|Tuesday, 21 January 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-04-26
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 26 April 2011 Issue No: 3772
 Crucial week for Greek economyA crucial week for the Greek economy begins on Tuesday, as the Middle-term program and the package of privatisations must be itemized for tabling in parliament by mid-May and vote by early June after deliberations with the EU-IMF 'troika'.
Prime minister George Papandreou was due to return to Athens on Monday from a brief Easter holiday respite on the island of Hydra.
A team of troika experts is due in early May for its regular consultations and evaluation of progress ahead of the disbursement of the next tranche (12 billion euros) of the EU-IMF 110 billion euro bailout loan to Greece.
Eurostat, the European Commission's statistical agency, is also due to release on Tuesday the figures for the 2010 deficit.
 PM phone contact with MedvedevPrime minister George Papandreou had a telephone conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday morning, during which they discussed Greek-Russian relations and a potential visit by Medvedev to Greece.
They further discussed international relations, and chiefly the developments in North Africa and the Middle East.
The discussion focused particularly on the developments in Libya, on which Medvedev endorsed the Greek initiatives for finding a political solution.
During the telephone call, held at Papandreou's initiative, the two leaders exchanged greetings for the Orthodox Easter, which is celebrated in both countries.
 PM Papandreou holds telephone conversation with Libyan counterpartPrime Minister George Papandreou held a telephone conversation with his Libyan counterpart Al Baghdadi Ali Al Mahmoudi on Saturday, at the Libyan premier's initiative.
The two men discussed the latest developments in Libya and the Greek prime minister stressed the need for the UN's resolutions to be implemented.
Papandreou discussed the same issue in a telephone conversation with the Russian president a day earlier. President Medvedev has a positive stance regarding Greece's initiatives for the finding of a political solution in Libya.
 FM Droutsas calls on Damascus to display self-restraint, respect democratic rightsForeign Minister Dimitris Droutsas on Saturday called on the Syrian government to display "self-restraint and proceed with immediate implementation of necessary reforms that will benefit the Syrian people and the country's stability". The written statement was issued in response to the dramatic incidents that took place in Syria on Friday during which over 80 people lost their lives.
Droutsas stressed that the news on the use of violence by the Syrian government forces to quell protests in Syrian cities and the deaths of tens of civilians cause great concern. "The right to peaceful demonstration and freedom of expression is an essential element of democracy and must be respected," the FM underlined in his statement.
 Three US helicopters refuelled on Corfu en route to Souda BayThree US military helicopters landed at Corfu's "Ioannis Kapodistrias" International Airport at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday for about an hour and after refuelling they departed for Souda Bay Naval Station on the island of Crete.
According to information, the helicopters had taken off from a military base in Italy, probably Naples, destined for Souda Bay within the framework of the NATO operations in Libya.
 President Papoulias certain Greek people will overcome present difficult daysPresident Karolos Papoulias, speaking in Corfu where he celebrated Easter at the naval station, expressed certainty that the Greek people will overcome the present difficult days as they possess inexhaustible powers.
"The days are difficult, but I believe that our difficulties will be overcome. The Resurrection of Christ will help us, the Greek people to pass their own Golgotha. I am certain, I believe in this, the Greek people have inexhaustible powers," he said.
President Papoulias also referred to the armed forces, the navy and the air force, stressing that it is they that defend the borders and discourage whoever of thinking of something against the country's integrity.
President Papoulias arrived on the island at 13:15 with the presidential aircraft from the city of Ioannina, his home city,where he has been since Palm Sunday.
 PM Papandreou's Easter messagePrime Minister George Papandreou, in a message on the occa-sion of the Easter holiday, stressed that "Greece is changing today and is being reborn despite the difficulties," adding that "Easter symbolises for Hellenism, for all of us, the beginning of a new life."
