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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Black Sea countries discuss energy cooperation
  • [02] KKE reiterates will cast blank vote in Presidential election
  • [03] Exploration of shipwreck of Polyaigos
  • [04] Droutsas, Davutoglu meeting
  • [05] ASE opening: Rise
  • [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Black Sea countries discuss energy cooperation

    ANA-MPA/Deputy Environment, Energy and Climatic Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis and Bulgarian Economy, Energy and Tourism Minister Traicho Traikov discussed important cooperation issues between Greece and Bulgaria on Thursday in the strategic sector of energy, in a meeting held in the framework of the two-day international forum on energy cooperation between Black Sea countries that took place here.

    "I raised the issues of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and the need for us to speed up procedures, to proceed speedily, the various problems to be solved and, mainly, the economic funding to the international company, that exists on the part of Bulgaria," Maniatis said in reply to a queston by the ANA-MPA.

    It is reminded that in recent statements regarding the pending payment of dues for the international construction company of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline (that Bulgaria has to jointly fund with five million euros, as is anticipated by relevant agreements between Sofia, Athens and Moscow), Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said that the country will pay the relevant funds to the international company, when the circumstances will permit this, invoking the economic difficulties of the budget.

    "Mr. Traikov informed us that the issue has been undertaken by the vice president of the government and Finance Minister and very soon the issue will be solved, very soon. On my part, I expressed Greece's desire for us to proceed very quickly and wherever problems exist to help them to be overcome," Maniatis added.

    Speaking at a press conference after the talks and asked whether Bulgaria has found the money for the joint funding of the international construction company of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline, Traikov expressed his country's will to meet all the international commitments that it has undertaken, including the problem in question, which falls under the competence of the Economy Ministry.

    Responding to a question by the ANA-MPA on the progress of the study on the environmental repercussions of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline, which was initiated recently by the relevant Bulgarian ministry, Traikov expressed the conviction that the study will take place with all the seriousness and responsiblity required by the project, without referring to the timetable for its completion.

    Maniatis also announced after meeting Traikov that a joint working group between Greek and Bulgarian officials will tend to the immediate construction of the pipeline that will link Bulgaria's natural gas network with the Greece-Italy pipeline.

    Maniatis stressed that through a coordinateed effort by the relevant ministers of Greece, Italy and Bulgaria, European funding amounting to 45 million euros was secured for the linking of the network of Bulgaria with the Greek-Italian pipeline, in the framework of the European Union's Reconstruction Plan.

    He added that a relevant agreement had been signed by the interested agencies of the three countries last summer in Sofia and stressed the need for the high momentum of the project's progress to be maintained.

    [02] KKE reiterates will cast blank vote in Presidential election

    ANA-MPA/The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Friday reiterated that its parliamentary deputies will cast blank votes in the election for a new President of the Republic.

    An announcement by the KKE parliamentary group stated that its MPs will simply declare their presence in the roll-call vote.

    The parliamentary group explained that the KKE's stance has nothing to do with the candidate, incumbent President Karolos Papoulias, but with the political system and the office of the President of the Republic in that system, noting that it was a well-known fact that, according to the Constitution, the President of the Republic must co-sign and agree to "the anti-popular laws and decrees".

    Consequently, it added, regardless of who the candidate is and what his views are, the role of the President is pre-determined.

    [03] Exploration of shipwreck of Polyaigos

    The Culture Ministry intends to designate a shipwreck off the uninhabited Cycladic island of Polyaigos, in the Aegean, as a "submarine archaeological site" after completion of an initial examination of finds that surfaced during recent marine digs, according to a ministry announcement.

    Divers on the marine digs in November 2009 recovered vases dating back to the 4th and 5th centuries BC from depths of 25-49 meters off the coast of Polyaigos.

    Aquatic archaeologists brought up such artifacts as amphorae used for carrying, and small table ceramic vases, all intact, as well as fragments of the shipwrecked vessel's anchor.

    A team from the Submarine Antiquities Ephoreia comprising aquatic archaeologists Elias Spondylis, George Koutsouflakis and Efstathios Stathis, depth technicians Petros Tsampourakis and Ludwig Mersenier, and underwater photographer/cinematographer Vassilis Mentoyiannis in November made an initial exploration of the wreck site, which had been spotted in 2004. The ancient ship was loaded with amphorae, which are scattered around the wreck in two main concentrations.

    An analysis of the amphorae recovered dated the wreck to between the end of the 5th century BC and the first half of the 4th century BC.

    At least three types of amphorae were identified, of which one originated from ancient Peparithos (the island of Skopelos), while the others were closely identified with the Classical Era amphorae workshops of the northern Aegean.

    Four of the intact amphorae recovered were pointed bottom carrying vessels, while the other two intact amphorae were smaller ceramic table vases.

    Fragments of the ship's anchor were also found.

    According to the ministry, the Polyaigos shipwreck sheds light in the study of sea-borne commercial routes of the Classical period and the movement of goods in the southwestern surrounds of the Cyclades islands, and enhances knowledge on the region.

