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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou: new technology can empower society
  • [02] Customs officers intercept 10.760 kilos heroin at Evros
  • [03] Drug arrest at Thessaloniki's 'Macedonia' airport

  • [01] Papandreou: new technology can empower society

    Societies needed to learn to share and use the power of the Internet in order to empower themselves for the benefit of the common good, citizens and the environment, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou stressed on Friday.

    He was speaking at an International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies in Education organised by Canada's University of Fraser Valley in collaboration with the Ionian University, on the Greek island of Corfu.

    "This is a political dilemma that we must all answer, particularly teachers," he underlined, noting that Greece's current centrally controlled and top-down education system reflected "a need to control the strength and the need for change felt by young people".

    Papandreou also criticised Greek schools as "concentration camps" that bore little relation to the everyday experiences of children and young people, who became bored and disaffected and saw no reason to be at school, linking this with the violent events of the previous December.

    "Technology is not neutral and the Internet, also, is not neutral. It is a web but it can become a spider's web," PASOK's leader added.

    He listed 10 points related to the challenges and opportunities presented by the use of new technologies in education:

    Among these he cited the creation of a "common wealth of information" and the "development and utilisation of an ocean of information". He also referred to the need to develop the ability to evaulate and adopt a critical approach to the information received, the ability to collate information from different fields and to apply knowledge.

    PASOK's president called for the creation of innovation centres that did not just target markets but were also social tools and referred to the ability for collective learning as opposed to individual learning.

    "Let us use technology in order to find solutions to shared problems," he said, pointing out that the new capabilities could have a major effect on developing and using each person's talents.

    "Technology, as an ability giving power, can and should become an important force for democratic revolution," he stressed.

    After his address, Papandreou took part in a discussion on "The Open School in Greece" and was later scheduled to meet representatives of the local tourism sector.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou

    [02] Customs officers intercept 10.760 kilos heroin at Evros

    Customs officials at a border crossing in Evros, on the extreme northeastern border of Greece, on Friday arrested a 21-year-old Lithuanian man attempting to smuggle 10.760 kilos of heroin into the country. Authorities believe the drugs were destined for markets in Athens.

    The man was on a bus travelling from Istanbul to Athens and the drugs were discovered by customs officers during a routine check of his luggage. It was split into five packages hidden in a suitcase with a specially constructed compartment in the suitcase lining. The suitcase had also been filled with sticks of cinnamon in an attempt to confuse trained sniffer dogs.

    Under interrogation, the Lithuanian said that he had received the order to transport the suitcase via the Internet and was to deliver it to an unknown individual that would approach him in Athens and give him 500 euros in payment.

    The 21-year-old, who will appear before a public prosecutor to be charged, is the second Lithuanian caught at same customs post attempting to smuggle heroin into Greece, using exactly the same method.

    [03] Drug arrest at Thessaloniki's 'Macedonia' airport

    A 39-year-old Romanian man was apprehended at Thessaloniki's 'Macedonia' airport on Friday with nearly 3.5 kilos of heroin in his luggage. The man is believed to be working for an international drug-trafficking ring and was about to board a flight for London stopping at Athens.

    The drugs, weighing 3.350 kilogrames were hidden in a special compartment in his suitcase.

    The Romanian will now be led before a public prosecutor to be charged.

    Authorities are also looking into the possibility that the suspect might belong to the same outfit as a 20-year-old Romanian arrested at the same airport last June with roughly 4.5 kilos of heroin in his suitcase, after arriving on a flight from Istanbul in order to catch a connecting flight to London.

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