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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-08-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 23 August 2010 Issue No: 3573


  • [01] Major wildfire chars area east of Karystos; blazes on Crete
  • [02] PM's phone contacts with foreign leaders
  • [03] Opposition blasts updated memorandum
  • [04] ND spokesman on economy
  • [05] Loverdos: Goal is to avoid bankruptcy
  • [06] Greek envoy in Kabul; meeting with Petaeus
  • [07] Airport traffic back to normal
  • [08] Mass jail escape from Athens-area police precinct
  • [09] Illegal migrant smuggling using fake passports at airport
  • [10] German hiker found safe on Crete mountain
  • [11] Moderate quake recorded off Zakynthos
  • [12] Panathinaikos to honor Bobek
  • [13] Fair on Monday
  • [14] The Sunday edition of Athens' papers at a glance

  • [01] Major wildfire chars area east of Karystos; blazes on Crete

    A major wildfire on Sunday scorched much of the area east and northwest of the harbour town of Karystos, in the extreme south of the large island of Evia, with mostly crops and agricultural sheds burned in the process, although several residences sustained fire-related damages in nearby settlements.

    The wildfire was aided by gusting winds in the region of up to 10 on the beaufort scale, as southern Evia is one of the most wind-swept areas in the Aegean. Significant fire brigade forces along with local volunteers were in the region. The incident marks the second time this summer that a major wildfire has erupted in the Karystos region, with the one on Sunday mostly affecting areas to the east and northwest of the town.

    Meanwhile, a trio of earlier wildfires on Crete was mostly under control on Sunday, one outside the city of Ierapetra and two others in Rethymno prefecture.

    The wildfire that erupted close to a noted palm forest at the Preveli site, also in Rethymno prefecture, burned some 400 hectares. According to reports, the palm tree forest was completely destroyed.

    [02] PM's phone contacts with foreign leaders

    Prime Minister George Papandreou on Saturday spoke by phone with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, while a day later he spoke with the prime minister of Lebanon Sa'ad Hariri, as well as with Libyan Prime Minister Ali al-Mahmudi.

    Papandreou reportedly touched on the situation in the Middle East, the Cyprus issue, and bilateral relations between Greece and Lebanon and Greece and Libya, respectively.

    [03] Opposition blasts updated memorandum

    Opposition political parties issued stern reactions on Saturday following the previous day's unveiling of the closely watched updated memorandum between the Greek state and the "troika", a landmark set of obligations that must be met to ensure continued emergency loans offered to the country.

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Panos Panayiotopoulos emphasized that the latest memorandum merely "brings our people more problems ... those who voted for it (memorandum) should consider their responsibility. New Democracy insists that there is another path for the country, and it has also proposed specific measures."

    A statement by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) stated that the memorandum "is yet more proof of the barbarous and anti-popular measures have no end."

    The Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party said the government and troika have failed in their policy "and have decided to implement new measures, absolutely in the same dead-end direction of the up-until-now memorandum".

    [04] ND spokesman on economy

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos in a statement on Sunday referred to the economy, stressing that "what is happening these days indicates that the government has decided to institute a new (tax) raid against households and enterprises, one which will result in more poverty for families and despair for pensioners and even more (business) closures".

    [05] Loverdos: Goal is to avoid bankruptcy

    Employment and Social Insurances Minister Andreas Loverdos on Sunday warned that he foresees an increase in unemployment after the end of ongoing tourist season, as well as increased difficulties for SMEs.

    Loverdos, whose interview was published by the Athens daily "Ethnos", said the upcoming period will be the first since the early 1950s when a majority of Greeks will see lower incomes than in preceding years.

    He added said the major goal is for the country to avoid bankruptcy because this would mean the same obligations to banks and public utilities organisations yet translate into one-half of incomes and a halving of people's property values.

    Additionally, the minister underlined that Prime Minister George Papandreou's basic concern is to set the economy on a development track, while referring to the possibility of social clashes, Loverdos said he regards "as a major danger" citizens' refusal to participate in the common economy (paying taxes, social security contributions).

    [06] Greek envoy in Kabul; meeting with Petaeus

    Greece's ambassador to Pakistan Petros Mavroidis paid an official visit to Afghanistan earlier this month, as he is also accredited as Athens ' envoy to the country. The Greek ambassador was received by ISAF commander US Gen. David Petraeus, with whom he discussed the overall situation in Afghanistan .

    The top US general briefed the Greek ambassador on the challenges and difficulties facing the NATO forces in Afghanistan .

    On their part, members of the Greek delegation briefed Petraeus on the contribution and capabilities of Greek forces in the construction and repair of infrastructure works in Afghanistan , as well as the considerable work done at social contribution level, as Greece has "adopted" a school for the deaf in Kabul.

    The Greek delegation was comprised of the ambassador, the commander of Kabul 's international airport, Hellenic Air Force Lt.-Gen. Dimitris Pantelatos, and the other two high-ranking Greek officers in the central Asian country, Constantinos Takopoulos and Apostolos Masalis.

