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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-03-05

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Carnival Party
  • [02] Incidents Before the Derby
  • [03] New H5N1 Cases in Greece
  • [04] Rescue Operation for Climber
  • [05] Chirac in Saudi Arabia
  • [06] Multi-Fatality Clashes in Pakistan
  • [07] Hamas Maintains Impartiality
  • [08] Tehran Threatens Once Again
  • [09] Close Call for Maroussi
  • [10] Tough Win for Larissa
  • [11] Walk in the Park for Olympiacos
  • [12] On Champions League Track
  • [13] PAOK Tied with Ionikos
  • [14] Zacharopoulos Led Atromitos to Victory
  • [15] Dramatic Draw in Kalamaria
  • [16] Disastrous Defeat for Panionios

  • [01] Festivities Around Greece Carnival Party

    05 Mar 2006 21:09:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Fun, partying and various costumes, focusing on political satire and everyday life, gave that special something to the last Sunday of the Carnival throughout Greece. As always, Patras, which is also the Cultural Capital of Europe this year, held the reins. Thousands of people took part at the local parade, which started a little after 3pm at the heart of the city, while the King of Carnival was burnt at the Agios Nikolaos pier on Sunday night amidst fireworks and wild celebrations. In Athens, all the interest focused in Zappeio, where the multi-member Magikes Svoures troupe set the festive mood for kiddies with maypoles, jugglers, costumes, hot-air balloons and music. Carnival events were also held in Northern Greece and specifically in Xanthi, Drama, Kavala and Kozani. At the same time, many parts of Greece, from Crete to Macedonia, carried out traditional local customs, attracting young and old. These included the Koudounatoi (men dressed in sheep and goat skins carrying heavy bells) in Mytilene, the popular judge on Samos, Gamala (bonfires) in Ioannina and the fires in Corinth.

    Queen Patras

    This year's festivities in Patras ended with burning the King of Carnival shortly after 21:00 at the Agios Nikolaos pier.

    The great parade, which lasted for more than four hours, ended a while after 18:30. 14 carnival floats, depicting themes from political satire and the city itself, took part in the parade, which was lead by the King of Carnival, wearing a huge golden crown and an amazing smile.

    300,000 people, members of the 142 crews of the "Hidden Treasure," let their imaginations run wild and created original and spectacular costumes.

    PASOK President George Papandreou, along with his wife and daughter, who are in Patras since Friday night, watched part of the parade.

    Police forces were present throughout the parade to prevent any incidents. However, no serious problems had occurred until late in the afternoon, while policemen proceeded with arrests for pickpocketing and possession of drugs.

    Festivities Throughout Greece

    Festivities with endless fun were held in most Greek cities with people taking part wearing impressive costumes. Themes derived from daily life and folk tradition.

    From Xanthi to Kozani until Megara and Loutraki, carnival customs gave everyone a good chance to paint the town red.

    Costumes and carnival floats were impressive in Xanthi. The parade was the most amazing ever and some 18,000 people took part in it, while visitors exceeded 200,000.

    Kozani danced to the beat of 11, the local Carnival dance, while the parade was inspired by local folk tradition.

    In Kilkis, folk tradition was cleverly combined to Brazilian samba, bird flu and political scandals.

    Over 16,000 visitors enjoyed the Carnival in Edessa, where 5,000 people and 40 floats participated in the parade, which the Municipality hosted for the 2nd year.

    Great Escape

    On Sunday, even more excursionists set off for the countryside, as a total of 265,000 cars crossed the tolls of Elefsina and Afidnes.

    The Traffic Police is on alert to protect and facilitate the drivers. A total of 62 alcohol-testing units are stationed just in Attica, which tested 2,080 drivers up until Sunday morning. Out of those, 85 were intoxicated and their cars were immobilised, while ten were taken before the Prosecutor.

    No flight disruptions were recorded at the airports, following the recent strike by security personnel, apart from a few delays in flights for northern Greece, due to the adverse weather conditions there.

    However, Ash Monday, the first day of Lent, is expected to be marred by rain, as the meteorologists forecast rainfalls in the NW and mainland Greece, while strong to gusty northern winds are expected in the afternoon. The weather will further deteriorate as of Tuesday.

    It should be noted that Athens Varvakios Market will open from midnight Sunday to 1:30pm Ash Monday, while the open-air markers will operate as normal.

