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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Eurobank most active securities firm in Nov.
  • [02] Foreign nationals arrested in migrant-smuggling, ransom ring
  • [03] Thera eruption in 1613 BC
  • [04] Greek energy policy detailed

  • [01] Eurobank most active securities firm in Nov.

    [02] Foreign nationals arrested in migrant-smuggling, ransom ring

    Two foreign nationals, alleged members of an organised migrant smuggling ring, were arrested while four other suspects are wanted by police in Athens. The suspects are accused of keeping six foreign nationals imprisoned in sordid conditions in a rural settlement north of Athens until each paid between 4,000 and 6,000 euros for release. Police recovered an iron rod reportedly used to beat the Third World migrants held hostage, along with a note in Arabic with the names of illegal migrants and sums they owed. Other evidence recovered included a photocopy of an asylum request and a fake Iraqi-issued international driver's license.

    [03] Thera eruption in 1613 BC

    Two olive branches buried by a Minoan-era eruption of the volcano on the island of Thera (modern-day Santorini) have enabled precise radiocarbon dating of the catastrophe to 1613 BC, with an error margin of plus or minus 10 years, according to two researchers who presented conclusions of their previously published research during an event on Tuesday at the Danish Archaeological Institute of Athens.

    Speaking at an event entitled "The Enigma of Dating the Minoan Eruption - Data from Santorini and Egypt", the study's authors, Dr. Walter Friedrich of the Danish University of Aarhus and Dr. Walter Kutschera of the Austrian University of Vienna, said data left by the branch of an olive tree with 72 annular growth rings was used for dating via the radiocarbon method, while a second olive branch -- found just nine metres away from the first -- was unearthed in July 2007 and has not yet been analysed.

    The researchers said both olive tree branches were found near a Bronze Age man-made wall, giving the impression that they were part of an olive grove situated near a settlement very close to the edge of Santorini's current world-famous Caldera. The two trees were found standing when unearthed, and apparently had been covered by the Theran pumice immediately after the volcano's eruption.

    According to the two scientists, other radiocarbon testing from archaeological locations on Santorini and the surrounding islands, as well as at Tel el-Dab'a in the Nile delta in Egypt, corroborate the dating based on the olive tree.

    On the other hand, as the two researchers pointed out, archaeological evidence linked with the Historical Dating of Ancient Egypt indicate that the Thera eruption must have occurred after the start of the New Kingdom in Egypt in 1530 BC.

    The two researchers said their find (olive tree) represents a serious contradiction between the results of the scientific method (radiocarbon dating) and scholarly work in the humanities (history-archaeology), with both sides holding strong arguments to support their conclusions.

    The radiocarbon dating places the cataclysmic eruption, blamed for heralding the end to the Minoan civilisation, a century earlier than previous scientific finds.

    The eruption and the subsequent devastation throughout the Aegean has long piqued researchers' interest, with many scholars pointing to Plato's reference of the "lost continent of Atlantis" on vague memories, passed down generation to generation in the ancient Greek world, of the catastrophe.

    Caption: A view towards the west from the crescent-shaped Cyclades island of Santorini (ancient Thera) overlooks the Caldera and the rock isle in the middle, where the inactive volcano that erupted in early antiquity is located today. ANA-MPA / SIMELA PANTZARTZI.

    [04] Greek energy policy detailed

    Greece's main targets in the energy sector are boosting security of sources and promoting the use of alternative sources of energy, as well as conservation measures, Development Minister Christos Folias told a conference on EU energy security in Paris on Tuesday.

    In his address, the Greek minister stressed, however, that even if it achieved its targets by 2020 -- a 20-pct cut in CO2 emissions; 20-pct increase in energy efficiency and 20-pct of consumption coming from alternative sources -- Europe would still continue importing energy in the future.

    An under-construction oil pipeline linking Burgas with Alexandroupolis, the South Stream natural gas project and the ITGI natural gas pipeline ensured secured energy supplies for Greece, and at the same time, contribute to the EU's energy security, Folias said, adding that Greece was fully responding to the Union's strategy for creating new energy infrastructure.

    Folias, who holds the energy portfolio, underlined that Greece will soon have one of the largest terminal stations for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Europe, after completing the upgrading of a terminal station on the islet of Revythoussa, near the main port of Piraeus. He also said that Athens was promoting political dialogue with neighbouring countries on energy issues.

    The Paris conference on energy security is part of the second reform of energy strategy in the European Union.

    The conference was organised by the current French EU presidency.

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