In his message from the island of Hydra, where he arrived for Easter, the prime minister pointed out that "through the difficulties and the efforts of all of us, we are changing menta-lities and conceptions and we are thinking responsibly of the common benefit, of our children, of tomorrow."
The prime minister expresses optimism that "despite the difficulties, we are walking together on this path, we are breaking pessimism and fatalism and taking change in our hands, certain that we shall succeed."
Lastly, Papandreou stresses that "we shall succeed in the end in having a country of justice and growth for which we shall be proud. Optimistically, decisively, we are making Greece of creation."
 PM Papandreou holds telephone conversation with Archbishop IeronymosPrime Minister George Papandreou held a telephone conver-sation, on the occasion of the Easter holiday, with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos on Saturday evening and exchanged best wishes with him.
The Archbishop wished the prime minister courage and success in his efforts, while they agreed to meet when their commitments permit them to do so.
 ND party leader's Easter messageMain opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras, speaking after the resurrection service he attended at Agios
Georgios Cathedral in the city of Nafplio, said that "the triumph of the Resurrection is bringing the hope that is not written in the sand or in the air, but is bound to the sturdy rock of realism, self-confidence and responsibility."
Samaras visited an armed forces facility in the city of Tripoli and exchanged best wishes with officers and servicemen.
Speaking afterwards, he said "in the eyes of the young people I see the anxiety for their future and our responsibility to give them tangible and not theoretical hope. Hope that will be applicable, so that they can regain self-confidence and hope for tomorrow."
Samaras wished that "optimism will come again to every home" and expressed the conviction that "with the strength of God all will be well."
 Political party leaders' Easter visitsPresident Karolos Papoulias celebrated Easter on the island of Corfu, at the islands's naval station.
Prime Minister George Paopandreou visited the island of Hydra, while main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras spent Easter Day in the city of Nafplio.
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga and Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) president Alexis Tsipras remained in Athens, while Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis went to the city of Atalanti.
 Greek delegation receives the Holy LightJERUSALEM (ANA-MPA / I. Palialexis)
The Greek delegation and the representatives of the Church of Greece received the Holy Light from Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem shortly after it was lit at the Holy Sepulchre Church of the Resurrection of Christ in early afternoon on Holy Saturday.
Addressing Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Dollis, head of the Greek government delegation, the Patriarch underlined that "in the present conjuncture of disappointment, confusion and despair, the Resurrection of Christ is the hope of light, salvation and resurrection for our nation".
On his part, Dollis stressed that it is "a great honor to receive the Holy Light on behalf of the Greek people and the Greek government".
The Holy Light will arrive around 7:00 p.m. at Athens' "Eleftherios Venizelos" International Airport on a government executive flight where it will be received with heads of state honors.
After its arrival in Athens, the Holy Light will be conveyed on special flights by C-130 Air Force planes throughout Greece for the midnight Resurrection services.
 Holidaymakers gradually returning homeEaster holidaymakers were returning home on Monday evening, while the traffic police were on standby at both national road networks. According to assessments by traffic police officers, the return to the capital will take place gradually during the week and will be completed on Sunday May 1.
As regards the Athenians' exodus, 840,000 cars passed from the Elefsina and Afidnes tollgates from Holy Monday until dawn on Easter Sunday, a figure that was slightly less than last year's.
Over the past four days about 50,000 passengers left the port of Piraeus for the islands, an increased number, according to port authority officers, by 25 percent compared to the corresponding period last year.
 PASOK party leading ND by 2.1 pc, poll showsThe ruling PASOK party leads the main opposition New Democracy party by 2.1 percentage points, according to an opinion poll carried out by the Alco company and presented in the newspaper Proto Thema.
PASOK garners 21.5 percent of respondents' preferences, ND 19.4, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) 8.5, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party 5.7, the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) 3.2, the Democratic Left 2.3 and the Democratic Alliance 1.7.
Moreover, 40 percent believe that no government can take the country out of the crisis, 14 percent replied that the PASOK government can handle the crisis better, while 8 percent think that an ND government could do better.
