|Thursday, 22 February 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-08-04
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 4 August 2008 Issue No: 2961
 Culture Minister Liapis inaugurates International Olympic Truce exhibitionGreek Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis on Sunday inaugurated the International Olympic Truce exhibition at Beijing's Greek Home in the presence of former International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch and IOC members.
In his address, Liapis said "the Olympic Truce is at the nucleus of the Olympic Ideal which wants people, even the greatest enemies, for at least 16 days every four years, to put aside their differences so as to serve fair play."
He noted that "for this reason I view as important the exhibition we are inaugurating today within the framework of the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Beijing and of the Cultural Year of Greece in China."
The exhibition includes works by Greek and Chinese artists whose inspiration comes from peace, truce and sport. The purpose is to show the course followed from Greece, which gave birth to the Olympic Games and hosted the 2004 Games in Athens, to China, of the 2008 Olympic Games.
"Two ancient and great civilizations speak together about sport, truce and peace through the works of modern painters who make aware some human values," Liapis said.
 Spiliotopoulos on electoral cooperationsTourism development minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said that the ruling New Democracy (ND), as a "party of responsibility", will exhaust every possibility, as the top party, to form a government on its own, stressing that this would be done "through procedures that respect ourselves, first of all".
In an interview with the Sunday edition of Eleftherotypia newspaper, to a question on the eventuality that a self-sufficient majority government does not emerge from the next general elections, Spiliotopoulos said: "The goal is self-sufficiency. From there on, it is not of importance whether the solution is called PASOK, LAOS, or SYRIZA or something else. It is not a matter of personal preference. It is a matter of which political power will come closer to the positions, the targets, the program of ND".
"What is of importance is that we handle the issue with responsibility and maturity, without being lead astray by the prospective pressure of the moment and without resorting to compromises that will stigmatize our intentions," Spiliotopoulos explained.
He opined that the political dividing line in Greece today is not between Right and Left, but between populism and development, adding that this dividing line was horizontal, in all sectors across the board.
Spiliotopoulos said he considered as the country's biggest problem today the delays that were caused to the executiion of projects due to recourses against the projects submitted to the Council of State, and called on the political forces to reach understanding among themselves so as to put a deadline on recourse against whatever projects decided by the state or the local communities.
Regarding the Siemens slush funds, Spiliotopulos was adamant that, while he himself was the ND party's representative, not money from the company had entered the ND coffers, "not because I was there, but because (prime minister and ND leader) Costas Karamanlis would never have accepted it".
Asked whether Karamanlis should step down from the party leadership in the event that it did not win the next general elections with a self-sufficient parliamentary majority, Spiliotopoulos noted that "no one can dispute the fact that, with his presence (at the party's helm), it is ND that has the lead over the other political forces".
"Consequently, why should he step down? He has more battles to win," the minister concluded.
 Loverdos on prospect of PASOK-SYN electoral cooperationThe issue of who would head a prospective electoral coope-ration between main opposition PASOK and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance was put forward by PASOK officer for external affairs Andreas Loverdos, in an interview with the Sunday edition of Eleftherotypia newspaper, in which he reiterated his opposition to a PASOK collaboration with the ruling New Democracy (ND) party.
"I know that the prospect of a PASOK-SYRIZA cooperation is popular, but I am reserved as regards the percentage of popularity, because I believe that it is impossible to measure (the popularity of) a coalition of parties without a leader," Loverdos said.
In a prime minister-centered type of government, the leader plays a catalytical role, he explained.
"It is silly to measnure ND headed by (prime minister Costas) Karamanlis against a PASOK-SYN vehicle without a leader for that vehicle. Who will be at the helm?", Loverdos said, leaving open the prospect that neither PASOK leader George Papandreou nor SYRIZA parliamentary group leader Alekos Alavanos would be at the helm in the event of a PASOK-SYRIZA electoral alliance.
 KKE leader on electoral cooperationsCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga on Sunday commented negatively on political scenarios as regards electoral cooperations involving the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).
