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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-07-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

Friday, 22 July 2011 Issue No: 3844

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek PM says Greece has a program in tackling its debt
  • [02] PM, Finmin meet EU leadership ahead of Eurozone summit
  • [03] Top Greek bankers arrive in Brussels
  • [04] KKE: Whatever solution given will be 'thunderbolt' for the Greek people
  • [05] PM Papandreou pledges continuous support for Cyprus settlement
  • [06] PM to meet UEFA's Michel Platini in Athens next week
  • [07] Parliament votes against action to indict former ministers for Siemens scandal
  • [08] ND on Siemens case Parliamentary vote
  • [09] Turkey threatens to plant nuke plant in occupied Cyprus
  • [10] Papoulias receives Speaker of Malta House
  • [11] Pamboukis meets with GSCC, IMO chief in London
  • [12] New list of heavy and hazardous professions to be unveiled on Monday
  • [13] Cretan products presented at Summer Fancy Food Show 2011 in D.C.
  • [14] Stocks end sharply up
  • [15] Greek bond market closing report
  • [16] ADEX closing report
  • [17] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday
  • [18] Taxi owners' strike action continues; reactions
  • [19] ND appeals to striking taxi owners to stop blocking access
  • [20] 17 year-old stabbed to death on Corfu
  • [21] 19 years-old missing in Samaria Gorge found dead
  • [22] Five children find Italian tourist's lost wallet
  • [23] 10 pct of Greek forests burnt since 1983, report shows
  • [24] Three forest fires reported on Thursday
  • [25] Wildfire threatens two villages on Greek-Albanian frontier
  • [26] "17N" convict Vassilis Xiros released after completing sentence
  • [27] Savvopoulos at Herod Atticus in Sept.
  • [28] Couple arrested for drug dealing
  • [29] Heroin bust on Crete
  • [30] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

  • [01] Greek PM says Greece has a program in tackling its debt

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M.Spinthourakis)

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said here on Thursday night that Greece "has at last a program in order to tackle, in the long term, the problem of its debt."

    Speaking during a joint press conference with European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at the end of a marathon meeting of a Eurogroup Summit, Papandreou thanked the European leaders for the "package" of support to Greece adding: "We are a proud people, a people that works hard and the only thing we are asking is the right to make changes."

    Papandreou added that his aim was to go ahead with great and deep reforms in the Greek economy and to establish a society capable of creating new jobs.

    European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy said on his part that measures had to be taken immediately, because, as he said, "a difficult situation was gradually becoming not manageable".

    He added that with Thursday's decisions, the crisis is being tackled through funds from both the Eurogroup member states and private investors on a voluntary basis.

    The crisis can be dealt with, Van Rompuy also said, adding that the summit agreed on a new EU-IMF support program to Greece comprising lower interest rates for Greek bonds and longer maturities.

    Commission President Barroso noted that the case of Greece "is unique" and that Thursday's decisions stand only for Greece and not for other countries.

    Papandreou termed the summit's decisions "important for Greece and Europe", adding that the sacrifices of the Greek people "are yielding results" and that the citizens's "right to hope is guaranteed".

    The Greek prime minister also said that he government had gone through difficult talks but it had followed a plan in order to avoid the country's default.

    Papandreou underlined that the summit decided on a long term growth program for the Greek economy - the so called "Marshal Plan" for Greece.

    [02] PM, Finmin meet EU leadership ahead of Eurozone summit

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA - M. Spinthourakis)

    The Eurozone heads of state and government that arrived here on Thursday for an emergency Eurozone summit on the European debt crisis have completed a working dinner held in the afternoon.

    Immediately afterward, they resumed negotiations aiming at an agreement on a second bailout package for Greece and the measures needed to stabilise the eurozone.

    Earlier on Thursday, before the start of the summit, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her advisors. The meeting was later also joined by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and Eurogroup chair Jean-Claude Juncker. Also present was International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

    [03] Top Greek bankers arrive in Brussels

    Bank of Greece (BoG) governor George Provopoulos and National Bank chairman Vassilis Rapanos arrived in Brussels on Thursday.

    Their presence in the Belgian capital was necessary as decisions expected to be taken over a second support package for Greece were to have serious consequences on the country's banking system, in case a European solution affects banks.

    [04] KKE: Whatever solution given will be 'thunderbolt' for the Greek people

    Whatever solution is given at the eurozone summit will literally be a "thunderbolt" for the Greek people, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga said on Thursday, adding that it will have a very heavy price and its consequences will be long-term.

