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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-04-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM visits Manpower Employment Organisation
  • [02] ND: Gov't must boost employment
  • [03] The tradition of Easter eggs in the Orthodox Church
  • [04] IMF on Greek loan
  • [05] Acropolis Museum closed Easter
  • [06] Tailbacks on highways

  • [01] PM visits Manpower Employment Organisation

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, during a visit on Wednesday to the state's Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED), said that in a period of economic crisis it is of major importance to stand at the citizen's side, adding that his government is doing so by subsidising labour and the social security contributions, and also with new programmes to boost women's entrepreneurship especially in new sectors such as green growth, thus also supporting social cohesion.

    Labour and Social security Minister Andreas Loverdos, who accompanied Papandreou on his visit to the OAED branch in the working class district of Peristeri, said that the government is subsidising 120,000 job positions which will open up next week.

    [02] ND: Gov't must boost employment

    Main opposition New Democracy spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos on Wednesday said that a visit by Prime Minister George Papandreou to Greece's unemployment agency OAED was simply a communications ploy so that he could be seen caring about jobs on television, while the measures he announced for battling unemployment would bring no practical result.

    "After five and a half months of having done nothing to promote employment, to protect jobs and to fight unemployment, he is today and purely for television consumption implementing the new communications plan of visiting OAED," the spokesman told reporters.

    "If the government wants to carry out effective measures to promote employment and strike at unemployment there is the proposal by [ND Leader Antonis Samaras] to give developmental relief to small and middle-sized businesses and thus protect jobs and boost employment," he stressed.

    [03] The tradition of Easter eggs in the Orthodox Church

    For Orthodox Christians, the Easter egg is much more than a celebration of the end of fasting -- is a declaration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ for the faithful. Traditionally, Easter eggs are dyed throughtout the Orthodox Christian world on Easter Thursday and are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, shed on the Cross, while the hard shell of the egg symbolises the sealed tomb, whose cracking of which symbolises the resurrection.

    Easter eggs are specially decorated to celebrate the Easter holiday along with the arrival of spring. The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs.

    Many eastern Europeans, including Bulgarians (pisano), Croats (pisanica), Czechs (kraslice), Poles (pisanka), Serbs (pisanica), Slovaks (kraslica), Slovenes (pisanica or pirh), and Ukrainians (pysanka) decorate eggs for Easter. Many of the names derive from the Slavic root "pisa" which is related to "writing". In the eastern European tradition, the egg (similar to icons) is written, not drawn or painted.

    Easter eggs are a widely popular symbol of new life in Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Poland and other east European countries' folk traditions. A batik (wax resist) process is used to create intricate, brilliantly-colored eggs, the best-known of which is the Ukrainian pysanka.

    Pisanica is a decorated Croatian Easter egg that comes from an old Slavic custom dating back to pagan times.

    During Easter, eggs would be painted with bright colors, and would be given as gifts, especially to young children or a significant other. Before paint became common, villagers used whatever resources they had available around them to make the dyes and paints themselves. The most common color for eggs was red, due to the abundance of red beets and other vegetables.

    In the MeÄmurje area, soot would often be mixed with oak to make a dark brown color. Green plants would be used for green dye. The word pisanica is derived from the Croatian word that means "writing". The most common phrase put on pisanicas is Happy Easter, or "Sretan Uskrs".

    Other common decorations are doves, crosses, flowers, traditional designs, and other slogans wishing health and happiness.

    Polish pisanka (plural pisanki) is a common name for an egg (usually that of a chicken, although goose or duck eggs are also used) ornamented using various techniques. Believed to have originated as a pagan tradition, pisanki were absorbed by Christianity to become the traditional Easter egg. Pisanki now symbolise the revival of nature and the hope that Christians gain from faith in the resurrection of Christ.

    [04] IMF on Greek loan

    WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/T. Ellis) - International Monetary Fund (IMF) deputy Foreign Relations director Gerry Rice, speaking during a press conference Thursday, said that the IMF was "monitoring the situation closely and we remain prepared to help Greece if it is requested from us by the Greek authorities, something that has not been requested from us."

    He added that "when a member-state approaches the Fund and requests economic aid we send a delegation to the country for consultations with the authorities and we agree on the best way to go ahead. In this sense the Fund has an advisory role in supporting the most viable economic programme. From the moment that this programme has been decided, the Fund's administration and ultimately the executive committee ratify it. This is the procedure."

    Rice concluded by saying that "in our discussions with eurozone countries we have, of course, consultations not only with the country's authorities but European institutions as well, since they fall under the Stability and Development Programme and are members of the European Central Bank's system."

    [05] Acropolis Museum closed Easter

    The new Acropolis Museum will be closed on Easter Day and on the Monday after Easter, the culture and tourism ministry announced on Thursday.

    The museum will be open on Friday between the hours of noon and 18:00 and on Saturday from 8:00 until 15:00.

    Normal opening hours, between 8:00 - 20:00 will resume as of next Tuesday.

    [06] Tailbacks on highways

    There was heavy traffic on all roads leading out of Athens on Good Friday, as city dwellers quit the capital in order to spend their Easter in the countryside.

    Traffic police report that a total of 750,000 cars have left the city of roughly five million in the past week, a higher number than in 2009, when 710,000 cars left the capital in the same period.

    The trend was confirmed on Thursday, when 192,000 cars left the city, or 15,000 more than the previous year.

    In spite of the heightened traffic on both major national highways leading out of Athens, motorists are not expected to meet extended delays in Attica except at the Kakia Skala tunnel.

    Long tailbacks have formed since Friday morning, however, at the Zevgolatio toll posts due to works on the Corinth-Patras national road and at the Amfilochia intersection in western Greece.

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