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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-03

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Questions and Answers
  • [02] Lunar Explosion
  • [03] Virile Kebab
  • [04] Natural Gas Supply Restored
  • [05] Food Inspections in Athens
  • [06] Searching for Survivors
  • [07] Clouded Palestinian Campaign
  • [08] Absorption of Operational Programmes
  • [09] Thanos Mikroutsikos Resigned
  • [10] To the Prosecutor for Murder on Crete
  • [11] Hi Tech Passports

  • [01] About the Russian Fugitive Questions and Answers

    03 Jan 2006 21:10:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET

    Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos ordered a preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Russian criminal Maxim Zhelin, as well as his transfer, along with the two Albanians, from Corfus jail. The Coroner of the Larissa General Hospital continues to declare that the 23-year-old fugitive committed suicide, but one of her colleagues doubts her circumstances under which the post mortem was conducted. After the investigation, Zhelins body will be given to the Russian Embassy so that it can be delivered to his relatives. At the same time, the police voiced its satisfaction over the development of the case.

    Responsibilities Will Be Attributed

    The investigations into the responsibilities arising from the transfer of the three foreigners are continuing, even after the end of the getaway thriller.

    According to public TV station NET, two files were found in the police van, a white and a yellow one, both concerning the transfer of the Russian criminal.

    The yellow file was marked "From Corfus jail to Komotinis court jail" and contained a note that Zhelin was a dangerous criminal and an escape suspect.

    It then mentioned the murder of the 42-year-old woman on 2 October on the island of Corfu.

    The files had been handed over by the officer responsible for the transfer of the 23-year-old from Corfus jail to the Ioannina Court Transport Department.

    The Chief of the Department then handed over the files to the two police officers who carried out the transfer of the three foreigners.

    The police investigation is expected to shed light into the many questions that have arisen. The senior officers of the Ioannina Court Transport Department have already been placed on suspension, while the sworn administrative investigation to determine whether responsibilities can be attributed to other officers is continuing.

    Referring to the case, PASOK spokesperson, Nikos Athanasakis, stressed that the responsibilities do not lie solely with the senior officers of the Ioannina Court Transport department, while he attributed political responsibilities to the leadership of the Ministry of Public Order.

    Entered as a Tourist

    As it was later revealed, the Russian criminal came to Greece as a tourist for a 10-day visit. He had no criminal record, while his visa had been issued by the Greek Consulate in Moscow.

    Zhelin applied for a tourist visa at the General Consulate in Moscow in August 2005.

    On 2 September, the Consulate issued his tourist visa, after first running a check on his criminal record.

    The visa was effective for one month, from 2 September to 1 October, and allowed him to remain in the country for 10 days only.

    Zhelin arrived in Athens by plane on 20 September, while he departed for Corfu two days later.

    He stabbed Aggeliki Sela, 42, in Sidari, Corfu, in the afternoon of 2 October; just one day after his visa had expired.

    When he tried to leave the island the next day, he was stopped at the airport, because his visa had expired.

    However, the Russian keeps creating hassles for the police even after his death!

    The post mortem report reveals beyond any doubt that he committed suicide with the sole bullet left in the gun he had stolen from the police officer.

    In Larissa, the coroner on duty, though, Apostolia Akrivousi, complained that the case was handled by the supervisor and not herself, which would have been the norm.

    However, in special cases, the post mortems are carried out by the supervisors of the local services. In the case in question, it was Roubini Leontari, who had also performed the post mortems on the two murdered police officers.

    In the afternoon, Albanian fugitive Ilmi Dada, along with his compatriot who had not participated in the getaway, were transferred to Kassavetia prison.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Satisfying Account

    Suicide Scenario Confirmed

    Russian Found Dead

    [02] Caused by Meteoroid Impact Lunar Explosion

    03 Jan 2006 22:34:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Moon was recently attacked by a meteoroid, as witnessed by NASA scientists. On the night of 7 November, researchers at NASAs Marshall Space Flight Centre recorded a burst of light near Mare Imbrium (the Sea of Rains), through a 10m telescope. Scientists believe the object that struck the surface of the Moon was a meteoroid, while apart from the burst of light, the result of the impact was a 3m by 40cm crater, as the blast was equal to the energy released by about 70kg of TNT. The researchers concluded that the meteoroid was part of a shower of taurids, which pelted Earth in late October and early November.