    Speaking to seamen on the ship "Phaestos", Papariga said: "Whatever solution they give, either extension (of the loan repayment), or 'haircut', or buy-back of bonds, or whether they say that they will tax the banks and that the banks' portfolios will be streamlined through that taxation...whatever they say, for the working people it will be a very heavy price".

    Besides, she added, the EU today was not discussing measures for the working people, measures to improve the place of the working people or for the relief of the working people.

    "The working people, you see, of course have the ability of losing even more. That is not what they will be discussing," Papariga said.

    She said that the big argument was over the distribution of the burdens on each country, since "each one is looking to lose the least in fewer years and to ensure that, from what it loses, it will quickly receive something in return to restart the profitability of the big capital".

    [05] PM Papandreou pledges continuous support for Cyprus settlement

    Greece will continue to fully support the Republic of Cyprus and the ongoing efforts by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias to terminate the Turkish occupation, in the framework of a just, viable and functional settlement of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, Prime Minister George Papandreou said.

    He pointed out that the federal solution must provide for one state with a single sovereignty, single citizenship and one international personality and must see the acquis communitaire implemented throughout the territory of Cyprus to the benefit of all its legal citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    In a statement to mark the 37th anniversary since the Turkish invasion and continuing occupation of Cyprus' northern part, Papandreou expressed faith that international legality will soon be restored in Cyprus.

    He recalled that the UN Secretary General urged on July 7 in Geneva President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu to intensify their efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement and prepare the public opinion for mutual compromises, and pointed out that, contrary to this call, the Turkish Prime Minister discouraged the Turkish Cypriots through the statements he made on July 19.

    "These statements prove once again that the substance of the Cyprus issue is the Turkish invasion, the occupation and the illegal settling. They undermine the political credibility of declarations by the Turkish leadership on their will to move into a new era of 'zero problems' with its neighbours," he noted.

    The Turkish PM talked about a solution of two states on an equal par, claimed there is no recognised state of the Republic of Cyprus and said he would not be returning to the Greek Cypriots Morphou or the Karapass areas, in the context of a negotiated settlement.

    Greek political parties also denounced the ongoing Turkish occupation of Cyprus since the summer of 1974.

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias is engaged in direct talks with Eroglu, under the UN auspices, with a view to finding a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country under a federal roof.

    [06] PM to meet UEFA's Michel Platini in Athens next week

    Prime Minister George Papandreou will receive UEFA president Michel Platini and a UEFA delegation next week in Athens.

    According to an announcement, Platini will visit Athens in the wake of contacts with Greek Tourism & Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos, regarding joint action to reform Greek professional football and to restore its image, which has been severely tarnished by match-fixing allegations over the past few months.

    [07] Parliament votes against action to indict former ministers for Siemens scandal

    The Greek Parliament on Thursday did not approve the formation of an advisory council of public prosecutors to examine the evidence against former New Democracy ministers George Alogoskoufis and Christos Markoyiannakis in connection with the Siemens scandal, to see whether it warranted their indictment to stand trial.

    The vote was on a motion tabled by 108 ruling PASOK MPs to set up an advisory council of three prosecutors to examine the evidence for the criminal charges of breach of faith against the two ministers but the motion failed to collect the required majority of 151 votes.

    Main opposition New Democracy and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party abstained from the vote entirely, while the smaller opposition parties said that they had all cast blank votes. In the final tally of 178 votes cast, only 141 voted in favour of the motion for Alogoskoufis and 136 in favour of the motion for Markoyiannakis.

    Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou stressed after the result was announced that the case was not closed because the Supreme Court was continuing to investigate. Concerning Siemens' announcement that it intends to counter-sue the Greek gover-nment in order to avoid paying compensation, Papaioannou noted that Alternate Development Minister Haris Pamboukis had recently wrapped up talks with Siemens and that the government will soon announce the measures it will take against Siemens Hellas and its German-based parent company.

    [08] ND on Siemens case Parliamentary vote

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party on Thursday expressed satisfaction for Parliament's decision that former ND government ministers George Alogoskoufis and Christos Marko-yiannakis should not face charges related to the Siemens case.

    ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis said "the political dege-neration of the Siemens bribery scandal attempted by the gover-nment was rejected by the ruling PASOK MPs," adding that "the Siemens scandal has been painted green (after the color of PASOK party emblem) with the ruling party MPs' stamp of approval."

