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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis meets with Niarchos Foundation chairman
  • [02] Businessman injured by foreign tourists on Zakynthos
  • [03] Council of State president resigns post
  • [04] The nine geo-wonders on Pindos Mountain Range
  • [05] New 'tourist ticket' for Athens
  • [06] Concert on the Environment
  • [07] New Acropolis Museum visitors

  • [01] PM Karamanlis meets with Niarchos Foundation chairman

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis was currently in a meeting on Tuesday with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

    Afterwards, the prime minister was also scheduled to meet with Commission vice president Jacques Barrot, who is responsible for justice, freedom and security issues.

    In the morning, premier Karamanlis had a meeting with the chairman of the board of directors of the Stavros Niarchos Public Benefit Foundation, Andreas Drakopoulos.

    No statements were made after the meeting.

    Caption: Prime minister Costas Karamanlis (L) with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso. (ANA-MPA)

    [02] Businessman injured by foreign tourists on Zakynthos

    A 35-year-old bar owner in Laganas Beach on the Ionian island of Zakynthos was injured over the weekend during a dawn brawl with a group of rowdy young British tourists who had consumed large quantities of alcohol.

    The man, had sustained a head injury, was transferred to Rio Hospital, northwestern Peloponnese, in southern Greece.

    The victim was attacked at 4 am when he tried to stop a group of five tourists from destroying the bar's outdoor chairs and sun beds.

    An investigation is underway for the arrest of those involved in the incident.

    [03] Council of State president resigns post

    The President of the Council of State George Panagiotopoulos resigned on Tuesday, 10 days ahead of the expiration of his four-year term, which is the longest period allowed in the post under Greek law.

    Panagiotopoulos, whose term ends on July 10, tendered his resigation to justice minister Nikos Dendias to facilitate the Cabinet in speedily filling the posts becoming vacant in the justice sector's leadership so that no gap will arise.

    In a statement, Panagiotopoulos said he decided to submit his resignation 10 days in advance of his term's expiry due to two factors. Firstly, he noted the importance of the positions in the justice sector leadership, stressing that they must not remain vacant for more than just a few hours. Second, he cited the fact that the authoritative body for the promotion of judges, which is the Cabinet, and due to its large number of members, cannot possibly convene several times in a short space of time for the same issues.

    Thus, he said, in order to facilitate the Cabinet's institutional role and so that problems will not arise in the justice system, he was resigning a few days earlier so as to enable the Cabinet to fill the posts of the presidents and vice presidents of the country's three highest courts in a single session.

    It is noted that the president and chief prosecutor of the Areios Paghos (Greece's supreme court), three Areios Paghos vice-presidents and 10 more senior ranking officials, three vice presidents of the Council of State, two vice presidents of the Council of Auditors were being pensioned on Tuesday after reaching the maximum age limit.

    [04] The nine geo-wonders on Pindos Mountain Range

    The rocks of Deskati in the prefecture of Grevena, northwestern Greece, have attracted the interest of geologists worldwide as they tell the geological history of the earth and were the basis for the development of the tectonic plates theory.

    Deskati and the greater region of Vounasa are among the nine geo-wonders in the Pindos Mountain Range that were the subject of a scientific conference held in the Prefecture of Grevena aimed at their promotion into tourist destinations.

    The rocks of Deskati were created 700 million years ago when the ancient supercontinent Pangaea (meaning "all earth" in Greek) broke up to form the European and African continents. Later they were submerged into the Tethys Ocean that existed between the continents and united the region of today's Britain with China.

    After several hundred million years the continents of Europe and Africa collided, resulting in the creation of the Alps. Tethys Ocean defined the landscape of the eastern Mediterranean and one of its underwater mountain ranges formed Mt Vourinos in Grevena, the region's second geo-wonder. Rocks that are part of the earth's ancient crust that were brought to the surface as a result of the Europe-Africa collision can be found across the Valia Calda National Forest.

    The nine geo-wonders of Pindos include the heavily deformed limestone rocks at Mt Tsourgiakas and their small waterfalls, the gorge of Portitsa, the Pierced Rock formed as a result of erosion, Vasilitsa and its multicoloured rocks, the villages of Dotsiko and Mesolouri with their 30-million-years old coral reef and the village of Monachiti with its 50-meter wide vertical rocks.

