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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM meets European Commission President Barroso in Athens
  • [02] Papandreou: Greece must be green economy leader
  • [03] Wildfires continue to blaze throughout Greece

  • [01] PM meets European Commission President Barroso in Athens

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday hosted a working dinner at the seaside resort of Vouliagmeni in Attica for European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who is currently in Greece.

    During the dinner, Karamanlis and Barroso discussed the latest developments regarding the EU Reform Treaty for changing the Community's institutions, European enlargement and political developments in Turkey in view of Sunday's elections in that country, as well as the future of Europe.

    Barroso is in Greece in order to attend and address an event organised by the European Cultural Centre of Delphi (ECCD) in collaboration with the "Constantine Karamanlis" Foundation, taking place under the aegis of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, that will mark the 30th anniversary since the ECCD was founded, largely through the efforts of the late statesman Costantine Karamanlis - the uncle of the present Greek prime minister.

    The subject of the two-day conference, which begins at Delphi on Sunday, is on "European political ideal - cultural origins and future challenges".

    Karamanlis will deliver the conference's opening address on Sunday at 19:00, and there will follow addresses by Barroso, Culture Minister George Voulgarakis, the vice-president of the Constantine Karamanlis Foundation Achilleas Karamanlis, European Parliament vice-president Rodi Kratsa and the president of the Constantine Karamanlis Foundation Ambassador Petros Molyviatis, as well as the ECCD board president Eleni Glykatzis-Ahrweiler. Participants will be welcomed by ECCD director Prof. Christodoulos Giallouridis.

    During the event, Glykatzis-Ahrweiler is also scheduled to unveil a carved bust of the late Constantine Karamanlis, while the ECCD central lecture theatre will be renamed as the Constantine Karamanlis Conference Centre.

    On the sidelines of the events there is a photography exhibition using photographs from the ECCD photo archives to mark its 30th anniversary.

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (R) warmly greets European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) as the latter arrives at the seaside resort of Vouliagmeni in Attica for a working dinner with the Greek premier on Saturday, July 21 2007. ANA-MPA/ALEXANDROS BELTES.

    [02] Papandreou: Greece must be green economy leader

    Greece must be at the forefront of the green economy and PASOK was therefore placing the environment at the top of its agenda, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou stressed on Friday as he delivered the closing speech at the 10th international Symi Symposium on the island of Paros.

    Referring to the fires that have raged throughout the country all week, meanwhile, PASOK president said that the past days had been a "trial for the nation" and underlined that PASOK was working with determination and a plan for the future of Greece.

    Papandreou also spoke about Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and his efforts to protect the environment, noting that the Patriarchate was currently going through a difficult time in which it needed Greece's constant support.

    "Greece cannot continue to stay silent before this trial," he stressed.

    At other points in his speech, PASOK's leader outlined his visit to the former exile island of Gyaros and spoke about the people who had been imprisoned there for their struggles for democracy, and also to Cyprus, marking the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the north of the island and stressing that Greece was still fighting for a solution to the Cyprus problem, an end to the occupation and the peaceful coexistence of the two communities in the framework of international law.

    Among the speakers at the last day of the Symi conference was Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who outlined the Patriarchate's part in efforts to alleviate the repercussions of economic and technological development on the environment, such as climate change worldwide.

    Bartholomew spoke about the contribution of the Orthodox Church to dealing with the problem, which he attributed to human greed, reckless development and the desire for dominance.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    [03] Wildfires continue to blaze throughout Greece

    Wildfires continued to burn throughout Greece on Saturday as temperatures soared and the country prepared itself for another major heat wave.

    A blaze that began several days ago in the area of Aghios Nikonas in Mani, at the southwestern tip of the country and has now crossed the border into the prefecture of Laconia, was abating but continued to worry the fire brigade because it had spread to a forest on Mount Taygetos at a height of 1300 metres that fire-fighting forces found difficult to reach.

    All the fire-fighting forces sent out to tackle the blaze have remained in the area, assisted by two French 'Canadair' fire-fighting aircraft sent as reinforcements.

    Another fire in Elikonas, central Greece that had incinerated dozens of hectares of fir forest near the village of Arvanitsa overnight was reported as being under partial control, with two aircraft, two helicopters, three fire-fighting teams on foot and fire-engines from all central Greece sent out to fight the blaze.

    The fire in Elikona broke out at around 14:00 on Friday at many points simultaneously, so that it quickly blazed out of control. Despite the efforts of fire-fighters in the air and on the ground, they were unable to put out the several fronts of the fire and all sides are convinced that arson was involved, while local residents also claim that they heard explosions when it broke out.

    According to the Livadia fire brigade chief Christos Zaris, there was "evidence of arson," while he pointed out that new blazes would begin even from inside tree trunks. Earlier this month, the community head George Lazarou had also expressed fears that the Elikonas forest might be a target for arsonists and had asked for fire engines to be permanently station in the area.

    Fire brigade officers also pointed out that the spot where the fire first broke out was extremely inaccessible, even to aircraft, and it was very difficult for fire-fighting forces to approach the flames and contain the fire.

    Another blaze on Mount Parnassus, at a height of 1700 metres above Arachova and near Livadi broke out at 21:00 on Friday night in pastureland and quickly spread to an area of shrubs and small trees. The immediate mobilisation of both residents and the fire brigade contained the fire, so that all threat to the national road or the surrounding fir forest was removed shortly after midnight.

    The fire brigade is again convinced of arson, with the head of the Parnassus fire-fighting force pointing out that the fire could not have started on its own at such a high altitude and in the particular area. The fire was eventually put out after burning an area of about three hectares.

    Also under control is a fire at Militsa in the prefecture of Messinia, Peloponnese while fires in Makyneia near Nafpaktos, and at Ano Souli in the prefecture of Achaia, west Peloponnese were under partial control.

    Fires reported as subsiding include those in Paleopanagia in Nafpaktos, at Chrysokelaria in Messinia, at Dervenaki in Achaia, on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, at Lapsista in Ioannina, at Polypotamos on the island of Evia, at Piges Thermion in Drama, at Kyta in Laconia in the eastern Peloponnese, at Ierisso in Halkidiki and at Mount Grammos in Kastoria.

    Caption: Fire-fighters battle a blaze in the Diakofto district of Achaia prefecture, in western Greece, on Thursday, July 19, 2007. ANA-MPA / GIOTA KORBAKI.

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