    ND MP Evangelos Antonaros, who served as government spokesman under former PM Costas Karamanlis, underlined that "the efforts by PASOK's leading team to turn the 'green' Siemens scandal into unfounded accusations targeting two ministers of the Karamanlis government has failed miserably and boomeranged."

    [09] Turkey threatens to plant nuke plant in occupied Cyprus

    ANKARA (ANA-MPA / A. Abatzis)

    Ankara's energy plans include the construction of a Russian-type nuclear plant in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus, according to English-speaking "Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News", citing a board member of the country's chamber of mechanical engineers.

    In an article dated July 20, it is underlined that the general plan provides for the construction of a nuclear plant in occupied northern Cyprus or laying underwater cables from Turkey.

    The newspaper published statements by Haluk Direskeneli, a board member of the Chamber of Mechanical Engineers and head of its energy committee, who said that "Russia's barge-mounted nuclear power plant might be built in northern Cyprus," adding that such a facility would generate electricity "not only for the Turkish part (of the divided island), but also the Greek part."

    He also said that "the idea of a nuclear power plant in northern Cyprus was brought up at a seminar in the British Council's Ankara office on Jan. 16, 2007, attended mainly by academics." The newspaper writes that the nuclear plant plan was confirmed by the Turkish Cypriot sources as well.

    A few days ago, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz had referred to "a plan" on which Ankara was working for the past two or three years focusing on the transfer of power across the sea to Cyprus.

    [10] Papoulias receives Speaker of Malta House

    President of Republic Karolos Papoulias on Thursday received Malta's Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Frendo.

    Papoulias expressed a hope that European leaders will understand that Europe is in danger, and that they should not forget the historic part of Europe.

    Referring to Greek-Maltese relations, the president underlined the bonds of friendship and good relations between the two countries and on issues that fall under their common interests, such as maritime and Mediterranean basin issues.

    Financial News

    [11] Pamboukis meets with GSCC, IMO chief in London

    London (ANA-MPA/L. Tsirigotakis)

    Greece's new alternate development minister Haris Pamboukis, who is responsible for shipping affairs, had his first acquaintance meeting in London on Wednesday with the London-based Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee (GSCC).

    Discussions focused on matters concerning international shipping, marine education and ways of attracting youths back to the maritime profession, and prospects for evolving Piraeus into a modern international shipping hub.

    Pamboukis said that in order to achieve the upgrading of Piraeus, institutional and legislative stability is needed, counter-incentives need to be eliminated, modern infrastructures need to be created, and the infrastructure of maritime education needs to be improved.

    Shipping is for Greece one of the pylons for development that can contribute to attainment the national goal of achieving a primary surplus in the near future and reversing the difficult situation in which the country finds itself today, Pamboukis said.

    The Greek alternate minister also met with the Greek secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Efthymios Mitropoulos, with discussions focusing on the environment and reducing pollutants.

    [12] New list of heavy and hazardous professions to be unveiled on Monday

    A new indicative list of professions classed as heavy and hazardous is to be unveiled on Monday, Labour and Social Insurance Minister George Koutroumanis revealed on Thursday during a meeting with a construction workers' union federation.

    The new list is being worked on by the Heavy and Hazardous Professions Commission.

    The meeting with the ministers was not without incident as 50 members of the Communist-affiliated PAME faction in the construction workers federation had arrived demanding to see the minister at 11:00 a.m. and insisted that they had an appointment, after which the took over his office.

    The minister was out at the time, attending a Parliamentary committee, and a meeting was finally held at 12:30 when he returned. The members of PAME departed roughly an hour later.

    [13] Cretan products presented at Summer Fancy Food Show 2011 in D.C.

    The island of Crete participated in the exhibition "Summer Fancy Food Show 2011" which took place in Washington from 10-12 July.

    Enterprises from Crete and from other parts of Greece presented their products, as well as the Cretan diet, in cooperation with the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board.

    "Summer Fancy Food Show" is the largest event in the food and beverages sector in America and every year attracts a large number of entrepreneurs and visitors.

    A total of 2,400 exhibitors from 80 countries presented their countries' products.

    [14] Stocks end sharply up

    Stocks ended sharply higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday as investors reacted positively to early news over the outcome of a Eurozone Summit. The composite index of the market surpassed the 1,200 level to end at 1,214.42 points, up 2.54 pct, with bank shares at the focus on buying activity. Turnover also improved at 115.738 million euros. The Big Cap index rose 3.79 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 2.54 pct higher and the Small Cap index ended 2.93 pct higher. National Bank (10.61 pct), Eurobank (6.82 pct) and Ellaktor (6.75 pct) were top gainers, while Coca-Cola 3E (1.6 pct), OTE (1.06 pct) and Folli Follie (0.22 pct) were top losers among blue chip stocks.

