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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] 2 defendants in Siemens case freed on bail
  • [03] Car sales up 15.3 pct in Aug.
  • [04] Stocks end up 0.66%

  • [01] PM attends opening of new school year

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis visited the 17th high school in the Peristeri municipality of west Athens on Friday morning, where he attended the traditional 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 …nternet, 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 Oct. 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 their work and contributions 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 "major hazard" was not the new flu itself, but fear, panic and insecurity, warning that "all those who invest in those are mistaken".

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

    [02] 2 defendants in Siemens case freed on bail

    An Athens misdemeanor courts' council on Friday ordered the release on bail of two defendants in the ongoing high-profile Siemens investigation, namely, former Hellenic Telecoms (OTE) executive Georgios Skarpellis and former Siemens Hellas executive Ilias Georgiou.

    A 300,000-bond was set for each of the men, with restrictions against traveling abroad.

    [03] Car sales up 15.3 pct in Aug.

    The domestic car market grew strongly in August, recording the highest percentage growth rate in the last decade with 22,845 new car registrations in the month, reflecting a government move to cut a special consumption tax on vehicles.

    A report by the Association of Car Importers and Dealers said registrations were up 15.3 pct in August, compared with the same month in 2008 and helped ease losses suffered in the previous months of the year. The Greek car market shrank by 18.3 pct in the eight-month period from January to August (169,429 sales), down from 207,411 in the corresponding period in 2008.

    Opel (2,479) ranked first in August, followed by Suzuki (1,681) and Nissan (1,594).

    Nissan‚s Qashqai was the most successful vehicle of the month with 1,104 sales.

    [04] Stocks end up 0.66%

    Greek stocks ended higher during the last trading session at the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday. The composite index rose 0.66 pct to end at 2,527.11 points, with turnover a moderate 206.6 million euros, of which 34.2 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved upwards, with the Health (6.05 pct), Travel (4.42 pct) and Chemicals (1.59 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Telecommunications (2.52 pct), Financial Services (2.01 pct) and Media (1.55 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 0.43 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.15 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index eased 0.48 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 109 to 98 with another 54 issues unchanged.

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