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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Corruption survey shows that bribery also affected by austerity
  • [02] OLP takes part in Cruise Shipping Miami exhibition
  • [03] Foreign investors raise participation in Greek market cap
  • [04] Remains reveal strong Neolithic community
  • [05] Museums, archaeological sites closed on Fri. due to strike

  • [01] Corruption survey shows that bribery also affected by austerity

    AMNA--Petty corruption in Greece was significantly reduced but is still present - remaining strongest in the greater Athens region and the Peloponnese in southern Greece - according to the 2012 National Survey on Corruption in Greece made public on Thursday. The annual survey is conducted by Transparency International Greece with the help of the polling company Public Issue.

    The amount of bribes in "fakelaki" (little bribery envelopes) was smaller for the first time since the beginning of the survey in 2007, with the estimated total cost of petty corruption not exceeding half a billion euro (estimated at 420 million euros versus 554 million euros for 2011) based on the responses given to a questionnaire addressed to a sample of 12,104 people.amna

    The public sector still remains at the top of the petty corruption list, as it continues to receive the most "fakelaki" compared to the private sector, with the hospitals (45 pct), the tax offices (13.3 pct) and the town planning permission bodies (3.7 pct) still occupying the top places in the public services corruption ranking index. However, the bribes paid to public services have also been affected by austerity, as there is substantial reduction in their average amount (1,228 euros in 2012 versus 1,399 euros in 2011).

    On the other hand, the private sector seems to gain more as the "fakelaki" have become "fatter" by 2.6 pct (average amount of 1,442 euros in 2012 versus 1,406 euros in 2011), even though there was a decline in the number of reported corruption transactions (2.6 pct in 2012 versus 3.6 pct for 2011).

    Additionally, more people (27.3 pct for the public sector for 2012 versus 25.3 pct for 2011 and 31 pct for the private sector for 2012 versus 21.6 pct for 2011) stated that they refused to pay the requested bribes.amna

    The 2012 survey illustrates the social profile of petty corruption victims (based on 21.5 pct of the respondents, who have been corruption victims in the past); they are mostly male in the 45-54 age group, higher education graduates, with self-employed or employer status. amna

    Moreover, the adaptation and implementation of an effective legal framework for whistleblower protection and encouragement, can in the long run change mentalities, breaking longtime vicious circles that "tolerate" corrupt practices.

    [02] OLP takes part in Cruise Shipping Miami exhibition

    AMNA--The Piraeus Port Organisation (OLP) is to participate in Miami's international cruise exhibition, Cruise Shipping Miami, 11-14 March, 2013.

    OLP and other cruise ports around Greece will share the same pavilion put together by Greece's National Tourism Organisation (EOT).

    The extension of Piraeus' cruise port for new generation boats is currently at the final stage of inclusion under Attica Regional Operational Programme, and works are expected to commence within 2013.amna

    In addition, the construction of the Piraeus Cultural Coast, including museums, thematic parks and open recreational spaces, is expected to conclude by 2017.

    [03] Foreign investors raise participation in Greek market cap

    AMNA--Foreign investors slightly raised their participation in the capitalization of the Athens Stock Exchange in February to 51.5 pct, from 50.8 pct in January.

    Greek investors cut their share in the market to 47.1 pct from 47.7 pct over the same period, respectively. Foreign investors were net buyers in February, with capital inflows totaling 42.08 million euros. On the other hand, Greek investors were net sellers with capital outflows of 43.55 million euros.amna

    The value of transactions totaled 1.180 billion euros in February, down 24.4 pct from January, and down 29.9 pct from February 2012. Average daily turnover was 59.02 million euros in February, down from 70.95 million in January and significant lower compared with 84.17 million euros in February last year.

    The market's capitalization was 38.18 billion euros at the end of February, up 2.5 pct from January and 30.1 pct higher from February 2012.

    [04] Remains reveal strong Neolithic community

    AMNA--The excavation of a low hill with archaeological remains - known as "magoula" by excavators of Greece - to the west of Volos in Fthiotida prefecture has yielded a prehistorian's dream: Neolithic clay figurines – lots of them and in different shapes.

    Koutroulou Magoula, dug by a team of the Greek Archaeological Service headed by Nina Kyparissi and Southampton University professor Yannis Hamilakis, through the British School of Archaeology, has brought to light clay figurines 3 to 12 cm long depicting figurines and bird-like beings that are dated to the Middle Neolithic period, from about 5800 BC to 5300 BC.

    "One can find figurines at other Neolithic sites in Anatolia and the Balkans," Hamilakis explains, "but both the number and variety of the types make Koutroulou Magoula stand out. Their interpretation is open and intriguing."amna

    What makes the findings more unusual is the fact they were found in excavations rather than on the surface of the earth, as is often the case in fields dug up by plowing, while most of the figurines depicting human forms do not indicate sex. "These figurines could open new paths in the interpretation of similar objects, because they were many in number and varied and because they come from a systematic excavation rather than from surface collection," Hamilakis says.amna

    The figurines were spread over the roughly 4 hectares of the magoula's site, which also yielded stone foundations of houses, a tumulus tomb from the Bronze Age, and even a young woman's burial from historical times, the 12th century AD.

    Findings suggest that the inhabitants of the Neolithic settlement were farmers, raised animals, made tools from flint and obsidian, were in touch with other settlements in their area and had a sense of community, which can be seen from the scale of the projects that have left traces today. amna

    "Wherever we have indications of large-scale projects, like low surrounding walls or ditches around house complexes, we wonder if there was a central authority to coordinate and direct all this effort," Hamilakis explains. "For the time being, there are no indications at Koutroulou Magoula that such a central authority existed."amna

    The excavation project also serves as a learning site for other disciplines, with the help of Greek and foreign experts. Ongoing projects include ethnographic studies of present inhabitants and their relationship to the site, theatrical plays put up by students for locals based on issues related to their experience, and informative sessions keeping people in the area abreast of the site's importance and findings.

    Findings will be published following studies of the material this year and next.

    [05] Museums, archaeological sites closed on Fri. due to strike

    AMNA--Museums and archeological sites will be closed on Friday due a 24-hour strike by culture ministry employees, who reject the ministry's proposed organizational chart, it was announced on Thursday.

    The strike action is called by the federation of culture ministry employees. The union of archaeological site guards will also participate in the mobilisation. amna

    Alternate Culture Minister Costas Tzavaras ruled out any intervention in the ministry's organisational chart in a meeting he had with union representatives earlier in the day, according to a statement by the union of culture ministry employees.

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