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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-08-14
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Politicians Celebrate Assumption of Virgin MaryFriday, 13 August 2010 18:29
On the occasion of Assumption of Virgin Mary, the President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and political party leaders have decided a combination of short holidays along with attendance of celebrations in honour of the Holy Virgin.
Mr. Papoulias will attend the divine liturgy at the Assumption of Virgin Mary Church on the island of Lefkada. Prime-minister G. Papandreou is on the island of Paros, where he will attend the mass, headed by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, at the Ekatontapiliani Church. The ND party leader Antonis Samaras will attend liturgy at Eloni Holy Monastery, in Leonidio.
Deputy premier, Theodoros Pangalos will represent the government in celebrations on the island of Tinos.
LAOS president George Karatzaferis will attend the Te Deum at the Panagia Sumela Monastery, in Bermio.
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8 News item: 39412
 Exodus of Last HolidaymakersSaturday, 14 August 2010 11:36
Exodus of last wave of holiday makers continues today Saturday under exceptionally high temperatures reaching 39C in the continental parts of the country. Forecasters predict rise in temperatures to 41C and high humidity level till next Wednesday.
On Saturday from Piraeus Port 29 passenger ships are scheduled to sail off to Aegean islands and 23 to Argosaronikos while 19 ships are scheduled to depart from Rafina Port and 8 from Lavrio Port with passenger capacity approaching 100% say travel agents. Land means of transport have scheduled additional services to cover high demand. Demand for railway travel also appears satisfactory. From Eleftherios Venizelos Airport 497 regular flights and 30 charter flights are scheduled to take off on Saturday.
In the meantime, traffic police are out in force along national road network to facilitate safe travel of holidaymakers.On Sunday from 16:00-23:00 a ban will be in effect on long vehicles from highway exits to large urban cities to facilitate return of holidaymakers which is expected to be high.
In an interview with NET 105.8 undersecretary for Tourism George Nikitiadis said:
"Negative predictions about Greek tourism did not come true. Tourist arrivals dropped 1.2% in July compared to the same month last year and drop in revenues is about 7%. Good planning ill bring better results next year. We should take into serious considerations big markets such as Russia and Germany, project our monuments and organize alternative tourism".
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8 News item: 39431
 Stunning Celestial PhenomenonSunday, 11 July 2010 13:23
Tens of astronomers and thousands of tourists flocked to the remote Easter Island to watch the last total solar eclipse till the end of 2012 visible only along a narrow corridor in the south hemisphere. A Greek delegation from the Thessaloniki Aristoteleio University is already there and have installed their instruments to record the temperature in the solar corona. Observations are expected with high interest as this is the first solar eclipse after the reversal of the Sun's magnetic field in 2009. This means the Sun passes into a period of increased activity including increase in magnetic field's force and temperature in the solar corona. In the meantime, the eclipse may "overshadow" the World Cup Final in South Africa but sky gazers hope that weather prospects in French Polynesia would not influence a clear view of this unique spectacle.
7th Total Solar Eclipse in 21st Century
Tahiti residents and visitors will be witnessing the 7th total solar eclipse in the 21st century when the rest of the planet will be watching the World Cup Final in South Africa between Spain and Holland.
Parts of the globe will be plunged into daytime darkness along a narrow corridor some 11,000 kilometers long across the South Pacific. The eclipse will start at 21:15 over the Pacific and at 23:11 the shadow of the Moon in full alignment with the Earth and the Sun will fall over the giant statues on Easter Island provided that weather forecasts of cloudy skies and rain prevent a clear view of the phenomenon. The eclipse ends in Argentina at 23:52 Greek local time.
More than 5,000 tourists are expected to visit Tahiti, among them the director of the film Avatar, James Cameron, to watch the solar eclipse.
It is believed that the island will raise some 8.4 million euros from sky gazers at a time when the region's economy has been badly affected by the financial crisis.
The solar eclipse will first be visible on Easter Island, home to the giant Moai statues. An estimated 4,000 tourists, scientists, photographers, filmmakers and journalists poured onto remote Easter Island ahead of today's solar eclipse doubling the population of the barren island.
Source: ΑNA-ΜPA News item: 38351
 Actions to Boost GrowthFriday, 13 August 2010 19:49
The government's priorities in the next period mainly center on a further drastic cut in the state deficit, deep structural changes and implementation of measures to boost growth. Among its targets increase in state revenues and cuts in state expenses is also included. In the meantime, the Finance Ministry belies rumours about additional measures and stresses that the troika does not demand abolition of 13th and 14th salaries in the private sector.
Furthermore weight is placed on the attraction of investments, which will contribute to the country's growth. This program is mainly based on payments mounting to 550 million euros from the old investment program, acceleration of tax returns, a sum of 2.4 billion euros, till December, acceleration of payments through State Investment Program a total amount of 5 billion euros, activation of a new investment program which is expected to channel liquidity 1.3- 17 billion euros in to the market in 2011, simplification of procedures for the setting up of businesses and acceleration of structural interventions.
The Finance Ministry maintains that execution of state budget is within the set targets and there is already a safety sum of 1 billion euros.
However, state revenues are down by 770 million euros mainly due to a delay in the clearance of tax declarations. The economic staff also repeat that VAT rise to 23% from July and collection of property tax for 2009 will improve state revenues.
"The sacrifices demanded by the memorandum will not rescue the economy", says the ND while the GCP describes as gimmickry scenarios about government reshuffle and rumours about support to weak groups to be announced by the Prime-minister during the Thessaloniki Fair.
SYRIZA deputy Panagiotis Lafazanis said: "We are acknowledging the total failure of the destructive government-troika measures which are pushing the Greek economy to deep recession, unemployment to a historical high record and the country to dissolution".
In western Greece, former President of the Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos heads 40 social sectors who joined forces to create "solidarity pylons" aimed to support the financially weak groups.
Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105,8 News item: 39415