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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM to meet with health, culture ministers on Mon.
  • [02] EU's Dimas on missed CO2 emission targets
  • [03] Sunday of Orthodoxy observed

  • [01] PM to meet with health, culture ministers on Mon.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will separately receive Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and Culture Minister George Voulgarakis on Monday morning at his office, part of the premier's regular briefings by the Cabinet members.

    On Friday, Karamanlis met with Agricultural Development Minister Evangelos Bassiakos, who briefed him on ministry matters.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bassiakos announced that subsidies to farmers would begin being payed starting Wednesday in 20 prefectures throughout the country in which the correctional procedures with the Agricultural Cooperatives Unions have been completed, as well as the on-the-spot surveys conducted by the Prefectural authorities on the basis of the EU's new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

    He said payments would also have started in the remaining prefectures if the above requirements had been completed there as well.

    [02] EU's Dimas on missed CO2 emission targets

    Greece is veering dangerously away from targets for greenhouse gas emissions and urgently needs to take corrective measures, European Commissioner for the environment Stavros Dimas warned the Greek Parliament's European Affairs and Environment Committees on Friday.

    "Carbon dioxide emissions, based on the Kyoto Protocol and Community levels, should increase by just 25% in Greece [relative to levels in 1990]. We are at 26% and if we do not take immediate and strict measures we will reach 40%," the Greek Commissioner told MPs.

    Stressing his grave concern about the direct and indirect repercussions of global warming and climate change, Dimas said that an international agreement for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions "was the first and urgent priority".

    "The problem is political, economic and moral, while the repercussions - if measures are not taken on a global level - will be much more severe in developing countries. If we continue like this, by the end of the century there will be an increase in temperature by 4 degrees Celsius and this will have terrible, catastrophic consequences. It is indicative that, even if measures are taken, temperatures will increase by 2 degrees Celsius. In the Mediterranean, the repercussions may be greater," he said.

    The Environment Commissioner stressed the need to make use of new energy technologies, with an emphasis on alternative, renewable energy sources, and for a new international agreement for more drastic cuts to carbon dioxide emissions.

    Another point highlighted in his address was the need for reforestation and forest protection:

    "It is an issue I promote in all my international contacts. The destruction of forests, especially in tropical countries, has the result of increasing carbon dioxide by 20%. All countries that have forests must work together to prevent them being denuded," Dimas said.

    Among the measures that need to be taken is to adhere to Community regulations for the quality of fuels, he added.

    Finally, he advised separation of the environment and public works portfolios in Greece.

    "I consider that environment ministers are not very strong in their governments. A strong environment ministry is needed, a sustainable development ministry," Dimas told MPs, underlining that environmental protection should be at the top of the agenda of the next elections.

    Caption: ANA-MPA photo of Dimas.

    [03] Sunday of Orthodoxy observed

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias hosted a reception for Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos and as well as the Metropolitans of the Holy Synod at the presidential mansion on Sunday -- on the occasion of the feast day for Orthodoxy, which falls every year on the first Sunday after the beginning of Lent.

    Addressing Christodoulos, Papoulias stressed the social character of the Church.

    "The Church performs its redemptive work neither with what it usually does nor with what it says but, mainly, with what it is," Papoulias said, adding that this "is" is none other than a vision of another world, one different from the fragile and conventional one in which we live.

    Archbishop Christodoulos responded, on his part, that "we are proud that you are the head of the state. Not only because you are continuing the splendid tradition of the link between the Church and the state, but also because you express a vision regarding issues of faith and national matters."

    He also referred to the social work undertaken by the Church which, as he said, constitutes the largest organisation, after the state, in developing a network for treating social ills.

    Caption: President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, right, meets with Archbishop Christodoulos at the presidential mansion on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007. ANA-MPA / M. Marogianni.

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