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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Measures against high cost of living
  • [02] Shipping a global leader
  • [03] Cabernet in ancient Greece?

  • [01] Measures against high cost of living

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday chaired an Inner Cabinet meeting on energy policy and measures aimed at ameliorating the high cost of living.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Development Minister Christos Folias said he briefed the Inner Cabinet on some 41 steps announced recently by his ministry aimed at curbing the high cost of living, noting that half of those measures have already been implemented, while 10 additional measures would be announced on Thursday.

    Folias explained that the package of measures would produce tangible results when all 41 of the mutually supplementary measures entered into effect, adding that consumers would definitely see results, while he also denied press reports of problems in his relations with Deputy Minister George Vlachos or with the economy and finance ministry.

    He also said the time has come for long-term planning and important decisions on energy policy, stressing that "the present energy model has reached its limits, combined with the rally in international oil prices".

    Folias said he outlined the energy strategy council's report to the Inner Cabinet, adding that a long-term national policy on energy needed to be drafted, with a horizon of the coming decades.

    He said that every possibility would be utilised, based also on the country's energy links, aimed at a dependable and secure supply of energy to consumers, effective protection of the environment, and support of competition in the energy market.

    For that reason, Folias added, the Council's report would be forwarded to the political parties and to the relevant bodies for broad deliberation.

    [02] Shipping a global leader

    The Greek shipping industry is currently enjoying one of its most productive periods of its history, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Wednesday, addressing a seminar on "Shipping: Capital new forms of funding", organised by Economia Business Tank.

    The Greek shipping industry accounts for 20 pct of cargo shipments worldwide, Alogoskoufis said, adding that foreign exchange inflows from shipping surpassed 4.8 billion euros in the first quarter of 2008, up from 3.7 billion euros last year, for an increase of 32 percent.

    The government has set a top priority to attracting shipping companies into the country and noted that the government would do everything in its power to avoid any consequences from Community directives on capital tax.

    He underlined that in the framework of an economic reform programme, Greece enjoys better and cheaper telecommunication services because of increased competition in the sector and that a deal between Deutsche Telekom and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) that will bring better and cheaper telecoms services.

    [03] Cabernet in ancient Greece?

    Did the ancient Greeks and Gauls have a foretaste of cabernet wine 2,000 years ago?

    In "Desert Island Wine," wine expert Miles Lambert-Gocs outlines his theory that the balisca wine, which Pliny identified as Greek in the 1st century AD, had a key role in the evolution of grapes in southwest France, including Bordeaux, and is the oldest specifiable source of cabernet.

    According to a Wine Appreciation Guild announcement, Pliny wrote that the balisca was already present in Rome's Spanish provinces in his time. "It is likely," says Lambert-Gocs, "that the balisca began crossing over the Pyrenees into southwestern France as early as that, since its quality was already recognized." Pliny paid attention to the balisca and became knowledgeable about it precisely because of its quality, which was also noted by the first-century Roman writer and agriculturist Columella.

    By comparing Pliny's information with modern Greek and Albanian descriptions of native grapes, Lambert-Gocs traces the identity of Pliny's balisca and the 'black volitsa' of the northwestern Peloponnese, and the "vlosh" of coastal Albania -- where ancient Greek colonies flourished. Further, key traits of the volitsa (balisca) are seen in Cabernet Sauvignon, as specified and sourced in the addendum report in 'Desert Island Wine,' according to the author.

    Lambert-Gocs is a long-time researcher on Greek wine history. His previous books are 'The Wines of Greece' (1990) and 'Greek Salad: A Dionysian Travelogue' (2004).

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