    Eyes Set on the Moon

    Since the Moon does not have an atmosphere, it is at the mercy of meteoroids, while such impacts are quite common. However, the first one was recorded in 1999.

    Although the burst of light lasted just 1/6th of a second, Dr Robb Suggs and his colleagues, who wanted to analyse the phenomenon, studied the video frame by frame.

    They noted that the burst of light diminished gradually over the course of five video frames, each 1/30th of a second in duration. As per the scientists, the source was located 248,000 miles away, leading them to the assumption that it had originated from the taurids.

    Since the Leonids showers of 2001, astronomers have not spent much time hunting for lunar impacts. However, NASAs interest has been rekindled, as it is planning a manned mission to the Moon in 2020 and such impacts may prove hazardous to astronauts.

    It should be noted that the taurids were given that name because they approach the Earth from the constellation of Taurus, while they are considered fragments of the comet Encke, which enters the Suns orbit every 3.3 years.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    ббC: NASA team sees explosion on Moon

    Universe Today: Meteor Strike on the Moon

    Related Links:


    [03] Virile Kebab

    03 Jan 2006 18:27:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The stomach cramps of a British woman from Cumbria, who thought she was suffering from food poisoning and thus rushed to hospital, turned out to be labour pains. It all started on Christmas Eve, when Helen Smitham, 25, felt severe stomach pains and asked her mother to take her to hospital as she thought she had eaten a bad kebab. Mother and daughter were left speechless when the doctors informed them of the premature birth of a baby, instead of a stomach wash! I had absolutely no idea. When I had stomach pains I thought it was the kebab," declared the 25-year-old, adding that the doctors who examined her did not have time to tell her before the baby arrived. Little Deaton, weighing under 2kg, is in the premature baby unit at West Cumberland Hospital. Helens partner, Mark Askew, 41, declared he was delighted. "She was at work until the Friday before Christmas and wed gone out doing the normal things, like going for a drink, Christmas parties and socialising," he said after Deatons birth.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    The Sun: Helen's kebaby pregnancy

    [04] Russia Restores Natural Gas Supplies to Europe Natural Gas Supply Restored

    03 Jan 2006 15:22:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Should Russian stick to its decision to cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine, this is to have an adverse effect on at least eleven countries. Shortly after Russia stopped deliveries to Ukraine, several countries dependent on Russian gas, have already reported a drop in the pressure of the natural gas. Moscow has put the blame on Kiev, accusing it of siphoning off quantities of natural gas destined for European use. Ukraine fiercely denies the allegations. However, Moscow and Russian power company Gazprom keep reassuring that all necessary measures have been taken to secure the steady flow of natural gas towards European markets. Spokesman of Gazprom Sergei Kupriyanov pointed out on Tuesday that the gas deliveries to Europe have been fully restored. However, he did not rule out cutting off the supply anew in case Ukraine keeps siphoning off quantities of natural gas. Austrian Foreign Affairs Minister Ursula Plassnik hailed the restoration of gas deliveries, wishing for a permanent solution to be achieved. Several European Energy Ministers have requested the two sides settle their dispute. In fact, the European Commission is to hold on Wednesday an emergency meeting to talk over the crisis.

    Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov asked for the EUs contribution. He sent a letter on Tuesday calling on the EU to put pressure on Ukraine to ensure the steady flow of natural gas towards European markets, underlining that Ukraines stealing poses the only threat.

    Romania, whose reserves are to cover its short-term needs, sent a letter to Moscow requesting it guarantee the smooth flow of gas, while the issue was also discussed between the Presidents of Poland and Ukraine, Lech Kaczynski and Viktor Yushchenko, in a phone contact they had.

    Serbia has also started facing problems, since Hungarian company MOL, which is supplying the country, announced that it is to cut off the supply by half. Milos Tomic, head of the Serbian natural gas company, confirmed the news. He then described the situation as crucial, since the agreement Serbia has signed with Gazprom forbids it to get natural gas from elsewhere. So far, though, every day life in the country has not been hampered, since the needs of the Serbians are fully covered.

    In the meantime, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia, which had reported problems due to the drop in the pressure of the natural gas, announced that pressure was restored back to normal levels.

