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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-04

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Disaster and Losses
  • [02] Important Evidence
  • [03] Flight to Victory
  • [04] Hirings Without Permanency
  • [05] New Attack Against Government
  • [06] Deadly Attacks
  • [07] Trial Date Set for Saddam
  • [08] Fewer Uncertainties for 2006
  • [09] Karadassiou-Arvaniti Fourth
  • [10] Tie in Livadeia
  • [11] All is Well For Chirac
  • [12] ATR-42 Planes Grounded?

  • [01] Death Toll Rose to 56 Disaster and Losses

    04 Sep 2005 17:55:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Chinas province of Zhejiang is bracing for new tropical storms, since a new typhoon named Nabi is sweeping through the area heading towards Japan. The area has already been battered by typhoon Talim. It is estimated that 12,000 houses have been destroyed, while 1 million people fled the provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian. In total, Talims devastating passage from the countrys mainland and coastal areas claimed the lives of 56 people, while 27 are missing. As for the economic damage caused by Talim, it is estimated to stand at around 700 million euros. In the province of Anhui, 10,000 people had to flee their houses, while 40,000 are feared to have been affected by the typhoon. Furthermore, eleven people were trapped inside two buildings in a mountainous area. One of them died before the rescue teams arrived, while another five were injured. In Taiwan, which was battered by typhoon Talim before China, three people lost their lives and further 59 were injured, while there was a power cut in hundreds of thousands of houses were left without electric.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Testimonies Are Completed Important Evidence

    04 Sep 2005 16:01:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ANA, NET

    With the testimonies of two more Helios ground personnel, the Greek Air Accidents Committee completed the investigations in Cyprus and flied back to Athens. "We depart from Cyprus carrying much of the evidence we wanted," said chief investigator Akrivos Tsolakis, who did not rule out the Committees new visit to Cyprus if needed. He also noted that the Committee is to hold a meeting on Monday to coordinate its actions and that it will be flying to London before the end of the coming week to get the testimonies from the two British mechanics of Helios. Mr Tsolakis briefed Cypriot Transport Minister Charis Thrassou on the course of the investigations.

    Introduction of Independent Committee in Cyprus

    Exiting his meeting with Mr Tsolakis, Mr Thrassou voiced his certainty that the Greek Committee will soon reach a conclusion on the causes of the air tragedy in Grammatiko. He also mentioned that there is no evidence against the Cypriot air traffic controllers.

    On his part, Mr Tsolakis pointed out that the evidence the Committee has collected form the testimonies "lead the Committee to the path it should choose."

    Meanwhile, Mr Thrassou added that the Cypriot government decided on the introduction of an Independent Interrogation Committee to conduct the probe into the causes. The new Committee is to get down to work as soon as the Greek authorities release their conclusions.

    Trust in the Greek Committee

    At the same time, the opinion poll that was conducted by Cyprus College on behalf of I Simerini, shows that 72% of the Cypriot citizens trust the Greek Air Accidents Committee.

    Furthermore, 68% of those who participated in the opinion poll believes that the culprits will not be punished, while 52% is of the opinion that the Cypriot government is politically responsible.

    The opinion poll also depicts the citizens disapproval of the way Transport Minister Charis Thrassou handled the matter, while 66% has a negative opinion. Finally, 65% of the participants agrees with the introduction of an Independent Investigation Committee

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Flight to Victory

    04 Sep 2005 15:39:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The result of the football game that took place in Istanbul, where Turkey and Denmark finished the game with a 2-2 tie, spread smiles of joy among Greeces players who departed on Sunday for Almaty, where they will be playing against Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Greeces players watched the game at the hotel where they are staying and after the match ended, they all were of the opinion that qualifying to the finals of the World Cup in Germany depends on their performance and fighting spirit. It is definite that after Saturdays match, its up to their legs to reach Germanys pitches! Therefore, after 545 minutes without being able to send the ball in, they claim they are ready to find the way to score and take the second place that leads to playoffs.

    We Can...

    Greeces players Stelios Giannakopoulos and Kostas Katsouranis spoke to Sportday shortly after Istanbuls game.

    "We were really scared. We went from heaven to hell and then back to heaven. As it was expected, we celebrated the Danes second goal, which was achieved at the last time. It was one of the results that suited us, therefore we are excited with the final score. Now, we are focusing on us. We should do our best and win Wednesdays game. And then, in October a game of life or death is awaiting in Copenhagen. We are to make the best of us and God may help us. However, no matter the result from our game against Denmark, we can achieve it," Stelios Giannakopoulos stated.