"Taking into consideration the character of political parties, their programmes and their whole tactic, I believe that a coalition government comprising SYRIZA will cultivate, for a little while, a climate of self-illusion among the people, but very soon the "teeth" of such a government will be revealed," Papriga said in an interview with the private Antena radio station.
"It will not concern any change, I mean a change of course. It does not concern the 'new', which the country needs. That is why the people should look ahead and not let itself be swayed by these scenarios believing that there is a change of policy. " she added.
She also called on citizens to "cast a political vote" in next year's Europarliament elections, "because the policies and strategy of the European Union concern the life of the peoples of Europe."
 Tsipras on next electoral showdownCoalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) leader Alexis Tsipras, in an interview appearing in a Sunday newspaper, said that if the political correlations were not changed by the next general elections, it would be "interesting" to see how the two mainstream parties will justify their coexistence in the same government in the event that a self-sufficient majority government does not emerge.
"If we do not succeed in altering the political correlations -- by the next electoral showdown -- we will await with great interest to see who the two former mainstream parties and major opponents (ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK) will justify their coexistence in the same government," Tsipras said in an interview with the Eleftheros Typos daily, appearing in the newspaper's Sunday edition.
He further opined that the ND government will "exhaust all possibilities" to avoid recourse to early elections, noting that the European Parliament elections were the next electoral showdown, they would be "deeply political and not at all indifferent" elections.
Tsipras added that SYN anticipated the emerging of radically different correlations of political powers in the Europarliament elections, to the benefit of the Left and at the expense of the two-party system (of alternation in government).
He also left open the prospect of he, himself, heading the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA, the SYN-led alliance in the Greek parliament) ballot for the European Parliament, which he said would depend on the decisions to be taken by the party bodies "when the time arrives".
Regarding SYRIZA parliamentary group leader and SYN former leader Alekos Alavanos, Tsipras said that Alavanos' contribution will be significant from whatever post he holds, given that his predecessor at the SYN helm constituted a "very strong card" for SYRIZA.
 Foreign exchange rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.569
Pound sterling 0.794
Danish kroner 7.519
Swedish kroner 9.520
Japanese yen 168.78
Swiss franc 1.645
Norwegian kroner 8.06
Canadian dollar 1.610
Australian dollar 1.679
 Organs of Australian tourist transplantedÔransplant of the organs of an Australian tourist who has been beaten by bouncers on Monday on Mykonos island and died on Friday after being hospitalized in a coma from Tuesday at Errikos Dynan Athens hospital, were completed successfully.
The whole procedure was conducted by National Transplant Organisation. Medical teams from Evangelismos, Hyppo-crateion and Onassion hospitals took part to the transplants.
The liver was given to a 37 year old woman from Alexandroupolis, the heart to a 31 year old Greek-Australian man, the one kidney to a 43year old patient from Athens and the other kidney together with the pancreas, to a 34year old from Kozani, northern Greece.
The patients are expected to recover in the following days.
 Wildfires at Marathonas and Markopoulo under controlA wildfire in Marathonas, near Athens has been contained on Saturday early morning. Fire Brigade forces remained on the scene in the event of rekindlings.
Moreover, a fire in Markopoulo, Attica was partly contained on Saturday. The blazes had threatened an inhabited area during Friday night.
The force on the ground consisted of 13 fire engines with a combined crew of 50, a number of 8 municipal water tanker trucks as well as a 90-person team of fire fighters on foot.
Two other fires burst out on Friday night on Zakynthos island, Ionian complex, northwestern Greece and Zevgolatio village, near Corinth, southeastern Greece. 21 firefighters with 7 fire engines were battling the flames that are burning olives, pine trees and vineyards.
 Wildfire in RodopiA fire broke out at noon in a forest expanse in the Dichala area of Rodopi prefecture.
A force of 15 firefighters with 5 fire engines were battling the blaze, assisted by a 17-strong team of firefighters on foot, two water dropping airplanes and a helicopter.
According to the Fire Brigade, the fire was not threatening populated areas.
 Two wildfires raging in EtoloakarnaniaTwo wildfires were raging on Sunday in the prefecture of Etoloakarnania, western Greece.
