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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-06-22

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 22 June 2009 Issue No: 3226


  • [01] New Acropolis Museum officially inaugurated
  • [02] PM receives chairman of BiH's council of ministers
  • [03] Papoulias receives Cyprus, Bulgaria and UNESCO leaders
  • [04] US Rep. Titus represents Obama at museum opening
  • [05] Health problem causes cancellation of Erdogan visit to Athens for museum's opening
  • [06] Foreign political leaders in Hydra
  • [07] Papandreou on early election speculation
  • [08] Markoyiannakis, Chryssohoidis on urban terrorism issue
  • [09] Man claiming responsibility for Dec. 2004 killing of policeman in court on Tues.
  • [10] Ieronymos concludes visit to Alexandria Patriarchate
  • [11] Annual memorial service for Andreas Papandreou
  • [12] 80 illegals intercepted off isle after disembarking from Turkey
  • [13] 2 Bulgarians charged with weapons, TNT possession
  • [14] Four more 'new flu' instances reported
  • [15] 2 girls drown in summer camp's pool
  • [16] Moderate quake on Samos
  • [17] Rains in the north Politics

  • [01] New Acropolis Museum officially inaugurated

    The New Acropolis Museum was officially inaugurated on Saturday evening during a nationally televised and web-broadcast ceremony that brought together Greece's political leadership and scores of international dignitaries, boosting hopes that the purpose-built museum's opening will mark the "reverse countdown" for the long-sought return of the Parthenon Marbles.

    In one of the most poignant moments of the evening, Prof. Dimitris Pantermalis, the director of the new state-of-the-art facility, pointed to numerous mutilated sculptures on display in the third-storey Parthenon Gallery, sculptures whose other half is found at the British Museum in London. Instead, white-coloured plaster replicas depict the missing friezes in the New Acropolis Museum most celebrated gallery.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis emphasised that the new 130-million-euro museum belongs to all of humanity and forms part of the world's cultural heritage.

    "In the sacred hill of the Acropolis the world views the forms that ecumenical and eternal ideals take. In the New Acropolis Museum the world can now ascertain these forms, these ideals, reuniting them and allowing them to regain their radiance ... Welcome to a Greece of civilisation and history; together we are inaugurating a museum for the supreme monument of the Classical civilisation: the Acropolis Museum," Karamanlis said, while again referring to his namesake and uncle, Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis, along with iconic Greek actress and culture minister Melina Mercouri, as protagonists in the decades-long campaign to build the new museum.

    "The Acropolis Museum is a reality for all Greeks; for all the people of the world. It is a modern monument, open, luminous and is harmoniously intertwined with Parthenon itself. It permits the Attica sun to shed its light on the ancient works of culture and allows the visitor to enjoy and appreciate the details of the exhibits. This modern monument narrates the history of democracy, art, rituals and everyday life. It succeeds in harmonically linking antiquity with the modern world of the technology and imagery. That's why pioneering," Karamanlis told the audience of dignitaries, which included lead architects Bernard Tschumi and Michael Photiadis.

    On his part, Greek Culture Minister Antonis Samaras opened his address by expressing optimism that "the (pieces) that are not here today, those that were separated and carted off 207 years ago will return. They will certainly return; the Parthenon and its sculptures were the victims of plunder. This crime can, today, can be corrected. The museum serves as the moral force to invite them back; to reunite them," he stressed.

    In attendance were all of the country's past presidents, along with leaders from Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia, Finland, Montenegro, Vietnam and China, together with 21 foreign ministers from all over the world.

    The tour of the Museum, with includes more than 4,000 exhibits spread over 14,000 square metres of exhibition space, began at 8:30 p.m. (local time) from the ground floor level and the first hall, which hosts exhibits (parts of pottery mostly) of a Neolithic settlement once located on the Acropolis' slopes.

    Fragments of pottery dating to the 3rd century BC and believed to be from a foundation-laying ceremony of Classical antiquity were on display in a glass-covered crypt in the main concourse, with PM Karamanlis handing an intact pottery vessel to a museum official who placed it inside the crypt before it was encased with the glass cover.

