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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou meets with British foreign secretary
  • [02] Cretan court acquits British merrymakers arrested wearing nuns' habits
  • [03] SYRIZA MP passes away
  • [04] ASE opening: Decline

  • [01] Papandreou meets with British foreign secretary

    Main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International (SI) president George Papandreou met on Tuesday with visiting British foreign secretary David Miliband, who expressed interest in PASOK's and SI's initiatives on confronting the problems of climate change and environmental protection.

    During a working breakfast, Papandreou briefed Miliband on those initiatives, including his recent visit to Beijing on the same subjects and his meeting with the Chinese President.

    The two officials also discussed issues of international concern such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, as well as issues of Greek interest, including the Cyprus issue and Turkey's EU course.

    Papandreou and Miliband further discussed PASOK's activities ahead of the June 7 European Parliament elections.

    Caption: Main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International (SI) president George Papandreou (R) and British foreign secretary David Miliband (L) meet in British ambassador's residence in Athens on Tuesday 26 May 2009. ANA-MPA/PANTELIS SAITAS

    [02] Cretan court acquits British merrymakers arrested wearing nuns' habits

    Seventeen British merrymakers who were arrested last week on the island of Crete for walking around dressed as Catholic nuns, wearing crosses and flashing the women's undergarments they wore under the nuns' habits, were acquitted by a Court of Misdemeanours in Heraklion on Tuesday.

    The 17 defendants, all men, appeared in the habits, but sans crosses and women's undergarments, for the hearing at the Heraklion Court Building.

    The 17 were charged with scandalous behavior, but no witness came forward to attest to being scandalised by the affair.

    The defendants, who are due to return to Britain on Tuesday, also claimed before the court that their intention was not to scandalise, but simply to have a good time.

    [03] SYRIZA MP passes away

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP for the Athens B' electoral district and former MEP Michalis Papagiannakis passed away on Tuesday at the age of 69.

    In an announcement, SYRIZA said that Papagiannakis, a member of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology's (SYN party, which leads the SYRIZA parliamentary coalition) Central Political Committee, had been a consistent and sober voice of the Renovative Left, and had distinguished himself for his independent thought, open mind and ground-breaking positions, and was steadfastly dedicated to the ideas of renewal, ecology and Europeanism.

    The first runner up on the SYRIZA ticket for the Athens B' district, Sophia Andriopoulou, is expected to take Papagiannakis' seat in the national parliament.

    Papagiannakis was born in Kalamata in August 1941. He studied law, economics and political sciences in Athens, Montpelier. He was an assistant professor at the University of Paris from 1967 to 1970, while in 1970-1980 he was a provost and researcher at the Institut Agronomique Mediterraneen in Montpelier, France, while in the period 1979-1982 he taught at the Center for Islamic and Arab Studies.

    He also served in the past as a scientific collaborator at the Panteio University and has collaborated with and written articles in To Vima and Agvhi Newspapers, the Oikonomikos Tachydromos financial periodical and other publications.

    In the period 1960-63 he was a member of the United Democratic Left (EDA) party, while he joined the Democratic Resistance movement against the military dictatorship in Greece (1967-73). He was a founding member of the Hellenic Direct Democracy Movement (EAR), as well as a member of EAR's Central Committee and National Secretariat. He later joined the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos), and became a member of its Central Political Committee and its Political Secretariat.

    Papagiannakis was first elected to the European Parliament on the Synaspismos ticket in 1989, and was re-elected as MEP in 1994 and 1999. In the national elections of 2007, he was elected to parliament for the Athens B' district, amassing the third most votes of preference among all the candidates of his party.

    He has served as vice-president of the European Parliament's Social Committee, vice-president of the United European Left group and of the inter-party committee for the protection of animals.

    In January 1992 he was elected vice-president of the Europarliament's Social Affairs and Employment committee. He has also served as vice-president of the Hellenic Committee for the European Union (ELEEE), which was the Greek branch of the Brussels-based supra-party European Movement.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP for the Athens B' electoral district and former MEP Michalis Papagiannakis

    [04] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Tuesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.84 percent, standing at 2,259.67 points at 10:45 a.m., and turnover at 19.4 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest losses n Mass Media, down 2.06 percent; Banks, down 1.71 percent; and Oil & Gas, down 1.56 percent.

    The biggest gains were in Commerce, up 0.82 percent; Telecoms, up 0.51 percent; and Travel & Recreation, up 0.36 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.95 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.48 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 1.19 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 52 were up, 65 were down, and 12 were unchanged.

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