    Bulgaria, whose gas reserves will last for three months, announced that the flow of gas is normal. However, it is highly concerned, since gas demand during festive time is decreased, for industries do not operate.

    Zero Implications for Greece

    The natural gas crisis topped the meeting held today between Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Austrias ambassador to Greece Herbert Kroll. The meeting was staged on the occasion of Austrias taking over the reigns of the rotating EU presidency.

    The Development Minister briefed the Austrian ambassador on his yesterday meetings with the ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to Greece, while he underlined that Greece fully agrees with the initiative taken on the issue by the Austrian Presidency.

    Mr Sioufas argued that the Greek Government is interested in a prompt settlement of the matter, so that natural gas deliveries to Europe might not be further hampered.

    So far, Greece has not suffered any implications from the crisis fuelled between Russian and Ukraine.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: Russia restores European gas deliveries

    BBC: Talks due over Russian gas crisis

    RIA Novosti: Gazprom says Russia has all possibilities to agree with Ukraine

    Reuters: Oil gains as Russia-Ukraine gas row drags on

    Related News:

    Light at the End of the Gas Pipe?

    [05] Spoilt Frozen Goods Food Inspections in Athens

    03 Jan 2006 18:48:00

    Sources: мет - мет 105.8

    The Piraeus Prefecture food inspectors located and destroyed rotten packaged fruits and vegetables at DIA Super Market on 53 Agiou Georgiou St, Korydallos. They also found packaged vegetables that had been defrosted and refrozen, as well as packaged candy that had absorbed water due to flooding in the stores basement. They also confiscated products that did not carry information in Greek, as required by law. Furthermore, in sample price inspections on 49 products, differences in prices were detected, between the price indicated at the shelf and that at the cash register, in two cases.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Death Toll Rose to 15 Searching for Survivors

    03 Jan 2006 13:32:00 (Last updated: 03 Jan 2006 21:20:50)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: REUTERS

    The collapse of the roof of an ice skating rink in the town of Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria, took a heavy toll on the people that had visited it. Fifteen people are feared dead, while some 30 were injured. The roof probably collapsed under the weight of the snow. Earlier, it was announced that the rescue crews recovered nine bodies, a woman, two teenagers and six children aged between nine and 12. Six people are still missing. The heavy snowfalls, which have been affecting the area, hinder the rescue efforts still in progress. In the meantime, Bad Reichenhall Mayor Wolfgang Heitmeier defended his decision to not close down the towns ice skating rink by arguing that the roofs snow cover had not surpassed the load limit. Consequently, the authorities decided that there was no need for the ice skating rink to close down. However, the German Media reported that the snow that had fallen in the area over the last days were heavier than usual due to humidity.

    "Inexplicable" Collapse

    The training session of the local youth hockey team scheduled for Monday evening was called off shortly before the accident due to the driving snow, admitted the Mayor, who refused the fact that the ice skating rink, which had been constructed in 1971, was soon to be renovated. The decision taken by the Town Hall during summertime related to the renewal of the rinks technical equipment, reassured the Mayor, who still views the collapse as "inexplicable."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: German skating rink collapses, 15 feared dead

    Related News:

    Deadly Ice Rink in Germany

    [07] For the Upcoming Elections Clouded Palestinian Campaign

    03 Jan 2006 19:20:00 (Last updated: 03 Jan 2006 23:33:37)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The pre-election campaign in the Palestinian territory commenced amid uncertainly as to whether the elections will actually take place on 25 January. Israel will block the opening of the polls on 25 January, announcing that it will not allow Palestinians in East Jerusalem to vote. The Palestinian authority condemned the decision, without specifying, however, whether it will be postponing the elections. On Monday, though, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that the elections will be postponed if the citizens of East Jerusalem are banned from voting. The situation in the area is tense and Israeli police stopped Palestinian candidate Hanan Ashrawi from raising a banner on the gate of Damascus, one of the entrances to East Jerusalem, as well as independent candidate Mustafa Barghouti.

    Banned because of Hamas

    Israel decided to enforce a ban due to Hamas participation in the general elections, the second to be held on Palestinian territory since the establishment of the independent Authority in 1995, stressing that if the organisation gained majority, the peace process would fail.

    Actually, the results of the Palestinian elections and the possible consequences from a Hamas victory were at the focus of a meeting, chaired by the Israeli PMs advisor.

