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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Humanitarian aid mission for Gaza
  • [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Humanitarian aid mission for Gaza

    Two Greek C-130 military airplanes were on stand-by on Thursday to depart with a cargo of 280 tons of humanitarian aid destined for the relief of the injured people in the Gaza Strip, in one of the first foreign aid missions to Palestine in the wake of Israeli bombings.

    The C-130s, manned by a five-member crew each, will depart in the next few hours from the military airport in Elefsina for Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, carring one of the largest Greek despatches of blood and blood by-products ever organized, as well as IV drips, antibiotics and other medicinal supplies. In Tel Aviv, the aid will be turned over to the World Health Organization (WHO) by a doctor of the Greek National Health Operations Center (EKEPY), for the wounded Palestinians in Gaza.

    Foreign ministry secretary general Theodoros Skylakakis, who holds the developmental assistance portfolio, EKEPY director Panos Efstathiou and Air Force General Staff (GEA) chief Yiannis Yiangos were at Elefsina military airport ahead of the airplanes' departure.

    "The Greek aid is one of the first missions that will arrive in Gaza," Skylakakis noted and thanked, on behalf of the foreign ministry, the Hellenic Red Cross, the City of Athens, the Doctors of the Heart organization and the health ministry.

    "We are sending blood. We are sending assistance, which is crucial in this very difficult situation being faced by the people of Palestine, the people of Gaza," Skylakakis said, adding that a larger despatch of humanitarian assistance was being planned for the next stage, to be sent by ship.

    The EKEPY, the health and social solidarity ministry, in collaboration with the foreign ministry and the Air Force, have collected, in the first stage, a large quantity of blood and blood by-products -- more than 150 units -- one of the biggest dispatches ever made by Greece abroad, Efstathiou said, in turn.

    Efstathiou underlined that an EKEPY doctor would accompany the mission, and would turn over the medicinal supplies and other aid to the WHO in Israel where, he stressed, was important so as to ensure that the aid would reach Gaza.

    The EKEPY chief further said that the blood being sent was sufficient to almost fully meet the immediate needs in fresh blood for more than 70 people, who were the most heavily injured and had immediate need of transfusions.

    Caption: A Greek conscript loads military aid from Greece for Gaza onto a C-130 military aircraft at Elefsina Airport, east of Athens. (ANA-MPA/K. Mavrona)

    [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The New Year edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The new challenges of the New Year, and the fears but also expectations for reversal of the adverse climate in politics, the economy and international relations were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Thursday, New Year's Day.

    AVGHI: "2009: Happy for the bankers, adverse for the working people".

    KATHIMERINI: "The challenges of 2009 - Papoulias (President of the Republic): Need for new political conscientiousness - Karamanlis (prime minister): Clash with irresponsibility".

    LOGOS: "As of today...What is changing in public and private sector salaries".

    NIKI: "2009: Year of reversals - Rapid political developments coming".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "There is a path for the people, their alliance and the struggle against capital - New Year message from KKE (Communist Party of Greece) central committee".

    TO VIMA: "Kapa Research opinion poll for To Vima: The big fears for 2009 - Economic collapse and social unrest".

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