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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-24

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Dressed in White
  • [02] Cooperation in the Balkans
  • [03] Dozens Dead in Train Derailment
  • [04] Ship Adrift in Limnos

  • [01] Very Careful When Driving Dressed in White

    24 Jan 2006 07:48:00 (Last updated: 24 Jan 2006 13:39:40)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET, NET Radio 105.8

    Snowfall, biting cold and stormy gusts are the main features of the weather today, as the polar weather conditions that have been sweeping through eastern Europe finally hit Greece. Snow has covered the largest part of the country, while it is even snowing in Athens. Temperature in Nevrokopi dropped to 20 degrees Celsius, in Florina to 10, in Kozani to 8 and in Kastoria to 6 degrees Celsius. The state is on alert and drivers are called to be extremely cautious. There are serious traffic problems in Tembi, where only light vehicles with snow chains on are allowed to circulate, while the Corinth isthmus has closed down due to the heavy snowfall. In the meantime, ships remain docked in ports due to stormy gusts and flights are disrupted. A total of six flights have been cancelled from the El. Venizelos airport to Alexandroupoli, Aktio, Mykonos, Thessaloniki, Milos and Ioannina. Most schools in NE Attica, as well as in Northern and Central Macedonia will remain closed, while parents should contact schools to be further informed. The islands of Kefalonia and Ithaca, the village of Kalyvia in Attica, Lagonisi and Varnavas have no power supply, as well as three villages in Tembi. Meanwhile, no exams will take place today at universities in Athens, while exams will be held as per normal in Thessaloniki. However, those students who wont be able to get there will be able to take the tests at another time. What is more, the Prime Minister called an emergency meeting at Maximos Mansion at 13:30 to deal with the problems caused by the adverse weather conditions. The Ministers of State, the Interior, National Defence, Development, Environment, Health, Transport and Mercantile Marine will take part in the meeting. Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis is in Tembi.

    Traffic Problems

    In the morning, Public Order Minister Dimitris Voulgarakis visited Martino at the 118km on the Athens-Lamia national highway. "We are trying to keep the roads open. The weather conditions are extreme and extended. It is obvious that nothing will have changed until tomorrow. We are putting up a strong fight," noted Mr Voulgarakis, while being briefed. In fact, he drove his car to inspect all areas in Martino.

    Meanwhile, Attica has been dressed in white, while it is even snowing in Athens. In fact, circulation towards Lykavittos has been banned because of the snow. At least 30 snow-removal engines are out on the streets of Athens, while municipalities have been supplied with 450 tonnes of salts. The main problems are spotted north of Attica. Roads from Penteli to Agios Petros and Nea Marki, from Marathonos lake to Agios Stefanos and Nea Makri, from Dionysos to Penteli and all roads leading to Parnitha and Ymittos are blocked off either due to snow or frost.

    Snow chains are required from Varybobi to Agios Merkourios and on the Athens-Lamia national highway from the Kaliftakis bridge onwards, from Fylis Avenue to the Kleiston monastery, as well as on Kifissias avenue from the Ygeia hospital (Maroussi) onwards.

    Traffic is smooth on Attiki Odos, but drivers are called to be very careful when driving.

    Drivers traveling to and from Tembi need to install snow chains, while all heavy vehicles are banned from circulating.

    Cold and Snow all Over the Country

    Hundreds of mountainous villages remain snowbound and heavy snow is falling around the country, from Macedonia to Karditsa and Arkadia.

    Major problems are reported on the islands of Kefalonia and Ithaca, where inhabitants are without power supply since last night, while there are also serious water supply problems, as pumps don't work. A PPC (Public Power Corporation) crew has been scheduled to travel to Kefalonia in order to fix the problem.

