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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-09-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Thursday, 17 September 2009 Issue No: 3299


  • [01] PM: 'We remain steadfast on path of responsibility'
  • [02] PM will be candidate in Thessaloniki, Larissa
  • [03] PM in Brussels on Thursday for extraordinary EU summit
  • [04] Papandreou tours hospital in Athens
  • [05] KKE leader speaks to dockworkers in Piraeus
  • [06] SYRIZA unveils candidate tickets
  • [07] LA.OS unveils state deputies list
  • [08] FM meets with US envoy ahead of talks with Hillary Clinton in NY
  • [09] UN SG to visit Athens November 4-5
  • [10] Event in memory of Yiannos Kranidiotis
  • [11] New OA by end of Sept.
  • [12] Greek inflation at 1.0% in Aug., Eurostat
  • [13] ELFE buys Phosphoric Fertilisers Industry
  • [14] Foreign capital inflows up 40.5 pct in 2008
  • [15] Stocks continue moving up
  • [16] Greek bond market closing report
  • [17] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday
  • [18] WWF sees grim future in climate change forecasts for Greece
  • [19] Ecumenical Patriarch will be in Tripolis on Monday
  • [20] Jack Lang to speak at French Institute in Athens
  • [21] Architectural exhibition on Piraeus Municipal Theatre
  • [22] Protest at Serbian consulate in Thessaloniki linked to Belgrade attack
  • [23] Police intercept illegal immigrants
  • [24] Student receives award for religious choir music composition
  • [25] Greek expatriates donate computer equipment to Laconia high schools
  • [26] 4.3R quake jolts Lamia
  • [27] Free pubic transportation on Sept. 22
  • [28] Rainy on Thursday
  • [29] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
  • [30] Greece and Cyprus to hold parallel trials for 2005 air disaster Politics

  • [01] PM: 'We remain steadfast on path of responsibility'

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressed an election rally in the northern city of Serres on Wednesday evening, stressing that unlike the main opposition PASOK party, his ruling New Democracy party remained steadfast on the path of responsibility.

    "I personally feel a heavy debt toards the present and future of our country," Karamanlis said, adding that "Greece and the Greeks are my thought and my concern and my only care. It is the national interest. This is what I have done throughout my entire political course and this is what I am doing now and this is what I shall always do."

    The prime minister criticised all that PASOK leader George Papandreou said about the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline stressing that "we reject all that the leader of PASOK claims about the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline. His view that this pipeline supposedly serves the interests of the Russian side is inconceivable and peculiar. One thing is certain and that is that it deals a blow at the country's interests."

    He also called on PASOK to clarify the "half-words" that it has been saying recently regarding the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and addressed a message to FYROM's leadership, saying that no one can give a paper of pardon to their nationalists.

    "We want relations of friendship and cooperation with all. If indeed the leadership of Skopje (FYROM) chooses the Euroatlantic institutions, it has to do one thing" and explained that "it must look at the map of the principles and values of Europe and find the path leading to relations of good neighbourliness. It must obtain a passport with full and final data. There are no other paths and other passports are not acceptable. In this case we have drawn clear red lines and we shall not take even one step back from these lines."

    The prime minister also accused PASOK of announcing expenditures "running into billions which will lead to the uncontrolable swelling of the deficit and of the debt."

    He further said that the main opposition party "is distributing promises that go beyond the limits of the economy's endurance and it contradicts itself, proving absolute unreliability."

    At the same time, he stressed that PASOK did not dare to reveal the tough measures it would take if it came to power and that "it is saying nothing specific about fiscal restru-cturing...promising to make Greece 'Denmark of the south'."

    Karamanlis also insisted on the projects that his government has completed or are under way in Northern Greece, saying that "from 2004 until today, in Serres, in Central Macedonia, in Northern Greece, the landscape is changing from one day to another. The absorption rate of EU funds has exceeded 115 percent from 15 percent that it was in 2004. We put once again the forgotten , until then, Region on the Map of Development. We are directing 80 percent of the EU funds of the new Programming period outside Attica. Of these, 4.8 billion are coming here, to Central Macedonia."

    The prime minister added that "over the past period, we have completed here, in Northern Greece, the biggest project of all times. The Egnatia Motorway, an ultramodern axis, is already linking the East with the West and is bringing, with its lateral axes, our Northern neighbours closer."

    [02] PM will be candidate in Thessaloniki, Larissa

    Prime minister and ruling New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis will be a candidate in the voting constituencies of Thessaloniki A' and Larissa in the October 4 general elections, ND announced on Wednesday.

