|Saturday, 24 February 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-02-17
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Melbourne Suffocated in AshesNews
The number of people who died in Australia's bushfires has reached 200 and will rise further, police say. Melbourne is suffocated to smokes and ashes. There are growing fears that Victoria's devastating fires will contaminate Melbourne's water supplies. Fire crews are hoping that mild conditions will allow them to establish more containment lines around the eight major fires still burning in Victoria. The fires giving them the most concern are those in Melbourne's catchment areas; some of the catchments are being emptied. Meanwhile, the victims of Victoria's bushfires will be remembered next Sunday at a national day of mourning in Melbourne.
On Monday a Melbourne court named the suspect as Brendan Sokaluk - despite fears for his safety prompted by public fury over the blaze. Prosecutors allege that the 39-year-old deliberately set a fire in Churchill, Victoria, in which 11 people died.
In Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest city with 3.4 million residents, hospitals lost power and shops and offices were forced to close. During rush-hour, massive traffic jams occurred after 1,200 traffic lights in the city and nearby Geelong metropolitan area stopped working. Police directed traffic by hand, appealing for drivers to take extra care.
"There are power outages across Victoria from the border with New South Wales state to Melbourne," a state police spokesman told Reuters. "The cause is bushfires and heavy demand. It's a stinking hot day and the demand is overloading transformers." It is not clear when power supplies will be restored to normal. The total damage of destructions reach 500 million dollars.
News item: 19027
 Debate on Economy and ElectionsFinancial crisis and scenarios per early elections triggered debate today in Parliament, Governmental spokesman attacked PASOK accusing the opposition party of manipulating evidence regarding economy and rejected scenarios per early elections. PASOK press representative supported the view that the government manipulates evidence and not the opposition party, rejected the Prime Minister's proposal per consent and asked for elections. Giorgos Papandreou is meeting with the President of Republic on Tuesday to discuss PASOK's arguments on reference to the possibility of early elections taking place in Greece.
Governmental spokesman Mr. evaggelos Antonaros said that he feels disappointed by Mr. Papandreou's speech in Kalamata and accused him of making up scenarios per early elections.
He stressed that his leading team intentionally manipulated financial evidence. But they do not convince anybody, trying that way to delete the history of their party, he added.
"Greek people do not forget the enormous debts that we are still paying, that were caused by false management by PASOK governments' handlings during the previous years and also no one forgets PASOK's experiments regarding the state's economy and the 80 taxes it imposed in the past.
Mr. Antonaros accused Mr. Papandreou of altering evidence mostly when unemployment issues are concerned. More specifically, he said, "the government's policy does not depend on promises and that unemployment dropped to 7,8% from 11.3% ".
News item: 18998