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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-11-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM addresses PASOK Central Macedonia conf'
  • [02] Intercepted parcel-bomb targeted Sarkozy
  • [03] Marfin Bank to seek share capital increase plan worth 1.15 million euros
  • [04] Tsipras visits Rethimno
  • [05] Chestnut season celebrated with annual festivals throughout Greece
  • [06] Samaras on local gov't elections
  • [07] Public transport restructing
  • [08] Marathon boosts tourism
  • [09] Merciless with main parties
  • [10] ASE opening: Decline
  • [11] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM addresses PASOK Central Macedonia conf'

    -PA/Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing the ruling PASOK party's Central Macedonia regional conference on Monday, stressed that "we all vote and decide on whether our country will complete the great effort that we began together last year, for its salvation and reshaping, or whether we shall leave the effort unfinished. If we shall let the toils and the sacrifices we made to be lost, returning to the past, to all that have led us here."

    The prime minister stressed that this is the dilemma of the November 7 local government elections.

    "In this difficult course for all, every day, with our actions, with our options, we will decide if this path, for the change of our country, shall be continued, or we shall leave it incomplete in the middle," the prime minister said.

    "We proceed steadfastly or we place Greece in adventures again. This option belongs first of all to the citizen himself, to the Greek people, who with their actions and options every day, with their stance, either ratify it, or stop it," he added.-PA

    Papandreou said that for this reason he repeats what he has said many times that "the vote of all of us in the elections on November 7, is a vote of increased and great responsibility. Responsibility towards the country and its future."

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Intercepted parcel-bomb targeted Sarkozy

    ANA-MPA/One of the three parcel bombs intercepted by Greek authorities on Monday had been destined for the president of France Nicolas Sarkozy, the Greek Police counter-terrorism squad revealed.

    The booby-trapped parcel was found on one of two people arrested on Rizari street following the explosion at 12:40 of a similar parcel bomb that they had dropped off earlier at a 'Swift Mail' courier firm in central Athens. The parcel that exploded was addressed to the Mexican Embassy in Athens and the blast caused minor injuries to a woman working there.

    A third parcel addressed to the embassy of the The Netherlands was found by police at the offices of ACS couriers, also in Pagrati, and a fourth, addressed to the Belgian embassy in Athens, was found on the two suspects.ANA-MPA

    The two men arrested were a 22-year-old man wanted for participation in the terror group "Conspiracy of Cells of Fire" and a 24-year-old that initially refused to reveal his identity to police and declared himself an "urban guerrilla". The second man was known to police but was not wanted for any particular offence.

    At the time of their arrest, the two suspects were both carrying Glock pistols concealed in bags, one with three clips and the second with two clips, and receipt for the package they had delivered to the ACS courier firm. The 22-year-old, who had dropped off the parcel-bomb at the 'Swift Mail' courier firm, was wearing a disguise that included a wig, a baseball cap and was wearing a bullet-proof vest.

    The same man wearing the same disguise had stopped by the firm's offices the previous Wednesday to inquire about the procedure for sending packages. His disguise had made an impression on the woman clerk, who recognised him when he dropped off the booby-trapped parcel on Monday and realised that there was something suspicious about the parcel.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Marfin Bank to seek share capital increase plan worth 1.15 million euros

    ANA-MPA/Marfin Popular Bank on Monday said a board meeting scheduled for November 11 will examine, among others, actions to boost the bank's capital structure.

    The bank's executive committee will recommend to the board a share capital increase plan, worth 488.6 million euros, through the issuance of one new share for two existing ones at a price of 1.0 euro per share. The recommended offering price reflects a 30 pct discount compared with Marfin Popular Bank's closing price of November 1.

    The board will also recommend a convertible bond issue worth 660 million euros at a minimum conversion price of 1.80 euros per share.