    [03] PM in Brussels on Thursday for extraordinary EU summit

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis leaves on Thursday for Brussels, where he will take part in an extroardinary EU summit meeting.

    On Thursday evening, Karamanlis will address a gathering of the local Greek community in Brussels, after which he will attend a working dinner of the EU heads of state and government. The premier will make statements to the press after the working dinner.

    [04] Papandreou tours hospital in Athens

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Wednesday underlined his determination to "put an end to the trivialisation of the National Health System" and to "stop its collapse," in statements following his visit to east Athens' Laiko Hospital.

    Papandreou pointed out that, if elected prime minister, he intends to proceed with "radical changes" and stressed that "a new National Public Health System" that will emerge as a result will "guarantee quality services for all".

    Earlier, the PASOK leader met with hospital management and staff representatives.

    [05] KKE leader speaks to dockworkers in Piraeus

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga spoke to a gathering of dockworkers in the port of Piraeus on Wednesday morning in her ongoing campaign for the October 4 general elections.

    She said that the KKE is a "safe blow" against the two mainstream parties, ruling New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK, and urged that not a single vote be lost to them.

    The message that needs to arise from the elections is that the labor conscience has made a step forward and that the people's counter-attack has taken two steps forward. Anything else would be negative, she added.

    Papariga warned that the day after the elections will be "exceptionally dangerous", as tremendous changes were on the way, with consequences of the younger generations and the elderly.

    Greece's future, she continued, depends on the people, who with their vote can reinforce the struggle, thus gaining time and halting the implementation of the EU's anti-popular and anti-labor laws.

    [06] SYRIZA unveils candidate tickets

    The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) on Wednesday unveiled its candidate tickets for the October 4 general elections.

    Releasing the tickets, Coalition of the Left, Movements and Progress (SYN, which heads the SYRIZA alliance) leader Alexis Tsipras said during a press conference that the tickets were "ballots of struggle and battle", and expressed hope that SYRIZA would emerge from the elections with strength in parliament and in the struggles.

    Tsipras, who will be a candidate in the Athens' A voting constituency, praised the candidates "in a period in which the conditions are not the best possible".

    Referring to the election campaigning, Tsipras criticised the two mainstream parties -- ruling New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK -- for not saying anything on unemployment and the real problems faced by the people, such as social security, employment, etc., stressing that the true quandary in the upcoming elections is "either with Almunia (EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs), or with the people".

    SYRIZA campaign coordinator Yiannis Theonas said that the tickets were substantially renewed, with 235 new faces among the alliance's 235 candidates nationwide. Of those 412, 65 percent are men and 35 percent are women, he added.

    SYRIZA's State MP candidates will be announced within the next 24 hours.

    [07] LA.OS unveils state deputies list

    The Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S.) unveiled Wednesday its State Deputies list for the upcoming Oct. 4 general elections.

    The former director of Greece's National Intelligence Service (EYP), Amb. Ioannis Korantis, will head up the party's list of candidates for the state MP seats in Parliament.

    [08] FM meets with US envoy ahead of talks with Hillary Clinton in NY

    Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis met on Wednesday with US ambassador in Athens Daniel Speckhard.

    Speckhard told reporters afterwards that the meeting was in preparation of Bakoyannis' upcoming talks with her US counterpart, secretary of state Hillary Clinton, both of whom will be in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

    Bakoyannis' meeting with the US envoy, held at the latter's request, also focused on the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) summit at foreign ministers' level, which will be held towards the end of the year, marking the end of the Greek chairmanship of the OSCE.

    The two sides also discussed economic issues, ahead of the convening in autumn of the Greece-US bilateral economic cooperation committee aimed at enhancing bilateral economic relations.

    Speckhard said his meeting with Bakoyannis had been a routine diplomatic meeting, for the purpose of enhancing economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries.

    Bakoyannis is due to arrive in New York on Sunday, September 27, for the annual UN General Assembly, and will address the plenary the following morning.

    On the afternoon of her arrival, Bakoyannis will meet with UN special mediator on the FYROM name issue, Matthew Nimetz.

    After addressing the General Assembly plenary on Monday, Bakoyannis will have separate talks with her US and Russian counterparts, secretary of state Hillary Clinton and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, respectively, and with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

    [09] UN SG to visit Athens November 4-5

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will be paying an official visit to Athens on November 4-5 to attend and address an international forum on Immigration and Growth.

