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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Unemployment down to 8.3 percent, NSS reports
  • [02] Greece, France back UN resolution for journalists
  • [03] Skyrian horses face extinction, scientists warn

  • [01] Unemployment down to 8.3 percent, NSS reports

    Unemployment fell to 8.3 percent in the third quarter of 2006, down from 9.7 percent in the same quarter of 2005, Greece's National Statistics Service announced on Tuesday. In the same period, the country's working population accounted for 53.5 percent of the total population above 15, which was the highest rate for several years.

    Rates of joblessness among young people aged 15-29 remained high at 17.6 percent, rising to 25 percent for young women. Rates of joblessness also tended to be higher than the national average in northern and western parts of Greece, below average in Crete and the southern Aegean and at 8 percent in Attica, down from 8.9 percent in the third trimester of 2005.

    Speaking in Parliament on Monday night, during the second day of debate on the goverment's budget for 2007, Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis stressed that "it has been many years since we have seen this figure," the minister told parliament on .

    Alogoskoufis, architect of the budget, noted that unemployment had fallen three percentage points to 8.3% from 11.3% in March 2004 when the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) lost national elections.

    "No-one can be satisfied with this level of joblessness, as people are behind the figures. Government policy aims to provide more Greeks with jobs every day, aided by tax reform, the investment law, a law on joint private and public sector ventures, and privatisation," he said.

    "Unfortunately PASOK has said no to each of these initiatives," he added.

    [02] Greece, France back UN resolution for journalists

    Greece and France are working together closely for the adoption of a United Nations Security Council resolution that will protect journalists reporting from war zones and crisis areas, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said on Tuesday. Its adoption would be the best culmination of Greece's two-year participation on the Security Council, she added.

    The minister made the statement during a joint press conference with French Ambassador to Athens Bruno Delaye at the Greek foreign ministry.

    Originally proposed by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the idea went before the Security Council in September, during the month when Greece held the rotating presidency.

    Bakoyannis said that the Greek presidency had promoted the proposal with the support of permanent Security Council member France and found it positively received by the other members, so that it was now slated for discussion in depth over the coming days.

    Representing the IFJ, Greek journalist Nikos Megrelis pointed out that 146 people working for the media had been killed in 2006, most of them in Iraq, and he underlined the importance of such a resolution, since it would for the first time give the UN Secretary-General the right to monitor the deaths of journalists, attribute responsibility to governments and demand action.

    According to Delaye, there had been 60 journalists killed in 2005 and 75 in 2006, while the number of victims just in Iraq among those working for the media had reached 130 in the same year.

    The initiative to bring the proposal before the UN Security Council reflected the good and close cooperation between France and Greece, he added.

    He also pointed out that France had praised the quality and ingenuity of Greek diplomacy during its two-year term on the Security Council.

    [03] Skyrian horses face extinction, scientists warn

    The small-bodied horses of Skyros are threatened with extinction on account of their diminishing population, scientists said on Tuesday. The Skyrian Horse, also known as the Skyros Pony, is no more than 104 centimeters long with a reddish-brown coat and a long mane.

    A species native to the Aegean island of Skyros, it was the sole means of transportation on the island until the 1970s, when it was replaced by mechanical means. Its population was whittled down as a result of continuous crossbreeding with donkeys, as well as inbreeding practices.

    Information on the Skyrian Horse was presented on the occasion of cooperation launched between Thessalonikiās Aristotelian University Reproduction Physiology of Farm Animals Laboratory and the Thessaloniki Prefecture, aimed at saving and protecting the Skyros Pony while, at the same time, sensitizing the prefectureās schoolchildren on the issue.

    The Skyrian horse population in Greece currently numbers less than 200 members when, according to the EU, a species is threatened with extinction when it numbers no more than 1,000 members. A total of 137 horses live on Skyros while the rest can be found in farms in Thessaloniki, Corfu and Larisa.

    In Thessaloniki, the first three Skyrian Horses were kept in a special farm unit established at Porto Carras Hotel in Halkidiki. After reproduction efforts their population rose to 40 and in 1988 they were donated to the Aristotelian University farm. It was then that a systematic effort was launched by the Reproduction Physiology of Farm Animals Laboratory for their registration, the identification of their DNA and the creation of their first genealogical table.

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