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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Victory is in our hands
  • [02] Papandreou reveals his intentions
  • [03] 'Wildcat under glass' in the Natural History Museum on Samos
  • [04] Olympic Air makes maiden flight
  • [05] ASE opening: Decline
  • [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM: Victory is in our hands

    Prime Minister and ruling New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, addressing a rally in the city of Thessaloniki on Wednesday evening ahead of Sunday's general elections, accused main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou of concealing his cards and hiding.

    "The leader of PASOK has disappeared lately. Wherever there are difficult questions Mr. Papandreou is absent. He refuses to give interviews face-to-face," Karamanlis said and accused PASOK's leader of avoiding to reply to questions on what he will do with the economy, because he lacks any plan.

    The prime minister aso criticised Papandreou for his position on national issues, calling on him to retract all that he has said about the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and saying "we neither forget Imia, nor Madrid, nor Ocalan, nor the pressures on the Greek Cypriots for the Annan plan."

    Referring to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Karamanlis said that Greece will not take even one step back from the red line that it has set.

    As regards Turkey, the prime minister called on it to cease to harbour modern-day slave drivers, to respect the agreement on the repatriation of illegal immigrants, he stressed that the wall of force must fall in Cyrus and Turkish occupation must come to an end and, regarding its European perspective, he stressed that the principle "full compliance, full accession" is valid.

    Karamanlis urged the voters of the New Democracy party to rally in light of the elections so that no vote is lost, no vote is given away and expressed his conviction that "victory is in our hands."

    [02] Papandreou reveals his intentions

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou will speak to the citizens of Athens at his main campaign rally in the Greek capital on Thursday evening. The previous day, Papandreou presented a broad outline of how he intends to run the government if his party wins the elections on October 4, during a nationally televised press conference at the Zappion Building in Athens.

    After presenting his ideas, PASOK's president noted that many of his suggestions were considered self-evident in many other countries but constituted a "small revolution" for Greece, requiring the support of the people in order to succeed. He appealed to voters to back his party and ensure that it had a strong Parliamentary majority "and the strength to show that we can progress differently in this country".

    Papandreou spoke of plans for a compact cabinet having a smaller number of members, which would be flexible and able to work collectively, while the prime minister's office would monitor the various programmes based on predetermined schedules and deadlines.

    He also announced plans for an autonomous finance ministry to monitor fiscal policy and the restructuring of the economy, with assistance and support from internationally acclaimed economists that Papandreou had personally come into contact with, whose prestige would also work in favour of Greece at international markets.

    Other changes announced by Papandreou were the creation of a 'civilian protection ministry' that would supervise law enforcement, the fire brigade and civil protection agencies and an 'infrastructure ministry' to take over the work of the current public works and communications ministries.

    PASOK's leader pledged to ensure that jobs in public administration were awarded based on ability rather than party allegiances, by publishing proclamations and inviting applications for all available positions even at the very highest levels, such as ministry general secretaries or the boards of public utilities, state companies and regional hospitals.

    Another principle announced by PASOK's president was that of barring party officials from simultaneously holding a state-sector position, stressing that anyone wishing to take up a public-sector job would first have to resign from party organs in which he or she was a member.

    Papandreou announced that a summary presentation of PASOK's policy platform will be posted on the Internet on Thursday.

    Caption: ANA - MPA file photo of main opposition PASOk party leader George Papandreou

    [03] 'Wildcat under glass' in the Natural History Museum on Samos

    The "Wildcat under glass", a specimen of the extinct Anatolian leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana), is one of the most interest exhibits on display in the Natural History Museum of the Aegean in the village of Mitilinioi on the eastern Aegean island of Samos.

    A subspecies of the Panthera genus, the Anatolian leopard was native to Anatolia (Asia Minor), and once prowled the forest and hill habitats of the Aegean, Mediterranean and eastern Anatolia regions, feeding on wild prey consisting mainly of ungulates (hoofed mammals), including deer, chamois, mountain goats and wild bore. In the absence of such animals, it would prey on birds and domestic livestock.

    Trophy hunting is believed to be the chief factor in its extinction.

    The animal that has one black and one blue eye, swam to Samos between 1870 and 1880 to escape some kind of natural disaster in the Asia Minor coasts, either flooding of the Maeander River or wildfire, was eventually killed by the locals who were terrified of it since, due to lack of its natural prey, it hunted and killed domestic livestock.

    Chased away by the local shepherds and farmers, the leopard took shelter in a cave, the opening of which was then shored up with stones. It was left in the cave for roughly three months but it managed to survive by eating the remains of animals it had killed and by drinking rain water that trickled inside.

    When the locals opened the cave the animal was still alive and was killed when it attacked two brothers. One of them died shortly afterwards after being seriously injured.