    It is not yet known whether the Secretary General will be visiting Cyprus during that period as well with the purpose of boosting the negotiating process for a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    [10] Event in memory of Yiannos Kranidiotis

    Late alternate foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis was honoured in an event organised by the ISTAME "Andreas Papandreou" institute on Wednesday which attended by former prime minister Costas Simitis, Cypriot EDEK party honourary president Vassos Lyssarides, the mother of the deceased and other dignitaries.

    Speaking in the foreign ministry's packed auditorium that bears the name "Yiannis Kranidiotis", Simitis referred in his address to the "tragic loss" of the "friend and associate", the "indefatigable, consistent and insistent in his aims political man," the "sensitive citizen, the simple and amicable man."

    Simitis stressed that Kraniditois had processed the stragegy for Cyprus's accession to ther European Union, believing "with an integrated concept" that this prospect "would function as a catalyst for a solution to the Cyprus issue."

    With the European commitment on the beginning of Cyprus's accession course, Greece lifted the veto for the EU-Turkey Customs Union and then "Athens and Nicosia supported the need for the unified development of enlargement and not its fragmentation into separate candidacies," the former prime minister added.

    This concept was a minority one initially but it ultimately prevailed, Simitis said, and in December 1997, in Luxembourg, the starting of the enlargement process was decided.

    Yiannos Kranidiotis had an effective and valuable contribution to this effort in its entirety and later to the planning of the Helsinki strategy, Simitis further said, and concluded by saying "how much more we could have done if the vacuum he left behind did not exist."

    Lyssarides also addressed the event.

    Financial News

    [11] New OA by end of Sept.


    A privatisation process for Olympic Airways is progressing smoothly and a new Olympic is expected to begin operations by the end of September, an announcement by the transport and communications ministry stated on Wednesday.

    The ministry also announced that because of the forthcoming election in the country, all tenders regarding airline and airport services have been annulled.

    These tenders involved selection of carriers to service 24 so-called "remote" or unprofitable routes, flight rights based on bilateral agreements signed between Greece and other countries and ground handling services for the country's 34 provincial airports. All tenders will be launched again after a new government is sworn in.

    [12] Greek inflation at 1.0% in Aug., Eurostat


    Greek annual inflation grew to 1.0 pct in August, up from 0.7 pct in July, Eurostat said on Wednesday.

    The EU executive's statistics agency, in its monthly report, said the inflation rate in the Eurozone rose to -0.2 pct in August, from -0.7 pct in July, compared with a 3.8 pct reading in August 2008, while in the EU-27, the inflation rate was 0.6 pct in August, form 0.2 pct in July and 4.3 pct in August 2008.

    Ireland (-2.4 pct), Portugal (-1.2 pct) and Cyprus (-0.9 pct) recorded the lowest inflation rates, while Hungary (5.0 pct), Romania (4.9 pct) and Poland (4.3 pct) the highest rates. The inflation rate was down in eight member-states, it was unchanged in two and rose in 17 member states.

    [13] ELFE buys Phosphoric Fertilisers Industry

    ELFE SA, a company owned by local businessman Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Phosphoric Fertilisers Industry SA after the purchase of minority stakes from National Bank and Emporiki Bank.

    National Bank sold its 15.81 pct stake in Phosphoric Fertilisers Industry to ELFE SA, (21,136,364 common nominal shares) at a price of 13,592,497 euros, National Capital SA (a member of National Bank of Greece Group) sold another 8,295,612 shares, or 6.21 pct, for 5,334,791 euros and Emporiki Bank sold its 33.24 pct stake for 29,662,279 euros.

    [14] Foreign capital inflows up 40.5 pct in 2008

    Foreign capital inflows in Greece grew by 40.5 pct, with net inflows soaring 147.8 pct, in 2008, compared with the previous year, Invest in Greece SA announced on Wednesday.

    Citing figures on Foreign Direct Investments in Greece, published by the Bank of Greece, Invest in Greece said this positive development - amidst an unprecedented international financial crisis - was evidence of foreign investors' (mainly from EU and US) trust towards the Greek market.

    Net foreign capital flows in Greece totaled 3.47 billion euros in 2008, up from 1.40 billion in 2007, while total capital inflows totaled 6.48 billion euros from 4.61 billion euros, over the same years, respectively.