    Both decisions will need approval from a general shareholders' meeting. These actions aim at further improving the group's capital structure, strengthening its organic growth and facilitating a gradual adjustment of the bank to forthcoming new stricter capital adequacy rules of Basel III.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] Tsipras visits Rethimno

    ANA-MPA/Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group president Alexis Tsipras toured the old city and market of Rethimno on his second stop in Crete, after Hania.

    "The image of the market of Rethimno is precisely the same as in every corner of Greece," Tsipras said, pointing out that "the market is drying up, the citizens are not consuming and if this situation continues the market will sink in recesssion. An end must be given to the course towards disaster, bankruptcy saying a big 'no' to tolerance by condemning the memorandum through the strengthening of the tickets of active citizens who are supported by SYRIZA."

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] Chestnut season celebrated with annual festivals throughout Greece

    (ANA-MPA) -- The chestnut season is celebrated every autumn, from mid-October to mid-November, in many regions across Greece with special events organized to promote the chestnut's nutritional value.

    In antiquity, the chestnut tree was regarded in Greece as the tree of Zeus. Mount Olympus, home of the gods of the ancient Greeks, was said to have had an abundance of chestnut trees producing this sweet, edible nut.

    Once peeled of their hard, dark brown outer shells and bitter inner skin, chestnuts can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, roasted, boiled, mashed, preserved and candied. A special type of coffee with calming effects is produced from dried chestnuts, while the chestnut tree leaves are used for their therapeutic properties in lung diseases and rheumatism.

    The annual "Chestnut Festival" took place during the weekend of October 30-31 in the mountainous village of Kastanitsa, Arcadia prefecture.

    The 27th annual festival is one of the most important agricultural and cultural events of the region.

    Similar celebrations are also held in Paleochori in Kavala prefecture, Damaskinia in the prefecture of Kozani, Agiasos on the island of Lesvos, Karitsa in the prefecture of Larissa and in Arna in the prefecture of Laconia. (ANA-MPA)

    The sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), originally native to southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, was introduced into Europe from Sardis in Asia Minor; the fruit was then called the 'Sardian Nut'. It has been a staple food in Southern Europe, Turkey and southwestern and eastern Asia for millennia, largely replacing cereals where these would not grow well, if at all, in mountainous Mediterranean areas

    Alexander the Great and the Romans planted Chestnut trees across Europe while on their various campaigns. The Greek army is said to have survived their retreat from Asia Minor in 401-399 B.C. thanks to their stores of chestnuts. Ancient Greeks like the physician, pharmacologist and botanist Dioscorides and Romans such as Galen, the prominent physician and philosopher of Greek origin, wrote of chestnuts to comment on their medicinal properties. To the early Christians chestnuts symbolized chastit. Until the introduction of the potato, whole forest-dwelling communities which had scarce access to wheat flour relied on chestnuts as their main source of carbohydrates. In some parts of Italy a cake made of chestnuts is used as a substitute for potatoes.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [06] Samaras on local gov't elections

    ANA-MPa/Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addressing a rally in the city of Tripoli, in the Peloponnese, on Monday evening, called for a "vote against the memorandum and its candidates."

    He appealed for a "vote for a change in policy. For an exit from the crisis, with growth, not with suffocation".

    Samaras criticised Prime Minister George Papandreou for his policy, while speaking of a "secret agenda" of the government, on the occasion of the statements by Government Vice-President Theodoros Pangalos on the restructuring of the debt.

    "The forces of victory and of hope for for a better and proud Peloponnese have rallied here tonight," the ND leader said at the beginning of his address.

    "I have come to bring a message of struggle and a message of victory," he further said, adding that he was touring Greece and seeing that "Greece is also turning a page. It is finding itself again and is rejecting the government extortions."

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [07] Public transport restructing

    ANA-MPA/Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Reppas assured on Monday that there will be no layoffs in the public transport companies operating in Athens that are currently in the process of merging. Speaking in the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) in Thessaloniki, he also announced labour relations and salary changes for new employees, as well as cuts in the subsidized ticket prices from 70 pct to roughly 50-60 pct.