    Inspections continued on Sunday too and panels of the Piraeus Veterinary Agency confiscated one tonne of shellfish, illegally transported from Elefsina to Chios.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] Between Panathinaikos and AEK Fans Incidents Before the Derby

    05 Mar 2006 19:49:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Incidents and clashes between AEK and Panathinaikos fans and police forces occurred shortly after 17:30 in front of the Olympic Stadium on Spyros Louis street. Fans from both teams clashed using wooden sticks and rocks. Police forces arrived on site a while later and kept their distances, but hooligans launched Molotov cocktails at them. As a result, policemen were forced to make use of teargases to disperse the angry crowd. One of the most shocking things that occurred was when dozens of fans launched a fierce attack against a single person, lying helpless on the ground!

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Migratory Birds Infected New H5N1 Cases in Greece

    05 Mar 2006 16:36:00 (Last updated: 05 Mar 2006 17:55:44)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA, NET Radio 105.8, Reuters

    The confirmed bird flu cases in Greece have risen to 26, following four new positive samples of the deadly H5N1 strain, detected in migratory birds. Samples from two swans and a cormorant found dead at Xirolimni lake in Rodopi and a swan found in Evros were sent to Londons Reference Laboratory on Tuesday. As per the Rural Development Ministry, competent Veterinary Directorates in Rodopi and Evros have already taken all necessary veterinary and health precautionary measures, as they are foreseen by Greek and Community legislation. The Ministry underlined there is no need to take more measures.

    Bird Flu Hits Poland

    Poland is the last country to have detected the H5 virus in dead swans at the banks of River Vistula.

    The samples have already been sent to London's Reference Laboratory to determine whether the swans were infected with the dangerous H5N1 strain.

    The Crisis Centre was notified at once and quarantined the area at a 3km range from the spot where the birds were found, while the Prime Minister of Poland said he would have chicken for dinner, in an effort to protect aviculture.

    Meanwhile, ten seagulls infected with the H5 virus were found dead last Thursday at the coasts of the English Channel, in Pas-de-Calais, north France.

    However, a French official excluded the possibility the birds were carrying the deadly H5N1 strain and said precautionary measures have already been taken.

    Losses for the greatest poultry exporter in Europe are already too many. France is losing 40,000,000 euros per months, after the disease was detected in one of its poultry-breeding units.

    At the same time, China announced the death of a 32-year-old infected with bird flu at the province of Guangdong. The patient manifested pneumonia symptoms on 22 February and died on 2 March.

    The symptoms first appeared after the man repeatedly visited a meat market and remained for a long time near a poultry culling area.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] On Vardousia Mountains Rescue Operation for Climber

    05 Mar 2006 10:00:00 (Last updated: 05 Mar 2006 17:01:29)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A 30-year-old climber, who lost her balance and hit her head on Vardousia Mountains on Saturday night, was admitted to hospital in Amfissa suffering from severe head injuries. The unfortunate woman was rescued by an EMAK (Hellenic Rescue Team) crew, after a long operation. The climber is a member of the Athens Greek Climbers Association (SEO) and was part of a group that was climbing in the area. After the incident, the rest of the climbers alerted the Fire Department and 12 EMAK firemen in four vehicles, from the Lamia Fire Service, arrived in the area. Apart from the fact that the area is inaccessible, the rescuers were hindered by the snow and the darkness, as the night had set.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Meeting with King Abdullah Chirac in Saudi Arabia

    05 Mar 2006 10:58:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The talks between French President Jacques Chirac and King Abdullah will focus on the situation in the Middle East following Hamas electoral victory, Iraq, the investigation into former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariris assassination, the efforts to combat international terrorism and the tension stirred over the publication of Prophet Muhammads cartoons. Mr Chirac, who is paying an official three-day visit in Saudi Arabia, accompanied by businessmen, was welcomed at Riyadhs army base by the Saudi Arabian monarch and other dignitaries. During his visit, Mr Chirac will become the first non-Arab leader to address the Consultative Assembly.

    According to sources, Chirac and Abdullah will pressure Syria to collaborate with the international community in order to investigate Hariris assassination. In addition, Chirac will repeat his opposition to the tension created following the publication of Prophet Muhammads cartoons and will underline the need for closer communication between Paris and Riyadh in order to combat international terrorism.

