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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-08-31

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] The EU In View of Meeting
  • [02] Gustav Hurricane: Mass Evacuation
  • [03] Last Holiday Makers Return
  • [04] Car Restrictive Measures Back into Force
  • [05] To the Examiner for the Clashes
  • [06] Rescue Operation for Alitalia
  • [07] Mexico: Protestation against Violence
  • [08] Earthquake Swept China
  • [09] Intense Weather Conditions

  • [01] Ways of Reaction under Consideration

    The EU In View of Meeting

    31 Αυγ 2008 10:26:00 (Last updated: 31 Αυγ 2008 18:53:36)

    Sources: Reuters

    The European Council is convening on Monday regarding the situation in Caucasus after the crisis in the relation of Russia-Georgia and the future of the European-Russian relations. The EU meeting in Brussels will debate the blocs response to Russias military intervention and its decision to recognise South Ossetia and Georgias other breakaway region, Abkhazia, as independent states. The Russian incursion has raised fears in the West that an important oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Turkish Mediterranean coast via Georgia could come under Russian control. The Greek Prime Minister is going to participate to the meeting accompanied by foreign affairs minister Mrs. Dora Bakoyiannis. "We have to stabilize balance in the relations of Europe-Russia, as Moscow is a European partner", Mrs. Bakoyiannis stressed in "Eleftherotypia" newspaper. Meantime, OSCE representative denied the information speaking of a report issued by the observers of the organization attaching responsibilities to Georgia for rekindling the crisis in Caucasus.

    OSCE Belies

    The OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) spokesman in Vienna rejected allegations as per which the Organisation made public documents published by Spiegel magazine. As per the German magazine, Georgia had preparted its military action against South Ossetia and launched its attack before the Russian tanks entered Rocky tunnel that connects Russia with Georgia.

    Diplomatic Procedures

    At the same debate has broken out in the European Union regarding Europes stance regarding Russia.

    The French presidency that called on the meeting has already stated that the time for imposing sanctions has not come yet. Chancellor Merkel also supports that view. Germany is trying to form a mutual front against Moscow as some countries, among which former communist countries-members ask for strong reaction against Russia.

    British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned that Russia must not be allowed to subject Europe to an "energy stranglehold" and said NATO should review relations with Moscow in the light of its actions in Georgia. The Russian incursion has raised fears in the West that an important oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Turkish Mediterranean coast via Georgia could come under Russian control. Brown said he would press European leaders to increase funding to allow EU nations to source energy from the Caspian, reducing dependency on Russia. Russia must play by the rules if it wants to enjoy the benefits of bodies such as the Group of Eight, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Trade Organisation, Brown said.

    Greek foreign affairs ministry stressed that what interests Greece is the respect of the territorial integrity and independence of states. In this framework Athens did not recognize neither Kosovo nor S. Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    In her interview in "Eleftherotypia" newspaper Greek Foreign Affairs minister Mrs. Bakoyiannis branded the tensions between US-Russia worrying underlying that what must be achieved is the stabilization of balances that have already been created.

    At the same time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Handelsblad newspaper that the present crisis should overcome fast, thanking the EU for its efforts to resolve the conflict. He also said that Russia would materialize its commitments, adding however, that cooperation in the economic and political safety can be achieved only through dialogue among equals. Such cooperation should also take under consideration Russia's interests.

    Finally, President Medvedeve told the Russian Media that Russia will stand firm to its decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia, adding that Russia wishes to develop its relations with the US. In parallel, he announced that Russia will offer South Ossetia and Abkhazia military aid.

    Contacts and Statements

    In a joint Press Conference by the Georgian Foreign Minister and her Turkish counterpart in Constantinople, the Georgian Minister stated that Russias aggressiveness might cause the domino phenomenon to other countries in the region such as the Ukraine. She also said that for as long as the Russian Federation does not cease fire and does not withdraw from Georgia his country cannot start a dialogue with it.

    From his side the Turkish Foreign Minister stated that although Turkey is working on an international level to find a solution, it will continue its cooperation with its neighbour. He also said that Turkey supports Georgias territorial integrity.

    On a relative development, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticized the Bush administration, adding that she would have visited Russia for face-to-face talks. She would have told the Russians that they their borders are not in danger. Finally, she stressed that she favours Georgias accession to NATO and is against the recognition of South Ossetias independence.

    Finally, during the annual Press Conference, preceeding festive events for Independence Day in the region, Igor Smirnov, Pridnestrovie's current president stated that his country had recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia's independence

    Related News:

    OSCE "Burns" Georgia

    [02] Gustav Hurricane: Mass Evacuation

    31 Αυγ 2008 12:33:00


    Sources: Reuters

    Louisiana State is in alert in the US as it waits for ferocious hurricane Gustav where it was expected to strengthen and threaten New Orleans after its 150 mile per hour (240 kph) winds cut a swath of destruction through western Cuba. The Category 4 storm swept across Cuba in a matter of hours and now poses a threat to Gulf oil fields on a projected path that could take it ashore near New Orleans, still recovering from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. "I must tell you, this is the mother of all storms," Mayor Ray Nagin said. "You need to be concerned and you need to get your butts moving and out of New Orleans right now." Thousand of citizens are abandoning the city looking for shelters. Police department and fire brigade authorities try to help the citizens.

