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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-05-04
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 On the Bus Driver's Death and the CriminalAnger and Resentment
04 May 2008 10:10:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2008 18:47:04)
Sources: ΝΕΤ 105,8
Interior ministry attributes heavy responsibility to the police force regarding the murder of the bus driver yesterday in Thessaloniki from the young man who managed to escape from the policemen while he was being transported to the police department. 6 policemen were suspended from duties. Minister of Internal Affaisr Mr. Prokopis Pavlopoulos spoke of criminal neglect on the part of the police officers. The tragic incident started when a 33 years old burglar getaway from the police car as he did not wear handicaps while he was being transported in the police department of Sindos. He grabbed the gun of the police officer and under gun threat he got into a bus and shot the 60 years old bus driver. After that he barged into a house and took hostages. Finally he was arrested in Neo Kordelio area. Under Deputy Ministers, Panayiotis Hanifotis, order the 4 police officers that were driving the police cars were suspended form duties as well as the senior police officers of Sindos and Ampelokipoi security departments while an inquiry has been ordered in order to investigate any possible criminal responsibilities.
Perpetrator and Two Policemen Referred to Prosecutor
In the meantime, the two police officers and the perpetrator were referred to the Prosecutor on Sunday noon. The perpetrator said: "I went berserk. I feared of going to prison. I saw a gun before me and I grabbed it. I said its all or nothing. I killed the driver, because he tried to disarm me." The police officers, on the other hand, stated: "We knew the perpetrator, he was the neighbourhoods junkie. We nabbed him about ten times each month for minor thefts. Never before had he caused any problems. Each time we arrested him, he was under drug deprivation syndrome. It never occurred to us that he would escape." Commented on the police gun, the driver of the police car claimed: "I had the gun inside the bum bag on the right. I opened it to get my self phone and left it open. The perpetrator saw the gun and snatched it. I did not expect that to happen."
Commenting on the tragic incident that rocked Thessaloniki, PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) section head of domestic affairs MP Haris Kastanides argued: "The dramatic incident in Thessaloniki proved, once again, the disorganisation of the Greek Police (ELAS). There is no substantial training, since only a part of ELAS operational officials are trained for five days every two years! Their morale is rather low, while their poor wagers force a great number of police officers to look for other occupations, thus losing their effectiveness. The lack of personnel and the rule of the red tape within ELAS do not offer the necessary protection to the citizens. The Governments responsibilities for all this stuff are distinct and its slow response should not go unpunished. Instead of suspending low-ranking officials, ELAS top officials should have shouldered their responsibilities."
Bloody Pursuit in Thessaloniki
 FYROM President Proposes an International NameTalks on Skopje Open
04 May 2008 11:55:00
US special envoy Matthew Nimetz is planning the next movements on Skopje issue. Mr. Nimetz may visit Athens and Skopje soon, but any progress is not expected until the elections on June 1st in the neighboring country. FYROM president Branko Crvenkovskis announcements yesterday triggered interest. Mr. Crvenkovski spoke of an "international name" in order for a "fair solution" and a fair compromise to be found. Mr. Crvenkovsk stressed that "before Bucharest Summit Meeting Mr. Nimetz proposed a fair compromise. We accepted this compromise but Greece rejected it."
"On our side we are not ready to accept any dictations from Greece", he said. "We do not allow Greeces right for veto imposition on our entrance in the European Union to be turned into a right of definition of our countrys name. This is not a fair compromise. We showed our constructive stance and I hope and expect that Greece will show the same political will. Only then a solution can be found. But it will be a solution that it will be applied for international use because the negotiation order on the base of which this issue is being discussed all these years according to agreements of the Security Council involves a name of international use and this does not affect the constitutional order of the Republic of Macedonia and does not have anything to do with the way we are going to call our country", he concluded. On reference to the developments on Skopje issue, New Democracy secretary Lefteris Zagoritis said that our neighbors have to abandon "their non historic premonitions and expansionary expectations so as for a mutually accepted solution to be found beneficiary for both countries".
Translated by Sofia Gartziou
 "In Zoom to Faces" TV ProgrammeMr. Alogoskoufis' Interview on all Issues
04 May 2008 14:18:00
Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis in his interview in "Zoom on faces" TV programme on NET state station gave answers on all issues regarding Deutsche Twelekom-OTE agreement stressing that the German company will not control OTE with full freedom as the Greek state will pose veto as far as the rate prices of the company, the directive consultant and issues of national security are involved. "OTE aims at becoming competitive and open to the new environment," Finance Minster said stressing that Deutsche Telekom fully accepts the buiness plan of the company and commits to promote investments.