    The shipwreck was photographed in detail, resulting in a high-definition photo-mosaic, and also filmed, while procedures have been set in motion to designate the wreck area as a submarine archaeological site.

    Polyaigos is an uninhabited island in the Cyclades, near the islands of Milos and Kimolos.

    Its name means "many goats", given that it is inhabited only by flocks of goats belonging to shepherds from nearby Milos and Kimolos that roam its two mountains, Stroggylos, which rises to 330 meters, and Psilo Vouno (meaning 'high mountain'), which rises to 370 meters.

    Although barren due to grazing by the goats, Polyaigos has a sprinkling of breathtaking beaches, mainly on the southern part of the island, but also a large number of sea-surface caves that are home to a population of the Monachus monachus Mediterranean monk seal, one of the most endangered species of mammals in the world.

    [04] Droutsas, Davutoglu meeting

    London (ANA-MPA) -- There are major prospects for cooperation between Greece and Turkey on regional issues, in the Balkans and the Mediterranean, in European issues, and in bilateral relations, Greek deputy foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas and Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu noted in London late Thursday night, after a lengthy 3 1/2 hour working dinner.

    "We have a common history, a common destiny and a common future, and cooperation between Greece and Turkey on European issues is a huge chapter," Davutoglu said after the working dinner.

    Droutsas said it was a great pleasure to meet with the Turkish foreign minister, adding that the discussion took place in the spirit of cooperation that has been expressed by the prime ministers of the two countries and in the letters they recently exchanged.

    He said they had the opportunity to further explore the path of cooperating that the two countries wish to follow.

    "I wish to say again that we share precious experiences from the recent past, and I refer to the cooperation we had in the period 1999-2004 and the spirit of that cooperation prompts us now. I thank the Turkish foreign minister for our fruitful meeting, and look forward to continuing our cooperation," Droutsas said.

    The deputy foreign minister further announced that "with great pleasure" he accepted an invitation from Davutoglu to visit Ankara "in the near future".

    Davutoglu, in turn, said they had a "constructive discussion and friendly consultation", explaining that "I use the term 'consultation' because there are many things on which we can exchange advice".

    "Our prime ministers recently exchanged letters with a very constructive content. There is a new horizon before us of friendship and cooperation. We have a common history, a common destiny and a common future. Our countries look to the future with an open spirit. There is a big cooperation potential to cooperate in regional issues, such as the Balkans and the Mediterranean, and Greece-Turkey cooperation in European issues is a huge chapter," Davutoglu said.

    "I was impressed by Dimitris Droutsas' approach on the future, and our traditional friendship will be further enhanced," the Turkish foreign minister continued, noting that the invited Droutsas to visit Ankara, and adding that Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was planning to visit Greece soon.

    [05] ASE opening: Rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 1.06 percent, standing at 2,007.04 points at 11:15 a.m., and turnover at 32,814 million euros.

    The biggest gains were in Food and Beverages, up 2.28 percent and Industrial Products, up 2.01 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Travel and Recreation, down 1.77 percent and Mass Media down 0.66 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 1.11 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 1.20 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.40 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 54 were up, 18 were down, and 26 were unchanged.

    [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The spreads' skyrocketing to over 400 points and new speculative attack together with Prime Minister George Papandreou's statements on Thursday from Davos, Switzerland on the Greek economy, which he characterized as the eurozone's weak link, and EU pressure to Greece to equalise the retirement age for men and women in the public sector, dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Public sector: Increase of women's retirement age final".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Where did the farmers' money go? EU has given 60 billion euros since 1986 for Greek agriculture".

    AVGHI: "Time for a Euro-answer to the speculators".

    AVRIANI: "Speculators are striking us ruthlessly and openly blackmailing Prime Minister George Papandreou not to make agreements with Beijing".

    CHORA: "Papandreou admits: We are Europe's weak link".

    ELEFTHEROS: "EU 60-day deadline/ultimatum on women's and men's retirement age equalisation in public sector".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Health Minister Mariliza Xenoyiannakoulou points the finger at Maximos mansion (government headquarters) - She blames government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos and Minister of State Haris Pamboukis for the delays in her ministry".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "George (Papandreou) - Jose Luis Zapatero (Spanish Prime Minister) against speculators".

    ESTIA: "Income tax increase - The suckers will once again shoulder the burden".

    ETHNOS: "EU sends ultimatum on the retirement age".

    IMERISSIA: "EU support scenarios - Plans for Greece, Spain, Portugal".

    KATHIMERINI: "Greece one step before supervision (excessive debt procedure) - ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet: We will safeguard the achievement of the Greek targets - Papandreou: I belie the rescue plans".

    LOGOS: "EU demands from Greece men's and women's' retirement age equalisation in public sector".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Games against Europe, with Greece as the weak link".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Full social security for all may be attained through a united popular struggle".

    TA NEA: "Uprising over the salaries' cutbacks - Barrage of strikes in public sector in the first days of February".

    TO VIMA: "European aid with 'guarantor powers' - Papandreou: A eurobond must be issued".

    VRADYNI: "Protective shield around the euro - Germany and France support Greek economy".

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