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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-25

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Karamanlis meets with Russian ambassador ahead of Putin visit
  • [02] Fires in Chalkidiki, Mani, Mt. Mainalos abating

  • [01] PM Karamanlis meets with Russian ambassador ahead of Putin visit

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis met Friday morning with Russian ambassador to Greece Andrei Vdovin.

    Russian president Vladimir Putin is due to arrive in Athens on September 4 for a trilateral meeting with prime minister Costas Karamanlis and Bulgarian prime minister Sergey Stanishev, at Putin's initiative, for talks mainly focussing on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

    The agenda of the meeting iss energy issues, with the main thrust on the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline.

    Greece, Bulgaria and Russia signed a political agreement for the cross-border pipeline, budgeted at approximately 700 million euros, on April 13, 2005 in Thessaloniki. The 285-kilometre pipeline to carry Russian oil from Burgas in Bulgaria to Alexandroupolis in northern Greece has an estimated investment cost of 750-800 million US dollars with an annual capacity of 35 million tonnes of oil. It will supplement a sea route through the Bosphorus for transportation of the product in the region. It is anticipated that the pipeline will forge a new outlet for Russian oil and for oil from the Caspian Sea to Europe and America.

    An estimated 35-50 million tons of crude oil would flow through Alexandroupolis in end-2008, while Greece will profit between 30 and 50 million dollars annually from the transportation of oil via the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, according to 2005 estimates.

    [02] Fires in Chalkidiki, Mani, Mt. Mainalos abating

    Fires that have been raging for the past several days in Chalkidiki peninsula, eastern Mani and Mt. Mainalos in Arcadia were reported to be abating Friday morning, while firefighting efforts continued.

    Central Macedonia Periphery secretary general George Tsiotras told ANA-MPA that the situation in Kassandra, the first leg of the Chalkidiki peninsula, where a huge forest fire broke out on Monday afternoon, was improved with respect to the preceding days, with the blaze now contained to the southwestern section of Kassandra.

    He said the situation on the fire fronts was improved, adding, however, that there was a risk of the fire being rekindled if wind velocity increased again.

    The fire, blazing into its fifth day, has burned more than 50,000 stremma (13,000 acres) of virgin fir and pine forest and olive groves, as well as tens of homes, tourism infrastructure, livestock and agricultural installations and machinery. The fire was now contained mainly in ravines, making the land forces' work more difficult. At the peak of the blaze on Tuesday, the fire had extended over a 30 kilometer front, fanned by high winds that had reached a near-storm velocity of 6-7 beaufort.

    "The situation is better, and we hope that the weather will help us throughout the day," Tsiotras said, adding that the situation was under control, since there were no longer raging fire fronts to be tackled, but only isolated pockets.

    The land forces' efforts were again focussing on Friday on a hard-to-access forest expanse between the villages of Nea Skioni and Kassandrino, where many minor pockets were burning, mainly in ravines. Also, firefignting aircraft and helicopters were on standby to make water drops throughout the day for preventive reasons if required, Tsiotras added.

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou was due to visit fire-devastated Kassandra later in the day.

    Mani, Mt. Mainalos fires

    Meanwhile, fires that had broken out several days ago in eastern Mani in the Laconia prefecture, and on Mt. Mainalos in Arcadia prefecture, were also abating Friday morning.

    In Mani, strong firefighting forces were battling to fully contain the blaze, while, on Mt. Mainalos, an additional team of firefighters from Athens, Patras and the Peloponnese Periphery, as well as a water-dropping helicopter, were despatched to join the land forces on Friday morning.

    Another fire in the forest area of Koufo, Molaous, has also been contained, as has been a fire that broke out on Mt. Belles near the village of Lithoto in Kilkis, after burning 16 stremma (four acres) of brush, without threatening populated areas.


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