    Gross Foreign Direct Investments totaled 18.10 billion euros in 2006-2008, while net capital inflows surpassed 9.15 billion euros over the same period. Capital outflows by foreign investors based in Greece totaled 8.93 billion euros in the 2006-2008 period.

    [15] Stocks continue moving up

    Greek stocks continued moving higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, with the composite index of the market rising 0.72 pct to end at 2,550.13 points. Turnover was an improved 265.9 million euros, of which 32.2 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved upwards, with the Health (5.54 pct), Raw Materials (3.42 pct) and Financial Services (3.28 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Media (1.95 pct), Travel (0.51 pct) and Banks (0.34 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 0.37 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 2.20 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 0.52 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 131 to 70 with another 65 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: Unchanged

    Industrials: +2.69%

    Commercial: +1.69%

    Construction: +2.72%

    Media: -1.95%

    Oil & Gas: +1.69%

    Personal & Household: +1.67%

    Raw Materials: +3.42%

    Travel & Leisure: -0.51%

    Technology: +0.14%

    Telecoms: +1.77%

    Banks: -0.34%

    Food & Beverages: +1.24%

    Health: +5.54%

    Utilities: +0.73%

    Chemicals: +0.97%

    Financial Services: +3.28%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, OTE and Alpha Bank.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 11.71

    ATEbank: 1.61

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 15.68

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.00

    Hellenic Petroleum: 7.34

    National Bank of Greece: 22.16

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 9.62

    Intralot: 4.97

    OPAP: 18.63

    OTE: 11.52

    Bank of Piraeus: 11.40

    Titan: 22.85

    [16] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market remained a strong 2.487 billion euros on Wednesday, of which 1.416 billion euros were buy orders and the remaining 1.071 billion euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 1.941 billion euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank to 117 basis points, with the Greek bond yielding 4.52 percent and the German Bund 3.35 percent.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month Euribor rate was 1.25 pct, the six-month rate 1.04 pct, the three-month rate 0.77 pct and the one-month rate 0.45 pct.

    [17] Foreign Exchange rates - Thursday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.478

    Pound sterling 0.896

    Danish kroner 7.501

    Swedish kroner 10.220

    Japanese yen 133.66

    Swiss franc 1.531

    Norwegian kroner 8.675

    Canadian dollar 1.582

    Australian dollar 1.697

    General News

    [18] WWF sees grim future in climate change forecasts for Greece

    Greece is faced with a grim future of 'unbearable' cities, heat-stricken tourist destinations, problem-plagued agriculture and incinerated forests according to a report presented by WWF Hellas on Wednesday regarding the probable repercussions of climate change on the country.

    The organisation sounded the alarm and called the general public and authorities to action in a bid to avert the worst of the problems.

    "The forecast for Greece is not good," stressed National Observatory research scientist and main author of the report Christos Yiannakopoulos.

    The focus of the study was to predict the likely changes due to climate change in Greece between 2021-2050, using the period between 1969-1990 as a reference point. The study used only one regional climate model developed by the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the moderate A1B emissions scenario developed by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).

    The result showed that life in Greek cities is likely to become increasingly uncomfortable, with the four largest urban centres of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and Larisa experiencing up to 20 additional days of abnormally high temperatures during the year.

    Athens, in particular, is expected to experience 10-15 additional days of unusually high temperatures, 30 additional nights with temperatures above 20C, 10 more days of heavy rainfall in the space of three days that bring an increased risk of flooding, 10 more days in which there will be higher demands for cooling and greater use of air-conditioning, as well as 15 more days with high heating requirements.

    The high temperatures are also expected to significantly affect tourist destinations in Greece, possibly changing the tourism map. The 10 prefectures currently receiving the highest amount of tourism traffic are expected to have between five and 15 additional days of very high temperatures, especially in areas of mainland Greece, while there will be an increase in nights when the temperature is above 20C, especially in islands areas like Rhodes or Hania.

    The benefits of a longer tourism season due to more hot days will be counterbalanced by a significant risk of fires and increased requirements for cooling.

    The pressures of climate change on the 10 largest prefectures for agricultural production will include an increase in days of very high temperatures, an increase in consecutive days without rain, increased risk of fires and a higher risk of desertification.

    Also more at risk from fires will be forests throughout the country, particularly on Mount Parnitha where the average highest summer temperature is expected to increase by 1.5C and the number of days with a high risk for fires will increase by 15.

    WWF made a series of proposals for addressing the problems, including greater protection of open land in urban areas, protection for forest around urban centres, incentives for alternative methods for cooling and insulating homes.

