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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou: 'Busy summer ahead'
  • [02] Greece dealing with mini heatwave

  • [01] Papandreou: 'Busy summer ahead'

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Tuesday again chaired a meeting of his party's Parliamentary council, where issues dealing with civil defence -- amid an ongoing mini heatwave in the country -- and the government's latest announced measures for lower-income classes were discussed.

    A recently tabled bill on mass media concentration and licensing was also brought up.

    Regarding the announced measures by the government, most PASOK cadres referred to a "pre-election package" of "promises", with Papandreou charging that the Karamanlis government was, above all, "unreliable".

    Additionally, the PASOK leader said his recent four-day tour of northern Greece, beginning from the Ionian coast in the west to the prefecture of Evros in the east, was particularly successful and productive. He said similar tours are planned and told PASOK's cadres to look forward to a "busy summer".

    Additionally, he sharply criticised the rejection, a day earlier, of a PASOK motion to establish a Parliamentary fact-finding committee on the ongoing bonds affair, saying it proves the government's intent to "cover-up" the issue.

    Moreover, Papandreou, a former foreign minister in successive Simitis governments, said Premier Costas Karamanlis' visit to Istanbul a day earlier demonstrated that the government lacked planning, depth and stability in exercising foreign policy. Among others, he said Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan again failed to make any concession vis-?-vis the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    Karamanlis met with Erdogan on the sidelines of a BSEC summit in Instanbul.

    "We always pressured, on all levels, over all issues," Papandreou charged.

    Among others, the PASOK leader also detailed his party's policy against drug addiction and drug use - on the occasion of the world day against drugs - as well as again expressing his condemnation over a handful of recent instances of police brutality that generated heightened press exposure in the country.

    Afterwards, Papandreou departed for Geneva, where he is to chair preliminary conference of the Socialist International, which will focus on issues dealing with the environment, climate change, the Middle East, Iran, the situation in the Palestinian areas, Lebanon and the Balkans.

    [02] Greece dealing with mini heatwave

    Practically all of Greece experienced near or above 40C weather conditions on Tuesday, with the country bracing for another scorching day on Wednesday before temperatures begin sliding on Thursday ahead of a distinctly cooler, according to forecasts, weekend.

    Beyond health worries due to the heat -- three deaths of elderly people were directly linked to the high temperatures -- authorities were on high alert for wildfires and problems with the power grid. Monday's power consumption neared record levels, whereas short interruptions in power were reported in several Athens districts on Tuesday by the state-run electricity utility (PPC).

    PPC said daily consumption on Monday exceeded 10,000 MW, with a new all-time record of 10,700 MW feared for Wednesday, a figure that is expected to tax the country's power grid and generation capacity.

    To conserve power, the government also ordered state offices and agencies to close at 12 noon, both on Tuesday and Wednesday. Conversely, municipalities around the country were expected to keep nursery schools and other air conditioned halls open for people without A/Cs at home.

    Finally, in a bid to cool off heat-stricken residents, the tourism ministry announced that several organised beaches in the greater Athens area will stay open until 11 p.m. this week.

    Caption: A bather at a beach in SE coastal Athens on Tuesday, June 26, 2007, a day where "real feel" temperatues reached 44C. ANA-MPA / O. PANAGIOTOU.

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