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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-09-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Restoration completed on temple of Athena Nike
  • [02] Samaras series of meetings
  • [03] NBG 2.8-bln-euro capital raise
  • [04] Tourist product enduring
  • [05] Áthens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Restoration completed on temple of Athena Nike

    Standing a full metre taller than before and without the scaffolding that has been around it for the past decade, the slim temple of Athena Nike on the Athens Acropolis was handed over in September with restoration work complete.

    The small temple was among the buildings on the Acropolis that had suffered the most extensive damage over the years, even as far back as 1687 when it was demolished by the Turkish guard during a siege of the Acropolis by the Venetians. It had also been frequently restored since 1935, though not always correctly.

    When the Monuments Preservation Service took charge of it, most of the building blocks were wrongly placed, the west side leaned by 4.5 centimetres and oxidation had penetrated to to the lower, archaic-era temple. The placing of a metallic grate made of stainless steel, a change not originally envisaged as part of the restoration, was one of the factors that delayed delivery of the monument.

    Other causes of delay were two further studies, one concerning the positioning of the slabs making up the frieze and another on the construction of the marble lion heads on the cyma, something done for the first time on the Acropolis.

    The temple of the 'Wingless Nike' is in the southwestern corner of the Acropolis, where in Mycenaean times there was a turret protecting the entrance to the Acropolis. The temple was built between 426-421 B.C. based on a plan by Kallikrates and is the successor of earlier temples dedicated to "victorious Athena" or Athena Nike.

    The temple was first described as that of the 'Nike Apteros' (wing-less victory) in Pausanias, who described the cult statue of Athena as lacking wings so that victory could never leave the city.

    The temple has been handed over before the start of a new round of restoration work in October, this time on the western side of the Parthenon and Propylaea.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Samaras series of meetings

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras met on Tuesday with the board members of the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) and the National Union of Prefectural Local Authorities (ENAE).

    The ENAE leadership focused on the dysfunctions in the operation of prefectures stemming from financial problems and limited personnel, underlining that "this problem infiltrates into the regional government as well." They pointed out that "those problems should be solved as soon as possible to turn the "Kallikratis" local government reform into a productive tool despite its shortcomings."

    The leadership of KEDKE outlined the risks involved in the limited financing provided by the updated memorandum for the next three-year period.

    Earlier, Samaras met at the party's central offices in Athens with the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (ACCI) leadership, in view of the 75th Thessaloniki Trade Fair (TIF).

    Exiting the building, where the ND central offices are housed, chamber president Constantinos Mihalos requested an amendment of terms of the landmark memorandum signed by the Greek state with the EU-ECB-IMF 'troika', underlining that the solution of the fiscal crisis is a matter of policy and not individuals.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] NBG 2.8-bln-euro capital raise

    National Bank of Greece on Tuesday announced a capital increase plan worth 2.8 billion euros in a move aimed at boosting its capital base. Under the plan, the bank will raise around 1.8 billion euros from capital markets through a capital increase plan and the issuance of a convertible bond loan, while National Bank will raise another 1.0 billion euros from the sale of a 20 pct equity stake in Finansbank.

    The bank said its Core Tier 1 ratio will be strengthened by around 380 basis points following completion of the program.

    National Bank will seek to raise 631 million euros from its shareholders, through the issue of 121.4 million new common shares at an offering price of 5.20 euros per share and another 1.184 billion euros through the issue of 227.6 million convertible bonds at the same offering price (5.20 euros).

    The Greek bank said it planned to maintain a majority stake in Finansbank, not less than 75 pct of its equity capital. The sale of Finansbank's equity stake will depend on market conditions and after obtaining approval from supervisory authorities.

    Vasilis Rapanos, the bank's chairman, said the capital strengthening program was proof of an improving climate both for National Bank and for Greece and could emerge as a significant station to the country's economic adjustment procedure.

    Apostolos Tamvakakis, the bank's chief executive said the program was a landmark for National Bank as it would allow the Group to timely prepare to deal with a new macro-economic conjucture in its main market.

    Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International, Morgan Stanley and Hellenic Postbank will be joint bookrunners of the issue.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] Tourist product enduring

    The Greek tourist product is showing great endurance despite the negative events occuring in the current tourist season, according to data processed and published on Tuesday by the Federation of Greek Tourist Enterprises from the country's 13 main airports.

    More specifically, at the country's most important airports over the January-August period a decrease of 1.02 percent is registered compared to the corresponding period last year with tourist arrivals in absolute figures totalling 7,888,228 from 7,969,281 during last year's period.

    As regards arrivals in August, the most productive month from the point of view of arrivals, an increase of 0.67 percent is noted, amounting in absolute figures to 1,991,410 tourists from 2,004,745 last year.

    The leading region in arrivals in August was Santorini, achieving an increase of 21.8 percent compared to last year with 52,216 tourists. Following in arrivals were Cephalonia with 11.9 percent, Kos with 10.1, Rhodes with 9.2, Zakynthos wirth 2.9, Samos with 0,05 and Skiathos with 0.4.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] Áthens Newspaper Headlines

    The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The new Cabinet's swearing-in on Tuesday and the race for the economy's recovery, the EU message for additional measures, the VAT increase issue and National Bank of Greece' announcement of a 2.8 billion euros share capital increase , mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Reshuffle ....a jumble".

    APOGEVMATINI: "New ministers not aware of their responsibilities".

    AVGHI: "Burning issues: Heating oil, VAT, inflation".

    CHORA: "Hospitals short of gauzes and medicines".

    ELEFTHEROS: "French Europarliament deputy Daniel Con Bedit reveals: Greece promised to buy weapons in order to receive the second tranche of the loan".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "The increase in heating oil sealed - The Ministers have changed, but the Memorandum's predatory policy remains".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and EU preannounce harsher measures: It's is not enough, you have to pay more".

    ESTIA: "Musical chairs with the ministries".

    ETHNOS: "Ministers' head-on collision with responsibilities - Government's balance map restructured".

    IMERISSIA: "National Bank of Greece show of power - NGB's initiative opens up the foreign bourses for the listing of Greek companies".

    KATHIMERINI: "The reshuffle was prime minister George Papandreou's first step for new changes".

    LOGOS: "Three scenarios 'on the table' for the VAT rates".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Hurdle race for the new government - Developmental deficit, shortfall in collection of revenues and bankruptcy scenarios".

    NIKI: "George makes U turn to popular PASOK".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party (KKE) intervention in parliament : Give the 2004 Olympic Games' buildings to the people".

    TA NEA: "What George (Papandreou) demands from his ministers after the reshuffle".

    TO VIMA: "Government's race for the third tranche of the loan".

    VRADYNI: "Recycling of old devices - Prime Minister mobilised his ruling PASOK grass roots ahead of new measures and local government elections".

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