    [03] Last Holiday Makers Return

    31 Αυγ 2008 18:33:00

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The last holiday makers are returning back home using all types of transport means, as 31 August is the last day of summer. As a result long queues of vehicles have been formed on both national highways. An accident on the 58th kilometre of the Athens-Corinth national highway caused delays to the circulation of cars, while in another accident on the 187th kilometre of the Athens-Lamia national highway two passengers lost their life and two more were injured.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [04] Car Restrictive Measures Back into Force

    31 Αυγ 2008 17:38:00

    Sources: NET

    The car restrictive measures will go back into force in Athens as of Monday, 1 September. They will be in force from Monday-Thursday from 07:00-20:00 and from Friday from 07:00-15:00. Meanwhile, the old circulation permits expire at the end of September. Violators will be fined with 200 euros and receive a five-point penalty in the Point System.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Nineteen Foreigners

    To the Examiner for the Clashes

    31 Αυγ 2008 17:14:00 (Last updated: 31 Αυγ 2008 17:59:17)

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA

    The 19 foreigners arrested for the violent incidents in the centre of Athens will appear before the Examiner Monday. One of the arrested was charged with felony and the rest with misdemeanors. Meanwhile, PASOK (Socialists) spoke of the deterioration of the Athens historic centre holding responsible the prime minister and the mayor. SYN (Coalition of the Left) also spoke about the deterioration of the Athens historic centre, urging the government and the City of Athens to take measures, so that an end is put to trafficking and coersive prostitution. At the same time it spoke of lack of social services for the poor and the homeless. Finally, it proposes that the deterioration of the Athens historic centre will come to an end when phnenomena of multiple social exclusion are dealt with seriously by the authorities.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [06] Rescue Operation for Alitalia

    31 Αυγ 2008 16:29:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ANA-AFP

    The Italian government is struggling to save Alitalia with the aid of the EU, hammering out a new plan that does not include any state help. Italy sees no obstacle in getting European Union permission to save national air carrier Alitalia, because this bail-out will not draw on state funds, Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola told a newspaper. "I think it will be possible to obtain the green light from Brussels because this rescue will be done without the help of the state, be it for the former or the new Alitalia," Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola said in an interview published in the daily Il Messaggero. "It will be entirely a market operation because a private group is acquiring the shares Alitalia has declared insolvent," said Scajola.

    The minister said the shares will be sold at market prices, with other potential buyers free to take part as well.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [07] 2.712 Lives Lost so Far

    Mexico: Protestation against Violence

    31 Αυγ 2008 11:52:00

    Sources: Reuters

    More than 150.000 Mexicans parched in the capital of the city to protest against a wave of kidnappings, gruesome murders and corruption in the police department, putting pressure on President Felipe Calderon to meet his promises to crack down on crime. Demonstrators filled the capitals historic Zocalo Square, holding candles and pictures of kidnap victims and bearing signs that read, "Enough Is Enough". Protestations also took place in other cities too; including frontier Mexico-US that are mostly affected by drug gangs are battling each other for control of smuggling routes.

    Kidnappings and Beheadings

    Long used to violent crime, Mexicans were nevertheless outraged by the kidnapping and murder of Fernando Marti, 14, whose body was found in a car trunk in Mexico City on Aug. 1, even though his businessman father had paid a ransom.

    Mexico is one of the worst countries in the world for abductions, along with conflict zones like Iraq and Colombia. Protester Manuel Ramirez, 50, who has not seen his daughter Monica since she was kidnapped in 2004, complained that criminals were becoming bolder.

    Kidnappings jumped almost 40 percent between 2004 and 2007, according to official statistics. Police say there were 751 kidnappings in Mexico last year, but independent crime research institute ICESI says the real number could be above 7,000.

    Calderon, Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard and state governors held an emergency crime summit last week and vowed to stamp out abductions and violent crime.

    [08] Earthquake Swept China

    31 Αυγ 2008 11:50:00

    Sources: Reuters

    The earthquake that hit southwest Chinas Sichuan and Yunnan provinces has killed 22 people, damaged or destroyed more than 100,000 homes and affected at least 440,000 residents, state media said on Sunday.

    The epicentre of Saturdays quake, which struck around 4:30 p.m. (0730 GMT), was about 20 miles (30 km) southeast of Panzhihua, near Sichuans border with Yunnan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was about 6 miles (10 km) deep.

    According to the agency 656 school buildings were damaged while the severe rainfall and the fact that many areas are remote harden the rescue efforts. In addition, communication and mobile networks present trouble due to call overload.

    Sichuan province was also hit on May when a strong quake killed 70.000 people at least. The province was being reconstructed after the murderous quake that left 10 million people homeless.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

    [09] Intense Weather Conditions

    31 Αυγ 2008 10:22:00

    Sources: ΕΜΥ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    National Weather Forecast Service (EMY) issued today an emergency report on extreme weather conditions. More specifically, it is warning against strong rainfalls and storms in Thessalia, Sporades, Evoia, and Eastern Sterea including Attika prefecture. Wins blowing south east will reach 6 Beaufort and in the Aegean island will come to 7 Beaufort. Temperature will rise to 39 Degrees Celsius, in the West 33 and in the mainland 30 while in Aegean Islands it will settle to 30 degrees Celsius. In Attika and Thessaloniki temperature will rise to 30 and 28 degrees Celsius accordingly. This autumn scenery is expected to continue the next days with cloudiness and sporadic rainfalls in mountainous western parts.

    Translated by Sofia Gartziou

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