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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou visits Elefsina
  • [02] Major heroin arrest on Samos
  • [03] Event in memory of terror victim Bakoyannis
  • [04] Battle of Marathon remembered in annual Spartathlon
  • [05] ND calls for third TV debate
  • [06] KKE lashes out at SYRIZA
  • [07] Karatzaferis in Sparta
  • [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Papandreou visits Elefsina

    ANA-MPA/Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou on Saturday toured the western Attica industrial district of Elefsina, charging that the government, despite its promises, abandoned the area.

    "A strong government is needed to further build on the achievements of local authorities, who have turned Elefsina into a champion of recycling," he said.

    Papandreou also visited the Archaeological Museum of Elefsina and was briefed on the adjacent archaeological site.

    Earlier, the PASOK leader toured the working-class west Athens district of Menidi.

    "We will not offer benefits for the few, we will guarantee rights for everyone, we will battle against difficulties and the status that do not want our country to succeed," he told local supporters.

    Caption:Residents of Elefsina,western Attica greet main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou on Saturday 26 September 2009. ANA-MPA/PANTELIS SAITAS

    [02] Major heroin arrest on Samos

    ANA-MPA/A 26-year-old Lithuanian woman was arrested on Saturday on the eastern Aegean island of Samos on charges of attempting to smuggle five kilos of heroin into the country.

    The woman arrived aboard a ferryboat from the Turkish resort of Kusadasi. Authorities said the drugs were carefully hidden in a crypt in her suitcase.

    A day earlier, a 19-year-old Estonian national was also arrested on Samos for possessing 1.8 kilos of heroin. According to police both suspects are members of the same drug smuggling ring.

    [03] Event in memory of terror victim Bakoyannis

    ANA-MPA/An event in memory of assassinated New Democracy deputy Pavlos Bakoyannis, who was gunned down by urban terrorists outside his office 20 years ago, was held on Saturday in Athens ' Zappeion Hall.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas were the main speakers at the event.

    "Twenty years ago some believed that by killing Bakoyannis they would harm the national consensus; they believed that they could seal our lips and kill our ideas. They did not achieve it," said Karamanlis, adding:

    "Bakoyannis won our respect and his murder evoked anger and rage against the murderers. His sacrifice fortifies our battle against terrorism and violence; no tolerance to crime, to democracy's enemies They will be arrested and punished. They won't get away".

    On his part, Sioufas noted that Bakoyannis, the slain husband of current FM Dora Bakoyannis, honored life itself with his words and deeds and called him "an emblematic personality".

    [04] Battle of Marathon remembered in annual Spartathlon

    The 27th annual Spartathlon ultra-marathon race began in Athens on Friday, with 350 athletes from 33 countries participating. The first athlete is expected to cross the finish line on Saturday morning in front of a statue of Leonidas in Sparta, located in the southeastern Peloponnese. The reward for the athletes' super-human effort is a "cotinos", a wreath made of wild olive tree branches and water from the Evrotas River delivered by a young Spartan woman.

    The gruelling Spartathlon is a historic ultra-distance foot race that takes place every September in Greece.

    The race retraces the route of Pheidippides, whom the Athenian generals sent to Sparta to seek reinforcements for their sparse forces in order to confront what the ancient Greeks called the "Asian tide" (incursion), according to the historian Herodotus, who detailed the 490 BC Battle of Marathon.

    For 26 consecutive years, the Spartathlon athletes have followed the route John Foden and his team identified in 1982, when they researched several overland routes from Athens to Sparta. The current race's route is based on Herodotus' description of the Athenian 'Imerodromou', or messenger, who arrived in Sparta the day after he departed from Athens and also on well-known historical events of that time. It has, therefore, been considered the most accurate route in relation to Pheidippides' course.

    The battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., one of the most significant military clashes in history, constitutes a milestone in western civilisation. The strategic genius of Athenian general Miltiades and the self-denial of his citizen soldiers defeated the invading Persians armies and preserved Athens and Hellenism from the utmost danger of subjugation to invaders of an eastern despot. Marathon was the first victory to deflect and eventually defeat the envisioned penetration and domination of the European continent by the powerful and developed Persian Empire, an event of momentous significance. In the aftermath of the military victory, Athens became the pre-eminent Greek city-state and the epicentre of what is known as the eponymous Classical Age, during which the foundations for western democracy were laid.

    According to historians, the messenger Pheidippides left Athens heading west on the Iera Odos, or "sacred road," heading for the town of Elefsis. From there he followed the Skyronia Odos, a military trail on the slopes of the Gerania mountain range, travelling south through Isthmia, Examilia and ancient Corinth. He reached ancient Nemea, thus avoiding Epicratea of Argos, a rival of Athens, and he continued along the mountains between Argolida and Arcadia. Pheidippides climbed Mt. Parthenio (1,200 meters). Descending the mountain, he continued in the direction of Tegea, one of the locations mentioned by Herodotus in his account about Pheidippides. He then proceeded south toward the martial Sparta. Upon his arrival in Sparta, he completed 1,140 "stadia" (with one 'stadio' equalling the length of one stadium), totalling 246 kilometres.

