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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-02

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Rage and Mourning
  • [02] "Superpower Humiliated"
  • [03] Threatening Butterfly
  • [04] Interior Minister on Rhodes
  • [05] Illegal Cigarettes Factory
  • [06] Plane Crashes in Colombia
  • [07] Concern Over Olympic Airlines
  • [08] European Fines to Spata Airport
  • [09] Full On For Medal
  • [10] Aris Eliminated from the Cup
  • [11] Thanos Leivaditis Passed Away

  • [01] Rage and Mourning

    02 Sep 2005 10:32:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Today is a day of mourning for Iraq, but not a day of truce from violence. Yesterday the fist mass funerals of the 965 victims of panic spread on the Tigris River Bridge began, amid an atmosphere of grief and anguish. At the same time, people are still seeking their relatives and friends, since the river continues to spew out bodies. Meanwhile, the internal strife and retaliation attacks persist. Yesterday night, armed Shiite attacks took place in two Sunni mosques, in the town of Zoubair resulting in a followers death and the injuring of four others.

    The above action can only be described as retaliation, since the Shiites cast the Sunni rebels responsible over the rumour that cased the hundreds of deaths. The shock from the tragedy gives its place to anger and discontent towards the government, which cannot control the situation. Many have asked for the Ministers resignations, but the Shiite Iraqi Prime Minister, Ibrahim Jafari, rejected the demand and announced "hard blows to murderers, radical fighters and Saddam Hussein followers.

    Mass Funerals

    In Sadr City, the Shiite region of Baghdad the sorrow is immeasurable. Crowds of people gather around the temporary tents set in different parts for the funeral ceremonies, while mini vans and busses are loaded with coffins. The security measures in different areas are strict, with the fear of an eminent new hit, while many bodies were taken to the town of Najaf for burial.

    In the meantime, the death toll of the tragedy in Baghdad, where thousands of Shiite followers, elderly, women and children in their majority, were stampeded after a rumour of a kamikaze bomber, is expected to increase. Already the number of the injured has risen from 465 to 815.

    Among the victims are 25 followers who lost their lives consuming poisonous foodstuffs, and seven people who were killed during three mortar explosions at Shiite Imam Musa Al Kadhims mausoleum shortly before the tragedy on the bridge.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] International Press Attacks George Bush "Superpower Humiliated"

    02 Sep 2005 09:53:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The British Press is harshly criticising President Bush for his failure to successfully handle the hurricane Katrina crisis. The Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Daily Mail voice their surprise for the weakness of a superpower to deal with a disaster that could prove worse that the September 11 attacks. With extensive stories on the chaos and anarchy dominating in New Orleans, some papers speak of a second failure to manage a crisis following Iraq. On the other hand, French Le Monde feels that the natural disaster caused by Katrina could become an advantage for the White House.

    "Opportunity" to Escape from Iraq

    Reporter Eric Leser from Le Monde made an extensive report on the incompetence of the US government to manage the crisis in New Orleans.

    As he said, the voices of protest over the National Guard's weakness to manage crises were known from the past.

    They have been confirmed though from the image of looting and chaos in New Orleans, where authorities cannot place the situation under control, even though 3,500 armed soldiers are in the area since Wednesday.

    The disaster, stresses Leser, could become an advantage for George Bush. If he could elevate the reconstruction of the states hit by Katrina into a national affair, then he would find a way out of the Iraqi issue, which has seriously affected his popularity.

    "Bin Laden Is Probably Laughing"

    As for French Liberation, images in New Orleans and Mississippi are a sight hard to see for "the absolute champion of security" George Bush.

    "Even Bin Laden is probably laughing at the weakness of US authorities and army," reads the newspaper among other things.

    "Surprise" for the Weakness of Mighty USA

    In the UK, however, comments for Bush are sharp. " Here is a superpower that can crush at will a tinpot dictatorship - but then becomes so bogged down in the grisly aftermath of war that it finds itself unable to respond anything like adequately to the plight of tens of thousands of its own citizens engulfed by a natural calamity" reads the Daily Mail stressing that " President Bush, his ratings already in free-fall, could pay a high price indeed for his military folly."

    The Daily Telegraph made similar harsh comments and said in one of its top stories that the image of a superpower humiliated is humiliating itself. It also underlined the inability of federal authorities to offer help to the affected people and their weakness to impose order, noting that new people not only loot unpunished, they also open fire against the National Guard."

    Articles in the Independent and the Financial Times have moved on the same wavelength. In a story entitled "Anarchy in New Orleans," the Independent refers to failure of the operation to relieve the 200,000 inhabitants, while the Financial Times speak of a disaster worse than the September 11 attacks.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] "Katrina" in Japan Threatening Butterfly

    02 Sep 2005 09:04:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Japanese authorities are on alert for the arrival of a typhoon equally strong with Katrina, which is expected to hit the Japanese coasts next week. Typhoon Nabi (butterfly in Korean) is packaging winds up to 180km per hour and moves at 20km per hour. (Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the US Gulf Coast this week, sustained winds reaching 240km per hour). Nabi is 200km away from Okinotorishima island, 1,700km south of Tokyo. The threatening butterfly will reach the Japanese shores on Monday and is to hit the Okinawa islands first, while it will hit Kyushu island on Tuesday. The Japanese meteorological service support the Pacific typhoon will ease in strength before afflicting the coasts of Japan. However, experts have described it as "extremely strong" and urged authorities to be on alert.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Interior Minister on Rhodes