    Prof. Pantermalis then officially inaugurated the museum with a phrase in ancient Greek, "the Athenian goddess resides here. No evil may enter".

    [02] PM receives chairman of BiH's council of ministers

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday morning received the visiting chairman of the council of ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nikola `piri .

    `piri arrived in Athens to attend the inauguration ceremony for the New Acropolis Museum on Saturday evening.

    Talks during the meeting touched on regional developments and bilateral cooperation. No statements were made afterwards.

    The BiH official was later received by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    [03] Papoulias receives Cyprus, Bulgaria and UNESCO leaders

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Saturday met successively with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura and Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov.

    All three leaders arrived in Athens to attend Saturday evening's inauguration of the New Acropolis Museum.

    [04] US Rep. Titus represents Obama at museum opening

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday met with US Congresswoman Dina Titus, US President Barack Obama's representative at the inauguration ceremony for the New Acropolis Museum.

    Titus also met separately with main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    Meanwhile, in a meeting with Tourism Development Minister Costas Markopoulos, the Democrat lawmaker who represents Nevada's 3rd Congressional district, discussed tourism-related issues with the minister as well as the issue of Greece being included on the US visa waiver program.

    The Nevada legislator, a native of the state of Georgia who is of partial Greek descent, later met with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

    She was accompanied by US ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard.

    [05] Health problem causes cancellation of Erdogan visit to Athens for museum's opening

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cancelled his visit to Greece on Saturday to attend the high-profile inauguration ceremony for the New Acropolis Museum in central Athens, citing health reasons.

    Erdogan spoke with his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis early Saturday afternoon to inform him that he will not be able to attend the ceremony later in the evening, as previously planned.

    However, the veteran Turkish premier expressed his volition to tour the new museum with Karamanlis as soon as possible, according to reports.

    [06] Foreign political leaders in Hydra

    Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, Croatian Premier Ivo Sanader, BiH chairman of the council of ministers of Nikola `piri and US Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-Nev), who represented US president Barack Obama, toured the picturesque Saronic isle of Hydra on Sunday

    The four foreign leaders arrived in Greece to attend the inauguration of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens on Saturday evening.

    [07] Papandreou on early election speculation

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou on Sunday reiterated that his party will back current President Karolos Papoulias if the latter wants a second term as president, while qualifying, however, that "the best way to honor the position and the individual is via an election of president by a Parliament with a fresh popular mandate".

    Papandreou made the statement in response to a press question on whether main opposition PASOK will back Papoulias' re-election as president, or, cause early elections in the spring, given that 180 MPs are needed to elect a president of the republic, a largely ceremonial position that nevertheless serves as the highest political office in Greece.

    The former foreign minister, in fact, referred directly to the prospect of early elections by underlining that the country "urgently needs to change course with a new and powerful government, one that enjoys a fresh popular mandate."

    Papoulias is also a former foreign minister in successive PASOK governments.

    The last general elections were held in Greece in September 2007.

    Papandreou's interview was carried in the Athens weekly "Proto Thema".

    [08] Markoyiannakis, Chryssohoidis on urban terrorism issue

    Deputy Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis, who holds the public order portfolio, on Sunday was quoted as stressing that urban terrorism was never really fully eradicated in Greece, commenting only days after three suspects identified with shadowy ultra-leftist terrorist group assassinated a plainclothes police officer in the centre of Athens. The victim, who was sitting in a car, was guarding a witness in a terrorism-related court trial.

    Markoyiannakis said the scourge of urban and ideology-based terrorism did not disappear in 2002 with the dismantling of the deadly "November 17" terrorism group.

    Moreover, deputy minister, who represents an election precinct on Crete, said he believes the so-called "anarchist movement" acts as a reservoir for the recruitment of new terrorists, while also charging that it is linked with criminal rackets.

