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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-12-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Recession will reverse by end 2013, PM tells German daily
  • [02] Three siblings burn to death in fire
  • [03] German Evangelical delegation calls on Archbishop Ieronymos
  • [04] EIB approves 370 million euro loan for power plant, schools, SMEs

  • [01] Recession will reverse by end 2013, PM tells German daily

    BERLIN (AMNA/F.Karaviti) - Prime Minister Antonis Samaras termed his visit to Munich on Sunday, to meet with Minister-President of Bavaria and Christian Social Union (CSU) party leader Horst Seehofer, as "a new beginning" in Greek-German relations, according to an interview to be published on Saturday.

    In the interview by the German daily Muncher Merkur, prereleased by the German Press Agency (DPA), Samaras is quoted as saying of Germany, "We are partners. We share the same values and ideas. I come to Munich as a friend, with an open mind, sincerity, fairness and honesty."

    The premier is quoted as reiterating his commitment in applying the agreed loan measures, and as saying, "Our clear intention is to avoid default. We want to regain our credibility as a country; both our political and our financial credibility. It is an uphill battle. And when we win it, it will be a 'success story', both for Greece and for the whole euro area. In the meantime, our role is to prove ourselves credible in all respects."

    He is also quoted as expressing optimism for 2013, saying that "Within the next year, the recession offsetting measures that will stimulate the economy will dominate over the new austerity measures to further reduce the deficit. Thus, recession is expected to decelerate significantly and reverse itself by the last part of 2013. By then, the majority of the Greeks will see some 'light'."

    [02] Three siblings burn to death in fire

    AMNA/ Three siblings aged 5, 9 and 15 burned to death at dawn Saturday in a fire that broke out, apparently from a woodstove, in their two-storey home in the village of Mesoropi, north-west of Kavala, plunging the local community into shock and mourning.

    Ten people were in the old wooden house at the time: the two parents, six children and two grandparents, who the family was visiting for the weekend.

    The three brothers were killed when the roof caved in from the fire, trapping them in the flames.

    The three other children, their parents and grandparents suffered burns and were initially taken to the health center in nearby Eleftheroupolis.

    According to the Fire Brigade, the fire started from a lit woodstove the family was using to heat the house and spread quickly, engulfing the building and spreading to nearby residences, also old wooden structures.

    The six children were sleeping in the upper floor while the parents and elderly couple slept in the ground floor. Panic erupted when the residents of the house got wind of the fire, and the parents managed to remove the three younger children, two girls and a boy, from the blazing building.

    The 15-year-old boy had initially exited the house but went back in to help his 5- and 9-year-old brothers, but the roof caved in and trapped the three brothers.

    The house was completely destroyed by the fire, which spread to nearby homes but was put out by firemen who rushed to the site.

    The family had 10 children, of which the four were away while the other six lived with their parents in Kavala, and would spend most weekends in the father's hometown of Mesoropi with the grandparents.

    The father is an employee of the local Public Power Corporation (PPC) branch in Kavala and the mother is a teacher of French at a Kavala junior high school.

    In a gesture of mourning, the municipality of Kavala cancelled inter-school mini-football championship qualifying games in which the grammar school attended by the 9-year-old who perished in the fire was participating.

    [03] German Evangelical delegation calls on Archbishop Ieronymos

    AMNA/ German Deputy Labour Minister Hans-Joachim Fuchtel and a delegation of the Social Welfare Service (Diakonie) of the Evangelical Church in Germany were received by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece on Friday. The delegation, led by Diakonie president Johannes Stockmeier, was received at the Archdiocese in Athens.

    The archbishop said that Germany's role in Europe was pivotal, but it was unclear what was preferable, a German Europe or a European Germany. "One of the fundamental principles of the European Union is respect for the uniqueness of others. Germans cannot become Greeks, nor can Greeks become Germans," he said. Greek people could receive help from the EU, as long as they could retain their dignity. "We have a history and a culture, and we cannot sell off any of it," he added.

    [04] EIB approves 370 million euro loan for power plant, schools, SMEs

    AMNA/ Greece will receive a total of 370 million euros in European Investment Bank (EIB) loans for climate action and knowledge economy in Greece, the EIB said on Friday.

    According to the EIB announcement, the loan funding will be distributed as follows:

    - 130 million euros will go to the Public Power Corporation (PPC) to promote energy security and efficiency in Greece. The loan is for the new power plant of Megalopolis, in the central Peloponnese, and it is a follow-up loan for the plant, bringing total EIB finance to date to 280 million euros.

    - 100 million euros will go to the School Building Organisation (SBO) in support of school facilities throughout Greece. This is the second and last part of a total of 200 million euros, and will include construction and renovation of 84 schools and the supplying of equipment for some 14,000 public schools.

    - 140 million euros have been signed with Alpha Bank to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-sized companies (mid-caps) in Greece. The loan in tandem with Alpha Bank will support investments in tangible assets as well as working capital, mainly in the fields of manufacturing, services and tourism.

    "The new loans of a total of EUR 370 million signed for energy, schools and SMEs in Greece, contribute to the development of the key areas in Greece, and at the same time form a firm step towards economic recovery," said Dario Scannapieco, EIB vice president. "Now is the time to work together to restore the growth that can only come from viable infrastructure and dynamic enterprises that harness innovation and advance opportunity," he added.

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