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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] Measures for Cold Weather
  • [02] Bad Weather in Regional Greece
  • [03] Snow and Problems in Attica
  • [04] Papandreou's Criticism for the Weather
  • [05] ND-PASOK Difference at 1.9%
  • [06] Issue with Cyprus at the Focus
  • [07] Deadly Wave of Bad Weather
  • [08] Fruitless Three-Day Meeting
  • [09] Postponement of ERT's Concert

  • [01] Emergency Meeting at Maximos Mansion Measures for Cold Weather

    24 Jan 2006 16:30:00 (Last updated: 24 Jan 2006 21:36:28)

    All trucks are banned from travelling on the Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki-Evzonoi (PATHE) and Kalamata-Tripoli-Athens National Roads from 6pm to 6am, in order to avoid road accidents due to the frost. This decision was made at noon, in an emergency meeting, presided by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, which reviewed the situation throughout the country. As Government spokesperson Theodoros Roussopoulos announced, there was good coordination and the State is on standby, while all the measures to control the results of the bad weather affecting the country are being implemented. On his part, General Secretary of Civil Protection Panagiotis Fourlas noted that low temperatures, snowfall and strong gales will continue until tomorrow. "We are on full alert and the distribution and stationing of emergency forces was effective," he added. In a Press conference at the Thessaloniki Police Headquarters, Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis stressed, "The State responded immediately," while he announced that fines will be imposed on drivers who did not follow the directions for snow chains. In addition, he explained the reasons for the problems in Tempi.

    The Problems

    As per the briefing by Mr Roussopoulos after the end of the meeting, the wave of bad weather affecting the country was countered effectively . The only exception was Tempi, as a car pile-up resulted in the national road network closing down for several hours. Regardless of the above, there was coordination, while military vehicles and buses transported the people to nearby hotels. The second big problem was created with the power network in Cephallonia, where the 2 metres of snow and its immense weight damaged to 7 PPC pylons. An Army aircraft could not approach the island, thus, a vehicle carrier ferry departed for the island from Patras, transporting a special PPC crew and its equipment, so that the damage can be repaired.

    The bad weather is expected to continue, thus trucks are banned on the Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki-Evzonoi (PATHE) and Kalamata-Tripoli-Athens National Roads. Only 100 fuel trucks, over 26 tonnes, accompanied by Traffic Police cars, will be able to travel, in order to refuel the stations.

    The Suburban Railway, the metro and the Athens-Piraeus electric railway will operate throughout the night, while all airports remained open, apart from Ioannina.

    On the other hand, the Acropolis was closed for sightseers, as were hundreds of schools in Attica and the rest of the country. Courts and judicial services throughout the country will be closed tomorrow, apart for the One-Member and Three-Member Courts.

    Power cuts, because of the wind and damage by branches, were frequent in many parts of the network. The greater problem was encountered in Varnavas, Attica.It should be noted that the power consumption at noon reached record levels, due to the extensive use of heaters.

    In addition, at about the time that Tempi was opening, the Athens-Thessaloniki train route stopped, as an OSE snow plough derailed near Lamia, causing delays in the train schedule. Fortunately, the problem was reinstated within three hours and all train routes are operating as normal, apart from the Kalavryta cogwheel railway.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Bad Weather in Regional Greece

    Snow and Problems in Attica

    Dressed in White

    [02] Hundreds of Villages Snowbound Bad Weather in Regional Greece

    24 Jan 2006 14:42:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Gusty northern winds, blizzards and polar temperatures are hindering the lives of the citizens throughout Greece, while 438 villages remain snowbound all over the country. The most serious problems are faced by the residents of Kefalonia, Lefkada and Ithaca, since the islands were left without power throughout the night, as five pylons collapsed causing a massive power cut. A PPC (Greek Public Power Coproration) crew left at 2:30pm from Patras to Sami, Kefalonia, on a vehicle carrier ship, without any other passengers aboard; however, the problem is huge and it will take some time before the damage is fixed. Traffic in Tempi, where hundreds of drivers were left stranded last night, has been reinstated, with all lanes moving steadily, but snow chains are needed. Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis arrive on site earlier and stressed that responsibilities will be attributed for the blockage throughout the night. The problem in Tempi was caused by a pile-up involving 4 cars and two trucks, one of which tipped over even though it had snow chains; the second one broke down due to mechanical failure. Army units assisted the people that were left stranded in Tempi and distributed blankets and food, while another 42 officers, two doctors, a medical unit and a number of vehicles were also available. According to State Minister Thodoris Roussopoulos, no trucks, cars and fuel trucks are allowed to travel on the Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki-Evzonoi national road from 6pm to 6am, with the exception of 100 fuel trucks. Those will be accompanied by patrol cars, so as to refuel the stations.

