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

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece second top overall investor in Bulgaria
  • [02] Merchant Marine Ministry steps up efforts in sea transport ahead of major holiday weekend
  • [03] Gov't: No more leeway for aid to peach producers
  • [04] OSE Peloponisos Station temporarily closed for upgrade works
  • [05] Greek Church's Holy Synod unanimously votes to dismiss embattled Metropolitan

  • [01] Greece second top overall investor in Bulgaria

    Greece ranked the second top foreign investor in Bulgaria for the overall period of January 1992 to March 2005, with investments by Greek companies reaching 20.1 million in the first quarter of 2005, bringing the overall figure to 1,054.6 billion dollars, according to figures released by the Bulgarian Foreign Investment Agency (BFIA).

    The total of directly invested Greek capital in Bulgaria over the period January 1992 to March 2005 reached 1.054.6 billion dollars, ranking Greece in second place among the top foreign investors in the neighbouring Balkan country, following Austria.

    According to BFIA figures citing the National Bank of Bulgaria as the source, Austria topped the list of foreign investors in Bulgaria with total direct investments of 1,829 billion dollars over the period January 1992 to march 2005. Austria toppled Greece from first place in the past few years due to exceptionally high investments made -- 163.2 million dollars in the first quarter of 2005 and 923.7 million dollars in 2004, against 20.1 million dollars in the first quarter of 2005 and 156.9 million dollars in 2004 by Greek interests. A key factor in the jump in Austrian investsments was the acquisition of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC), the Bulgarian national telecoms provider (in June 2004, after two years of political and legal wrangling, the Austrian holding company Viva Ventures succeeded in a 730 million euros leveraged buyout of 65 percent of BTC, with the obligation to invest up to 700 million euros in modernisation and digitalisation, half of which was slated to be invested within five years of the acquisition).

    Third among top foreign investors in Bulgaria was The Netherlands, with direct investments of 939.5 million euros in the January 1992-March 2005 period (11.8 million dollars in the first quarter of 2005), followed by Germany in fourth place with 897.1 million dollars in the overall period, Italy in 5th place with 738.1 million dollars in the overall period, and Cyprus in sixth place with 516.4 million dollars in the overall period, according to the BFIA figures.

    [02] Merchant Marine Ministry steps up efforts in sea transport ahead of major holiday weekend

    The Merchant Marine Ministry is stepping up efforts to ensure the smooth travel of thousands of ferry passengers ahead of the major holiday weekend of August 15, Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis announced on Monday.

    Measures include adding ferries to existing routes - particularly for the islands of Paros and Tinos which are major travel destinations for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary holiday - as well as adding staff at the port of Piraeus.

    Furthermore, Kefaloyiannis said that ferry companies which inconvenienced thousands of passengers leaving for their summer holidays in late July and early August, due to technical difficulties and repeated delays, have been fined.

    He also promised to put an end to the existing situtation in the Greek ferry industry.

    [03] Gov't: No more leeway for aid to peach producers

    The government has taken all possible measures to assist peach producers that do not contravene European Union rules, Agricultural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos said on Monday.

    Earlier in the day peach growers from Pella staged a road block in the north, calling for higher crop prices.

    "The government does not have the right to conduct trade in products or shape prices," Basiakos told reporters.

    [04] OSE Peloponisos Station temporarily closed for upgrade works

    The Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) terminal station on Liossion avenue (Peloponisos station) in Athens was temporarily closed to passengers on Monday for work on a section of the network, and the Aghioi Anargyroi station will serve as the terminal for OSE destinations to the Peloponese for the duration.

    The closure of the terminal was deemed necessary for the duration of upgrade works on the Piraeus-Athens-Treis Gefyres-SKA-Aharnes-Ano Liossia section of the railway, comprising completion of the infrastructure of the Suburban Railway.

    The works are part of a general programme for upgrade and modernisation of the nationwide railway network, including the introduction of state-or-the-art high-speed trains.

    Eleven OASA bus lines will be serving passengers to and from the Aghioi Anargyroi station: A12, B12, C12, X12, 420, 421, 892, 701, 704, 717, and 747.

    Passengers may also call the four-digit passenger service telephone line 1110 for further information.

    [05] Greek Church's Holy Synod unanimously votes to dismiss embattled Metropolitan

    Members of the Church of Greece's Holy Synod on Monday unanimously voted to sack embattled Metropolitan of Attica Panteleimon, a high-ranking cleric already suspended since February on allegations of improper and prurient behaviour.

    According to the Holy Synod's spokesman, Metropolitan of Syros Dorotheos, the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece's hierarchy "ascertained that the serious reasons involving his (Panteleimon) person continue to exist..."

    The cleric had previously requested, via his attorney, that Monday's discussion be postponed, something that was also unanimously rejected by the body's members. Additionally, Panteleimon declined to attend the session.

    The Holy Synod meeting was chaired by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos.

    The bishopric of Attica, whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction covers a large swath of the prefecture where the Greek capital is located but not the greater Athens area itself, is among the most influential in the country.

    Metropolitan of Attica Panteleimon blamed Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos for the dismissal.

    In a statement issued on Monday evening, Panteleimon said that Christodoulos "initiated" his dismissal, which he had "promised to carry out six months ago".

    He also accused the Holy Synod of breaking the law by basing its decision on "false recordings", evidence which the Holy Synod "had declared inadmissible three years ago". Panteleimon also said that the legal procedure of taking the case to ecclesiastical court had been bypassed.

    He said that he would appeal the decision to the State Council and to the Ecumencial Patriarchate.


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