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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-08-07

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Shipping Problems
  • [02] Devetzi Tried Hard
  • [03] Counting their Wounds
  • [04] Papandreou on the Politicians' Finances
  • [05] Funding for Border Islands
  • [06] "Long-lasting Strategy Abandoned"
  • [07] Fire on Zakynthos Extinguished
  • [08] Airplane Tragedy
  • [09] Bloody Sunday
  • [10] Papagianni Sixth in 20km Walk
  • [11] Bulgaria Drowned by Floods
  • [12] Close to Tracking the Arsonists

  • [01] Hassles at Northern Greek Ports Shipping Problems

    07 Aug 2005 20:59:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Shipping passengers were put out once again on Sunday. This time, the problems with the ships Dimitroula and Zakynthos 1 were transferred to the ports of Kavala and Thessaloniki. Dimitroula arrived at the port of Kavala at 10am, after a 6-hour delay. So, the route to Piraeus, which was scheduled for 4am, departed at 1pm. Nona Mary experienced mechanical failure and as a result the Thessaloniki-Sporades route was cancelled. The 140 passengers were told they would travel with Zakynthos 1, which arrived at the port at 15:30. The ship eventually departed after a 6-hour delay.

    Wandering the Aegean on Dimitroula

    Dimitroula, which had sailed from Chios with interim stops at Mytilini and Limnos, arrived at the port of Kavala after a 6-hour delay.

    During the trip from Vathy, Samos, to Chios, someone had informed the Mercantile Marine Ministrys Operations Centre by phone that Dimitroula was sailing at a very low speed.

    The Ministrys Inspection Department immediately ordered Chios Port Authority to perform an emergency check before the ship departed again.

    The ship arrived at the port of Chios at 4:15pm on Saturday. The inspectors checked the ship and concluded that the main engines were in top condition. According to the Captain and the First Engineer, the ship was sailing at a low speed because of the low-quality fuel.

    At 6:35pm, Chios Port Authority gave the go-ahead for the ship to sail. Dimitroula eventually arrived at the port of Kavala at 10am, after a 6-hour delay.

    It should be noted that mechanical failure was also detected on the ship Romilda on Saturday, while it was sailing off the coast of Anafi. The ship returned to Piraeus at 10:25pm and, after a thorough inspection, it departed on its route for Syros-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Iraklia-Schinousa-Koufonisia-Donousa-Egiali-Katapola at midnight, after a 2-hour delay.

    The First Fines

    In the meantime, the fines imposed by the Piraeus Central Port Authority on shipping companies and agents for not informing the public on time regarding the delays amounted to 528,247 euros.

    Rodanthi 220,103 euros Romilda 58,694 euros Anthi Marina 117,338 euros Panagia Tinou 132,062 euros

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] Devetzi Tried Hard

    07 Aug 2005 21:56:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Greek Pigi Devetzi finished in fifth place in womens triple jump. The silver Olympian was experiencing pain in her leg and her best jump was 14.64m during her second attempt. Devetzi also had three foul jumps (first, fourth and fifth), as well as another two at 14.44m and 14.26m. Due to the excruciating pain, she could not jump over 14.72m, which was her achievement yesterday in the preliminaries, as she kept losing her coordination. However, finishing in fifth place one year after the Olympic Games, and under these circumstances, could not be described as failure. The big favourite, Tatyana Lebedeva, did not compete in the final, due to injury, so the gold went to Jamaican Trecia Smith with 15.11m. Savigne Yergelis finished in second place with 14.82m, while Russian Anna Pyatykh won the bronze with 14.78m.

    Fears for Rupture

    In statements she made to TV station ERT after the competition, Pigi Devetzi mainly talked about the pain she was experiencing during the event, while she even expressed fears that it could be a rupture.

    The Results

    1. Smith Trecia JAM 15.11 2. Savigne Yargelis CUB 14.82 3. Pyatykh Anna RUS 14.78 4. Aldama Yamil&#233; SUD 14.72 5. Devetzi Hrysopigi GRE 14.64 6. Ndoye K&#233;n&#233; SEN 14.47 7. Rahouli Baya ALG 14.40 8. Martinez Magdelin ITA 14.31

    In the meantime, Greek Argyro Strataki finished in 17th place in heptathlon with 5,884 points.

