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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Small fire extinguished inside Hania's old quarter synagogue
  • [02] Weather phenomenon causes seawater flooding
  • [03] Gov't: Faster econ reforms
  • [04] Findings on Tempi landslide

  • [01] Small fire extinguished inside Hania's old quarter synagogue

    (-PA) -- A small fire was reported in the early morning hours of Tuesday inside a synagogue in Hania's historic old quarter, on the island of Crete.

    According to fire brigade reports, the blaze was centred under a wooden ladder that leads to the library.

    Firefighters immediately rushed to the scene and extinguished the fire before it threatened the temple and the adjoining library, which features roughly 1,600 rare books and manuscripts.

    Authorities in the Cretan port city said the synagogue's main doors were locked and that the alarm system sounded when firefighters broke down the main gate to enter the building.

    However, a full investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of the incident.

    The medieval synagogue in Hania's old quarter is amongst the most noted Jewish temples in Greece, functioning as both a cultural centre and a house of worship.

    [02] Weather phenomenon causes seawater flooding

    The phenomenon of seawater flooding in coastal and island regions due to unseasonably strong southern winds caused damages to several eastern Aegean and Dodecanese isles over the past month, especially on Samos, Symi and Kalymnos. The same weather phenomenon was reported in several coastal cities of mainland Greece, especially ones on the central Pagasitikos Gulf (picture) and in northern Halkidiki peninsula. Damages were also reported on the Ionian island of Lefkada.

    The University of Athens (NTUA) has undertaken to propose solutions after studying figures concerning rising sea levels emanating from strong out-of-season southerly winds.

    The central port city of Volos (picture) experienced such seawater flooding on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, on its seawall promenade. (ANA-MPA / V. PASCHALI)

    [03] Gov't: Faster econ reforms

    (ANA-MPA) -- Prime Minister George Papandreou on Tuesday called for accelerated government actions, primarily on the economy, to achieve an economic adjustment programme in a period of three years.

    Speaking to reporters after an inner Cabinet meeting chaired by the Greek premier, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said talks focused on the drafting of an updated Stability and Growth Programme, which the government was calling a "reconstruction programme", economic policy and an ambitious reform programme focusing on economy and Greece's cavernous public sector.

    Papaconstantinou said the premier called for direct decisions to complete the government's programme in three years, bringing the country's fiscal deficit below 3.0 pct of GDP. "Our aim was to improving the country's economy and to raise citizens' incomes," the FinMin said.

    Papaconstantinou said there are no "harsh measures, but fair measures", and noted that it was in the interest of Greek citizens that economic adjustment be achieved as soon as possible.

    Economy Minister Louka Katseli said the government was not examining a hike in VAT rates, nor was it considering a hike in fuel taxes.

    [04] Findings on Tempi landslide

    The landslide at the Tempi Valley section of the Athens-Thessaloniki national motorway on Dec. 17, 2009 was the result of a combination of a number of factors, including geological and environmental conditions as well as human intervention, according to findings announced on Tuesday by the Geotechnical Chamber of Central Greece.

    The factors that most likely caused the landslide include soil erosion, the presence of running water, the existing geological structure as well as the continuous and repeated controlled explosions for the opening of a road tunnel at the site.

    However, the chamber's geologists pointed out that the risk of landslides was present for years due to slope steepness. The recent landslide is characterized as unique because of the size of the falling rocks, the altitude from which they originated and the fact that they caused one death.

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