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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-04-29

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM: Extinguish eurozone 'fire' now
  • [02] Greek cooperative banks report improved Q1 results
  • [03] Athens commends Tirana honor for fallen Greek WWII soldiers
  • [04] Stephen G. Miller: From Berkeley to Ancient Nemea
  • [05] Stocks rebound strongly, 7.14%

  • [01] PM: Extinguish eurozone 'fire' now

    (ANA-MPA) -- Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing the Economist's conference in Athens on Wednesday evening, stressed that "a small fire, a spark must not be allowed to get out of control and become a threat for the eurozone."

    Papandreou said that it appeared from the situation that has been created from the beginning of the crisis that "the markets do not ultimately regulate themselves and they do not always function rationally," while for the specific case he said that the markets "are afraid and evaluate by depending on the worst possible scenario and not the most probable." (ANA-MPA)

    The prime minister mentioned as an example the present increase in spreads to a greater degree than some time ago, "when there was neither the government's Stability Programme nor the implementation of checks, or political will for the support of Greece and even more so when there was no support mechanism." (ANA-MPA)

    [02] Greek cooperative banks report improved Q1 results

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greek cooperative banks reported improved results for the first quarter of 2010, compared with the same period in 2009, despite difficult conditions in the Greek economy.

    Nikos Myrtakis, president of the Association of Cooperative Banks of Greece, said assets rose 8.3 pct to 4.354 billion euros, loans rose 11.2 pct to 3.447 billion euros and saving deposits rose 6.5 pct to 3.455 billion euros in the January-March period.

    Equity capital rose 9.3 pct to 559 million euros, while pre-tax earnings jumped 55.5 pct to 16.4 million euros. Myrtakis said the association operated a branch network of 230 units around the country.

    [03] Athens commends Tirana honor for fallen Greek WWII soldiers

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greece on Thursday praised a recent Albanian initiative to honor the fallen Greek soldiers of the Greek-Italian war (1940-41), the first theatre of conflict in the Balkans during the Second World War.

    Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras underlined that Greece has stood by Albania and wants the neighbouring country to proceed as rapidly as possible towards Euro-Atlantic structures.

    [04] Stephen G. Miller: From Berkeley to Ancient Nemea

    (ANA-MPA) -- He arrived in Greece in the '70s as a young archaeologist aspiring to bring to light the kingdom of legendary Ulysses or, at least, the palaces of King Phillip of Macedon. Destiny, however, and the University of California at Berkeley, led Dr. Stephen G. Miller to Nemea in the Peloponnese, southern Greece, where he unearthed the ancient stadium of the Nemean Panhellenic Games.

    In an interview with ANA-MPA's "Greek Diaspora" magazine, Miller said the excavation was carried out very cautiously, and frequently with bare hands.

    "The first time I visited Greece I felt a sense of national identity," he said, adding: "I felt that I've always belonged here and will belong here forever."

    Dr. Miler recently spent nine months at the site, despite the fact that he is no longer the director of the excavations. Moreover, he has played a decisive role in the revival of the Nemean Games in their ancient form. Participating athletes are obligated to wear attire similar to those worn by their fellow athletes during antiquity.

    "I believe that this re-enactment and revival of the ancient Nemean Games makes us all feel a part of this magnificent Greek history," he says.

    Referring to propaganda attempts following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia to cast doubt on the Hellenic nature of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia, he said the ancient Greeks of the 7th century BC considered the Macedons as fellow Hellenes, adding that "their Greek identity is obvious given that the inscriptions of the ancient Macedons were written in Greek".

    Furthermore, based on the archaeological findings, the Macedonians participated in the Games of Nemea as one of the Greek tribes and this is an indisputable fact.

    Turning to another subject, he said the New Acropolis Museum is exceptional, and stressed that the British Museum no longer has any excuse to keep in London the Parthenon Marbles, "the epitome of ancient perfection, the cornerstone of Western civilisation, of beauty and symmetry."

    "If my hand was missing, wouldn't I ask for it back? The answer is self-evident," he continued.

    He stated that isolated sculptures such as the Aphrodite of Milos (Venus di Milo) or the Nike of Samothrace would continue to be on display at the Louvre, or other such artifacts in museums throughout the world, in order to showcase the perfection of the ancient Greek spirit.

    "But the Parthenon Marbles must be returned to their home, to be housed in the New Acropolis Museum, to complete their historic whole," he added.

    [05] Stocks rebound strongly, 7.14%

    Stocks staged a spectacular recovery in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, reflecting investorsā confidence over a timely activation of an EU/IMF support mechanism for Greece. Buying interest focused on bank shares. The composite index soared 7.14 pct to end at 1,829 points, with turnover a strong 357.657 million euros.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 8.83 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 5.99 pct and the FTSE 80 index rose 6.76 pct. All sectors moved upwards, with the Banks (13.08 pct) and Financial Services (10.14 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 188 to 27 with another 24 issues unchanged.

    Geniki Bank (29.79 pct), Vovos (20.51 pct), Aspis Bank (19.05 pct), Proton Bank (18 pct) and ATEbank (17.80 pct) were top gainers, while Akritas (13.43 pct), Compucon (11.11 pct), Elfico (9.21 pct) and Texapret (9.09 pct) were top losers.


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