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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Athens Stock Exchange opening: Rise
  • [02] Mammoth reconstructed in theme museum in Oreokastro
  • [03] Bomb blast at central Athens building
  • [04] 'Jeep shooter' arrested
  • [05] Ship fire toll climbs to 9
  • [06] Parties on ship tragedy
  • [07] Priceless icons, relics stolen
  • [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Athens Stock Exchange opening: Rise

    Athens Stock Exchange opening: Rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Monday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), influenced by the European money markets, with the basic share price index up 0.86 percent, standing at 2,227.01 points at 11:00 a.m., and turnover at 8.45 million euros.

    The main thrust of buyer interest was in bank stock.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.00 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.88 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.32 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 44 were up, 12 were down, and 20 were unchanged.

    [02] Mammoth reconstructed in theme museum in Oreokastro

    Visitors to the Museum of Mammoths that opened recently in the district of Oreokastro in Thessaloniki can see a reconstructed mammoth from 9-million-year-old fossilized bones, tusks and skull combined with artificial parts.

    The museum is the only one in the entire Balkan region that has on display fossilized remains of mammoths, the gigantic animals that lived in the Ice Age.

    A Dinosaurs‚ Park was also inaugurated in Oreokastro a few years ago based on an idea by Vassilis Michailidis, who is also the creator of the Mammoths Museum.

    [03] Bomb blast at central Athens building

    A makeshift bomb went off at 23:01 on Sunday night in the Athens district of Neos Kosmos. The explosion targeted the Ethniki Asfalistiki building on Galaxias Street off Syngrou Avenue, which houses a branch of National Bank of Greece on the ground floor.

    An unidentified caller called the newspaper "Eleftherotypia" at 22:46 on Sunday and warned that the bomb would go off in the building within 15 minutes.

    There were no injuries as a result of the blast because the police managed to cordon off the area but there was extensive damage.

    Anti-terrorism squad officers are now on the scene conducting an investigation, with a forensics team.

    [04] 'Jeep shooter' arrested

    Police on Sunday arrested a man they suspect is the mysterious shooter in the dark-coloured jeep, who fired on three unrelated and unsuspecting passers-by in Athens and Piraeus over the past week, seriously injuring two of them.

    The suspect is a 31-year-old Greek working as a taxi driver, who is being held by police and will be led before a public prosecutor on Monday. He has denied the charges against him.

    He was caught at a police road block driving a dark khaki jeep that contained 9mm pistol shells. A ballistics investigation showed that the shells came from the same gun used to shoot at the unlucky victims of the mystery shooter.

    Police also found a 9mm pistol that still has to be identified as that used in the shootings through forensics tests.

    Of the shooter's three victims, a man and a woman are seriously injured, while a third man sustained lighter injuries.

    Announcements regarding the man's arrest will be made on Monday by Attica Security police.

    [05] Ship fire toll climbs to 9

    The death toll from a fire that broke out on board the Greek-owned freighter "Aegean Wind" on Christmas Day as it was sailing 90 miles off Venezuela reached nine over the weekend as the bodies of the last three missing seamen were recovered.

    Six of nine merchant seamen reported missing after a fire on board the Greek bulk carrier "Aegean Wind", owned by Athens-based Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management Ltd., had been recovered dead by the Venezuelan coast guard early on Saturday.

    The discovery of another missing Filipino crew man later on Boxing Day, in addition to the three Greek seamen and two Filipinos already found earlier, had brought the overall tally of dead to six, while rescuers on Saturday evening found and recovered the bodies of the last three members of the crew still missing.

    Authorities have yet to discover what caused the fire, which began in the vessel's mess hall and quickly spread throughout the ship while it was sailing off the coast of Venezuela. The ship had a crew of 24, nine of them Greeks. It was laden with steel and had set off from Brazil heading for Houston, Texas.

    The fire, which broke out as the vessel was sailing 33 kilometers off the Venezuelan island of La Blanquilla, was put out on Friday night and a Greek coast guard officer is heading to Venezuela to assist the return of the Greek seamen to Greece.

