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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-23

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Train Derails in Montenegro
  • [02] "Dialogue and Consent" for the Review
  • [03] It Drives Itself
  • [04] "By the Citizens' Side"
  • [05] Meeting Over Review and Elections
  • [06] Awaiting Evidence from Switzerland
  • [07] Greek Captain Missing
  • [08] Building Collapsed in Kenya
  • [09] Job Cuts at Ford
  • [10] Price of Oil Above $69
  • [11] No News from Bird Flu Front
  • [12] Kidman to Wed Again
  • [13] Robber Escaped Danger
  • [14] Minor Blasts in Attica
  • [15] Keranis Employees Protested

  • [01] Three Dead Many Injured Train Derails in Montenegro

    23 Jan 2006 21:57:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NA - Reuters - Associated Press

    A passenger train derailed on Monday afternoon in Montenegro, just outside the capital, Podgorica, resulting in four wagons full of passengers plunging into the gorge of the River Moraca. Rescue crews have recovered three dead from the wreck, while hundreds of wounded, nearly half of them children, were transferred to hospitals in Podgorica. The efforts to rescue the passengers are continuing, despite the adverse weather conditions, including gusts and sleet. The train was en route from Bijelo Polje to the coastal city of Bar. As per the director of the Montenegro rail organisation, the accident was caused by a mechanical failure and specifically, a problem with the brakes. President Filip Vujanovic and Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic rushed to the crash site, while the latter called an emergency Cabinet meeting for tonight.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] Of the Constitution "Dialogue and Consent" for the Review

    23 Jan 2006 18:55:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    The two main topics that were discussed on Monday during the meeting of New Democracys Political Council, chaired by Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis, were the constitutional review and the municipal elections. Speaking to the Council members, Mr Karamanlis stressed that local communities have the first say in the municipal elections, while he added that the candidates will not be selected based on political party criteria. "The elections are political. However, this does not mean that the elections will be party spirited," noted the PM. The discussion also focused on the matter of the constitutional review, with Mr Karamanlis saying that it should proceed with consent and dialogue. "The aim is for a state that will be contemporary, efficient and friendly towards citizens. We are seeking maximum agreement and consent, through talks with parties, competent bodies, the scientific community and the citizens," he underlined.

    Elections without Party Identities

    Referring to the Review, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas described it as "the flagship of governmental changes and reforms," stressing that it is going ahead for the benefit of the citizens, and for social and economic prosperity.

    According to information, Mr Karamanlis also said the government gradually returned the taxes that had been retained and regulated the debts of Local Self-Government Organisations, thus keeping its pledges.

    The secretary of NDs Central Committee, Vangelis Meimarakis, stressed that governments are judged in the national elections, while he added, "We will support different people if needed. Even ones from PASOK."

    On her part, Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni asked that the procedures for selecting candidates be expedited, since lists have already been drawn up in some areas, while she stressed that the importance lies on the people who will be selected.

    Finally, the PM briefed the members of the Political Council on the very positive results from his official visit to China, noting that it paved the way for great partnerships in the areas of shipping, tourism and agricultural products.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Meeting Over Review and Elections

    [03] It Drives Itself

    23 Jan 2006 15:38:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    How many times have you wished for a car that looks like Kit, Michael Knight's car in the popular 80s TV series "Knight Rider"? Especially when you're tired or simply bored to drive, KIT would jump in and do the trick. Well, it seems your dreams are coming true, as a Japanese car company is ready to launch a new model that will practically drive itself! Honda Accord ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist System), as is the car's full name, automatically speeds up and slows down and even steers around bends. All the driver has to do is simply nudge the wheel every 10 seconds. According to Honda spokesman Graham Avent, "The Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) doesn't replace the driver. You can't climb into the back seat for a nap! But it keeps you in your lane and at a safe speed on motorways."

    Equipped With Radar and Camera

    As Mr Avent explained, this new model makes long journeys much less tiring and will prevent some accidents by reducing driver error. It's the biggest step forward in safety since the airbag.

