Publicised OECD Asks for Radical Changes

    07 Jul 2005 15:52:00 (Last updated: 07 Jul 2005 22:13:43)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OECD) suggests radical changes in social security and labour relations, reduction in expenditures and strict measures for deficits. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and OECDs Chief Economist Jean-Philippe Cotis presented the report including all these suggestions at noon. As Mr Cotis stressed, working hours should be extended, while early retirement plans should be limited and pensions should not exceed the last salary. At the same time, he suggested legislation should be more flexible on firing personnel and more restraint when it comes to salary raises. As for Mr Alogoskoufis, he admitted the situation with Economy is at a critical point and stressed the necessity of changes in social security and job openings, putting emphasis on the regulation of working hours and overtime cost. However, he repeated that whatever decisions should come from a wide-ranging and mature dialogue that will start from scratch, but will be based on the applied system. Lastly, he stressed that fiscal adjustment will continue after 2006 but at a milder pace.

    Vaso Papandreou Uses Harsh Tongue

    Commenting the OECD report, Vaso Papandreou, PASOK s secretary on economy, said that the government released the report with a view to paving the way for lower salary wages and new taxes.

    She also blamed the government for planning to implement new stricter measures, despite the fact that government officials avoid admitting it.

    She went on accusing the government of proceeding with reforms devoid of any prior plan, something that was proved by the governments announcements on heating fuel.

    PASOK is not afraid to admit that the reforms are necessary, but only the dialogue can secure their success, she concluded.

    GSEE Reactions

    GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) also reacted. OECD report suggests that labour and social security rights be reduced to solve economical problems, claimed GSEE.

    GSEE also noted that the Economy Minister has already implemented the measures recommended by OECD and added that the working class coupled with the pensioners should hold a drastic stance.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] No Casualties Reported Train Derails in Turkey

    07 Jul 2005 14:42:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: REUTERS

    A train derailed today in eastern Turkey, when a mine that had been planted in the rails blasted. As per NTV channel, no fatalities or injuries were reported. The derailment resulted in seven compartments being derailed. The train was travelling between the eastern towns of Erzerum and Erzincan.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] Panagiotopoulos Continues With Meetings With FGI and GSEVEE Over Labour Issues

    07 Jul 2005 14:32:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The first cycle of Government contacts over the amendment on labour relations will end on Monday with the meeting between Employment Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos and GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour). Today Mr Panagiotopoulos met with the administration of GSEVEE (General Confederation of Small and Medium Sized Businesses) and FGI (Federation of Greek Industries), thus ending the cycle of meetings with industrialists and small and medium sized businessmen, who were in favour of regulating working hours and overtime cost reduction. After the end of the meetings, Mr Panagiotopoulos said there are no already-made decisions, however he stressed that the Government should enact the law within a short time. Regarding flexible working hours, Mr Panagiotopoulos has pledged that the daily working hours will not exceed 10 hours, while the final regulation will be decided after the Monday meeting with GSEE, which however refuses to discuss the possibility of working hours extension.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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