    In an unrelated issue, specifically illegal immigration, Markoyiannakis said recently implemented measures will reverse the image that certain congested areas of Athens that experiences in the recent period with the congregation of hundreds of illegals, mostly from Middle Eastern and South Asia countries.

    His interview was carried in the Sunday edition of the daily "Vima".

    Referring to the scourge of terrorism in another weekly published on Sunday, former PASOK minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis stressed the need for a "comprehensive operational plan and the right people" for combating urban terrorism in the country.

    "I never said we were finished with terrorism," Chryssohoidis said, a reference to his tenure as public order minister during the crucial period -- beginning in June 2002 -- when Greek authorities finally tracked down and eradicated the once elusive "N17" terror gang.

    He clarified that his statement referred to the eradication of "N17" and the lesser-known "ELA" terror cell.

    Moreover, Chryssohoidis said he considers the recently emerged terror groups "Revolutionary Struggle" and "Revolutionaries' Sect" as one in the same, or, comprised of people with very few differences between them. The latter gang is believed to be responsible for the police officer's killing this past week.

    In yet another published interview, outspoken New Democracy MP Yiannis Manolis reiterated his intention to resign from his deputy's seat, albeit in September.

    Manolis, from Argolida prefecture, said he will officially tender his resignation on the first day of the third summer session of Parliament.

    Moreover, the one-time top trade unionist referred to "science fiction scenarios" in commenting on press speculation that he is "flirting" with the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party.

    Finally, speaking to the weekly "Proto Thema", Manolis warned that "if we (ND) are led to an even greater defeat in general elections, then some people may table a leadership issue within ND."

    [09] Man claiming responsibility for Dec. 2004 killing of policeman in court on Tues.

    A 32-year-old man associated with the so-called "anti-establishment" underground movement has been granted a continuance until Tuesday to appear before a special investigating magistrate, after he voluntarily turned himself in on Friday to authorities in Athens and claimed participation in the assassination of a police sentry in late December 2004.

    Special police sentry Haralambos Amanatidis was gunned down outside the residence of the British military attaché on the last day of 2004.

    The man was arrested in 2006 for his part in the assault of then GSEE labour union president Christos Polyzogopoulos, spending a total of 17 months in jail pending trial. His case never went to trial after Polyzogopoulos declined to continue pressing charges.

    The same suspect has been arrested on charges in the northeastern town of Xanthi and also reportedly admitted to holding up a bank in central Athens last March.

    [10] Ieronymos concludes visit to Alexandria Patriarchate

    ALEXANDRIA (ANA-MPA / N. Katsikas)

    The Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos co-officiated on Sunday here during Patriarchical liturgy during the conclusion of Ieronymos' official visit to the world's second-in-rank Orthodox Patriarchate.

    The ecclesiastical leaders, in their addresses, pointed particularly at importance of missionary efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. Patriarch Theodoros warmly thanked the Church of Greece and the Archbishop personally for his cooperation.

    On his part, Ieronymos stressed that the number of faithful in the northern hemisphere is shrinking, whereas the Church is vigorously growing in Africa.

    Deputy FM Theodoros Kassimis also accompanied Ieronymos, as both men were honored by the Alexandria Patriarchate.

    [11] Annual memorial service for Andreas Papandreou

    An annual memorial service was held on Sunday for three-time Greek prime minister and PASOK party founder Andreas Papandreou, at a chapel in the First Athens Cemetery.

    Papandreou's eldest son, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, attended the memorial service along with his brothers Nikos and Andreas, Papandreou's widow, Dimitra Liani-Papandreou, as well as several PASOK cadres and former ministers.

    Andreas Papandreou died on June 23, 1996.

    General News

    [12] 80 illegals intercepted off isle after disembarking from Turkey

    A total of 80 illegal migrants (71 men and eight women) were detected early Saturday off the isle of Agathonissi in the eastern Aegean by coast guard patrol vessels, given that the specific sea region is a favourite "route" for migrant smugglers operating from the opposite Turkish coast.

    According to statements by the illegals, they disembarked from Turkey in two inflatable dinghies, one of which intentionally sunk when they approached the Greek isle.

