Tag Archives: Greece

Evacuation as ferry with 400+ on board catches fire en route from Greece to Italy

466 passengers and crew are being evacuated from an Italian car ferry that caught fire near a Greek island on Sunday morning. The evacuation is being complicated by strong winds and lack of places in lifeboats, according to the media.

Fire broke out on an Italian Norman Atlantic car ferry traveling from western Greece to eastern Italy at around 6.00 am local time (0400 GMT), coast guard officials said on Sunday.

“The captain has requested the evacuation of the ship, according to initial information,” spokesman Nikos Lagkadianos said.

The international evacuation effort including Italian and Albanian forces is complicated by dangerous weather conditions with strong winds blowing in the area northwest of Corfu.

The ferry has 411 passengers and 55 crew on board, as well as 222 vehicles. An official told Reuters that within the framework of the rescue operation 130 people had already been transferred from a lifeboat to a container ship that had been sailing nearby.

A Greek TV station got comments of some passengers, who dramatically described the evacuation.

They tried to lower some boats, but not all of us could get in. There is no coordination,” one said, as cited by Reuters. “It’s dark, the bottom of the vessel is on fire. We are on the bridge, we can see a boat approaching… we opened some boxes and got some life vests, we are trying to save ourselves.

Several people reportedly jumped into the water, but it is unclear whether there are any casualties. However, cold winter temperatures will lessen their chances of survival if this is the case.

Rescue helicopters and a C-130 search-and-rescue support aircraft have been sent to the scene. Seven nearby ships havebeen instructed to take passengers and crew members from the ferry, said Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, according to AP


Car bomb explodes outside Bank of Greece in Athens

Forensic experts search for evidence on a street where a car bomb went off in Athens April 10, 2014.

A car explosive has detonated outside a Bank of Greece building in central Athens. The blast smashed windows in shops, but left no injuries.

The explosion came as the country prepares to enter the international bond market for the first time in four years, since the debt crisis in 2010, and a day before German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the Greek capital.

The warning about the car bomb came with an anonymous call 45 minutes before the blast. The caller said that the bomb contained 70kg of explosives, a police official told Reuters.

No one immediately claimed responsibility, but security forces believe it could be leftist or anarchist groups.

Makeshift bomb and arson attacks have hiked dramatically since Greece implemented unpopular austerity measures in exchange for multibillion euro bailouts by the EU and IMF four years ago.

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Navy destroyer USS Truxtun crosses Dardanelles en route to Black Sea

The nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser USS TRUXTUN

The US Navy destroyer USS Truxtun has reportedly crossed the Dardanelles on Friday, as it heads into the Black Sea. The US Navy earlier announced the guided missile destroyer’s “routine” deployment to conduct training with the Romanian and Bulgarian navy, saying it had been decided long before the crisis in Ukraine. The ship left Greece on Thursday and is expected to cross the Bosphorus later Friday.

US navy confirms missile destroyer USS Truxtun approaching the Black Sea — RT News.

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Shots fired at residence of German ambassador in Athens

the German ambassador to Athens, Wolfgang Dold

ATHENS (Reuters) – Gunshots were fired at the German ambassador’s residence in Athens early on Monday, but caused no injuries or damage, police said.

At least four shots hit the outside metal gate of the residence, which lies behind a security wall on a busy street in a northern suburb of the Greek capital, police said. Investigators have collected 15 spent bullet cases so far.

The police sources said two attackers on foot were involved in the attack, which occurred at about 3.40 a.m. (0140 GMT),

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras spoke to the German ambassador to Athens, Wolfgang Dold, after the incident, a police statement said.

Anti-German rhetoric has become common among Greek opposition politicians and anti-bailout groups since the country’s international financial bailout in 2010, due to the harsh austerity policies that accompanied it.

Germany is the biggest single contributing nation to 240-billion euro financial rescue and has been pushing Athens for painful budget cuts and reforms to fix its finances.

The residence was the target of an attack in 1999, when members of the now dismantled extremist group November 17 fired a rocket that hit its roof.