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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-10-17

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, October 17, 2001


  • [01] BYZANTINE HOURS: AN EXHIBITION ON THE EVERYDAY LIFE IN BYZANTIUM The multi-venue exhibition "Byzantine Hours- Works and Days in Byzantium" will be inaugurated on October 21 in Thessaloniki, at the Museum of Byzantine Culture, and on October 22 in Athens, at the Byzantine and Christian Museum.

    "Byzantine Hours" is presented

    simultaneously in three cities in Greece – Athens, Thessaloniki, Mystras V which were all important centres in the Byzantine Empire. In planning this event for the new millennium, the Greek Culture Ministry contributes, through its own museological and museographic proposal, to the approach of Byzantine Civilization.

    Works of outstanding historical and artistic importance, from 41 museums abroad as well as from Greek museums and private collections, have been combined with new finds from excavations in order to document "Byzantine Hours" an articulated exhibition that explores the Byzantines' daily life and ideology.

    The thematic units in each exhibition venue

    function both independently and complementarily in relation to the others, thus constructing a huge museum spreading across the whole of Greece. The exhibition at Mystras has been open to the public since August 3, 2001.

    Events held on the occasion of the "Byzantine

    Hours" exhibition include an international conference on 'Byzantium: An Ecumenical Empire', organized by the Ministry of Culture. THESSALONIKI, WHITE TOWER The exhibition in the White Tower paints a vivid picture of everyday life in Byzantium: life in the city, in the agora, in the bathhouse, in the fields, in the ports, on pilgrimages, at home.

    Before our eyes unfold the works and days

    of the farmer, the hunter, the carpenter, the stone mason, the physician, the shop-keeper, and the traveller, together with details of women's diverse activities in the home. Through the ordinary or more valuable objects in people's everyday surroundings, we come to understand how they viewed life and the world, their religious feelings and beliefs as reflected in their daily actions, and the simple, uncomplicated moments in their personal and family life.

    On five floors of this mediaeval monument, the

    city's emblem, with its distinctive architectural structure, visitors can take in a number of thematic units focusing on the fundamental aspects of life in the Byzantine city and the Byzantine home. Thirty five precious items are on display for the first time. Distinctive artifacts of Byzantine culture, they come from museums and collections in ten countries, and are accompanied by 900 or so objects from museums, collections, and recent excavations in Greece. EPTAPYRGION-THESSALONIKI

    In association with the "Byzantine Hours"

    exhibition, two exhibitions will be held in Eptapyrgion, Thessaloniki in the former prison building. I. Essay on Byzantine Fortifications: Northern Greece, 4th – 5th centuries.

    The exhibition offers visitors an overview of Byzantine fortifications, seeking to explain the rationale behind their structure and function as part of the defence of the Empire. Selected examples from northern Greece illustrate the various structural elements which made up the fortifications as also the interrelationships and rules which governed them. II. The Eptapyrgion, The Citadel of Thessalonike

    The Eptapyrgion fortress is one of the best preserved fortified monuments in Greece. The exhibition traces the history of Eptapyrgion as Thessaloniki's citadel, and documents the architectural, historical and social dimension of this Byzantine fortress, including its role as a prison in the modern era, and the progress of the restoration work on the monument. ATHENS, BYZANTINE AND CHRISTIAN MUSEUM

    The part of the exhibition taking place in Athens, at the Byzantine and Christian Museum, is entitled "Byzantium: An Ecumenical Empire". It aims to present the political ideology that was predominant for the entire life of the Byzantine empire, according to which the monarch, as descendant of the Roman emperors, was the ruler of the Oikoumene. The Exhibition is divided into three units.

    The first makes reference to the Byzantine

    beliefs on the geographical and metaphysical dimensions of the Oikoumene. It also presents the origins of the ideology of ecumenical rule. Alexander the Great was in the ancient Greek-roman world the highest model of world-ruler, followed by Augustus, whose realm, the Roman empire, evolved into the state of Constantine the Great, the main founder of the Byzantine idea of ecumenical power. This unit gives also prominence to the ecumenical character of Christianity, which was the unifying element in the multicultural diversity of Byzantium.

    The second unit aims to project the central position of the emperor within the ecumenical dimension of the Byzantine state. It is divided into two sub-units. The first illuminates basic aspects of the imperial ideology, such as the idea of the 'ruler by the mercy of God', the piety and unrivalled bravery of the monarch. Portraits of emperors and precious imperial objects form part of this endeavour. The second subunit is dedicated to the idealised 'presence' of the emperor in the whole realm, through the organisation of a strictly hierarchical administrative system. Finally, the third unit focuses on the influence

    of Byzantium on the Medieval world. The institutional organisation of the Byzantine empire, its coinage, Orthodoxy and art all aroused the admiration of foreigners and mixed feelings of respect and rivalry. The objects on display are organised in such a way as to make clear the important role of Byzantium on the political, economic, religious and artistic life of the Middle Ages.

