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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-07-21

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Polls Cause Concern
  • [02] Wrangling on Sunday Shopping Hours
  • [03] Unleaded Petrol Drops by 0.16%
  • [04] Data on Last Week's Road Accidents
  • [05] Modern Medea
  • [06] Fires Burning
  • [07] Possible Israeli Hit on Iran
  • [08] Christofias-Talat Meeting
  • [09] US B-52 Bomber Crashes off Guam
  • [10] Deadly Blasts Rock China
  • [11] Iran Has Given No Answer
  • [12] Sarkozy in Ireland

  • [01] Polls Cause Concern

    21 Ιουλ 2008 14:40:0 (Last updated: 21 Ιουλ 2008 15:22:3)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA/MPA

    Suggesting that the Greens may earn their first ever ticket to enter Greek Parliament, the recent surveys have sparked concerns over the future of the political scenery in Greece. Scenarios speaking of coalition drives and intra-party calls on the stance each political party should adopt have yet again emerged. The Government, on its part, has dismissed any talks on the matter as ill-timed.

    Coalition Scenarios

    The surveys that were released at the weekend have shown that the two-political party system is quite vulnerable.

    It is noteworthy that a VPRC poll has suggested a six-party Parliament, while another conducted by MARC have showed that an independent government could only emerge in case PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) and SYRIZA (Radical Coalition of the Left) form a coalition.

    As per the survey, the ruling party of ND (New Democracy) has the lead garnering 34%. PASOK trails with 30.5%, KKE (Greek Communist Party) 8%, SYRIZA 16%, LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) 5% and Greens 3.5%.

    The prospect of a joint PASOK-SYRIZA ballot paper does not seem that attractive to SYRIZA President Alexis Tsipras.

    Speaking on NET radio station, he dismissed once again a potential coalition with the Socialist party, branding the MARC poll as a trick. He further stressed that the main opposition party is after a coalition only to achieve what it failed to achieve the last 15 years.

    He also predicted the end of the era of independent governments in Greece, noting that the inability to have an independent government is not a curse, but a welcomed potential capable of giving rise to new prospects.

    LAOS President Giorgos Karatzaferis, on his part, did not rule out cooperating with ND if the nations interest dictated it.

    Asked to comment on the polls and the coalition scenarios, the Government spokesman said there was no election issue.

    The ruling party of ND believes in independent governments and as such it remains committed to its obligations towards the people of Greece, argued Roussopoulos.

    Appearing on the same page, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos ruled out a cooperation with LAOS, underlining that ostensible and opportunistic coalitions in view of elections look like an onrush to take over power that do not befit the quality of Democracy in Greece.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    ND Leads

    [02] Wrangling on Sunday Shopping Hours

    21 Ιουλ 2008 18:19:0

    Sources: NET

    The prospect of shops opening also on Sundays has triggered wrangling between small and medium-size enterprises and departments shops. For the first time, merchants are ready to examine this eventuality. At the same time, as per a research the number of available shops in commercial streets in the centre of Athens has risen. Meanwhile, EU member-states have not adopted a common stance on shopping hours on Sundays. Shops in London open on Sundays, in Paris four to five Sundays per year, while shop owners in Rome are entitled to decide whether they should open their shops on Sundays. In Germany, each state adopts it own policy.

    "Yes" under Conditions

    Although merchants are ready to discuss the prospect of extending shopping hours to Sundays, they wish to learn which shops will open on Sundays and what the employees salaries will be.

    Department shops have increased their turn over since 1995 by 357%, while small and medium-size clothes and shoes enterprises by 176%.

    Petrol stations, restaurants, confectionaries, cafes, bars, flower shops, photo shops and kiosks are allowed to open on Sundays.

    At the same time, tourist areas also have their shops open on Sundays. The prefect is the one who decides whether a shop should open on Sundays.

