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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Droutsas attends working dinner for EU foreign ministers in Madrid
  • [02] Athens court issues verdict in Sergianopoulos case
  • [03] Axios Delta wild horses threatened with extinction
  • [04] ASE opening: Small rise

  • [01] Droutsas attends working dinner for EU foreign ministers in Madrid

    Madrid (ANA-MPA/Ch. Poulidou) -- The practical issues concerning implementation of the Lisbon Treaty dominated talks on Tuesday evening at a working dinner hosted in Madrid by Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos for six EU counterparts ahead of Spain's assumption of the rotating EU presidency for the first half of 2010, with alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas representing Greece.

    The Spanish government is in the process of preparing and coordinating its imminent EU presidency, which coincides with the first implementation of the Lisbon Treat.

    The pertinence of the authorities of the existing EU institutions combined with the authorities of the two new officers influences the every day life of the EU, and this is an issue that Spain is trying to deal with from the outset, Droutsas explained in statements to the press.

    Apart from Moratinos and Droutsas, also taking part in the dinner were the foreign ministers of Finland, Italy, Lithuania and Estonia, and discussions also included topics on which Greece and Spain share the same views, such as illegal migration and EU enlargement.

    Droutsas noted the new Greek government's proposal for a gradual, strategic incorporation of the western Balkan countries into the EU by 2014, while Spain is launching an initiative for a meeting of high-ranking officials on this theme 10 years after a similar meeting in Zagreb.

    Droutsas further outlined Athens' positions on FYROM's accession prospects, stressing that a prior solution to the FYROM name issue is a prerequisite for accession, and briefed his counterpart's on prime minister and foreign minister George Papandreou's recent visits to Istanbul (as foreign minister) and Cyprus (as prime minister) and the Greek positions on Turkey's accession prospects.

    Droutsas said that, on the Cyprus issue, his EU colleagues appeared to share the view that a Cyprus solution must be associated with full respect of the EU acquis, both as a guarantee for smooth operation, as well as a measure for facilitating a solution.

    [02] Athens court issues verdict in Sergianopoulos case

    An Athens court on Tuesday sentenced a Georgian national who had confessed to the slaying of actor Nikos Sergianopoulos in his home in the Athens district of Pangrati, on June 3, 2008, to 20 years and 10 months imprisonment.

    The court found him unanimously guilty of willful homicide in a calm state of mind, illegal use of a weapon and illegal entry into the country and changed the charge of robbery that he was facing to theft.

    With a four to three vote, the court recognised in the defendant's favour his good prior life. This benefit was proposed by three jurors and a female justice who said that he should be given a 12-year prison sentence for the act of homicide.

    [03] Axios Delta wild horses threatened with extinction

    The wild horses living in the region of the Axios River Estuary, northern Greece, have originated from domesticated horses that were freed by their owners in the early '60s and managed to survive and reproduce, coexisting with other farm animals.

    A total of 67 wild horses have been registered in the region, including 13 young animals, and according to the Greek Society for the Protection of Indigenous Species of Farm and Domestic Animals their number is smaller compared to the previous decade.

    However, the existing population appears to be in good condition but the fact that the stallions outnumber the mares is an indication that they are faced with problems that threaten their reproduction. The shrinking mare population is most likely due to human intervention considering that many horses are captured and moved to other areas.

    The region's wild horses are of average size (1.45 - 1.55 meters tall) bearing strong similarities with the domesticated horses in Thessaly and Mt Pindus and the British thoroughbreds.

    One of Greece's, and Europe's most important wetlands, and situated on the western shoreline of the Thermaic Gulf just five kilometers from Thessaloniki, the Axios River Delta is protected under the Ramsar Convention. It has a wealth of fauna and flora, and is home to more than 270 bird species, 60 of them rare and/or threatened, which find shelter in the wetland. It is also an important habitat to wild horses and water buffalos, as well as species threatened with extinction, such as the European ground squirrel, the European otter and Hermann's tortoise.

    [04] ASE opening: Small rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Wednesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.33 percent, standing at 2,661.48 points at 10:55 a.m., and turnover at 19.1 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Personal and Household Goods, up 1.27 percent; Public Utilities, up 1.08 percent and Travel and Recreation, up 1.02 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Health, down 1.48 percent; Food and Beverages, down 1.08 percent and Insurance, down 1.06 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.47 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.44 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.85 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 67 were up, 35 were down, and 24 were unchanged.

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