    It also urged local communities and the state to begin proper management of natural resources and 'greener' practices in tourist destinations, such as recycling water and energy conservation.

    The organisation stressed the need for scientific research into alternative crops and proper management of water resources to deal with the dangers for farming regions, stressing that projects like the diversion of the Aheloos River did not help solve the problems.

    Regarding forest fires, WWF stressed that only a reliable system of forest management that focused on prevention could protect the forests of the country.

    During Wednesday's presentation, WWF Hellas also outlined its proposals for the positions that Greece should adopt at the United Nations Climate Change in Copenhagen.

    These included achieving a legally binding agreement for the period 2013-2017 and an agreement to set a ceiling on emissions in 2017 so as to allow an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 relative to 1990.

    According to WWF Hellas, Greece must strive for an agreement for a 40 percent reduction of emissions by developed countries until 2020 and a drop to zero emissions in 2050, combined with funding from developed countries for adaptation to climate change by poorer nations.

    It additional urged that Greece insist on the crucial importance of a target of zero deforestation balance by 2020 and including air transport and shiping in emission reduction targets.

    [19] Ecumenical Patriarch will be in Tripolis on Monday

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will be in Tripolis, southern Greece, on Monday for a two-day visit following an invitation by Metropolitan Alexandros of Mantinia and Kinouria.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch will be formally greeted on Monday afternoon and a liturgy will be held at St Vassilios Cathedral, attended by Deputy Education and Religious Affairs Minister Andreas Likourentzos. Later, the Ecumenical Patriarch will be declared an honorary citizen of Tripolis in a special ceremony at the city's cultural center.

    On Tuesday, Sept. 22, he will be declared an honorary professor at the University of the Peloponnese. He is also scheduled to visit a local high school and address the pupils.

    At noon, he will visit the wildfire-ravaged Municipality of Valtesi and plant a tree in a symbolic gesture. His visit to Tripolis will conclude with the inauguration of the new wing of the Dekatzios home for the elderly.

    [20] Jack Lang to speak at French Institute in Athens

    Former French minister and politician Jack Lang will be visiting Athens in order to speak on the subject of "The major challenges of international politics" at the French Institute of Athens on Friday, September 25.

    Lang was invited by the French Institute of Athens and the Centre for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies (CEDS) to mark the launch of a new university-level course in international relations offered by a department of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Internationales based in Greece. He will be speaking at the auditorium of the French Institute in Athens on September 25 at 19:00.

    In addition to serving as minister for education and culture, Lang has also chaired the French Parliament's foreign affairs committee and is a professor of international law.

    [21] Architectural exhibition on Piraeus Municipal Theatre

    An architectural exhibition entitled "Deus ex Machina - The magic of the stage of Piraeus' Municipal Theatre - A technological achievement of 19th century theatre stage mechanisms" will open at the Municipal Gallery in Piraeus on Sept. 22-24.

    The exhibition will be held within the framework of the "Days of European Cultural Heritage 2009" events.

    The Municipal Theatre in Piraeus, built between 1884 and 1895, is a noted monument of 19th century public building architecture in Greece, influenced by the neo-classical style of the French and German traditions.

    [22] Protest at Serbian consulate in Thessaloniki linked to Belgrade attack

    A small group of local anti-state activists demonstrated on Wednesday outside the Serbian consulate in the northern port city of Thessaloniki in solidarity to six people arrested late last month in Belgrade on charges of vandalising the Greek embassy building in the Serbian capital.

    Up to five suspects threw firebombs at the Greek embassy in Belgrade on the evening of Aug. 25, causing minor damages to the building. The action, allegedly undertaken by a self-styled Serbian anarchist group, called "Crni Ilija", was linked to the continued incarceration of a man in a Greek jail on charges stemming from the ruinous urban riots in Athens last December. The latter was on a hunger strike at the time before being released on bail.

    According to reports, several of the protesters later met with Serbian consul Milan Dimitrievic, handing him a resolution.

    [23] Police intercept illegal immigrants

    Police in the north-western region of Ipiros have arrested several illegal immigrants and the people transporting them.

    In the coastal city of Igoumenitsa, police chased a car whose driver refused to stop for a routine check and ultimately arrested him after he lost control of the vehicle and attempted to flee the scene on foot.

    Travelling in the car were six illegal immigrants, two of whom were found in the luggage compartment, and another person who police believe was an accomplice of the driver.

