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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Lisbon Treaty 'realistic path to 21st century'
  • [02] Bakoyannis in Cyprus
  • [03] Eratosthenes experiment revived
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM: Lisbon Treaty 'realistic path to 21st century'

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis emphasised on Wednesday evening, during Parliament debate on ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, that the agreement is the "realistic path to 21st century Europe; a path for a better European future, one of solidarity, stability, collective progress for all peoples, a path that serves the interests of all Greeks."

    Karamanlis' address in Parliament was the highlight of the two-day debate on the Lisbon Treaty, and came days after French President Nicolas Sarkozy passionately called on Greece's 300-MP legislature to approve of the pact from the very same podium during an official visit to Athens.

    Karamanlis noted that Greece's has had a substantive role in drawing up the current Treaty, "we are satisfied with the efforts for drawing up the Treaty; we are satisfied that all of our partners ended this phase of inwardness and stagnation that had taken hold over previous years." (source:

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] Bakoyannis in Cyprus

    The solution to the Cyprus issue must end the illegal occupation, Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said on Thursday morning upon arrival in Cyprus for a three-day working visit.

    In a statement at Larnaka airport, Bakoyannis stressed that the solution that is reached on the Cyprus issue must put an end to the blatant violation of international law and the results of the Turkish invasion and occupation of the northern part of the island republic and tear down the last dividing wall in Europe.

    Bakoyannis said she was pleased to be visiting Cyprus and for the opportunity to hold discussions with President Demetris Christofias and the Republic of Cyprus' political leadership.

    "We are again at a decisive moment in the long struggle for a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus issue. A new brave and difficult effort has begun. Much work awaits us. This is what I have come to discuss here in Cyprus," the Greek minister explained.

    She further said that it was not necessary to stress that Greece will contribute so that the new effort on the Cyprus issue will be founded on strong foundations, and for the necessary and proper preparation to be made which would give the greatest possible prospects and guarantees for its success.

    Bakoyannis is due to be received by Christofias at noon, followed by talks with Cyprus foreign minister Markos Kyprianou, while in the afternoon she will have separate meetings with the leaders of the Cypriot political parties, and in the evening she will address a DISY party event on "Europe after the Lisbon Treaty", on the occasion of the inauguration of the Glafkos Clerides Foundation.

    On Friday, Bakoyannis will meet with Cypriot Parliament President Marios Karoyan and have separate meetings with former Cypriot presidents Tassos Papadopoulos, Glafkos Clerides and George Vasiliou.

    On Saturday, the foreign minister will be in Paphos, where she and her Cypriot counterpart will address an event on "the European future of united Cyprus". Later in the afternoon, Bakoyannis will be presented with the Gold Key of the city and attend celebrations on the occasion of the twinning of the municipalities of Paphos and Hania, Crete.

    This is Bakoyannis' first working visit to Cyprus since Christofias was elected to the Presidency.

    On Wednesday, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, speaking in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), said that Greece will continue to support efforts that have begun and that are aimed at ending the Turkish occupation and finding a mutual agreement on the reunification of Cyprus.

    On the eve of her arrival in Cyprus on a working visit, Bakoyannis said that the new mobility on the issue of Cyprus is the result of the initiatives of President Demetris Christofias and noted that the two communities must be set free in the effort to find common ground capable of supporting the resumption of overall negotiations with guarantees and prospects of success.

    The foreign minister stressed, however, that considerable obstacles continue to exist, adding that President Christofias and Turkish Cyprot leader Ali Talat, with the agreement reached on March 21, reaffirmed their adherrence to the goal of a mutual solution for a bizonal and bicommunal federation.

    "A new window of opportunity has opened. It is the responsibility of each of us to keep it open," Bakoyannis concluded.(source:

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis

    [03] Eratosthenes experiment revived

    An experiment carried out 2,200 years ago by ancient Greek mathematician, geographer and astronomer Eratosthenes to calculate the circumference of the Earth will be repeated this Saturday by amateur astronomers in the northern Greek cities of Alexandroupolis and Thessaloniki and in Warsaw.

    The experiment will be part of a simulation game called "The Sun measures the Earth" organised by the Thrace Amateur Astronomers' Society, the Astrophysics and Astronomy department of Thessaloniki's Aristotelian University in collaboration with the Friends of Astronomy Club and the Polish Amateur Astronomers Society.

