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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-09-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Prime Minister in Oslo
  • [02] FinMin embarks on road shows in Europe
  • [03] 'Myrtis' exhibition at National Archaeological Museum
  • [04] Truck owners strike
  • [05] ASE opening: Rise

  • [01] Prime Minister in Oslo

    OSLO (ANA-MPA/G. Milionis) - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou arrived in Oslo on Sunday afternoon to participate in the 'Oslo Conference 2010', that is being jointly organised by the International Labour Organisation and the IMF and will focus on growth, employment and social cohesion.

    Papandreou assured that there will be no new austerity measures as long as Greece was "doing well" with regard to the targets of the memorandum for the European financial support package, during a press conference on the sidelines of the annual Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Sunday.

    "We either change Greece or condemn it," he repeated in statements to reporters, while stressing the need to stop constant speculation in the media about probable additional measures and thus generating fear and panic.

    The process foreseen by the memorandum comes to an end in 2013 and the sooner the changes were made, the sooner Greece would be free of the restrictions of the Memorandum and possibly even before 2013, he said at another point.

    The prime minister stressed that his government had successfully changed the country's course and averted a disaster during its 11 months in power, saying that Greece had been saved from defaulting on its debts. At the same time, he stressed that the alert was not yet over.

    Noting that there were still problems with the size of state revenues, Papandreou claimed that these were not insuperable and that the government was still on track to meet its target of reducing the deficit by 40 percent by the end of the year.

    The prime minister denied reports that the shortfall in revenue was around 3.5 billion euros, saying that the actual figure was closer to 1.5 billion euros.

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

    [02] FinMin embarks on road shows in Europe

    ┴┴╠┴Finance minister George Papaconstantinou on Tuesday begins a series of road shows in European capitals, in cooperation with troika officials, to highlight Greece's implementation of the necessary reforms and in a bid to attract foreign investments to the country.

    Papaconstantinou, accompanied by ministry and Public Debt Management Organisation officials and the three heads of the 'troika' (European Commission, ECB and IMF) delegations will be in London on Tuesday, Paris on Wednesday and Frankfurt on Thursday to meet with foreign investors, while the minister will also present the developments in the Greek economy, including reforms and denationalisations, and progress in the Memorandum's materialisation.

    Meanwhile, a team of troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) low-level officials was in Athens on Monday for meetings with ministry staff in the context of the drafting of the 2011 state budget.

    Discussions are expected to focus on the big shortfall in budget revenues and expenditure in the wider public sector.

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

    [03] 'Myrtis' exhibition at National Archaeological Museum

    ANA-MPA/The girl that put a face to distant antiquity, the reconstructed 11-year-old 'Myrtis' of ancient Athens, will be moved on Monday to a new home in the National Archaeological Museum. The nameless young girl that died and was buried in a mass grave during the plague that struck Athens in 430 B.C. will now stand next to the funerary stele of the city's more illustrious dead that are kept in the museum.

    The name 'Myrtis' is borrowed, given to her by scientists that worked on the reconstruction of her features. Following her 'resurrection' nearly 2,500 years after she died of typhoid fever - the plague that also struck down the statesman Pericles and one third of all Athenians at that time - she has now also been made a "Millenium Friend" and her picture posted on a website supporting the UN Millenium Goals as a message to the world about disease prevention.

    "My death was inevitable. In the 5th century BC we had neither the knowledge nor the means to fight deadly illnesses. However, you, the people of the 21st century, have no excuse. You possess all the necessary means and resources to save the lives of millions of people. To save the lives of millions of children like me who are dying of preventable and curable diseases.

    2,500 years after my death, I hope that my message will engage and inspire more people to work and make the Millennium Development Goals a reality," a letter posted next to her picture says.

    Orthodontics professor Manolis Grigorakis, the man that first conceived the project of reconstructing Myrtis, said his team had already begun working on reconstructions of the faces of a man and woman found in the same mass grave in Kerameikos.

    "I am moved and happy to watch Myrtis' journey throughout Greece. She has already been admired by some 12,000 visitors at the Goulandris Museum and I am in a position to know that most are fanatical admirers. I hope these are multiplied at the new exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens," he said.

    The exhibition "Myrtis: Face to face with the past" is centred on the facial reconstruction by scientists of an 11-year-old Athenian girl that lived and died in ancient Athens during the 5th century BC.

    Her bones were discovered in 1994-1995, in a mass grave with another 150 bodies, during work to build the metro station in Kerameikos. Her skull was in an unusually good condition and this inspired Professor Papagrigorakis to enlist the help of specialist scientists from Sweden to recreate her features, using the 'Manchester' facial reconstruction technique.

    The final result, wearing a linen dress made especially for the purpose by Greek fashion designer Sophia Kokosalaki based on images of clothing styles of that time, forms the backbone of an exhibition that explores both the various stages of a facial reconstruction. It also exhibits the finds uncovered by archaeologists at Kerameikos, which date around 430-426 B.C. and are linked with the plague that contributed to Athens' defeat from Sparta during the Peloponnesian Wars.

    Scientists decided to give 'Myrtis' brown eyes and brown hair, arranged in a Classical era style, like the majority of Athenians at that time but stressed that her true colours could only be discovered by expensive DNA analysis that has not yet been carried out.

    DNA analysis techniques have confirmed, however, that Myrtis and two other bodies in the mass grave had died of typhoid fever, confirming theories about the historic plague.

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

    [04] Truck owners strike

    ANA-MPa/Truck owners, including public-use fuel tankers supplying petrol stations with fuel, have decided to begin another indefinite strike on Monday during a meeting held in Thessaloniki.

    The truck owners are demanding that the government withdraw a bill to "open" their profession and allow new licences to be issued.

    The previous truck owners' strike brought Greece to a standstill as the country was quickly starved of fuel.

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

    [05] ASE opening: Rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Monday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.52 percent, standing at 1,596.65 points at 11:00 am, and turnover at 8.716 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Media, up 0.63 percent; and Commerce, up 0.68 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Chemicals, down 0.60 percent; and Financial Services, down 0.45 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.32 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.46 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.10 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 30 were up, 16 were down, and 23 were unchanged.

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

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