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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-08-23
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 TEDKNA President Calls Grammatiko Blaze ArsonDimitris Kalogeropoulos, President of Local Union of Municipalities and Communities of Attica, put down the blaze that broke out Friday night in the Athenian suburb of Grammatikos to arson.
Kalogeropoulos founded his estimations on the evidence released by the Fire Service, whereby there are no houses, warehouse in the area. Not even street.
‚Shortly afterwards, another three wildfires broke out in the wider area, probably to cause diversion and have the firefighters split in several areas, despite the fact the area was not accessible by water-tankers,‚ added he.
He also argued that the blaze cannot be linked to the construction of a landfill in Grammatikos, which had sent the villagers protesting.
Source: NET 105.9, ANA/MPA
News item: 26059
 North and South Korea Hold TalksNews
North Korean envoys in Seoul to mourn the death of a former president on Sunday held their first talks with the current leader since he took office about 18 months ago, marking a new conciliatory tone from Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has made a number of conciliatory gestures this month, which included calls to restore business ties with the South, after the North stoked tensions with a nuclear test in May, missile launches and threats to attack it capitalist neighbor.
Older news items: News item: 26057
 Traffic Seriously DisruptedLast Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2009 19:35
Traffic Police urged travelers who are returning to Athens Sunday from their summer break to postpone their trip back in the Greek capital and avoid travelling on the Athens-Lamia national motorway, making it clear that public sector employees will be excused for their absence on Monday. The private sector was also encouraged to follow suit.
Traffic changes have been made in the fire-stricken areas and the neighbouring regions, while train services from Athens to Inoi have been suspended.
News item: 26052
 Cardiovascular Patient Infected with H1N1 DiesA 23-year-old male, who had been at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre since early August suffering from serious cardiovascular problems and had been infected with the swine flu, breathed his last. However, the Health Minister did not record the case as a H1N1 death, because the infection came two days prior to his death and was not connected to the cause of his death.
Source: ANA, NET
News item: 26051
 Brawl over Snap Elections Goes StrongLast Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2009 10:58
The brawl over snap elections keeps going strong between the Conservative government of ND (New Democracy) and the Socialists of PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement). In their interviews with the Sunday press, government officials dismissed snap elections scenarios, while PASOK keeps insisting on the need for a change. In the meantime, the domestic rivalry in SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) is growing larger.
Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos does not wish early elections. In his interview with Real News papers, he stressed that politics is not a game, further adding that such scenarios harm the nation's economy.
The government has a plan to tackle the credit crisis, Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia told PARON paper, noting that the Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis has been the bearer of the political changes for many years now, without taking into consideration the political and personal cost and he can pave the way for the economy's recovery.
Former House Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis suggested in his interview with Real News paper that the PASOK officials involved in scandals should earn a candidacy in the forthcoming elections.
‚We are aware that we will either change things radically or leave with our heads down,‚ noted PASOK cadre Harris Kastanides in Eleftherotypia paper.
LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) President Giorgos Karatzaferis estimated that Greek would go to the polls in the first two months of 2010.
In the meantime, the domestic rivalry in SYRIZA continues.
Source: NET 105.8, ANA
News item: 26050
 Wildfires Keep Threatening Athens' NE SuburbsLast Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2009 19:11
Blazes are still ravaging the northeastern suburbs of Greece, where dozens of homes have been torched and thousands of hectares of forest land have been reduced to ashes, while the gusty winds blowing in the area keep changes the wildfires' directions. Flames have yet again grown larger in the suburbs of Agios Stefanos, Stamata, Dionysos and Rodopolis, consuming the Attica's remaining forests, causing a huge ecological disaster. Flames are feared to jump to the other side of the Athens-Lamia national motorway towards Parnitha Mt, much of which was laid waste in 2007. The blaze raging in the suburb of Penteli is particularly dangerous, since the majority of the region's built-up areas situated along the Marathonas Avenue towards Rafina are battling the flames, which have torched several homes. Hundreds of residents have fled the flame-hit regions as rescue crews evacuated two children's hospitals, summer camps, a monastery and senior-citizen homes early Sunday morning to avert damages.
Firefighters along with volunteers and residents of the fire-hit areas were battling all night long to contain the fires, while helicopters and waters bombs resumed waters drops by Sunday daybreak.
However, on day two of the hell hovering over the northeastern suburbs of Athens, residents are mourning their homes, since several homes in the suburbs of Rodopolis, Stamata and Dionysos were reduced to ashes, while the gusty winds kept igniting the blazes.
Fearing that the blazes burning in the suburb of Agios Stefanos might spread to Kryoneri and Parnitha Mt, firefighters are battling to avert it.
The fires have sent a thick haze of smoke spreading across much of Athens.
Other fires are burning in the central Greek region of Viotia, on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, which has already been hit by fires this summer, and on the Aegean islands of Skyros and Evia.
Source: NET, NET 105.8
News item: 26048
 Civil Protection Authority Issues InstructionsLast Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2009 17:20
The Civil Protection Authority sounded the alarm in the prefectures of Evia, Viotia, Eastern Attica, Western Attica, Athens, Piraeus, Argolida, Korinthia, Lesvos, Chios and Samos. The Civil Protection Authority advised citizens living in the flame-hit areas to:
-withdraw inflammable materials from theirs houses' whereabouts and transfer them indoors,
-remove all tents on their balconies and windows,
-close all doors and windows and cover cracks with wet cloths to shield their houses' interior from smoke and ashes,
-follow the instructions given by local authorities during evacuation notice, in case their escape is fully secured,
-avoid leaving their houses if their escape is not safe. Chances of survival inside a house built by non-inflammable materials are high, which chances of survival in a car near fires and smoke are slim.
-gather the whole family in a single room, if they stay indoors,
-get out of their house and try to put out small fires, as soon as the blaze passes by,
-follow the instructions and routes given, if an evacuation notice is issued.
Source: NET 105.8
News item: 26046