    Duplicating the ancient scientists' experiment, astronomers in the three cities will measure the shadow cast by a metre-long bar placed near the Alexandroupolis Light House, the Thessaloniki University Observatory and the Vistula River crossing Warsaw.

    The measurements will begin at 11:00 in the morning and end at 16:00 in the afternoon (Greek time) and the results will be fed into a linked computer system in the three cities in real time, which will carry out the necessary calculations.

    Organisers said the experiment was a game designed to promote the public's involvement in amateur astronomy and to show that this was not just observing things through telescopes.

    The simulation is taking place seven days earlier than the summer solstice on June 21, which is the day chosen by Eratosthenes to carry out his measurements and the longest day of the year, but will seek to confirm the precise measurements calculated by the Cyrenean mathematician concerning the Earth's diameter.

    Eratosthenes and the Aswan well

    The mathematician and scientist Eratosthenes was born in Cyrene (276-194 B.C) in present-day Libya. He studied in Alexandria and Athens and became chief librarian of the Great Library of Alexandria, where he learned of a deep, vertical well near the ancient Egyptian city of Swenet (known in Greek as Syene and near the present-day Aswan Dam) in southern Egypt where the sun's rays fell on the water once a year at noon on the summer solstice without casting a shadow.

    Setting up a vertical pole in Alexandria, he measured the angle formed by its shadow at exactly the same hour and day.

    He found from his measurement that, in his hometown of Alexandria, the angle of elevation of the Sun would be 1/50 of a full circle (7°12') south of the zenith at the same time.

    Assuming that Alexandria was due north of Syene he concluded that the distance from Alexandria to Syene must be 1/50 of the total circumference of the Earth. His estimated distance between the cities was 5000 stadia (about 500 geographical or nautical miles). He rounded the result to a final value of 700 stadia per degree, which implies a circumference of 252,000 stadia. There is debate about the exact size of the stadion he used. The common Attic stadion was about 185 m, which would imply a circumference of 46,620 km, i.e. 16.3% too large. However, if he used the "Egyptian stadion" of about 157.5 m, his measurement turns out to be 39,690 km, an error of less than 1%.(source:

    Caption:The first colour image of the Earth acquired by the MSG-2 satellite on 25 January 2006. ANA-MPA/ EPA/ESA

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Thursday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The reforms in family law, and the dispute between main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou and PASOK former prime minister Costas Simitis over the European Constitiution dominated the headlines on Thursday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Rift in Simitis-Papandreou relations -- What's behind the new rift?".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Divorce in 2 years - Inner Cabinet approves bill introducing Cohabitation Agreement for heterosexual couples".

    AVGHI: "In absentia of the people - Ruling party New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK ratified the Lisbon Treaty in parliament".

    AVRIANI: "Papandreou and Simitis argue over the (mini) European Constitiution.... meanwhile people suffer from the high cost of living".

    CHORA: "Professional armed bodyguards' wanted - Entrepreneurs call for security after the abduction of Industrialist's Association of Northern Greece president George Mylonas".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "The co-habitation agreement valid only for heterosexual couples, Justice Minister states".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Simitis sends explosive letter to Papandreou - He officially opens a rift ".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Panic over high cost of living awakens European Union? - " 'Marshall Plan' on oil, food by the EU Summit following the public outrage".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Simitis-Papandreou conflict - Problem emerges in PASOK 'via' Lisbon over the European Treaty".

    ESTIA: "Uncertainty over the economy - The repercussions from the global crisis".

    ETHNOS: "New unrest in PASOK- Simitis 'demarche' to Papandreou over the European Constitiution".

    KATHIMERINI: "PASOK at the threshhold of crisis - Simitis fires shots against Papandreou in the midst of negative poll results".

    LOGOS: "ND leading over PASOK by 2.9 percent, opinion poll indicates".

    NIKI: "Simitis is an underminer - He strikes blows against George and PASOK, and boosts Karamanlis".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Workers rise up against EU decision for 65-hour working week".

    TA NEA: "He declared war by mail - Simitis directly attacks George Papandreou".

    TO VIMA: "Papandreou-Simitis clash over the European Constitiution".

    VRADYNI: "Simitis' rift in PASOK - The in-party confrontation over the Lisbon Treaty widens".

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