    Banks (7.68 pct), Technology (6.03 pct) and Financial Services (4.54 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Food (1.58 pct) and Commerce (0.05 pct) suffered losses. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 111 to 29 with another 35 issues unchanged. AXON Holdings (20 pct), Koumbas (14.29 pct) and ELBE Clothing (14 pct) were top gainers, while Vioter (12.5 pct), Hatzioannou (11.11 pct) and General Commerce (9.09 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +4.35%

    Industrials: +0.61%

    Commercial: -0.05%

    Construction: +2.40%

    Media: +4.26%

    Oil & Gas: +1.95%

    Personal & Household: +0.91%

    Raw Materials: +6.85%

    Travel & Leisure: +1.21%

    Technology: +6.03%

    Telecoms: -1.06%

    Banks: +7.68%

    Food & Beverages: -1.58%

    Health: +3.20%

    Utilities: +1.78%

    Chemicals: +3.49%

    Financial Services: +4.54%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Coca Cola 3E, Alpha Bank and EFG Eurobank Ergasias.

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

    Alpha Bank: 3.03

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 8.90

    HBC Coca Cola: 18.50

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.33

    National Bank of Greece: 4.90

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 2.82

    OPAP: 11.12

    OTE: 5.59

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.91

    Titan: 15.10

    [15] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank spectacularly in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Thursday on hopes of a concrete response by the EU on the Greek debt crisis, with the spread falling at 13.36 pct from 14.30 pct on Wednesday. The Greek bond yielded 16.24 pct and the German Bund 2.88 pct.

    Turnover in the market rose to 74 million euros, of which 62 million were buy orders and the remaining 12 million euros were sell orders. The five-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security of the session with a turnover of 1.0 million euors.

    In interbank markets, interest rates moved lower. The 12-month rate was 2.17 pct, the six-month rate 1.81 pct, the three-month rate 1.60 pct and the one-month rate 1.44 pct.

    [16] ADEX closing report

    The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 0.32 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday, with turnover at 44.539 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 12,457 contracts worth 32.807 million euros, with 29,705 short positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 32,431 contracts worth 11.731 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (15,879), followed by Eurobank (4,263), Piraeus Bank (3,237), Alpha Bank (3,613), Hellenic Postbank (984), ATEbank (849), Marfin Popular Bank (399), Mytilineos (306) and Cyprus Bank (931).

    [17] Foreign Exchange rates - Friday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.443

    Pound sterling 0.891

    Danish kroner 7.566

    Swedish kroner 9.237

    Japanese yen 113.77

    Swiss franc 1.186

    Norwegian kroner 7.891

    Canadian dollar 1.364

    Australian dollar 1.344

    General News

    [18] Taxi owners' strike action continues; reactions

    Various mobilisations of taxi owners continued on Thursday across the country after their decision to extend their strike indefinitely, against the sector's deregulation.

    Taxi owners periodically blocked access to several national motorways, airports and ports throughout the country.

    Meanwhile, the passenger ferries association SEEN addressed a letter to the ministers of citizen protection, competitiveness and tourism, calling for the adoption of necessary measures and the implementation of the law as a response to the transportation problems created that affect thousands of tourists.

    The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, in a letter to the culture & tourism minister, called for a crisis management ministerial committee meeting to adopt coordinated action in handling the taxi owners' actions.

    According to the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, it is imperative that the necessary measures will be adopted to ease the consequences of the taxi mobilizations on foreign tourists who have chosen Greece for their summer vacation.

    A statement by the Exporters' Association of Northern Greece (SEVE) underlined that the extreme forms of protest, such as the taxi owners' strike, further downgrade Greece's image abroad and cancel out the efforts made by healthy enterprises in the country to reverse the negative international atmosphere.

    SEVE called on the strikers to realise the gravity of the situation and seek other ways to solve their problems, stressing that the government should make all efforts to bring the situation back to normal.

    Meanwhile, the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) requested the intervention of Supreme Court prosecutor Ioannis Tentes to put an end to the blockade of airports, seaports, motorways, public buildings etc by striking taxi owners.

    SETE underlined that the strike, aside from the inconvenience of citizens and foreign visitors, defames Greece abroad.

    Already, local prosecutors in Athens and other major cities have launched ex officio preliminary investigations to determine whether the crimes of transportation obstruction and passenger travel disruption were committed.