    On his part, Kostas Katsouranis pointed out, "Our legs are the key to our success. The results were the ideal ones for us. It is not nice to watch games that your luck depends on. Their outcome was favourable for us. We know that it is up to us to be playing in the World Cup. What comes first is to win Kazakhstan and then we have all the time in our disposal to reflect on the game against Denmark. We will be playing for the victory against Demark as we always do, no doubt. Our goal is to achieve three victories. With three victories, we qualify no matter what they others will do."

    Greek striker Agelos Charisteas also said, "We are very much aware of what is awaiting for us. We want to win and we will. Kazakhstan has not shown anything special. Saturdays tie was a really good result for us and now we are more optimistic about the future. We need the victory over Kazakhstan, while the result of the game between Ukraine and Turkey is of interest to us."

    Fanis Gekas argued, "Yesterdays result renewed our hopes. To qualify is feasible and it is up to us."

    This is a difficult trip for Greeces players, since they are expected to land on Kazakhstans capital city after a nine-hour flight. Luckily, they have two days time to regain strength before they enter the pitch for the victory.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Thank You!

    [04] "Extension of Voluntary Redundancy Plan" Hirings Without Permanency

    04 Sep 2005 14:18:00 (Last updated: 04 Sep 2005 21:09:52)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: "Apogevmatini tis Kyriakis"

    In his interview with Apogevmatini tis Kyriakis, ND Secretary General Vagelis Meimarakis underlined the necessity of bold steps and structural changes, including the lift of permanency for the newly hired in DEKOs (Public Utilities and Enterpirses), something that should have been done the previous decade so that Greece could be more competitive. Mr Meimarakis pointed out that the agreement regarding OTEs voluntary redundancy plan should be extended. As for the municipal elections, he did not rule out the possibility that ND will offer its support to candidates who enjoy a wider acceptance by the public.

    "Yes" to Collaborations

    In Mr Meimarakis estimation, each DEKO has its own characteristics, which should be taken into account in the dialogue that is being held among the parties involved.

    As far as hirings via ASEP (Supreme Council for Personnel Selection) are concerned, under the law that was passed by PASOKs previous government, are held only for DEKOs, since the public sector owns them by 51%. "Consequently, when one of these enterprises change the regime that determines its operation, then it is not liable to these provisions," he added.

    With regard to a possible collaboration with the left wing parties in the municipal and prefecture elections, Mr Meimarakis stated, "ND does not have hitches. We have been encouraging local cooperation all these years. []. So, we are to back any cooperation at a local level."

    Wide-Ranging Reactions

    Mr Meimarakis statements regarding the reforms on DEKOs and NDs collaborations ahead of the municipal elections, triggered a series of reactions by GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour), SYN and PASOK.

    GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos described the reforms on DEKOs as "a way to ease firings through an uncontrolled executive rights.

    On his part, SYNs Secretary Nikos Chountis accused the government of trying to use the young employees in its effort to further undermine and fully deregulate the labour relations in the Public Sector.

    Mr Chountis also referred to the issue of collaborations ahead of the municipals elections and pointed out that SYN has already rejected Mr Meimarakis proposal.

    Secretary of PASOKs National Council Mariliza Ksenogiannakopoulou spoke of unworthy political tricks that do not have any appeal to the people. "I tend to think that all these unworthy political tricks do not have any appeal to the people, they do not have any appeal to the democratic citizens who are very much aware of the ends behind all these," she mentioned in her announcement.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Elections for Local Governments at Focus New Attack Against Government

    04 Sep 2005 15:15:00 (Last updated: 04 Sep 2005 18:39:34)

    By Vicky Keleri

    PASOK leader Georgios Papandreou lashed out at the government on Sunday while addressing his party officials. Mr Papandreou underlined that ND is in a state of panic and defeatism ahead of the municipal and prefecture elections and accused it of "searching for ways to avoid the looming disapproval of the Greek people." He also described the talks with regard to the election percentages for mayors and prefects as "tricks" and said, "We still have not understood what kind of electoral law they intend to implement." Furthermore, he blamed the government for trying to use the upcoming elections to serve its ends, while as for PASOKs collaborations in the aforementioned elections, he pointed out, "We want the best." In fact, he mentioned that a special procedure will take place within PASOK so that the parties regional officials opinions regarding the final proceedings are taken into account. Mr Papandreou repeated that PASOK will win the next parliamentary elections and stressed the necessity of a fresh and different perception in relation to PASOKs organisation, which will be based on public interest.

