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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-06-01

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Awaiting Results in the Netherlands
  • [02] Criminal Proceedings for the Chinook
  • [03] More Charges for Extrajudicial Circuit
  • [04] "I Am Deep Throat"
  • [05] Culprit of Turkish Flag Desecration Found
  • [06] New Bloodshed in Afghanistan
  • [07] Political Crisis Culminates in Bolivia
  • [08] Chirac's Message

  • [01] Awaiting Results in the Netherlands

    01 Jun 2005 07:55:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    One more country following France is expected to vote against the European Constitution today. Ballots for the referendum, the first after 200 years in the Netherlands, opened at 07:30 (local time). Only three days after the French "Non" plunged the country into crisis, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende called the 12 million voters not to follow the French example, but according to polls his appeal will fall on a brick wall, since over 60% of the population will vote against the European Constitution. Those determined to cast their negative vote say they will do so because of fears over the EU expansion and the loss of their identity. What is more, voters are also expected to oppose because they are unhappy about higher prices since the euro and discontented with the centre-right government.

    Balkenende's Appeal

    "The future of the Netherlands is in Europe," said Balkenende on Tuesday speaking on Dutch television and added: "I believe a 'No' vote is not in the interest of the Netherlands, not of Europe."

    In fact, in order to reassure Dutch citizens, the PM underlined the Netherlands will not lose their position and influence within the EU in case the referendum has a positive outcome.

    Analysts estimate that a second vote against the European Constitution could create a snowball effect throughout the bloc, since in order for it to come into force it has to be ratified by all 25 member-states.

    It should be noted that eight national referendums are yet to come in equally numbered EU member-states.

    Ballots Will Show Abstinence

    Despite the fact that the leaders of Dutch political parties have urged people to come to the ballots and cast their European votes, it all points out that turnout will not exceed 48%. However, the government has already pledged to accept the referendum result in case turnout is more than 30%.

    The three parties of the government coalition as well as the Left opposition parties are on the "Yes" camp, while Socialists, right-wingers and Christian parties are on the "No" camp.

    The French "Non" seems to have reinforced the abstinence camp, as polls conducted after the referendum in France, show that 15% of the Dutch feel it is useless to cast their vote following the French opposition.

    Dutch Fears

    Many Dutch are determined to vote against the European Constitutional Treaty, not just because they are are unhappy about higher prices since the euro and discontented with the centre-right government, but also because they believe a European superstate will start interfering actively with their country's internal affairs.

    For instance, they fear they will be asked to change liberal policies, such as gay marriage and euthanasia.

    Others disagree with the swift enlargement of the EU, and oppose the possible inclusion of Turkey, also thought to be a key factor in the French referendum.

    However, government and major opposition parties, making up 80% of the country's MPs, support the draft constitution in the belief that it will enhance Dutch influence in Europe.

    Countries Having Already Ratified the Treaty:

    · Austria · Germany · Greece · Hungary · Italy · Lithuania · Slovakia · Slovenia · Spain

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    All Eyes on the Netherlands

    [02] Due to Mechanical Failure and not Human Error Criminal Proceedings for the Chinook

    01 Jun 2005 11:18:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: Newspaper "Eleftherotypia"

    As per the shock findings of Thessaloniki Court Martials Prosecutor, Zisis Gerasopoulos, the crash of the fated Chinook helicopter last September off the coast of Chalkidiki, which resulted in the death of 17 people including the Patriarch of Alexandria, was due to mechanical failure and not human error. Mr Gerasopoulos brought criminal proceedings for two felonies and two misdemeanours. As per an article published today in the newspaper Eleftherotypia, initially, the criminal proceedings were brought against all responsible parties. However, following the formal interrogation, individual charges are expected to be laid on people who have allegedly committed the specific offences appearing in the report and which include manslaughter, violation of military order and others.

    They Died on Air

    As per the same sources, military officers, as well as the control tower employees monitoring the helicopter and the Chinook maintenance crews, will be held responsible. Furthermore, the post mortems provided significant clues, which assisted in pinpointing the causes of the accident. None of the people on board died of drowning, however, they had all suffered fractures and contusions, which demonstrates that they were killed while they were still on air.

    The coroners were also asked to correlate the parts of the body where the injuries were sustained to their seating positions onboard, in order to determine the trajectory of the Chinook during the fall. What is left now is for the wreckage of the fated Chinook, which is kept on a military camp, to be sent to the USA so it can be examined by experts of the manufacturing company, Boeing.

    Wreckage to USA

    The company will then decide on the nature of the mechanical failure, its location on the craft, the time it occurred and the reasons.

    For this reason, Mr Gerasopoulos contacted the US State and Defense Departments to request their assistance on 23 March, but they have not responded yet, while they are expected to do so within a month. The Chinook wreckage, which was recovered off the coast of Chalkidiki, will be accompanied by experts appointed by the military Prosecutor, as well as a technical advisor assigned by the victims families.

    Colonel Gerasopoulos has asked the American experts to provide their findings in writing, specifying the types of mechanical failure detected on the helicopter and which affected the flight. From that point onwards, the experts committee he has formed possesses the means and know-how to determine the causes of the crash.

    According to information, the committee is made up of university professors, an Air Force pilot with 17-year experience in helicopters and an aeronautical engineer.

