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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-06-28
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Circle of 'Friends of Greece' by Eurodeputies founded in BrusselsBRUSSELS (AMNA) - Ten Eurodeputies signed the founding proclamation of the circle of Eurodeputies "Friends of Greece" in an event held in Brussels.
The creation of the circle is an initiative by German Eurodeputy of Greek origin G. Hatzimarkakis (ALDE) and constitutes an effort to increase sensitisation for Greece and Greek culture.amna
The aim of the circle of Eurodeputies "Friends of Greece" is to participate in initiatives that will develop a positive view for both the country and its culture, as well as to help Greece in the reforms process that has begun so as to have the strong message sent that the country is not facing the crisis alone but also has Europe at its side.
 PM continues phone contacts with foreign leadersAMNA--Prime Minister Antonis Samarascontinued a series of telephone conversations with foreign leaders on Wednesday, starting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.amna
Later on Wednesday afternoon he also spoke with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and on Wednesday night with French President Francois Hollande.
 New parliament to be sworn in on Thurs.AMNA--The new 300-member Parliament that emerged from the June 17 elections will be sworn in on Thursday.
The parliament president will be elected in a Parliamentary vote on Friday, June 29. Evangelos Meimarakis is the candidate proposed by New Democracy (ND) for the post. A technicality concerning the 7th vice-president, who based on Parliament's rules comes from the fifth largest party (or fourth opposition party), remains to be resolved. According to reports, there is opposition by both the coalition partners and main opposition to the 7th VP being filled by a candidate from the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) party.
The date for the presentation of the government's policy platforms has not been set yet.amna
The three-party government (ND-PASOK-DIM.AR) will ask for a vote of confidence on July 6.
 The Thursday edition of Athens' dailiesThe Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
The crucial EU Summit on the future of the eurozone, the increase of homeless in Greece and the change of authority in Public Utilities and Organisations, mostly dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The number of homeless in Greece has risen 25 percent".
AVGHI: "Poverty and despair sweeping over Greece".
AVRIANI: "Give a helping hand in order to exit from the crisis and get an extension for the stability programme".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "German Chancellor Angela Merkel's intransigence executes the euro".
ESTIA: "Europe at crucial turning point".
ETHNOS: "Civil war between 'North' and South' (Europe)".
IMERISSIA: " 'Authority' changes in Banks and Public Utilities and Organisations (DEKO)".
KATHIMERINI: "Europe deeply divided".
LOGOS: "Explosive increase of homeless".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Crucial EU Summit with division and clash".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Free kindergarten for all the working class families' children".
TA NEA: "Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' letter to our partners".
VRADYNI: "Measures for growth and euro-bonds for part of the debt".
 Athens Stock Exchange opening: DeclineAMNA--Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.53 percent, standing at 576.62 points at 11:00 am, and turnover at 2.855 million euros.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.24 percent, while the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.30 percent.
Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest gains in Travel and Recreation, up 1.83 percent; Financial Services, up 1.30 percent and Technology, up 1.24 percent.
The biggest losses were in Constructions, down 1.99 percent and Food and Beverages, down 0.73 percent.
Of the stocks traded, 23 were up, 12 were down, and 8 were unchanged.
 Employment down 8.7 pct in Q1BRUSSELS (AMNA / V.Demiris) - Employment fell by 8.7 pct in Greece in the first quarter of 2012, compared with the corresponding period last year, the European Commission said on Wednesday.
In a report, published here, the EU's executive said that a total of 400,000 job positions were lost in the first three months of the year in Greece, while in Spain employment fell by 660,000, in Portugal by 210,000 and in Italy by 180,000 over the same period.amna
The Commission noted that Greece was among a group of countries where employment was expected to deteriorate in the second half of 2012 in the services and construction sectors. The report said that unemployment in the 55-64 age group doubled in Greece, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Latvia and Lithuania in the 2008-2011 period, while a 64 pct of Greeks aged 15-35 said there were ready to work to another European country.amna
The Commission report said homeless people grew by 25 pct in 2011 compared with 2009, to 20,000, of which 50 pct were located in Athens and Piraeus. The Commission expects that social spending in Greece would be cut by 18 pct in the second half of the year.
 'Stories of Light' at the new Acropolis MuseumAMNA--The new Acropolis Museum is currently holding a 'Stories of Light' event, which runs through September 9.
The Museum invites visitors to discover artifacts in its collections that tell little stories about light. Stories about the light of the sun that so impressed ancient man that he deified it, but also about the light that he himself created. Stories about the daily light that dispels the darkness inside and outside his home, about the sacred light that burned in the temples of his gods and about the ritual light that accompanied the key moments of his life.
These stories show the relationship between the ancients and natural light. Stories about the age-old myths with which humans endeavored to interpret the perpetual succession of day and night. Stories about their faith in the power of sunlight to regulate human affairs. Stories about the transformation of this power into art. amna
They are stories about the light created by humans themselves: the light of oil lamps that banished the darkness inside a house, the torchlight that illuminated their way at night, the sacred light that burned in the temples of their gods, and the ritual light that accompanied them during all the significant events of their lives. amna
This activity is organized in parallel with the exhibition 'Light on light: an illuminating story' being presented at the Municipality of Athens Technopolis to 9 September.
 Peak in accidental drownings in 2012AMNA--The summer had got off to a bad start with a spike in the number of accidental deaths by drowning relative to previous years, the harbour police reported on Wednesday. The majority of the victims were elderly, followed by small children and spear-gun fishermen, while the record number of deaths in one day was on June 26, with a total of four in various locations around the country.
Figures supplied by the harbour police showed that 145 people had died of drowning since the start of 2012, with the number of deaths per year increasingly steadily since 2008. Specificially, deaths in 2008 came to 283, rising to 327 in 2009, 371 in 2010 and again 371 in 2011.
As a result of the economic crisis, several municipalities have failed to hire life guards for public beaches in 2012, increasing the risk of drowning accidents as the tourism season peaks. There were 468 beaches with a life guard in 2011 but only 361 in 2012.amna
The harbour police advised swimmers to avoid swimming after a heavy meal or in rough seas with strong currents in order to avoid accidents. They also advised the elderly and people with health problems to consult their doctor before they begin swimming in the sea so as to have their medication adjusted and to receive basic advice.amna
For spear-gun fishing, the head of the harbour police stressed that they must follow certain safety rules, such as always having a buoy to indicate their presence, avoid fishing in areas frequented by ships or harbour entrances and taking care not to overestimate their stamina. He also recommended that those wishing to do underwater fishing also take scuba diving lessons.amna
He also noted that the coast guard will increase patrols along busy beaches during the summer months and offer workshops on swimming safety to children.
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