The first fire at Sparto, Amfilohia, started in the afternoon and was burning forest expanse. Six fire-engines of the Fire Brigade and three water dropping aircraft were engaged in extinguishing the fire.
The second started near the settlement of Astakos. Taking part in extinguishing the fire are two aircraft, two helicopters, eight fire-engines and 16 firefighters.
 5.1R earthquake shakes VolosA moderate earthquake registering 5.1 on the Richter scale shook the eastern coastal port city of Volos before dawn on Sunday, but no damage was reported.
The earthquake was recorded at 3:43 a.m., with its epicenter in the Pagasitic Gulf, 80 kilometers east of Volos.
The trembler was felt in the wider region.
 5.3R eathquake jolts Sporades Islands, no damage reportedA moderate earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale jolted the Sporades Island complex in the Aegean before dawn on Sunday, followed by a string of after-shocks, but no damage was immediately reported.
The earthquake was recorded at 3:39 a.m. in the sea between the Sporades and Halkidiki, northern Greece, with its epicentre 50 kilometers north of Alonissos and 140 kilometers southeast of Thessaloniki, according to the Athens National Observatory's Geodynamics Institute.
According to Thessaloniki Aristotelion University seismologists, the trembler was followed by a string of minor and light aftershocks, the largest in magnitue of which were 4.2R at 3:39 a.m., and 4.4R at 4:56 a.m.
Seismologists said the post-quake activity was developing normally.
 3.8 earthquake off ErmioniA minor earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale was recorded at 3:45 p.m. at a distance of 70 kilometers south of Athens, with its epicenter in the sea region off the coastal town of Ermioni, Argolis prefecture in the Peloponnese.
 Drug dealers arrested in ChalkidikiTwo drug dealers 26 and 26 years old were arrested on Saturday at a summer resort complex in Chalkidiki, northern Greece.
A police search in their rooms revealed 90 grams of cocaine, 75 grams of cannabis, a precise scale, receipts and notes indicating illegal transactions.
 Hot, windy on MondayWarm, windy weather was forecast throughout Greece on Monday, with northerly winds and wind velocity reaching up to 8 beaufort in the Aegean. Warm in Athens, with 3-5 beaufort winds, reaching 6 beaufort in the east of Attica prefecture, and temperatures ranging from 23 C to 34 C. Warm in Thessaloniki, with 2-4 beaufort winds, and temperatures ranging from 22 C to 33 C.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glanceThe legalization of buildings lacking construction permits, interest rates, the Siemens scandal, and the budget were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Interest rates dropping in Workers' Housing Organization (OEK) home loans".
APOGEVMATINI: "50,000 old unlicensed buildings to be legalized" by mid-2009.
AVGHI: "Autumn of clashes - DEKO (Public Utilities and Organizations) employees, students, university professors to launch protests in the fall".
AVRIANI: "Wave of prosecutions in the Siemens scandal".
CHORA: "Who 'control' the national economy, and how".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "How did you acquire your assets, MPs?", referring to the parliamentary deputies' 'source of wealth' statements which were recently released.
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Chaos with the National Land Registry".
ETHNOS: "The 'black' dollars for the 'yes' to the Annan Plan", adding that official US State Department documents, brought to light by Ethnos, reveal how the US attempted, with tens of millions of dollars in 'political graft', to achieve the much-desired 'yes' by the Cypriots to the Annan plan for Cyprus (which the Greek Cypriot government rejected and the Turkish Cypriot community approved in simultaneous referendums on April 24, 2004).
KATHIMERINI: "Privileged salaries in the DEKO".
LOGOS: "Everything open for early general elections in 2009".
NIKI: "Government seeking life-raft in new taxes".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Bloody Profits for capital, devastation of the lives of the workers" the result of the privatization of shipyards.
TO VIMA: "New, extraordinary taxes - One million taxpayers targeted".
VRADYNI: "Two draft laws to be tabled in parliament in the autumn (on construction permits and on reform of the building legislation) will cast the construction sector into chaos".
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