|Saturday, 19 October 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2004-08-06
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, August 6, 2004
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis inspected the international press center, while International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge stated that Greece is more than ready to win the big "bet" of the Olympics assuring that the Olympic Games in Athens will be pure magic.
Foreign sports missions arrive one after the other at Athens' "Eleftherios Venizelos" International Airport to participate in the world's major sports celebration.
Security measures are fully implemented both in Athens and the rest Olympic cities.
Formally, no schedule of meetings has been issued but it is regarded as certain that Mr. Karamanlis will seek to have meetings, among others, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Itali an Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, George Bush Sr., father of the US President, and others.
Mr. Laliotis' participation in the Olympic Torch Relay was formally announced by the "Athens 2004" Organizing Committee. He personally had expressed the wish to be a Torchbearer to "Athens 2004" Organizing Committee President Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalak is given his contribution to the completion of the major project of the Rio-Antirio Bridge.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that the Greeks worked together for the Olympic Games to succeed, adding that Greece is ready to host excellent games in an environment of the greatest security possible.
The Main Press Center is at a small distance from the Olympic Stadium covering a space of 52,000 square meters a fact that makes it the biggest Press Center in the history of the Olympic Games, while it will host an estimated 5,500 accredited journalists .
In the International Radio-Television Center that is located next to the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens and the Main Press Center will work over 10,000 people.
The International Radio-Television Center has been characterized as the heart of the Olympic Games because the images from the Olympic Games will be broadcast from there to billions of television sets around the world.
Mr. Kefaloyiannis stated that the Greek government has taken all necessary measures for the safety of athletes and visitors who will watch the Olympic Games. He congratulated the Coastguard for the security measures taken, the detailed planning and the r eadiness of the people participating in the operation.
He added that the security measures are very tight and are being implemented by experienced and well-trained personnel without affecting the aesthetics and essence of the Olympic Games, which is a celebration of sports and culture.
"Athens 2004" Communication Director Michalis Zacharatos stated on the Olympic Games closing ceremony that the only thing the organizing committee can promise is that it will be different from the opening ceremony. It too will be a great celebration, wit h Greek and international character, but everybody should wait until August 29 to watch it, added Mr. Zacharatos.
The Flame was airlifted yesterday from Zakynthos to Kefalonia, the first halt on a long journey which included Ithaca, Astakos, Leukada, and finally Corfu, where a ceremony took place and the Flame spent the night.
In Argostoli, it was very hot, even early in the morning, but this did not prevent the island's inhabitants and visitors from coming out into the streets and applauding the torchbearers. In Kefalonia, the welcome was with drifts of rose petals and olive
branches, a picture by now familiar from other places that have welcomed the flame.
Thalia Prokopiou, High Priestess when the Flame was lit at Olympia, brought the Torch down from the Chinook to the airport at Kefalonia. "I meet the Flame in my homeland once again, this time as one of the people who welcomed it around the world".
The procession traveled through the central streets of Argostoli to reach the Napier Gardens, where the welcome ceremony took place with sounds and color from traditional music groups. The altar was lit by Olympic champion Anna Pollatou who, like the who le team, was obviously very moved. The last torchbearer but one was the songwriter Fevos, who said how moved he was to be participating. "We hope that the journey of this immortal symbol of humanity will be peaceful and creational. We hope it illuminates,
in eight days, the best Olympic Games in history", said the Mayor of Argostoli, Gerasimos Fortes.
The next destination of the Flame was Ithaca. The bells chimed with joy when the Flame landed on the island, while children played drums to signal the arrival of the torchbearers. The altar was lit by a high-school student, Vasiliki Vasilopoulou.
The Mayor, Tilemachos Karavias, welcomed the Flame as the symbol that unites the Greek cities with the other stops of the worldwide torch relay.
After Ithaca, the Flame traveled to Astakos and Leukada and spent the night in Corfu, where the Municipality organized impressive celebrations.
He reminded that the responsibility to protect the area belongs to the Greek authorities, adding that there is a list of objects that are not allowed inside the Olympic facilities.
He also stated that the armed Americans will stay outside the Greek borders and reiterated that there will be no armed guards coming form other countries.
Of the stocks trading today, 156 had gains and 120 had losses, while the value of 127 stocks remained unchanged.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS