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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-06-24

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM: We are on a steady course
  • [02] Caretta caretta nesting season
  • [03] Jill Biden arrives for Special Olympics
  • [04] Trade deficit 31.1% down

  • [01] PM: We are on a steady course

    Brussels (ANA-MPA/Special contributor I. Karanasopoulou/V. Demiris) -- Greek prime minister George Papandreou said that "very important decisions" were taken at the EU summit in Brussels, speaking to reporters late Thursday after the conclusion of the first day of talks.

    "We believe that we are on a very steady course, although a difficult one, with many sacrifices, that will lead us to a strong and viable economy. We received the support of our (EU) partners, and this is a positive development for Greece's future, and not simply a 'green light'," he added.

    The EU heads of state and government on Thursday agreed the basic guidelines for new financial assistance to Greece that will meet the country's borrowing needs up to end-2014, and reiterated its preparedness to disburse the 12 billion euros 5th tranche of the 110 billion euro EU-IMF bailout loan in early July, on condition that the Greek government's Medium-Term fiscal programme and its Implementation Law are passed by parliament by June 30.

    The Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy Program is slated for vote in the 300-seat unicameral parliament on Tuesday, June 28, after a two-day debate, followed immediately by the Implementation Law.

    The EU leaders also agreed a draft statement of Conclusions, to be finalised on Friday, which contains lengthy reference to Greece, which acknowledges the "considerable progress" achieved in the last year and gave the go-ahead for a second assistance program covering up to the end of 2014.

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

    [02] Caretta caretta nesting season

    ANA-MPA/The Caretta caretta loggerhead turtle is the only one of the three species of marine turtles in the Mediterranean to reproduce in Greece.

    Although it swims in far-off seas and oceans throughout the winter, at the end of May the female Caretta caretta returns to the shore where it was born to lay her own eggs.

    The Caretta caretta lays her eggs throughout the entire southeastern Mediterranean (Libya, Tunisia, Italy, etc.), but 60 percent of the population visits the Greek coasts.ana-mpa

    This beautiful turtle, which weighs an average 90 kilos and has a length of one meter in adulthood, continues to follow the same migration route for tens of millions of years, from the days of the dinosaurs.

    Loggerheads, like all other sea turtles excluding the leatherback sea turtle, are members of the ancient biological family of Cheloniidae. About 40 million years ag0, a branch of the Cheloniidae gave rise to the loggerhead sea turtle.ana-mpa

    The Caretta caretta is classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and is listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), making international trade illegal.

    Laganas Bay, on the Ionian Sea island of Zakynthos, is one of the most important nesting sites for the Loggerhead. Other smaller nesting sites in Greece are in the Peloponnese and on the island of Crete.

    One of the last remaining natural habitats of the Caretta caretta turtle in the Mediterranean, visiting Laganas Bay in the late spring provides a rare opportunity to see hundreds of them mating in the warm waters. In the summer, roughly 2,500 turtles lay their eggs on the sand beaches. Sea turtles nest where they were hatched and the Caretta caretta have been returning to Laganas for thousands of years.ana-mpa

    This summer, nesting began on May 28, the director of the Greek "Archelon" Sea Turtle Protection Society, Theodoros Benos-Palmer told ANA-MPA.

    He explained that the mating/nesting season would last 60 days.

    The Loggerheads mate in the bay of the shore where they began their lives, and the females go ashore approximately every 15 days to dig a nest in the sand, where they lay about 110 eggs, which they cover over with sand. Each female digs an average three nests during the season, meaning that she emerges on the shore only three times.

    The eggs incubate in the hot sand until early September, when they finally emerge at night and head to the water, attracted by the moonlight reflected on the sea.

    Approximately 80 years ago, the entire world population of Caretta caretta was more than 50,000. Today it barely numbers 4,000.

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

    [03] Jill Biden arrives for Special Olympics

    (ANA-MPA) -- The wife of US Vice-President Joe Biden, Jill, arrived in Greece on Friday at the head of a US presidential delegation to the 2011 Special Olympics Games, which will commence in Athens on Saturday.

    Hours before attending the "Flame of Hope" lighting ceremony at the downtown Athens stadium that hosted the first Olympic Games in 1896, Biden boarded the USS Ramage, a destroyer anchored off the Faliro marina in southern coastal Athens.

    "I am looking forward to watching the Games and cheering the athletes," Biden told the assembled crew of the guided missile destroyer.

    She was accompanied by visiting US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

    On his part, Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, praised the 279 officers and sailors of the US warship for their role in anti-ballistic missile defence operations in the eastern Mediterranean.

    Approximately 7,000 athletes from more than 170 countries around the world, along with their families and thousands of coaches, volunteers and spectators, are expected to attend the Special Olympics Games, the biggest sporting event hosted in the east Mediterranean country since the Athens 2004 Summer Games.

    Caption: ANA-MPA photo dated 24 June 2011 / P. SAITAS

    &copy; ANA-MPA SA. Intellectual rights and copyright belong to the ANA-MPA S.A.

    Reproduction of ANA-MPA content by visitors of this website is strictly forbidden.

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

    [04] Trade deficit 31.1% down

    Greece's trade balance deficit, excluding oil products, dropped a further 3.1 percent in April this year, resulting in a 32.9 percent decline in the first four months of the year, according to provisional figures released on Friday by the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

    ELSTAT, in a report, said that the deficit of the Trade Balance, excluding oil products, for the 4-month period from January to April 2011 amounted to 5.828,3 million euros (8,005.0 million dollars) in comparison with 8,688.2 million euros (11,863.3 million dollars) for the corresponding period of the year 2010, recording a drop of 32.9%.

    The total value of imports-arrivals, excluding oil products, in April 2011 amounted to 2,488.4 million euros (3,583.0 million dollars) in comparison with 2,950.8 million euros (3,944.4 million dollars) in April 2010, recording a drop of 15.7%.

    The total value of exports-dispatches, excluding oil products, in April 2011 amounted to 1,267.8 million euros (1,836.2 million dollars) in comparison with 1,180.2 million euros (1,586.8 million dollars) in April 2010, recording an increase of 7.4%.

    The deficit of the trade balance, excluding oil products, in April 2011 amounted to 1,220.6 million euros (1,746.8 million dollars) in comparison with 1,770.6 million euros (2,357.6 million dollars) in April 2010, recording a drop of 31.1%.

    The total value of imports-arrivals, excluding oil products, for the 4-month period from January to April 2011 amounted to 10,762.3 million euros (14,873.0 million dollars) in comparison with 13,112.9 million euros (17,942.2 million dollars) for the corresponding period of recording a drop of 17.9%.

    The total value of exports-dispatches, excluding oil products, for the 4-month period from January to April 2011 amounted to 4,934.0 million euros (6,868.0 million dollars) in comparison with 4.424,7 million euros (6,078.9 million dollars) for the corresponding period of 2010, recording an increase of 11.5%.

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


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