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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-08-16

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Investigations Underway
  • [02] New Government in Bulgaria
  • [03] Tension in Middle East
  • [04] Air Tragedy in Venezuela
  • [05] Meeting Between Karamanlis-Sioufas
  • [06] Pain Beyond Belief
  • [07] Pullout Amid Incidents
  • [08] U21 Earns Silver Medal
  • [09] Greece in Brussels
  • [10] On Your Marks
  • [11] Moscholiou Breathed Her Last
  • [12] Spanish Helicopter Crash

  • [01] Into the Causes of the Tragedy Investigations Underway

    16 Aug 2005 20:11:00 (Last updated: 16 Aug 2005 23:14:42)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    The two F16 pilots, who approached the fatal airliner a few moments prior to its crash, are expected to testify to the Prosecutor upon Athens Public Prosecutors Office request. The pilots of the fighter jets saw someone in the cockpit, probably a male, who was trying to regain control of the airliner, which he partially did by turning the plane towards the place it crashed 23 minutes later. The last reference point for the autopilot was the island of Kea, while as per the F16 pilots the clockwise circles made by the plane are performed as soon as the autopilot is activated. Unless the autopilot receives a new order, the plane remains in its last position. Speaking on NET, pilot Giannis Androulakis stated that the autopilot goes off either via a computer or manually. Meanwhile, as per the Cypriot newspaper Politis, Andreas Prodromou, one of the flight attendants on board the Helios airliner, was an authorised pilot. Akrivos Tsolakis, head of the Greek airline safety committee, told NET that it is true that there was someone who knew how to fly a plane among the people on board. At the same time, the claims of the F16 pilots that passengers were alive were confirmed by the findings of the coroners. The autopsies showed that the passengers were alive at the time of the crash, however, it cannot be determined whether they were unconscious. In the meantime, the C-130 aircraft carrying the 23 first bodies landed on Cyprus.

    Questions Remain

    In the meantime, the ongoing investigations are expected to shed light to the causes of the crash. Chief coroner Filippos Koutsaftis said that the autopsies on the first six victims showed that they were alive at the time of the crash. However, the autopsies cannot determine whether they were in a coma or not.

    At the same time, the possibility of depressurisation is still open. The coroners cannot say whether there was a gradual oxygen loss due to depressurisation. The tissue tests, though, will show whether the passengers inhaled toxic gases.

    As per experts, in case of a depressurisation problem at 34,000 feet, the passengers should make use of the overhead oxygen masks that are automatically released to stay alive. Therefore, the autopsies findings rule out the likelihood of depressurisation, since no one could have survived if that was the case.

    Speaking on NET, thoracic doctor Panagiotis Behrakis pointed out that in cases of depressurisation the steps determined by the international regulations dictate a series of actions aiming at restoring the oxygen supply inside the cabin. The first emergency step is to activate the supplementary oxygen supply until the pilots manage to fly the airliner below 10,000 feet, where the external air is sufficient and therefore peoples lives are not in danger. However, under such conditions, the pilots may have less than 15 seconds at their disposal to react.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Three Major Parties Participate New Government in Bulgaria

    16 Aug 2005 20:20:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    With 169 votes in favour in a total of 240, the new coalition government was approved by the Bulgarian Parliament on Tuesday evening. The Socialist Party, the National Movement Simeon II and the Muslim Movement for Rights and Freedoms participate in the coalition. Following a heated five-hour discussion in Parliament, a new coalition government was formed to avert the likelihood of early elections. A day earlier, the leaders of the countrys three major political parties had signed a political agreement on the formation of a coalition government led by the president of the Bulgarian Socialist Party Sergei Stanishev. It is the first time in the modern history of Bulgaria that a coalition government becomes a reality, while its name will be "Coalition for the European Integration, Economic Growth and Social Responsibility."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Evacuation Deadline Expires at Midnight Tension in Middle East

    16 Aug 2005 18:44:00 (Last updated: 16 Aug 2005 22:44:52)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A large-scale invasion to the largest settlement in the Gaza Strip was launched on Tuesday by the Israeli security forces. The Israeli forces clashed with Jewish demonstrators who keep defying the orders to evacuate the occupied territories by midnight. In their efforts to bring the situation in the settlement of Neveh Dekalim under control, troops and policemen forced away more than 50 young Jews. In the incidents, which are the fiercest to be recorded since the establishment of the 48-hour evacuation deadline, hundreds of demonstrators participated trying to obstruct the moving-in of the military vehicles by burning piles of rubbish on the main road.