    Case files have been put together and prosecutors do not rule out confiscation of taxicabs if strikers continue the blockade action.

    [19] ND appeals to striking taxi owners to stop blocking access

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party on Thursday appealed to striking taxi owners nationwide to refrain from blocking access to airports, seaports or national motorways while, at the same time, lashing out again at the government and the relevant minister in particular.

    ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis underlined that Minister Yiannis Ragoussis is "trapped in a personal (political) vendetta with his predecessor Dimitris Reppas, whereas the former's actions are a "proof of the insolvency" of the government, one that "lacks coordination and has no plan".

    Mihelakis accused Ragoussis of causing social confrontations, and of being indifferent to the serious economic consequences and damage caused to the tourism sector.

    [20] 17 year-old stabbed to death on Corfu

    A 17-year-old Albanian was fatally injured on Wednesday night in the central square of the city of Corfu on Corfu island.

    According to initial information the young man and five other Albanian nationals had an argument and one of them, also aged 17, stabbed the victim.

    The injured youth was rushed to Corfu hospital, where he died a shot while later.

    Police are searching for the perpetrator, whose identity is known.

    [21] 19 years-old missing in Samaria Gorge found dead

    A 19-year-old student who was missing since Wednesday in the Samaria Gorge on Crete island was found dead at Aghios Georgios spot on the 7km of the passing on Thursday morning.

    The young man, who in the last seven days was working in a volunteer programme at the national forest of Samaria, was found wedged between two boulders.

    The youth was working with the rest of the team in Samaria Gorge but he did not return to the meeting point at the scheduled time.

    An operation to locate the missing youth was immediately launched. Samaria Gorge workers, sniffer dogs and a rescue team on foot together with police officers and Red Cross volunteers took part in the operation.

    [22] Five children find Italian tourist's lost wallet

    Five children from Anogia village on Crete, found on Thursday in the area of Armi in Rethymno, an Italian tourist's wallet and handed it over its owner after tracking him down to his hotel.

    The wallet contained a large amount of cash and credit cards.

    The man expressed enthusiasm over the fact that the children sought him out and finally turned up at the hotel he was staying in order to return his wallet.

    [23] 10 pct of Greek forests burnt since 1983, report shows

    Forest fires have claimed more than 10 percent of Greece's forests between 1983 and 2008, according to the findings of a report entitled "Forest Fires of Greece: 1983-2008" that was released on Thursday. In roughly half these fires, the original cause remains unknown.

    The total expanse of territory burnt during that period is estimated at just over 1.3613 million hectares or 1,200 square metres for every resident in the country.

    The study was conducted by the Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology of the National Agricultural Research Foundation and the environmental group WWF Hellas.

    The full report is available online in Greek at the site http://www.oikoskopio.gr/pyroskopio/pdfs/pyrkagies-ellada.pdf and the interactive website http://www.oikoskopio.gr/pyroskopio/index.php).

    The study begins in 1983, the year in which the Greek forestry service began to keep records of a large number of parameters linked to each incident of fire, until the year 2008. The results are presented in 10 volumes, one for each of the geographical divisions of the country and one for the country as a whole.

    Based on its findings, there are 1,465 forest fires in Greece each year on average, which burn 52,400 hectares of forest and agricultural land annually. The highest incidence of fires is in the Peloponnese, which accounts for 19 percent of fires and 27 percent of burnt territory.

    Up to 47 percent of burnt territories were burned in fires whose cause has never been discovered, 11 percent were the result of either proven or possible intended arson and 9 percent result from the burning of pasture.

    The month in which the biggest disasters and greatest numbers of incidents occurs is August but the most ferocious fires take place in July. Incidents at the weekend are more devastating compared with those on weekdays and most fires begin after 2:00 p.m.

    The average response time of fire-fighting forces to the report of a fire is 36 minutes and the average duration of forest fires is about 15 hours.

    One of the interesting and perhaps surprising facts arising from the report is that fire-fighting aircraft are useful in combating fires when they are just beginning but are less effective at dealing with extended fronts, leading to the conclusion that the way they are used needs to be re-evaluated.

    [24] Three forest fires reported on Thursday

    A fire broke out at the village Styrfaka, 15 kilometres west of the city of Lamia in central Greece, at around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

    Fire-fighters are battling to extinguish the blaze that quickly spread due to strong winds blowing in the area. The flames formed a front around 300m-long that burned through low-growing forest and brush, heading toward the village.

