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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-31

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] On Alert
  • [02] "No Legal Effect"
  • [03] "I'm Not an Al Qaeda Member"
  • [04] Exodus at its Peak
  • [05] Grigoriadis Full Steam Ahead for Medal

  • [01] Houses Threatened On Alert

    31 Jul 2005 09:23:00 (Last updated: 31 Jul 2005 21:59:49)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Inhabitants of the villages Leontari and Katsiviri, at the 62nd km of the Athens-Corinth national highway, lived hours of panic as there was a fire outbreak this afternoon. According to the Fire Service, strong westerly winds blowing in the area increased the fire, which even reach house gates in Katsiviri, luckily without causing extensive damage. Strong forces from air and land put up a strong fight to put out the blazing nightmare. Circulation on the national highway flows normally and has only been interrupted on regional roads leading to the above-mentioned villages. The state mechanism remains in a state of alert because of possible new outbreaks.

    Next 24 Hours Dangerous

    The Civil Protection Authority has issued a warning for the next 24 hours, especially in Attica, Euboea, Corinthia, Boeotia, Cyclades, Chios, Samos and Lesvos. Citizens are urged to avoid burning leaves and branches in the open air, the use of machines that cause sparkles and throwing lit cigarettes.

    In the meantime, the 78 fires that broke out on Saturday have been put out, while the fires on Mt Skopos on Zakynthos, in Petrochori, Achaea, and in Ano Chrisovitsa, Agrinio, have been placed under control.

    According to a Fire Service announcement, 100 hectares of forest and 50 hectares of rural land have been burnt down in Petrochori, 20 hectares of forest in Ano Chrisovitsa and 58 hectares of forest and 15 hectares of crops on Zakynthos.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] "No Legal Effect"

    31 Jul 2005 15:14:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Tassos Papadopoulos stated today that Ankaras statement, which was added in the Customs Union Protocol and by which Turkey does not recognize the Cypriot Republic, has no legal effect. The President of the Republic of Cyprus also stressed he is not pleased with the British Presidencys answer and added that the final decision for the EUs stance regarding Turkey will be made during the Summit. On the other hand, Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet ali Talat supported that Ankara made it very clear that signing the Protocol does not mean recognition of the Greek-Cypriot administration, as he refers to the government of the Cypriot Republic. In fact, Talat stressed that the only way Turkey will recognize Cyprus is if a definite solution for the Cypriot issue is found. Speaking on NET radio 105.8, Cypriot Minister Giorgos Iakovou stressed his dissatisfaction over the UKs tolerant stance on the issue of not recognising Cyprus.

    "We Will Not Negotiate"

    As Mr Iakovou stressed, "as long as Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, we cannot accept any negotiation framework for its accession to the EU."

    The "sad," as he described it, "Turkish challenge," will be dealt with on August 26 by the EU's permanent representatives commission.

    "The British presidency," he concluded, "had the ability to face the challenge, but didn't use it."

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] His Extradition Under Study "I'm Not an Al Qaeda Member"

    31 Jul 2005 10:35:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    British authorities have focused their interrogation work on 12 suspects, who are in custody, regarding the failed bomb attempts in London. In Rome, authorities are looking into the possibility of extraditing Ethiopian-born British citizen Osman Hussain (also known as Hamdi Isaac), who was apprehended in the Italian capital for participation in the July 21 attempts. According to ANSA news agency, he denies any connection to Al Qaeda, stressing the July 21 attempts were a reaction to the arrests that followed the July 7 attacks and did not mean to harm anyone. In the meantime, Fati Isaac, brother of Hamdi Isaac, was also arrested in Rome after being suspected of hiding documents important for the public prosecutor. At the same time, Zambian security sources reported they are about to extradite to the UK a British Muslim, held in custody for participation in the July 7 attacks. What is more, the Italian Parliament adopted a new, stricter antiterrorist legislation, which provides among others for DNA tests, monitoring of telephone and Internet communications and deportation of foreigners with summary procedures. Shortly, Paris and London will sign an agreement for the "common defence" of their airspace, said French Defence Minister Michelle Alliot Marie on Saturday.

    "Act of Show-Off"

    "I was recruited at a gym in Notting Hill and they told it was imperative to act and take revenge for our people, who had been arrested and thrown to jail after the July 7 attacks," allegedly said Ethiopian-born Hussain.

    "He had to send out a message and we did, but I did not want to kill anybody. It was just an act of show-off," he continued.

    He also supported he had no relation to the Pakistani-born perpetrators of the July 7 attacks.

    The suspect described the homemade bomb that did not explode to Italian judges.

    "We used fertilizers, acid, but something went wrong and I was injured on the calf because the acid was spilled during the transportation," he explained showing judges his wound.

    Hussain told justices he wishes to remain in Italy and opposes his extradition to the United Kingdom. Italian Justice theoretically has 60 days at its disposal to reach a decision regarding the suspect's extradition.

    As per the Italian news agency, officials who are on the case do not think this man acted under the influence of a sacred religious rage, but is probably a copycat of the July 7 attacks.

    After the July 7 and 21 attacks in London, the British Police arrested a total of 28 people, 12 of which are still remanded in custody, as announced Scotland Yard.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Suspects Questioned

    [04] Passengers Tired Out Exodus at its Peak

    31 Jul 2005 09:44:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    August excursionists are leaving today for their summer holidays and passenger complement in ships, planes and trains reaches 100%. "Romilda" finally left the port of Piraeus this morning for Syros, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Small Cyclades and Amorgos. What is more, the "Aqua Jewel" remains docked at the port of Tinos, as it lost both of its anchors last night after slightly colliding with a cargo ship. Its passengers traveled to Mykonos with "Pinelopi A" and to Paros with "Sea Jet 2." Regarding the two national road networks, traffic flows without any particular problems. According to the traffic police, as of Friday morning until today, approximately 130,000 vehicles have passed from the Elefsina tollbooths, while 120,000 vehicles from the Afidnes tollbooths. During the same period, 161,000 have departed from the "El. Venizelos" airport, while the complement of passengers on trains reached 100%.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Grigoriadis Full Steam Ahead for Medal

    31 Jul 2005 17:45:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    He said it and he did it. Shortly after the preliminary round for the 50m backstroke, Arid Grigoriadis had promised to make an even better race in the semifinals and go to the final having done the best time. The young athlete from Thessaloniki kept his promise and made the best time of all eight swimmers that qualified to the final, covering the distance in 25.11. His time is very close to his 25.09 record, a time which also constitutes the best performance in the world this year. With his amazing performance, Grigoriadis left behind athletes like Aaron Peirsol (25.55), who ranked first in 100m and 200m backstroke with a world record, and Randall Bal, who came second in 100m backstroke. If all goes well, the Greek champion will be the first Greek swimming athlete to have ever won a medal in a world championship.

    Drimonakos in the Final

    Greek Giannis Drimonakis has booked a ticket for the 400m individual medley final. With a time of 4:16.84 he ranked fifth in the semifinals and is now hoping for a better performance in the final, which will be held early in the morning.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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