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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-03-12

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece satisfied over loan extension, rate cut
  • [02] More antiquities revealed by Thessaloniki metro
  • [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines 

  • [01] Greece satisfied over loan extension, rate cut

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) -- The Greek government expressed satisfaction late Friday evening over a decision here by eurozone members to extend the repayment period for Greece's 110-billion-euro EC-ECB-IMF bailout to seven and a half years, as well as a reduction in the interest rate -- from 5.2 percent to 4.2 percent.

    "Today's (Friday) decisions are clear proof that the efforts being made by the Greek government are being recognised," Prime Minister George Papandreou stressed after the end of an informal EU summit and a council of eurozone members, while also noting that Athens' seriousness and reliability in implementing a wide-ranging structual reform package is paying off.

    "In this effort, we requested the support of our partners in the eurozone," he said, pointing out that the reduction in the interest rate aims to keep the cost of lending manageable for the country. Along those lines, he said the extension and the reduction, by 100 basis points, of the interest rate translates into six billion euros in savings.

    Moreover, Papandreou directly referred to the prospect of exploiting state assets and property -- in tandem with structural reforms and privatisations -- in order to reach a goal of 50 billion euros, "something that will lift the debt burden off the back of the people by 20 percent".

    The 50-billion-euro target by 2015, cited by representatives of the "troika" last month in Athens, initially generated mini political furor.

    Finally, in a bid to allays fears back home, Papandreou also said that decisions taken by eurozone members do not mean new austerity measures. (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    

    [02] More antiquities revealed by Thessaloniki metro

    (-PA) -- A 4th-century A.D. chapel that may be the oldest Christian place of worship in Thessaloniki was discovered by archaeologists beneath an early Christian basilica, itself unearthed during construction of the Sintrivani metro station in the northern port city.

    Among the highlights of the find is a mosaic floor uncovered when structures of the later basilica were removed. This was showed a white field with a clematis theme, dominated by a phoenix with a halo and 13 rays in the centre. On either side are a number of birds, of which seven still survive, two of the right and five on the left.

    Archaeologists surmise that there were originally 12 birds, six on either side of the phoenix, and that the picture allegorically represents Christ and the 12 postles. The mosaic is unique in Thessaloniki and is dated sometime toward the end of the 4th and start of the 5th centuries A.D.

    The small, one-room church was converted into a larger basilica in the 5th century, paved in marble, its naves separated by collonades and its walls decorated with marble panels and murals. In the 7th century the church suffered extensive damage and was poorly renovated, while it was finally abandoned in the 8th to 9th century. (-PA)

    According to archaeologist Melina Paisidou, who announced the find at the 24th session for archaeological work in Macedonia and Thrace, the chapel's position and its presence in the early Christian period, as well as its duration and renovations, place it among the most important Early Christian churches of the metropolis, while its foundation may well be linked with one of the city's martyrs. She said that a site north of the school of theology was being considered in order to transfer the monument.

    Other finds unearthed during construction of the metro include a richly carved Roman-era marble sarcophagus and the base of what was probably a storage area. (-PA)

    Caption: A view of the findings. ANA-MPA photo.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    

    [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Saturday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The killer tsunami in Japan following a massive earthquake and reactions to Friday's decision by the eurogroup to extend the repayment period and lower the interest rate for Greece's 110-billion-euro EC-ECB-IMF bailout mostly dominated the headlines on Saturday in Athens' dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Hellish situation in Japan".

    AVGI: "Prime minister giving all for extension, plus 50 billion euros".

    AVRIANI: "(German Chancellor Angela) Merkel's waves demolish Greece and finish George Papandreou's political career".

    ETHNOS: "39 last-minute changes to tax code".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Merkel demands shocking concessions in order to save us".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "(EU) gives; wants; we request".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "The (estate's) keys go to Merkel".

    ESTIA: "Nightmarish scenes from Tsunami".

    KATHIMERINI: "Stern message from Europe".

    IMERISSIA: "Reshuffle with shocking changes".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Agreement with 'grants' but strict commitments, a well".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Continuous anti-popular war with 'competitiveness pact'."

    : "Biblical destruction: Earth sliced open, sea bursts ashore in Japan".

    VRADYNI: "Waves of death in Pacific".

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


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