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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-07-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] French FinMin calls for relaxation of eurozone economic policy
  • [02] Cyprus Republic president on two-day visit to Athens starting Monday
  • [03] Greek ultra-runner takes 80 km race on trails of Mt. Pindus range

  • [01] French FinMin calls for relaxation of eurozone economic policy

    ANA-MPA -- French Finance Minister Michel Sapin called for a relaxation of eurozone economic policy in statements after a meeting with Greek Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis in Athens on Friday.

    "European policy needs new directions toward a recovery," Sapin said outside the Finance ministry, adding that fiscal decisions must be compatible with growth and investments and the decisions of the European Central Bank for small and medium-sized enterprises "which must be supported because they create the employment we so greatly need."

    He said that the second half of this year will be crucial for Greece and Europe, adding that the Italian EU presidency will be a very good opportunity to put European policy on a new foundation, with new directions.

    Regarding Greece, the French Finance minister said that the efforts of the Greek people had brought results. While the situation remained difficult and painful, he added, the Greek economy had stabilised and there were signs of recovery.

    Hardouvelis, on his part, underlined that Greece will press ahead with structural reforms. While noting that people must accept these reforms "as their own," he also pointed out that Greeks must see their income rise for this to happen.

    "We are facing a period of strong growth," he predicted.

    Commenting on economic developments in Europe, the Greek Finance minister noted a need for investments and to find financial resources. "We are interested in a strong euro, that in the future can replace the dollar," he said.

    [In photo, Sapin (L) and Hardouvelis (R)]

    [02] Cyprus Republic president on two-day visit to Athens starting Monday

    ANA-MPA - Cyprus Republic President Nicos Anastasiades is expected in Athens on Monday for a two-day visit that will include talks with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the Cyprus News Agency said on Sunday.

    According to CNA, Anastasiades will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulidis and government spokesman Nicos Christodoulidis.

    Samaras and Anastasiades will have a private meeting that will be followed by talks between representatives of the two countries. On Tuesday the Cyprus president will hold separate meetings with leaders of parties represented in Parliament, at the Parliament building.

    Christodoulidis will also meet with government spokesman Sofia Voultepsi.

    [File photo from Anastasiades' (L) last visit to Athens, February 2014; Samaras (R)]

    [03] Greek ultra-runner takes 80 km race on trails of Mt. Pindus range

    ANA-MPA -- The two-day North Face Zagori Mountain Race 2014 opened in the region of Ioannina, western Greece, on Saturday with top Greek ultra-runner Dimitris Theodorakakos coming first in a new 80-kilometer race (Ultra).

    In its fourth year, the event is this year under the aegis of the National Greek Tourism Organisation (EOT), as an example of alternative tourism that boosts local economies.

    It is the first time the Ultra race is being held, and the first time Theodorakakos ran it (time: 9.35.03). Participants included 140 people from several countries who set out at Tsepelovo at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday. The route is at a positive height difference of 5,300 metres and its highest point is Tsuka Rosa in the Konitsa area.

    Also run on Saturday was a mountain marathon, while Sunday's races include a half-marathon (21 km), and a 10 km race.

    Speaking to ANA-MPA, Theodorakakos exuded enthusiasm over the running route, which goes through sections of the National Park of the Pindus range of mountains that had not been used for years. The former champion rower said that running in Zagori does not involve technicalities in terms of great or abrupt height differences, but the ground is very tough and rocky, while there are fluctuations in temperature and weather conditions.

    The trails are uneven and very narrow, also, he said, which made the runs more challenging, especially in terms of keeping one's balance but they made up for that by bringing up strong emotions. "We run in Greece, which is our great love," he said, adding that foreign runners are getting to know Greece's mountain nature and lore.

    "If you go to races in the Alps, everything is regulated - the hours, the stores - here, it's different, it's not just a celebration for the sport, but for the small communities of villages the races go through. Foreign athletes welcome it, they become enthusiastic," he explained.

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