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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-12-30

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Murderous Getaway
  • [02] Iraq and Tsunamis Marked 2005
  • [03] Passenger Exiled!
  • [04] Mild Weather for New Year's
  • [05] Extension for Vehicle Registration Fees
  • [06] Deadly Explosions in Baghdad
  • [07] Carols to Politicians

  • [01] In Malakasi, Trikala Murderous Getaway

    30 Dec 2005 13:23:00 (Last updated: 30 Dec 2005 20:22:10)

    Sources: NET

    A large-scale operation for the arrest and location of two foreign prisoners is currently underway. The getaway took place at the village of Malakasi, Trikala, while the victims were two sergeants of the Ioannina Court Transport Department, who were transporting three convicts, 2 Albanians and a Russian, to the prisons of Volos and Larissa. At 11:10am, between the villages of Orthovouni and Trigona, 23-year-old Russian Maxim Zhilin asked the policemen to make a stop as he had a physical need. The police van stopped at the side of the road and the policeman escorted him from the vehicle. At this moment, information is unclear and the event of the policeman taking the handcuffs off is being investigated. This was taken advantage of by the prisoner, who proceeded with taking the mans weapon, murdering the escort and fatally wounding the driver of the vehicle. The Russian fugitive escaped, along with another underage prisoner, while the third prisoner remained at the scene. The police van was located by a passer-by who immediately informed the authorities. In the meantime, the Chief and the Officer on duty of the Ioannina Court Transport Department were placed on suspension, whileearlier, the authorities released photographs of the fugitives.

    Extremely Dangerous

    The operation for the location of the perpetrators includes police forces, border guards and a helicopter equipped with special thermal sensors, which are scanning the forested area, while a C-130 helicopter and special police forces (EKAM) will be arriving in the area shortly. On their part, the Armed Forces contributed two Sikorsky helicopters to the manhunt.

    The groups of the border guards and the police, have set up blockades in the area, as well as in the North, to prevent the possible escape of the fugitives to a neighbouring country.

    As per sources, the two fugitives who are armed followed two different directions: 17-year-old Albanian Ilmi Dada ran to the mountains, while Zhilin fled to the opposite direction. On the other hand, during his interrogation, the Albanian prisoner who did not follow them stated that he did not want to participate in the getaway.

    It is noted that the main figure of the getaway is described as an extremely dangerous criminal, since, while hitchhiking on October 2 on the island of Corfu, he murdered the vehicles driver, 42-year-old Aggeliki Lefkommiati-Sella, in order to rob her. Actually, the 23-year-old confessed to his crime, adding cynically, "I wanted to sense the feeling of death. I would have killed anyone who would have stopped."

    Up until the murder of the 42-year-old the criminal was working in one of the islands restaurants. The psychiatrists describe him as desperate, impenitent and a psychopath, while his neighbours speak of a disturbed man, whom they tried to lynch when he was led to Justice.

    Zhilin was going to be transported to Larissa prison from Corfu, where he participated in the crimes re-enactment. The transports aim was that he would be imprisoned in Komotini and the two Albanians in Volos.

    A continuous meeting is underway at the Ministry of Public Order, presided by Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis and the Chief of police, who are monitoring the course of investigations and coordinating the work of police forces on the crime scene.

    On Suspension

    By decision of the Hellenic Police Headquarters, the Chief and the Officer on duty of the Ioannina Court Transport Department were placed on suspension.

    Specifically, they were suspended after a Sworn Administrative Investigation was ordered, so as to fully investigate the case and establish whether responsibilities can be attributed to them or any other police officer that may be implicated in the case.

    It should be noted, however, that, despite the fact that the Russian prisoners file had the inscription "Extremely Dangerous" written on it in red letters, only one driver and one police officer were assigned to the transportation of the three prisoners. The minimum number of officers required for such cases is four.

    The Sworn Administrative Investigation was assigned to the General Police Inspector of Northern Greece, Vice-General Efstratios Kyriakakis.

    Condolences from Political Parties

    The victims were sergeant Konstantinos Vlachopanos, 47, father of two and co-driver of the police van transferring the prisoners, and Dimitris Kotsis, 45, father of one and driver of the van.

