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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-11

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM confers with social security foundation governor
  • [02] Getty Museum to return Classical artifacts
  • [03] IAEA con'f opens in Athens

  • [01] PM confers with social security foundation governor

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday met with the governor of the state-run Social Insurance Foundation (IKA), Yiannis Vartholomeos, with whom he discussed IKA's new organisational scheme as well as efforts to accelerate procedures aimed at better serving beneficiaries of the country's largest pension and healthcare fund.

    Speaking to reporters after the hour-long meeting, Vartholomeos said he briefed the prime minister on IKA's course in 2006 and the planning for 2007.

    He said the premier asked him to proceed with the acceleration of all procedures concerning the time required for finalising retirement pensions, but also for speeding up appointments with staff physicians at IKA clinics.

    "It is the prime minister's standing order that we serve people without delays," the IKA head said.

    Replying to a question, Vartholomeos said the process of regulating debts to IKA was expected to begin after Dec. 20, following the passing of a relevant law and its publication in the Government Gazette.

    "Many people owe a lot of money to IKA", he said, adding that the fund is expecting to collect large sums from overdue contributions.

    [02] Getty Museum to return Classical artifacts

    Two important ancient Greek artifacts smuggled abroad by illicit trade in the past, namely, a gold wreath and a marble statue of a "kore" -- a standing young woman clothed in long robes, circa 5th-6th century BC -- will be returned to Greece next year by the LA-based Getty Museum.

    Based on a Getty Museum statement, the institution's board of trustees unanimously decided to return the two antiquities to the country of origin.

    In a joint statement issued by Culture Minister George Voulgarakis and the museum, it is stressed that there are also plans for future cooperation between the Greek culture ministry and the Getty Museum, established via a trust fund created by oil magnate J. Paul Getty.

    In an unscheduled press conference at noon Monday, Voulgarakis stressed that an opportunity is being presented to establish a broad framework of cooperation between the renowned private museum and the culture ministry on issues of mutual interest, such as the loaning of antiquities and exhibitions.

    Caption: Minister Voulgarakis at the press conference in Athens on Monday, Dec. 11, 2006. ANA-MPA photo / O. Panagiotou.

    [03] IAEA con'f opens in Athens

    An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)-sponsored international conference on the decommissioning of nuclear facilities and the "safe termination" of nuclear activities began here on Monday, bringing together some 350 top scientists from around the world.

    The IAEA is represented by deputy director general and the head of its department of Nuclear Safety and Security, Tomihiro Taniguchi.

    On his part, the president of Greece's atomic energy agency, Prof. Leonidas Camarinopoulos, said the east Mediterranean country's keen interest in the sector remains focused on a handful of nuclear facilities in neighbouring countries due for closure, in tandem with increased interest in building nuclear power plants in the region.

    Caption: IAEA deputy director general Tomihiro Taniguchi speaks in Athens on Monday, Dec. 11, 2006. ANA-MPA / S. Pantzartzi.


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