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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-10-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM briefed on Niarchos Foundation initiatives
  • [02] Police eye 'series of errors' in UK family's poisoning
  • [03] Teachers' union proposal for strike rejected

  • [01] PM briefed on Niarchos Foundation initiatives

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Friday received the director of the Athens-based Niarchos Foundation, Epaminondas Farmakis, with the latter outlining the charitable organization's intent to fund three major projects in the greater Athens area.

    Specifically, Farmakis briefed the Greek premier on the Niarchos Foundation's aim to fund the construction of a new opera house, national library and cultural-educational park on 20 hectares of land in the so-called Faliro Delta, a tract of land in southern coastal Athens that for several decades before the 2004 Olympic Games hosted Greece's only horse race track. The latter was transferred to the Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Complex ahead of the 2004 Games.

    An initial study is pending, with the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the state and the foundation being the next step.

    The foundation is named after its creator, the late Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos.

    ANA-MPA file photo of Karamanlis.

    [02] Police eye 'series of errors' in UK family's poisoning

    The head of Corfu's security police division on Saturday said a criminal indictment stemming from the carbon monoxide-related death of two British children late last week in a resort on the Ionian holiday island will be concluded in a matter of days, but not on Monday, as originally reported.

    Police commander Dimitris Bineris said a written report by two mechanical engineers who inspected the bungalow suite where the two children's bodies were found will be completed later this week. Authorities have also requested a verification of toxicology findings from a specialised clinic in Athens to back up initial conclusions presented by a coroner in a nearby mainland city on Saturday morning.

    The bodies of Christianne and Robert Shepherd, 7 and 6, were found in the room, while their father, Neil, 38, and his second wife, Ruth Beatson, 28, were transported in a comatose condition to a Corfu city intensive care unit. Doctors said the two adults were conscious on Saturday and recovering.

    In comments the same day, authorities said they were now focusing on a series of inter-related mishaps that reportedly led to the tragedy, namely, a small but constant leak in a gas-fired boiler located in an enclosed utility room, adjacent to the bungalow, that caused the unit to overwork; lack of sufficient ventilation in the utility room that caused an accumulation of noxious carbon monoxide generated from the boiler's operation; an opening in the wall allowing pipes to pass between the utility room and the bungalow suite was not completed sealed; the suite's A/C unit did not channel fresh air into the room but rather circulated and re-circulated air between the utility room.

    According to other reports from Corfu, the local prosecutor's office has more-or-less indicated that manslaughter or criminal negligence charges will be filed against the owners of the hotel, its manager, the head of maintenance and those responsible for the construction of the unit once the police indictment is received. Prosecutors will ultimately decide if and what charges to file and against which individuals.

    Hours earlier, forensic medicine professor Theodoros Vouyiouklakis was categorical in ruling carbon monoxide poisoning as the cause of death, speaking during a press conference in the northwest city of Ioannina.

    The incident occurred at the Louis Corcyra Beach resort of Gouvia, north of the harbour of Corfu and on the island's east coast. The four holiday-makers from Britain arrived on the island Oct. 23 to begin a seven-day vacation.

    -hkt

    Caption: Greek police investigators examine the bungalow where the bodies of the two British children were found on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006. EPA/ANA-MPA -- CHR. HONDROYANNI.

    [03] Teachers' union proposal for strike rejected

    Teachers in public middle schools and high schools are also set to return to classrooms on Monday, as a proposal by their unionās leadership, OLME, for a 24-hour strike on Nov. 3 and 9 failed to win a two-thirds majority of local representatives that attended an urgently called general assembly on Friday.

    OLME had called a strike in solidarity to a six-week industrial action by the primary teachersā union, DOE, which demanded pay increases from the government, among others.

    DOE voted to suspend its strike last week, although a motion for one-day strikes on Nov. 3 and 9 were approved.

    Striking teachers are shown protesting in Athens last week. ANA-MPA photo


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