Lastly, 47 percent of respondents believe that Prime Minister George Papandreou will be obliged to resort to elections by the end of the year.
 DM on unused army campsAn international adviser expected to be appointed soon will assist the Defence Ministry's civil leadership on issues concerning the utilisation and managing of the ministry's real estate and of military camps no longer used by the armed forces.
This was revealed by Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos, who visited an Air Force facility at Hortiatis on Easter Sunday.
As regards the government's plans for army camps, Venizelos pointed out that they have been classified into three major categories, those that are active and are needed by the armed forces, those that are within the urban fabric and municipalities are wanting them for social, beneficial or commercial uses and the armed forces' real estate that will be utilised in the framework of the utilisation of the public sector's real estate.
 Artifacts from Greece for first-ever Cycladic Art exhibition in TurkeyThe first-ever Cycladic Art exhibition in Turkey will take place in May, at the noted Sakip Sabanci Museum, with 68 artifacts that will travel to Turkey from Greece, on loan from the collections of the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art and the National Archaeological Museum.
The artifacts, comprising Cycladic figurines, clay pots and marble and bronze items from the two Greek museums will make the journey to Istanbul following the recent approval by Greece's Central Archaeological Council (KAS).
This will be the first exhibition of Cycladic art ever held in Turkey, according to Cycladic Art Museum director Prof. Nicholas Stampolidis, who had the idea for the exhibition.
Stampolidis told ANA-MPA that the exhibition will cover the period from 3200 BC to 2600 BC, beginning from the Early Bronze Age (3200 BC), while another 200 artifacts from Turkey that will be on display, coming from Turkish state foundations such as the Archaeological Museums of Istanbul, Izmir and Troy, among others, will underline the similarities and differences between the two regions, both cultural and commercial, at the peak of the Cycladic civilisation in the 3rd millennium BC.
The exhibition, which will be inaugurated on May 23, will run through August 28.
 Homeless shelter to open in AthensA shelter for Athens' homeless will begin operation later in the year, in the city center, an employment ministry official told ANA-MPA on Friday.
The shelter, which aims to meet the immediate needs of the homeless, will be open to all homeless regardless of age, gender and nationality and will provide beds, food and clothing, as well as hygiene care.
Situated near the Larissis Station, the facility is provided by the City of Athens, while its equipping will be financed by the employment and social security ministry in the framework of actions foreseen under the cooperation accord signed between the ministry and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece.
The facility will be operated by the Athens Archdioce's NGO "Apostoli" (Mission).
The shelter will be able to house approximately 450 per day, and will function from noon to 7:00 the following morning, at which time it will close for cleaning and other maintenance work.
The 'guests' will be supplied with a special card, and may use the shelter's services once per week in order to facilitate the largest number of needy people possible.
 Two killed in Rhodes in Easter fireworks accidentTwo people were killed in the region of Mandriko on the island of Rhodes on Saturday evening, when an improvised explosive mechanism they were preparing to detonate at midnight, to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, accidentally exploded. They were a 39-year-old farmer and a 30-year-old heavy duty machinery worker.
 Somalian pirates free Greek-owned freighterSomalian pirates have freed the Greek-owned freighter MV Eagle that they had seized in January, according to pirates and a journalistic source. The pirates announced that they freed the vessel, that they had seized about 500 miles southwest of Oman, while heading to India from Jordan, as well as its 24 Filippino crewmembers.
 Athens Fringe Festival from June 20 to 26Athens Fringe Festival 2011, the Greek capital's annual international arts festival, will take place from June 20-26 at the municipality's Technopolis events center and other locations around the city, with the 2011 theme being "Smile in the mind".
The third annual Festival is organised by the Synthesis Media Company in collaboration with the renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the biggest off-Festival on the planet.
Adopting the successful Fringe format, the Festival aims to present the work of young, upcoming Greek and European artists representing all art forms.