    Karastamati Makes it to the Semis

    Maria Karastamati raced in the womens 100m heats today, although she was injured. Despite the fact that her coach, Giorgos Panagiotopoulos, advised her not to run, the 20-year-old athlete tried her best and finished in fifth place with a time of 11.29, qualifying for the semis.

    In statements she made after the race, Karastamati said that she did not know whether she would be able to compete tomorrow.

    "I an happy that I will be running in the semi-finals tomorrow, but just that. I am not happy with my performance or my time and I am not using my problem as an excuse. I am hoping that God will help me run better tomorrow, " declared the athlete.

    Iakovakis Did not Qualify for Final

    Periklis Iakovakis was in bad form today and was not able to qualify for the finals in the mens 400m hurdles. The Greek champion ran in the 3rd semi-final with a time of 49.28.

    Iakovakis finished fifth in his heat and thus missed out on the final, since only the first two athletes in each of the three races and the two best times qualified.

    Afroditi Skafida was also eliminated from the womens pole vault, as she did not go over the qualifying limit. The Greek athlete jumped over 4.15m, but failed at 4.30m three times. Finally, Dimitra Dova did not qualify for the womens 400m semis, as she finished in sixth place in her heat with a time of 52.29.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Papagianni Sixth in 20km Walk

    Devetzi and Iakovakis Qualify

    [03] Xanthi in a State of Emergency Counting their Wounds

    07 Aug 2005 21:26:00

    By Annita Paschalinou


    The extreme weather conditions of the last few days have caused extensive damages to houses and crops. Teams of the Hellenic Organisation of the Agricultural Insurances (ELGA) have already started recording the damages to the afflicted areas, in order to compensate the citizens as soon as possible. A state of emergency was declared in Xanthi, which experienced severe thunderstorms, while in Komotini, roads flooded and farming equipment was washed away when a stream flooded. In Thasos an operation was set up to pull out vehicles that had fallen in the sea.

    Images of Destruction

    In eastern Thasos, strong fire department units pumped water from basements and homes that had been flooded, while they facilitated drivers who were trying to move their cars away from the afflicted areas.

    Houses and crops were destroyed in Xanthi, while ELGA teams have already started recording the damages.

    Collapsed homes, dead animals and fields full of water and mud compile the images left behind by yesterdays storms in Komotini.

    The citizens of Kavala are also counting their wounds. Despite the enormous efforts by local crews, many areas in the Municipalities of Keramoti and Chrysoupoli remain flooded.

    The level of water is expected to subside late on Sunday, since the operations to divert the waters to new channels are continuing at a fast pace.

    The reporting of the damages will commence on Monday.

    No new problems were recorded in Xanthi on Sunday, while the waters have started subsiding in most rural areas. However, the settlement Peteinos, a few kilometres away from the town of Xanthi, continues to face problems.

    Local crews were working all night on Saturday to stop the mudslides from blocking the national and regional highways of the Prefecture.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Papandreou on the Politicians' Finances

    07 Aug 2005 19:56:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The President of PASOK referred to the matter that arose last week over the leak of information from ND MP Achilleas Karamanlis Declaration of Assets file and the subsequent dismissal of a parliamentary employee. "There is no private information when it comes to politicians finances and no one is above this rule," declared George Papandreou to newspaper To Thema. He also underlined that the citizens deserve to know this information. Commenting on the matter, Achilleas Karamanlis spoke of a staged and malicious attack against him.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    "The Law Was Followed"

    [05] Interview to "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia" Funding for Border Islands

    07 Aug 2005 17:37:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    In an effort to resolve the problems with Greek shipping lines similar to the ones with the ships Romilda and Rodanthi that have been hassling the passengers lately, the Government is promoting measures to fund border island routes. In an interview to newspaper Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia, Mercantile Marine Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis stressed that the 3 billion euro loan to the Government from the European Central Bank will be used to fund the construction of new ships and the border island routes. Meanwhile, the Government is also examining the possibility of granting free tickets to the inhabitants of border islands. Referring to the withdrawal of old ships, Mr Kefalogiannis claimed that Greece is in danger of being referred to the European Court in case it continues imposing age limits for the withdrawal of ships. The Mercantile Marine Minister also referred to the possibility of freeing the routes, stressing that it will be done gradually and in the cases when competition leads to price reductions and improvement of services.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] In the Newspaper "Vima tis Kyriakis" "Long-lasting Strategy Abandoned"

