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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-06-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Acropolis Rally 2011 kicks off on Thursday
  • [02] Third PASOK MP resigns
  • [03] ASE opening: Decline

  • [01] Acropolis Rally 2011 kicks off on Thursday

    ANA-MPA/The Acropolis Rally 2011 kicks off on Thursday, with a total of 42 crews participating in what is said to be the toughest race of the World Racing Championship (WRC).

    The Acropolis Rally, dubbed the "Rally of the Gods", is the seventh round of the 13-round 2011 World Rally Championship, and this year features 18 Special Stages (SS) and a Power Stage, which will be shown live on television.

    According to the WRC, the Acropolis Rally is one of the most iconic events in the sport, and winning it earns significant kudos.ana-mpa

    The ceremonial start will take place beneath the historic Acropolis site at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, and will be shown live on state television ET-1, while Friday's stages are based around Kamena Vourla. A total of 8 Greek crews will be participating in the Rally Acropolis, which winds up on Sunday in Loutraki, near Corinth.

    A little earlier, from 6:45-7:15 p.m., the crews will be on hand, across from the starting ramp, to sign autographs.ana-mpa

    Drivers have already had two days of "reconnaissance" on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Many celebrated rally drivers have won the Acropolis Rally, including Walter Rohrl, Bjorn Waldegard, Ari Vatanen, Stig Blomqvist, Juha Kankkunen, Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae.

    The WRC 2011 opened with the Sweden rally in February, followed by Mexico and Portugal in March, Jordan in April, and Italy and Argentina in May.ana-mpa

    The next stages after Greece will be Finland (July 28-30), Germany (August 18-21), Australia (September 8-11), France (September 29 to October 2), Spain (October 20-23), and Wales (November 10-13).

    The FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) pits cars and drivers in a series of two, three or four-day events though some of the toughest, and most varied, conditions on the planet.

    The roads on this epic motorsport adventure range from the ice and snow of Scandinavia to the stifling heat of Jordan - over surfaces including packed ice, smooth asphalt and boulder-strewn rocky tracks.ana-mpa

    Unsurprisingly, the series is widely regarded as the most challenging motorsport competition in the world.

    The competition itself is deceptively simple. Each rally is split into a number (typically between 15 and 25) of 'special stages' which are run on closed roads. Drivers tackle these stages one car at a time in an effort to complete them in the shortest time. Competitors drive to and from each special stage on normal roads, observing normal traffic regulations. During the special stages, a co-driver, or navigator, reads pace notes to alert the driver to the conditions on the road ahead.

    The WRC is regulated and controlled by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body for worldwide motorsport. Most WRC rallies follow the same basic itinerary: two days of reconnaissance on Tuesday and Wednesday, to enable the driver and co-driver to check the route, and 'shakedown' - in effect practice - on Thursday, followed by the competition itself on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Some events also include 'Super Special' stages - short and compact sprint tests which often feature two cars racing head-to-head.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

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

    [02] Third PASOK MP resigns

    ANA-MPA/Ruling PASOK MP from Larissa, Ektoras Nassiokas, on Thursday announced that he will tender his resignation from the PASOK parliamentary group later in the day.

    He is the second ruling party MP to resign on Thursday, and the third in less than 48 hours.

    Briefing parliament on his intention, Nassiokas said that "this is the least I can do to reverse today's condition of impasse, for the salvation of the country".

    Nassiokas did not express intentions of declaring himself an Independent.ana-mpa

    Earlier, ruling PASOK MP George Floridis tendered his resignation, the second ruling party MP to resign in the space of two days, following George Lianis on Tuesday afternoon.

    Floridis resigned from his MP post, but did not declare himself an Independent, thus in effect "returning" the seat to PASOK.

    Floridis, MP from Kilkis prefecture, notified parliament of his resignation in a two-page letter.ana-mpa

    Lianis, who was elected in Florina prefecture, in a letter to prime minister George Papandreou released to the press on Tuesday, resigned from the PASOK parliamentary group and declared himself an Independent, in disagreement over the government's economic policy.

    Floridis, a former public order minister (2003-2004) and former deputy minister of finance (2001-2003), culture (sport portfolio, 2000-2001), and interior and public administration (1998-2000), said in his letter of resignation that he honors the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and its struggles, "but at this marginal time for the country, the national duty was defeated by the leader-oriented and partisan interest".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of PASOK MP Ektoras Nassiokas

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

    [03] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 1.25 percent, standing at 1,227.45 points at 11:15 am, and turnover at 18.240 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving downward nearly across the board, with the biggest gains in Insurance, up 4.00 percent; Technology, up 2.27 percent and Health, up 0.66 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Commerce, down 1.55 percent; Personal and Household Goods, down 1.52 percent; and Banks, down 1.15 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.89 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.42 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.26 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 28 were up, 33 were down, and 17 were unchanged.

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

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