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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-10-08

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Antonis Bezas Named Deputy
  • [02] Bitter End for Cryosat
  • [03] 7.6 Magnitude Hell
  • [04] Alarm Sounded in Romania &amp; USA
  • [05] Nimic's Proposals Are Unacceptable
  • [06] Measures for Bird Flu in Greece
  • [07] Mudslide Kills Children
  • [08] "Proceed Quickly with Reforms"
  • [09] Equestrian: Two Bronze Medals
  • [10] Robotic Fish
  • [11] Boy George Arrested

  • [01] By Decision of the Prime Minister Antonis Bezas Named Deputy

    08 Oct 2005 14:34:00 (Last updated: 08 Oct 2005 21:36:25)

    By Vicky Keleri

    By decision of the Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Bezas, MP for Thesprotia, was appointed as the new Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance, following the resignation of Adam Regouzas yesterday. The announcement was made shortly after an emergency meeting between PM Kostas Karamanlis and his close associates, at Maximos Mansion. In his first statements, the new deputy minister underlined he will work will all his powers to live up to the Prime Minister's expectations, noting that his new duties would constitute a challenge for any Parliamentarian. According to information, Mr Bezas was one of the people Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis suggested to the PM. As per government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos, Mr Bezas will be sworn in on Monday at 10am, before the President of the Hellenic Republic. Mr Bezas was first elected as an MP for Thesprotia on 9 April 2000, running with ND, and was reelected on 7 March 2004.

    The New Deputy Minister

    Antonis Bezas was born on 27 December 1963 in Igoumenitsa, Thesprotia, and is married to Athina Karvouni. He is a civil engineer and speaks English and French.

    While studying at university, he was elected Chairman of the Athens Union of Students from Thesprotia (1983-1985), while between 1987 and 1988 he was a scientific associate of the Laboratory of Earthquake Engineering.

    He became a member of New Democracy in 1990. He opened a civil engineering practice in Igoumenitsa in 1991, while he also worked as a technical advisor for the Municipality of Igoumenitsa, overseeing major public works in the area.

    In 1994, he was elected to Igoumenitsas Town Council. He has been involved in politics since 1994, while he was a member of the Epirus Technical Chamber of Commerce delegation until 1997. He was the Vice-Chairman of the Engineers Association of Thesprotia from 1995-1997, while he has also served as member of the Epirus Technical Chamber of Commerce Prefecural Committee.

    From 1995 to 1997, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Igoumenitsa Cultural Centre, while he was also Chairman of the Igoumenitsa Municipal Conservatory (1996-1997).

    In 1998 he was elected Prefectural councillor for Thesprotia, receiving the majority of the votes.

    He was elected as an MP for Thesprotia on 9 April 2000, running with ND, and was reelected on 7 March 2004, while he also became a Member of the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs.

    In October 2003, he was elected secretary of Parliament, while in March 2004, he was elected alternate secretary of NDs parliamentary group.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Awaiting the Replacement

    [02] It Failed to Reach Orbit Bitter End for Cryosat

    08 Oct 2005 21:47:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: Associated Press

    European satellite Cryosat failed to completed its mission. It was launched in the afternoon from Plesetsk cosmodrome, Northern Russia. The satellite exploded and its remnants fell into the northern Arctic Ocean. As per Vyacheslav Davydenko, spokesperson for the Russian space agency, "the booster unit did not switch on and it resulted in the failure of the satellite to reach orbit." Earlier, two hours after the launch, Russian and European flights controllers said they had lost contact with Cryosat. Equipped with radar altimeters, the satellite was to assess the kilometres-thick ice sheets that cover Greenland and the Antarctic land mass and the comparatively thin sea ice in the polar regions.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] National Tragedy in Pakistan 7.6 Magnitude Hell

    08 Oct 2005 18:08:00 (Last updated: 08 Oct 2005 21:24:22)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The death toll from the 7.6 magnitude quake that hit Pakistan, North India and Afghanistan in the early morning hours has exceeded 1,800. In the region of Mansera two school buildings collapsed, resulting in the death of 400 children. At the same time, the death list in Kashmir grows dramatically longer, with 550 dead on the Pakistani side and 300 on the Indian side. Rescue crews are fighting against time to locate any survivors under the ruins. An international aid front has been formed for helping the affected areas, while France has already sent 24 rescue members with specially trained dogs and cement cutting machines. Greece is standing by the side of the afflicted people from the very first moment.

