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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-10-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't eyes private notaries in bid to stamp out fake pensions
  • [02] Gov't cash deficit significantly down in Jan-Sep.
  • [03] Excavations at Ancient Olympia

  • [01] Gov't eyes private notaries in bid to stamp out fake pensions

    The government on Thursday announced a new measure aimed at combatting instances of fake pensioners of families of deceased bilking Greece's cash-strapped pension funds out money, although private sector notaries public instead of municipalities' registry offices have been tapped.

    According to the plan, dubbed "Ariadne" after the mythical figure, marriage and burial licenses, as well as whatever changes in family statuses (divorce, births etc.) in relation to pension funds, will be declared at notaries. The latter, in turn, will supposedly forward the declarations to pension funds via an electronic system.amna

    In presenting the plan, Labour Minister Yannis Vroutsis said costs for issuing a burial license will be paid by the funds (as part of reimbursed funeral costs), whereas other licenses and declarations will be paid by the private citizen -- with initial reports putting the figure at an eyebrow-raising 40 to 50 euros. amna

    The initiative remains to be included in a relevant draft law, which has not been drafted as yet.

    [02] Gov't cash deficit significantly down in Jan-Sep.

    AMNA--Greece's central government cash deficit decreased to 6.599 billion euros in the January-September period this year, down from 19.231 billion euros in the corresponding period last year, the Bank of Greece announced on Wednesday.

    The central bank, in a monthly report, said that ordinary budget revenue amounted to 34.062 billion euros in the nine-month period, slightly down from 35.257 billion euros last year.

    Ordinary budget expenditure decreased to 40.541 billion euros from 53.077 billion euros in January-September 2011.

    [03] Excavations at Ancient Olympia

    AMNA--Excavations are to begin immediately to uncover the remainder of a building of the ancient Gymnasium in Ancient Olympia, venue of the first Olympic Games in antiquity.

    The Gymnasium is a monument of exceptional archaeological and cultural value, and its full excavation will complete the archaeological landscape of the Sacred Altis sanctuary.amna

    To date, the East Stoa has been partially investigated, at a length of 120 meters.amna

    The ancient gymnasium of Olympia lies north-west of the Altis enclosure on a flat stretch of land by the Kladeos river bank. It is adjacent to the palaestra, which extends the gymnasium complex towards the south. Here athletes practiced track and field and the pentathlon. Before the construction of the gymnasium in the Hellenistic period, these events took place outdoors. The surviving structure dates to the second century BC. amna

    The gymnasium is a large quadrangular building, with central court enclosed by Doric stoas. A series of rooms for the athletes probably occupied the west wing. The better studied east wing consists of a solid outer wall, an internal double Doric colonnade, and another colonnade of sixty columns along the court. The lower courses of the outer wall were of poros blocks with stone-built buttresses on the exterior, while the upper courses were of brick. The stoa, like the stadium, was one Olympic stade long, and had ruts on the floor marking the starting-point and finishing post, so that the athletes practiced the exact same distance as they would run during the games. The internal colonnade divided the stoa longitudinally into two parallel tracks: the xystos, the floor of which had to be regularly scraped and leveled (xystos=scraped); and, on the side of the court, the paradromis, or auxiliary track. The spacious court, approximately two hundred and twenty meters long and a hundred meters wide, was used to practice the javelin and discus. A monumental propylon was added at the south-east corner of the building, opposite the north-west entrance to the Altis, in the late second century BC. This propylon consisted of a Corinthian portico, 15.50 meters long and 9.80 meters wide, raised on steps. The propylon's interior was divided longitudinally into three naves by two rows of Corinthian columns; the entablature was decorated with bovine heads and supported a coffered stone ceiling. The south stoa, which communicates with the adjacent palaestra to the south, was added in the first century BC.amna

    The gymnasium is only partly preserved. Its west wing was swept away by the Kladeos river, while its north section has not yet been investigated. The surviving remains were excavated and studied by the German School in recent years. amna

    The gymnasium and palaestra were used to train and educate ancient Olympians. They followed a strict routine of physical training, as well as education in music, math, grammar and reading. The gymnasium was an open building with Doric columns on each of its sides and athletes also stayed under its shelter during hot and humid times to avoid overexposure to the weather.

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