    The car works based on two systems. The first is a radar sensor behind the Honda badge in the front of the car that scans ahead for other vehicles, allowing it to speed up or slow down accordingly. The other system is a camera next to the rear-view mirror, which watches the white lines and controls steering.

    And if you're excited by the news, we should tell you the car would cost some 38,000 euros and would be launched in the market early March!

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] "By the Citizens' Side"

    23 Jan 2006 15:48:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Today, PASOK President George Papandreou cut the vasilopita (New Year's Cake) at the party's headquarters on Charilaou Trikoupi street. PASOK's party sectors won the coin, while Mr Papandreou wished for a good and fruitful year. "We guarantee and commit that 2006 will be a year we will be by the citizens' side, pay attention to their problems and wont allow the Government to disorientate the public. We will give a new perspective. And this perspective can only lead to victory. First and foremost victory for Greece and then victory for PASOK," underlined Mr Papandreou.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Meeting Over Review and Elections

    23 Jan 2006 14:21:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET

    NDs Political Council, which convened today chaired by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, focused on the review of the Constitution and the upcoming municipal elections. As per the Prime Minister, the aim is to preserve the Governments contract with the citizens through the necessary reforms, stressing it will happen anyway. Mr Karamanlis stressed the review should take place amidst consensus, collaboration and dialogue with all political parties and bodies, adding it will be to the benefit of citizens. Following, he noted that municipal elections are very important and referring to the government plan on Local Self-Government, he stressed its main aim is to improve the citizens every day lives. Lastly, Mr Karamanlis informed the members of the Political Council on his recent trip to China, which bore fruit regarding bilateral relations on mercantile marine, tourism and agricultural products.

    Exiting the party headquarters on Rigillis street, the members of the Political Council refused to comment on any potential government reshuffling.

    In statements, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said the constitutional reform is "the flagship of government changes and reforms," stressing it happens for the citizens and social and economic prosperity.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] For Accessing Bourboulia's Bank Accounts Awaiting Evidence from Switzerland

    23 Jan 2006 19:37:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: T - T 105.8

    While awaiting the review of the Greek authorities petition to France for the extradition of Konstantina Bourboulia to Greece, scheduled for Wednesday, the interest of the extrajudicial clique case is now focusing on another matter, accessing the former Examiners bank accounts held in Swiss bank YBS. Today, top prosecutors appeared certain that the Swiss judicial authorities will soon submit the relevant details to the Athens Appellate Prosecutor. However, Bourboulia has already filed an appeal against the ruling of a Bern court, hoping that Lausannes Federal Court will reverse the decision. According to information, though, her appeal has been rejected as it was filed late.

    Change of Stance?

    The two bank accounts owned by Bourboulia in the Swiss bank YBS were opened a year ago, after the Examiner handled a case concerning the Stock Exchange.

    According to a complaint filed with Prosecutor Giorgos Koliokostas, who was conducting the investigation into the former Examiners actions regarding the Stock Exchange case, Bourboulia opened the accounts (nos 0206-795655.60 and 0206-795657.60) with the help of a Greek employee at YBS, Vassilis Simantarakis.

    The Prosecutor had also questioned lawyer Stavros Koumentakis - who is accused of bribing the former Examiner for the same case and who was in a relationship with her - over the case.

    The Swiss authorities are viewing the Greek petition favourably; however, the bank accounts may not be accesses just yet, if the owners file another appeal.

    Nevertheless, as confirmed by lawyer Ilias Bisias, who was appointed by the Greek state to handle the accessing of the accounts, no one else, apart from Bourboulia, has filed an appeal.

    However, he stressed that the appeal was filed late, so it is expected to be rejected by the court in Lausanne.

    On the other hand, Bourboulia might cite the fact that she was not briefed of the Greek petition to the bank, although a notice had been sent to the address she had declared in Paris.

