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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM in Ileia: Model prefecture of green growth
  • [02] Marine life the treasure of the Greek seas
  • [03] OSCE lauds 'historic' accord
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM in Ileia: Model prefecture of green growth

    Prime minister George Papandreou announced the transformation of Ileia into a model prefecture of green growth that will serve as a pilot project for the restructure of the entire country, during a visit on Sunday to Ancient Olympia in fulfillment of a pre-elections promise that the fire-ravaged region would be the first he would visit as prime minister.

    Papandreou, who was accompanied by a team of government ministers, also announced that his ruling PASOK party will immediately submit in parliament its updated draft law for the integrated restructuring and development of the region.

    Environment, Energy and Climate Change minister Tina Birbili said that the restoration of Ileia was a governmental priority, while Agricultural Development and Foods minister Katerina Batzeli spoke of a regeneration of agriculture that "will not demand the wasteful spending of financial resources but their proper management".

    Culture and Tourism minister Pavlos Geroulanos noted that the region combines all the competitive advantages of culture, sports and tourism, among which interaction was necessary.

    Citizens' Protection minister Michalis Chrysohoidis pledged that he will personally oversee the preparation of the fire protection period, stressing that "we will never again suffer such destruction" as that of 2007.

    Infrastructure, Transports and Networks minister Dimitris Reppas stressed that anti-flood and anti-erosion works will commence immediately, as well as the fortification of road, port and other infrastructures.

    Caption: Prime minister George Papandreou visits Ancient Olympia in fire-ravaged Ileia prefecture. (ANA-MPA/K. Mavrona)

    [02] Marine life the treasure of the Greek seas

    The Greek seas are a home to several protected species of large marine animals that are threatened with extinction, such as sharks, dolphins, seals and turtles - including some large whales, according to the environmental organization "Archipelago".

    The more than 18-meter-long sperm whale, which weighs roughly 50 tons, is the most common whale species found in the Greek seas with a current population that numbers less than 2,500 adult members and dropping. A smaller whale species that forms small groups is also common in sea regions with large depths.

    Most of the 47 different species of sharks found in the Mediterranean live in the Greek seas and face an increased risk of extinction due to the rising demand for their fins. Sharks are being captured alive and their dorsal fin is cut off before they are thrown back into the sea, with minimal chances of survival.

    The dolphins, sea turtles and seals found in the Greek seas are also threatened with extinction. Sea turtles, with the "Caretta-caretta" loggerhead being the most widely known species, are faced with great risks - especially during the summer months when many of them are killed by speedboats, or drown after being caught in fishing nets.

    Another endangered species is the Monachus monachus monk seal, whose global population numbers approximately 450 members, with over half of them living in Greek seas.

    Equally important but lesser known to the general public are the 'meadows' of Posidonia oceanica, a species of seagrass, and various types of corals.

    Both are threatened because their regions have not been mapped and no one knows exactly which areas need protection.

    The seagrass meadows are home to more than 300 species of flora and 1,000 species of fauna. Equally high in biodiversity are the coral reefs that need more than 7,000 years to form and, if destroyed, take centuries to be restored.

    [03] OSCE lauds 'historic' accord

    The Chairman-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Greece's prime minister and foreign minister George Papandreou, on Sunday welcomed the signing of an agreement between Armenia and Turkey for normalisation of their relations.

    "I welcome the historic agreement to normalize relations between Turkey and Armenia, and commend the effort and political will both leaders have invested to overcome differences and work towards a more secure and stable region, which is in all our interests," Papandreou said.

    The accords were signed in Zurich on 10 October following months of Swiss-mediated talks. A roadmap for normalizing relations between Turkey and Armenia was agreed in April. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 because of its war with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.

    The accords were signed on Saturday by Armenian foreign minister Edouard Nalbandian and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.

    Papandreou was sworn in as Greece's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on October 6 and 7 respectively. The Foreign Minister of the country holding the Chairmanship serves as the OSCE's Chairman-in-Office.

    Caption: Armenia's Foreign Minister Edouard Nalbandian (L), and Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the signing ceremony of Turkey-Armenia peace deal in Zurich. (EPA)

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The government's upcoming platform statement, the economy, and developments in main opposition New Democracy (ND) in the process for the election of a new party leader were the main front page items in Sunday's newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The uprooted Greeks of Istanbul demanding return of 11,500 real estate properties from Turkey" after European Court ruling vindicating two heirs of Greek woman from Constantinople (today's Istanbul).

    APOGEVMATINI: "The ND Congress 'puzzle': All the presidents' (candidate leadersā men".

    AVGHI: "On to tough measures", adding that the Greek people were in for a 'rough landing' after the Bank of Greece governor's presentation of the economic indicators to the prime minister and his economy staff, as the deficit has exceeded 10 percent and is headed towards 12 percent.

    AVRIANI: "What Dora (Bakoyannis), Samaras and Avramopoulos (former HD ministers and anticipated candidates for the party leadership) propose for the election of leader".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Third Papandreou generation at the country's helm".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "New electoral system prepared by PASOK".

    ETHNOS: "Semi-endurance race to pay the salaries and pensions".

    KATHIMERINI: "How Papandreou will govern - Public Issue opinion poll: 83 percent of respondents have 'rather positive' impression of the new government".

    LOGOS: "George Papandreou's political dominance".

    NIKI: "The new government's strategy for rekindling the market - 'Cheap' money via Brussels (EU)".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Battle fronts for the people's needs - Announcement by KKE (Communist Party of Greece) central committee's political bureau".

    TO VIMA: "What is to be done with the loans - What is changing in taxes - The first draft laws to be tabled in parliament by the government".

    VRADYNI: "Leader (elected) by the party rank and file - Demand of the ND voters".

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