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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Deputy FinMin refutes rumors of new taxes
  • [02] Megalo Meteoro Monastery Theological Gallery album
  • [03] Arrests in Siemens case
  • [04] Tsipras in Ioannina

  • [01] Deputy FinMin refutes rumors of new taxes

    Deputy Minister of National Economy and Finance Athanasios Bouras characterized as "guesswork" the rumors that new taxes will be imposed immediately after the Euro-elections.

    Speaking in Chania, on the island of Crete, on Friday he stressed that the economic crisis was confronted early on by the government "with programme and consistency," adding that compared to other countries "we face fewer problems."

    "The problems would have been even fewer if it wasn't for the huge debt with interest rates reaching 12 billion euros in 2009, when the public investment programme is at 8.8 billion euros," he added.

    "Despite of the crisis, the government has adopted measures to boost growth and improve the financial situation while guaranteeing the social state," Bouras pointed out.

    [02] Megalo Meteoro Monastery Theological Gallery album

    A very significant album on the Theological Gallery at Megalo Meteoro Monastery has been published, sponsored by the Regional Development Fund of Thessaly, central Greece. On display at the Theological Gallery are paintings by local artist Kostas Adamos inspired by the Christian Orthodox ritual and the daily lives of the monks.

    Megalo ("Great") Meteoro ("floating on the air") Monastery, known also as Metamorphosis (Transfiguration) Monastery, in Meteora was founded in the 14th century (circa 1382) by Athanasios the Meteorite. Joasaph Uros, son of Symeon Uros Palaiologos, a Greek-Serbian Despot of Epirus, later expanded the monastery.

    Because the Serbian Emperor Symeon Uros gave the monastery all his wealth and became a monk, it was the richest and most powerful of all the monasteries and contains some of the most beautiful wall paintings and post Byzantine Mural art that can be found in Greece, as well as a museum collection in the refectory. The catholicon has a twelve-sided dome 24 meters in height with a striking series of frescos by Theophanis which depicts the persecution of Christians by the Romans in sometimes disturbing detail.

    In a region of almost inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks settled on these rock towers described as "columns of the sky" from the 11th century onwards. Twenty-four of these monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties, at the time of the great revival of the hermetic ideal in the 15th century. Their 16th-century frescoes mark a key stage in the development of post-Byzantine painting.

    Meteora is on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1988 and is also recognized and protected by the Greek State as an archaeological region and a place of worship. ANA-MPA/VASSILIKI PASCHALI

    [03] Arrests in Siemens case

    Police arrested on Friday night two Siemens' case suspects, Georgios Skarpelis, a former Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) executive, and Ilias Georgiou, a former Siemens company executive.

    The arrests were made following order by special examining magistrate investigating the Siemens' kickbacks scandal, Nikos Zagorianos.

    The two suspects, accused of bribery and legalising income from illegal activities, will appear before the prosecutor on Saturday morning.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Siemens headquarters in Athens

    [04] Tsipras in Ioannina

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) party leader Alexis Tsipras addressed an election campaign rally of supporters, ahead of the June 7 Euroelections, in the norhtewestern city of Ioannina on Friday evening, speaking of a "tasteless confrontation" between the two mainstream parties, the ruling New Democracy (ND) and the main opposition PASOK, at a time "that the economic crisis is deepening, unemployment is galloping and social acquis are being deprived."

    "The ND and PASOK have joinlty voted for the European Union's Lisbon Treaty, a treaty which hands over to the financial lobbies the governance of Europe ... Both parties are accepting without protest pressures by conservative (EU Commission President Manuel) Barroso and socialist (finance commissioner Joaquin) Almunia, who demand salary decreases," Tsipras said.

    He aslo accused the two mainstream parties of "avoiding taking position on the International Monetary Fund's report, while at the same time they pretend demanding or they say they demand a change of policy on an international level."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Synaspismos leader Alexis Tsipras

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