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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Annual Chestnut Party begins in Kavala
  • [02] Message on UN Day
  • [03] Tsipras addresses SYN meeting

  • [01] Annual Chestnut Party begins in Kavala

    The chestnut season is celebrated every October in many regions across Greece with special events organized to promote the chestnut's nutritional value.

    In antiquity, the chestnut tree was regarded in Greece as the tree of Zeus. Mount Olympus, home of the gods of the ancient Greeks, was said to have had an abundance of chestnut trees producing this sweet, edible nut.

    Once peeled of their hard, dark brown outer shells and bitter inner skin, chestnuts can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, roasted, boiled, mashed, preserved and candied. A special type of coffee with calming effects is produced from dried chestnuts, while the chestnut tree leaves are used for their therapeutic properties in lung diseases and rheumatism.

    An annual ‚Chestnut Party‚ will take place during the weekend at Paleochori in Kavala Prefecture, northeastern Greece. According to organizers, over 5,000 people attend the event each year and consume roughly 5 tons of chestnuts and 1,000 kilos of wine.

    Similar celebrations are also held in Damaskinia in the prefecture of Kozani, Agiasos on the island of Lesvos, Karitsa in the prefecture of Larissa and in Arna in the prefecture of Laconia.

    The sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), originally native to southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, was introduced into Europe from Sardis in Asia Minor; the fruit was then called the 'Sardian Nut'. It has been a staple food in Southern Europe, Turkey and southwestern and eastern Asia for millennia, largely replacing cereals where these would not grow well, if at all, in mountainous Mediterranean areas

    Alexander the Great and the Romans planted Chestnut trees across Europe while on their various campaigns. The Greek army is said to have survived their retreat from Asia Minor in 401-399 B.C. thanks to their stores of chestnuts. Ancient Greeks like the physician, pharmacologist and botanist Dioscorides and Romans such as Galen, the prominent physician and philosopher of Greek origin, wrote of chestnuts to comment on their medicinal properties. To the early Christians chestnuts symbolized chastity. Until the introduction of the potato, whole forest-dwelling communities which had scarce access to wheat flour relied on chestnuts as their main source of carbohydrates. In some parts of Italy a cake made of chestnuts is used as a substitute for potatoes.

    [02] Message on UN Day

    The founding of the United Nations, "this global institution of understanding and peace, constitutes a milestone for humanity and an achievement. It is a forum where all nations are equal between each other and before the law, considering reality honestly, through solidarity and mutual respect," Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said on Friday.

    In a message issued on the 64th anniversry of the UN's foundation (Oct 24 1945), the Greek minister also pledged Greece's "strong support" for international cooperation, noting "we consider that unilateral interventions perpetuate problems, nourish violence and undermine peaceful coexistence."

    [03] Tsipras addresses SYN meeting

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance leader Alexis Tsipras stressed that the goal was that SYRIZA play a leading role in the social struggles and the upcoming political shifts, addressing a meeting of the Central Political Committee of his Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party, which heads the SYRIZA alliance.

    Tsipras, who also heads the SYRIZA parliamentary group, said that only a few days since main opposition party and former government New Democracy's (ND) "spectacular collapse", the new PASOK government has given the first indications of its policy line.

    "It is a fact that a large section of the citizens, having reached the end of their tether with the preceding government, are willing to give the new government a grace period," Tsipras said, but warned that "they are not disposed, however, to seeing the same show twice".

    Tsipras criticised the new government on its proposals on the STAGE work experience programs, adding that it gave more the impression that it wanted to resolve the issue for fiscal reasons, in order cut state expenditure, rather than to solve a social problem. He also charged that the PASOK government hoped to transfer "this sui generis state of labor hostagery" to the private sector.

    The SYN leader stressed that no job without social security and with remuneration below the minimum wage set out by law should be accepted either in the public or the public sector.

    Second, he continued, ASEP (public sector hiring examinations board) examinations must be immediately called to fill the thousands of vacant organic positions in the sectors of health, education, social welfare, environmental protection and civil protection.

    Third, he added, the state must retroactively pay the social security pension contributions for all the people who had been employed under the STAGE (EU subsidised work experience acquisition) programs, while the STAGE employees should also be given additional grade points on their ASEP exams in accordance with the duration of their employment under the program.

    Meanwhile, it was decided during that meeting that SYN will launch an in-depth discussion with all the components of the SYRIZA parliamentary alliance to clarify the alliance's operation at political and organisational level.

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