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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-03-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Demarche over flag insult
  • [02] Scientists cite desertification risk

  • [01] Demarche over flag insult

    Greece's ambassador to the FYROM, as expected formally lodged a demarche with the government here on Sunday evening in protest of several billboard ads appearing on Skopje's streets that insulted the Greek national symbol

    Amb. Alexandra Papadopoulou also demanded that the ads be immediately removed, following instructions by the Greek foreign ministry earlier on Sunday.

    The demarche emphasised that Greece's struggle against fascism and Nazism during WWII was not disputed by anyone, warning that such actions posed an obstacle to the advancement and development of good-neighbour relations in the region.

    There has been no reaction over the billboard ads by the FYROM government, which depicted the blue Cross morphed into a Swastika.

    "This unacceptable poster, which was circulated via a private initiative and put up on Skopje's streets, directly insults our country's national symbol and our struggle against fascism and Nazism," a foreign ministry spokesman tersely said on Sunday afternoon in response to a press question.

    The posters ostensibly promoted a photography and graphic arts exhibition set to open at the Skopje cultural and informational centre, which is under the aegis of the municipality of Skopje.

    The ads were also condemned by the FYROM pro-government newspaper "Vecer", which printed the desecrated Greek flag on its front page under the banner headline "Shame", warning that the posters had exceeded all moral boundaries and incited ethnic and religious hatred.

    [02] Scientists cite desertification risk

    Southern Greece and the northern border prefecture of Kilkis will face the spectre of desertification as a result of climate change if a strategic plan for soil management is not adopted soon, according to a scientific conference in Thessaloniki on Monday. Scientists participating in the Moorise Project, a collaboration between Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Italy's University of Basilicata, stressed that such an eventuality is likely, based on conclusions reached after studying the desertification risk for a number of regions in Greece, namely, the prefectures of Argolida, Kilkis and the Aegean islands of Naxos and Lesvos. Suggested precautionary measures include the adoption of new cultivation practices, avoiding monoculture, monitoring the drilling of wells and preparation of a national water management plan. Scientists warned that if environmental pollution continues at the current pace, temperature could rise by 4-5 degrees Celsius over the next few years while rainfall could decrease by 15-20 percent.

    Caption: A Chinese worker leaves a trail of footsteps in the Dong Shawo Desert while building biological barriers using hay to create grid patterns that stabilize sand dunes and prevent desertification, outside Wuwei, Gansu province, China, 02 December 2007. ANA-MPA/EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

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