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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-06-08

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Right Forces Win-Left Forces Defeated in European Elections
  • [02] PASOK Winner of EP Elections but Rate of Abstention High
  • [03] How and Where Greeks Living Abroad Will Vote
  • [04] Air-France Accelerates Speed Sensors' Replacement
  • [05] Mexico Mourns Day-care Center 38 Fire Victims
  • [06] Siemens: New Suspects Summoned to Testify
  • [07] Political Leaders' Statements

  • [01] Right Forces Win-Left Forces Defeated in European Elections

    Written by Αρης Δημητρίου

    According to elections results people showed more confidence to center-right parties which won most votes tightening their grip in the European Parliament. Voters turned their back to leftist parties whose percentage points significantly dropped. Left parties; spokesmen said that Sunday was a very difficult night for the Socialists which are the big losers. "We are deeply disappointed".

    Far- right forces won Parliamentary seats in some countries but other fringe parties did less well than some pollsters had expected while turn out was record low. In a total of 736 seats, center-right forces receive 267 seats, the center-left forces 159 while the remaining seats are distributed among Liberal Democrats, Greens, Far-right forces and other fringe parties. Abstention is included among winners as the turn out was only about 43%, a record low.. In Germany, France, Italy and Belgium ruling center-right parties won defeating their Socialist rivals whose defeat was of a historic importance particularly in Germany and France. The right-wing Spanish Popular party beat the ruling socialists with a slight difference despite the high unemployment rate in the country. European elections results indicate that voters either punished or rewarded governments regarding their effectiveness on domestic issues. Indicative is the result in Britain where Gordon Brown Labour party plunged to its lowest level in European elections. According to BBC, the anti EU UK Independence party comes third place after the Conservatives, winning 16% of votes while the far-right forces received two seats in the European Parliament. A major surprise but also indication of disappointment is the 7% of the Swedish vote and one seat in the European Parliament to the new populist Pirate party which advocates shortening the duration of copyright protection and allowing non-commercial file-sharing. Elena Basescu, daughter of Rumanian president and former model , who ran as an independent candidate, won a seat in the European Parliament.

    In Cyprus the two large parties DHSY and AKEL significantly increased their percentages while DHKO presented a drop. Political analysts interpret results as support to Dimitris Hristofias electoral body for the solution of the Cyprus issue.

    News item: 23295

    [02] PASOK Winner of EP Elections but Rate of Abstention High

    Written by Ανθή Νταουσάνη

    Victory of the Socialists, 4.36% ahead of the ruling ND party and unprecedented high abstention rate of 47.4% are the main characteristics of yesterday's elections for the European Parliament. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos briefed the Prime-minister shortly after the release of 99.9% of results. According to results PASOK gathers 36,65% (1.878.696 votes) and 8 seats, ND 32,29% (1.655.461 votes) and 8 seats, GCP 8,35% (428.209 votes) and 2 seats, LAOS 7,15% (366.562 votes) and 2 seats, SYRIZA 4,70% (240.865 votes) and 1 seat, and Ecologists-Greens 3,49% (178.952 votes) and 1 seat. More details for each region on the Interior Ministry website.

    Election procedures ran smoothly without voters facing any problems and this was merely due to the e-government system said Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. He went to the Maximos Mansion where he officially briefed the Prime-minister on the elections results. In response to questions regarding drop in ND party's percentage points, Mr. Pavlopoulos said that the high level of abstention was the question in this elections with the largest percentage of voters being ND party supporters who sent the government a message to work harder and more effectively.He also stressed that there was no delay in the report of results.

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8,ΑNA/ΜPA

    News item: 23285

    [03] How and Where Greeks Living Abroad Will Vote

    Written by Γιάννης Δασκαλάκης

    The vote for the election of the 22 MEPs that will represent Greece in the European Parliament will commence at 7am and run through 7pm. Voters can visit the website of the Interior Minister to see where to vote: Voting is mandatory. Greek citizens above 18 have voting rights, provided they have been enrolled with the voting register and have not been deprived of their right to vote. Voters should present their ID or passport to vote.

    Greeks Living Abroad

    Greeks living in EU nations or those who will be travelling to an EU member state on the Election Day are entitled to take part in the process. Advance voting abroad will take place on 6 June. Voters are required to present valid photo identification to the election officer (for example a passport). The results will be integrated with the results of the vote in Greece. Greece's embassies and consulates in the rest EU member states should inform the Greek voters living in their region on their right to participate in the European Parliament elections.

    Chart of EU cities where polling stations are to be set up


















    News item: eyroekloges-2009-11.htm

    [04] Air-France Accelerates Speed Sensors' Replacement


    Air- France is focusing investigation in the crash of Air- France Airbus in the Atlantic Ocean last week on potential malfunction of speed sensors affecting air-speed readings while flying in the mid of a storm. French experts said that Airbus had recommended replacement of speed sensors for A330jets, due to malfunctions. In the meantime, Brazilian rescue crews have recovered two bodies from the missing Air-France plane.

    Brazilian Air-force & Navy Finds Remains

    Brazilian Navy announced that two male bodies and debris from the Air France plane had been recovered. Objects linked to passengers known to be on the flight were also found. Those included a suitcase with an Air France ticket and a backpack with a computer inside. A blue seat with the serial number 237011038331-0 was also found, and Air France is checking the serial number to see whether it came from the flight. The remains were found not far from where the last signal from the plane was received, and taken to the islands of Fernando de Noronha.