    07 Aug 2005 16:36:00 (Last updated: 07 Aug 2005 20:38:24)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    George Papandreou attributed blame to the Greek Government over Ankaras refusal to recognise the Republic of Cyprus. "The Government ought to stop monitoring the developments as a spectator and impartial third party," he declared to newspaper Vima tis Kyriakis. He also underlined that during the December Summit, the Government abandoned a long-lasting strategy and missed out on the opportunity to create a safe framework and a road map for the Euro-Turkish relations. Mr Papandreou added that these policies resulted in Greece and Cyprus being faced with a dilemma as to whether they should stop Turkeys European progress or support it. The alternate government spokesperson responded to Mr Papandreous allegations. "It is wrong to accuse the Government over Turkeys stance concerning Cyprus, because in that way, Turkeys policy is in the clear," stressed Evangelos Antonaros.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Fire on Zakynthos Extinguished

    07 Aug 2005 13:24:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: 105.8

    A fire that broke out at the inaccessible area Keri, Zakynthos, on Saturday night is under control. Two firefighting planes, one helicopter, 17 fire engines and 50 firefighters participated in the fire extinguishing operation. Meanwhile, the investigation into the great fire that burnt down thousands of hectares of forestland in Eastern Attica has revealed an amazing discovery. Fire Department officers located 19 burnt birthday candles on site and transferred then to the lab in case they find DNA traces of the arsonists.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] 16 Dead, 23 Injured Airplane Tragedy

    07 Aug 2005 11:26:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Corriere della Sera, ANA, BBC

    The death toll from a plane crash off the coast of Palermo, Sicily, on Saturday has climbed to 13, while 23 people were injured and 3 are missing. Two children aged 6 and 8 are among the victims, while 10 of the wounded are in critical condition. It all started on Saturday afternoon, when a Tunisair ATR-72 with 35 Italian passengers and a 4-member crew on board was forced to crash land in the sea, 17 nautical miles off the coast of Palermo. A little while earlier, the pilot had radioed Palermo airport and told them to prepare for an emergency landing, but did not make it to the airport. The ATR-72 charter plane was flying from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia, while the technical problem was detected shortly after takeoff. Those who survived spoke of a miracle, while the pilot declared that the plane fell in the sea after the engines stalled.

    Night of Suspense

    A huge rescue operation commenced immediately after the crash and continued throughout the night.

    Parts of the wreckage were towed to the port of Palermo and transferred to dry land to be inspected.

    The accident occurred on the first day of the August break, when many Italians travel to North Africa for holidays.

    The possibility of terrorism was ruled out right from the start.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Multi-Fatality Plane Crash

    [09] At Least 15 People Killed Bloody Sunday

    07 Aug 2005 12:58:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Reuters, NA

    Sunday was marked with blood in Tikrit, Baghdad, Samarra and Samawa. A suicide bomber killed 10 Iraqis, including five soldiers, in an attack on an Iraqi police headquarters in the northern town of Tikrit, north of Baghdad. At the time of the attack, whereby another 15 soldiers were wounded, men volunteering to join the force had been crowding outside the headquarters.

    In Baghdad, armed militants shot and killed two Oil Ministry employees, while wounding another two. The attackers opened fire from their car, in the area of New Baghdad.

    In Samawa, hundreds of Iraqis took to the streets, protesting against inadequate public services. The police opened fire against the protestors, killing one civilian and injuring eight others.

    Two American soldiers were killed and another three were injured by a homemade bomb on Saturday in Samarra. The death toll of American soldiers killed in Iraq has climbed to 1,820 since March 2003, when the USA invaded the country.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Tsoumeleka Was Disqualified Papagianni Sixth in 20km Walk

    07 Aug 2005 12:52:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Greek Athina Papagianni finished in sixth place in the womens 20km walk at the IAAF World Championships, with a time of 1:29.21, which is her personal best for this season. She was very satisfied with her performance today, as this is the best position she has ever achieved in an event of this status. On the other hand, golden Olympian Athanasia Tsoumeleka did not manage to finish the race, even though she was close to the bronze. A little before the end of the race, the Greek champion was shown a third yellow card and was therefore disqualified.

    Satisfaction and Regret

    "I am very happy for having finished in sixth place at such a big event, and especially as I did not receive any warnings. I came to Helsinki knowing that I was in great form. I ran a tactical race. I believe that my hard work so far is paying off and I am satisfied. I want to thank all those who helped me," declared Athina Papagianni after the race.

