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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-02-27
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Chile: Devastating Tsunami Feared in the Quake's WakeSaturday, 27 February 2010 18:06
More than 85 people perished in a massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Chile in the early hours of Saturday, one of the worst quake hit in the history of the mankind. However, death toll is feared to rise. Several buildings have been flattened, while telecommunications, water supply and power have been cut in several regions.
The quake, which shook buildings as far away as Argentina, was centred 200 miles south-west of Santiago at a depth of 22 miles, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Several major cities, including the capital, have paralyzed, while Michelle Bachelet, the outgoing Chilean president, declared a "state of catastrophe" in central Chile and called for calmness.
In the meantime, nations across the Asian-Pacific region are bracing for tidal waves, after a tsunami alert was issued.
The centre warned that waves up to 4.8 metres high could hit the coasts of the Hawaiian islands, with the first reaching Hawaii at 9pm GMT. "Urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property," the centre said in a bulletin. "All shores are at risk no matter which direction they face."
The White House said it is closely monitoring the situation, stressing the USA is ready to offer a helpful hand to Chile. US officials in Hawaii said there are getting read to evacuate coastal areas.
The EU also underlined its willingness to assist quake-stricken Chile, while French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Spain's Premier José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero expressed their sorrow over the incidence and their solidarity. News item: 33839
 Devastating Quake Rocks ChileSaturday, 27 February 2010 10:40
More than 80 people perished in a massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Chile in the early hours of Saturday, while the death toll is feared to rise. Several buildings have been flattened, while telecommunications, water supply and power have been cut in several regions. Interior Minister Edmundo Perez Yoma called for calmness. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the 8.8-magnitude could cause extensive damage to the coast of Hawaii.
The first tsunami is estimated to hit Hawaii at 11:19 local time. Michelle Bachelet, the Chilean President, said an evacuation of coastal areas on Easter Island, the Chilean territory famous for its monumental statues, was underway as the tsunami was expected to make landfall there imminently.
The Chilean President also stressed that two ships, two helicopters and a plane were on their way to the island of Robinson Crusoe which was covered by a huge wave after the earthquake hit.
"Never in my life have I experienced something like that. It was as if it was the end of the world," a Temuco resident told a local station. The town suffered extensive damage while the hospital was evacuated.
In 1960, Chile was hit by the world's biggest earthquake since records dating back to 1900.
In that disaster, a 9.5 magnitude quake devastated the south-central city of Valdivia, killing 1,655 people and sending a tsunami which battered Easter Island and continued as far as Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines.
Source: ANA/MPA News item: 33830
 Greek PM: "Issue of War Compensations Still Open"Friday, 26 February 2010 14:28
The issue of German compensations has not yet closed, underlined Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Parliament. "Greece will not give up on its claims, however, we should not exploit this incidence," said Papandreou, further adding, "Our country's effort to stand on its feet is what comes first." LAOS head George Karatzaferis blasted Germany and urged the Prime Minister to send a demarche.
G. Karatzaferis: "Germany Owes Us"
"The Greek government has been blocking the war compensations since 1959. The last reference on the issue was made in May 1995 by late statesman Andreas Papandreou when he told our ambassador to Bonne to have the procedures started. Since then, no one has spoken of the matter," said LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) head Giorgos Karatzaferis.
"They [Germans] owe us because we gave them the Dockyards, OTE, the Athens International Airport. Their companies strip us off our money, because the cost of their products is very high. They owe us because, due to their loans, they forced us to purchase dysfunctioning submarines. An end must by put to this voracious monster," commented Karatzaferis.
George Papandreou said that the issue of German compensations is still open.
The Greek Prime Minister branded the Focus report as a provocation, arguing that Greece will not take the bait.
"Greece will not give up on its claims, however, we should not exploit this incidence," said Papandreou, further adding, "Our country's effort to stand on its feet is what comes first."
"I am glad, Mr Prime Minister, that the issue still remains open. I propose we file a demarche against the German government irrespective of when our country demands the war compensations," commented G. Karatzaferis.
"All Greeks demand at least a moral vindication for our people's contribution to freedom and democracy in Europe, with its herculean fight against Nazism and Fascism. When it comes to legal compensation, we take it for granted that the Greek government will make all necessary moves so that Greece gets its share," argued the ND spokesman.
Distinguished composer Mikis Theodorakis was asked to comment on the criticism Greece is currently coming in for. "The Germans are the last to speak, because their forefathers leveled a country for no reason at all, ruined its agriculture, stripped it of its archaeological treasures, leaving hundreds of thousands of dead people in their wake. While they gave compensations to many countries, they did not give a single mark to us." News item: 33808
 Obama Invites Greek PM to Visit WashingtonFriday, 26 February 2010 08:27
US President Barack Obama invited Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to visit Washington. The Greek government termed such a meeting really important, while political analysts in Washington interpreted Obama's move as an extension of helpful hand to Greece and George Papandreou amidst tough financial pressure against Greece.
"In the very difficult conjuncture that we are in, such an international contact is very important," commented government spokesman G. Petalotis, further stressing that the exact date of the meeting would be fixed through diplomatic channels.
"In the very difficult conjuncture that we are in, such an international contact is very important," G. Petalotis
NET correspondent to New York Dimitris Filios reported that the US President invited the Greek Prime Minister to visit the USA on 9 March when a special ceremony in honour of the Greek War of Independence takes place in the White House
The exact date will be probably set within Friday. In case, both sides cannot agree on a date, it will be fixed through diplomatic channels.
The Meeting's Agenda
The Greek-US ties, the tackling of the fiscal credit, the Greek-Turkish relations, energy affairs, the Cyprus row and the FYROM name dispute in connection with the developments in the Balkans will run high on the agenda of the two leaders.
Source: NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 33781