    Replacement of Speed Monitors

    Chief of French air-accidents service (BEA) said that we can not prejudge that malfunction of speed monitors was the cause of the accident. Some of the A330 speed monitors were to be replaced but this did not mean that it was a safety requirement. Air-France announced yesterday that it had started replacement of speed sensors 5 weeks before the crash of flight 447 but only after an agreement for their replacement by the manufacturer Airbus failed. Air-France said that it did know whether the speed sensors of the plane that crashed had been replaced. Airbus reconfirmed that it had recommended operators to plan replacement of speed sensors but clarified that it was an optional measure for upgrading performance and not a safety requirement. The A330 sent out 24 error messages including one on airspeed discrepancies similar to incidents seen on related aircraft from 02:10 to 02:14. The system also indicated that the automatic pilot was inactivated although it was impossible for one to say whether it inactivated itself -as it does in cases of danger signals- or the pilot had inactivated it. Meteorologists say the jet flew over a stormy region but the weather was not a big threat. Search crews are not optimistic about finding the plane's black box.

    Sources: Reuters, ΑNA-ΜPA

    Le Monde: Vol Rio-Paris : l'armΓ©e brΓ©silienne dit avoir rΓ©cupΓ©rΓ© des corps

    News item: 23255

    [05] Mexico Mourns Day-care Center 38 Fire Victims


    Mexico mourns the victims of an unprecedented tragedy in a day-care center in Hermisillio. The fire killed 38 children ranging from 3 months to three years old. Most children died of smoke inhalation before being rescued and others when part of the roof collapsed. Number of deaths is expected to rise as 23 are hospitalized, 15 of them are in danger of losing their lives over the next few hours. BBC reports that most children were under two years old.

    Mexican President Felipe Calderon ordered an investigation into Friday's fire at the daycare center in the city of Hermosillo to find who is to blame and later visited hospitals where survivors were being treated. Three additional children have died and more seriously burnt victims remained in the hospital, Health Minister Raymundo Lopez told reporters late on Saturday. "Unfortunately, fifteen of them are in danger of losing their lives over the next few hours," Lopez said. Calderon said he was rushing medical assistance to overwhelmed medical staff in Hermosillo, including air ambulances and specialists in reconstructive surgery. "I have ordered the attorney general, along with local authorities ... to investigate as soon as possible to find out exactly what happened and identify whoever may be responsible". Six adults also were hospitalized in less serious condition after the fire, authorities said. A three year old girl was flown to a children's hospital in California. A Justice Ministry spokesman said it was too early to announce the final toll of the day-care center fire.

    Source: ΑNA/ΜPA

    News item: 23256

    [06] Siemens: New Suspects Summoned to Testify

    Further developments in the Siemens case are expected next week as prosecutor Nikos Zagorianakos has summoned an additional 18 people -involved in the signing of 8002 contract regarding OTE digital centers- to testify. Notification on travel ban was sent to seven persons while travel ban is expected to extend to other suspects of flying the country.

    According to reports, two businessmen are among suspects to be summoned to testify. They provided their bank accounts in Switzerland and Monaco to transfer black money and set up an offshore company in 2004 following an order by Mihalis Hristoforakos. They are expected to testify on charges of pathetic bribery and money laundering from illegal activities. In an interview with "Real News" newspaper, fugitive Hristos Karavelas implied he has plenty of evidence to reverse the situation. He said he would soon release evidence and expressed hope that justice would stand up to the circumstances. Speaking to newspaper "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia" , he said that he wanted to stand trial in Germany. In an interview with the same newspaper, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni clarified that the telegram from Uruguay was sent to the wrong address due to a mistaken interpretation. Different procedures started from that point resulting in delays.

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8 Relevant Articles: Siemens: Travel Ban on Seven defendants

    News item: 23250

    [07] Political Leaders' Statements

    Written by Δημήτρης Αλεξόπουλος

    The day after elections political parties' staff are evaluating results. There is high concern over high rate of abstention and political party leaders sent their first messages to all directions. We received the message of protest stressed Prime-minister Kostas Karamanlis underlining that the government will continue its reform strategy. On his part, PASOK leader George Papandreou described as a clear victory the results of yesterday's elections and stressed that Greek people demand change of course. GCP general secretary Aleka Papariga and LAOS president George Karatzaferis expressed satisfaction at the elections results. However, SYN party president Alexis Tsipras said that results of elections did not meet SYRIZA expectations.

    Determined to continue on the path of responsibility stated at Zappeio the Prime-minister. He also underlined that the elections result certainly did not satisfy the ND, described the turn out as the lowest in Greece so far underlining that it depicts people dissatisfaction at the political system. PASOK president George Papandreou said that the results of elections for the European Parliament indicated the people demand for national elections and spoke of condemnation of neoconservative ideology and practices. The general secretary of the GCP Aleka Papariga expressed satisfaction at the results but described abstention rate as unprecedented.

    Elections results did not meet SYRIZA expectations said SYN president Alexis Tsipras, clarifying that the party gave battles even against individual weaknesses which were not overcome. He, however, stressed that SYN party would continue its efforts to approach all those who had not been convinced of the need for a strong leftist pole. High percentage points mean high responsibility said LAOS president George Karatzaferis and called on all members of his party to indicate responsibility and seriousness. Ecologists -Greens also expressed satisfaction. Mihalis Tremopoulos top in the party's list, who won a seat in the European Parliament, said that a new pole was created in the political stage.

    News item: 23294

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