    Additionally, on August 17 Amb. Mavroidis and the Afghan Deputy Defence Minister Mohamed Fauzi signed an agreement in Kabul concerning the training of four Afghan cadets at higher military educational establishments in Greece . The agreement anticipates the training of two cadets at the army military academy and two cadets at the officers' military academy, beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year.

    Additionally, Mavroidis, accompanied by Pantelatos, were given a guided tour by Afghanistan's Deputy Culture Minister Omar Sultan of the National Museum in Kabul, an institution financed by the Greek state.

    Sultan himself is a Greece-educated archaeologist and a one-time assistant and researcher to late Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos, while he also participated in the 1970s-era excavations at the Vergina site, the seat of the ancient Macedonian dynasty.

    General News

    [07] Airport traffic back to normal

    Flights to and from Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport as well as to other airports around Greece were normalised by early in the afternoon on Sunday following a breakdown hours in earlier in the communications system connecting flight control towers in the country.

    A glitch was repaired before 10:30 a.m. local time in the main communications system.

    [08] Mass jail escape from Athens-area police precinct

    Eight foreign nationals incarcerated and awaiting deportation escaped from a lockup at the Paleo Faliro police precinct, in southern Athens, in the early morning hours of Sunday, authorities said.

    The prisoners reportedly loosened the bars of a cell at the precinct. Twenty-five men were held in the lockup at the time.

    The escaped prisoners were identified as four Palestinians, two Afghans, an Algerian and a Pakistani. Of the eight, two Palestinians were later apprehended.

    Two police officers on duty during the escape were suspended, pending an administrative review of the incident.

    [09] Illegal migrant smuggling using fake passports at airport

    Two foreign nationals and two local men were arrested by authorities in Irakleio, Crete on Friday and charged with migrant smuggling, specifically with using and procuring bogus travel documents for illegal immigrants in order to fly them out to European destinations from the city's busy airport.

    The two foreign nationals, 26 and 23, were arrested at the airport when presenting what turned out to be fake Spanish passports. The pair was accompanied by a child, also supplied with a fake passport.

    According to reports, the two local men checked-in for the foreign nationals at the ticket counter. Another unidentified woman was arrested as well. Police said the second pair is suspected of checking-in for another duo of illegals the previous day.

    [10] German hiker found safe on Crete mountain

    A 19-year-old German hiker was found safe and well by a rescue team just after midnight on Saturday after getting lost on the southern slopes of Mt. Psyloriti on Crete earlier in the afternoon. The teen had earlier called his father via cellphone, with the latter contacting police in the area.

    [11] Moderate quake recorded off Zakynthos

    A moderate earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale was recorded at 13:22 local time in a sea region southwest of the Ionian island of Zakynthos.

    The quake's epicentre was pinpointed at 339 kilometres west of Athens and was felt on the island.


    [12] Panathinaikos to honor Bobek

    Panathinaikos Athens will honor its noted 1960s-era coach Stjepan Bobek with a moment of silence on Sunday evening before the start of a friendly game with FC Genoa at the Athens Olympic Stadium.

    Zagreb-born Bobek, one of the greatest Yugoslav strikers of all time, died early Sunday at the age of 86 in a Belgrade hospital.

    Additionally, Panathinaikos cited Bobek's contributions to the club in statements on the team's official website.

    Weather forecast

    [13] Fair on Monday

    Fair weather and fading northerly winds are forecast for Monday. Wind velocity will reach 8 on the Beaufort scale. Scattered clouds in the north with temperatures ranging from 17C to 35C; clear skies in the south; 18C-35C; the same for the islands, 22C-34C. Sunny in Athens, 23C-33C; the same for Thessaloniki, 23C-31C.

    [14] The Sunday edition of Athens' papers at a glance

    Continuing reverberations from the economic and fiscal crisis on society as well ubiquitous political developments following the end of the summer holidays mostly dominated the headlines on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Helliniko (former Athens airport) to be turned into concrete, after grandiose campaign promises by G. Papandreou of construction of Europe's biggest park".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Salary cuts of up to 20% after implementation of unified wage scale in first trimester of 2011".

    AVGHI: "They're holding elections void of politics".

    AVRIANI: "Third shipowner caught in land grab for Church property".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "11 billion euros in 'dowry' for 13 small premiers (of regions)".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Plan for sale of utilities, public enterprises".

    ETHNOS: "Heightened internal party developments; changes in government, political scene in autumn".

    KATHIMERINI: "High taxation turning into boomerang".

    NIKI: "Public debt to balloon to 600 billion euros after six years".

    PARON (weekly): "Roadblock to memorandum. Slap in the face to government by (pending) Council of State (ruling)".

    PROTO THEMA (weekly): "2,000 major depositors tracked by finance ministry to Switzerland."

    REALNEWS (weekly): "Ragoussis solution for government".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Coordination, counter-attack by workers, poor farmers".

    VETO (weekly): "Slow death for households (due to economic downturn)".

    TO VIMA: "Seven sins of the 'troika': wrong forecasts and baseless recommendations by our creditors."

    VRADYNI: "Pensions: Why to win more time".

    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: ILIAS MATSIKAS

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