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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-06-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Founding Charter for South Stream natgas pipeline company signed in Moscow
  • [02] The spectacular rock formations of Perama Cave
  • [03] Papoulias meets Yanukovych
  • [04] PAO b-ball champion
  • [05] ASE opening: Plunge

  • [01] Founding Charter for South Stream natgas pipeline company signed in Moscow

    The founding Charter of the joint Greek-Russian company that will undertake the construction and exploitation of the South Stream natural gas pipeline was signed in Moscow on Monday by the Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) and the Russian Gazprom.

    The new company, called South Stream Greece S.A., will be headquartered in Athens, with each side holding an equal 50 percent stake in the joint venture.

    According to the relevant Greek-Russian interstate agreement, the pipeline, which passes through Greece, will transport Russian natural gas to central and southeaster Europe via the Black Sea, while it will also contribute to diversifying natural gas sources and enhance Greece's and Europe's energy security. Also participating in the pipeline are Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria.

    The pipeline will supply the Greek market with approximately 1.5-3 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, and serve as a transit hub for Europe.

    [02] The spectacular rock formations of Perama Cave

    The Perama Cave, on the northernmost tip of Lake Pamvotis in Ioannina, is the first cave to be exploited for tourism in Greece, and the most notable horizontal cave in the Balkans, comprising several chambers and labyrinthine passages with spectacular stalagmites and stalactites.

    Situated near the town of Perama (which means 'passage) the Cave, Greece's largest and one of the largest in Europe as well, extends five kilometers below the ground, and is famous for its remarkable variety of stalagmites and stalactites.

    The Cave is entered through small taverns, bringing the visitor to a huge main cavern containing every imaginable type of calcium rock formation.

    The tour takes the visitor through a field of stalagmites in the main cavern, some over 7 meters tall, then down through twisting tunnels opening into more caverns, all of which have been impressively lit, containing more than 20 different types of rock formations.

    Perama Cave, which dates back some 1.5 million years, was accidentally discovered in 1940 when local villagers were looking for shelter from bomb raids during WWII.

    After the war, amateur speleologist Constantine Kasvikis and his team took photographs that were published in the local and Athens press, drawing the attention of speleologists Ioannis and Anna Petrocheilos, who began systematic exploration and charting of the Cave.

    During their exploration, the Petrocheilos' found the bones and teeth of a family of cave-bears that lived there some 800,000 years ago, the first such discovery in Greece.

    The Cave opened to the public in 1956.

    [03] Papoulias meets Yanukovych

    President of Republic Karolos Papoulias on Sunday received Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych at the presidential mansion in Athens.

    Papoulias referred to the warm welcome he received during his visit to Ukraine.

    On his part, Yanukovych noted that he was raised near several ethnic Greek villages and that he hails from from the southern city of Mariupol -- "there are a lot the things that connect the two countries. It is not accidental that the ethnic Greek Diaspora feels at home in Ukraine".

    Finally, Yanukovych thanked Papoulias for the congratulations he sent him for his recent election in the country's helm.

    [04] PAO b-ball champion

    Panathinaikos Athens won the Greek first division basketball championship for the 31st time in the club's history on Sunday evening by defeating bitter rival Olympiacos Piraeus in a tumultuous fourth game (in a best of five series) marred by extensive fan violence in the stands.

    The win also marked the unprecedented eighth consecutive championship for the European basketball powerhouse.

    The match, played at Olympiacos' home court at the Peace & Friendship indoor stadium, was discontinued with 63 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and with Panathinaikos ahead 76-69.

    The game opening had initially been pushed back 40 minutes due to fan violence outside the stadium while Olympiacos fans without tickets stormed the court and attempted to attack journalists. They were repelled by riot police using teargas.

    Midway through the game, fans throwing projectiles, firecrackers and even flares caused Panathinaikos' players and coaching staff to retreat to the locker rooms and the referees asked for the evacuation of the stadium. Police, aided by riot control units, evacuated most fans from the venue although a few hundred remained and the game resumed an hour later, with a warning that if more projectiles were thrown, the game would be terminated.

    No Panathinaikos fans had been given tickets, as per the decision to not allow opposing teams' fans at away games.

    The final interruption at 1:06 in the fourth quarter, due to unruliness by the remaining spectators, means that Olympiacos will forfeit the match with a score of 20-0. Additionally, the Piraeus club, which reached the European Cup Final Four this season, faces a minus 4-point deduction for next season and playing at least two games without spectators at its home court. A relevant sports judge must validate the penalties.

    Caption: Nicola Pekovic of Panathinaikos tries to stop Olympiakos' Sophocles Shorshianitis at the fourth match for basketball first division finals at the Stadium of Peace and Friendship in Faliro on Sunday 6 June 2010. ANA-MPA/NIKOS MAKRIS

    [05] ASE opening: Plunge

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Monday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 3.61 percent, standing at 1,431,34. points at 11:15 am, and turnover at 22.249 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving downward, with the biggest losses in Travel and Recreation, down 4.02 percent; and Raw Materials, down 4.08 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 3.65 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 2.62 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 1.73 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 14 were up, 84 were down, and 13 were unchanged.


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