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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-03

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Spark of Hope
  • [02] No End to the Nightmare
  • [03] Conflict With Interests
  • [04] In the Swirl of Talim
  • [05] Recognise the Greek Holocausts

  • [01] Rice Grateful for International Aid Spark of Hope

    03 Sep 2005 10:56:00 (Last updated: 03 Sep 2005 12:48:49)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: Reuters - CNN - ANA

    The affected residents of the American South welcomed the first military convoy carrying water, food and medicine to New Orleans as a ray of hope in the darkness of the nightmare in the wake of Katrinas deadly pass. Days after anxious waiting, the survivors of the hurricane, tired, exhausted and angry at the governments belated response to the crisis, have started hoping again in the sight of the first supplies. However, experts warn that it will take up to 80 days to remove floodwaters from New Orleans. In the meantime, US President George Bush, who came in for harsh criticism over his administration response, singed a 10.5 billion dollar disaster relief bill for the hurricane-battered areas. US President and the Congress described the measure as a down payment of a bigger amount. On her part, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thanked around 60 countries and international bodies that offered their aid to the USA and underlined that the USA "rejected no relief aid offers."

    Thorny Questions

    Under the close surveillance of soldiers, thousands of exhausted survivors in New Orleans queued to get food and water.

    Head of the relief convoy Lieutenant General Russel Honore made it clear that the evacuation of the state remains key priority.

    However, as per estimations, the evacuation will take many more days. The state of Texas, which is already hosting 75,000 evacuees, Dallas and San Antonio are to provide the rest of the residents of the battered stated with shelter.

    In the meantime, 1,300 patients who had been trapped in the flooded Louisiana Medical Centre were successfully rescued.

    However, ultimate destruction scenery remains. The disaster has claimed many lives, while Louisianas Senator fears the death toll may rise to 10,000.

    At he same time, armed patrols continue in a effort to put criminality, looting and rapes that plague the city of New Orleans under control.

    On the other hand, many people keep wandering, "Why all this slow response?" "They should have arrived days ago." "We were sleeping on the ground like rats." "People died helpless." These are some of the despair outcries voiced by the people who had been waiting for a helping hand for almost four days.

    Even the troops that were deployed to New Orleans could not believe the disaster that had ravaged the area. The landscape around them was not at all reminiscent of a developed country. Instead it bore strong resemblance to Iraqi bombarded cities, they told the correspondents of the news agencies.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    No End to the Nightmare

    [02] New Orleans a Macabre Lake No End to the Nightmare

    02 Sep 2005 23:14:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: - 105.8 - NA

    Four days after Hurricane Katrina swept through the USA the situation in the American South remains unbearable. Anarchy, looting and lack of basic necessities paint a very ugly picture in New Orleans, where the people are reacting to the federal government and the authorities inability to deal with the situation. George Bush, who is currently visiting the affected areas, described the results of the rescue crews as unacceptable, while he promised immediate reinstatement of the order, granting of food and aid, and reconstruction of the destroyed cities. National Guards in armoured vehicles are patrolling the streets, while they were also ordered to open fire against looters. With regard to the tragic death toll, it is expected to rise once the waters recede, while it may even reach 10,000. An unspecified number of expatriate Greeks are among those affected. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America announced that Archbishop Demetrios would be visiting the area soon, while the Greek Consulate is on alert. Following the Senate, the House of Representatives also approved an emergency fund of $10.5 billion, while the international community declared that it is prepared to offer assistance to the USA.

    Area Will Be Reconstructed

    The President of the USA arrived in the area on Friday, in order to witness the magnitude of the disaster from up close, while at the same time he is facing the rage and criticism of the people, due to the delays and failure of the federal agencies to provide assistance.

    Speaking from Mobile, Alabama, he said, "Its as if the entire Gulf Coast were obliterated by the worst kind of weapon you can imagine." Standing with the governors in an airplane hangar, Bush said, "We have a responsibility to clean up this mess."

    "What is not working right, were going to make it right," Bush said. Referring to rampant looting and crime in New Orleans, he noted, "We are going to restore order in the city of New Orleans."

    "Well get on top of this situation," he concluded, "and were going to help the people that need help."

    However, George Bush voiced his opposition regarding bringing in troops from Iraq, while he noted that the USA has the military capability to both continue the war, as well as support the rescue operations and reinstate the order.

