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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-08-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM confers with EU Commissioner
  • [02] Authorities probe 2 suspected 'new flu' cases aboard cruiseship
  • [03] The magnificent Diros Caves in Laconia
  • [04] Scouts injured by car
  • [05] ASE opening: Marginal rise
  • [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM confers with EU Commissioner

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Tuesday in Athens with European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, who holds the environment portfolio, and discussed the course of negotiations on climate change in view of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.

    Dimas stated that the goal is to reach a comprehensive agreement on ways to combat climate change, reduce the temperature on the planet and avert the catastrophic and irreversible consequences of climate change. He also briefed the prime minister on events that will precede the Copenhagen conference focusing on the negotiations scheduled to take place in Bonn in a few days and the meetings of the world leaders on Sept. 22.

    The EU Commissioner expressed hope that the world leaders will work toward an effective agreement and pointed out that the European Union and the European Commission both play a leading role globally, and in cooperation with other international partners, including the United States, "that what science has defined as imperative, namely, an agreement that will reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases" must be achieved.

    The Greek European Commissioner pointed out that the goal set for 2020 is to have a reduction of between 25 pct and 40 pct whereas in 2080 it will be 80 pct for the developed countries and 50 pct globally. He also stressed that supporting the course of the negotiations is very important for the Greek government.

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

    [02] Authorities probe 2 suspected 'new flu' cases aboard cruiseship

    Two cruiseship passengers remained in quarantine in their quarters on Tuesday aboard the Malta-flagged vessel, after exhibiting symptoms resembling those of novel influenza, Greek authorities announced.

    The vessel, identified as the "Celebrity Solstice", docked at the port of Piraeus early Monday morning after arriving from a port in Turkey and was scheduled to depart on Tuesday for Italy. Port authorities and health officials were notified of the two cases some time on Monday, the first involving an eight-year-old girl from the Netherlands and the other a 23-year-old Chinese crewmember.

    Individuals that roomed with the two ailing persons were also requested to remain in quarantine.

    The cruiseship carries 3,057 guests and 1,253 crewmembers.

    [03] The magnificent Diros Caves in Laconia

    The magnificent Diros Caves in the Mani, Laconia prefecture, are a system of three imposing caverns formed by an underground river located just 4 kilometers from the village of Diros.

    Paleolithic and Neolithic artifacts found in the caves indicate that they were one of the earliest inhabited places in Greece, and many of the artifacts are on display in the Diros Neolithic Museum situated at the entrance of the cave. in the village of Diros just 4 kilometers away.

    The caves feature beautiful formations of glistening stalagmites and stalactites of varying shapes and sizes, while the incredible colors and textures that have naturally developed over thousands of years by rain water penetrating the calcium carbonate in the rock are artfully highlighted by halogen lights.

    The complex comprises three caves: Vlychada (or Glyphada, from the river of the same name that flows into the cave, which widens in some parts and becomes a lake) and the only one of the caves open to the public, with tours on small boats; Alepotripa, 200 m. east of Glyphada; and Kataphygi, 500 m. on the left side of the road leading to the first two caves. Archaeological exploration of the caves has turned up important findings dating to the Paleolithic and Neolithic times.

    Regarded as one of the most beautiful lake caves in the world, Glyphada Cave's existence has been known since 1900, but it was first explored in 1949 by Ioannis and Anna Petrohilos. Fossils have been discovered in its interior of animals that existed 2 million years ago, including prehistoric ox and hippopotamus bones. The extent of the case is 33,400 sq. meters, while just 5,000 meters of its passages have been explored. The boat ride takes visitors on an unforgettable journey through a series of chambers and arches with such names as First Room, Dead City, the Crossroad of the Nereids, the Lake of Ocean Nymphs, the Pink and White Room, and the Big Ocean.

    Alepotripa was accidentally discovered in 1958 and subsequently explored by the Petrohilos couple. The finds unearthed give evidence of life in the cave 6,000 years ago. The cave extends over 6,500 sq. meters, of which 600 sq. meters are land and the rest is covered by the waters of the underground river connecting the three caves. Bone and rock tools, human bones, primitive weapons and vessels have been discovered there, and are on display in the Diros Neolithic Museum and in the Museum of nearby Sparta.

    Kataphygi has an area of 2,700 sq. meters, with passages extending over 700 meters. Prehistoric human bones have also been found here, while in more recent history the cave was used by locals as a hideaway during the Ottoman rule.

    The caves served as places of worship in the Paleolithic and Neolithic times, and were thought to be one of the entrances to the Underworld.

    [04] Scouts injured by car

    Two boy scouts and one girl scout, aged 11-13, were in critical condition in a hospital on Crete on Tuesday after a car rammed into a group of 15 scouts and their two adult escorts who were waiting at a bus stop the previous afternoon.

    The incident occurred in Makry Gyalos, Ierapetra prefecture, when a car, driven by a 20-year-old foreign national, attempted to overtake a motorcycle. The car crashed into the motorcycle, and both vehicles in turn smashed into the bus stop outside the Koutsoura woods, injuring 11 of the scouts and their two escorts.

    The group of scouts was waiting for the bus to return home to the town of Ierapetra.

    The rest of the children were lightly injured and released after receiving first aid at the Heraklion University Hospital, but the three critically injured children are hospitalised in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU),

    The young girl was said by doctors to be in extremely critical condition, with extensive head wounds, while the two boys have multiple fractures. All three are under heavy sedation.

    The driver of the car was arrested.

    [05] ASE opening: Marginal rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Tuesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.05 percent, standing at 2,425.29 points at 10:45 a.m., and turnover at 28.3 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Mass Media, up 1.30 percent; Personal & Household Goods, up 1.25 percent; and Food & Beverage, up 0.90 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Industrial Products, down 1.41 percent; Chemicals, down 1.38 percent; and Commerce, down 1.17 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.05 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.19 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.15 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 58 were up, 47 were down, and 27 were unchanged.

    [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The economy and speculation on early elections, dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The 'gay' dominate the Greek TV series' and personnel".

    APOGEVMATINI: "PASOK leader George Papandreou is unfair on the economy, early elections and Presidential election".

    AVGHI: "Labour accidents' virus".

    AVRIANI: "Head-on collision over economy and elections".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Panic at the extremes over the new flu virus".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Government-PASOK clash on the economy".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Government states that it will not impose an extraordinary contribution on business enterprises".

    ESTIA: "No one pays attention to the international reports on the Greek economy".

    ETHNOS: "The base passing grade for university entry skyrocketed".

    KATHIMERINI: "Worry over the state revenues - Government, PASOK clash".

    NIKI: "The country facing the danger of bankruptcy".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Two workers died on the altar of profit - Capital's new crime against the working class".

    TA NEA: "Major re-evaluations together with ridiculous 'decreases' in food prices".

    TO VIMA: "Economy's striptease - How the public deficit doubled".

    VRADYNI: "Think of the consequences - Market sternly opposed to prospective new taxes".

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