    02 Sep 2005 11:10:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The Greek Interior Minister will meet on Rhodes today with the Prefects and Local Unions of Municipalities and Provinces in the Dodecanese and Cyclades. In the afternoon, he will attend the meeting of the Secretaries General of regional Greece along with Deputy Minister Athanasios Nakos. Mr Pavlopoulos' meetings will focus on the changes promoted by the government regarding the Local Government's electoral system. On the occasion of Mr Pavlopoulos' meeting on Rhodes, contract workers employed in the Municipality of Rhodes supported by the Rhodian Labour Centre will hold a rally.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Illegal Cigarettes Factory

    02 Sep 2005 11:44:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    Yesterday, the men of the Thessaloniki Police Directorate proceeded breaking up the biggest ring of illegal cigarette production and trafficking ever reported in Greece. Following a raid in three warehouses in Kavalari, Agios Athanasios and Kalochori, 80 tonnes of imported tobacco which were to produce 4.5 million cigarettes, as well as several raw materials, which were used in the production of cigarettes and their packaging with labels from two well known tobacco companies, were found. The illegal cigarettes were distributed throughout Greece and abroad, since a large quantity of packets had warning signs over the dangers of smoking were in French and another European language.

    The most impressing fact was that in the Agios Athanasios warehouse, a specially designed 400 sq m basement was discovered, with a secret entrance, camouflaged by a fire station, fully equipped with industrial machinery, where the illegal production, packaging cigarettes unit was set up.

    The authorities estimate that 20 people lived in the warehouse, possibly immigrants from former Soviet Union countries, which were employed in the illegal activity. As Director of the Thessaloniki Police Stergios Apostolidis announced, a 35-year-old man has been arrested, while his brother is being sought after, and another 3 persons involved in the ring, while it is thought that another ten also participated in the group.

    The secret basement was equipped with an autonomous ventilation, heating, fire and fire extinguishing system, while there were eight bedrooms with three beds, living rooms, a dining room, showers and baths, and men and womens WC, which were used by the employees of the cigarette production factory. Furthermore, there was a CCTV circuit set up, for the surveillance of the outer areas. In the warehouse around 1,300,000 illegal cigarette packets of a known brand, packaged and ready for distribution, were found and confiscated, as well as a pc and a laptop.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Plane Crashes in Colombia

    02 Sep 2005 09:51:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The eight passengers on board a small Piper-type single-engine plane died a tragic death yesterday when they crashed north of the Colombian capital, Bogota. The pilot of the plane had reported technical problems almost immediately after takeoff from a military airport and for this reason tried an emergency landing. However, he did not get the time and the plane got wrapped up in flames, resulting in the death of all eight passengers.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Concern Over Olympic Airlines

    01 Sep 2005 22:29:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET

    The proposal of the relevant Commissioner of the EU Commission for the return of 400 million euros of state funding, to the Greek Public Sector by Olympic Airlines, has caused concern in the government. "The College of Commissioners will convene within September and we are awaiting the decisions," noted government spokesperson Thodoros Rousopoulos on the question of if the government is investigating the closing down of Olympic Airlines. The President of SYN and members of PASOK stated their opposition to the sale of Olympic Airlines.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] European Fines to Spata Airport

    01 Sep 2005 22:14:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8, NET

    The European Commission has asked for the return of 12.8 million euros from the Greek Authorities for irregularities in the work contracts of Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. In particular, the community regulations of the Cohesion Fund were not followed, as were procedures of publicising and informing in relation to the work. The aforementioned irregularities, according to the Commission, were voiced during the inspection conducted by relevant community services in March 2002 and September 2003.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Full On For Medal

    01 Sep 2005 23:16:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Today the Paleo Faliro Beach Volleyball Centre relived the 2004 Olympic Games, as around 3,000 fans were intoxicated by the triumphant win of the golden beach girls, Vaso Karadasiou and Vicky Arvaniti against the top duo of world rankings, Brazilians Felisberta Silva and Franca. The international Champions crushed the "selecao" 2-1 (21-15, 19-21, 15-12), and are now a favorite for a third medal in the 2005 World Tour. On the other hand, Katerina Nikolaidou and Fenia Papageorgiou bid the event farewell since they were defeated by Swiss Kuhn and Schwer 2-0.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Aris Eliminated from the Cup

    02 Sep 2005 10:56:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    The third round of the Greek Football Cup came to its end with a big surprise, since Panthrakikos prevailed over Aris 2-1 and eliminated them from the next round of the institution, thanks to which the "god of war" can play in Europe this season. The home team did not have a hard time taking the lead in the first half 2-0 and the only thing Aris managed to do was to score once in the rerun, thus ending the match 2-1. Teams from A National will also be competing in the next and fourth round of the Greek Cup. Olympiacos will play against Panileiakos, Panathinaikos will face Ergotelis and AEK will confront Giannena, all as guests. PAOK will be called to break through Agrotikos Asteras' resistance and Larissa will remember its days in B National facing Panseraikos.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Thanos Leivaditis Passed Away

    01 Sep 2005 20:37:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    On Thursday, actor and scriptwriter Thanos Leivaditis breather his last aged 71, in the Athens General Clinic, where he was being hospitalised. Born in Lamia and son of Alekos Leivaditis, he was introduced to the wider public by the television show "Oi Dikaioi." Thanos Leivaditis always played the "good guy" in Greek cinema, while his close professional collaboration with Mema Stathopoulou will always be remembered. Leivaditis 20-year career was also spent in theatre stages, performing different roles of a wide variety of authors such as Lorca, Pirandello and Shakespeare, to Sophocles and Euripides. His funeral will take place at 16:00, on Monday September 5 at the Athens 1st Cemetery.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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