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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] US ambassador hosts reception for Independence Day
  • [02] Address by Michael Llewellyn-Smith in Athens
  • [03] Greek bond market closing report
  • [04] Athens area beaches declared safe, clean
  • [05] F. Santos at nat'l team helm

  • [01] US ambassador hosts reception for Independence Day

    US Ambassador to Athens Daniel Speckhard, whose tenure is Greece is coming to an end in a few months' time, hosted his last reception at the US ambassador's official residence in Athens, on the occasion of the upcoming July 4 Independence Day celebration.

    Speaking in the gardens of the residence to hundreds of assembled guests, Speckhard said that "it is a special night for all of us since I and my family will be leaving Greece soon, where we will be returning frequently, however, to see our Greek friends."

    He also underlined that his country's founding fathers were inspired by the ancient Greek principles of democracy whereas the two countries have developed very close ties over the past two centuries.

    [02] Address by Michael Llewellyn-Smith in Athens

    (ANA-MPA) -- Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith, a former British ambassador to Greece, spoke on Wednesday at a Constantine Karamanlis Institute of Democracy-sponsored lecture in central Athens, where amongst others, he defined what he called the characteristics distinguishing leaders.

    The speaker, a noted historian and a particularly well-versed scholar of modern Greek history, referred specifically to "the political leadership of Greece in times of crisis", focusing on three of the most important political personalities of modern Greece: Harilaos Trikoupis, Eleftherios Venizelos and Constantine Karamanlis.

    Referring to the trio, he stressed that all three had a vision, a specific plan, determination and all three "...lived in France", as he said.

    In referring to the ongoing fiscal and economic crisis in Greece, the retired British career diplomat stressed that "the process of transition to a new reality is a tough, laborious, continuous and systematic job."

    Citing the historic precedent of Venizelos, who was invited to Athens when the country was in a deadlock in the early 20th century, Sir Michael pointed to the Cretan statesman's clear vision and quick political decisions, which led to economic recovery as a precondition for the development of foreign policy.

    He added that Constantine Karamanlis also returned to Greece in a time of crisis and promoted constitutional reform, legalised the communist party of Greece and led Greece into the then EEC.

    Sir Michael is the author of four books on modern Greek history and culture, including the "The Great Island" about the history, culture and folklore of Crete; his magnum opus, "Ionian Vision: Greece in Asia Minor 1919-1922", about the Asia Minor Catastrophe; "Olympics in Athens 1896: the Invention of the Modern Olympic Games" and "Athens: a Cultural and Literary History", which showcases the life and culture of the city of Athens throughout the centuries up until the present day.

    [03] Greek bond market closing report

    (ANA-MPA) -- Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market rose to 118 million euros on Thursday, of which 98 million euros were sell orders and the remaining 20 million were buy orders. The 12-month Treasury bill was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 80 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank to 775 basis points from 790 bps on Wednesday, with the Greek bond yielding 10.34 pct and the German Bund 2.59 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates moved slightly higher. The 12-month rate was 1.32 pct, the six-month rate 1.05 pct, the three-month rate 0.78 pct and the one-month rate 0.55 pct.

    [04] Athens area beaches declared safe, clean

    (ANA-MPA) -- All organised beaches in Attica prefecture (the greater Athens area) are suitable and safe for swimming, the east Attica prefecture department for health announced on Thursday after testing 112 samples of sea water taken from beaches around the Greek capital last month.

    The tests by a certified laboratory confirmed that the beaches fully comply with minimum standards of sea water quality, established in a 1986 joint ministerial decision. (ANA-MPA)

    The test samples taken also included several popular beaches near Athens, such as Voula (11 samples), Vouliagmeni (13 samples) and Varkiza (six samples); beaches near (ANA-MPA) densely populated seaside towns like Artemida (Loutsa), and Nea Makri, and also near the ports of Lavrio (14 samples) and Rafina (five samples).

    The prefecture said the programme for checking water quality will continue with tests in July and August. (ANA-MPA).

    Caption: A file photo shows the well-known organised beach at the coastal resort of Vouliagmeni, southeast of Athens proper. ANA-MPA photo

    [05] F. Santos at nat'l team helm

    (ANA-MPA) -- Noted Portuguese coach Fernando Santos on Thursday was tapped as the new manager of the Greek national football team, succeeding Otto Rehhagel.

    An announcement issued by the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) underlined that "Fernando Santos will be the new coach of the national team for the next two years, following a unanimous decision by the board. The official presentation of the Portuguese coach to the press will take place ... on Friday," the federation stated. (ANA-MPA)

    Santos coached PAOK Thessaloniki last season, leading the team to second place and a Champion's League qualification round. He previous coached AEK Athens and Panathinaikos Athens, as well as Portugal's "Big 3" -- Benfica, Sporting Lisbon and Porto FC. (ANA-MPA)

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