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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-12-26

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Rain greets holiday-makers return
  • [02] Bailout repayment extension for Greece
  • [03] Mild earthquake shakes northeast Aegean
  • [04] Astronomy Club to arrange viewings of Jan. 4 eclipse
  • [05] Buses to strike on Wed.
  • [06] Civil aviation strike banned
  • [07] Baby bear run over
  • [08] Church leaders' messages

  • [01] Rain greets holiday-makers return

    ANA-MPA - Those returning from trips and excursions carried out over the Christmas break will have to contend with rain and bad weather on Boxing Day as a low pressure front moves across the country from the northwest to bring showers, storms and snow on high ground.

    Traffic police advised drivers to show caution in order to avoid accidents and have also taken special measures to facilitate motorists heading back to large cities during the peak of the return, as well as airports, ports and railway stations that will see increased traffic.

    Teams of traffic police will also be manning road blocks and patrol the highways, on the lookout for motorists committing dangerous traffic code violations such as speeding, drunk-driving and dangerous overtaking.

    They have also banned all trucks more than 1.5 tonnes from using the national highways during the Christmas weekend. ANA-MPA

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

    [02] Bailout repayment extension for Greece

    ANA-MPA/Greece's representative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Panagiotis Roumeliotis, on Friday was quoted as saying that the Washington D.C.-based institution has essentially approved an extension of the repayment period for Greece's 110-billion-euro EU-ECB-IMF bailout package.

    In a published interview carried by the Athens daily "Kathimerini" on Friday, Roumeliotis cites an extension to 2020.ana-mpa

    "The three years of implementation of the programme, plus the two years for the loan repayment will become 4.5 years of a grace period followed by5.5 years for the repayment," he was quoted as saying.

    Asked about the high-profile memorandum government the bailout, signed by the Greek government with the EU-ECB-IMF 'troika', he underlined that Greece had no other option or alternative plan in the state it had reached, saying that any other possibility would have led to bankruptcy.

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

    [03] Mild earthquake shakes northeast Aegean

    A mild earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale was recorded at 7:08 a.m. on Sunday, in waters 320 kilometres northeast of Athens and 250 kilometres east of Thessaloniki. The epicentre of the quake lay somewhere between the islands of Samothrace and Imvros.

    Seismologists are continuing to monitor seismic activity in the area but note that the region is one with low seismic activity.

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

    [04] Astronomy Club to arrange viewings of Jan. 4 eclipse

    The Hellenic Astronomy Club, an association of amateur astronomers, has announced plans to help members of the public safely view the partial eclipse that will be visible from Greece on the morning of January 4, 2011.

    The partial solar eclipse is due to start at 9:00 a.m. on the first Tuesday after the New Year.

    Weather permitting, the Hellenic Astronomy Club will set up telescopes outside the entrance to the Evgenidis Foundation's Digital Planetarium at 11 Pentelis St in Paleo Faliro and amateur astronomers will assist those that want to view the eclipse through a telescope.

    The head of the Planetarium Prof. Dionysis Simopoulos said that only up to two thirds of the solar disc will be covered by the moon in Greece when the eclipse is at its height, at around 10:23 a.m.

    Roughly 12 hours earlier, the earth will be at the closest distance from the sun during the year (147,105,721 kilometres). The eclipse will begin at 8:40 a.m. in north Algeria and will be visible from north Africa, the greater part of Europe and central Asia.

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

    [05] Buses to strike on Wed.

    ANA-MPA - The wave of strikes in Athens public transport to protest against government reforms that include wage cuts and forced staff transfers will resume after the Christmas holidays, trade unionists revealed on Saturday.

    Bus drivers and staff are planning further work stoppages next Wednesday, from the start of their shift until 8:00 a.m. and from 10:00 p.m. until the end of the shift. This means buses will be running between 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. on that day.

    Similar work stoppages held at different hours are also planned after the New Year, on January 3, 5 and 10.

    No announcements concerning planned strikes have yet been made by unions for other forms of public transport in the capital.

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

    [06] Civil aviation strike banned

    A 48-hour strike called by the civil aviation staff union OSYPA on December 29 and 30 was declared illegal by an Athens first-instance court, after management at the Civil Aviation Service filed to have the strike declared illegal and abusive.

    Members of OSYPA, in response to the ruling on Friday, said that they would resort to other forms of labour mobilisation in protest against the government's plans for mandatory transfers of some 500 mechanics and pilots of the former Olympic Airways currently employed by the CAS. They did not reveal what form this action would take but it may result in minor problems with ground handling, especially in regional airports around the country.

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

    [07] Baby bear run over

    ANA-MPA - Yet another young bear fell victim to a traffic accident on a road leading off the Egnatia Highway over the Christmas weekend, the animal conservation group Arcturos reported on Boxing Day.

    The accident occurred on Christmas Day, on the exit toward Vogatsikos between Siatista and Krystallopigi.

    According to Arcturos, this is the fourth bear to be killed by oncoming traffic in 2010, after 10 such fatal accidents involving bears in 2009.

    In statements to the ANA-MPA, the head of the Arcturos Environmental Centre Vasso Petridou noted that the high temperatures in the last months of 2010 had prevented bears from going into hibernation so that they were at risk from traffic while wandering in the areas around the Egnatia highway.

    She also stressed that authorities had so far failed to meet pledges to set up special fencing along the Egnatia highway and the roads leading off it that would prevent the animals from entering high-speed roads. ANA-MPA

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

    [08] Church leaders' messages

    ANA-MPA - The leaders of Orthodox Churches in Greece and abroad issued messages for the Christmas holiday on Wednesday, among them Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Alexandria and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece.

    In his message, Patriarch Bartholomew highlighted the difficulties faced by many people around the world this Christmas as a result of the economic crisis, which had rendered countless people jobless, plunged them into poverty or even made them homeless.

    Similarly, Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos stressed that Christians had unshakable faith that God was not indifferent to the fate of people and for this reason had sent Christ to save mankind.

    Alexandria Patriarch Theodoros II particularly highlighted the fate of African orphans that had lost their parents to AIDS. He stressed that in addition to the ills of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, corruption and war, they were also faced with social exclusion and the rejection of their families and friends and became the "sacrificial victims" of the worst catastrophe to strike Africa since slavery.

    Athens Archbishop Ieronymos, head of the Church of Greece, noted that the current holiday appeared overshadowed by worry, disappointment and concern about the fate of Greece and the entire world. He stressed the need, at a time when everything seemed dark, to "turn our gaze to the light" and "once again place Christ at the centre of our lives". ANA-MPA

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


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