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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-02-18

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Snow and Icy Cold
  • [02] Briefing on Measures
  • [03] Reactions and Concern over Kosovo
  • [04] Cyprus Heading for Run-off Vote
  • [05] Greek FinMin's Speech in Oxford
  • [06] EU-Turkey Partnership Ratified
  • [07] Nimetz Due in Athens
  • [08] Aged Woman Killed by Fire
  • [09] Afghanistan: Fresh Suicide Attack
  • [10] Ungoverned Ship off Ikaria
  • [11] Petrol Station Owners Agree Under Conditions
  • [12] Major Police Operation in Paris

  • [01] State Mechanism on the Alert

    Snow and Icy Cold

    18 Feb 2008 15:18:00

    Sources: , 105.8, NA-PA

    Despite sunshine today, temperatures remain below zero in most parts of the country. Snowfall continues in Eboia, the Cyclades and Crete. Athens-Lamia and Athens Korinthos national roads have opened to vehicular travel, including lorries, however, snow chains are requested in many parts of provincial roads. Tens of villages are cut off while there is power cut in some regions.

    Conditions in Attika are gradually returning to normal but citizens should be careful of potentially slick roads. Blue and trolley buses are running in some routes while the suburban train, the tram and OSE (Hellenic Railroads) are running on their regular schedule. The electric train is operating and expected to extend its routes while the METRO will operate on 24 hour basis. Some scheduled flights are departing with difficulties from Eleftherios Benizelos Airport. Ships remain ancored at Rafina port while only closed type ships are sailing from Piraeus port to Argosaronikos islands.

    Athens, Piraeus and East Attika prefectures announced that schools will remain closed on Tuesday. The state mechanism is still placed on the alert and according to the Civil Protection General Secretariat citizens assistance cases are being successfully dealt so far. The good news comes from the Meteorological Service, which has forecast gradual abatement of bad weather, however, icy cold will stay tomorrow mainly in central and northern parts of the country. Citizens are advised to take precautions and avoid vehicular travel and to use snow chains where necessary.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [02] To Deal with Extreme Weather

    Briefing on Measures

    18 Feb 2008 16:23:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Interior Minister, Prokopis Pavlopoulos briefed the Prime-minister on the problems caused by the extreme weather conditions, the measures taken by the state mechanism as well as provisions taken for the next hours. On his part, government spokesman, Thodoros Roussopoulos spoke of coordinated and effective cooperation of all sectors to deal with problems caused by extreme weather conditions, stressing that that the Interior Ministry was in charge of the planning and materialization of all relevant measures.

    Satisfaction at State Mechanism

    Dealing with the wave of extreme weather was the first crisis the unified Interior Ministry faced, proving that unification was useful and crucial while among others, the Interior Minister underlined his satisfaction at the response of the state mechanism. He said that present dealing with extreme weather conditions compared to what happened in 2004 is satisfactory but added that the governments aim is to deal with such phenomena from now on as something common and efficiency of the state mechanism not to be a piece of news. The Interior Minister thanked local administration, Hellenic Police, the Fire Department and Mass Media. He also underlined that tonight is a difficult night due to icy cold ,although bad weather is over.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [03] Meeting of EU General Affairs Council

    Reactions and Concern over Kosovo

    18 Feb 2008 14:34:00 (Last updated: 18 Feb 2008 19:17:42)

    A day after Kossovo declared independence from Serbia, Prime-Minister Hashim Thaci today said Kosovo expects recognition from the first countries any minute, adding that he has sent out our requests to all world governments for recognition.

    At the same time, Serbian Foreign Minister, Vuk Jeremic announced that his country will prevent admission of the "so called Kosovo state" to large international organizations. The Serbian Parliament will hold a session later today to ratify the Serbian governments decision to "annul" Kosovos declaration of independence. In parallel, Serbs in large Serbian majority communities in Kosovo are preparing to stage protest demonstrations against Kosovos independence, which they consider heartland of their culture and history.

    After an emergency session of the UN Security Council, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on all sides to keep to their commitments and refrain from violence, stressing that UN peace force will remain in its post. Russia called the UN to declare the Kosovo declaration illegal and expressed dissatisfaction over the UN Sec. Gen. neutral stand.

    In the meantime, Brussels is the focus of interest where the EU General and Foreign Affairs Council is holding a meeting to discuss Kosovo seccesion today while increasing are international reactions on Kosovos declaration of independence. Italian Prime-minister, Romano Prodi said that Serbia should not feel abandoned by Europe. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel said that Berlin will not take a decision on Kosovo today, adding that priority is placed on a platform of unity within the EU, on which each member state can act. Australian Prime-minister, however said that his country will recognize the new state as soon as possible. The Albanian President, Bamir Topi spoke of a victory of democracy while Prime-minister, Sali Berisha stated that Albania will make all efforts to support Kosovo declaration of independence. In the meantime, prior to joining the EU meeting in Brussels, Spanish President Miguel Angel Moratinos vowed not to recognise the new state. China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka have expressed concern over developments in the region.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    Related News:

    Kosovo Celebrates for its Independence

    [04] For the Election of the Cypriot President

    Cyprus Heading for Run-off Vote

    18 Feb 2008 17:20:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: 105.8, ANA

    Cyprus is heading for a surprise runoff vote on coming Sunday, following the results of the first round of the Cypriot presidential elections. EU MEP Ioannis Kassoulides, who garnered 33.51% of the ballot, and Speaker of the Cypriot Parliament Dimitris Christofias, who trailed with 33.29%, are prepping themselves for the run-off vote scheduled for coming Sunday. Outgoing President Tassos Papadopoulos, who was eliminated in the first round earning 31.79%, is expected to play a key role. The camps of the two challengers are on high alert, as contacts and efforts to approach as many allies as possible are in full swing.

