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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM chairs third meeting in a row to deal with wildfires
  • [02] Papariga calls for safeguards after Parnitha blaze
  • [03] Corfu old quarter on world heritage list

  • [01] PM chairs third meeting in a row to deal with wildfires

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis chaired an emergency Inner Cabinet meeting on Saturday, the third in as many days, to deal with the barrage of wildfires in the country, as well as to assess the damage from the conflagration atop Mt. Parnitha, one of the greater Athens area's last remaining natural preserves.

    Among others, the public order minister said the Parnitha front has been contained, as have another three or four serious forest fires elsewhere in the country, including forest fires in the Pelion region, central Greece, and the deadly wildfire in the nearby Agia district, which claimed the life of two local residents.

    According to reports after the meeting, the agriculture development ministry will be assigned the reforestation plans for the Parnitha national park, while Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said a previous model used for the Halkidiki prefecture of northern Greece will be followed.

    Authorities will remain on high alert over the weekend in case of new wildfires or a rekindling of other.

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (L) is briefed by fire brigade officers on Friday, June 29, 2007. ANA-MPA / V. VARDOULAKIS

    [02] Papariga calls for safeguards after Parnitha blaze

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga on Saturday demanded that not a "square metre" of land be built in the fire-ravaged Parnitha national park, north of Athens, while she also called for the natural preserve to be expanded.

    Papariga made the statements touring a tour of the devastated forestland, one of the greater Athens area's few remaining mountainous greenspaces, part of a bid to prevent the ubiquitous, in Greece, land grabbing and illegal building that has often occurred over the past decades following wildfires.

    "Beyond the historical crimes and responsibilities for this situation in Greece, with the destruction of forest lands and the environment, on this day and in the phase we are now in, KKE is interested in is not just general proclamation about what areas will be reforested but in expanding the natural park all the way to the Tatoi region," she said, adding that by her estimates 50 percent of the Parnitha national park has been left in ashes.

    Caption: ANA-MPA photo of Papariga.

    [03] Corfu old quarter on world heritage list

    The old quarter of Corfu has been added to the list of UNESCO's world heritage monuments, as of Thursday.

    According to the press office director of the Greek consulate in Sydney, Efthymios Aravantinos, the decision was taken unanimously in Christchurch, New Zealand by the 21-member UN world heritage committee, following a positive recommendation by UNESCO's advisory organisation ICOMOS.

    Corfu is the 17th Greek location to be added to UNESCO's world cultural and natural heritage list, although its entry had experienced several obstacles since 1999, when the Greek request had been made initially.

    Caption: A scene from the unique tradition in Corfu's old quarter of throwing pottery out of windows onto the streets below a day before Easter Sunday every year. Saturday, April 7, 2007. ANA-MPA / G. DIMITRAS.

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