    As per a research, the number of free shops has raised from 13.4% last year to 15.1% this July. In a sample of 1300 shops in the centre of Athens, 200 have remained closed.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [03] Unleaded Petrol Drops by 0.16%

    21 Ιουλ 2008 17:52:0

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: ANA

    As per the Development Ministry the average price of unleaded petrol in about 2,300 petrol stations dropped by 0.16% to 1.269 euros per litre on 18 July from 1.271 euros on 11 July.

    As of the beginning of 2004, the international price of oil (PLATTS FOB MED) has increased by 257.26%, the price of unleaded oil by 73.6% and Brent by 319.68%. Meanwhile, US light crude has been trading at 129.60 dollars per barrel this afternoon, while Brent for September delivery was up by 0.95 dollars, trading at 131.14 dollars per barrel.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [04] Data on Last Week's Road Accidents

    21 Ιουλ 2008 16:38:0

    By Andreas Roditis

    Sources: NET-ANA

    As per the Traffic Police, 4,500 drivers have broken the traffic rules in Athens in the last three days.

    Out of the 3,500 drivers who had been checked 66 were drunk, while seven people were killed, 13 seriously injured and 149 slightly injured from 14/7/2008-20/7/2008 in various road accidents.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Modern Medea

    21 Ιουλ 2008 16:23:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ_ΝΕΤ 105.8-ΑNA/ΜPA

    A young British tourist strangled her newly-born baby boy in a hotel room at Malia, Heraklion. The woman had returned from a bar in the night and then gave birth to her baby, which she strangled with her bear hands. As per the coroner, when the baby was born it was alive, but died of asphyxiation. The mother, who has two more children, argued that when her baby was born it was dead.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [06] Fires Burning

    21 Ιουλ 2008 14:11:0

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    Fires continue burning forestland in Rethymno, Chalkia, Kyparissia and Makrakomi. Meanwhile, the fires in Iria-Karnazeika, in Naflio and Koropi are under control. Fire fighters and fire-fighting aircrafts are combating the blaze. No inhabited areas have been threatened in Koropi.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [07] Iran Has 6 Ways to Strike Back

    Possible Israeli Hit on Iran

    21 Ιουλ 2008 13:06:0

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    Israeli historian Benny Morris said that Israel is most likely to launch a strike against Iran between November and January to destroy its nuclear programme.

    In such a case, read Israeli paper Yediot Aharonot, Iran has six ways to strike back.

    1) To launch precision attacks against the Gulf. During the Iranian-Iraqi war in the 80s, each of the two nations tried to hit the rivals oil plants. The Iranian army had bombarded oil tankers and cargo ships in the Gulf. Experts say that the Guardians of Islamic Revolution are behind this tactic, as they have repeatedly stated they are ready to wreak havoc with suicide attacks on the Straits of Hormuz.

    2) To attack US and Israeli targets. The Iranian army has warned it has missiles capable of sinking big ships and others capable of striking beyond the Gulf, for example the US bases in Qatar and Bahrain. The Iranians also have Shihab-3 missiles that can hit Israel.

    3) To mastermind violence in Iraq. Washington has already blasted Iran for backing armed groups in Iraq, accusations denied by Tehran. Western diplomats have noted that Iran could channel major amounts of weapons into Iraq, hampering the US armys mission. Iran holds historic bonds with the Iraqi Shiites, since several Shiites leaders had taken refuge to Iran during Saddam Husseins rule.

    4) To destabilize Afghanistan. Western officials expressed their conviction that the Taleban fighters were equipped with Iranian weapons they received through drug or weapon trafficking.

    5) To ask its regional allies to hit Israel on its behalf. For instance, the Shiites of southern Lebanon would not let an attack on Iran go unnoticed. Either Hezbollah or Hamas, or even the two of them together, could take actions.

    6) To capture hostages. West has lambasted Iran for planning and offering its backing to several abductions of US nationals and other foreigners during the civil war in Lebanon. The gap created by the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon was covered by Iran to a large extent. One could, therefore, assume that Tehran would encourage Hezbollah to abduct several Jahal soldiers to its northern borders with Israel.