    In addition, the Army has sent one leveller to Leprokarya and two to Diakofto, while 100 beds were sent to the Prefecture of Thessaly, at its request. The weather conditions also created problems with the flight schedules, but they were not major, while the railroad network was unaffected, apart from a couple of exceptions. The Olympic Airways flights from Athens to Alexandroupoli, Preveza, Ioannina, Milos Belgrade, Samos, Astypalaia-Leros-Kos and Ikaria, and from Thessaloniki to Alexandroupoli and Siteia were cancelled. In addition, one Aegean Airlines flight from Thessaloniki to Athens was also cancelled and the passengers departed with the next available flight. Aegean also cancelled a flight to Ioannina due to the gusty winds in the area. Accordion to the government spokesperson, all trucks over 3.5 tonnes are banned from travelling on the national highways, while, in view of the extreme weather conditions continuing for the next 24 hours, he urged everyone to "pay attention to the announcements made by the authorities."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Measures for Cold Weather

    Snow and Problems in Attica

    Dressed in White

    [03] Athens Surrounded by Snow Snow and Problems in Attica

    24 Jan 2006 14:12:00 (Last updated: 24 Jan 2006 19:44:32)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ANA

    Attica has been surrounded by snow, even in the centre of Athens, resulting in the road to Lycabettus Theatre, from Sarandapichos Street, to be closed. The regional road from Galatsi to Attikon Park remained closed for several hours as well. Traffic on Attiki Odos, Ymittos-Papagou ring road, and Kifisias and Pentelis Avenues is moving without any problems, however, drivers should be extremely careful. Bus routes of the Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) are taking place as normal, apart from local networks, mainly in northeastern Attica (in particular Kifisia and upward), which are not running. As announced by the Ministry of Transport, the metro and the Athens-Piraeus electric railway will operate all through the next 24 hours. By decision of Athens Prefect Giannis Sgouros, after an agreement with the General Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr Karamanos, all schools in Attica closed from 12:00 onwards, while they will remain closed on Wednesday as well. Furtermore, by decision of the Universities Administration, the exams of students, scheduled for today and tomorrow, were postponed. Exams took place at the Architecture School of the Athens Polytechnic, but as the Deanship announced the students who did not sit the exams will do so on another day. In addition, the archaeological site of Acropolis will remain closed. Finally, Piraeus Prefect Giannis Michas announced that all the Prefectures schools, the university and the Technological Institutes will reamin closed on Wednesday for precautionary reasons.

    Closed Roads

    However, the greatest problems are encountered mainly in northern and eastern Attica.

    As it was made known by the Traffic Police, traffic has been stopped from Penteli to Nea Makri, as well as on Parnitha Avenue, from the 19th km, and on Ymittos, mainly on the road leading to the television transmitters.

    Moreover, traffic at Titan Avenue from Elefsina to Dervenochoria, from the Titan factory upward, has been stopped.

    Snow chains are necessary on the Athens Thiva old National Road, in Marathonas Lake, from Agios Stefanos onwards, as well as the areas of Varipompi, Agios Merkourios, Agia Triada, Ippokrateios Politia, from the 2nd km to Malakasa, and the provincial road Filis Dervenochoria.

    Problems were created in the power network at Varnavas and Koropi, which remained in the dark on Monday night. The damage started being repaired in the early morning hours.

    However, the Executive Adviser of the Public Power Company (PPC), Dimitris Maniatakis, called for a written explanation by Attica Regional Director Spyros Savvidis, after complaints made by Athens Prefect Leonidas Kouris, as well as the Mayor of Varnavas, over the delay of PPC crews.

    As they stated, regardless that the streets were open, PPC crews did not immediately arrive in the area.

    In the meantime, Minister of Public Order Giorgos Voulgarakis, in his private vehicle and accompanied by General Secretary of Civil Protection Panagiotis Fourlas, visited all base stations of the Fire Service in the Athens Lamia National Road in order to personally inspect measures implemented along the national road network.

    In statements made from Tembi, he apologised to passengers over yesterdays problems in the area.

    Public Transport and Airports

    Bus routes of the Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) are operating as normal, apart from local networks of northeastern Attica, which have stopped.

    In particular, local routes in Maroussi, Kifissia, Vrilissia, Melissia, Menidi, Kifissia-Erythrea, X40 for the Olympic Village, and routes 727, 721 and 724 to Thrakomakedones have stopped, while X92 from Kifissia to Athens Airport operates from the bus station of OTE on Kifissias.

    For more information passengers can call OASAs call centre, 185, which will operate on a 24-hour basis today and tomorrow.

    For further information passengers can also contact +30 210-8200887.

    As the Ministry of Transport announced, routes of the metro and electric railway will be performed all the day for the convenience of passengers.