    Lastly, another 104 illegal immigrants have been arrested throughout the region of Ipiros over the past 24 hours and have been sent back to their country.

    [24] Student receives award for religious choir music composition

    Candidate lecturer at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) Department of Music Studies Petros Moraitis won second place in an international competition hosted by the Institute Guido d' Arezzo in Italy for his religious choral music composition.

    Moraitis, who is continuing his studies in the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria, will receive the award at an even hosted by the institute in Tuscany for his work titled "Sanctus".

    He studied classical music in Greece showing a special interest in the composition of choral music modeled after past motifs focusing on religious music which has a large audience in Austria and is heard in many classical music festivals.

    [25] Greek expatriates donate computer equipment to Laconia high schools

    The Pan-Macedonian Association of Ontario Inc. has donated 31 PCs, printers and UPS units to three schools in Laconia prefecture of southern Greece.

    The computers have already been installed at the high schools of Areopolis, Krokei and Skala.

    In 2007, the expatriate organisation raised 37,500 dollars for the victims of wildfires that ravaged parts of the Peloponnese.

    [26] 4.3R quake jolts Lamia

    A light earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale jolted the city of Lamia, central Greece, on Wednesday morning, causing panic but no injuries.

    The trembler was recorded at 10:13 a.m. at a distance of 22 kilometers west of Lamia, with its epicentre on the boundary between the municipalities of Makrakomi and Xyniada.

    The earthquake caused panic among local residents, but no damage was reported.

    Municipal teams, however, were surveying the areas surrounding the epicentre.

    [27] Free pubic transportation on Sept. 22

    Public transportation will be free on Tuesday, Sept. 22 within the framework of the European Mobility Week (Sept. 16-22, 2009), the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) announced.

    Motorists are invited to leave their cars at home, use public transport and become acquainted with the new upgraded services it offers.

    The measure will be in effect on all urban transportation means while in the case of Metro and Proastiakos it will be limited to the urban section of the network.

    Weather Forecast

    [28] Rainy on Thursday

    Rainy weather and variable winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Thursday, with wind velocity reaching 2-6 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 15C and 30C. Cloudy with possible local showers in Athens, with variable 2-4 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 18C to 30C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 17C to 25C.

    [29] The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The high-profile exclusion of top names in ruling New Democracy's (ND) candidates' lists ahead of the Oct. 4 general elections mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "No more mistakes..."

    APOGEVMATINI: "Main opposition PASOK's campaign on economy collapses - EU Commissioner Almunia turns PASOK's economic policy into ashes".

    AVGHI: "Unemployment will continue at high levels even after the end of the recession".

    AVRIANI: "Bounced checks in market triple - 2.3-billion-euro whole sinking market".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Key suspects for turmoil in ND the ones who formed the party's problematic ballots".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "ND boiling pot - In search of scapegoat".

    ESTIA: "What's happening in ND - It appears unprepared for elections".

    ETHNOS: "High profile ND cadres who were excluded from ND ballots waiting to square accounts with Karamanlis".

    KATHIMERINI: "Operation appeasement in ND - Karamanlis' intervention".

    LOGOS: " According to GSEE/ADEDY labour unions' report real unemployment in Greece bigger".

    NIKI: "They (ND) are falling apart ahead of elections".

    RIZOSPAPSTIS: "Powerful Communist Party against bipartisanism".

    TA NEA: "ND members point at Karamanlis and ... Minister Souflias".

    VIMA: "Rendez-vous with defeat - Rage in ND grass roots over ballot and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' decisions".

    VRADYNI: "New government's 4 major issues : Bounced checks, deficit, development and unemployment".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [30] Greece and Cyprus to hold parallel trials for 2005 air disaster

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA - A. Viketos)

    There will be parallel trials in Greece and Cyprus for the tragic air disaster of 2005, when a Cypriot airliner crashed into a valley in the region of Grammatikos in Attica, killing all 121 people on board. This was announced by Cyprus Attorney General Petros Clerides on Wednesday, in statements to the Cypriot broadcaster RIK.

    After talks with Greek Supreme Court Prosecutor Ioannis Tentes in Athens, Clerides said there would be no problem in holding parallel trials. During the discussion, it was decided that material evidence currently in the hands of Greek authorities would be requested by Cypriot authorities via judicial assistance channels and will be handed over to allow the judicial process in Cyprus to go ahead.

    The meeting was held in order to settle issues concerning evidence before the start of the trial in Cyprus, which is set to begin on Thursday.

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