    After meeting with the PM, the Interior Minister voiced the Governments sorrow for the tragic death of the two members of the Hellenic Police, while he stressed that the police is doing everything it can to capture the culprits and impose the penalties befitting such crimes.

    The Minister of Public Order expressed his condolences, adding that the State will assist the families of the police officers, as provided for by the legislative clauses for violent incidents.

    In its announcement, PASOK expressed its regret and condolences to the families of the victims.

    In addition, SYN also conveyed its condolences to the families of the murdered officers.

    Related News:

    Murderous Event

    [02] The Most Significant Events of the Past Year Iraq and Tsunamis Marked 2005

    30 Dec 2005 22:00:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: BBC - Reuters

    Approximately 33,000 people from 27 countries around the world were called the rank the most significant events of the past year, in an opinion poll conducted by the Canadian institute GlobeScan on behalf of BBC. The major milestones of 2005 were the war in Iraq and the aftermath of the tsunami in southeastern Asia with 15%, followed by hurricanes Katrina and Rita that hit the USA (9%), the death of Pope John Paul II and the inauguration of Pope Benedict VI (6%), and the bombing attacks in London last June (4%). In addition, a further 3% described the greenhouse effect and the outbreak of avian flu as two of the major events of 2005, while another 2% chose the multi-fatality quake in Pakistan and the bombing attacks in Bali. "Global citizens see 2005 mainly as a year of natural and man-made disasters," said Doug Miller, President of GlobeScan. "It seems likely that most people are happy for the year to be over," he added.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Malaysia Star: Tsunami / Iraq top events of the year - global poll

    Times of India: Events of the year: Tsunami, Iraq war

    Related Links:

    Poll Results in Detail (.pdf form)

    [03] Passenger Exiled!

    30 Dec 2005 21:20:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A Monarch Airlines passenger started off his Christmas holidays on Tenerife with a 36-hour delay. The reason for his was the punishment imposed on him by the pilot, as he became abusive towards the crew and the rest of the passengers when he was refused more alcohol. The flight from Manchester, Britain, to one of largest and most popular of the Canary Islands started off well and the passenger in question, probably very excited in view of his holidays, started drinking heavily on board. When it became obvious that he was intoxicated, the crew refused to serve him any more drinks, so he started verbally assaulting everyone on the plane.

    The pilot was then briefed of the situation and decided to dump him on Porto Santo, a small island of the Atlantic, close to Madeira, with less than 5,000 inhabitants, six hotels and a handful of sandy beaches. The other 211 passengers continued their flight as normal.

    And as the plane was landing on Tenerife four hours later, Porto Santo Police found the intoxicated passenger, who will appear in court on mainland Portugal in January. The holidays of the drunken castaway commenced as soon as he sobered up and after first going to Madeira.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    The Australian: Airline dumps drunk on tiny island

    CNN: Rowdy passenger dumped on island

    [04] Rain and Gales Subsiding Mild Weather for New Year's

    30 Dec 2005 20:10:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Although the year 2005 is biding us farewell with heavy rainfalls and gusty winds, the dawning of the New Year is expected to be accompanied by mild weather. According to the meteorologists forecasts, the extreme weather conditions will start subsiding gradually from western Greece, while the weather will be good throughout the country on Saturday. Ships were allowed to sail from the port of Piraeus to the western Cyclades and Crete as of Friday afternoon, while the ships remain docked at the port of Rafina. The State, however, remains on alert, since the rivers Louros, Aherontas and Arahthos are under threat of overflowing if the rain continues. In the meantime, the getaway of excursionists is continuing smoothly, with the Traffic Police on full alert to facilitate the travellers.

    Rain Causes Problems

    And while the heavy thunderstorms in central and northern Greece as well as the gales in the Aegean are gradually subsiding, rivers overflowed and crops were flooded by the rainfall of the previous days.

    The problems are more severe in the Prefecture of Preveza, since River Acherontas overflowed and caused damages, while the waters of the rivers Louros and Arachthos have reached threatening levels.

