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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Orthodox Easter exodus begins
  • [02] Karamanlis cites growing cooperation with Russia
  • [03] Papandreou leaves hospital

  • [01] Orthodox Easter exodus begins

    Stepped up traffic measures went into effect on all national motorways in Greece as of Thursday to facilitate the exodus of urban dwellers leaving cities to Orthodox Easter in the provinces. Weather forecasts forecast mostly cloudy skies, brief rainfall and even limited snowfall in the mountainous districts of northern Greece, with distinctly cooler temperatures throughout the mainland and islands. All forms of public transport were approaching 100 percent of passenger capacity, with additional flights, ferry boat routes and train schedules announced. Based on figures provided by Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport concerning the number of flights scheduled for the Easter holiday season, the most popular destinations are Paris, Corfu, Rhodes, Barcelona, Istanbul and Prague. President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias expected to celebrate Easter in the northwest lakeside city of Ioannina, his home town, along with visits to a couple of guard posts on the Greek-Albanian frontier. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and his family were scheduled to stay in the mountainous Ioannina prefecture resort of Dolo, in the Pogonion district, while main opposition leader George Papandreou will remain in Athens with the family, as he is recuperating from a recent accident.

    [02] Karamanlis cites growing cooperation with Russia

    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> firm policy adopted by Greece and Russia promotes peace and stability in the Balkans and the wider SE Mediterranean region, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis stressed in an interview with the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS this week, and ahead of his official visit to Moscow on Tuesday. "We have mutual interests in development and prosperity, while our views are close on many international issues," the PM said, while expressing his pleasure and satisfaction for his third visit to Moscow and talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he called "a great European leader and a friend of Greece". Putin's meeting with Karamanlis will be among his last as the president of Russia considering that Dmitry Medvedev will be sworn-in as president on May 7. In the interview published Thursday, Karamanlis reiterated that he was pleased because Greece and Russia have achieved closer ties during the past four years though a "substantive, intense and close cooperation on major issues of mutual interest." Putin called this cooperation as "strategic" in 2004, the PM said. "The current circumstances work in favor of a multi-beneficial visit for the Greek and the Russian people," PM Karamanlis said, pointing out that he is looking forward to meeting president-elect Medvedev, considering that there are numerous challenges still lying ahead and even more opportunities to further strengthen relations in all sectors. On the Greek-Russian cooperation in the energy sector, Karamanlis said it is substantive, with expanding prospects, pointing out that by the end of 2015 Greece will consume seven billion sq.metres of natural gas, 80 percent of which will come from Russia. He underlined the importance of the European energy security, adding that diversification of energy sources constitutes a priority for European countries, while pointing out that a considerable quantity of oil and natural gas will enter the European market from the Caspian Sea region in the very near future. Referring to the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, the Greek PM stated that the project's course is proceeding as scheduled, adding that an international consortium that has taken over its construction and management has already been established in the Netherlands.

    Caption: Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (R) accompanies Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit by the latter to Athens, in file photo dated March 15, 2007. ANA-MPA / SIMELA PANTZARTZI.

    [03] Papandreou leaves hospital

    Main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou was discharged from KAT hospital in Athens late on Wednesday afternoon. Papandreou was admitted to the hospital on Sunday suffering from minor fractures to the spine and one finger following an accident while riding a bicycle.

    PASOK spokesman George Papaconstantinou said Papandreou was being released after making satisfactory progress in his recovery, adding that this was assisted by his good physical condition.

    He said the party leader would be confined to his home for the next few days but would continue to carry out meetings and party business from there. According to the spokesman, Papandreou is expected to return to full activity at the head of the party after the Easter holiday but no exact date was specified.

    PASOK on Greece's expulsion from Kyoto Protocol

    Greece's expulsion from the Kyoto Protocol carbon-trading mechanisms was a major blow to the country's international image, main opposition PASOK spokesman George Papaconstantinou stressed on Wednesday.

    He pointed out that the development would cause major problems to more than 150 Greek businesses that would not be able to buy carbon emission rights, among them nearly all power plants belonging to the Public Power Corporation (PPC).

    The spokesman said the government was trying to shift its responsibility for this negative development onto others and demanded that Environment Minister George Souflias retract statements to this effect made by the deputy environment minister Stavros Kaloyiannis.

    The spokesman also denounced what he said was an attempt to prevent PASOK officials from distributing leaflets on high prices at toll posts, saying that those in charge of the toll posts had called the police, while noting that cooler heads had prevailed and the leaflets were finally distributed as planned.

    Papaconstantinou further accused the government of delaying four years in buying essential medical equipment for Evangelismos hospital in comments on the resignation of the hospital's director, who is the second director of Evangelismos to resign in a very short space of time.

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