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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Reppas at EU Council of Transport Ministers
  • [02] Anti-terrorism squad probes fatal shoot-out
  • [03] Greek natgas pipelines with Italy, Turkey, discussed by deputy minister in Brussels
  • [04] President Karolos Papoulias sworn in for second term
  • [05] Unemployment at 10.2%
  • [06] Economy shrank 2.0 pct

  • [01] Reppas at EU Council of Transport Ministers

    The EU Council of Transport Ministers passed a new regulation on the investigation and prevention of the air accidents at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

    Greek Infrastructures,Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Reppas noted that "flight safety is the top priority of our policy for the development of air transportation, adding that the investigation of air accidents must focus on improving safety, rather than attributing blame". He also underlined the need for close cooperation among all the relevant sides in order to create an "acquis" of knowledge and experience that will prevent new accidents.

    The council also discussed a new directive on airport safety fees charged by the companies that run the airports, with the aim of establishing certain fundamental principles that must be followed in determining the fees.

    [02] Anti-terrorism squad probes fatal shoot-out

    ANA-MPA/Officers from the anti-terrorist squad on Friday continued an investigation into a shootout early Wednesday morning in which a 35-year-old gunman was shot dead by police during the exchange, with the probe examining possible urban terrorist links.

    Two police officers exchanged gunfire with at least two suspects in the central Athens district of Dafni after apparently breaking up an attempt by the two suspects to steal a car.

    The fatally shot suspect was identified as Lambros Fountas, whom authorities believe was affiliated with violent so-called "anti-establishment" or "anti-state" cells.

    Fountas is listed as a biologist and was employed by a well-known medical diagnostic centre in Athens, while both of his parents are physicians.

    Results of ballistic testing on the handguns and cartridges found at the crime scene were released on Thursday. The weapon found next to Fountas was identified as a "Zastava" and has not been used in another registered criminal act.

    [03] Greek natgas pipelines with Italy, Turkey, discussed by deputy minister in Brussels

    ANA-MPA/Greece's deputy environment, energy and climate change minister Yiannis Maniatis met on Thursday in Brussels with EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger, with whom he discussed financing of the Greece-Bulgaria and Greece-Italy natural gas pipelines.

    Maniatis, in Brussels for a meeting of EU Council of Energy Ministers, also discussed the two pipeline projects in a meeting with Italian economy minister Claudio Scajola, while in another meeting with the Council's chairman, Spanish secretary of state for energy Pedro Luis Marin Uribe, Maniatis discussed bilateral cooperation, with the focus on the sectors of green development and joint actions in the Mediterranean region.

    [04] President Karolos Papoulias sworn in for second term

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias was at noon Friday sworn in for a second term in Greece's highest office, after being re-elected with an overwhelming majority of 266 votes among the 298 MPs in attendance in the 300-member unicameral parliament in a special session on February 3.

    "I swear in the name of the Holy, Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity to safeguard the Constitution and the laws, to ensure their faithful observance, to defend the national independence and territorial integrity of the Country, to protect the rights and liberties of the Greeks and to serve the general interest and the progress of the Greek People," said Papoulias, taking the oath of office stipulated in the Constitution.

    Papoulias was re-elected with the votes of the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), main opposition New Democracy (ND) and smaller opposition Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) parties' MPs in a roll-call vote during a special session of the unicameral parliament.

    Papoulias is the sixth President of the Republic since the restoration of democracy in Greece in 1974, following Mihalis Stasinopoulos, Constantine Tsatsos, Constantine Karamanlis, Christos Sartzetakis and Costis Stephanopoulos.

    [05] Unemployment at 10.2%

    Greek unemployment jumped to 10.2 pct of the workforce in December 2009, from 8.9 pct in December 2008 and 10.6 pct in November 2009, the National Statistical Service said on Friday.

    The statistics service, in a report, said the number of unemployed people totaled 505,110 in December, up 16.3 pct from a year earlier, while the financially non-active population totaled 4,323,071. The number of employed people totaled 4,457,657 in December 2009, down 0.1 pct from December 2008.

    The statistics service said unemployment among women was more than double compared with that among men (14.8 pct and 6.9 pct respectively), while the age group between 15 and 24 years old (28.9 pct) recorded the highest unemployment rate

    Ionian Islands (15 pct), southern Aegean (13.6 pct) and eastern Macedonia-Thrace (12.5 pct) recorded the higher unemployment rates among the country's regions, while northern Aegean (6.9 pct), western Greece (7.0 pct), the Peloponese (8.4 pct) and Attica (9.2 pct) the lowest rates.

    [06] Economy shrank 2.0 pct

    The Greek economy shrank by 2.5 pct in the fourth quarter of 2009, evidence that economic recession is deeper compared with initial estimates made by the state budget and the country's updated Stability and Growth Program. The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP fell by 2.0 pct in 2009, from an increase of 2.0 pct in 2008, the National Statistical Service said on Friday.

    The statistics service in a report said gross fixed capital investments fell 19 pct in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with the corresponding period in 2008, with investments down 23.3 pct in houses, 19.6 pct in machinery equipment, 13,2 pct in other constructions and 20.8 pct in other investment products. Farm product investments, however, grew 3.3 pct.

    Total consumption spending rose 0.3 pct in the fourth quarter, while private consumption grew 8.4 pct and private consumption was down 1.6 pct. Import of goods and services fell 18 pct, while exports were down 15.5 pct.

    The statistics service said Gross Added Value fell 0.3 pct in the fourth quarter.

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