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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-11-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] ND leadership race enters final stretch
  • [02] Greece launches three-country initiative for protection of Prespes Lakes region
  • [03] Decline at ASE opening

  • [01] ND leadership race enters final stretch

    The three-way race to succeed former prime minister Costas Karamanlis at the helm of main opposition New Democracy (ND) party has entered the final stretch to the election this coming Sunday, with all three candidates touring the country and addressing crowds of supporters.

    Former foreign minister and one-time Athens mayor Dora Bakoyannis addressed gatherings in the Argolis prefecture and in Aspropyrgos on Monday, while she will be in the town of Pallini, outside of Athens on Tuesday, in Alexandroupolis and Kavala on Wednesday, before her main campaign rally in downtown Athens' Kotzia Square on Friday.

    Former culture minister Antonis Samaras will address student supporters of the party in Athens on Monday afternoon, followed by a gathering of ND women members in central Athens in the evening.

    Thessaloniki prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis will meet with friends and party members in Sparta, Tripolis and Nafplio on Tuesday.

    The three candidates will also meet with ND Congress Organising Committee chairman Dimitris Sioufas and party secretary Lefteris Zagoritis.

    [02] Greece launches three-country initiative for protection of Prespes Lakes region

    The prime ministers of Greece, Albania and FYROM will hold an informal meeting on Friday in the Prespes Lakes region in northwestern Greece, at the initiative of Greek premier George Papandreou, to discuss prospects of cooperation in the protection and viable development of the Prespes national park region, which straddles the borders of all three countries.

    Papandreou on Monday extended invitations to Albanian prime minister Sali Berisha and FYROM prime minister Nikola Gruevsi to the informal meeting, which comes just two months ahead of the 10th anniversary since the three countries first pledged to cooperate in order to protect the Prespes Lake ecosystem.

    The initiative, according to Greek government spokesman George Petalotis, reflects the "high priority" placed by the government on environmental issues only days ahead of the UN international summit on climate change in Copenhagen.

    The Lakes Small and Large Prespes in the prefecture of Florina, in the northwest corner of the country, form a unique ecosystem and constitute a natural border between the three countries.

    The Lakes are home to the Mediterranean's most ancient species of trout, and also the short-horn pygmy cow, both of which are threatened with extinction.

    The Prespes are also among the 10 most important wetlands of the Mediterranean, while eight of the 11 fish species native to the lakes are endemic and not found anywhere else in the world.

    The Prespes area is a large basin at an altitude of 850m which contains two lakes, Mikri (Small) and Megali (Large) Prespa. Megali Prespa is today located in Greece, Albania and FYROM while Mikri Prespa is entirely located within Greece and Albania

    According to the UNESCO World Heritage Center, the area is characterized by outstanding natural beauty and has been inhabited without interruption from antiquity (with traces of ancient inhabitation in the area of "Lemos" and on the island of Agios Achilleos) to the present day.

    The local population has closely associated the area, its history and its natural beauty with myths, legends and traditions.

    The Prespes region contains the highest degree of species biodiversity in a corresponding surface area in Europe. It is a unique limnetic landscape of outstanding natural beauty that includes a wealth of monuments from the Byzantine and post-Byzantine period. The uniqueness lies in the interaction between man and nature.

    The area which covers the Mikri and Megali Prespes Lakes and the neighbouring slopes of Mounts Triklari and Varnunda is the largest National Park in Greece with a core area of 4,900 hectares and a surrounding zone of 14,750 hectares. It is also that with the highest biodiversity levels. It begins at an altitude of 850m and contains oak, beech, deciduous, fir and cedar forests. More than 1500 plant species and 12 forest types can be encountered in the area in which 46 mammal species live, including some of the rarest in Europe such as the wolf, bear, wild ibex and otter.

    Moreover, the area is one of the most important biotopes in Greece with 260 species of birds. The grey goose (Anser anser) and the goosander (Mergus mersander), cranes (Ardeidae), cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) and pygmy cormorants (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) nest here, as well as quite a few species of duck, terns, birds of prey, woodpeckers, etc. It is the only area in Europe other than the Danube Delta and the former USSR where two species of pelican reproduce, the White pelican (Pelecanus onocratulus) and the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus). The water meadows surrounding the lakes are home to significant amphibians and reptile populations.

    [03] Decline at ASE opening

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Tuesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 1.27 percent, standing at 2,417.25 points at 11:15 a.m., and turnover at 29.1 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest gains in Mass Media, up 1.37 percent; and Financial Services, up 0.20 percent..

    The biggest losses were in Commerce, down 2.50 percent; Travel & Recreation, down 2.24 percent; and Public Utilities, down 1.90 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 1.46 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 1.03 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.76 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 33 were up, 78 were down, and 27 were unchanged.


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