    Thessaloniki is experiencing chilly cold and heavy snowfall. Roads are still open downtown, but vehicles travel at very low speed. Bus routes are held as per normal, however snow chains are necessary at the largest part of the national and regional road network in Central and Western Macedonia. The old Kozani-Veroia national highway remains closed, while trucks have been banned from circulating on the Grevena-Ioannina and Kozani-Ioannina national highways. Flights from the Macedonia airports are held as per normal.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Freezing Cold

    [02] Kosovo at Focus Cooperation in the Balkans

    24 Jan 2006 11:59:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    The proceedings of the Balkan Summit in Athens opened this morning at the Zappeion with the Prime Minister's speech. "We have the will for dialogue and cooperation in the Balkans, history has confirmed so," stressed Kostas Karamanlis, adding, " Euroatlantic orientation is what links the Balkan countries to one another." Southeastern Europe has to stop being an area of misunderstandings, violence and wars, he underlined, noting the European Union and other significant factors monitor negotiations, in order to define a proper policy regarding regional matters. It is noted that Greece holds the presidency of the Summit and the agenda would focus on promoting regional cooperation and developments in Kosovo. The Foreign Ministers of Albania, Croatia, Bosnia, Bulgaria and FYROM, as well as the Turkish State Minister are taking part in the Summit.

    Expansion of Horizons

    Kostas Karamanlis said the euroatlantic orientation of SE European countries constitute a link and motive, which promotes democratic and social development and financial progress.

    The Prime Minister underlined, "common will is to liberate our societies from the burdens of the past and expand their horizons." He further added, "terror and extremities, corruption and organized crime do not belong in these societies."

    Referring to the prospects of the wider area, he said the Balkans were always a territory of misunderstandings, violence and war.

    "The Balkans deserve to become an area of cooperation and dialogue, creatively integrated in larger international institutions, as part of Europe, where it belongs," noted Mr Karamanlis, mainly focusing on financial cooperation and development of infrastructure, especially in the departments of energy and transports, which he described vital, if SE Europe wishes to be integrated in the European Union.

    Cooperation and European Prospect

    Among others, the agenda includes issues concerning the reinforcement of political dialogue between SE European countries and the promotion of regional cooperation, development of regional infrastructure, future readjustment of the Stability Pact activities and the European prospect of Balkan countries.

    The Foreign Ministers taking part in the Summit will also discuss the developments of current affairs in the Balkans, mainly focusing on Kosovo.

    Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYROM, Greece and Serbia-Montenegro are represented by their Foreign Ministers, apart from Turkey, Romania and Albania, which are represented by other government officials.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Dozens Dead in Train Derailment

    24 Jan 2006 09:00:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The death toll of a train derailment in Montenegro is tragic. The dead are 41, among whom five children, while the injured hospitalised in the capitals hospitals are 184, among whom 75 are children under 16 years of age. However, as per the director of Podgorica Hospital Centre Miodrag Djurovic, 14 persons are in the ICU and their condition is critical. The train, en route from Bijelo Polje to the port of Bar, derailed yesterday evening in the mountainous region of Bioce, 10km north of Podgorica due to a fault in the braking system. Four out of the five carriages of the train plunged into a 50m ravine, a fact that obstructed the rescue crews work. The searches of the crews stopped last night, after making sure there were no survivors. However, the search will continue today, since the exact number of passengers is unknown as the train stopped in every village. The one thing that is certain is that many of the passengers were children returning from their winter vacation from an areas ski resort.

    An emergency meeting held by the Montenegro Government last night decided on a three-day mourning period and the funerals of the victims will be paid by the State.

    Minister of Transport Adrija Lompar, as well as the General Manager of the Railway Association submitted their resignation.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Train Derails in Montenegro

    [04] 11 Beaufort Winds Blowing in the Area Ship Adrift in Limnos

    24 Jan 2006 08:06:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    As of Tuesday dawn, Cambodian cargo ship A.AKIF is adrift, due to an engineering fault. A 16-member crew, among whom the captain, two Romanians and three Azerbaijani sailors, is aboard the ship, which is located 23 nautical miles southwest of Limnos. A Super Puma helicopter of the Coast Guard attempted to approach the ship, but could not rescue the crew due to the dismal weather conditions, since 11 Beaufort winds are blowing in the area, while visibility is low due to the snowfall. Three Greek ships are sailing near the A.AKIF, while the crew is safe from harm.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Dressed in White


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