    Flights at the Athens Airport are performed as scheduled, while 5 flights of Olympic Airways to Alexandroupolis, Preveza, Mykonos, Milos and Ioannina and two Aegean for Thessaloniki and Ioannina have been cancelled.

    Caring for the Homeless

    In an announcement, the Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP) advised the residents of Attica to take the necessary measures for the protection of water pipelines from breakages and leaks, and avoid unnecessary usage of water.

    Moreover, the City of Athens advised residents to not dispose garbage in the next 48 hours, since the refuse dump in Nea Liosia will remain closed due to the extreme weather conditions.

    Crews of the City have been distributing blankets and sleeping bags and setting up tents wherever homeless might be located.

    Already, 14 homeless persons have been located at Klafthmonos Square and 7 in Kypseli. The municipality has rented 30 rooms in central hotels in order to host the homeless.

    Last night 150 portions of food were distributed and another 500 will be given out in the centre and the citys neighborhoods.

    Clothes are being distributed to the refugees by the Greek Council.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Measures for Cold Weather

    Bad Weather in Regional Greece

    Dressed in White

    [04] During PASOK's Steering Committee Meeting Papandreou's Criticism for the Weather

    24 Jan 2006 15:30:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET

    On Tuesday, PASOK President George Papandreou harshly criticised the Government, on the occasion of the extreme weather conditions that have been affecting the country since Monday night, creating major problems. During the partys Steering Committee meeting, Mr Papandreou accused the Government of spreading panic and boosting profiteering, while it was not able to deal with the problems caused by the bad weather effectively, despite the "fancy words". At the same time, PASOKs leader asked the top party officials and the party MPs to be on alert and in close contact with regional Greece. He also added that PASOK sent two panels to the Civil Protection General Secretariat and the PPC (Power Corp), so that it can be briefed on the situation. He also reminded that PASOK had submitted a bill proposal for the heating oil benefit, describing the move as a "popular demand", to which the Government ought to respond.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Measures for Cold Weather

    Bad Weather in Regional Greece

    Snow and Problems in Attica

    Dressed in White

    [05] According to a New Opinion Poll ND-PASOK Difference at 1.9%

    24 Jan 2006 15:19:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET

    As per the latest opinion poll, conducted by GPO and presented by TV station MEGA, the difference in voter intention between New Democracy and PASOK increased by 0.6%. Kostas Karamanlis continues to be considered more appropriate for the position of Prime Minister with 47.3%, as opposed to 31.8 for PASOK President George Papandreou. In the previous poll conducted by the same company in December, the difference between the two major parties was at 1.3% and between the two leaders at 12.6%. At the same time, the establishment of private universities, the lifting of permanent status for newly-hired public sector personnel and the separation of Church and State also gathered a majority. In the meantime, in an opinion poll by MRB, presented by TV station NET and the show "Proskinio" (Forefront), 39.8% of those asked are in favour of reforms to improve the situation with the Economy, 16.6% are in favour of mild adjustment, 15.8% are in favour of elections and 12.8% are in favour of disagreements.

    According to GPO, voter intention is as follows:

    New Democracy: 32.5% PASOK: 30.6% KKE: 7% Synaspismos: 3.5% LAOS: 5.1%

    On the question regarding who is more appropriate for the position of Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis is ahead of George Papandreou with a difference of 15.5%, as opposed to 12.6% in December, and gathered 47.3%, compared to 45.8% in the previous poll. PASOKs President is considered more appropriate as PM by 31.8% of those asked, as opposed to 33.2% in December.

    In the question concerning how Kostas Karamanlis is viewed, 57.6% answered positively and 42% negatively.

    As for the governments work as a whole, 39.1% view it positively or somewhat positively, compared to 60.9% who view it negatively or somewhat negatively.

    On the other hand, 44.5% of those asked view George Papandreou as leader of the Main Opposition positively, as opposed to 54.4% who view him negatively.

    With regard to the Oppositions work as a whole, 31.6% view it positively or somewhat positively, compared to 67.8% who view it negatively or somewhat negatively.

    The opinion poll was conducted over the phone on a sample of 1,000 people, from 18 to 20 January.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Issue with Cyprus at the Focus

    24 Jan 2006 18:07:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8 - ANA

    Turkeys efforts to present proposals for recommencing talks on the issue with Cyprus have prompted reactions in Athens and Nicosia. Today, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul submitted a 10-point proposal, which provides for a meeting between Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Britain, and suggests the mutual lifting of restrictions on Cyprus and the commencement of the negotiations process. Athens described the relevant move as unilateral, while Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis declared the proposal would be reviewed, however, it does not seem to differ from previous Turkish proposals. "The importance lies in finding a solution for the issue with Cyprus and any moves should be substantial," commented government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos. Cypriot Foreign Minister Giorgos Iakovou described it as "reheated food". Finally, British Foreign Minister Jack Straw is arriving in Cyprus tonight, in the context of his official visit to Nicosia, Ankara and Athens.