    In 1879 the English poet Robert Browning wrote the stirring poem 'Pheidepeides'. It is said that the poem so inspired Baron Pierre de Coubertin and other founders of the modern Olympic Games that they were prompted to create a foot race of 42 km which would be named the Marathon.

    "Archons of Athens, topped by the tettix, see, I return!

    See, 'tis myself here standing alive, no spectre that speaks!

    Crowned with the myrtle, did you command me, Athens and you,

    "Run, Pheidippides, run and race, reach Sparta for aid!

    Persia has come, we are here, where is She?" Your command I obeyed,

    Ran and raced: like stubble, some field which a fire runs through,

    Was the space between city and city: two days, two nights did I burn

    Over the hills, under the dales, down pits and up peaks."

    Two and a half thousand years after that historical battle, a sports event, inseparably related to it, was born in Greece. The Spartathlon is inseparably linked with the Olympic ideals of friendship. peace, selflessness and fraternity.

    The ultra-distance runners will be greeted by local residents of modern-day Sparta at the entrance to the municipality, while a lavish ceremony in honor of the winners will be held in the centre of the town on Saturday evening. ANA-MPA

    [05] ND calls for third TV debate

    ANA-MPA/A ruling New Democracy campaign spokesman on Saturday challenged main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou to a second one-on-one television debate with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, a proposal that was rejected earlier in the week.

    "We do not want to believe that he is avoiding it," spokesman George Koumoutsakos, a MEP, told reporters.

    Asked why the ruling party wants a third debate when PASOK has already rejected the proposal, Koumoutsakos said "nothing is more important and crucial than for people to be informed thoroughly".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of New Democracy campaign spokesman George Koumoutsakos

    [06] KKE lashes out at SYRIZA

    ANA-MPA/Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga spoke at a campaign rally in the south Athens district of Kallithea on Saturday, where she again roundly criticised all rival parties.

    Papariga was particularly critical of the rival leftist alliance SYRIZA as well as the neophyte Ecologists-Greens, saying both small parties are "liars, because they are speaking of 100,000 new job positions that will be created from renewable natural resources, when it is known that industrialists invest where less job positions are in need".

    The KKE leader called for working classes to vote for KKE and against self-sufficient governments.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Communist Party of Greece leader Aleka Papariga

    [07] Karatzaferis in Sparta

    ANA-MPA/Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) leader George Karatzaferis on Saturday visited the southern Peloponnese town of Sparta on a campaign swing, where he sternly critisiced the government and the main opposition PASOK.

    "Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis betrayed people's mandate and my role is to frustrate main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou from becoming prime minister The two mainstream parties have many things in common".

    On the prevailing situation in economy, he noted that markets are suffocating and characterised as unbelievable the prime minister's proposals for strict measures in the economy over the next two years. Referring to Papandreou, he said the latter is not clear about his plans.

    Asked about possible post-election cooperation between LA.OS and PASOK if a self-sufficient government is not elected, Karatzaferis said: "I believe that Karamanlis will not leave Papandreou without support, without government. We are the ones that will exercise opposition to PASOK".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Popular Orthodox Rally leader George Karatzaferis

    [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Saturday edition of Athens ' dailies at a glance

    Campaigning and projections ahead of the Oct. 4 election along with the arrests of four suspected urban mostly dominated the headlines on Saturday in Athens ' dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Pension funds' assets increase - Main opposition PASOK's propaganda collapses".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Rallying of ruling New Democracy (ND) supporters"

    AVGHI: "SYRIZA an obstacle to ND and PASOK's conservative policy".

    AVRIANI: "Arrests of suspected new terrorists".

    CHORA: " Foreign markets afraid of economic crash".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Papandreou has other things in mind after he becomes prime minister... PASOK's real face different".

    ELEFTHEROS: "SYRIZA and Eco-Greens' rise in chopping PASOK's wings".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Seven keys for self-sufficient government".

    ESTIA: "If PASOK becomes government taxes will increase".

    ETHNOS: "ND's 'dirty war' against PASOK leader George Papandreou".

    KATHIMERINI: "Scandalous hirings in Parliament two days before proclamation of general elections".

    LOGOS: "Six arrests warrants for terrorism".

    NIKI: "Self-sufficient government a one-way street".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Communist Party leader's press conference in Patras: Strong KKE will make ND, PASOK suffer".

    TA NEA: "ND members furious against Karamanlis".

    VIMA: "EU Commissioner Almunia demands immediate package of structural changes in pensions, labour markets".

    VRADYNI: "Gap closing - Rallying of ND's grass roots under PM Costas Karamanlis".

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