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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-09-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Athens-Corinth suburban railway line launched by transport minister Liapis
  • [02] Athens mayor in China for talks
  • [03] Ecstatic Greeks celebrate national team's gold in Eurobasket championship

  • [01] Athens-Corinth suburban railway line launched by transport minister Liapis

    The suburban railway line linking Athens with Corinth was officially inaugurated and opened to the public on Monday by transport and communications minister Michalis Liapis.

    Beginning Tuesday, and for the duration of a week, commuting on the new line will be free of charge, so as to enable the public to get to know "this new, modern, comfortable, speedy and safe means of transportation", Liapis announced.

    The minister said that the plans were to complete the entire suburban railway network from Halkis running all the way to Kiato within the next two years, noting that, in addition to providing better transport, the suburban railway would also contirbute to the economic and tourism development of the region.

    The route from terminal to terminal takes approximately one hour.

    The Athens-Corinth line will run every hour, with the first train departing Corinth for Athens at 8:13 a.m. and for Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport at 7:08 a.m. The last train will depart for Athens at 8:13 p.m., and for the airport at 5:08 p.m.

    Conversely, the first train from Athens for Corinth will depart at 6:06 a.m., and the last one at 6:06 p.m., while the first train from the airport for Corinth will depart at 7:05 a.m. and the last one at 7:05 p.m.

    The tickets for the Athens-Corinth and Corinth-Athens routes will cost six (6) euros, while for the route Corinth-Airport and Airport-Corinth they will cost eight (8) euros.

    The intermediate stops along the route, at the initial stage, are Nea Peramos, Megara, Kineta, and Aghioi Theodoroi, while stations at Ano Liossia, Thriassio, Magoula and Zephyri will be added on towards the end of 2006.

    Also, a passenger boarding the suburban railway at Corinth may transfer, at the Neratziotissa station, to the ISAP train line or the Athens Metro.

    The new Corinth-Athens route covers a total distance of 88 kilometres, with a maximum speed of 200 kilometres per hour.

    Construction of the line cost 475 million euros, and was carried out by the OSE (Hellenic Railways Organisation) subsidiary ERGOSE.

    [02] Athens mayor in China for talks

    BEIJING (ANA) - Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyiannis is paying an official visit to Beijing invited by her counterpart in the Chinese capial, Wang Qishan.

    Heading an all-party municipal delegation, Bakoyianni will meet Qishan on Monday. On Tuesday, the mayor is to hold talks with China's foreign minister and the head of the country's national Olympics organising committee.

    Talks are expected to focus on Bakoyianni's experience in hosting the Olympics in 2004 ahead of the Beijing games in 2008.

    [03] Ecstatic Greeks celebrate national team's gold in Eurobasket championship

    Ecstatic Greeks throughout the country were celebrating on the streets into the early morning hours Monday over their national team's clinching of the 34th European men's basketball championship, defeating former champion Germay 78-62 in the final late Sunday in Belgrade, bringing the Eurobasket cup to Greece for the second time in 18 years.

    Messages of congratulations poured in throughout the night from the country's state and political leadership, as Greeks throughout the country, in Cyprus, and in Greek communities abroad paraded through the streets honking car horns, waving Greek flags and setting off fireworks, celebrating the repeat of the men's national basketball team's 1987 triumph. Greece also reached the final in 1989.

    Team coach Panayotis Yannakis, who was a star player in the 1987 national team that put Greek basketball at the top of Europe for the first time in its history, told ANA immediately after the final that he couldn't believe what was happening, that he felt as if he were dreaming.

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias sent his warmest congratulations to the national basketball team for its conquest of the European championship, "which filled all of Greece with joy and pride".

    Prime minister and culture minister Costas Karamanlis, in his message, said that one year after the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the Greek national soccer team's clinching of the European soccer championship, the national basketball team "which 18 years ago made all the Greeks proud, has once again reached the highest peak of Europe".

    Sports has once again proven itself to be a great national capital which was everyone's duty to safeguard and reinforce even more, the prime minister said.

    Parliament president Anna Psarouda-Benaki sent warm congratulations for the team's "triumph that fills us with enthusiasm and emotion".

    "You deservedly attained the European top and gave our country another great international sport distinction, making the Greeks proud. We celebrate your great success with you," she said.

    Alternate culture minister Fani Palli-Petralia congratulated the team and their coach, saying that "the Greek spirit has spoken once again".

    She said the team players had "faith, determination and cool-headedness", and thus "the dream became reality".

    Deputy culture minister for sports George Orfanos, who flew to Belgrade on Sunday to cheer on the Greek team at the final, said that "Greece's children have lifted us into the sky", and congratulated the players, their coach, the Greek sports federation and all those who helped the team reach the top.

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou sent his heartfelt congratulations, noting that when Greece displays confidence in its strength, believes in its dream, is founded on principles and values and the collective effort of individual talents, and has the backing of the people, it always succeeds.

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) leader Alekos Alavanos congratulated the players and the team's technical leadership for their excellent effort, adding that it was the obligation of the State to take advantage of this success in order to develop a mass sports movement and not allow the further commercialisation and hooliganism that kill sport.

    FIBA Europe president George Vassilakopoulos, former long-time president of the Greek Basketball Federation, said that Sunday night's triumph was "the biggest moment in my athletic career".

    "As the Greek president of FIBA Europe I had the honour of presenting the cup to the Greek team. It was a good beginning for this team, but we will not stop there. These boys can repeat this feat and do even better," he said in a statement to ANA.


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