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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-08-26

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] "Reforms Will be Implemented"
  • [02] Space Alliance
  • [03] Playback Banned From Turkmenistan
  • [04] New Findings
  • [05] Tragedy in Paris

  • [01] Karamanlis Addresses ND's Central Committee "Reforms Will be Implemented"

    26 Aug 2005 12:24:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis repeated the determination of his government to proceed with the reforms, so that the country emerges form stagnation. Addressing NDs Central Committee, Mr Karamanlis gave a broad outlook of the governments work so far and underlined the need for structural reforms for sustainable development and serving the majoritys interest. At the same time, the Prime Minister argued that the government is not to back down before the reactions voiced by certain groups, neither will it compromise with the pasts practices. "Greece is changing, it is building up a new future," he said and added, "We are determined to move forward, we cannot let the next generations be burdened with the pasts mistakes and omissions." All key political issues with emphasis on the countrys economy and the elections of mayors and prefects from the first round are to top the conference of the NDs Central Committee.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Space Alliance

    26 Aug 2005 12:18:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The space agencies of Europe, Russia and Japan are working on developing their own spacecraft, while NASA has grounded its space shuttle fleet due to repeated mechanical failures. The new spacecraft, called Kliper, is likely to be launched in the beginning of 2010, the same year NASA has decided to retire its fleet, thus being unable to launch manned missions. Kliper, which is Russias Soyuz substitute, will be able to carry six people to the International Space Station and stay in orbit for up two years. The construction of the new spacecraft is expected to cost one billion dollars, with the European Space Agency (ESA) participating at a level of 20% to 30% to the project. "The fact that the shuttle is retiring means there needs to be a human crew transportation system in place," ESA official Alan Thirkettle said.

    Kliper, which will be constructed by the Russian company Energia, is to replace Russias Soyuz, which, although it is reliable, is based on 40-year-old technology. Klipers first unmanned mission is scheduled for 2010 and the first manned one a year later.

    Its design has not yet been worked out. But it will have stubby wings to allow it to steer and land on a runway, like space shuttles do. Furthermore, it is likely to incorporate figures ESA had developed for a spacecraft named Hermes, but it was abandon due to lack of funds. "We have some things in the drawer already that we can easily pull out," said ESA spokesperson Franco Bonacinahe.

    At the same time, the joint spacecraft will be able to operate autonomously, free of a pilot control. As for its base, Kliper may be launched on an upgraded Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstans Baikonur Cosmodrome or ESAs South American spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] President Niyazov Strikes Again! Playback Banned From Turkmenistan

    26 Aug 2005 10:18:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov proved once more his being eccentric by introducing another unbelievable measure to his country. This time he decided to ban the playing of the recorded music at all public events, on television and even at weddings. In his speech, he said that his aim is to protect the countrys culture from negative influences. The new measure is part of a cluster of bans, he occasionally announces, aiming at eliminating any foreign influences. So far, he has banned opera and ballet performances, which he described as "unnecessary". Niyazov explained that it is pretty sad to watch old performers singing their songs from playback. "We should protect the true culture, including the musical and singing traditions of the Turkmen people," said Niyazov addressing his cabinet.

    Niyazovs Degrees: Ban on opera and ballet performances. Ban on long hair and beards. Ban on car radios. Only the capitals hospital operates. Months have been named after his name and his mothers.

    Niyazov is known as "Father of the Turkmen People", while his acquaintances say that he believes he was sent by God to lead his people to an era he himself calls "Golden Era".

    Several regulations he has introduced direct almost every aspect of everyday life. He has forbidden young men to grow long hair and beard, while he has made his book, which presents him as a moral raw model and spiritual leader, a necessary reading for all the citizens of the country.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] New Serious Allegations New Findings

    26 Aug 2005 10:02:00 (Last updated: 26 Aug 2005 12:07:25)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Cyprus top-selling Politis and I Simerini revealed on Friday a letter sent by Cypriot authorisation director Charalampos Chatzigeorgiou to Cyprus Transport Minister Charis Thrassou. In his letter, Mr Chatzigeorgiou voiced serious allegations claiming that Cypruss Civil Aviation Authority had not conducted any checks on the airworthiness of the airliners over the 10 months. He also accused the Civil Aviation Authority and the Cypriot Transport Ministry of ignoring reports and written testimonies on the internal problems of the Authority. On his part, Cypriot Transport Ministry dismissed Mr Chatzigeorgious allegations as misleading. Meanwhile, according to information, the flying data recorder of the fatal Helios Boeing has recorded conversations between other airliners with Nicosia Control Tower. This new finding proves that the Helios airliner was never on Athens Control Tower frequency. At the same time, a DNA sample taken from the German pilots daughter is already in Athens. The final DNA results will be ready within the coming days.

    Repeated Warnings

    In his letter to the Cypriot Transport Ministry released by Simerini and Politis, Mr Chatzigeorgiou spoke of:

    1. Pilots were uncontrollably authorised to fly. 2. Officials of the Cypriot Civil Aviation Authority proceeded with vast illegal actions. 3. JAA(Joint Aviation Authorities) were presented with false data. 4. The British experts served their own interests. 5. Officials of the Cypriot Civil Aviation Authority favoured Helios Airways. 6. Pilot schools operated lacking authorisation. 7. Union trades intervened in the manning of posts.

    The newspaper also noted that Mr Chatzigeorgiou and two more officials of the Civil Aviation Authority kept warning those in charge.

    Meanwhile, France, Britain, Switzerland and the USA have already drafted blacklists including airline companies that do not fall in line with the operation regulations and fail to proceed with checks on their fleet.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] 17 Died in Apartment Block Fire Tragedy in Paris

    26 Aug 2005 08:30:00 (Last updated: 26 Aug 2005 13:21:26)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A fire inferno hit Paris in the early hours of Friday. The fire broke out in a seven-storey apartment block housing African immigrants killing seventeen people, including fourteen children, and injuring some 30 people. As per French radio station, the building hosted charity events and housed around 130 immigrants from Senegal, Cote dIvoire, Gambia and Mali. The injured were transferred to hospitals with two of them, a child and an adult, being in a critical condition. The causes of the tragedy remain to be investigated, while French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy visited the fatal apartment block and order investigations to shed light to the accident.

    Investigations Into The Causes

    The fire broke out in the stairwell in the early hours on Friday and spread quickly up to the sixth store.

    210 firefighters with 50 engines rushed to the site and after a two-year battle against the blazes, they managed to put it out. The authorities sealed off the entire block and evacuated the nearby buildings for security reasons.

    In April, a fire broke out at the Opera hotel that lies at the heart of the French capital killing 24 people, including 10 children, and injuring further 50. The victims were once again African immigrants.

    Anti-racist organisations claim that many immigrants in Paris experience precarious living conditions living in dilapidated and run-down buildings due to the acute housing problems that plague Paris.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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