    Within the framework of the Exhibition are scheduled special educational –interpretative activities, which will be attended by more than 1000 visitors, in groups (pupils, adults, foreigners, people with special needs). Moreover, about 4000 pupils of all the educational levels have already planned to visit the Exhibition, with the help of an educational guidebook.

    During the Exhibition musical events will be organized at the Byzantine and Christian Museum and also six lectures, addressed to a specialized as well as to a non-specialized audience.

  • [02] INVESTIGATION IN PROGRESS ON SUSPICIOUS BANK ACCOUNTS An investigation is underway to locate bank accounts of individuals or organizations that could be linked with terrorism, according to statements made by Bank of Greece governor Loukas Papadimos on the sidelines of the one-day conference on the Euro organized in Athens by the Bank of Greece. Mr. Papadimos pointed out that he cannot respond to the questions made on the issue by reporters because the investigation in progress is classified.

    The Bank of Greece, the anti-terrorist agency, and the National Information Agency are in cooperation with European Union and US agencies and according to Greek bankers, the suspicious bank accounts are likely to be in branches of big foreign banks in Greece.

    The Bank of Greece one-day conference will be addressed today by European Central Bank governor Vim Duizenberg.

  • [03] CALLS FOR AN INQUIRY ON THE RELATION BETWEEN A LIBERIAN COMPANY AND K. MITSOTAKIS Minister of environment, public works and land planning Kostas Laliotis gave a report to publicity today that was drawn up by an independent international auditing company according to which, the Greek state benefited by 100 billion drachmas from the contract signed by the PASOK government for the construction of the new Athens Airport compared to a contract that was initialed earlier by the then New Democracy government.

    Mr. Laliotis submitted the report to parliament

    and called for an inquiry to be held by the responsible parliamentary committee on the movement of a Liberian company bank account and the company's relation with the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis.

    Mr. Mitsotakis responded to the charges made and accused Mr. Laliotis of mud-slinging, adding that he was the man who did all the dirty work for PASOK and now becomes party secretary.

  • [04] PAPANTONIOU: EU TASK FORCE ON DIRTY MONEY The European Union proceeds with the establishment of a Financial Action Task Force that will target money laundering operations based on an ECOFIN decision, according to a statement made today by national economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou. It will be a task force that will operate within

    the framework of the EU and will intervene in money laundering cases, black economy and suspicious transactions in general.

    It will be responsible for the collection of

    evidence that will be forwarded to the European Central Bank which in turn will order the freezing of the suspicious bank accounts. This will happen as soon as the necessary legal framework is created within the EU.

  • [05] PAPANTONIOU: NO RECESSION PROBLEM IN GREECE Greece will not face an economic recession problem even if the growth rate drops below the 4.5% mark this year, stated minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou one day after the ECOFIN meeting.

    He stressed, however, that the EU fiscal policy cannot relax, especially in Greece that suffers from a high public debt. He stressed that the lowering of the debt is the basic resource of funds for the government's social policy.

    Mr. Papantoniou stated that apart from the privatization policy there are three key-points that will contribute positively to the efforts aimed at shielding the Greek economy even more. The first is the fast and effective exploitation of the 3rd Community Framework of Support funds, the second is the adoption of measures aimed at strengthening business activity and the third, is the reform of the legislation on development.

  • [06] THE BUILDING ACTIVITY SLOWED DOWN IN APRIL The private building activity showed a

    considerable slowdown in the month of April, according to official figures provided by the National Statistics Agency.

    Specifically, the private building activity

    dropped by 13.7% based on the number of permits issued and by 15.5% based on the overall volume of activity compared to April 2000. However, in the January-April period the building activity showed an increase of 1.8% regarding its volume, while the increase compared to the same period last year was at 11.7%.

  • [07] SIGNIFICANT GAINS IN THE ASE Significant gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +2.03% at 2.350,53 points, while the volume of transactions was at 132.56 million Euro or 45.17 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 316 recorded gains and 28 had losses, while the value of 33 remained unchanged.

  • [08] MEASURES FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE AIRLINE COMPANIES The EU adopted measures for the support of the airline companies which need assistance to deal with the financial damages they have suffered as a result of the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States, according to a decision by the EU transport ministers council that was reached yesterday.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the EU has decided that the European states will undertake to pay the additional insurance premiums that the airlines had to pay as a result of the terrorist attack on the US. Regarding Olympic Airways, it was accepted, after a request made by transport minister Christos Verelis, that its Boeing 737-200 airplanes will not have to be withdrawn by March.

    These airplanes will be allowed to be used after the date mentioned above only in destinations outside the EU and for domestic flights.

  • [09] NOTABLE IMPROVEMENT IN THE "NEIGHBOR'S" IMAGE Specialists reached the conclusion that the image of the neighboring peoples, as presented in the school books of the neighboring Balkan states, has been notably improved. It is noted that the improvement is significant in Greece and Bulgaria, while the neighbor's image is not that good in the Turkish school books and especially, in the elementary school reading books.

    The above were mentioned by Aristotle University philosophy school professor Panagiotis Xochellis on the occasion of the international scientific symposium on "Intercultural education and the school: the example of school books" that opens in the northwestern Greek city of Edessa tomorrow and will last until Saturday.