    As for Athanasia Tsoumeleka, she was very upset after being disqualified, because she believes that she did not deserve the third warning. "The judge showed me two cards right from the first turn. When I was passing the Italian in third place, he showed me the third. I knew all eyes were on me, so I was very careful. However, disqualifications are part of the race. I am very upset and I want to apologise to everyone. It was a hard year for me and now all I want is to rest. I am still very young and I have many years ahead for new successes," declared the Greek champion.

    Russia Olimpiada Ivanova won the gold with 1:25.41, setting a new world record, as the previous record was 1:26.52, also her own (Brisbane, 6/9/2001). Turava Ryta from Belarus won the silver with 1:27.05, while Susana Feitor from Portugal finished third with 1:28.44.

    The Results

    1. Olimpiada Ivanova RUS 1:25:41 (WR) 2. Ryta Turava BLR 1:27:05 (NR) 3. Susana Feitor POR 1:28:44 (SB) 4. Mar&#237;a Vasco ESP 1:28:51 (SB) 5. Barbora Dibelkov&#225; CZE 1:29:05 (NR) 6. Athina Papagianni GRE 1:29:21 (SB) 7. Elisa Rigaudo ITA 1:29:52 8. Claudia Stef ROM 1:30:07

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] Bulgaria Drowned by Floods

    07 Aug 2005 18:54:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The torrential rains afflicting Bulgaria over the last three days have already left behind five dead and immense damages. Twenty-two municipalities in western and central Bulgaria, as well as many areas north of Sofia, are in a state of emergency. In the towns Pazardzhik, Ihtiman, Iskar, Velingrad and Roman, on the outskirts of the Bulgarian capital, five thousand people were forced to evacuate their flooded homes and have found temporary shelter in schools and other public buildings. Prime Minister Simeon Saxe Coburg is coordinating the rescue and restoration operations.

    In a State of Emergency

    The extreme weather conditions have created major problems in the road and railway networks, while the authorities urged the citizens to avoid unnecessary travel.

    At the same time, many bridges have collapsed.

    The bridge leading to the town Elin Pelin (40km east of Sofia) collapsed just minutes after the PM crossed it on his way to the flooded town on Saturday.

    Main roads and railway lines connecting Sofia to areas north of the country are impassable.

    The military is assisting the rescue crews, who trying hard to transfer food and drinking water to villages that have been blocked off.

    No Water in Philippopolis

    At the same time, Philippopolis will be left without drinking water for at least five days. The citizens miraculously escaped evacuating the city on Saturday, when River Evros overflowed and the waters flooded the roads by the banks of the river.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [12] Close to Tracking the Arsonists

    07 Aug 2005 14:08:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Newspaper "Vima tis Kyriakis"

    In an interview to the newspaper Vima tis Kyriakis, the Greek Public Order Minister revealed that the authorities are close to tracking the Rafina arsonists. Mr Voulgarakis stressed it is imperative to effectively deal with the entire ring instigating the arsons attempts and aiming at selling off the burnt land. Specifically, after the Minister applauded the coordination demonstrated by the relevant bodies in extinguishing the fire, he referred to the progress of the investigations, declaring, "We are getting somewhere. I want to believe that we have a good general picture." He also noted that it was certain that many damages would have been caused, due to the fact that there were many fire fronts, while he underlined that the main priority was to save lives and then to contain the damages.

    Asking for PASOK's Support

    Meanwhile, he urged the Opposition to support the new anti-terrorism law, which will be submitted to Parliament soon, as ND did when they were the main Opposition party three years ago. He also noted that, despite the fact that the main terrorist groups operating in Greece have been broken up, terrorism continues to be a social problem that has to be monitored closely and continuously.

    The Public Order Minister also announced the signing of a partnership agreement with China, which is organising the next Olympics. The agreement, which will be signed upon the Ministers second visit to Beijing in September, aims at exchanging information on security matters. Referring to allegations by PASOK that China was asking for technical know-how from Australia and not Greece, he stressed that it is quite reasonable for them to collaborate with countries that have international experience.

    Finally, Mr Voulgarakis commented that electing a Mayor who gathers 42% of the votes on the first round of elections would primarily safeguard the credibility of the system and secondly save citizens the hassle of coming to vote twice. He also reminded that the reform in question was one of NDs pre-election pledges.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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