    [08] Direct Talks Not Ruled Out

    Christofias-Talat Meeting

    21 Ιουλ 2008 10:36:0 (Last updated: 21 Ιουλ 2008 18:57:0)

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ-105.8, ANA-MPA

    Cypriot President Demetris Christofias appeared moderately optimistic over the outcome of his forthcoming meeting with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. The meeting has been scheduled for Friday.

    In his interview with RIK television, the Cypriot President did not rule out the opening of direct talks in September between himself and Talat on the Cypriot dispute.

    Commenting on the talks taking place between working groups, Christofias stressed that there has been some progress, and added: "There is convergence, however, there are several disagreements on various aspects, while there are aspects where no real progress has been made on." He also argued that the solution to the Cypriot problem will not come from the working groups.

    "To my mind," he added, "there has been progress and we must try with Mr Talat to find a common ground where there is no convergence."

    President Christofias stressed that he is after peace and reconciliation, the demilitarisation of Cyprus, abolishment of guarantees, drastic reduction in the numbers of settlers, restoration of the property right and the return of refugees to their homes.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    34 Years Since the Turkish Invasion

    [09] Causes of the Crash Remain Sketchy

    US B-52 Bomber Crashes off Guam

    21 Ιουλ 2008 10:06:0

    Sources: REUTERS

    A U.S. B-52 bomber that was due to fly in a Liberation Day parade in the U.S. territory of Guam on Monday crashed into the Pacific Ocean soon after take-off, news reports and officials said.

    At least six crew members were missing, according to the website of Kuam News, a local station. The U.S. airforce said in a statement it had no information on the status of the crew. It did not say how many people were on board the bomber or give a reason for the crash, which happened at 9:45 a.m. (2345 GMT), 15 minutes before the parade was about to start.

    An air force official was quoted on the Pacific Daily News website saying the plane was meant to take part in the parade.

    July 21 is the day Guam commemorates its 1944 liberation from Japanese occupation in World War Two. The island, under U.S. control since 1898, is the only significantly populated U.S. territory to have ever been occupied by a foreign power.

    [10] Deadly Blasts Rock China

    21 Ιουλ 2008 10:01:0

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: AFP, ANA-MPA

    Three people were killed and 14 were injured in explosions aboard two public buses in the Chinese town of Kunming, the capital of southwest Chinas Yunnan province. Authorities said the blasts were cases of sabotage.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [11] Iran Has Given No Answer

    21 Ιουλ 2008 09:29:0

    Sources: Reuters, ANA-MPA

    Tehran has yet to give an answer to an offer of trade and technical incentives to halt uranium enrichment laid down by the six world powers, while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the Geneva talks could be taken as another step forward. Asked to comment on the outcome of the talks, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana was more optimistic than the Iranian President, stressing that there is always progress in such talks, but progress in this particular case had been insufficient.

    Two-Week Deadline

    British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is on an official visit to Israel, is expected to underline the dangers the Iran government may come up against in case its talks with the West on its nuclear programme yield no results.

    Iran has a two-week deadline to give a serious answer to the call to have its uranium enrichment halted, otherwise it will face sanctions, warned US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice while on her way to an Asian tour.

    The US Secretary of State will also make it clear to North Korea that Pyongyang should fulfil its obligations and answer to matters pertaining to its nuclear programme.

    Rice will meet Wednesday with North Korean Foreign Ministry Pak Ui-chun for the first time on the sidelines of a Southeast Asian-sponsored forum in Singapore.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] Sarkozy in Ireland

    21 Ιουλ 2008 09:21:0

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: ANA-MPA, AFP

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who holds the EUs rotating presidency, is due in Dublin to discuss with the Irish leaders the shock rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.

    Sarkozy is expected to meet with Irish Prim Minister Brian Cowen as well as pro- and anti-Lisbon Treaty lobbyists.

    However, protests have been scheduled to take place outside the Parliament building with the slogan "No Means No."

    In his interview with Irish Times paper, the French President stressed that he visits Dublin to listen and understand the reasons that pushed the people of Ireland to vote against the Lisbon Treaty.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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