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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou meets State Department official
  • [02] Excavations in Ancient Tegea
  • [03] Droutsas on FYROM name issue
  • [04] ASE opening: Marginal rise

  • [01] Papandreou meets State Department official

    Prime minister and foreign minister George Papandreou and alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas met on Wednesday with US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, on the sidelines of the 17th ministerial conference of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which winds up in Athens later in the day.

    The one-hour meeting covered international issues and bilateral topics, while the prospect of Papandreou paying an official visit to Washington in the new year was also discussed.

    The Greek side briefed Steinberg on developments in the region, including Athens' political initiative to give impetus and prospect to the Western Balkan countries for accession to the EU in 2014, as well as Greece's "positive intentions" on FYROM's prospects and its initiatives to create a positive climate, including direct contacts between the leaderships of the two countries in tandem with the UN-mediated procedure for resolution of the FYROM name issue.

    Steinberg was also briefed on developments in relations with Turkey and on the course of the Cyprus issue.

    The two sides further discussed US President Barack Obama's policy on Afghanistan and the decision to send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan before withdrawing forces in July 2011, and other regional issues.

    Papandreou and Droutsas are also slated to meet with Turkish foreign minister Ahmed Davutoglu later Wednesday on the sidelines of the OSCE conference, while the foreign ministry announced that a reply to Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's letter to the Greek premier will not be forthcoming on Wednesday.

    [02] Excavations in Ancient Tegea

    The first stage of a five-year (2009-2013) excavation project in Ancient Tegea, near Tripolis, has been completed by an international team of archaeologists led by the Norwegian Institute in Athens in Collaboration with the Greek culture ministry's 38th Ephoria for Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and 25th Ephoria of Byzantine Antiquities.

    The area of excavation is a field located to the west of the theatre and the Basilica of Thyrsos, where magnetometer survey 2003-2004 documented the probable location of a major north-south street and a stoa bordering the agora.

    The two ongoing field-projects at Tegea, a survey of a side-valley to the east of the urban centre and an excavation in the centre of the ancient city, started in June, 2009.

    Tegea was a settlement in ancient Greece, and it is also a municipality in modern Arcadia, with its seat in the village Stadio.

    Ancient Tegea was an important religious center of ancient Greece,containing the Temenos (Temple) of Athena Alea . The temenos was founded by Aleus. Votive bronzes at the site from the Geometric and Archaic periods take the forms of horses and deer; there are sealstones and fibulae. In the Archaic period the nine villages that underlie Tegea banded together in a synoecism form one city.Tegea was listed in Homer's Catalogue of Ships as one of the cities that contributed ships and men for the Achaean assault on Troy.

    Tegea struggled against Spartan hegemony in Arcadia and was finally conquered ca 560 BCE. In the fourth century Tegea joined the Arcadian League and struggled to free itself from Sparta.

    The Temple of Athena Alea burned in 394 BC and was magnificently rebuilt to designs by Scopas of Paros, with reliefs of the Calydonian boar hunt in the main pediment. The city retained civic life under the Roman Empire; it was sacked in 395 by the Goths.

    The site of ancient Tegea is now located within the modern town of Alea, which is located about 10 kilometers southeast of Tripolis.

    [03] Droutsas on FYROM name issue

    The only procedure in which the FYROM name issue is being negotiated is that under the UN, alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas said on state television on Wednesday morning, adding that "this is the procedure we support and in the framework of which we are making efforts".

    He noted, however, that direct contacts with Skopje did not hurt but, in fact, could assist the process.

    "We believe that when you have clear positions -- and we have clear positions on the Skopje issue -- you must, with self-confidence, point the way yourself with initiatives, and that is what we are doing," he explained.

    Asked whether Skopje's position has altered, Droutsas said that "this will be seen in the framework of the UN-mediated negotiations".

    Droutsas said that the government's position has from the outset been and remains crystal clear: "Commencement of negotiations for Skopje's (EU) accession is inconceivable without prior solution of the name problem".

    On the prospect of his visiting Skopje, Droutsas replied that "it is on the table, we are examining it and will see about it along the way".

    For the government, he continued, the discussion and briefing of all the political forces of the country "is a matter of course", adding that on the major national issues the great majority of the political forces agree on the goals, "which is very important", and stressing that open discussion with everyone "goes without saying".

    On the Cyprus issue, Droutsas said that Greece is at Cyprus' side "not only in words but also with action", adding that he was in constant contact with Cyprus foreign minister Markos Kyprianou, with close, daily cooperation and absolute coordination "and we will go to the EU summit with a common line on this issue".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas

    [04] ASE opening: Marginal rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Wednesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.02 percent, standing at 2,425.50 points at 11:25 a.m., and turnover at 74.7 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving upward downward, with the biggest gains in Personal & Household Goods, up 2.20 percent; Technology, up 1.92 percent; and Chemicals, up 0.97 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Food & Beverage, down 2.0 percent; Construction, down 1.49 percent; and Public Utilities, down 1.33 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.05 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.73 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.66 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 80 were up, 47 were down, and 21 were unchanged.

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