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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM attends opening of new school year
  • [02] Simitis not running in elections
  • [03] Swedish "Design S" exhibition

  • [01] PM attends opening of new school year

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis visited the 17th public high school in Peristeri municipality on Friday morning, where he attended the traditional blessing marking the commencement of the new school year.

    Addressing the pupils, the prime minister stressed that today's youth are a generation familiar with computers, noting that "you are light years ahead of my generation", and referred to the government's new measure for the distribution of laptops to the first-year high school (7th grade) pupils introduced as of this academic year.

    He noted that the 7th grade school books, those for the children who will be receiving coupons for the acquisition of their laptops, have already been uploaded on the internet, while 13,000 schools have already created digital communities.

    Karamanlis added that all secondary schools have at least one information technology lab. The coupons will be distributed to the 7th grade pupils throughout the country beginning in the next few days, while the entire process is slated for completion by October 31.

    The prime minister urged the pupils to make their best effort, adding that "you are rewarded with your effort".

    "School is valuable for another reason as well: it is the staircase of social life. Make good use of it. You need to make good use of this time with dialogue and by speaking openly with your teachers," Karamanlis added.

    The premier also told the pupils that the day was a special day for his own family, too, since his twins were going to first grade for the first time.

    Regarding the new flu, he recommended adherence to the rules of hygiene.

    Turning to the teachers, Karamanlis said that their work and contribution are recognised, adding that "we are fully aware of the difficulties you face in the performance of your duties".

    The prime minister later visited the pupils in their separate classrooms.

    Earlier, education minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said that the big hazard was not the new flu itself, but fear, panic and insecurity, warning that "all those who invest in those are mistaken".

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis speaks with pupils of the 17th public high school in Peristeri municipality on Friday 11 September first day of the new school year. ANA-MPA/PANTELIS SAITAS

    [02] Simitis not running in elections

    Main opposition PASOK MP, former prime minister and party leader Costas Simitis will not run for parliament in the October 4 general elections, it was announced on Friday, after refusing party leader George Papandreou's proposal to lead the PASOK ballot in the Piraeus A' constituency or the Athens A' constituency.

    PASOK press spokesman George Papaconstantinou said that, replying to Papandreou's proposal, Simitis responded that if he does not head the PASOK ballot for State MPs, he does not desire any other position.

    Papaconstantinou explained that, in a telephone conversation between the two men, the PASOK leader had proposed for the former premier that he either continue to head the Piraeus A' ticket or alternately head the Athens A' ticket.

    The proposal was not accepted by Simitis, who replied that if he does not head the State ticket, he does not desire any other position, Papaconstantinou concluded.

    A statement issued later by Simitis' office said that «we were unable to reach agreement".

    The 12 State MPs in the 300-member Greek parliament are not elected by voters, with crosses of preference, in the separate ballots for the country's 56 constituencies but instead on a nationwide party list on a top-down basis based on the proportional of the overall vote received by each party in the general election. The top slot on the state ticket ensures a seat in parliament, and is a prestigious and honorary position.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK MP, former prime minister and party leader Costas Simitis.

    [03] Swedish "Design S" exhibition

    The traveling exhibition of Swedish design, "Design S", opened to the public on Friday in Athens. The exhibition is part of a series of events organised by the Swedish Embassy in Athens and the Eugenides Foundation and is titled: "Design S: Quality of life in urban environment - Innovation, high technology and new ideas focusing on humanity and the environment".

    The successor to the Swedish throne, Crown Princess Victoria, inaugurated the exhibition on Thursday evening at the Eugenides Foundation in Paleo Faliro. Entry to the exhibition is free of charge, and it will run until 27 September.

    The exhibition, on a world tour, has already traveled this year to Washington, New York, Hamburg and many other cities.

    The Athens exhibition also coincides with Sweden's EU presidency.

    The Swedish Design S 08/09 travelling exhibition presents all the nominated and winning entries in the Design S/Swedish Design Award. The exhibition includes examples of everything from industrial and furniture design to graphic design, fashion and jewellery. The exhibition is unique in describing the process behind the products and is an inspirational presentation of the broad spectrum of Swedish design today.

    Caption: Photo of "Design S" exhibition/ ANA-MPA/ Erik Karlsson

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