    Mr Pavlopoulos' Answer

    Mr Papandreous criticism on the governments policy regarding the Local Governments sparked the reaction of Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

    Mr Pavlopoulos pointed out that the elections of mayors and prefects from the first round with a percentage lower than 50% is the governments pre-electoral pledge approved by the Greek people.

    Furthermore, Minister for the Interior mentioned that the reform "aims at enhancing the validity of the Local Governments, reinforcing their credibility before the local communities and freeing them from the erosive results of opportunistic alliances and unworthy political exchanges of the last moment."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Seven Dead and Two Injured Deadly Attacks

    04 Sep 2005 14:19:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    New atrocities rocked Baghdad on Sunday. In the morning, five army officers and a policeman were killed in an ambush set by insurgents in the area of Siniyia in the north of the Iraqi capital. Another policeman was killed and two more were injured in a suicide car bomb in Iskandariya in the south of the city. In the same area, police recovered the body of a man who had been shot dead inside his car, while another body that had also been shot dead was found near Samara, 125km north of Baghdad.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Trial Date Set for Saddam

    04 Sep 2005 12:35:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    The first session for the trial of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and several associates will begin on 19 October. They will be charged with the 1982 massacre in Dujail, a town north of Baghdad, after a failed assassination attempt. Saddams co-defendants include Barazan Ibrahim, intelligence chief at the time and Saddams half brother and former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan. The government spokesperson also declared that the defendants would be called to answer to the charges relating to the death of 143 people in Dujail, the squandering of their assets and their internal exile, following an attempted attack against Husseins motorcade in 1982.

    [08] Priority to the Needy Fewer Uncertainties for 2006

    04 Sep 2005 12:04:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: "Ethnos tis Kyriakis"

    In an interview to the newspaper Ethnos tis Kyriakis, Giorgos Alogoskoufis declared that the year 2006 would have fewer uncertainties, as opposed to this year. The Economy Minister also noted that the reforms underway relate mainly to the public sector, where most of the problems have been detected. He also stressed that the Government will give priority to the needy, while he reminded of the rise in the tax-free threshold, the increases in EKAS and agricultural pensions and the abolishment of LAFKA.

    Stronger Economy Friendlier State

    Asked whether the PM would be pledging more grants during his speech at the upcoming Thessaloniki International Fair, Mr Alogoskoufis noted that it is imperative "to create the conditions necessary so that the Greek economy can become stronger and create more money, while at the same time making the State friendlier towards the citizens, spending less and reducing bureaucracy."

    In addition, he stressed that the Governments priorities will focus towards the needy.

    Finally, he noted that the DEKOs operating competitively towards private enterprises would have to play by the same rules. "In the opposite way, we would be wasting the taxpayers money," added the Minister.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Karadassiou-Arvaniti Fourth

    03 Sep 2005 22:44:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Greeks Vaso Karadassiou and Vicky Arvaniti did not manage to step on INFOTE Athens Opens podium, as they lost by 2-1 (21-18, 24-26, 15-11) to Brazilians Adriana Behar-Shelda (No 2), who paid the Greeks back for their loss to Karadassiou-Sfyri three years ago in Rhodes, during the bronze medal final. After the end of the match, the 6,000 fans who had flocked the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre fervently applauded the Greek girls, who tried hard, but could not win a medal. As a result, the first, second and third places were won by Brazilians. However, the gold medal match was very quiet, since the stands emptied right after the Greeks loss. In spite of that, Faliro proved lucky for Ribeiro-Antunes, who defeated their compatriots and No 1 in the World rankings Felisberta Silva-Fran&#231;a by 2-1 (18-21, 21-16, 17-15), winning their first gold medal in this years SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. Vicky Karadassiou was voted MVP of the tournament, just like she was back in 2002 in Rhodes.

    Fair Win for the Brazilians

    After the end of the game, Vaso Karadassiou and Vicky Arvaniti thanked the Greek people who stood by them, while they kept signing autographs for their fans. Karadassiou was also very moved when she was congratulated by Efi Sfyri, her teammate back in 2002, when they defeated the Brazilians for the bronze medal.

    In her statements Vaso Karadassiou noted, "The Brazilians are a very good team. They have more medals than any other team in the world and I am saying this in case the people thought they would witness an easy match for us. We knew it would be tough. They won fair and square. We were OK in the defence, but not in the counterattacks. That was our difference. The opponents were better in the defence. We are very happy and it is an honour to finish fourth, behind the three Brazilian teams. It is something every European team dreams of, but cannot achieve easily. We played some good games. We are left with the victory against Felisberta Silva-Fran&#231;a, the No 1 team in the world, the support of the people and the full stadiums."

