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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-09-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't pushes high-profile OA plan
  • [02] Metro extension ready in 2010
  • [03] 'Alex case' on trial

  • [01] Gov't pushes high-profile OA plan

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Thursday with Transport and Communications Minister Costis Hatzidakis to discuss developments regarding ailing national carrier Olympic Airways (OA), following the European Commission's recent approval of a high-profile and ambitious Greek government plan for its restructuring and future privatisation.

    Speaking to reporters afterwards, Hatzidakis reiterated that OA was the only completely state-owned airline in the EU, while it was also the most loss-making airline company in Europe, relative to its size, adding that consequently the government could not remain inert.

    He said the government had proceeded forward, carrying out its duty, and solved a problem that has been plaguing Greece's political system, economy and society for 30 years.

    At the same time, the government was providing a socially just solution, not only because the solution fully covered the OA employees, but also because the taxpayers, and particularly the lower income brackets, would stop throwing money down a "bottomless pit", Hatzidakis said.

    "We are proceeding, consequently, with this corrective reform for a new OA that will retain both the name and the logo of the present company," he said

    Replying to questions, Hatzidakis said the relevant tender would be completed at the end of the year, noting that before that the privatisations committee would meet to give the "green light" for the open public tender, in accordance with conditions agreed with the European Commission.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Maximos mansion

    [02] Metro extension ready in 2010

    The Athens Metro extension from Aghios Dimitrios station to Ellinikon will open to the public in the first quarter of 2010, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works minister George Souflias announced on Thursday, during a visit to the construction site, noting that the extension would include three new intermediate stations in Ilioupolis, Alimos and Argiroupolis.

    Souflias visited the construction site at the Ilioupolis station, as the tunnel boring machine arrived at the station.

    He explained that the extension had been due for completion in December 2009, but has been delayed due to the unearthing of significant antiquities along the route, and mainly in the Alimos area.

    The extension will serve more than 80,000 passengers daily, while the route from Ellinikon to Syntagma Square, which currently requires 40 minutes by car, would only take 15 minutes by metro. Parking facilities are also planned at all the stations, as well as transfer points to urban buses.

    Souflias further announced that the tendering procedures are progressing for another Metro expansion from Haidari to Piraeus, while the relevant studies are also progressing for the tendering of a new metro line from Galatsi to Syntagma Square, and form there to Maroussi, totaling 20 kilometers.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Athens Metro works

    [03] 'Alex case' on trial

    The trial of five schoolboys involved in the case of little Alex Meshivili from Veria, northern Greece, who disappeared on February 3, 2006 and is still missing, got underway in a juvenile court in Thessaloniki on Thursday. The five, three Greeks (two of them brothers), a Romanian and an Albanian, now aged 14 to 15, are accused of killing 11-year-old Alex Meshivili and hiding his body. The 17-year-old brother of the two Greek boys will also stand trial, accused of perjury and abetting a criminal. The boys are accused of jointly committing murder and desecrating a dead body. "The trial is our last hope to find out where Alex is," said Alex's mother Natela, speaking to reporters, and expressed her confidence in the justice system while calling for the punishment of those guilty. A total of 100 witnesses have been called to testify in the trial that is being held behind closed doors. The parents of the accused were allowed to be inside the courtroom to offer moral support to their children while several people from the city of Veria have gathered outside the Thessaloniki Courthouse in support of the missing boy's family. Seven other individuals, the parents of the boys, will also be tried at a later date accused of neglecting a minor, while the grandfather of the two Greek brothers will be tried separately, accused of perjury and abetting criminals. <font size="3" face="Verdana">

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of missing 11-year-old Alex Meshivili.

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