|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-10-02
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA 5 THE VOICE OF GREECE
2/10/2000 11:48:01 ðì
 The 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney concluded yesterdayThe 27th Olympic Games concluded in Sydney yesterday, with a spectacular closing ceremony and the handing over of the Olympic flag to Greece. Gold medallist Kostas Kenderis was selected to hold the Greek flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, while Athens was officially pronounced the host of the 2004 Olympic Games.
The president of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samarank handed over the Olympic flag to the major of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos and the president of the Athens 2004 organising committee, Yanna Angelopoulou Daskalaki. Music composed by Vagelis Papathanasiou was heard during the handing of the Olympic flag ceremony.
In Sydney, the Greek team made its best appearance, at the modern Olympic Games, with the exception of the first event held in Athens in 1896. It took the 17th place, with a total of 13 medals, 4 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze.
The President of the Republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos extended his warm congratulations to the Greek athletes. Prime-minister Kostas Simitis will receive the Olympic Games winners at the airport in a plain ceremony due to the Samina Express sea tragedy.
 Maritime accidentsWith public opinion still in a state of shock following last Tuesday's sinking of the Express Samina, another passenger vessel, Zeus 3, with 31 passengers and a 7 member crew, ran aground off the port of Naxos shortly after midnight on Saturday night and sank.
The Merchant Marine Ministry made all necessary moves and the 31 passengers and 7 members of the crew on board the ship were rescued. However, 82 year-old American tourist Aid Raiheart, died of a heart attack while being transferred to the Naxos Medical Centre. Fishing boats from the islands of Naxos and Paros as well as warships, participating in the military exercise "Parmenion" took part in the rescue operation.
The port authorities of Naxos are looking into the causes of the sea accident, while the captain and the 3 officers of the "Express Samina " continue with their defense statements at the court of Syros, as they are facing criminal charges.
Furthermore, the prosecutor of Syros has filed a suit against the ship-owning company Minoan Flying Dolphins, on charges of having exposed passengers to danger.
Meanwhile, the American ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns thanked the authorities and the people who assisted in the rescue operations.
In the meantime cargo-ship "Captain Spyros", ran aground in the open sea off the islet Psara.
However, the lives of the the crew-members, who were all Ukranians , were not endangered. There are no reports on the causes of the accident.
Following the recovery of three more bodies yest from the Express Samina ferryboat, the number of victims has risen to 79, while 2 more passengers are believed missing. Coast guard divers will continue the search in the garage and cabins of the ship.
On Saturday evening, the Merchant Marine Ministry announced a ban on the sailing of 64 passenger vessels on domestic routes, not fulfilling European Union safety regulations. The shipowning companies have 20 days in which to make the vessels seaworthy, otherwise the ships' operating permits will be cancelled.
The Merchant Marine Ministry announced 20 temporary sailing schedules from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina for ships fulfilling all international standards.
Meanwhile, the European Union Transport and Merchant Marine Ministers Council will meet in Luxembourg on Monday, with the participation of Greek Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis, to discuss safety in shipping and protection of the marine environment.
On the island of Paros a memorial service was officiated yesterday in the church of Panagia Ekatontapyliani for the victims of the Express Samina.
 Cyprus: 40th anniversary since the declaration of its indepedenceWith the annual military parade in Larnaka, Cyprus celebrated the 40th anniversary of its declaration of independence on Sunday. The Greek govermentt was represented by Defence undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis, and the opposition by ND party leader Kostas Karamanlis.
In statements made to the press, Mr Apostolakis stressed that the Cypriot struggle would continue for as long as part of the country remained occupied by the Turks.
In Nicosia, the Cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis received Mr. Karamanlis who made statemetns stressing that the front of Hellenism is united and firm. Mr Karamanlis added that Cypriot Hellenism could not be falling victims of the the Greek-Turkish friendship, whith the self-evident prerequisite of a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on the UN resolutions.
On the occasion of Cyprus independence day, the Greek Foreign Minister Yiorgos Papandreou issued a message stressing that Greece's assistance to the Cypriot Hellenism is given, also pointing out that Greeks have the power to oppose to the rational of discounts and slidding - as he put it.
The Cypriot govt spokesman Michalis Papapetrou stated that the claims about slidding to confederation positions at the recent 4th round of proximity talks in New York, clash with reality and undermine the efforts for a Cyprus settlement in the framework of a federation.
In addition, Mr. Papapetrou criticized those who launch accusations against the Greek govt, saying that they are merely trying to make up a problem from nothing in Greek-Cypriot relations.
Meanwhile, the European Union official in charge of negotiations with Cyprus, Leopolde Mauer, has not ruled out the possibility of new negotiations taking place if the Turkish Cypriots respond at the last minute to Cypriot President, Glafkos Kliridis' invitation to participate in the procedures.
 Fuel tanker-truck owners strike continueAs fuel tanker-truck owners and drivers continue into the 9th day of their strike, gasoline and food shortages are already evident in some regions of Greece-particularly in the provinces and on the islands. According to gas station owners, about 50% of their outlets have run dry.
On Sunday, truckers voted to continue their strike indefinitely, rejecting 4 proposals made by the govt. They demand that the govt reduce the special consumer tax on fuel and recall its decision to deregulate the industry.
National Economy Minister Yannos Papantoniou has asked the truckers to be patient, since it is believed that oil prices will drop internationally this coming week.
 Weather forecastIt will be cloudy in the western, central and northern parts of the country and locally rainny in the west with possible thunderstorms in the north-western parts. Fine weather in the rest of the country.
In Attica, temperatures will range between 16 and 30 degrees centigrade, in the Aegean islands between 17 and 28 and in the rest of Greece between 12 and 32.