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Greece’s V+O taken over October 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Media Radio TV.
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V+O Communication said yesterday it had agreed to be taken over by London-based International Marketing & Sales Group Plc, which aims to expand in business and marketing communication in Southeast Europe.

The full acquisition, to be completed over four years, will cost 10.75 million euros.

Greece’s Frigoglass opens new plant in China October 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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Greece’s listed commercial refrigerator maker Frigoglass yesterday inaugurated a new plant in Guangzhou, China, the first wholly owned Greek firm in the area.

The plant, which will have a capacity of 120,000 units a year, cost 15.3 million euros.

Vivartia suspended from Athens Stock Exchange October 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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Following a relevant request from the Capital Market Commission (CMC), the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) yesterday decided to suspend temporarily trading of the shares of food group Vivartia.

The suspension will be valid until clear and adequate information is disclosed with regard to the company’s new business plan, which was pre-announced by its principal shareholder Marfin Investment Group (91.47 percent). The suspension was deemed necessary for the smooth operation of the market, ATHEX said.

Hellenic Petroleum signs Egypt exploration deal October 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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Hellenic Petroleum said yesterday it has signed an oil and gas exploration and production deal in Egypt as part of a consortium, extending its activities abroad.

The refiner said the initial four-year agreement can be extended to nine years and covers an area of 57,000 square kilometers in the Mesaha region near the Sudan border in upper Egypt. The consortium, which includes Melrose Resources, Oil Search, Egypt’s state authority Ganoub El Wadi and the Ministry of Petroleum, has committed $14.3 million to the deal. Hellenic Petroleum has a 30 percent stake in the group.

Pendeli land debate October 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment, Health & Fitness.
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Rafina Municipality and residents at odds over former hospital site

pendeli_land_debate.jpg  This piece of land, burnt in forest fires in 2005, is being eyed by local government for development, while residents and environmentalist groups are demanding that it be protected from construction and reforested.

When the children’s psychiatric hospital at Pendeli closed down in early September, the Municipality of Rafina wanted to develop the 46 hectares of the institution, school, nursery and sports ground of the existing infrastructure. The Municipality’s plans, however, are at odds with the wishes of local residents who want to see the area reforested, as it had been razed by a forest fire in 2005. They want to ensure that the area is not used in any way that may pose a fire hazard to what little forestland remains, while also putting a stop to any construction plans.

The Municipality of Rafina is demanding a share of the 46 hectares, arguing that a large part of the area should be put to good use and help solve the Municipality’s shortage of land to build much-needed schools. Specifically, after the buildings were deinstitutionalized, the Rafina Municipality asked for the right to use the indoor sports facilities, which had lain inert for years. The Municipality received no response from the Health Ministry, which is responsible for the facilities. Next, it asked for the right to open a school, kindergarten and a nursery school, but has not received an answer to these requests either. The only response the Municipality has had from local authorities is that the construction of a new hospital on the plot will take up 10 hectares of land.

Local environmental groups, for their part, are demanding that the remaining land be reforested. “For some inexplicable reason,” say local environmentalists, “the area was never listed for reforestation after the destructive fires in Rafina in July 2005, which razed 350 hectares of forestland and threatened many homes. If the new hospital requires just 10 hectares of the 46 hectares ceded to the Health Ministry, why should the remainder be excluded from reforestation? The patients have been moved to new accommodation while the new hospital is built and the old building is already being torn down. It is high time the state gave the green light for reforestation.”

The plan is to improve the outpatients’ department and to create a long-term care unit on the premises of the children’s psychiatric hospital that can operate there at least until a new hospital is built in the area.

However, 12 children remain in the hospital, patients in the intensive-care unit. Georgia Sideri, administrator of the Attica Children’s Psychiatric Hospital (PNA), says: “The aim is for these children to return home and to be regularly monitored by the PNA clinics. Should they need long-term care, they can be placed in one of the hospital’s rehabilitation centers.” This has already been done with the 93 patients that used to be at the hospital and have now been transferred to various other clinics of the PNA. According to Sideri, the ICU will remain in operation at the current site, as will certain administrative departments and the outpatients’ clinics that treat local residents. The hospital is also planning the development of an autism and developmental disorders department, in which PNA specializes, at the site.

The Health Ministry has said that it intends to put the existing infrastructure to use and to also build a general hospital that will serve the residents of Eastern Attica. The new hospital will have 440 beds and offer most medical services.

According to Sideri, the hospital building will occupy 4.5 hectares and the surrounding park another 5.5 hectares. Right now some 7 hectares are being used, while a plot has also been assigned for an elementary school and another area for the Paremvasi drug rehabilitation center.

Keratea to fight new landfill October 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment.
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Residents and officials in Keratea, eastern Attica, said yesterday that they will continue to oppose the construction of a landfill in their area and are planning to take the case to the European Court of Justice.

The Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court, gave the go-ahead on Wednesday for the construction of the landfill, which will be one of three dumps created so that Athens’s only refuse collection site in Ano Liosia can be shut down.

«We will not accept having the landfill in Keratea,» said Mayor Stavros Iatrou. The schools in the area were kept shut yesterday as a sign of protest against the court’s decision.

Work on the 20-million-euro project is expected to start in the next few days under tight police security as more protests by locals are expected.

The Municipal Council met last night to decide on further action. Eastern Attica Prefect Leonidas Kouris has given his backing to the protesters and said he will support their efforts to appeal against the Council of State’s ruling.

Mayors object to plans for Hellenikon Metropolitan Park October 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Infrastructure.
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The four Mayors of the Athens suburbs that will be affected by the government’s plans to turn the site of the old airport at Hellenikon into Europe’s largest metropolitan park have written to the Environment and Public Works Ministry to demand that it drops plans to sell part of the site.

The Ministry has said it will sell off 100 hectares to developers and use the money to create a «green fund» to finance the upkeep of the park.

However, the Mayors of Hellenikon, Argyroupolis, Alimos and Glyfada have written to Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias to say they are not willing to be «sacrificed for the sake of profit» and argued the money would not be used for the «green fund» but to plug holes in the budget for the project.

The Mayors asked Souflias to use money from the rental of other Olympic properties to fund the project.