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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK leader accuses gov't of 'panic'
  • [02] Transfer of exhibits to new Acropolis Museum

  • [01] PASOK leader accuses gov't of 'panic'

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, speaking after a session of the party's Political Council on Thursday, expressed his grave concern over the situation being shaped in the country, that includes forest fires, the derailment of trains, problems in the Panhellenic examinations.

    Papandreou stressed at the same time that "the time has come for a new government, a new change, a government that will make the state effective again and will bring back the feeling of confidence and reliability in society."

    The PASOK party leader said that what is taking place over the past few days "is regrettable and unprecedented", reiterating the phrase "enough is enough," which, as he said, even characterises the voters of the New Democracy party today.

    "All that is taking place today, harms Greece, it does not suit us and we don't deserve it," he said and referred to the forest fires in Parnitha, Crete and Skiathos, the dead in these fires, the "lack of coordination and planning in the Fire Brigade, Political Protection and the Police, that are emerging injured from the partisanship of (rulin) New Democracy."

    Papandreou also referred to the 15 derailments of trains in nine months, "without anyone assuming responsibility". He also made special mention of the problems of the Panhellenic examinatioins, stressing that the "undoubtedly reliable institution of the state is being led to disdain."

    Lastly, Papandreou attributed responsibilities to the education minister and to the ministry and underlined that the prime minister "has a serious political and moral responsibility as well, who is absent again at a crucial turning point that the institution is experiencing." The Panhellenic examinations, he added, cannot be the object and victim of partisan games and of petty interests.

    While addressing the party's Political Council meeting, which unanimously endorsed his proposition, Papandreou accused the government of "political panic with dangerous dimensions".

    Papandreou spoke of a "downhill course" that New Democracy has entered and pointed out that it must not take the country with it along this downhill course.

    The PASOK leader further criticised Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, speaking of a "theatrical performance in Parliament with attacks against members of PASOK". He predicted new attacks of the same kind which, as he said, "are already being announced in advance as underground extortion".

    "We do not fear anything. We want everything on everyone to come to light and for this reason we proposed the creation of a Parliamentary facfinding committee that will be open for all issues," he said.

    Referring to the time of the next elections (normally due in the country in March 2008), Papandreou said that "we are not determined by election scenarios and we are not interested if the elections take place in September, November or March. We are ready for elections at any moment and we have built our own strategy."

    The party's National Council will convene again on July 29, that will approve the lists of Parliamentary deputy candidates and all candidates will be summoned to a joint meeting on August 2 that will be addressed by the party's leader.

    By decision of the party's leader, an Election Campaign Committee has been set up that includes, among others, Tonia Antoniou, Evangelos Venizelos, Fofi Yennimata, Maria Damanaki, Theodoros Pangalos, Vasso Papandreou, Christos Papoutsis, Costas Skandalidis, Dimitris Reppas, Telemahos Hytiris and Costas Laliotis.

    [02] Transfer of exhibits to new Acropolis Museum

    The old Acropolis Museum built almost next to the Parthenon on the summit of the Sacred Rock in Athens was permanently closed in early July after being in operation for 133 years and work has begun on preparing all its exhibits for transfer to the new Acropolis Museum designed by architect Bernard Tschumi by mid September.

    Crews of expert conservators and restorers have undertaken to prepare the roughly 330 huge Parthenon exhibits for the transfer by replacing their brass parts with ones made from titanium and cleaning the surface of the statues and bas-reliefs using laser techniques.

    The transfer is expected to be completed in roughly 2 months with 4 transfers daily namely, a container every 2.5 hours.

    Hundreds of statues and priceless artifacts currently kept in warehouses will also be exhibited for the first time ever in the new museum.

    A demonstration of the technique used to package the artifacts was made on Thursday to Culture Minister George Voulgarakis who visited the old museum of the Acropolis.

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