Athens Fringe Festival is an open-to-all celebration of the arts, a true off-Athens Festival.
The organisers invite artists, visitors and volunteers alike to think about what makes them happy and be inspired by that.
All forms of art have a place in the Athens Fringe Festival, from music, dance and theater to literature, crafts, video art and installations.
Fringe is much more than a festival, it is a social network, but unlike the Internet social networks, it is not virtual but living, with live actions and interventions in the everday life of the city.
A novelty this year will be a double-decker bus that will take artists around the cities of Athens for "lightning" performances, bringing the Festival to the public itself.
 Light quake off LimnosA light earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale was recorded in the sea region northwest o the island of Limnos in the Aegean.
The quake was recorded at 10:50 a.m., with its epicenter 30 kilometers northwest of the shores of Limnos.
According to seismologists, the phenomenon was a surface quake and no cause of concern.
 Illegal migrantsA migrant smuggler was arrested and 20 illegal migrants were detained by police on Thursday night near Aigialia after police stopped a truck carrying the migrants.
Police from Egio and Athens stopped the truck along the new Athens-Patras national highway, and found 20 illegal migrants of various nationalities hidden in the truck, which bore foreign license plates.
The 40-year-old driver, a foreign national, was arrested and the illegal migrants were also detained.
According to police the truck had set off from Athens, with the illegal migrants on board, and was heading to the western port of Patras from where the migrants planned to illegally enter Italy by boat.
Two arrested for firing shots at Aris soccer club building in Thessaloniki
A father and a son, aged 71 and 27 respectively, were arrested on Friday for firing shots at a local Aris Thessaloniki soccer club association building in Kymina, Thessaloniki.
The son was arrested for the pre-dawn shots fired, while his father for illegal possession of the hunting rifle used in the incident.
The investigation was continuing, while no details were released on the motives for the shooting.
The incident took place at 2:00 am, when the club building was closed.
 Arrest in Thessaloniki on counterfeit money chargesA 40-year-old repatriated Greek from the former Soviet Union was arrested in Thessaloniki on charges of passing counterfeit 100-euro banknotes, it was announced on Saturday.
The man was arrested after using the forged bills in two petrol stations. Police found in his possession a total of six counterfeit 100-euro banknotes.
An investigation is underway to locate the origin of the counterfeit money.
 Overcast, rainy on TuesdayOvercast skies and local rainfall is forecast throughout Greece on Tuesday, with a small drip in temperatures.
Cloudy in Athens, with brief local rainfall, and chance of storms in the south of the prefecture, and temperatures ranging from 9C to 19C. Overcast, turning to rain in the early afternoon, in Thessaloniki, with temperatures of 7C to 16C.
 Athens' Saturday newspapers at a glanceThe optimism brought by the message of Resurrection, government reshuffle scenarios, the speculation on debt restructuring and the government measures expected to be announced after Easter dominated the headlines in Athens' Sunday newspapers published on Saturday due to the Easter holiday.
AVGHI: "Risen people"
AVRIANI: "250 million euros of black money laundered annually by advertising companies".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Speculations about debt restructuring
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Government reshuffle?only the memorandum faithful to become ministers".
ETHNOS: "The die is cast! Memorandum government after Easter".
KATHIMERINI: "PM Papandreou: Either you support me on the new measures or we go to the polls".
KERDOS: "Hope for Resurrection".
LOGOS: "On the way to Golgotha after Easter".
NIKI: "Easter of the Greeks"
PARON: "Fierce war over Greece".
PROTO THEMA: "Debt restructuring. The upsets we will face".
REALNEWS: "Money found its way to Akis' (former minister Tsohatzopoulos) pockets".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Hope for the people with KKE"
TO VIMA: "Shocking report on debt restructuring".
VRADYNI: "Debt management scenarios".
36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana-mpa.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ILIAS MATSIKAS