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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-06-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Hydra, an intimate holiday destination brimming with history
  • [02] Tsipras opens SYN Congress
  • [03] ASE opening: Decline

  • [01] Hydra, an intimate holiday destination brimming with history

    Hydra, one of the Saronic Islands in the Aegean Sea between the Saronic and Argolic Gulfs, is a beautiful island brimming with history and architecture, and the perfect destination for visitors seeking a quiet, more intimate destination for their holidays.

    Separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strip of water, the island was known in antiquity as Hydrea (derived from the Greek word for water), due to the islands numerous springs.

    No cars, motorcycles or other motor vehicles are allowed to circulate on the island, by law, and thus the only means of public transportation are donkeys, bicycles and water taxis. But the inhabited area is so compact that most people walk wherever they want to go.

    Hydra has a number of lovely bays and natural harbors, as well as a strong maritime culture, making it a popular yachting destination. It is also home to the international Kamini Yacht Club based in the port of Kamini.

    The island also has 300 churches and six monasteries, the two most noteworthy being the 19th century Profitis Ilias Monastery and the monastery of Aghia Efpraxia, both on a hill overlooking the main harbor.

    Further, the old Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin, sitting on the quayside in the town, is now the island's Cathedral and contains the tomb of Lazaros Koundouriotis, the island's richest sea captain, who gave his entire fortune to support the 1821 War of Independence from Ottoman rule, to arm the Greek navy.

    Hydra also brims with history, as it was the home of many 1821 revolution naval heroes, including Miaoulis, Tombazis, Voulgaris, Kountouriotis, Tsamados and Kriezis, some of whom also served as prime ministers of the new Greek state.

    The Tsamados mansion on the left-hand side of the main harbor is now a Maritime Academy, while the Tombazis mansion is now part of the School of Fine Arts.

    The mansions of Lazaros and George Kountouriotis, Kriezis, Voulgaris and Miaoulis all contain collections of 18th century island furniture, while the descendents of Lazaros Kountouriotis donated his mansion to the Historic-Ethnologic Institute of Greece and today operates as an extension of the National Museum of History.

    Having developed into a strong maritime power, Hydra contributed some 150 ships, including supplies, when the War of Independence broke out, playing a crucial role in the fight against the Ottoman Turks.

    According to archaeological finds, Hydra was populated during the Byzantine era, at attested by vases and coins discovered in the area of Episkopi, while there is evidence of farmers and herders from the second half of the third millennium BCE.

    With the end of the Revolution and the creation of the Greek state, Hydra gradually lost its maritime position in the eastern Aegean, and the mainstay of the island's economy became sponge fishing.

    [02] Tsipras opens SYN Congress

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party leader Alexis Tsipras expressed conviction that the Congress can serve as a springboard for a Left "of hope, solidarity, social struggles and an alternative prospect", in his opening address to the Congress on Thursday evening.

    Tsipras, whose party heads the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance, blasted the government's policy, warning that no government can hold up long with the people and society against it.

    "Their days are numbered and they realise this," he said.

    He also warned that the Greek society cannot hold up under the measures taken by the government, which are unfair and, chiefly, ineffective, since "not only do they not distance the danger of bankruptcy but, from a distance and theoretical threat, they have turned it into a real threat".

    Tsipras further stressed that the Left must become the vehicle for something new and for the people's hope, not only in words but also with action, and urged unity.

    He also blamed the two mainstream parties -- ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy (ND) -- for the scandals, but warned that the people are now "on to them".

    The Congress winds up on Sunday with the election of a new SYN leader and Central Committee.

    [03] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 1.06 percent, standing at 1,546.93 points at 11:15 am, and turnover at 10.155 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest gains in Insurance, up 1.71 percent; and Oil, up 0.72 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Food and Beverages, down 1.89 percent; and Industrial Products, down 1.64 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 1.11 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.85 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.25 ercent.

    Of the stocks traded, 26 were up, 40 were down, and 13 were unchanged.


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