    The committees final findings are expected to be made public within five months form the time that the wreckage is examined by the Americans.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] 15 Judges, Lawyers and Giosakis Prosecuted More Charges for Extrajudicial Circuit

    01 Jun 2005 10:58:00 (Last updated: 01 Jun 2005 13:48:44)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    Appeals Prosecutor Kyriakos Karousos, complying with an order issued by Supreme Court deputy Prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas, who conducted the relevant investigation, brought criminal proceedings for 17 charges, including 4 felonies, against 15 people implicated in the extrajudicial circuit. The charges relate to: legalising proceeds from illegal activities, fraud, attempted fraud, abuse of power, forming a gang, accepting bribes, bribery of a judge, direct collaboration to bribery of a judge, failure to declare interest in order to be excluded from a case, false testimony, incitement to false testimony, altering a public document, violation of the law on intermediaries, deception, violation of duty and incitement to violation of duty. The 15 people who are being prosecuted include Archimandrite Iakovos Giosakis, who is already being remanded in custody in Korydallos Prison for the case of illegal antiquities, as well as another nine judicial officers. These are: Antonia Ilia, Nikos Athanasopoulos, Panagiota Tsevi, Nikos Potamianos, Georgia Lambropoulou, Aspasia Bata, Anna Korovesi, Maroulio Daviou and Antonis Mytis. Furthermore, lawyers Sakis Kechagioglou, Giorgos Nikolakopoulos and Nikos Emmanouilidis, as well as doctor Emmanouil Niotis and judicial employee Anastasios Karatzas were also prosecuted. Mr Karouzos passed the brief on to Appeals Examiner Giannis Sideris, who will now lay individual charges and conduct a main interrogation.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Supreme Court Requests Indictment

    [04] Watergate Secret Source Came Forward "I Am Deep Throat"

    01 Jun 2005 09:02:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    More than thirty years have passed after the Watergate scandal that had shocked the USA in the early 70s and it has not stopped giving food for comments and new revelations. This time, it was the secret source's turn to come forward. FBI's No 2, Assistant Director Mark Felt, decided to surprise everyone admitting thirty years later that he was the one to have leaked information to the Washington Post, which lead to Nixon's unprecedented resignation. Originally, Felt had revealed his long-lasting secret to his family in 2002 and to his grandson in particular, who convinced him he should feel like a hero for contributing to the disclosure of the scandal. Then, it was Vanity Fair magazine's turn to make the person known around the USA under the alias "Deep Throat."

    End to Scenarios

    The fact has been confirmed by one of the two Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward, who were covering the scandal that lead to Nixon's resignation in 1974.

    Only three people knew the identity of the informer: reporters Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and former editor Benjamin Bradlee, who in fact had promised to reveal his name after his death.

    However, 91-year-old Felt surprised them by ending speculations and assumptions regarding the true identity of the mystery informer.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Young Cadet Admitted his Act Culprit of Turkish Flag Desecration Found

    31 May 2005 23:32:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET

    The culprit of the desecration of the Turkish flag, last month in the Hellenic Army Academy, has been found. As it was announced by the Hellenic General Army Staff, the young cadet was located after an investigation and admitted his act, which had caused the departure of Turkish students that were being hosted in the Academy and also a diplomatic incident. The cadet will be committed to the Army Court Prosecutor, while he is facing disciplinary charges. According to the relevant General Army Staff sources, the authorities traced the culprit by the handwriting test that was conducted. The case is being handled by the Chief of the General Army Staff, while the culprit is committed to the relative bodies, charged with desecration of a foreign symbol.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] New Bloodshed in Afghanistan

    01 Jun 2005 08:38:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    At least 17 people were killed, including the Kabul police chief, and 36 people were injured in a suicide bombing recorded on Wednesday morning in a packed mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The mourners had gathered to pay their respects to an assassinated cleric, who had been killed on Sunday by unknown gunmen. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Political Crisis Culminates in Bolivia

    01 Jun 2005 11:05:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Violent clashes between infuriated protesters and police forces in La Paz on Tuesday paralysed the capital and forced Congress to suspend a key session. The clashes were prompted by the poor indigenous majority, who do not want Congress to grant autonomy to the wealthy eastern and southern provinces. Furthermore, the protestors are demanding full nationalisation of the energy market, while tension was also created concerning the tax regime, which favours foreigners investing in the countrys energy resources. A similar dispute between citizens and the government in October 2003 had led to the overthrowing of President Gonzalo S&#225;nchez de Losada.

    Due to the violent clashes, only a quarter of the legislators who were going to participate in the Congress session were able to access the building, while President Carlos Mesa warned protestors that their efforts to stop legislators from entering Congress constituted the organisation of a coup.

    Police turned away the protestors, who mainly consisted of miners, students and villagers, by lobbing tear gas and firing water.

    Even Congress President Hormando Vaca Diez did not appear at the session, prompting main opposition and indigenous leader Evo Morales to declare, "I am sure that with this manoeuvring he aims to become president of the republic."

    Cases of looting were reported overnight, while the Interior Minister announced that arrests were made.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Chirac's Message

    31 May 2005 23:17:00

    By Anna Kourti

    "The No to the EU Constitution has commenced a period of difficulties and uncertainties," stated French President, Jacques Chirac in his message, adding that the "negative" result of the referendum is a message to take on action and for solid results to arise." Also, Mr Chirac called on the French people to overcome the dead end and to contribute to national progress. Moreover, he reassured that he would not leave an opportunity unexploited in order for his country to reconnect with the "great European aspiration." "The governments main priority under the new Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin is employment," he said.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou


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