    Meanwhile, the Aliakmon River Gorge is currently being studied by scientists from the United States, the UK, Serbia, Italy and Greece in an intense effort to have its geological data recorded considering that by the end of the next decade it will be flooded as soon as the construction of the Public Power Corporation SA "Ilarion" Dam is completed.

    [05] New 'tourist ticket' for Athens

    The Athens public transport organisation OASA on Monday unveiled a new three-day ticket costing 15 euros that will be valid for travel on all means of public transport in and around the city, that will begin to be offered from Wednesday.

    The new "tourist ticket" has been designed to act as a travel card for those visiting Athens for short stays. It gives unlimited travel for three full days after it is first used, including journeys to and from the airport and the 400 OASA Athens sight-seeing bus.

    The new ticket will be on sale at the ETHEL buses at the airport, the Proastiakos suburban railway stations at the airport, Larissis and Piraeus, Syntagma metro station and the ISAP electric railway stations at Piraeus and Omonia.

    [06] Concert on the Environment

    The National Youth Council (ESYN) is organising a concert on the environment on Wednesday, July 1, at the Panathenian (Kallimarmaro) Stadium in Athens.

    The concert, featuring Greek pop star Sakis Rouvas, is being held in the context of the "SMS of Youth 2009 - Actions for the Environment" campaign, with the support of 2,500 official agencies (including ministries, local governments, universities, chambers, NGOs), and aims at raising public awareness and citizen participation in environmental issues such as water conservation and recycling.

    The slogan of the ESYN campaign is "All Together, You First". Tickets for the concert are available at the Metropolis, FNAC and Public stores, while the price is 15 euros.

    The National Youth Council also announced the opening of its new website at, which provides news of the Council's activites and aims to provide a forum for communication and exchanges of views.

    Further, the ESYN, as a representative of the youth of Greece but also in collaboration with the European Youth Forum, is calling on the European Parliament deputies of all the political parties to back the youth agenda on Europe, and invites young people to add their voices to the campaign at the site

    "As young people sharing the vision of European integration and the European values, we believe that we can successfully face the challenges for the future only if the EU can speak out and act as a true Union," according to the ESYN. "We expect bold and innovative decisions by the national and European leaders and organisations, and want specific benefits from the EU in our everyday lives," it adds, noting that, in that context, the ESYN was putting forward specific proposals for a new youth agenda in the EU, and calls on the MEPs to include them among their priorities.

    The initiative was praised in a press conference on Monday by UNESCO Good Will Ambassador and head of the "Foundation for the Child and the Family" Marianna Vardinoyannis, who pledged her full support for the effort.

    "We are united by concern about the fate of the environment in the future, because the first victims of its destruction will be the children and especially those that are more vulnerable because they have health problems," she said.

    Rouvas, or 'Sakis' as he is known by fans, represented Greece at the 54th Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow in May, 2009, where he placed 7th with his song This is Our Night. The teen heartthrob Rouvas, a second-time Eurovision contestant, made his Eurovision debut in the 49th Contest in 2004 in Turkey, where he placed third with the song Shake It.

    Caption: File photo of Greek pop star and Eurovision song contest veteran Sakis Rouvas rehearsing for the 2009 Eurovision contest in Moscow. (ANA-MPA/A. Beltes)

    [07] New Acropolis Museum visitors

    The New Acropolis Museum received 90,000 visitors in the first seven days since its official inauguration on June 20, Culture Minister Antonis Samaras disclosed on Monday.

    Speaking during a press conference, the minister said that the cost of the inauguration events, which were attended by several foreign heads of state and government, did not exceed the anticipated sum of 3 million euros, adding that the targets his ministry had set regarding the ceremony were met, especially the coverage from international mass media.

    Four hundred and forty journalists representing 167 international mass media organisations were hosted for the three-day inauguration events, while the cost of the ceremony itself amounted to 1,860,090 euros plus VAT, Samaras explained.

    The average number of tickets for the e-ticketing section for the first five days reached 11,000, while visits to the new museum's website exceeded 260,000 from the Americas to Nepal and Mongolia.

    The culture minister also announced that the museum will be open from 8 am to 8 pm all year round.

    Caption: Some 90,000 visitors swarmed to the New Acropolis Museum in the first week since its official inauguration on June 20. (ANA-MPA/K. Mavrona)

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