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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] 'Dionysia '09' wine show in Athens
  • [02] Foreign interest in Greek fiber optics project
  • [03] Greek hotels record less stays in Jan-Sep '08
  • [04] Building cost index up 2.9% in Jan.
  • [05] ND Sec't Zagoritis' interview

  • [01] 'Dionysia '09' wine show in Athens

    A three-day wine festival and trade sector show, "Dionysia 2009", opens its doors on Friday at the Zappeion Hall in downtown Athens. The exhibition includes the participation of some 150 local winemakers along with thousands of Greek and foreign brands on hand for wine connoisseurs' sampling.

    Additionally, an exhibition of works by noted French wine posterist Jean-Pierre Got will be on display.

    Entrance for the entire three days is 15 euros, and includes a catalogue of all exhibited wines and a commemorative sample glass.

    [02] Foreign interest in Greek fiber optics project

    Foreign institutional investors have expressed a strong interest in a project to develop a fibre optic network in Greece, during the annual European congress held in Copenhagen earlier this month.

    The congress on Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) was organised by FTTH Council Europe and brought together 2,200 executives, amid more than 70 addresses and 71 pavillions of the most significant companies in the sector.

    Greece was represented by executives from the Invest in Greece Organisation and transport ministry officials. Greece plans to develop a fiber optic network in the country, linking two million households and enterprises and expanding in 50 large cities, budgeted at around 2 billion euros. An international tender for the project is expected to be held in the second half of 2009.

    [03] Greek hotels record less stays in Jan-Sep '08

    Overnight stays at Greek hotels fell by 3.5 pct in the January-September 2008 period, compared with the corresponding period in 2007, while customer arrivals also fell by 3.2 pct over the same period, the National Statistics Service announced on Friday.

    The statistical service, in a report, said average stay per person was 4.3 overnight stays, unchanged from the nine-month period in 2007, while hotel room occupancy rates rose to 62.6 pct in 2008, from 60.8 pct in 2007. The service attributed the increase in occupancy rates to a reduction of hotel beds during the nine-month period.

    [04] Building cost index up 2.9% in Jan.

    Greece's home building materials cost index rose by 2.9 pct in January 2009, compared with the same month last year, after recording increases of 5.3 pct and 7.0 pct in January 2008 and January 2007, respectively, the National Statistics Service announced on Friday.

    The statistical service said the home building cost index fell 0.3 pct in January from December 2008, after recording increases of 0.7 pct and 0.4 pct in the same months in 2008 and 2007, respectively.

    [05] ND Sec't Zagoritis' interview

    Ruling New Democracy (ND) Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis on Friday expressed the party's objection to policies promoting flexible labor relations, underlining that the objective is "quality and full-time work for all". Zagoritis stated that this stance was vindicated by the fact that unemployment dropped 4 percentage points, from 11.3 pct roughly five years when the current government took over, adding that currently it is lower than the Euro-zone average.

    In an interview with ANA-MPA, Zagoritis there is no issue of disunity within ND, pointing out that different opinions, personal strategies, exaggerations and shallow viewpoints are not allowed, as they undermine common efforts and are harmful. Referring to the global economic crisis, Zagoritis said the government has a plan, which is constantly being updated to meet developments both at international and European level. Preserving growth, supporting the financially weak and protecting employment as well as fiscal reform, are the three key-points of the government plan, Zagoritis stated, accusing main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou of copying the Stability and Development Programme already presented by the government. "Greece is one of the five Eurozone countries with positive growth rate," Zagoritis said, adding however, that public debt remains high, as it has for many decades. "Our policy is firmly orientated toward a reduction of deficit, which is already lower than the Eurozone average, reduced by half from the 7.5-pct deficit handed over by PASOK. Referring to the opinion polls, he said election results will show which party has the lead, pointing out that the political scene is characterised by fluidity. Zagoritis denied that there was any suggestion to change the election law. Regarding a recently tabled draft law for the Greek expatriate voting rights, Zagoritis expressed a hope that it will be supported by all political parties, allowing overseas Greeks to vote in national elections from their countries of residence after 2011. Moreover, he called on PASOK to display a measure of responsibility on the issue.


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