    He stressed that unfortunately in the history

    school books of certain countries nationalism is over highlighted and neighboring peoples are presented as being inferior, while more weight is given to the war incidents targeting civilization. He stated that certain books include national stereotypes and negative pictures of the "other" even in the modernized books that were published in the 80s and 90s.

  • [10] MILLER MEETS MILITARY CHIEFS OF STAFF The US Ambassador in Athens, Thomas Miller, met

    with the Chief of Staff Manoussos Paragioudaki, and the Commanders of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, in the Pentagon today.

  • [11] GREEKS WANT A COMMON EU FOREIGN POLICY A common policy for the European Union is

    desired by Greeks today, with 83% believing that it is necessary, in contrast to 65% which is the EU average, according to the "Eurobarometer", the regular survey of public opinion in EU member- states.

    On the other side are Britain and Finland, with

    less than 50%

    According to the survey, Greeks see the perspective of a joint defense and broadening positively, while Greeks along with the Portuguese are the least satisfied with their lives.

    Also, Greeks read very few newspapers, do not listen to much radio, while their knowledge of foreign languages is extremely low, as is their appreciation towards politicians, businessmen and lawyers.

    On general terms the survey mentions that the majority of Greeks is dealing with the EU positively and judge that Greece will benefit from it.

    Finally, only 18% of Greeks trusts political

    parties, while 86% trusts the Army and 64% trusts the Church.

    The "Eurobarometer" survey took place in April and May, and 16.000 Europeans participates. 1.005 Greeks participated.

  • [12] KARAMANLIS MEETS WITH EU AMBASSADORS International developments and the future of the European Union were the points referred to during a luncheon held by the President of New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis, for the Accredited Ambassadors of EU member-states in Athens.

    Many staff members of New Democracy were also

    present at the Ambassador meeting, which Mr. Karamanlis characterized as very useful.

    Mr. Karamanlis underlined the European Union is facing the great challenge of acquiring a common foreign policy, a common security and defense policy, and added that the stake for the EU is to offer security, justice and freedom to all European citizens.

  • [13] KARAMANLIS IN BRUSSELS The President of New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis, will go to Brussels on Thursday, to participate in the Summit Meeting of the European People's Party, which will take place in the city of Courtai.

    During the Summit Meeting, discussions will take place on preparations for the Summit Meeting in Gent, views on the European Council of Laeken (December2001 – end of the Belgian Presidency term), interior security and terrorism, and the statute of European political parties.

  • [14] FIVE GREEKS MISSING IN NEW YORK The names of another 5 Greek Americans were added to the long list of those missing after the September 11 attack on the New York WTC.

    The following names have been added:

    Steve Hatzis, age 32, employee of Cantor

    Fitzgerald Steve Kokianos, age 22, employee

    of Morgan Stanley Stefanos Soulas, age 45

    Timothy Soulas, age 26, and

    Jennifer Tzemi

    According to the "Ethnikos Kirykas" the total number of dead or missing Greeks living abroad is not greater than 40.

  • [15] COOPERATION MEMORANDUM FOR THE OLYMPICS A memorandum of cooperation for the enrichment

    of the Attica area with plantlife, was signed by the Ministry for the Environment, Planning and Public Works and the Olympic Organizing Committee "Athens 2004".

    The goal; of this cooperation, is for 100 million plants to be planted in 60 areas that are connected to the Olympics (37.000-40.000 stremmata and a total cost of 84 billion drs.), by 2004.

    Mrs. Aggelopoulou stressed that this cooperation is for the city's image during the games, and for the changes that will remain in Athens after the Games.

  • [16] ARRESTED FOR TRAFFICKING Two individuals, 30-year-old Williams

    Triantafyllidis and 31-year-old Armen Melixetian, were arrested in Soufli, for trafficking 8 women from Georgia. All of them were taken to the District Attorney.

    Along with them, 42-year-old Lambros Prouskas from Serres, who was also involved in the case, was arrested.

  • [17] 54 DRUG VICTIMS IN THESSALONIKI The list of death due to drug use in

    Thessaloniki, is constantly growing. From the beginning of 2001 to this day, 54 people have lost their life due to the use of drugs. The latest victim is a 25-year-old found dead by

    his father in his apartment in Ano Poli, Thessaloniki.

  • [18] ECOFIN: MONEY LAUNDERING DIRECTIVE A directive against money laundering was agreed upon in Luxembourg yesterday, by the EU Ministers of Economy.

    ECOFIN took new strict measures against "dirty" money connected to terrorism, while EU Ministers of Economy and Justice signed a memorandum of cooperation between their countries on this issue.

    Minister of National Economy and Economics Giannos Papantoniou pointed out that from a communal legislature viewpoint, money laundering will not only concern drug trafficking and high crime rates, but international terrorism, too.

    Based on the agreement, attorneys, accountants and all professionals cognizant that their clients are moving money related to terrorist activities, are obliged to report it to the proper authorities.

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