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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-09-24

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Engineers in Santorini roof collapse to face public prosecutor Sunday
  • [02] Deputy foreign minister visits ethnic Greeks in Ukraine
  • [03] Regional insurers debate impact of Hurricane Katrina
  • [04] Mayors to be elected on less than 50% of the vote
  • [05] Conference on sport in Europe begins in Athens

  • [01] Engineers in Santorini roof collapse to face public prosecutor Sunday

    Three engineers who built a steel roof over an archaeological site in Santorini that collapsed killing a British visitor are to appear before a public prosecutor on the island of Naxos on Sunday, and an arrest warrant has been issued for a fourth.

    Killed when the roof collapsed over the Akrotiri site on Friday was Richard George Denion, 46, police said.

    Seriously injured were two tourists from the USA, two from Slovakia, and one from Germany. A British woman identified as a friend of Denison was released from Santorini medical centre after suffering injuries and shock; and a Greek visitor sustained slight injuries.

    On Friday, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis visited the scene of the accident, and expressed grief over the loss of life and injuries.

    Tatoulis ordered an investigating committee to be set up comprising ministry officials, engineering experts from the National Technical University, and representatives of the Technical Chamber of Greece.

    The roof was built by a consortium of firms comprising J&P Ioannou Paraskevaidis (Greece), Avax Group, ATE Gnomon, and Impregilo SpA after winning an international tender in 1999. The consortium also contributed detailed engineering for the project on the basis of a preliminary study.

    Members of the government and the opposition across the political spectrum sent their condolences after the accident.

    [02] Deputy foreign minister visits ethnic Greeks in Ukraine

    Deputy Foreign Minister Panayiotis Skandalakis on Saturday visited ethnic Greeks from the Ukraine, welcoming the maintenance of Hellenism abroad.

    Skandalakis met Greeks from Azofiki, and opened a festival of Greek culture in the village of Starii Krim, this year dedicated to the creation of Greek villages in Azofiki by Greek migrants from the Crimea.

    He pledged that his government and the public would do their best to help ethnic Greeks in the area.

    Skandalakis also visited a Greek clinic in Starii Krim, established by the Federation of Greek Associations of Ukraine, the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, and the Illitsa metals group, and promised to seek help from Greece's pharmaceuticals industry to supply the unit.

    Later, he laid the foundation stone of a Greek Orthodox church in the village of Maloyianisol, saying the state would make a starting donation of 5,000 euros for the project, and deposited an additional 1,000-euro sum on his own account. Members of the delegation offered another 5,000 euros.

    [03] Regional insurers debate impact of Hurricane Katrina

    Insurers and reinsurers from the Balkans, Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean on Saturday discussed the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the market at a conference in Greece.

    Speakers agreed that the rise in reinsurance due to the natural disaster would also affect the insurance market.

    Arranged by a regional trade group the meeting is being held on the island of Hydra on September 22-25.

    Conference delegates also heard that vehicle reinsurance in Greece had risen alarmingly in recent years to stand at 15% of the market, the highest rate in the European Union.

    Also on the agenda are international accounting standards and vehicle reinsurance.

    [04] Mayors to be elected on less than 50% of the vote

    Mayors are to be elected to office on less than 50% of the vote, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos told the Eleftherotypia newspaper in an interview published on Saturday.

    The government had already taken a decision on the move, which also includes balloting for prefects, Pavolopoulos said.

    The minister denied that the traditional second round of voting was being abolished due to fears of a united front against the ruling party.

    "This is part of New Democracy's government programme. Our objective is to enhance the prestige and strength of mayors and prefects," he said.

    [05] Conference on sport in Europe begins in Athens

    A two-day conference on the evolution of sport in Europe began in Athens on Saturday spanning structure, finances, morality, education, art and future trends of the sector.

    "Sport expresses a value interwoven with Europe‚s history and culture. Today, one year after the successful and secure staging of the Olympic Games in their homeland, the country where they were born and revived in modern era, we Greeks, women and men alike, reformulate our commitment to set our country at the forefront of the joint effort for the sports movement in the 21st century," Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said in a message for the opening.

    "In an age of changeability and rapid developments, the need to contemplate the prospects and dangers facing sport in all its manifestations and effects on all facets of our lives has become more pressing. Within this context, Europe can actively contribute to giving new meaning to this common effort through the classic and enduring values of sport: noble competition and fair play and the bringing together of peoples, the striving for measure and harmony in both body and mind," said Karamanlis, who personally holds the government's culture portfolio.

    He pledged that the Greek state would maintain its active support for initiatives to advance the authentic spirit of sport.

    The deputy minister of culture responsible for sports, George Orfanos, the host for this year's conference, said that sports ministers from member states of the Council of Europe and senior officials of government and non-government sports organizations would use the conference as forum for debate on the evolution of sport in Europe, as well as attend an exhibition on sport in modern art.

    "The year 2005, declared International Year for Sports and Physical Education by the U.N., gave us the opportunity to highlight another aspect of sports, its contribution and participation in art. Through the kind assistance and cooperation of the Supreme Sports Council of Spain, we‚ll be presenting the International Sport in Modern Art Biennale, to be hosted in Thessaloniki and partly in Athens," Orfanos noted.

    Receiving awards at the conference were Greece's eight Olympic gold medallists in the 2004 Athens Olympics and the country's two gold medallists from the Paralympics.

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