    Furthermore, it looks like the former Examiner will also change her stance regarding her extradition to Greece.

    According to those close to her, her French lawyer will project impediments and will invoke that his client will not have a fair trial in Greece, due to the leaks to the Press over her criminal activities.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Before French Prosecutor on Wednesday

    [07] Cargo Ship Sent out SOS Greek Captain Missing

    23 Jan 2006 18:45:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Greek Mercantile Marine Ministry - ANA

    A cargo ship, under Honduras flag, sent out an SOS on Sunday night, when it was sailing off the port of Skikda, Algeria. The ship had tilted dangerously, as the cargo had shifted. Nearby boats located and rescued the seven crewmembers, all foreigners, but the Greek captain is still missing. The ship Kostas had sailed from Spain and was bound for Limassol, while it was carrying melamine. According to Algerias Search and Rescue Centre, two patrol boats and an Algerian plane are sweeping the area.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] At Least Eight Dead Building Collapsed in Kenya

    23 Jan 2006 15:38:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, Reuters

    Eight people lost their lives, some 70 got injured and dozens have been reported missing, when a building collapsed in Nairobi, Kenya. Rescue crews are trying their best to free people trapped under the ruins. The building probably collapsed because it could not stand the weight of the fifth floor, which was built later on, as its specifications were for four floors only. It is estimated that some 280 people were in the building during the collapse. According to the city's National Hospital spokesperson, dozens of injured have been brought in, 10 of which are in critical condition. Workers said that last week engineers had inspected the building and found it unsafe, thus order works to support the structure.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    CBS News: 8 Dead In Kenya Building Collapse

    Guardian: Building Collapses in Kenya, Killing Eight

    [09] 25,000 Jobs Will Be Slashed Job Cuts at Ford

    23 Jan 2006 20:29:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: T - ANA

    Yet another motor giant, Ford, is proceedings with mass job cuts to limit, as it claimed, its expenses and increase its profits. It is estimated that some 25,000 employees will lose their jobs, mainly in North American, and will be added to the 50,000 people that will be left unemployed up to 2008, due to the job cuts announced by other automakers, including Opel, Chrysler and General Motors.

    The second largest automaker in the US is proceeding with 25,000 job cuts, as part of the companys restructuring plan, aimed at boosting profits.

    According to the plan, 14 factories, mainly in North America, which are considered the least profitable, will close down.

    Despite the fact that the job cuts were attributed to the reduced revenues for 2005, the company announced that 20% more profits were recorded in the last quarter of the previous year compared to the same period in 2004.

    The restructuring measures, however, are expected to prompt fierce reactions from the labour unions.

    Last year, many automakers proceeded with mass dismissals of employees in an effort to deal with the international crisis in the industry.

    Furthermore, on a number of occasions, job cuts mean the transfer of factories to countries with cheaper labour.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] In Asian Markets Price of Oil Above $69

    23 Jan 2006 13:49:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ANA

    As economic analysts estimated, the fears over a possible stop of Iran and Nigerias exports resulted in the price of oil in Asian markets to exceed $69 per barrel. The price of oil for March delivery contracts has reached $69.18, recording an increase of 70 cents from the closing price of $68.48 in New York on Friday. In Nigeria, violent clashes breaking out in oil facilities have led to the decrease of oil exports, while, on its part, Iran is threatening of halting oil and gas exports if penalties, due to its nuclear programme, are imposed.