    Finally, as per analysts, the businessmen accompanying the French President are aspiring to enter agreements with Saudi Arabia, as the countrys economy is flourishing due to the high oil prices.

    The last time a French President had visited Saudi Arabia was in 1996, when the two countries signed a strategic collaboration agreement.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Liberation: Jacques Chirac entame une visite d'Etat en Arabie saoudite

    Arab News: King, Chirac Hold Key Talks

    [06] Army against Islamist Militants Multi-Fatality Clashes in Pakistan

    05 Mar 2006 10:31:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Clashes between the Pakistani forces and pro-Taliban Islamist militants broke out in North Waziristan, following the end of US President George Bushs visit and the praises delivered by his Pakistani counterpart, Pervez Musharraf, on the war on terrorism. According to Pakistani army spokespeople, 46 militants and five soldiers were killed, while other sources put the death toll at 70. The incidents occurred on Saturday night in the town of Miranshah, while they spread to the neighbouring town of Mir Ali in the early hours of Sunday morning, when militants invaded a government building. As a matter of fact, the Pakistani army performed air raids with helicopters and many of the local residents rushed to safety.

    As per the international news agencies, these are the worst clashes since 2003, when security forces arrived in the area to drive away Islamist militants.

    The semi-autonomous areas of North Waziristan, close to the Pakistan-Afghan borders, are inhabited by pro-Taliban Pashtun tribes.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Pakistan battles militants near Afghan border

    Times of India: Pakistani troops kill pro-Taliban militants

    Related News:

    Alliance Confirmed

    [07] At Al Zawahiri's Call for Attacks Hamas Maintains Impartiality

    05 Mar 2006 18:01:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA, Reuters

    On Sunday, Hamas distanced itself from Al Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiris call for attacks. In statements, Mohammad Nazal, member of Hamas delegation in Moscow, stressed Hamas remains neutral to the Zawahiris call to arms. Nazal said it is Zawahiris right to speak his mind. Hamas, however, maintains impartiality. "We respect all opinions, irrespective of whether we are in favour or against, but when Hamas makes a decision or takes a stand, it is always based on the interests of the Palestinian people," he concluded. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, said Moscows contacts with Hamas are a mistake, supporting they encourage the group to remain firm in its positions. According to the announcement of the Israeli government, Russias contacts with Hamas do nothing more than encourage the group not to proceed with the changes dictated by the international community.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] In View of the Meeting Tehran Threatens Once Again

    05 Mar 2006 16:01:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Just one day before the International Atomic Energy Agencys meeting in Vienna, where it may be decided that the Iranian nuclear programme will be referred to the UN Security Council, Tehran voiced new threats. During a Press conference, nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani warned that Iran would proceed with large-scale uranium enrichment if it is referred to the Security Council, saying, "If [the US and its allies] want to use force, we will pursue our own path." At the same time, Larijani did not rule out the possibility of using oil as a weapon, if the pressures from the international community intensify. Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi had noted, "Threat, intimidation and blackmailing will not have any effects on Irans decision in this respect [continuing nuclear research]."

    Crucial Meeting

    On Monday, the IAEA will review the extent to which Iran has conformed to its demand on 4 February for suspending all its nuclear activities, especially those relating to uranium enrichment.

    Since then, Tehran started small-scale nuclear enrichment for peaceful purposes, as it claimed, using uranium hexafluoride and ten centrifuges.

    The IAEA is expected to decide on referring the country to the UN, while it will also adopt a resolution by its Director General Mohammed ElBaradei, whereby many of the question marks surrounding the Iranian nuclear programme remain.

    On the sidelines of the annual convention of the Chinese Assembly, taking place in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minster Li Zhaoxing urged Iran to resume talks with the EU over its nuclear programme as soon as possible. He also noted that the main priority is to resolve the crisis using peaceful means.