    Aid Front

    Contacting the ambassadors of Pakistan and India to Greece, Foreign Ministry Secretary General ambassador C. Rokanas voiced Greece's intention to contribute to the search and rescue operation by sending an EMAK rescue crew on site.

    Earlier, the Commission suggested granting an emergency financial aid of 3 million euros to the stricken areas.

    The sum, clarified the Commission, can be unblocked in a day's time, if aid organisations request so.

    The quadripartite meeting to have taken place in Athens on October 10 and 11 between Public Order Minister G. Voulgarakis and his counterparts from Iran, Pakistan and Turkey has been postponed due to the earthquake and will be held in mid-November.

    The reason for its postponement was the Pakistani Internal Affairs Minister's inability to attend the proceedings.

    Incalculable Damages

    Pakistani authorities speak of a national tragedy.

    The army is in charge of the search and rescue operations in the areas hit by the quake.

    Soldiers are taken to the most inaccessible areas by helicopter to help inhabitants looking for survivors under the ruins.

    The earthquake, which only lasted for one minute, was so strong and located at such a small focal depth (10km) that managed to wipe out entire villages.

    Among the far too many buildings that collapsed were two government buildings, mosques, two schools and a five-storey apartment block in Islamabad, which fell like a deck of cards.

    Five more aftershocks followed the main quake, as well as power cuts and loss of all communications.

    As per the latest information, four foreigners, one Chinese civil engineer, one Egyptian diplomat and two Japanese, are among the victims.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Deadly Quake in Pakistan

    [04] US not Ready for Outbreak of Pandemic Alarm Sounded in Romania & USA

    08 Oct 2005 14:23:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: Reuters - New York Times

    Three new cases of avian flu, recorded in the village Smardan, have prompted concerns in Romania. On Friday, the first cases of the flu were detected in three domestic ducks at a farm in the village Ceamurlia de Jos, on the Danube delta. The area was isolated, hunting was banned and teams of doctors started examining the locals as a precaution. The Danube delta is Europes largest wetlands and a major migratory area for wild birds coming from Russia, Scandinavia, Poland and Germany. After the three new cases recorded today, the fear for a pandemic is imminent and the authorities announced that they will proceed with killing thousands of birds. At the same time, an article that appeared in todays New York Times has created havoc. As per the article, which is quoting a US government plan, the USA is not ready to deal with any possible outbreak of a pandemic.

    New York Times Reveal

    According to the plan, the virus may reach the US within a few months or even weeks.

    The worst-case scenario speaks of 1,900,000 deaths and 8,500,000 patients, while the costs could exceed $450 billion. In this case the hospitals would be swamped with patients, disputes would arise in vaccination clinics and there would be shortages in power and food.

    The 350-page plan calls for quarantine and travel restrictions, but concedes that such measures "are unlikely to delay introduction of pandemic disease into the US by more than a month or two."

    That is why it suggests specific ways that local and state governments should prepare now for an eventual pandemic by, for instance, drafting legal documents that would justify quarantines. It also calls for a domestic vaccine production capacity of 600 million doses within six months.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Cases of Bird Flu in Romania

    [05] Cabinet and Party Meetings in FYROM Nimic's Proposals Are Unacceptable

    08 Oct 2005 18:56:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The proposals submitted by special mediator Mathew Nimic to Greece's Permanent Representative in the UN concerning FYROM's name have been rejected as unacceptable. "These proposals are returned as unacceptable," reads the announcement issued by the Greek Foreign Ministry. Earlier, FYROM's President also referred to the Nimic proposal. Branko Crvenkovski said that due to the restraints from both sides (Greece FYROM) he couldn't disclose any information on the proposals' content. However, he did add the issue would be thoroughly discussed at an emergency meeting of the Cabinet on Sunday, while all major parties would convene on the matter on Monday.

    Crvenkovski's Guidelines to Media

    As per the FYROM President, after the political parties would have met, the issue could also be brought for discussion in Parliament.