    Vicky Arvaniti added, "Although we did not win a medal, we are very happy and we want to thank the people who helped us. I wouldnt say that the Brazilians are above us, but they played better today. We could have won the game. These games were a great experience for us, while for me it was like playing in the Olympic Games. We will keep this. We are hoping that another tournament will take place in Athens next year as well."

    Karadassiou Voted MVP

    Greek champion Vaso Karadassiou won her first MVP title this year, as she was voted most valuable player at the INFOTE Athens Open. It should be noted that the 32-year-old player had been voted MVP during the 2002 Open in Rhodes, when she was playing with Efi Sfyri and they won the bronze medal. This is the third MVP title for a Greek beach volleyball player this year, as Vicky Arvaniti received the title in the Stavanger Grand Slam, where they won the gold, while Thalia Koutroumanidou was voted MVP at the Espinio Open, where she finished in second place along with her teammate Maria Tsiartsiani.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Tie in Livadeia

    04 Sep 2005 19:13:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Levadeiakos and Ionikos shared the points and the impressions in the game that marked the end of the premier of the A National Professional Championship. The two teams tied 1-1, with Ionikos being the first to take the lead in the 7 when Dimou of Levadeiakos scored an own goal. The host team managed to equalise in the 53 when Dimitropoulos headed the ball in. Dimitrakopoulos sending-off in the 86 made Levadeiakos finish the game with 10 players.

    Levadeiakos' Supremacy Was in Vein

    The host team made the worst start in its first appearance in the A National Professional Championship after many years of absence. In the 7 Dimou passed the ball to Zapheiropoulos. Levadeiakos goalie sent the ball off, but it hit on the back of the 29-year-old defender and ended in Zapheiropoulos nets, thus giving Ionikos an unexpected lead.

    Levadeiakos kept prevailing over its opponent, but the stress of the premier game and the iron defence of the guest team did not allow it to score. However, in the 53, Dimitropoulos of Levadeiakos managed to equalize with a header.

    In the 63 referee Kontogiannidis was right in his decision not to award a penalty for Iorndankes fall by Beqiai, while in the 86 Dimitropoulos received a second red card due to his fight with Perone, who received a yellow one, and Levadeiakos was left with 10 players.

    Referee: Romanos Kontogiannidis

    Yellow Cards: Houckar, Kallimanis, Rousev, Kakaras, Perone

    Red Cards: Dimitropoulos (2nd yellow)

    LEVADEIAKOS (Talis Lemonis): Zapheiropoulos, Kallimanis, Dimou, Papadopoulos (43 Zisopoulos), Dimitropoulos, Karakatsanis, Chrysaphis, Basala (78 Lazorik), Corea, Rousev (88 Machairas), Iorndanke.

    IONIKOS (Thanasis Tsiolis): Beqiai, Poulopoulos, Vourexakis, Da Costa, Makor, Kakaras, Tsiblidis, Coibra (81 Perone), Konstantinidis, (61 Lettieri), Goutman (51 Chavez), Houckar.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] In Hospital for a Few More Days All is Well For Chirac

    04 Sep 2005 21:52:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    As per the medical bulletin that was released on Sunday by Val de Grace military hospital, the French presidents health is viewed as being very satisfactory. "The President had a good night. His general condition and his tests are very satisfactory," the bulletin said. However, medical tests will carry on for a few more days as it was originally decided. The 72-year-old French President had cancelled all his scheduled meetings for the coming week after the vascular incident that sparked eye problems and therefore he was admitted to hospital on Friday evening.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] Emergency Landing ATR-42 Planes Grounded?

    04 Sep 2005 13:38:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: - NA

    An Italy Fly ATR-42 airplane carrying 27 passengers was forced to an emergency landing while performing a domestic flight, as one of its engines stopped operating. The Italian civil aviation authority announced that it is examining the possibility of grounding all similar aircrafts, so that they can be thoroughly checked. The plane was bound from Trapani, eastern Sicily, to Penterllria Island, off the coast of Sicily, when the pilot realised that one of the engines had lost power. He then decided to shut it down and land the plane with only one engine working.

    Planning to Postpone Flights

    This new incident was recorded just one month after a Tunisair ATR-72 crashed off the coast of Palermo, Italy, after a mechanical failure, killing 16 of the passengers.

    The Italian civil aviation authority (ENAC) is planning to ground all ATR planes owned by Italian companies, in order to examine what caused the mechanical failure and avoid similar incidents in the future by thoroughly checking the planes as a prevention.

    ATR is a joint venture company between EADS and Alenia, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica. It is the biggest-selling company of turbo engine planes with 40-70 seats.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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