    In the meantime, according to an article in the Washington Post, the Bush administration is seeking to convince the UN Security Council to set a 30-day deadline for Tehran to suspend all nuclear activities. As per the newspaper, the USA has already prepared a draft to be ratified by the Security Council, based on the latest figures released by the IAEA. Severe penalties will be imposed on Iran in case it does not suspend its nuclear programme, including banning Iranian leaders from travelling abroad, economic sanctions and an oil embargo.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    l Jazeera: UN atomic agency to meet on Iran

    Le Monde: Les negociateurs iraniens et europeens ne parviennent pas a s'accorder sur le dossier nucleaire

    BBC: Iran issues new nuclear warning

    Related Links:

    [09] Close Call for Maroussi

    05 Mar 2006 21:35:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Maroussi took the pressure and claimed an important victory over Panellinios by 52-51 on match day 18 of the Greek basketball championship. In a match, where defence was the guest of honour, Maroussi won their 14th game and deprived the guests from the right to climb up on the scoreboard. Panellinios managed to impose their own pace in the first period, which ended +6 points in their favour (11-17). In the second period, Maroussi pulled themselves together and even tied the score at some point. However, the firs half ended in favour of Panellinios by one point. In the rerun, though, the home team took the lead and imposed their own pace, thus claiming a major victory. The score per period: 11-17, 29-30, 42-38, 52-51.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Tough Win for Larissa

    05 Mar 2006 21:16:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Larissa claimed victory over Olympia by 84-80 on match day 18 of the Greek basketball championship. It was a tough win for the home team, which took the lead from early on, as Olympia were keeping up in score and the difference never exceeded 8 points. From the third period onwards, the game turned into a derby, but Larissa's players proved to be more effective and cool-headed and finally won by 84-80. The score per period: 28-20, 47-40, 62-64, 84-80.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Walk in the Park for Olympiacos

    05 Mar 2006 22:52:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Olympiacos had no problem whatsoever defeating OFI by 4-0 on home grounds. Rivaldo was top player once again, scoring one more of his amazing goals. The game was a walk in the park for the home team and OFI goalkeeper Mironas Sifakis had everything to do with it. Konstantinou opened the score in the 15' with a close header, after Georgatos was awarded a free kick, and in the 22' Djordjevic flawlessly executed a penalty kick, thus doubling the home team's goals. Rivaldo scored the third in the 38' and Danny formed the final 4-0 in the 75', thus scoring his first goal for the season.

    Referee: Terovitsas Yellow cards: Toure, Nwafor


    OLYMPIACOS: Nikopolidis, Pantos, Anatolakis, Schurrer, Georgatos, Stoltidis, Toure, Rivaldo (65' Danny), Djordjevic, Konstantinou (83' Maric), Babaginda (65' Castillo)

    OFI: Sifakis, Davidson, Isa, Konstantinidis, Koltzos, Hadjadrian (56' Dentsas), Samura, Cipev, Oforiqwe (41' Dejanov), Nwafor, Machlas (79' Brice)

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] On Champions League Track

    05 Mar 2006 21:57:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Igor Biscan may have not offered Panathinaikos the expected, however his goal tonight against AEK put his team back on track for a place in the Champions League. Besides, this was the focus of Sunday's derby, as both teams want second place in order to achieve their ultimate goal this year. After Panathinaikos' victory, both teams tie in second place and the fight for it has just begun! Back to the game now, AEK got off to a neutral start, while Panathinaikos were more active and after a quick goal. Despite all, the match was quite open and with a good pace, but neither Panathinaikos nor the guests managed to open the score in the first half. In the rerun, AEK were more balanced, but in the 53' Biscan opened the score with a header for the home team, after receiving the ball from Charalabidis. AEK did not do much to react, as Panathinaikos kept control of the game and finally bagged three points.

    Referee: Kasnaferis Yellow cards: Lymberopoulos, Charalabidis, Katsouranis, Morris, Kontis


    : Sorrentino, Georgeas, Kontis, Cirrilo, Alexopoulos, Katsouranis, Emerson, Chanko (83' Kapetanos), Lymberopoulos, Venglinskyi (62' Cezar), Lakis

    PANATHINAIKOS: Galinovic, Darlas (17' Seric), Vintra, Morris, Goumas, Biskan, Tziolis (72' Leontiou), Gonzalez, Charalabidis, Papadopoulos (86' Andric), Gekas

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [13] PAOK Tied with Ionikos

    05 Mar 2006 20:40:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    PAOK and Ionikos tied with a 1-1 score in round 22 of the Division A football championship, although the match could have ended with more goals for both teams. PAOK opened the score with Sikabalas header in the 36 and the first half ended with the guests in the lead. In the rerun, however, Ionikos regrouped and tied the score in the 60 with Onuaci, who had just substituted Melabianakis. PAOK could have won, but were rather unlucky and as a result, the home team and the guests bagged one point each.