    At least 850 extremists settlers were arrested during the clashes. Israeli General Eival Giladi said that half Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip have been evacuated and the residents have left the Palestinian territory. The evacuation deadline expires at midnight.

    In the meantime, the Israeli army issued an announcement late on Tuesday citing that within the next hours the settlers pullout from Neveh Dekalim will have been completed. "This operation will be completed," stated Dan Harel, the Israeli General that oversees the Gaza withdrawal.

    "They Will Arrest the Offenders"

    The demonstrators were throwing stones, eggs and coulor-filled balloons against the troops. A woman lied before a bulldozer, while many others were bleeding on their faces.

    Israeli officials pledged to do anything in their power to evacuate the settlements in the context of the disengagement plan.

    "Should police be left with no choice, they will arrest the offenders," pointed out an army spokesperson.

    "All of Gush Katif is in mourning," settler Gilad Meimon said as he waited on a vehicle loaded with family belongings to leave Gazas largest Jewish settlement bloc forever.

    In other settlements in GAza, demonstrators burned cars, while a house was set on fire.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Pullout Amid Incidents

    [04] All Passengers Died Air Tragedy in Venezuela

    16 Aug 2005 14:41:00 (Last updated: 16 Aug 2005 21:06:29)

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    There are no survivors among the 152 passengers and crewmembers on board the Colombian airliner that crashed on Tuesday in a remote area in Venezuela near the borders with Colombia, reported the Colombian authorities. "The firefighters that rushed to the crash scene confirmed there were no survivors," said Colonel Carlos Eduardo Montealegre, acting director of Colombias civil aviation. The French Civil Aviation Authority also confirmed the information. The MD-82 airliner of the West Caribbean Airways was en route from Panama to Martinique carrying 152 passengers, including a child and an eight-member crew. As per German Bracho, head of Venezuelas Civil Aviation Authority, the majority of the passengers were French nationals. Venezuelan Interior Minister reported that the plane changed its course the moment the mechanical fault was recorded for the first time and the pilot asked permission to land it at Maracaibo airport. However, it crashed in the mountainous area of Sierra de Perija. The fog coupled with the rain pouring in the region gives the rescue teams a hard time.

    "When the plane was flying over Venezuelan airspace, they had problems with one engine and then with another engine, and at that moment it went down," Venezuelan Interior Minister Jesse Chacon said to the state-run television.

    Venezuelas authorities announced that they lost contact with the plane, while earlier the pilot had reported a mechanical failure. Following, a blast was heard near the borders with Colombia. As per information, the pilot had time to send an SOS, but one of the engines immediately stopped operating and seven minutes later the second was also off. Then contact with the plane was lost.

    The rescue teams immediately rushed to the crash scene to look for the passengers. It should be noted that this was the second deadly crash involving West Caribbean airliner within five months. In March, a Let-410 airliner crashed in a mountainous area after its takeoff from the island of Providencia killing six out of 12 passengers and two crewmembers.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Over Ministry of Development Issues Meeting Between Karamanlis-Sioufas

    16 Aug 2005 14:31:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis held a two-hour meeting with Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas at Maximos Mansion. Mr Sioufas said that he briefed Mr Karamanlis over all the development issues in view of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF). Tomorrow at 10:00, the Prime Minister will hold a meeting with the Ministry of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis and following he will preside over a meeting of the government Committee.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Memorial Service for Victims Pain Beyond Belief

    16 Aug 2005 13:28:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    In an atmosphere filled with grief and deep mourning, a memorial service for the souls of the 121 who died so unexpectedly, took place at 11:30 at the Holy Church of Faneromeni in Nicosia. Bishop Trimithoundos Vasileios officiated the service with the attendance of President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, Speaker of Parliament Dimitris Christofias, political party leaders, Ministers, MPs, the leaderships of the National Guard and the police, Municipal Authorities, representatives of foreign embassies, relatives of victims and many others. Memorial services also took place in Limassol and Paralimni. In Athens, a three-minute silence was observed for the victims of the tragedy at 12: 00. In the meantime, a condolences book has been placed in the House of Cyprus, on Irakleitos Street in Kolonaki, while it will remain open until Wednesday August 17, 2005, from 10:00 to 13:00.

