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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Arsonists target supermarket, extensive damage caused
  • [02] 'Popular Will' group assumes responsibility for Kolonaki bomb attack
  • [03] New Acropolis Museum opens in June
  • [04] International arrest warrant
  • [05] Papariga address in Ioannina
  • [06] FM in Africa Greeks event

  • [01] Arsonists target supermarket, extensive damage caused

    Arsonists set fire to a supermarket belonging to the "Veropoulos" chain in the Rizoupolis district of Athens at dawn on Thursday, causing extensive material damage.

    According to police, unidentified persons broke the supermarket's entrance with a sledge-hammer, and scattered flammable liquid which they set on fire.

    The blaze quickly spread throughout the supermarket, and was finally extinguished four hours later by a strong team of 21 firemen with 7 fire engines.

    Attica security police were investigating the arson.

    [02] 'Popular Will' group assumes responsibility for Kolonaki bomb attack

    A group under the name "Popular Will" has assumed responsibility for the bomb attack, that took place in the Athens district of Kolonaki earlier on Wednesday night, with a telephone call to a 105.5 radio station.

    According to the police, the explosive device that had been planted outside a stockbroker company was of a moderate strength but considerable damage was caused as the premises were located indoors.

    [03] New Acropolis Museum opens in June

    The galleries of the new Acropolis Museum will be officially unveiled on June 20 in a ceremony that will be in keeping with the importance of the antiquities within their walls, one that will be attended by heads of state and government, noted international figures and broadcast on television throughout the world, Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said on Wednesday.

    Unveiling the events programme and announcing the composition of the new museum's board, Samaras said that the inauguration ceremony will be accompanied by a week of events in the city of Athens, which will be suitably decorated and spruced up for the big day.

    Samaras also stressed that the unveiling of the exhibits will use "unexpected" methods, with new technologies used to showcase the antiquities acting as the "artistic event" of the evening.

    Security during the five days of events is being covered by Greece's interior ministry, while a cruise of the Saronic Gulf has been organised for the day after the inauguration ceremony for the heads of state and government attending.

    According to the minister, the cost of the inauguration is expected to be roughly half the six million euros originally announced.

    The new museum will officially open its doors for the first time at 18:00 on June 17, when accredited arts correspondents will be given a two-hour tour of the galleries, followed by another tour for the general directors of Greek mass media at 20:00.

    On June 18, there will be a tour of the new museum for members and staff of the Museums Council and Central Archaeological Council. At 20:00 in the evening on the same day, the museum will be opened to academics, artists and people of the arts and letters, as well as members of Committees for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles around the world and the association of American Friends of the Acropolis Museum. The foreign press will then be allowed in on June 19.

    The official inauguration on June 20 will take place in the presence of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, with many heads of state and government among the guests, in addition to ministers, the presidents of the IOC and UNESCO, former presidents of Greece, representatives of the Melina Mercouri Foundation, publishers and TV station owners.

    From June 21-23, the new museum will be open to the public, particularly those that have booked through the e-ticketing programme, but the number of visitors will be divided into three daily zones and not exceed 2,550 people for three days.

    The ministry has set the admission price for the museum at one euro throughout 2009, in view of the crisis and in consideration for Greek taxpayers that funded its construction, while from 2010 the admission price will rise to 5 euros. From 2011 onwards, the price of the ticket will be adjusted, with special discounts for pensioners, children, students and the disabled.

    Finally, he referred to the ongoing controversy over plans to demolish two buildings on nearby Dionysiou Areopagitou street that obstruct the museum's view of the Acropolis but are themselves listed buildings of architectural value. He said the ministry was looking into plans for transferring them to nearby plots to be acquired by the ministry, thus preserving the buildings and also giving the museum an unobstructed view of the Acropolis.

    [04] International arrest warrant

    An Athens examining magistrate late Wednesday ordered detention awaiting trial for a former senior Siemens Hellas executive, while an international arrest warrant was issued for a former company CEO in a high-profile bribery and money-laundering case.

    Special examining magistrate Nikos Zagorianos ordered the incarceration pending trial of Siemens Hellas for general director Prodromos Mavridis, after a five-hour deposition by the latter on bribery and money laundering charges.

    Zagorianos also issued an international arrest warrant for Siemens Hellas former CEO Michalis Christoforakos, who faces the same charges, after the latter failed to show up for testimony on Wednesday and informed the magistrate, through his lawyer, that health reasons did not allow him to travel from Munich to Athens. The lawyer also submitted to the magistrate a petition by his client seeking a few days' continuance for his testimony, stating that he had traveled to Munich for the German authorities' investigation into the Siemens bribery scandal.

    The first seven defendants in the high-profile criminal case involving several major contracts signed in 1997 between Siemens and the state-run Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE S.A.) to install digital technology at the latter's telephone substations had received a continuance until May 20 (Wednesday) to testify before special examining judge Zagorianos.

    The defendants, six former high-ranking executives of Siemens Hellas, the German multinational's subsidiary in Greece, and a former OTE top executive, were summonsed to testify to answer bribery and money-laundering charges.

    Zagorianos further set a 700,000 euros bond for Siemens Hellas former financial director Alexandros Athanassiadis, who is prohibited from leaving the country and must personally appear at a police station every two weeks. Athanassiadis declared that he was unable to post such a large sum and it was agreed that he would deposit letters of guarantee for that sum from banks or third parties.

    The examining magistrate granted a continuance to Friday afternoon for another Siemens Hellas former executive, Manolis Stavrianos.

    Earlier, the lawyers for two other Siemens Hellas former executives, Christos Karavelas and Elias Georgiou, stated that they would not be present at their clients' testimonies.

    OTE former executive George Skarpelis' lawyer declared inability to attend the testimony proceedings, while earlier in the morning the lawyer submitted a lawsuit at the Areios Paghos (Greek supreme court) prosecutors' office against magistrate Zagorianos for breach of duty and abuse of authority.

    Caption : ANA-MPA file photo of SIEMENS headquarters in Athens,Greece.

    [05] Papariga address in Ioannina

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga addressed a party rally in the northernwestern city of Ioannina on Wednesday night, accusing the mainstream New Democracy and PASOK parties of "applying a dual and contradictory policy to create a climate of fanaticism among the people and to encourage abstention from the Euroelections ballot boxes, especially for former voters and supporters of theirs."

    "We are against cooperation between European capitalist countries, because it is class-oriented and unequal. We are in favour of equal cooperation between peoples," Papariga also said.

    The KKE secretary general called on the poor popular classes to vote for KKE's ticket "without any hesitation, even if they have certain differences with some of its positions."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga.

    [06] FM in Africa Greeks event

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis addressed on Wednesday evening a meeting celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Federation of the Associations of Africa Greeks (ASEA), which represents Greeks repatriated from various countries of Africa.

    The Greek state, Bakoyannis said in her address, "stands by the side of Greeks who despite difficulties live and excell in Africa".

    She also highlighted the role of the Alexandria Patriarchate which, as she said, is accomploshing an important task on the continent.

    Caption : ANA-MPA file photo of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis

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