    Referring to the merger of the public transport companies namely, Attiko Metro, ETHEL buses, Athens-Piraeus Area Trolley Buses (ILPAP), the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways (ISAP), TRAM SA and Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA), Reppas clarified that new employees will be subjected to new personnel regulations and their salaries will be harmonized with the salaries received by the employees in the public and broader public sector.ANA-MPa

    Within the framework of the restructuring of the greater Athens public transport network, the minister had announced recently that the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) will be replaced by a Metropolitan Urban Transport Authority, while two subsidiaries will also be established, one for fixed track means (metro, tram, etc) and one for buses and trolleys.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [08] Marathon boosts tourism

    ANA-MPa/The successful organizing of the 28th Athens Classic Marathon on Sunday brought back memories of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games to hoteliers in the Athens-Attica region. Yiannis Retsos, president of the Athens and Attica Hoteliers' Association, speaking to ANA-MPA, reaffirmed comments made by Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos saying that Athens' hotels enjoyed 90 pct room occupancy rates, while he stressed that room prices were around October levels.

    Retsos noted it was the first time after a long period that Athens was positively commented around the world and stressed that the Marathon event helped in boosting tourism to the country's capital. He said that events like these helped in the promotion of the country abroad with minimum cost and direct results.

    The Association said room occupancy rates fell by 10.30 pct in September, for a decline rate of 6.7 pct in the January-September period.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [09] Merciless with main parties

    ANa-MPa/Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga on Monday accused the prime minister of having arranged in advance for a "controlled" default by Greece. Speaking in the Piraeus district of Nikaia, Papariga stressed that the "dilemma" that Prime Minister George Papandreou had put to voters in the upcoming local elections did not, therefore, have any basis.

    "A controlled bankruptcy means the following: an uncontrolled, extremely rapid bankruptcy for the people and, from then on, there will be a negotiation about how much the creditors will receive. In other words, the dilemma raised by the prime minister 'PASOK or bankruptcy' has no basis, is absolutely outdated. By voting for PASOK, you vote for faster bankruptcy," she said.

    She urged voters to be merciless to both ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy, ensuring that neither had a chance at recovery and stressed that both parties were the "pillars" serving big capital.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [10] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Tuesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 0.45 percent, standing at 1,497.39 points at 11:00 a.m, and turnover at 14.816 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving downwards, with the only gains in Insurance, up 3.14 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Health, down 3.00 percent; and Media, down 1.68 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 0.69 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 1.32 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.35 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 19 were up, 52 were down, and 15 were unchanged.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [11] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Tuesday edition of Athens dailies at a glance

    The political clash ahead of the local government election on November 7, and the performance of state revenues, mostly dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS: "Counter-terrorism squad suspects 'Cells of Fire'.

    AVGHI: "The elections' opportunity must not be lost".

    AVRIANI: "Independent candidate for Attica prefect Yannis Dimaras' momentum terrifies the system".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The bell sounds for 13,014 employees in 15 Public Utilities and Organisations (DEKO)".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras: There is a solution for a rapid exit from the crisis. If prime minister George Papandreou wants general elections, we are here".

    ESTIA: "National understanding needed".

    ETHNOS: "Death rehearsals with parcel bombs".

    IMERISSIA: "Political virus in the economy - Heavy climate and deterioration of economic indices".

    KATHIMERINI: "Shortfall in revenues a threat".

    LOGOS: "Safari for state's debtors".

    TA NEA: " 'Registered-mail' terrorism".

    NAFTEMPORIKI" 2 billion euros black hole from the plunge in revenues".

    NIKI: "The secret behind the terror-parcels".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Respond to the blackmail by voting for 'Laiki Syspirossi' (Communist Party of Greece (KKE) backed ticket)".

    TO VIMA: "Cells of Fire and ... Revolutionaries' Sect in the background".

    VRADYNI: "Progress, not slow death".

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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