    Referee: Flabouris Yellow cards: Perone, Melabanakis, King, Kotitsas, Iliadis, Balafas, Zagorakis


    IONIKOS: Beqaj, Poulopoulos, King, Ukar, Melabianakis (54 Onuaci), Gutman, Lettieri, Da Costa (70 Triantafyllou), Makor, Pacuelo, Perone (87 Kotitsas)

    PAOK: Fernandez, Karypidis, Chasiotis, Feutchine, Sikabala, Zagorakis, Miecel (81 Yasemi), Iliadis, Konstantinidis, Balafas (72 Egomitis), Salpiggidis

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [14] Zacharopoulos Led Atromitos to Victory

    05 Mar 2006 20:14:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Iraklis were a heartbeat away from winning an away match as they managed to take the lead twice over Atromitos, but were finally defeated by 3-2. Epalle opened the score in the 4' and two minutes later, Zacharopoulos tied for the home team. Iraklis regained the lead in the 12' with Lagos and believed the match was a done deal as Atromitos were not scoring for a long time. However, in the 75' Zacharopoulos did it again and then completed his personal show with a hat trick in the 89, forming the final 3-2 score for the home team.

    Referee: Ilias Mazarakos Yellow cards: Koutsis, Mikes, Drougas, Epalle, Murrati


    ATROMITOS: Michailidis, Sotirchos (46' Geladaris), Georgiou, Mikes, Katemis, Koutsis, Dimos (55' Raguel), Korakakis, Merinho, Zacharopoulos, Jibour (76' Doe)

    IRAKLIS: Abaris, Papazacharias, Seguiri, Stefanis (90+ Murrati), Drougas, Poursanidis, Lavalle, Georgiadis, Epalle, Lagos, Herrera (86' Kapetanos)

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [15] Dramatic Draw in Kalamaria

    05 Mar 2006 19:38:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Kalamaria and Larissa tied with 2-2 after an impressive game for round 22 of the Greek championship. The home team took the lead with Pappas in the 38 and the first half ended in favour of Apollon Kalamarias. In the rerun, the home team missed out on some good opportunities, but managed to double their goals in the 77 with Clayton. The guests, however, had not said their last word and answered back in the 83 with Gougas and in the 89 with Katsaros, thus bagging one more point.

    Referee: Dimitris Detsis Yellow cards: Orfanos, Fytanidis, Elder


    APOLLON KALAMARIAS: Kovac, Papadopoulos, Koltsis, Galanopoulos, Murawski, Fytanidis, Karaliopoulos, Clayton (88 Karamanlis), Pappas, Parmaxidis, Orfanos

    LARISSA: Kotsolis, Galitsios (46 Gavrilopoulos), Katsiaros, Helder, Dabizas, Bachramis, Digozis, Chloros, Wella Junior (60 Gougas), Serban, Kalantzis (74 Kyparissis)

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [16] Disastrous Defeat for Panionios

    05 Mar 2006 18:57:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Panionios were faced with one more defeat on home grounds and the result is disastrous both for the teams prestige and their place on the scoreboard. Panionios played versus Akratitos (threatened with relegation) aiming at keeping their improved performance. Still though, Akratitos took advantage of their opponents mistakes and won 2-4. Skoufalis opened the score in the 27 for the guests, but Panionios answered back in the 45, when Luciano was awarded a penalty kick. Exouzidis scored the second goal for the home team in the 61, while Marinescu tied the score in the 78 for Akratitos. It was all downhill for Panionios from then onwards, as Ledesma in the 90 and De Francesco in the extra time scored two more goals for Akratitos, thus bagging three very precious points.

    Referee: Dimitris Dabosis Yellow cards: Zografakis, Kabadais, Skoufalis, Marinescu, Make


    PANIONIOS: Vaniak, Maniatis, Koutsopoulos, Smiljanic, Exouzidis, Magdy, Zografakis, Fernandez (87 Dimitriadis), Breska, Luciano, Kabadais (75 Makos)

    AKRATITOS: Lymberopoulos, Pipinis, Tzimopoulos (60 Sensing), Apostolakis (44 Marinescu), Skoufalis (72 De Francesco), Pagonis, Penia, Ledesma, Make, Sfakianakis

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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