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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karatzaferis press con'f
  • [02] Ancient column capital missing
  • [03] Inflation up 0.8% in Aug

  • [01] Karatzaferis press con'f

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party founder and leader George Karatzaferis on Monday stepped up his criticism of the government and other opposition parties, in the wake of snap elections on Oct. 4.

    Karatzaferis, an outspoken former MP with ruling New Democracy (ND) party who founded the more right of centre LA.OS party earlier in the decade, charged that the Karamanlis government has failed in every ministerial portfolio, while saying the country faces the ongoing economic crisis unprepared.

    The veteran politician, who also served a term as a MEP in the European Parliament, spoke on the sidelines of the 74th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), which traditionally marks the commencement of the fall political season in the country and the venue for wide-ranging press conference by political leaders.

    "Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis cannot buck his responsibilities on the (preceding) PASOK governments, because in the six years he's been in power he has not righted the wrongs he inherited from the Simitis administration," Karatzaferis told reporters in the northern Greece port city.

    Moreover, he said the prime minister's stated unwillingness to cooperate with LA.OS because the latter was ostensibly on the "political (spectrum's) fringe" -- uttered a day earlier in the same venue and during a national televised press conference -- was insulting.

    Finally, he forecast that main opposition PASOK will not gain a large enough percentage of the vote on Oct. 4 to achieve a Parliament majority allowing for a self-sufficient government, predicting instead a PASOK-ND coalition government.

    [02] Ancient column capital missing

    The capital of a column from an early Christian church has gone missing from the grounds of the ancient Olympia archaeological site and is presumed stolen, the culture ministry announced. Police have been notified and requested to begin an investigation.

    According to an announcement late on Saturday, a guard at ancient Olympia reported that the artifact was missing from its usual place and described it as a capital measuring 30cm by 30cm by 20cm. The item belonged to an early Christian basilica of the 6th century A.D. The capital and other architectural elements were positioned on a wall around the church, in the open.

    An internal inquiry was launched by the general directorate for antiquities, while the head of the 7th Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Ancient Olympia Conservancy, Georgia Hatzi, was suspended from her post until further notice.

    A search for the missing artifact, to discover whether it had been moved to another spot on the archaeological site was carried out at first light, immediately after the incident was reported, but nothing was found.

    Caption: A file photo dated Nov. 26, 2005 shows a view of the ancient Olympia archaeological site. ANA-MPA / O. PANAGIOTOU

    [03] Inflation up 0.8% in Aug

    Greece's consumer price index grew by 0.8 pct in August, compared with the same month last year, rising from a 0.6 pct reading in July, the National Statistical Service said on Monday.

    The statistics service, in a monthly report, attributed the 0.8 pct increase in the inflation rate to a 6.3-pct rise in alcohol/tobacco prices, a 4.7-pct increase in education prices, a 3.9-pct rise in other goods and services, a 2.9-pct increase in clothing and footwear prices and a 2.8-pct rise in health prices. The housing and transport price categories were the only ones to record declines in August (4.9 pct and 3.1 pct, respectively).

    NSS secretary-general Manolis Kontopyrakis, commenting on the figures, said the inflation rate in August reflected a 4.2-pct rise in fuel prices, a 5.5-pct increase in fruit prices and a 13.1-pct rise in vegetable prices. Kontopyrakis said he expects the consumer price index to remain unchanged at August's levels in September. Greece's harmonised inflation rate was up 1.0 pct in August compared with the same month in 2008.

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