    Mr Crvenkovski spoke of an issue of major national importance and for this reason he urged the media in his country to be very careful when referring to the subject and broadcast accurate information only.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Greek Authorities on Alert Measures for Bird Flu in Greece

    08 Oct 2005 21:11:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Under the threat of the bird flu, Greek authorities are in a state of alert. One of the first measures to have been taken is the observation of feared aquatic birds. Apart from the precautionary measures already in force in poultry breeding units and wetlands, authorities suggest that all people coming in contact with poultry and birds should be vaccinated.

    Precautionary Observation - Vaccination

    As per the plan of the Rural Development Ministry, ornithologists, game wardens and hunters, who are collecting samples from the 15 most feared species of aquatic birds, observe migratory birds.

    Authorities suggest all those coming in contact with poultry or birds should be vaccinated as a precaution.

    Even though there has been no case of bird flu in Greece, scientists are worried.

    The Health Ministry has already ordered antiviral drugs and 20 samples from migratory birds have been sent to the national lab, while it is believed they would rise to 1,000 by February.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Looking for Survivors Mudslide Kills Children

    08 Oct 2005 12:50:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    At least 26 people were killed, 20 injured and another 30 are still unaccounted for, when a mudslide near the Colombian town of Bello washed away houses. The mudslide was caused when a river broke its banks, while the dead also included an unspecified number of children. Civil defence and Red Cross rescue workers were trying to find survivors and bodies in the mud-choked wreckage until the early hours of the morning.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Olli Rehn's Visit to Turkey "Proceed Quickly with Reforms"

    08 Oct 2005 15:41:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The EU Enlargement Commissioner urged the Turkish National Assembly to immediately proceed with signing the EU-Turkey protocol, while he called on Ankara to implement the reforms at a faster pace, so that the accession talks can commence on time. After meeting with the Turkish PM, Olli Rehn noted that the speed of negotiations would depend on the rate of reforms implemented by Turkey. He also predicted that Turkeys accession to the EU would be tough and the negotiations could last 10 years. Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke of a tough process, while he voiced his optimism that the negotiations will prove successful in the end.

    Meeting with Novelist Orhan Pamuk

    In the context of his contacts in Turkey, Olli Rehn met with Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, a great defender of the rights of Kurds and Armenians.

    Turkeys most famous author faces up to three years in jail on the charge of "insulting Turkish identity" for allegedly backing charges that Armenians suffered genocide at the hands of Ottoman Empire forces 90 years ago.

    The incident has prompted intense reactions from the EU.

    Pamuk will be called to appear before an Istanbul court in December.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Equestrian: Two Bronze Medals

    08 Oct 2005 16:11:00

    By Thanasis Karlos

    The successes for Greece at the World Equestrian Cup, taking place at the Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre, Athens, are continuing, since another two medals were added to the Greek tally. In todays first event, the Grand Prix, Joanna Georgopoulou riding Dynastie won the bronze medal in Dressage with 65.290%. The second bronze medal for the day went to Danai Tsatsou riding Peter Head, as she finished third in Jumping, in the second event, Phillips Cup.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Robotic Fish

    08 Oct 2005 13:29:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    A fish very different from the rest has been adorning the London Aquarium since yesterday. It is not a very rare type of fish, but one that has never existed! Why? Because it is the worlds first autonomously-controlled robotic fish, which is able to swim and mimic the motion of the rest of the fish. According to the research team from Essex University, the fish they created can swim as fast as tuna, with the acceleration of a pike and the navigation skills of an eel. The project aimed to bring the public into direct contact with robots, increasing their understanding of science and technology. That is what the head of the team, Professor Huosheng Hu, declared, adding that this fish has many real-world applications, including detecting leaks in oil pipelines, mine counter-measures and improving the performance of underwater vehicles.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [11] He Called Them to Arrest Him Boy George Arrested

    08 Oct 2005 17:14:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    New York police officers arrived at Boy George's house looking for the burglar, after receiving a call from the artist, who claimed there was someone in his home. However, instead of finding the thief, they found Boy George in a state of drugged stupor talking gibberish and wondering why the police officers were inside his house, when he was the one to have called them a while earlier. The singer staggered about his apartment and police found a small amount of cocaine in plain view next to his computer. Boy George, leader of eighties pop band Culture Club, was arrested and charged with drug possession and with falsely reporting an incident.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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