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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-04-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Annual Lyrid meteor shower to peak at pre-dawn Sunday-Monday
  • [02] Gov't, main opposition party clash over privatization programme

  • [01] Annual Lyrid meteor shower to peak at pre-dawn Sunday-Monday

    ANA/MPA -- People in the northern hemisphere, including Greece, will be treated to a celestial 'fireworks' show this weekend, as the annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks on Sunday, April 21 and Monday, April 22, Earth Day, with the greatest visibility between Friday night and just before dawn Sunday and Monday.

    The Lyrids, are a strong meteor shower occurring annually in mid-to-late April, and take their name from the constellation Lyra, where the radiant of the meteor shower appears to be located, but the source of the meteor shower is actually the periodic Comet C/1861 Thatcher.

    It is the oldest meteor shower recorded by humans, with the first recorded observation being in 687 BC by a Chinese man who wrote of "stars falling like rain".

    The 'shooting stars' are in actuality the dusty trail of the comet Thatcher. Particles the size of grains of sand shed by the comet shoot through the sky at over 100,000 miles per hour that "light up" when the reach the earth's atmosphere.

    This year's Lyrids cosmic show will, however, be overshadowed by a nearly full moon.

    According to astronomers, a fool moon expected on the night of April 25 and a partial solar eclipse that same day as the moon aligns with the sun with the earth between them, will greatly reduce visibility in the sky.

    The partial lunar eclipse will be visible in large areas throughout Europe (includ9ing Greece), Africa, Asia and Australia.

    In Greece, the partial eclipse will begin at 11:21 p.m., peaking at 1:11 a.m. Tuesday, April 26.

    [02] Gov't, main opposition party clash over privatization programme

    ANA/MPA -- The Greek government and the main opposition party SYRIZA clashed in Parliament on Friday over the government's privatization programme.

    Speaking in Parliament, SYRIZA's president Alexis Tsipras strongly criticized the government's privatization policy saying that Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) lacked transparency in its operations and stressed that state property assets were significantly undervalued based on their current estimates. He also protested against a "systematic absence of the prime minister from Parliament".

    "It has become a routine, every time Mr Stournaras is here instead of the Prime Minister. There is no doubt that his absence is recommended by his team of advisors and let Mr Stournaras answer for him. Mr Stournaras if he was not a minister he could be a representative of the troika, since they have similar views…" Tsipras said.

    Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras strongly reacted to these comments. "The word representative of the troika shows that you have reached a dead-end. I speak the truth, while you address to the lowest instincts and tell the people that we can remain in the euro without a memorandum. These are populism and lies," Stournaras said.

    SYRIZA's president reminded that the public real estate corporation had evaluated the state's property assets to 285 billion euros in 2010, adding that the first memorandum assessed this property at 50 billion euros "while your assessment is at 9.6 billion euros". This is an unprecedented haircut of the state's property assets, Tsipras said. Stournaras dismissed Mr Tsipras' allegations saying: "No one said that the state property assets value was 9.5 billion euros. This figure is totally irresponsible and is not included in any of Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund's repor

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