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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Mastermind of int'l human-trafficking ring arrested in Thessaloniki
  • [02] Western Macedonia: The 'Alps' of Greece
  • [03] Greece's new envoy to UN
  • [04] Tsipras meets with OME-OTE board
  • [05] Peach producers split

  • [01] Mastermind of int'l human-trafficking ring arrested in Thessaloniki

    A 51-year-old man believed to be the mastermined of an international human trafficking ring reaching as far as China, and the number one people-trafficker in the Balkans, was arrested by Thessaloniki Security Police on Saturday, together with his 53-year-old close accomplice.

    The two men, both taxi drivers, were being interrogated by police.

    The two detainees were arrested near the Stavroupolis bridge, where they picked up 8 illegal migrants (6 Iranians and 2 Iraqis) in order to transport them to Athens.

    According to Thessaloniki Aliens Bureau director Tryfonas Koukios, the international human-trafficking ring is active in China, Moscow, Belgrade, FYROM and Greece.

    [02] Western Macedonia: The 'Alps' of Greece

    Trekking to the Lakes Drakolimnes in Flega, swimming in the waters of Portitsa Gorge, exploring the Drakos cave in Kastoria, rafting on the rivers Venetikos and Aliakmon, horseback riding in Nymfeo is just a small taste of the alternative form of tourism people, who do not like crowded vacation destinations, can enjoy in Western Macedonia, northwest Greece.

    The Region of Western Macedonia, comprising the prefectures of Kozani, Grevena, Kastoria and Florina, is the only one in Greece that has no access to the sea but visitors can enjoy the serene beauty of eight lakes and the ruggedness of many rivers.

    The huge man-made Polifitos Lake created in 1973 dominates in the prefecture of Kozani. However, the region‚s magnificent mountains, the archaeological sites, including the Macedonian Tombs in Eordaia and the Paleontology Museum in Ptolemaida with the mammoth bones and fossilized insects, plants and seashells on display, a tangible proof that the region was once covered by the sea, are also a major attraction for tourists.

    The exceptional natural beauty of the prefecture of Grevena with the alpine-like landscape captivates trekking enthusiasts who are offered various options from Valia Calda valley, to Mt. Orliakas, Vasilitsa, Spileo and Lakes Drakolimnes. The region also features many monasteries, traditional villages and stone-built bridges, while its unique delicacy, the mushrooms, is celebrated in a special event held each August along the Venetikos River.

    The prefecture of Kastoria is located further to the north featuring the Grammos Mountain Range and the Aliakmon River springs. The city of Kastoria with its tens of Byzantine churches is built by the shores of the lake that shares the same name. The River Party event held in Nestorio at the Aliakmon River banks in early August is an attraction for thousands of young people enjoying music events, and alternative forms of tourism.

    The Lakes Small and Large Prespes in the prefecture of Florina, in the northwest corner of the country, form a unique ecosystem and constitute natural border between three countries, Greece, FYROM, Albania. The small island of St Achilles ‚floats‚ on the waters of Small Prespa and visitors can admire the St Achilles basilica built in the 11th century by Czar Samuel. The traditional village of Nymfeo is a must for tourists who can also visit the ‚Arcturos‚ brown bear and wolf sanctuary facilities in Aetos.

    [03] Greece's new envoy to UN

    Ambassador Anastasis Mitsialis is Greece's new permanent representative to the United Nations. Mitsialis assumed his duties on July 1 and succeeded Ambassador Ioannis Mourikis, who was transferred to Bern.

    Mitsialis presented his credentials to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during a ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday.

    During the 2007-2009 period, Mitsialis had served as the head of the Foreign Ministry's Protocol Department in Athens, a position that he had also served in the past as well, between 1993-1995.

    Before that, he was Greece's ambassador to Italy.

    Caption: Greece's new permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Anastasis Mitsialis (L), presenting his credentials to UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon. (ANA-MPA/D. Panagos)

    [04] Tsipras meets with OME-OTE board

    Coalition of the Left of Movements and Ecology (SYNASPISMOS) President Alexis Tsipras accused the government Friday of "trying to sell off what's left of the public wealth after Thessaloniki Water Supply and Sewerage Co. S.A. (EYATH) and Public Gas Corporation S.A. (DEPA)".

    Tsipras made the statements, after meeting with the Federation of Telecommunication Workers (OME-OTE) trade union board, referring to the acquisition by Deutsche Telecom of an additional 5 pct stake of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE S.A.).

    "Public utility companies of strategic importance should be under state control," he underlined.

    The meeting was held at the party offices in the presence of Yannis Theonas and Dimitris Stratoulis from the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA).

    [05] Peach producers split

    Peach producers split on gov't measures

    Peach producers in the northern Greek prefectures of Pella and Imathia appeared split on the future of their mobilisations on Saturday after a package of measures announced by the government the previous evening.

    The peach producers had closed off sections of the ‚Egnatia Odos‚ national motorway since Thursday, lining up their tractors and forcing motorists to take lengthy detours as the junctions of Kouloura and Veria are closed to traffic as well as the Makrochori Bridge at the 66th km of the Thessaloniki-Veria motorway and the junction of Melissio at the 53rd km of the New Thessaloniki-Edessa national motorway.

    Their demands include state assistance to absorb the surplus peach production and reaching a settlement as regards compensation for their undisposed peach production. The canning companies maintain that they can absorb only 170,000-200,000 tons of this year‚s 400,000-ton crop as a result of the decreased demand in the international market attributed to the economic crisis.

    A delegation of representatives of the peach farmers' associations and canninging industries met on Friday afternoon with agriculture minister Sotiris Hatigakis, who presented a package of measures after the three-hour meeting, and called on the peach producers to end their mobilisations.

    Hatzigakis announced a minimum guaranteed price of 18 cents per kilo that can increase up to 21 cents per kilo for peaches delivered to canning industries while the labor cost of the industries will be supported by the Employment and Vocational Training Fund (LAEK).

    Hatzigakis also stated that the Agricultural Insurance Organization (ELGA) will offer full compensation for damages caused by adverse weather conditions.

    The peach farmers‚ representatives rejected the measures stating that their mobilizations will continue, as opposed to the canning industries that expressed the will to consider them.

    On Saturday, the peach producers in the two prefecture were split over the government's measures and the future of their moblisations, as Pella producers decided, in a meeting, to escalate mobilisations, whereas producers were leaving the blockades in Imathia prefecture.


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