    On the other hand, a Hamas spokesperson mentioned that no final decision on the postponement of the elections had been made, while he insisted that the process should take place.

    However, the opinion polls give a comfortable lead to Fatah with 35%, as opposed to 25% for Hamas.

    It should be noted that 728 candidates will be running for a place in the 132-member Palestinian Parliament. Those will be voted by 50% from voters on Palestinian territory and by 50% from voters in the other regions.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Uncertainty clouds Palestinian election campaign

    Le Monde: La campagne pour les legislatives palestiniennes debute dans un climat tendu

    Ha'aretz: Shin Bet: Israel will be in 'deep trouble' if Hamas wins poll

    Related News:

    Palestinian Elections Jeopardised

    [08] In Regional Greece Absorption of Operational Programmes

    03 Jan 2006 16:54:00

    Sources: мет - ANA

    The absorption capacity of regional operational programmes doubled and is some cases quintupled in the last 19 months. According to the figures made public by the Greece Interior Ministry, the losses of Community funds exceeded 500 million euros for the period 2000-2004, when PASOK was in power.

    The absorption capacity in the regions of Western Macedonia, Attica, Western Greece, Ionian Islands, southern Aegean and Crete doubled. In addition, it tripled in the regions of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, Central Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Central Greece, northern Aegean and quintupled in the Peloponnese.

    Furthermore, as mentioned in the announcement, the Government drastically reduced to 518,000 euros, from 1.2 million euros, the European Commissions claims for PASOKs mismanagement.

    As noted, these figures support the optimism for the progress of the 4th CSF (Community Support Framework), as well as the complete absorption of the funds of the 3rd.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] From Patras 2006 Cultural Capital Thanos Mikroutsikos Resigned

    03 Jan 2006 18:54:00

    On Tuesday, Greek composer Thanos Mikroutsikos tendered his resignation from the position of Artistic Director of Patras 2006 European Culture Capital. The composer, who sent his letter of resignation to the Mayor of Patras, Andreas Karavolas, quoted organisational problems and shortcomings associated with the Organisation. Specifically, he mentioned, "The Cultural Body was delayed in being formed and had serious errors, while its structure and provisions do not befit a contemporary cultural institution, especially at a European level." He also quoted recent communication problems with the Executive Committees coordinator, Christos Roilos, while he claimed that none of the right people were included in the committees formed. The Organisations Board of Directors will convene tonight to assess the situation and make the necessary decisions.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Examiner to Issue Indictments To the Prosecutor for Murder on Crete

    03 Jan 2006 15:50:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: мет, Local Heraklion News

    The seven people implicated in the heinous murder of a 17-year-old Albanian on New Years Eve in Crete asked for and received a two-day extension to appear before Rethymnos Examiner. On Monday at noon, the seven, which include the 18-year-old soldier, his 40-year-old father, his brother, three of his friends and a young woman from Bulgaria, were led to Rethymnos Public Prosecutor under tight security measures. The Prosecutor brought criminal proceedings against their actions, without, however, issuing personal indictments, which will be done by the Examiner. Specifically, the criminal proceedings included murder, aiding and abetting, dangerous bodily harm, illegal possession and use of a firearm, and disruption of peace. The arrestees were led back to jail, without any reactions from the few Albanians who had gathered earlier in front of the courthouse.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Vicious Crime on Crete

    [11] The Old Ones Expire by the End of 2006 Hi Tech Passports

    03 Jan 2006 14:12:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: мет

    The final countdown for the old Greek passports has begun. Within 2006, passports should be replaced by new ones meeting the European standards. The new passports, which the Greek Police will be exclusively issuing, are to contain a digital photo of their holders, as well as a microchip meant to ensure the digital identification of their holders. The microchip will have been integrated into all the EU passports by August 2006. The Greek Central Passport Service has already received applications for obtaining new passports since 27 December 2005. Throughout Greece, there are 99 Passport Services in Police Stations, where those interested should submit all necessary documents. Greek citizens living abroad can submit the documents to 151 Greek embassies across the world. It is noted that the old passports issued by the Prefectures are to expire by the end of 2006 (irrespective of their expiring date). As of 1 January 2007, only the passports issued by the Passport Service of the Greek Police are to be valid.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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