    Aleka Papariga, the general secretary of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), congratulated Dimitris Christofias, general secretary of AKEL (Cyprus Communist Party), on his success in the first round of the presidential elections.

    Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), sent Monday the following letter to Christofias: "Dear comrade Dimitris, on behalf of SYRIZA I congratulate on your big success in the first round of the presidential elections. We [SYRIZA] wish your victory - a victory that will belong to the entire Cypriot people, both the Greek-Cypriots and the Turkish-Cypriots to be completed in the runoff on coming Sunday."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] On Globalization

    Greek FinMin's Speech in Oxford

    18 Feb 2008 19:04:00

    Sources: ANA

    Greeces Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis delivered a speech on "Globalisation and the European Social Model," in Oxford. Alogoskoufis said: "In this presentation, I would like to shift attention to the consequences of globalization in Europe. How, in other words, globalization is affecting EU economies and societies. The Europeans attitude towards globalization has been decisive for its progress. Europe, along with the USA and Japan, has a disproportionately large influence on world policies and economic initiatives. International institutional bodies, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the G-7 nations, NATO, the World Trade Organisation, as well as the world banking system, have been shaped and controlled to a large extent by Europe and the USA."

    Touching on growth, Alogoskoufis stressed: "As per the latest figures, world growth has been significantly accelerated over the last two decades. It rose from an average 3.2% in the 1989-1998 period to 4% in the 1999-2008 period. However, the growth rates in developed economies have not been significantly influenced. The average growth rates for the developed economies stood at 2.7% up until 1998, slightly dropping to 2.6% until 2008. Major growth was recorded in the group of the booming and developing economies, whose growth rates increased from 3.8% between 1989 and 1998 to 6.5% between 1999 and 2008. The European Union seems to have been benefited in the last two decades. Average growth was accelerated from 2% in the 1989-1998 period to 2.5% in the 1999-2008."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] EU-Turkey Partnership Ratified

    18 Feb 2008 18:31:00

    Sources: ANA/MPA

    The Council of EU Foreign Ministers ratified Monday the revised accession partnership with Turkey, a partnership initially approved on 28 January. The 27-nation bloc expects of Ankara to immediately commit itself to implementing reforms that concern the protection of human rights, as well as to meeting its international obligations.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Nimetz Due in Athens

    18 Feb 2008 17:11:00

    Sources: 105.8-ANA/MPA

    Believed to be ready to submit his final blueprint on the FYROM name row, EU envoy Mattew Nimetz is due in Athens on Tuesday for the second round of talks between Greece and FYROM. "We are in the middle of the drive to find a mutually acceptable solution. Athens positions are crystal clear," stressed Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos when asked to comment on scenarios on a composite name, scenarios already turned down by the FYROM President.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] In Apartment, in Aegaleo

    Aged Woman Killed by Fire

    18 Feb 2008 14:40:00

    Sources: NA-PA

    An aged woman, living alone, found tragic death when her apartment, in Aigaleo suburb caught fire. The fire was most probably ignited by the gas fire she turned on to warm up her room. Neighbors, who had called the fire department, tried to put out the fire before the arrival of the fire brigade, but it was too late for the old-lady, who had died of serious burns.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [09] Afghanistan: Fresh Suicide Attack

    18 Feb 2008 14:27:00

    A suicide attack targeting a convoy of Canadian troops in Afghanistan killed at least 35 Afghan civilians. The attack happened on a road to the town of Spin Boldak, in Kandahar province, near Afghanistan Pakistan borders. The governor of Kandahar province said that 35 people had been killed and at least 27 wounded. According to the French News Agency, among the victims are three Canadian soldiers. This is the second bloody attack in the last 24-hours, coinciding with parliamentary elections held in Pakistan. A suicide attack outside the city of Kandahar yesterday killed at least 100 people.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    [10] Ungoverned Ship off Ikaria

    18 Feb 2008 12:39:00

    Sources: 105.8

    A Russian warship is ungoverned 20 miles northwest off Ikaria due to mechanical failure. Amour has 106 men on board. Two super-puma helicopters, a C-130 cargo plane, as well as frigate are heading to the area for help. The gale-force winds blowing in the area are hampering rescue efforts.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [11] Petrol Station Owners Agree Under Conditions

    18 Feb 2008 12:01:00

    After a stormy meeting today, the Federation of petrol station owners has accepted the implementation of a unified consumption tax on heating and diesel oil. Votes in support of the measure numbered 39, while 19 were against. However, petrol station owners argue that if they do not get the money from the tax difference, consumers will remain without petrol.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [12] Major Police Operation in Paris

    18 Feb 2008 10:30:00

    French police arrested at least 25 people in a major pre-dawn operation Monday in Villiers-Le-Bel north of Paris, targeting the suspected ringleaders of riots last year Nearly 1,000 elite forces took part in the operation in and around Villiers-le-Bel said sources close to the investigation. The Prosecutor reported that within an investigation carried out by the police authorities since November, 36 individuals had been identified as suspects, 25 of which are now testifying. During Novembers incidents 60 police officers were injured. Violence flared up in the area after two teenagers died in a motorbike crash with a police car. President Nicolas Sarkozy said immediately after the riots that everything would be done to find those responsible for the attacks. "That cannot rest unpunished, it is an absolute priority," he said. Tensions have run high in Frances high-immigration suburbs since the countrys worst civil unrest in decades in 2005.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

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