    The leopard was embalmed and placed in the same glass cage it is kept in now, and today is on display at the Natural History Museum of the Aegean on Samos.

    It won immortality through the homonymous semi-autobiographical book written by distinguished Greek author Alki Zei (1963) inspired by her childhood spent on the island.

    Alki Zei won the US Mildred Batchelder award for her book "Wildcat under glass" (To Kaplani tis Vitrinas), which has left its mark in contemporary Greek children's literature. Through various trans-national republications, cataloguing for school study and frequent awards, it is considered to be one of the best books for children worldwide according to librarians, literary critics and teachers. ANA-MPA

    [04] Olympic Air makes maiden flight

    Olympic Air (OA), the revamped former national carrier following its acquisition by Marfin Investment Group (MIG), formally launched operation on Thursday (October 1), while Group chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos announced that MIG possesses an internationally registered trademark for the title "Macedonian Airlines".

    The first official flight by Olympic Air, conducted by an Airbus 320, took off from Athens' 'Eleftherios Venizelos' International Airport (AIA) at 7:45 a.m. and arrived in Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport at 8:15 a.m., symbolically retracing the route of the very first flight carried out more than half a century ago by Aristotle Onassis' Olympic Airways (OA).

    The airbus, piloted by captain Sotiris Kalogirou, Olympic Air's flight operations director, carried Vgenooulos, the airline's senior executives and journalists on the new airline's maiden flight.

    Before the flight departed, a traditional blessing took place, officiated by Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki.

    Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Vgenopoulos called the day "historic and moving", noting that it was a unique achievement in the sector of air transports that the new airline was set up, fully operational and flying in just a few short months, and expressed appreciation for the immense support of the public, 'which gives us the strength to push forward with our work".

    Vgenopoulos also stressed, however, that: "We are not the owners of the name 'Olympic', but only its managers. The name belongs to the Greek people".

    During a similar ceremony upon arrival at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport, Vgenopoulos announced that MIG possesses an internationally registered trademark for the title "Macedonian Airlines".

    "We have received the codes, and no one else can fly with this name," he stressed.

    Vgenopoulos explained that an Olympic Air subsidiary company, named Macedonian Airlines, will be set up, headquartered in Thessaloniki, for the purpose of soon serving the business and tourism needs of the region.

    Next week, he added, he will have a meeting with officials and agencies of Northern Greece to discuss procedural issues, while the new subsidiary will be up and flying in a few months' time.

    According to sources, the first flights to be carried out by Macedonian Airlines will be to Germany and Amsterdam.

    The flight was greeted on arrival at Macedonia Airport by Macedonia-Thrace minister Stavros Kalafatis, Thessaloniki prefect Panayotis Psomiadis and other officials.

    Caption: Captain Christos Kalogirou among crew members of the maiden flight of Olympic Air on Thursday 1 Oct. 2009. ANA-MPA/NIKOS ARVANITIDIS

    [05] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.53 percent, standing at 2,647.42 points at 10:55 a.m., and turnover at 44.6 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest gains in Mass Media, up 3.22 percent; Telecoms up 0.89 percent; and Technology, up 0.63 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Travel & Recreation, down 1.65 percent; Food & Beverage, down 1.47 percent; and Chemicals, down 1.27 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.47 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.09 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.04 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 47 were up, 63 were down, and 29 were unchanged.

    [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The political parties' clash ahead of Sunday's general elections mostly dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Main opposition PASOK's revanchism at the extremes - Countless complaints at government headquarters".

    APOGEVMATINI: "The best opinion poll: The immense turnout at ruling New Democracy's (ND) rally in Thessaloniki ".

    AVGHI: "PASOK leader George Papandreou wants supremacy, not just a self-sufficient government".

    ELEFTHEROS: "George Papandreou: I will govern with 'imported' economists - He excludes the domestic 'golden boys' and will bring others from abroad".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "New model of governance - George revealed his intentions ".

    ESTIA: "Politicians use stilted language - Quality of the dialogue deteriorating".

    ETHNOS: "Reversals in state and government - George (Papandreou) pledges for a change of course starting the day after the elections".

    KATHIMERINI: "Orgy of rumors over the results of opinion polls (Publication of poll results are prohibited by law in the final two weeks ahead of elections) - PASOK: New structure in government".

    LOGOS: "Four high schools close for one week after new flu incidents".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party strong, the hope is here - Big turnout at KKE's rally in Athens".

    TA NEA: "George puts an end to the partisan state".

    TO VIMA: "Papandreou's plan for the new government - Fewer ministries, powerful prime minister, associates from abroad".

    VRADYNI: «FinMin Yannis Papathanassiou reveals PASOK's lies on the economy in his interview with the newspaper".

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