    Turkey will continue to take initiatives on the Cyprus issue and aim at a "complete, peaceful, permanent and fear solution in Cyprus," but it will not make any more concessions, before the EU fulfils the promises it has made, stressed Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan while speaking to his partys parliamentary group just before the presentation of Abdullah Guls proposal.

    Mr Erdogan also referred to his telephone conversation with Russia President Vladimir Putin the previous night, during which the Turkish PM asked for the lifting of the isolation imposed on Turkish-Cypriots.

    Cypriot Foreign Minister Giorgos Iakovou described the proposal as "reheated food," claiming that the same proposal had been submitted by the Turkish Foreign Minister months ago and it fell through.

    "The importance lies in finding a solution for the issue with Cyprus, as described by the PM and the Cypriot President, and any moves should be substantial," noted government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos, commenting on Turkeys move to submit a relevant proposal to the UN.

    With regard to Turkeys motives for submitting such a proposal, the government spokesperson underlined, "Turkey possibly has every reason to get out of the spot it is in, after the EUs decisions, to which our country contributed greatly."

    "If, however, it is looking for ways not to respond to those obligations, then we are talking about creating impressions, since essentially Turkey is obligated to fulfil the pledges it has made to the EU," he added.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Deadly Wave of Bad Weather

    24 Jan 2006 10:49:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Europe is breaking a record of arctic temperatures. Hundreds of persons, mainly homeless and elderly, have lost their lives in the previous 24 hours due to extreme bad weather in Russia, the Ukraine, Romania, Germany, Poland and Turkey, while meteorologists forecast that that the weather will continue until Thursday. It is descriptive that in Poland the arctic cold dropped to -32 degrees Celsius, while in Turkey the temperature reached -30 degrees.

    Arctic Temperatures

    In Germany, a 63-year-old man died by the cold in his house in Brandenburg. In total, five persons have lost their lives, as temperatures are ranging from -36 to -6 degrees Celsius.

    As Anatolia news agency broadcast, in Istanbul and Ankara, three persons died and around 50 injured in road accidents caused by the frost.

    As per the news agency, four people were killed and 33 injured only in Istanbul, where an emergency state was declared on Sunday night due to the dense snowfall.

    In Ankara, a bus overturned due to the frost in the centre of the city, resulting in two passengers to lose their lives and 15 to be injured.

    On Monday, nine persons employed at the Ministry for the Interior, were killed in a similar accident in the Turkish capital.

    Schools in 18 out of 20 regions in Bulgaria will not operate due to the worsening of the weather conditions, the great mass of snow and the sudden decrease of temperature.

    The temperature throughout the country is below -10 degrees Celsius.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Southeast European Times: Deadly cold spell descends on Balkans

    Reuters: Bitter cold hits Eastern Europe and Turkey

    Related News:

    Extreme Cold and Heatwaves

    [08] On the Issue with Coca-Cola Fruitless Three-Day Meeting

    24 Jan 2006 17:47:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ΑNA - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The three-day negotiations at the Greek Development Ministry for the issue created with company Coca-Cola 3E, which decided to close the factory in Athens, reached a dead-end. Deputy Development Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos, who chaired the meeting, asked that no redundancies be made. However, the employers, who were represented by Mr Giannelos, declared they committed to a moratorium of redundancies only during the negotiations, while he asked that the companys restructuring plan be discussed. Upon departing, the employees declared that they will continue their collective actions until the company withdraws its plans for job cuts, while they added they would not proceed with further negotiations, unless their labour rights are secured. Others who attended the meeting included GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) President Christos Polyzogopoulos, Athens Labour Centre President Grigoris Felonis and MPs Christos Protopappas (PASOK), Alekos Pantelakis (KKE) and Dimitris Stratoulis (SYN).

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Postponement of ERT's Concert

    24 Jan 2006 13:21:00 (Last updated: 24 Jan 2006 15:17:54)

    The concert of ERTs Musical Ensembles scheduled for today, in the Friends of Music Society Hall, at the Athens Concert Hall, has been postponed for February 4. The concert was to take place in the context of events dedicated to the "Year of Mozart." In first part of the concert, ERTs National Symphonic Orchestra will perform Serenade Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (K. 525), one of Mozarts most popular works. Following, it will perform Vesper K339 for a chorus, soloist and orchestra, for the first time in Athens. In the second part of the concert the intro of Don Giovanni and Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter), the last symphony of Mozart and one of the greatest moments in classic music history, will also be performed. The concert will take place at 20:30 on February 4.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou


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