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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-04-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Preparatory meeting on tourism policy
  • [02] Commission discusses privatizations program
  • [03] Holy Thursday: Tradition of the red Easter eggs
  • [04] ASE opening: Rise 

  • [01] Preparatory meeting on tourism policy

    Prime Minister George Papandreou and a team of ministers on Tuesday concluded a preparatory meeting held in Parliament to discuss the government's policies on tourism. Announcements concerning tourism are to be made by Papandreou at a meeting of the Association of Greek Tourism Enteprises (SETE) due to take place in early May.

    Sources said that the prime minister intends to review what has been done in the tourism sector over the past year and announce the government's plans for the sector. A series of proposals have apparently been put forward and these are to be examined on a bilateral basis between ministries. There is a consensus among government members to keep things low key, given that the tourism season extends over a long period that begins in early spring and ends in mid-November and can be easily affected by surprise developments.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [02] Commission discusses privatizations program

    An informal inter-ministerial Privatizations Commission meeting on Tuesday discussed a package of interventions included in a Medium-term Fiscal Strategy Framework (2012-2015) unveiled by the government last Friday.

    According to sources, the Commission agreed to push on with a survey on reforms in the energy sector, including the future of DEPA and a plan to separate its subsidiary DESFA along with an option right by Public Power Corporation to buy the company. The survey is expected to be ready after the Easter holidays and a tender for the companys sale will be made later this year.

    The meeting also discussed privatization procedures for Hellenic Telecommunications Organization while the government is expected to hire consultants in a drive to make a more efficient management of the states real estate property. Sources said that representatives of PMU (Paris Mutuel Urbain), the French state-controlled totalizator that controls the pari-mutuel betting on horseracing in France and Europe's largest betting organisation, with annual turnover of 9.5 billion euros, attended the meeting expressing interest in an anticipated tender for the sale of ODIE, Greeces state organisation of horse racing and betting.

    Under the Medium-term Fiscal Strategy Framework, the government plans to sell an additional equity stake in Hellenic Telecoms this year, selling up to 31 pct of DEPA in 2011, selling Trainose and Larco this year, selling up to 17 pct in PPC in 2012 (with the state maintaining control and management) and selling the states equity stake in OPAP -Greeces state lottery. The government expects to raise 15 billion euros from privatizations by 2013 and a total of 50 billion euros by 2015.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [03] Holy Thursday: Tradition of the red Easter eggs

    For Orthodox Christians, the red Easter egg is much more than a celebration of the end of fasting -- it is an attestation of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Traditionally, Easter eggs are dyed throughout the Orthodox Christian world on Holy Thursday, and they are dyed red to represent the redeeming blood of Christ that was shed on the Cross, the white egg (before being dyed) represents the white marble tomb were Christ's body was laid after He was taken down from the Cross, and the hard shell of the egg symbolises the sealed tomb of Christ.

    On Easter Sunday, a ritual of the cracking of the eggs take place, with people tapping each others' egg, symbolising the 'cracking' of Christ's tomb and the bonds of death, and His resurrection.

    The traditional greeting on Easter, and for the next 40 days, until the Ascension, is "Christos Anesti" (Christ is risen), followed by the response "Alithos Anesti" (Truly he is risen).

    The egg was a symbol of life in antiquity, and from the tomb life came out, the Risen Lord, while the red color of the Easter egg symbolises crucified and resurrected Christs life-giving blood.

    According to the Romanian tradition, the Holy Mother of God had placed a basket full of eggs at the feet of the crucified Jesus, which turned red from the blood dripping from His wounds.

    In the Orthodox faith, the red color of the eggs symbolises several things. The Roman soldiers put a red cloak on Christ, as the King of the Jews, while mocking and torturing Him. Also, two years after the Resurrection, Mary Magdalene was carrying a basket full of white eggs as she went to Jerusalem, and met up with Tiberius, the governor after Pontius Pilate, whom she welcomed to Jerusalem and wished him to be righteous to the people of Jerusalem, unlike his predecessor, who crucified the Son of God who was resurrected on the third day. Tiberius replied that, if all she had told him of the resurrection and the miracles performed by Christ were true, the white eggs in her basket should turn red, and then he would believe. And behold, the eggs turned red. Mary Magdalene gave one red egg to the governor Tiberius and took one herself, saying "Christ is Risen", to which he replied "Truly, he is risen".

    In another account, a woman who did not believe in the Resurrection of Christ said "if the white eggs I am holding turn red, then I will believe", and the eggs miraculously turned red.

    Still yet, the red color symbolises the joy of the Resurrection, and also wards off all evil.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [04] ASE opening: Rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Wednesday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 1.08 percent, standing at 1,452.81 points at 11:30 am, and turnover at 14.906 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving upward nearly across the board, with the biggest gains in Construction, up 2.06 percent; Financial Services, up 1.97 percent; and Banks, up 1.43 percent.

    The only losses were in Travel & Recreation, down 0.28 percentt.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 1.25 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.37 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 1.71 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 53 were up, 10 were down, and 14 were unchanged.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

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