    The would-be migrants, all reportedly from Third World countries, were detained and later transported to a medical centre on the nearby island of Patmos for standard health checks.

    The second dinghy was confiscated.

    [13] 2 Bulgarians charged with weapons, TNT possession

    Weapons, dynamite and small quantities of cocaine were found in two vehicles belonging to two Bulgarian nationals arrested on Sunday by authorities near a border crossing on the Greek-Bulgarian frontier.

    The two suspects were arrested on Sunday morning near the Promahonas border post after an undercover coast guard sting operation focusing on the weapons.

    Both men were subsequently transferred to Thessaloniki, while the contraband and the two luxury automobiles were confiscated.

    [14] Four more 'new flu' instances reported

    Four new instances of the so-called New Flu, A/H1N1, were announced by authorities in Greece on Saturday, raising the number of instances reported in Greece to 39, of which 16 patients have completely recovered.

    Two of the new cases involved permanent US residents arriving in Greece, while the other two came in contact with a Greek-American who had arrived from the United States.

    [15] 2 girls drown in summer camp's pool

    Two nine-year-old girls drown in a summer camp's pool on Saturday morning, an unprecedented incident that comes only days after the drowning of another nine-year-old boy in the pool of a coastal Athens cafeteria.

    The tragic incident was reported on the first day of the season at the summer camp, located at the Velika site in coastal Larissa prefecture, central Greece.

    Initial autopsy results reportedly show that the two victims lost consciousness after diving into the pool with their backs first. Efforts to resuscitate the two girls proved fruitless.

    The two co-owners of the summer camp and the pool supervisor were arrested on the spot.

    [16] Moderate quake on Samos

    An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale was reported at 11:28 a.m. (09.28 GMT) on Saturday with an epicentre in the southeast corner of the island of Samos, eastern Aegean -- 280 kilometres east-southeast of Athens.

    No damages were reported.

    Weather Monday

    [17] Rains in the north

    Scattered showers and northerly winds ranging from 4 to 7 on the Beaufort scale are forecast for Monday around the country. Rain in the north and western parts of Greece, 15C-30C; mostly fair elsewhere. Between 18C-32C on the islands. Sunny in Athens, 20-33C; rainy in Thessaloniki, 18-28C.

    Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The long-awaited opening of the New Acropolis Museum on Saturday, the re-emergence of ultra-leftist urban terrorism strikes in Athens ubiquitous domestic political machinations mostly dominated the headlines in the Sunday edition of Athens' dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Funding being funnelled in health care".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Transfer of building co-efficient being reconsidered".

    AVGHI: "Time for responsibility for the left".

    AVRIANI: "New provocative initiative by (business executive) Andreas Vgenopoulos in health sector".

    CHORA: "I won't snitch on former friends, according to Siemens Hellas case fugitive Karavelas".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Triple ante by government: Election law; government reshuffle and ballots".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Finally, a smile! Message for return of Parthenon Marbles transmitted to the world by sacred hill of the Acropolis".

    EPOCHI: "Now the voters of Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) have the word", a reference by the weekly to turmoil in the leftist formation following lacklustre results in the recent European Parliament election.

    ETHNOS: "New 'tsunami' of illegal immigration knocking on Greece's door".

    KATHIMERINI: "They were waiting for murder attempt against police officer. Police leadership informed".

    LOGOS: "Early election scenario for September still stands".

    NIKI: "IMF: Change or sink".

    PARON (weekly): "List with 21 former Siemens Hellas and OTE executives and officials. Bargaining with Germans over two fugitives."

    PROTO THEMA (weekly): "George Papandreou opens his cards and makes it clear: It's over: elections in March."

    REALNEWS (weekly): "Police investigations into terrorism in the dark."

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Rallying and action against new anti-labour attack".

    VIMA: "Who's a (terrorism) target: Politicians, high-profile journalists and businessmen."

    VRADYNI: "Closed professions: Everything changing".

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: GEORGE TAMBAKOPOULOS

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