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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-08-02

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece sets new record in electricity consumption as heatwave sets in
  • [02] Thessaloniki to host 2006 European Cup in Athletics
  • [03] Inner cabinet approves introduction of VAT on new buildings

  • [01] Greece sets new record in electricity consumption as heatwave sets in

    Greece set a new record in electricity consumption on Tuesday, with demand totaling 9,510 MW shortly before 13.30 local time.

    The countryās electricity grid was put to its strongest test so far after a series of technical problems in Public Power Corporationās power stations in Kardia and Megalopoli, with the latterās energy production cut to just 80 MW.

    Increased demand was covered with energy imports from Italy and Greeceās northern neighbours (totaling 1,100 MW) and with electricity cutbacks in PPCās lignite mines and water pumping stations.

    Demand for electicity reached 8,600 MW on Monday night, equaling the daily peak of August 2004 during the Olympic Games. This development shows that most Greek citizens slept with their air conditioning systems operating during the night.

    Both the Development ministry and PPC urged consumers to save energy during peak times (11.00-15.00 local time) and stressed that the situation would remain critical on Wednesday also.

    [02] Thessaloniki to host 2006 European Cup in Athletics

    The northern Greek city of Thessaloniki has been chosen to host the 2006 European Cup in Athletics - formerly known as the Bruno Zauli Cup - the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced on Tuesday. The competition will be held in June 2006, with Europe's top male and female athletes competing.

    Shortly after the news was announced, Greek Deputy Sports Minister George Orfanos said the decision to award yet another major international sports competition to Greece, which will also be hosting the IAAF World Cup during the same year in Athens, reflected the international sports world's confidence in Greece.

    "The right preparation and coordinated movements by the Greek side have brought Greece this victory, which will yield the corresponding benefits with the presence of dozens of top athletes. The decision of the European Athletic Association (EAA) proves the high level of Greek sport and our country is once again called on to prove its abilities, using the important legacy in infrastructure and installations but also experience obtained during the successful organisation of the Olympic Games," Orfanos said, expressing his thanks to all that worked for the success of Greece's bid, especially Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) president and IAAF board member Minos Kyriakou.

    [03] Inner cabinet approves introduction of VAT on new buildings

    An inner cabinet meeting on Tuesday discussed an Economy and Finance ministry plan to introduce a 19 percent VAT on new buildings from January 1, 2006.

    Speaking to reporters, after the meeting, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said the measure would help significantly in combatting tax evasion in the country, while he added the first homes would be excluded from the introduction of VAT. The measures also include higher tax-exempt levels for heritages and a gradual phasing out of a tax on real estate transfers.

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias said the measures were in the right direction and underlined his satisfaction over the fact that ND's pre-election programme was being implemented.

    Education Minister Marietta Giannakou said the inner cabinet unanimously approved a draft legislation over the quality upgrading of Technical Colleges and to ensure professional rights for graduates. Mrs Giannakou said the Finance Ministry has already approved 800 organic job positions in the country's universities and that the draft bill was adding another 1,030 more jobs.


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