Mr. Alogoskoufis also said that VAT will not rise underlying that this would be a "clear madness" in a period where inflation grows and new measures are imposed by the European Union. He also stressed that expensiveness will be tackled with the measures Mr. Folias has announced and added that the biggest problem our country faces is oil prices. In addition, he branded correct PASOK president proposal who stated that the auction of the estate property under their ratable price must stop. He also stressed that there are not going to be any changes in the cabinet, he expressed his will to be removed in another ministry and opposed the possibility of early elections.
However, OTE issue which is reaching its final stage still triggers reactions in opposition parties and employees who are going to stage a 48 hour strike next Tuesday.
Translated by Sofia Gartziou
 Changes in Domestic FlightsOA Flights Disrupted
04 May 2008 17:44:00
By Katerina Ioannidou
Sources: ANA-MPA-ΝΕΤ 105.8
Olympic Airlines flights to the Aegean islands were seriously disrupted on Sunday, since, reacting to the new collective employment agreement, the pilots of the OA propeller aircrafts take illness leaves, leaving aircrafts with crew shortages.
On Sunday, two flights en route to the Greek islands of Naksos and Kalymnos were cancelled. The OA board is trying to merge flights and use large planes to address the problems and minimize the passengers inconvenience.
Translated by Areti Christou
 Inestimable DamagesMyanmar: 5 Provinces in State of Emergency
04 May 2008 12:13:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2008 16:01:51)
Myanmars military government declared disaster areas in five states on Sunday after a Category 3 cyclone tore through the Irrawaddy delta region, killing 19 people in Yangon. Cyclone Nargis devastated the former Burmas leafy main city, littering the streets with debris from fallen trees and battered buildings. According to state media, many roofs were ripped off even sturdy buildings, suggesting damage would be severe in the shanty towns that sit on the outskirts of the sprawling river-delta city of 5 million people. "According to recent information, 20 people have been killed in Yangon and 222 in Irrawady area", an official stated. BBC reported that death toll rose to 243.
UN official announced that it would be days before the extent of the damage was known. "There does not seem to be a high number of casualties but for sure there is a lot of damage to property and infrastructure," Therje Skavdal, regional head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), said.
UN services and the Red Cross sent food and first aid things while UNOCHA officials will meet later in Bangkok to assess the situation. Nyrgon cyclone is headed now to S. Thailand where heavy rainfalls are reported.
 Bolivia: Protestations against the Referendum04 May 2008 11:00:00
Protestors blocked highways in Santa Cruz with burning tires and mounds of dirt late on Saturday to protest the referendum on Bolivias richest region of Santa Cruz votes on greater autonomy from the central government on Sunday in a referendum that poses the biggest challenge yet for leftist President Evo Morales.
Earlier, peasant farmers in the Yapacani district blocked highways to prevent local authorities from setting up polling stations. The referendum regarding autonomy of Santa Cruz has torn Bolivias poor, indigenous majority in the rich areas in the eastern part of the country where the opposition party opposes Morales politics. The regions conservative leaders intend to control taxes, policing and natural resources like fertile farmland and natural gas reserves. Morales government brands the referendum illegal.
 Vessel Crew Arrived ImmediatelyCruise Ship Runs Aground Off Latvia
04 May 2008 10:56:00
A cruise ship with 984 people on board ran aground off the coast of Latvia on Sunday. The Bahama Islands registered Mona Lisa ran aground in the Irbe Strait, which is the main route from the Baltic Sea into the port of the Latvian capital Riga. "The vessels crew is currently checking the hull, but there is currently no information about damage to the hull or fuel storage," the coastguard service said in a statement, gave no information on the passengers. Several coastguard vessels were on the scene, it added. Riga port is visited by many cruise ships during the spring and summer months, as well as having a regular ferry service between Latvia and Sweden.
 1,306 Votes for Obama to Clinton's 1,169Victory for Obama in Guam
04 May 2008 10:34:00 (Last updated: 04 May 2008 14:17:15)
Democrat Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in the nominating contest on the Pacific island of Guam by just seven votes, election officials said on Sunday. Early manual counting showed Obama with 1,306 votes to Clintons 1,169 with results from six caucus sites still pending. Neither candidate got to Guam, a U.S. territory since 1898, but both called into radio stations to emphasise their affinity with an island many Americans have never heard of.
Guams residents cannot vote in the presidential election but the territory, which is less than a fifth of the size of the smallest U.S. state of Rhode Island, sends eight delegates with half a vote each to the Democratic convention in August. Neither candidate got to Guam, a U.S. territory since 1898, but both called into radio stations to emphasise their affinity with an island many Americans have never heard of. Clinton reminded voters about her multiple visits during stopovers on presidential trips with her husband, Bill, to Asia and Obama emphasised his Pacific connections through his upbringing in Hawaii and Indonesia.