    In addition to the nine casualties, five people sustained minor injuries, including two Greek crewmen and a Greek female trainee officer. They were taken to a nearby island for treatment.

    Meanwhile, the tug "London" was due to tow the ship to the port of Curacao on Monday.

    Caption: Hand-out photo of Greek bulk carrier "Aegean Wind". (EPA)

    [06] Parties on ship tragedy

    The Greek political parties have expressed grief over the loss of nine seamen, including three Greeks, in a Christmas Day fire aboard the Greek-owned bulk carrier "Aegean Wind" off the coast of Venezuela.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) demanded a thorough investigation into the causes of the fire.

    Expressing its sorrow and support for the families of the sailors killed, KKE was also critical of the government for statements that appeared to exonerate the owners Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management Ltd of responsibility before any investigation had been carried out.

    The party stressed that it was unacceptable to "attribute the death of so many workers to bad luck, at a time when the number of employer crimes on land and at sea has radically increased."

    The policy that served competitiveness and the profitability of capital had led, in addition to a reduction in wages and the rolling back of basic labour rights, to dangerous working conditions, the KKE said.

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party expressed "heartbreak" over the maritime tragedy, and its condolences to the families of the victims.

    "We share in the grief of the Greek shipping family. We call on the State to closely monitor the investigation into the causes of the tragedy that led to the loss of so many human lives," LAOS added.

    The Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party expressed its deep grief and condolences to the families of the seamen who perished in a Christmas Day fire aboard the "Aegean Wind" off Venezuela.

    However, it added, beyond the grief and condolences, "we wish to put forward a question: Until when will our seamen be paying this blood toll, until when will the necessary measures that will reduce the chances of such accidents not be taken?"

    "No material cost is above the human lives," SYN added.

    Caption: Hand-out photo of some survivers of the Christmas Day fire aboard the Greek bulk carrier "Aegean Wind" off Venezuela, which claimed the lives of nine seamen. (EPA)

    [07] Priceless icons, relics stolen

    More than 50 icons and other priceless religious artifacts dating to the 15th and 16th centuries were stolen from a church in Zagorochoria, Ioannina, including the relics of Saints Panteleimonas and Haralambos.

    The theft was discovered by the local priest and parishioners when they arrived at the Church of the Virgin (Panaghia) in the village of Koukouli for the Christmas service.

    The burglars broke into the Church from a small window after cutting its iron frame.

    According to an initial inventory, the burglars made away with more than 50 icons, several gospels, exapteriga (six-winged liturgical ripidia), chalices, relics of Saints Panteleimonas and Haralambos, and several other sacred vessels, all of great value dated to the time of the church's construction between the 15th and 16th century.

    Several years earlier, burglars had stolen the church's priceless Epitaphios (carved bier of Jesus Christ carried throughout the community in a funerary procession on Good Friday).

    Police have launched a manhunt for the thieves.

    [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Measures intended by the government for the economy and the lukewarm movement in the market during the holidays were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Monday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Three-day weekend of crimes and tragedies - Christmas with many victims".

    APOGEVMATINI: "25 changes in taxation".

    AVRIANI: "The unwieldy government unable to make decisions on the critical problems".

    CHORA: "Terror returns to international flights".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Miserable Christmas for George (prime minister Papandreou)".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Triple provocation by Turkey on Christmas - Ankara suddenly 'discovered' spy network in Izmir".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Hard rock with parliamentary fact-finding commissions and surcharges".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Tax receipts divide - Big participation (by public) in public deliberation on tax system".

    ESTIA: "Some optimism sought - The negative climate must be reversed".

    ETHNOS: "Taxes 'full house' on real estate in 2010 - Tax Bureau preparing to strike four times".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "The basic policies are of uncertain effectiveness".

    TA NEA: "Early sales period in 'empty' shops".

    VRADYNI: "Big Brother - EU team in Athens next week".


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