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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Police operation in downtown Athens
  • [02] Environmental Education Center in Makrinitsa
  • [03] Mobilisation of market forces
  • [04] Closer monitoring of new flu
  • [05] Support to "Athens 2011"

  • [01] Police operation in downtown Athens

    ANA-MPA/A strong contingent of the Attica Police General Directorate (GADA) carried out an extraordinary operation late Thursday night into the first hours of Friday focusing on the Exarchia district in downtown Athens, in the framework of their crime-fighting operation.

    A total of 203 individuals, 23 motorcycles, 16 cars and 26 shops were investigated in the operation, leading to the arrest of eight people, including two for drug possession, three illegal immigrants, and one for violation of gambling laws.

    A total of 81 individuals were taken in to police headquarters for questioning, while 13 grams of heroin, minor quantities of cocaine and 46 illegal gambling machines were seized.

    A strong force of 400 officers took part in the operation, which took place between 11:45 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.

    According to a GADA announcement, such operations will continue.

    [02] Environmental Education Center in Makrinitsa

    The Environmental Education Center in the picturesque village of Makrinitsa on Mt Pelion overlooking the Pagasitikos Bay in Magnesia Prefecture, central Greece, has been in operation since 1999, focusing on raising environmental awareness among the youth.

    Furthermore, it is involved in the materialization of environmental education programmes for primary and secondary education schools, the publication of informational material and the creation of pilot programmes-guides for schools.

    Roughly 24,000 pupils and 4,000 educators have already visited the center, housed in the Vatsareas-Mavrakis Mansion, a four-storey building dating back to 1830. ANA-MPA.

    [03] Mobilisation of market forces

    Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli on Thursday asked for the "mobilisation of all market forces" after her first visit to the former development ministry on Kanniggos Square.

    She promised to quickly overcome the confusion of the first days and set the ministry in order, announcing that the first of two draft bills falling in the ministry's portfolio will be tabled in the next few days and was among five that the prime minister wanted passed as a top priority.

    The bill concerns measures to simplify procedures for starting and operating a new business. Katseli said that her own team had already done preparatory work for this and that it would not take long before it was ready to be tabled in Parliament. Also to be pushed through rapidly is a second draft bill that is in the wings, with measures for supporting small and medium-sized businesses, street market traders and peddlers, a stimulus package for markets and increasing liquidity.

    The minister said that the crisis would be handled by a re-ordering of the economy based on three priority directions: the proper function of the market and a stimulus of the market, combined with consumer protection and emphasis on supervision.

    Katseli had meetings with the ministry's senior personnel and said that she had asked the ministry general secretaries to remain at their posts until their replacement by new executives that will be selected through an open proclamation and competition conducted over the Internet.

    She also asked ministry heads of department to prepare a letter by Monday, in which they briefed her on the areas they handled and their proposals for these, so that she can begin a round of meetings with them next week to decide on action to solve market problems.

    Katseli emphasised the need to use all developmental tools, including Community support programmes, developmental law and state procurements, in a bid to boost competitiveness. She particularly stressed the importance of shipping for the Greek economy.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli

    [04] Closer monitoring of new flu

    The new health minister Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou on Thursday noted the need for closer supervision and monitoring of the spread of novel influenza in schools, after a meeting with the National Operational Scientific Council for monitoring the disease's progress in Greece.

    The minister said that emphasis will be given to control and the criteria for taking measures in schools, adding that Greece needed to step up the alert.

    Regarding the vaccination programme, she said that final decisions will bemade after a meeting of European Union health minister taking place next week, adding that preparations for the start of a vaccination programme in Greece was continuing.

    On the abolition of committees operating under the framework of the ministry, Xenoyiannakopoulou said that there were clear orders from Prime Minister George Papandreou to his ministers, instructing them to ask for the resignations of committee members at ministries.

    [05] Support to "Athens 2011"

    Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos expressed support to the hosting of the Special Olympics World Summer Games "Athens 2011" in a meeting he had Thursday with Special Olympics International Chairman and CEO Timothy P. Shriver and Special Olympics Hellas President Joanna Despotopoulou.

    Geroulanos stressed in the meeting, symbolically held under the shadow of the Acropolis, that Greece being the cradle of Civilization will send out to the world the message of respect for people with disabilities and participation in the joy found in sports.

    On his part, the Special Olympics International Chairman and CEO expressed certainty that the "Athens 2011" Games will be absolutely successful with the help of the Greek government.

    The Special Olympics World Summer Games "Athens 2011" will be held on June 25-July 4, 2011 with the participation of 7,500 athletes and 2,500 coaches from 185 countries.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos

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