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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Inner Cabinet approves 'Theseus 2' programme
  • [02] PASOK leader to unveil operational plan
  • [03] Ancient theatre 'revived' after 23 centuries

  • [01] Inner Cabinet approves 'Theseus 2' programme

    Prime ̀inister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the Inner Cabinet, which approved the primary local government developmental program Theseus 2.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos noted that the Theseus 1 program had chanelled, with transparency, resources to local government that enabled it to carry out developmental projects with full transparency given that, as everyone knows, up to the very last euro spent appeared on the interior ministry's website.

    In the period 2005-2009, a total of 3.5 billion euros were forthcoming from the Theseus 1 program, without calculating the public and private sector collaborations, Pavlopoulos said, adding that the programe would continue, as Theseus 2, for the period covering 2010-2014 which, he observed, coincdies with the conclusion of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).

    To date, he continued, 20,700 projects have been tendered under the Theseus 1, budgeted at 3.2 billion euros or 92 percent of the total program, of which 7,000 projects have been completed.

    Pavlopoulos accused the preceding PASOK governments of having reduced the local governments to partisanship, wilting and intransparency.

    In 2004, when Karamanlis' New Democracy (ND) government took office, he said, in effect was the EPTA program that had given 1.7 billion euros, with absolute lack of transparency, which financially devastated the local governments because it was deficient and chanelled in accordance with party criteria, while there was no documentation at the labor ministry for a large proportion of those monies.

    Pavlopoulos also thanked deputy minister Thanassis Nakos for devoting most of his time at the ministry to this sector, and expressed certainty that Nakos would lead the Theseus 2 to the same success.

    Nakos, in turn, announced that "a new generation of projects" will begin immediately after the summer holidays, with more than 25,000 projects would be given to local administration in a bid to boost the market during a difficult period with respect to the economy.

    The Theseus 2 will take things further along, mainly with projects focusing chiefly on infrastructures, but also with projects that "bridge" the funding with the ESPA, since feasibility and other required studies are not financed under the program.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] PASOK leader to unveil operational plan

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou will unveil his party's "operational plan" at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) in September, which, as he said, will be the last TIF before general elections, the PASOK leader opined during a wide-ranging party meeting on Wednesday.

    The meeting was called by Papandreou for discussion on the content of his TIF address.

    Papandreou said the operational plan will concern what PASOK will do as government, in what order, and how he will turn into action all that he has said, clearly stating the truth to the people.

    The five points of economic policy to be applied by PASOK, if elected to government, cite, among others, a plan for the immediate recovery of the economy; boosting employment and tackling unemployment; a "just redistribution of wealth"; a medium-term plan for fiscal streamlining; and the creation of a "market that will serve the citizen", as he said.

    Papandreou further said that in the recent European Parliament elections, voters had given a "clear message for change", voting in favor of a change of course for the country in order for it to enter an orbit of growth, stability, security, lawfulness and social cohesion.

    The PASOK leader blamed the ND government exclusively for the state of the economy, which he said was sinking, and warned that the country had entered an orbit of recession and severe fiscal diversion.

    He said a very hard autumn was ahead, given a substantial decline in tourism has already been observed, as well as declines in construction activity and industrial production, while there was also a significant slow-down in corporate and household lending.

    Papandreou charged that all the fiscal indicators were "completely off-track", with the deficit in the first half of the year having reached 18 billion euros, exceeding already the projections for the entire year.

    [03] Ancient theatre 'revived' after 23 centuries

    The ancient theatre of Maroneia, located in the modern-day prefecture of Rhodopi, extreme northeast Greece, will open its gates to the public on Aug. 29, nearly 23 centuries after the last performance was reportedly given on its premises.

    The first "hostess" in the ancient odeon's "new era" will be Greek actress and troupe director Lydia Koniordou, who will present Euripides' monologues before an expected audience of 200 theatre-goers. The performance is under the direction of Thodoris Gonis.

    The restoration was carried out by the culture ministry's 19th ephorate of prehistoric and classical antiquities, allowing the theatre to become accessible to visitors once again, according to archaeologist Chryssa Karadima.

    The ancient theatre of Maroneia is located south of the village that shares the same name, and specifically in the region of "Kabana". Its existence was well known from the early 20th century and onwards, when building material from the site was used for the construction of the village's elementary school building.

    Excavations started in 1981 but were interrupted in 1994 to resume in 2000 under Karadima.

    The ancient theater of Maroneia could seat 2,500 to 3,000 people and has three distinct construction phases, the first in the early Hellenistic period (late 4th century BC-early 3rd century BC), the second in the Roman era, when it was turned into an arena. A third phase dates to post-Roman and early Byzantium period, when it was used again as an arena.

    "Restoration works focused on the Roman phase, which was best preserved compared to the other two," Karadima stated.

    Further works to upgrade the surrounding area of the monument are planned if the project is included in the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).

    The restoration of the monument was made with the support of the Diazoma citizens' movement, which was established a year ago to promote the study and preservation of ancient Greek theaters.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of the ancient theatre of Maroneia. ANA-MPA/STR

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