    Cypriot Government Stands By Relatives

    The President of the Cypriot Republic, Tassos Papadopoulos voiced his deepest pain and grief over "the unexpected loss of so many people," reassuring "the state will not be only giving condolences, but will stand by them and give every help possible to the ones that need it." In statements made in the Holy Church of Faneromeni after the memorial service for the souls of the tragic victims of the airplane crash, Mr Papadopoulos reassured the Cypriot people "the government will make every possible effort with seriousness for the investigation of the tragedy and the ones responsible of it." As he stated, the government is in contact with the European Union and will not hesitate " to bring independent and objective experts for the full investigation, without any convenience, and the responsibilities accounted to the ones in fault, whoever they may be."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    New Evidence

    [07] From the Biggest Gaza Strip Settlement Pullout Amid Incidents

    16 Aug 2005 13:54:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The operation for the pullout of the settlers from the Gaza Strip is continuing. In the biggest settlement, Neve Dekalim, the Israeli authorities performed raids, destroying the security gate in the central entrance, while security forces entered afterwards. For the first half hour at least, clashes continued among settlers and security forces, while hundreds of extremist settlers were arrested. In the meantime, the police are transporting security forces from other settlements to Neve Dekalim. Foreign correspondents estimate that this move reveals the intention of the Israeli authorities to begin the withdrawal of settlers from the largest and most problematic settlement, in relation to conforming to the recommendations by the Israeli government. No official statements have been made by the security forces Press spokesperson, however officials state that the operation paves the road for the withdrawal of the settlers.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Israeli Pullout Begins

    [08] U21 Earns Silver Medal

    15 Aug 2005 15:52:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    The game between Lithuania and Greece was an amazing final, worthy of the expectations of the 4th U21 Championship, which ended early in the morning in Mar del Plata. The Greek national team did not climb up higher the podium, since the Lithuanians defeated it by 65-63, thus earning the silver medal. The final was full of excitement. Regardless of the great success of the Greek team, Manos Manouselis players broke out in tears, as they knew that they were very near to first place.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Greece in Brussels

    16 Aug 2005 18:06:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    The coach of the Greek national team Otto Rehhagel and his boys view tomorrows friendly match against Belgium at King Baudouin Stadium as a good test. The Greek players will be wearing black armlets in tribute of the victims of the air tragedy in Grammatiko north of Attica. Four new faces complete the teams line-up. Defenders Moras and Alexopoulos and strikers Lymperopoulos and Salpiggidis are longing for tomorrows match. On his part, Mr Rehhafel pointed out that to qualify to the World Cup is a dream, however, everyone is ready to do his best. "Our dream is to qualify to the World Cup," he mentioned and added, "We are entering the final straight for the three games against Kazakhstan, Denmark and Georgia. The friendly game with the Belgian team will be a really good test ahead of these games and we will have the opportunity to test some new players."

    Before departing from Athens international airport, one of the new players in the Greek national teams line-up AEKs defender Vagelis Moras said, "It is a dream come true. I have long been waiting for my call to the national team and my goal is to earn a place in the team. The game against Belgium is going to show whether we are ready for the three games ahead and I hope I will be playing in the official matches. As for the World Cup, I think that nothing is lost and that qualifying is feasible." Stelios Giannakopoulos joined the team in Brussels after travelling form Manchester, England, while striker Agelos Charisteas went to the Belgian capital by car from Amsterdam. Therefore, German coach Otto Rehhagel has all 19 players at his disposal.