    In addition, the waters on the River Sperchios in Fthiotioda have reached alarming levels and the authorities are monitoring the situation. Furthermore, the level of Lake Lysimachia in Agrinio has risen and the waters have reached the first houses of the village.

    Many regional roads in central Macedonia suffered major damages and remain closed, while workers continue their efforts to support the ground at the central cemetery in Nea Philadelphia, Attica, which collapsed yesterday, destroying 15 family graves.

    As per the Hellenic National Meteorological Service, 2005 will end with fair weather, but chilly temperatures, while the first day of 2006 will be rainy with southern winds and the temperatures are expected to start rising.

    Welcoming the New Year away from the Cities

    However, the extreme weather conditions were not enough to stop the holiday excursionists.

    Traffic Police has implemented all the necessary measures to facilitate the drivers, while it advised them to proceed with caution since the roads are slippery due to the rainfalls in many areas.

    Regional Greece and especially the ski resorts seem to be the favourite destinations. The traffic is quite heavy on both national roads, while OSE (national railway) has added more wagons to its trains. Furthermore, more frequent routes were scheduled for regional buses, while airplane tickets for popular European destinations have been sold out.

    Specifically, OSE routes are fully booked out, while 15% more wagons were added to the Athina-Thessaloniki route. Charter flights have increased by 7.5%, with the most popular getaways being Vienna, Prague and Istanbul. Finally, 80 additional routes were scheduled for KTEL buses on Friday and 60 on Saturday.

    It should be noted that heavy vehicles are not allowed to travel on the national highways from 3pm Friday to 9pm Monday, when the bulk of the excursionists are expected to arrive back.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Europe Freezes Over

    On Full Alert

    Public Transport on New Year's Eve

    Related Links:

    Greek Civil Protection Authority

    [05] Given by the Ministry of Economy Extension for Vehicle Registration Fees

    30 Dec 2005 13:50:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: ANA, NET

    As announced today by the Ministry of Economy the distribution of vehicle registration fees for 2006 is extended to January 12, in order to facilitate taxpayers. The purchase of vehicle registration stickers will be made free of charge at Tax Offices. Today, turnout in the Tax Offices was normal and the people were served with no hassles. In many services, citizens were facilitated with yesterdays priority members in order to cut down queues.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Five Killed and Twelve Injured Deadly Explosions in Baghdad

    30 Dec 2005 16:57:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: Reuters - ANA

    Two car bomb explosions that took place within seconds from one another rocked today the centre of Baghdad and resulted in the death of five people and the injury of another twelve. As per officials of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, the attacks occurred close to a transport depot taking commuters to largely Shiite areas in northern Baghdad. In its announcement, the police did not mention car bombs, but mortar hits.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] By Choirs of Cultural Associations and Unions Carols to Politicians

    30 Dec 2005 19:41:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Choirs of cultural unions and associations performed New Years carols to Cabinet Ministers, just two days before the end of 2005. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos listened to carols by the OSE (National Railway Company) choir. He then offered them gifts and wished a Happy New Year to the families of the company employees.

    Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos enjoyed carols sang by his fellow villagers, the members of the Vathilakioton Kardits Association. The Minister drank tsipouro, a strong spirit, and danced traditional Greek dances. In addition, Mr Basiakos was also visited by children of the SOS Childrens Villages and the Pontian Union, who presented him with a CD containing traditional Pontian songs.

    The children of Special Olympics sang carols to Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis. On his part, the Minister promised to satisfy the childrens demand, which was to collaborate closer with the Ministrys secretary, Gianna Despotopoulou, who is also the President of Special Olympics.

    Students from universities around Athens, as well as choirs from Kastelorizo and Patras, sang New Years carols to Spilios Spiliotopoulos. The Defence Minister also had a telephone conversation with the captains of the ships Eleftheria, which is distributing presents to children of border islands, and Salamis, which is patrolling the Aegean.

    The Minister of Public Order distributed gifts to the postman in Syntagma Square, while he then listened to the OSE choir sing carols at the Ministry.

    The OSE choir also visited Tourism Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos.

    Finally, dance and music associations performed carols for the Minister of Macedonia Thrace, Nikos Tsiartsiotis.

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