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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] The mushroom 'hunters' of Grevena
  • [02] New measures due Wednesday
  • [03] Bill on nationality approved
  • [04] ASE opening: Decline

  • [01] The mushroom 'hunters' of Grevena

    For decades, a unique form of 'hunt' has been taking place on the slopes surrounding the Valia Kalda valley in the prefecture of Grevena, northwestern Greece. The so-called "mushroom hunting", or wild mushroom picking, is a trade that has been passed down from generation to generation.

    The region is known for the more than 2,600 species of wild mushrooms that grow there, many of them edible, and for the plethora of local dishes featuring them, as well as an annual Mushroom Festival in the summer.

    A Mushroom Society has also been set up, which informs the public about the area's mushrooms and how to cook them.

    Whether a hobby or profession, mushroom picking is part of the daily life of Grevena. Indeed, wild mushrooms are an important source of revenue for Grevena, with many locals involved in the trade, while there is even a specialised local taverna that features dishes with more than 100 wild species throughout the year.

    Considered a select delicacy, some of the local wild mushrooms have a market value well above that of black caviar.

    [02] New measures due Wednesday

    The Greek government on Wednesday is expected to announce a second round of austerity measures in a continuing bid to slash the country's double-digit budget deficit by a now EU-mandated four percentage points.

    According to initial press reports, pending an official announcement by the government in the coming hours, a 30-percent cut in the so-called "14th salary" (Easter and holiday bonus) along with a 30-percent cut in the Christmas bonus (13th salary) will be implemented for employees in Greece's large wider public sector. Additionally, bonuses and special stipends paid to particular categories of civil servants will also be cut.

    New tax hikes on fuels and cigarettes are also reported, along with a hike in the VAT rates.

    [03] Bill on nationality approved

    A government-sponsored draft law on the acquisition of the Greek nationality was passed, in principle, on Tuesday by a relevant Parliamentary committee, with the votes of members of ruling PASOK and Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) MPs. The draft law also concerns the voting rights of migrants who reside in Greece legally.

    The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) voted against it, while MPs of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said they would express their opinion on an article-by-article basis.

    [04] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Wednesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.26 percent, standing at 2,016.41 points at 11:00 a.m., and turnover at 17.03 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest gains in Chemicals, up 2.91 percent; and Food and Beverages, up 0.68 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Health, down 1.73 percent; and Oil and Gas, down 1.94 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.49 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.26 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.06 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 31 were up, 22 were down, and 20 were unchanged.

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