    Greek national team line-up: Nikopolidis, Siphakis, Seitaridis, Vyntra, Kyrgiakos, Aleksopoulos, Fyssas, Kapsis, Basinas, Kafes, Zagorakis, Karagounis, Giannakopoulos, Salpiggidis, Vryzas, Lymperopoulos, Charisteas, Moras and Lakis.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] On Your Marks

    16 Aug 2005 17:11:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    EPAE (Hellenic Association of Football Clubs) decided on August 28 to be the opening day for the 1st Division football championship in Greece with the game between Levadeiakos and Ionikos being the only exception. The game in question is scheduled for September 4 upon the host teams request, because of the works that are underway at the pitch. Although Ionikos football club did not agree on that, EPAE decided that there are substantial reasons to postpone the game. EPAE also decided that the movement of the fans of the teams will be free, without determining the exact percentage, something which is expected on the days to come.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] Moscholiou Breathed Her Last

    16 Aug 2005 14:17:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The great singer of Greek music, Vicky Moscholiou, died today after a tough two-year battle with cancer. The beloved singer breathed her last in the private hospital Igeia where she was hospitalised. The leadership of the Ministry of Culture en masse voiced its condolences over the death of the Greek singer. "The modest presence of our friend Vicky Moscholiou and her inexhaustible talent honored the Greek song, honored Greek culture. All her friends and all of the Greek people will always remember her. My warmest condolences to her family and close circle," stated alternate Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia. The General Secretary of KKE, Aleka Papariga, sent a condolence telegram noting "Accept my warmest condolences over the death of Vicky Moscholiou. She will remain in hearts for her beautiful voice, her great interpretations, her simplicity and character. Her contribution to Greek music was immense." The Ministry of Culture has taken up the expenses for the funeral of Vicky Moscholiou.

    Her Music Career

    Vicky Moscholiou was born in Metaxourgeio, Athens, in 1943. She first takes the stage in 1962 aged 19 singing in the club "Triana tou Cheila" along Grigoris Bithikotsis and Doukissa. Everyone foresaw that a great singers career is just starting. She only stated her happiness over the fact that she is starting her career next to Doukissa and Grigoris Bithikotsis. Two years later, her career reaches new heights when Bithikotsis introduces her to composer Stavros Xarchakos to sing the song "Chathike to Feggari" in the movie Lola . Her interpretation of the song will remain a special and unforgettable page in the history of Greek music.

    From then one she collaborates with the greatest composers: Xarchakos, Spanos,Zabetas, Kaldaras, Moutsis, Theodorakis, Kougioumtzis, Tsitsanis and Vamvakaris.

    Moreover, two nightclubs are named after her songs: "Ta Ximeromata" and "Ta Deilina."

    In the early 1960s, Vicky Moscholiou performs concerts with Stavros Xarchakos and Grigoris Bithikotsis throughout Greece, while in 1968 she self-finances the first concert of a Greek artist in Cyprus.

    In 1967, the great singer marries Panathinaikos footballer Mimis Domazos and attracts the attention of all media, while later on she divorces.

    However, this great romance made her a mother of two daughters and a grandmother.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] All Passengers Killed Spanish Helicopter Crash

    16 Aug 2005 15:07:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Seventeen Spanish soldiers were killed, when the helicopter they were aboard fell and crashed in Afghanistan. The story initially was published in the website of El Mundo newspaper, while a few hours later it was confirmed by the Spanish Foreign Ministry in an official announcement, which stated that there were no survivors. In the meantime, RNE radio station broadcast that the helicopter was tailing another one that performed an emergency landing in the same area, and resulted in many of its passengers being injured. The story was also confirmed by the spokesperson of NATOs International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, however without referencing a specific number of victims. "We have a report which speaks of a helicopter crash. We are aware that some soldiers were killed," stated Andrea Tolan and added, "I do not know the number of dead. The helicopter crashed during an exercise." The causes and the circumstances of the accident have not been made known. It is noted that around 850 Spanish soldiers, participating in ISAF, are stationed in Afghanistan, ensuring the smooth and safe procedure of Parliamentary elections on September 18.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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