    Greece Taking Measures

    In the meantime, speaking on NET 105.8, General Secretary of Development Nikos Stefanou stated that profiteering cases in the fuel market have not been detected, underlining that the Ministry has been sufficiently prepared for facing situations created by the wave of bad weather. Moreover, he noted that during the weekend consecutive meetings were held in the Ministry of Development, presided by Dimitris Sioufas aimed at securing the smooth operation of the fuel market and directions were given to state refineries for the smooth distribution of the market, as well as the Public Power Company (PPC) for the sufficiency of power in the existing conditions. Moreover, Mr Stefanou stated that as per initial estimations, the price of fuel, which will be announced this afternoon, will range at the same levels as last week.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Child in Turkey to be Released No News from Bird Flu Front

    23 Jan 2006 11:37:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Turkish authorities are optimistic regarding bird flu, as they believe the spread of the disease, which has cost the lives of four people in the neighboring country and of at least 80 in the wider Asian area, has been limited, underlining no new case has been traced in the last few days. "We are relieved," said Turkish Agriculture Ministry spokesperson Faruk Demirel, adding that all suspicious cases tested negative. This means the disease is subsiding. At the same time, in Van, east Turkey, doctors at the hospital treating the 5-year-old boy infected with bird flu, are optimistic he will have recovered soon, but cannot say when he will be released.

    All Well in France

    Meanwhile, the news from France are good regarding the 32-year-old woman who had traveled to Turkey and was believed to have been infected with the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus. The French Health Ministry announced that the 32-year-old woman was submitted to double tests, which all turned out negative. A Ministry spokesperson said the woman had spent two weeks in Turkey, but did not visit any hazardous areas.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] Kidman to Wed Again

    23 Jan 2006 13:29:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Nicole Kidman is planning to march down the aisle again, this time by the side of singer Keith Urban. According to a British newspaper, the famous actress shared the good news with close friends, saying she is happy and thrilled! According to the same source, Urban proposed at Christmas and since both of them don't want a long engagement, they decided to have the wedding in March, most probably in Australia! And considering that's only a month away, they have already proceeded with the preparations. One thing is for sure though; the bride to be does not want a media circus at the wedding! She is only inviting a few close friends and family. Well, there's one thing left for us to say: May they live happily ever after!

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [13] His Health Improved-Investigations Continue Robber Escaped Danger

    23 Jan 2006 15:57:00 (Last updated: 23 Jan 2006 20:34:56)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET

    Law enforcement agencies continue investigations methodically to locate and arrest perpetrators Simeon Seisidis and the other three members of the "robbers in black," who robbed the National Bank branch on Solonos street last Monday. Meanwhile, the health of injured robber Giannis Dimitrakis is improving day by day and was taken last night from the ICU to the hospitals specially modified room for prisoners. The room, located in the Ophthalmologic Ward of the hospital, was used in the past for the treatment of 17N members Savvas Xiros and Dimitris Koufontinas. Bars have been placed on all the exits, while only doctors and nursing staff can access the area. Dimitrakis is expected to testify on Tuesday for two felonies and two misdemenaours.

    Investigations Continue

    In the meantime, it seems that the authorities have identified the third injured robber, who remains at large, from the tapes of the cameras located in Chatzichsrisou Arcade.

    At the same time, the investigations to locate another two safe deposit boxes in bank branches in the centre of Athens, where it is believed the robbers hid their loot and weapons, are continuing.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Ongoing Investigations

    [14] Minor Blasts in Attica

    23 Jan 2006 14:59:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET, NET Radio 105.8, ANA

    The Antikratiki Dikaiosini (anti-state justice) group claimed responsibility for the two attacks with homemade bombs that occurred overnight in Attica. The first blast was reported at 02:15 at NDs offices in Galatsi and the second at 02:45 at an ELTA (post office) branch in Neo Psychiko. Minor damages were caused by the blasts.

    Meanwhile, a blast was also reported in Thessaloniki. Unknown men placed a homemade incendiary device at the entrance of a National Bank branch on 60 Konstantinoupoleos street in Kyvelia, causing minor damages.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [15] Keranis Employees Protested

    23 Jan 2006 14:52:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: NET

    Employees at Keranis tobacco company held a protest this morning at the Economy Ministry, asking to receive the last 6 months' salaries and ensure the plant's viability. The protestors met with Economy Ministry Office Director Sotiris Nikolaropoulos, who pledged there would be contacts with the Ministries of Employment and Development in order to come up with the best possible solution.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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