    A strong fire-fighting force and two PZT water-bombing aircraft have managed to put out the front that was heading for the village while the flames are continuing to burn westward toward the nearby mountain.

    The fire has also temporarily severed the rail connection between Athens and Thessaloniki, with trains stopped as a precaution because the flames are burning close to areas that the rail line passes through.

    Greek Railway operators are currently waiting for the all-clear from the fire brigade before they allow trains currently stranded at various points along the route to continue their journey.

    In addition to the fire near Lamia, two smaller fires began after 2:00 p.m. in the prefecture of Kozani. The first started in the region of Kontovouni-Vathylakkos and was burning crop residue and grassland. A force of 20 fire-men, 12 vehicles and a 22-strong contingent on foot was sent to put out the blaze.

    A second fire that began eight minutes after the first in Ardassa, Ptolemaida is now under partial control after burning 1.5 hectares of dried grass and canes.

    [25] Wildfire threatens two villages on Greek-Albanian frontier

    A wildfire that broke out on Albanian territory on Wednesday spilled over into northwest Greece at noon on Thursday, fanned by strong winds blowing in the region, and was threatening the villages of Argyrohori and Oreino on the frontier with Albania.

    Firefighting forces are battling the blaze, assisted by four water-bombing aircraft and one helicopter.

    A second wildfire that burned in Albania for two days and crossed over into Greek territory in the region of Ftelia in Thesprotia prefecture, NW Greece, was mostly controlled and is not threatening populated areas.

    Finally, another wildfire in the region of Kerees, near Preveza, NW Greece, destroyed 0.8 hectares of forest land. The fire brigade and police are conducting an investigation into an instance of possible arson, following reports by eyewitnesses.

    [26] "17N" convict Vassilis Xiros released after completing sentence

    Vassilis Xiros, who was serving a 25-year sentence for participation in the notorious 'November 17' terrorist organisation, was released from a farm prison in Halkidiki, northern Greece, on Wednesday.

    Vassilis Xiros, the younger brother of two other imprisoned '17N' members, was released after technically serving three-fifths of the 25 year sentence, completing a full 9 years in prison with six years of labor in prison, which count separately towards the incarceration term.

    [27] Savvopoulos at Herod Atticus in Sept.

    Noted Greek composer and performer Dionyssis Savvopoulos will headline a concert at the Herod Atticus Odeon on Sept. 25 based on two comedic works of ancient Athenian playwright Aristophanes.

    The exclusive performance at the venue, a Roman-era amphitheatre at the foot of Acropolis in central Athens, will benefit the scholarship fund of the distinguished Arsakeio-Tositsia Schools. The latter schools are part of the Athens-based Filekpaideftiki Society, which was founded in 1836 is a public non-profit welfare foundatio (www.arsakeio.gr)

    The musical performances will revolve around Aristophanes' comedies "Acharnenses" and "Wealth" ("Plutus", in the Latin).

    [28] Couple arrested for drug dealing

    A 21-year-old man from Albania and a 21-year-old woman from FYROM were arrested in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on Friday charged with drug dealing. Police found in their possession and in their residence 14 kilos and 326 grams of hashish, 212 grams of heroin, and cash deriving from drug dealing.

    The drugs were confiscated and the couple was sent before the local prosecutor.

    [29] Heroin bust on Crete

    A 29-year-old Romanian national on Thursday was arrested in Heraklion, on Crete island, charged with drug dealing.

    Police, acting on a tip-off, arrested the suspect as the latter attempted to sell heroin.

    Police officers found on the detainee and in his residence one plastic bag containing two packets with 513 and 516 grams of heroin respectively and another plastic bag with twenty small packets containing 5 grams of heroin each.

    The foreign national was sent before a Heraklion prosecutor and the drugs were confiscated.

    [30] The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Political leaders' deliberations to find a solution ahead of the special Eurozone summit, mostly dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Thursday's Summit decisions crucial".

    AVGHI: "This Europe has no future".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Green light for the loan repayment extension and decrease in interest rate".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Greens (ruling PASOK's colour) in the red over the (striking) taxis".

    ESTIA: "Critical hours for Greece".

    ETHNOS: "Thriller until the last minute".

    IMERISSIA: "Critical hours for Europe".

    KATHIMERINI: "Marathon of deliberations and agony over Europe".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Hour of weighty decisions on Europe's future".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Strong struggle and counterattack for protection of the people".

    TA NEA: "Greece-France....Germany".

    VRADYNI: "At the mercy of Germany's selfishness".

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana-mpa.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ILIAS MATSIKAS


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