    The US State Secretary has also been targeted by the countrys Media, because she remained in New York to continue her holidays during this great disaster.

    "As South drowns, Rice soaks in NY," mentioned the title of the article which appeared in the NY Daily News

    "Like President Bush, the Secretary of State has been on vacation during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, with Rice enjoying her downtime in New York Wednesday and yesterday. The cabinet members responsibilities are usually international, but her timing contributed to the "fiddling while Rome burns" impression given by her boss during the disaster, which may have claimed thousands of lives," mentioned the article.

    The Secretary returned to Washington on Thursday afternoon.

    International Community Stands by the Victims

    Forty-four countries and international organisations have offered assistance so far, including medicines and money, for the relief of those affected by the hurricane that swept through Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

    Forty-four countries and international organisations have offered assistance so far, including medicines and money, for the relief of those affected by the hurricane that swept through Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. As per the State Department, many poor countries, including the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras and Sri Lanka, offered to help, with the latter already donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross.

    Other countries that offered aid include Greece, Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, as well as NATO and the Organisation of American States.

    Furthermore, the United Nations announced that they are willing to coordinate the whole operation, so that the supplies can reach those affected on time.

    Strategic Reserves Offered

    Italian Minister Claudio Scajola announced that Italy decided to offer a part of their strategic oil reserves in order to assist the USA in overcoming the energy crisis prompted by the deadly passage of Hurricane Katrina.

    At the same time, in an effort to settle the situation in the energy market, the Bush Government decided to offer 30 million barrels of the countrys strategic oil reserves and to "loan" another 9.1 million barrels to a number of US oil distilleries, in order to keep them operating.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    "We Want Help!"

    [03] G. Papandreou's Interview With TA NEA Conflict With Interests

    03 Sep 2005 12:47:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ANA - NET

    Ready and determined to fight the conservative practices stated in PASOK leader Georgios Papandreou in his interview with Athens top selling TA NEA. "I am to fight everyone who gives priority to his own interest over the public interest as well as to fight the conservative practices that penetrated into our movement," he said. At the same time, he lashed out at the ruling party and the Prime Minister underlining that they were dishonest when pledging a different ethos and an administration alternative before the elections. He also accused PM Kostas Karamanlis of favouring a "capitalism that serves the interests of NDs voters," adding, "Mr Karamanlis has resigned himself to conservative practices ruled by bargain and jobbery." He even spoke of "Buying out consciences" and an effort on the part of the government to put its rivals to the margin.

    At the same time, Mr Papandreou dismissed the allegations that PASOK is not ready to rule the country as groundless. Instead, he made it clear that PASOK guarantees "greater efficiency, coordination, transparency and meritocracy," by combining experience and fresh people. He also promised to proceed with "radical changes via democratic proceedings."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] Dead and Missing From the Typhoon In the Swirl of Talim

    03 Sep 2005 09:30:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    While the American South is experiencing eerie moments following the devastating pass of hurricane Katrina, China and Taiwan are face to face with the damages caused by typhoon Talim. On Friday, Talim swept across the south-eastern coastal Chinese province of Fujian with heavy rainfalls and strong winds that reached up to 128km/h. However, on its way to the countrys mainland, it was downgraded to a tropical storm for it was not supplied with seawater. So far, Talim has claimed the lives of 18 people in Taiwan and China, while nine people are missing due to the storms, landslides and collapses. Millions of people have been inflicted, while the economic loss amounts to 335 million euros.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] They Should Demonstrate their Repulsion Recognise the Greek Holocausts

    02 Sep 2005 18:27:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Speaking at a commemorative ceremony for the 61-year anniversary since the slaughtering of 149 Greeks in Chortiati, Thessaloniki, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, asked Germany to recognise the Greek holocausts. As per Mr Papoulias, the retaliation against the Greek people during the German Occupation was systematic and followed strict rules of logic, while it served specific purposes. In addition, he called on the German state to demonstrate their repulsion towards the Nazi atrocities. The statements made by the mayor of Chortaiti, Michalis Geranis, were along the same lines, while he also noted that compensations should be granted to the families of the victims. "We are not asking for revenge; we are not begging; we are just demanding what is just, as well as the absolute clean-up of the relations between the people of Greece and Germany, who are called upon to cohabit under the EU without moral debts," he declared.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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