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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Ecumenical Patriarch in Crete
  • [02] Lawrence and Gerald Durrell's Corfu
  • [03] SYRIZA leader elected
  • [04] ASE opening : Big rise
  • [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Ecumenical Patriarch in Crete

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew(Vartholomeos), who is currently on a visit to Chania, on the southern Aegean island of Crete, referred to the plague of road accidents on Wednesday during the inauguration of the "Christos Polentas" Park for the Prevention of Road Accidents in Voukolies. A memorial service in the presence of tens of relatives of victims of road accidents was also held.

    Bartholomew visited the Monastery of Gonias and the Prefecture of Chania where he met with local authorities.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch was declared honorary citizen of Kolimvari in a special event held in Ano Vouves, a region where one of the oldest olive trees in the world is found. He also inaugurated the Museum of the Olive Tree.

    Later Vartholomeos inaugurated the "Faith and Order" Committee Plenum of the World Council of Churches on Wednesday night, that is taking place at the Orthodox Academy of Crete at Kolymbari.

    "A profound feeling of humbleness and not proud insistence is required for unity, our continuing and persistent aim," he said.

    Vartholomeos referred to the need for unity among churches and explained that "humbleness means that we are focused on learning from others, as well as learning from ascertainments that have already been tested through time," he added.

    [02] Lawrence and Gerald Durrell's Corfu

    The Durrell brothers discovered the island of Corfu in their youth, and became enchanted with its beauties but also its people and the 'aroma' of the Ionian Sea, which crop up frequently in their writings later.

    Gerald Durrel grew up to become a naturalist, zookeeper, author and television presenter and his older brother Lawrence became a noted novelist, poet and travel writer.

    Lawrence was 23, and already married, when his family -- his wife, mother, younger brother and sister -- settled on Corfu in 1935, and Gerald was barely 10. Lawrence became intrigued with the ancient and Modern Greek language, while he also started to write poems and broaden his circle of contacts with several Greek writers.

    Lawrence later wrote about the family's carefree years on the island, the tenderness and innocence of the people of Corfu in the mid-war years, in two of his books: Prospero's Cell (1945) and Blue Thirst (1975).

    The island's quaint and unadulterated beauty also inspired Gerald who, too, later wrote about the family's life and experiences on Corfu in his anecdote filled book My Family and Other Animals (1962), which brings with his great affection for the island and its people.

    But the people of Corfu, too, did not remain untouched by the Durrell brothers' stay on the island, and the memories linger on despite the passing of time.

    The locals proudly talk about the two British writers who had their island their second home, and never miss an opportunity to point out to visitors the 'white house' in the tiny village of Kalamos where the Durrells lived.

    Today, the house is a hostel and its current owners have taken care to keep alive the memories of the Durrells and that carefree epoch.

    The Durrell brothers have inspired many people, including British writer Richard Pine who has not only studied the brothers' ties with the island, but also established in 2002 The Durrell School of Corfu, which offers a wide range of activities, such as weekly seminars on the brothers' writing and the rich cultural heritage of the Mediterranean, excursions, and lectures on the same subject.

    Pine, who himself also professes to be a "Corfu lover", told ANA/MPA that the aim of the School is to organise international seminars on Corfu with speakers from all over the world, on the themes that the Durrell brothers were keen on, such as culture, literature, zoology, ecology and the arts.

    Clarifying the reasons behind his vision of establishing such a School, he noted that Corfu was a very important place for the Durrell brothers. Lawrence, he said, was just 23 years old when he moved there, but as he as written in his books, he discovered himself on Corfu. Greece gives you the ability to discover yourself, Lawrence would say, according to Pine. As for Gerald, he was still a child when he went to Corfu, but his experiences there put their mark on his later course.

    "That is why I chose Greece, and particularly Corfu" to set up the School, Pine said.

    Next May, the School is organising a seminar on Ionian history and culture, which will include not only Corfu but the other Ionian islands as well, such as Cephallonia and Ithaka, while a large delegation of visitors is also awaited from North America.

    The seminars offered by the School are attended by people of all ages and educational level: from university professors and pensioners to young people seeking new experiences.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of the old town of Corfu/Yannis Dimitras

    [03] SYRIZA leader elected

    Alexis Tsipras was unanimously elected President of the Radical Left Coalition's (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group during the body's first session on Wednesday.

    Tsipras said in a statement that the elections on October 4 gave SYRIZA the possibility of having a strong Parliamentary presence, adding that the new Parliamentary Group has all the preconditions to wage a tough and difficult but effective struggle.

    Commenting on the prime minister's address at the cabinet meeting, Tsipras sai that "we did not hear a word about the major social issues" and pointed out that the new government must try at least to create a shield of protection for society from the crisis.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of SYRIZA president Alexis Tsipras

    [04] ASE opening : Big rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 1.80 percent, standing at 2,740.93 points at 10:55 a.m., and turnover at 40.2 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving upward nearly across the board, with the only losses in Media, down 1.22 percent and Commerce, down 0.27 percent.

    The biggest gains were in Banks, up 2.99 percent; Indurstrial Products, up 2.16 percent; and Raw Materials, up 1.91 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 2.40 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.92 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.70 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 100 were up, 24 were down, and 20 were unchanged.

    [05] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The new Cabinet's first meeting and Prime Minister George Papandreou's instructions to his ministers, and main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis' decision for a one-day extraordinary Congress on November 7 to elect a new party leader, dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "ND Congress on November 7 - New party president to be elected".

    APOGEVMATINI: "One-day Congress to avoid rifts".

    AVGHI: "The PM gave instructions to the new ministers for transparency and invited the Ombudsman to outline the citizens' problems".

    AVRIANI: "George sets limits to the party and makes an overture to society".

    CHORA: "The 'agreement' (for early elections) of ND's crushing defeat in the limelight - 'Express' congress on November 7".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "ND extraordinary congress will elect Costas Karamanlis' successor".

    ELEFTHEROS: "George to ministers: "Do not hide. Act as anti-statists in the State in order to succeed".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Account to the citizens - Papandreou's directions to new ministers".

    ESTIA: "Positive first impressions - Papandreou's speech to ministers".

    ETHNOS: "Blow against the partisan State - George decided the abolition of hundreds of committees".

    KATHIMERINI: "Priority on citizen-state relations".

    LOGOS: "Papandreou showed the way .....Principles and directions on the government's mission".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The working classes must not become complacent".

    TA NEA: "Lesson One: Battle against corruption".

    TO VIMA: "Papandreou's first orders - Institutional changes in the State".

    VRADYNI: "ND grass roots must 'speak' on the new leader's election".

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