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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-09-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] President, PM receive new Parliament president Sioufas
  • [02] Skandalidis joins race for PASOK leadership
  • [03] Sparthathlon race begins in Athens on Friday

  • [01] President, PM receive new Parliament president Sioufas

    <!--Newly elected Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas on Friday paid a courtesy call on President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.

    Speaking to reporters, Sioufas said he wanted to express his high esteem and respect for the president and the office.

    "Mr. Papoulias does honour to the highest office of the state, and expresses national unanimity," Sioufas said afterwards.Sioufas, the former development minister in the previous government, also met separately on Friday with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Sioufas said he thanked Karamanlis for "the great honour" in nominating him for the Parliament presidency, adding that they also had a first discussion on the work to be done by Parliament in the period ahead.Caption: President Karolos Papoulias (R) receives new Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas at the presidential mansion in Athens on Friday, Sept. 28, 2007. ANA-MPA / A. BELTES

    -->

    [02] Skandalidis joins race for PASOK leadership

    Senior main opposition PASOK deputy and former minister Costas Skandalidis on Friday announced that he will run for party president during the Nov. 11 election, the third official candidacy since PASOK's defeat in the Sept. 16 general elections in Greece. Skandalidis declared his intention to vie for the party helm following expressed candidacies by current PASOK president George Papandreou and high-profile MP Evangelos Venizelos. Skandalidis, a former party secretary, expressed what he called a strong belief that PASOK supporters and all those following the volatile developments in the party over the past few days are "looking for such a candidacy." "The intention is to unite and not to cause a rift," said Skandalidis, adding that the purpose of his candidacy is to politicise procedures. He stressed that he advocates unity, new ideas and proposals for a radical and democratic left that will bring together all progressive forces. Skandalidis stated that he respects and honors both Papandreou and Venizelos.

    In a statement later on Friday, Venizelos welcomed Skandalidis' candidacy with "comradely love and respect".

    "It is a clear position that sends an unambiguous message regarding the need for absolute respect for the unity of the party, through the observance of democratic procedures and substantive political dialogue," he added.

    [03] Sparthathlon race begins in Athens on Friday

    The 246-kilometre Spartathlon -- an ultramarathon race tracking the route taken by ancient Athenian runner Pheidippides in 490 BC, when he was sent to request Sparta's help against the oncoming Persian army -- began in central Athens on Friday with 323 athletes taking part.

    The race kicked off at 7 a.m. on Friday in front of the Acropolis and will end in front of the statue of King Leonidas in Sparta, where the first athletes are expected to arrive on Saturday morning.

    The Spartathlon is considered one of the most difficult ultra-long-distance races in the world and one that is also notable for its historic background. The exclusive sponsor of the race is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

    This year, however, the Municipality of Sparta will offer only simple and solemn reception and award ceremony for the participating athletes as a sign of respect for the extensive destruction suffered in the Peloponnese during August's destructive wildfires. The award ceremony will be held in the town's central square on Saturday night.

    Caption: Greek athlete George Psailas is shown competing during the 2005 Spartathlon, in a file photo dated 2 October 2005. ANA-MPA / A. VENETSANOS.


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