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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-12-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Athens town hall the centre of New Year's celebations in Greece
  • [02] PM briefed on election draft law
  • [03] PASOK leader visits children's home
  • [04] KKE message for New Year

  • [01] Athens town hall the centre of New Year's celebations in Greece

    Preparations for celebrating the New Year were in full swing around the country on Sunday, a little more than 24 hours before New Year's Eve ushers in 2008, with the biggest celebrationin Greece again to be staged by the municipality of Athens.

    As opposed to previous years, the 2008 New Year's Eve celebration in the Greek capital will take place in front of town hall in Kotzia Square, rather than in Syntagma Square across from the Greek Parliament. A customary concert, mayor's greeting and fireworks display is planned, as fireworks will also be launched from atop Lycabettus Hill.

    The Zea Marina in Piraeus will be epicenter for New Year's events in the large port city, whereas similar celebrations will take place in Aristotelous Square in the northern Greece metropolis of Thessaloniki.

    Groups of carolers will perform traditional New Year's carols for the country's political leaders on Monday, including members of an organisation comprised of natives of the tiny isle of Kastellorizo, in the extreme southeastern Aegean.

    In terms of the weather front, mostly wintry conditions are forecast for the first day of 2008 on Tuesday, punctuated by rain in many areas of the east Mediterranean country and snowfall in northern Greece.

    Caption: A file photo shows 2003 New Year's Eve celebrations in Athens' Syntagma Square. ANA-MPA / A. BELTES.

    [02] PM briefed on election draft law

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Friday was briefed by Public Administration and Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on issues affecting the latter's portfolio, including administrative reforms and contacts with the two organisations representing municipalities and prefectures in the country.

    Pavlopoulos, in fact, said a draft election law bill will be tabled after the holidays, a standing pledge by the current government to revise the electoral law early in its tenure.

    Additionally, he said measures to combat red-tape were discussed.

    Asked by reporters over the ongoing furor regarding the high-profile Zachopoulos case, and whether it has hurt the government's image, Pavlopoulos merely noted that the matter is under investigation by the independent judiciary.

    "It hurts the government's image only if facts are covered up. As you know, this government, as opposed to what usually occurred in the past, neither covers up anything, nor does it tolerate anything," he said.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek PM Costas Karamanlis.

    [03] PASOK leader visits children's home

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Friday visited a children's care centre in the eastern Attica prefecture township of Vari, along with his wife and three party deputies.

    Papandreou was greeted by the town's mayor and guided through the centre, SOS Vari, by its administrators, as the PASOK delegation handed out presents to children being hosted at the institution, including PCs and other items.

    The main opposition leader and one-time foreign minister thanked the staff for their work at the centre, noting that the hosted children must be raised with love "so that they, in turn, will offer love and kindness to future generations".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    [04] KKE message for New Year

    In a message released for the coming New Year, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Sunday referred to the coming year as a "year of counter-attack to block anti-popular reforms dictated by (big) capital", among others.

    Meanwhile, in an event on Sunday at the Technopolis venue in central Athens for the children of foreign guest workers in Greece, KKE leader Aleka Papariga said her party "has an obligation in 2008 to help the working class in Greece realise that this class does not only include Greeks, but also migrants."

    She also noted that "we hope you some day return to your homelands; not because we don't want you here but because the proper conditions will have been created so that they (homelands) will be able to take you back".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Aleka Papariga


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