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Olympic Airlines flights to Balkans October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in News Flights.
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Greece’s Olympic Airlines is expanding its flight schedule to the Balkan capitals of Bucharest, Sofia and Belgrade, raising the total number of services per week to 46 from 41 on the schedule until March 29.

It also has added two weekly flights from Athens to Dubai, on Thursdays and Saturdays.

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Intrakat contract October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece, Business & Economy.
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Eurokat, a subsidiary of listed construction company Intrakat, is the winning bidder for the construction of the central library of the Athens School of Fine Arts at Rendi, Piraeus, for a total budget of almost 5 million euros.

Fuel sales continue to increase in Greece October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Energy.
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Sales of gasoline and diesel in Greece grew by 5.6 percent year-on-year in the January to August period, according to a survey by Stat Bank published yesterday.

Gasoline sales expanded by 3.8 percent from 2.67 million tons in 2006 to 2.77 million tons this year, while the diesel market grew by an impressive 466.6 percent. Only the market of heating oil showed a 15.4 percent decline in that period, given its rising price and the mild winter of 2006-2007. The annual turnover of the market is estimated at 12 billion euros.

Cyprus plans to cut betting tax October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Games & Gadgets.
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Cyprus plans to cut its betting tax to 10 percent from the present 25 percent in a bid to clamp down on illegal practices and enhance tax revenues, officials said yesterday.

In 2006, betting tax revenues declined to 4.27 million Cyprus pounds ($10.4 million) from 4.59 million Cyprus pounds in 2005, coming largely from bets on horses and soccer. Illegal betting is considered to be responsible for the declining revenues.

“The proposed change provides that taxation will be paid not by the player but by the betting agent, based not on the amount of the bet but on the difference between (received betting) revenues and amounts paid (to winners),” Iphigenia Petrocosta from the Finance Ministry told Parliament’s Finance Committee.

Representatives of gaming companies said the proposed change was a step in the right direction. “We believe that this law will help legal betting,” Glafkos Harmantas, President of OPAP Cyprus, told Reuters but declined to speculate on the dimensions of illegal betting. Petrocosta said the proposed legislation is an interim solution as the European Commission is to decide on Europe-wide rules.

Research points to child abuse October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Living, Police & Crime.
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More than one in 10 primary school children have been subject to abuse, in some cases sexual, according to the preliminary results of a study carried out by an Athens University professor and made public yesterday by Municipal authorities in Maroussi, northern Athens.

Some 15 percent of children aged between 8 and 12 have been abused, according to the nationwide study carried out by professor Christina Antonopoulou and the child protection agency Hamogelo tou Paidiou (Child’s Smile) on a sample of 2,500 children.

The preliminary results of the study did not indicate who is responsible for abuse against children but Maroussi Mayor Giorgos Tatoulis said, “Usually the aggressor is someone from the child’s familiar environment.” “Every parent should be informed in order to recognize the danger signs,” said Tatoulis, the director of an intermunicipal initiative to boost health services. “Lack of infrastructure means children often don’t get psychiatric tests to determine whether they have been abused or not,” he said.

Athens airport is “too noisy” October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment, Transport Air Sea Land.
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People living near Athens International Airport (AIA) are right to complain about noise pollution, as authorities are not doing enough to limit the noise from the airplanes taking off and landing there, according to the Greek Ombudsman.

The watchdog published a report yesterday following a series of complaints from locals following the opening of the airport in March 2001. According to the independent body’s research, the main problem stems from a fault with the design and construction of the airport’s runways.

The Ombudsman also underlined that there has been an increase in people living in the area in the last six years and more measures are needed to protect residents from airplane noise.

The AIA has placed 10 monitoring stations around the airport and was given the all clear with regard to noise levels in 2005 by a team of inspectors from the Environment and Public Works Ministry.

Cyprus pulls plug on UK talks October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied, Politics.
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Cyprus has canceled upcoming talks with Britain in protest over a pact with Turkey it said promotes the war-divided island’s permanent partition, the government said yesterday.

Cyprus’ Government spokesman Vassilis Palmas said talks scheduled for Saturday in London between Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis and a British Foreign Office Minister, Kim Howells, had been called off to underscore Nicosia’s displeasure over last week’s deal. “Ms Marcoullis’s trip to London will not take place,” Palmas told reporters. “Decisions have been made on different levels and more will be made. These decisions and these measures will be made public as they are implemented, unless the government judges that it must act differently.”

The Marcoullis-Howells talks were part of talks between Nicosia and London that began in October 2005 aiming to build trust and promote cooperation between the two countries.

The strategic partnership agreement, announced last week during a visit to London by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, included a reference to northern Turkish-occupied and military controlled Cyprus as the “TRNC,” which stands for the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.” The breakaway state in the north of the divided island is recognized only by Ankara, as opposed to the Greek Cypriot Governmemt which is internationally recognized.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus, following a failed coup by supporters of uniting the island with Greece. The island remains split between an internationally recognized Republic in the Greek-Cypriot south and the Turkish-Cypriot occupied north. Talks to resolve the division have been stalled since 2004, when Greek Cypriots rejected a UN-backed plan in a referendum. Turkish Cypriots approved the plan in a separate vote.

The Cypriot government in the south also warned that the partnership agreement could hamper settlement prospects. Speaking on state radio yesterday, Minister Kozakou-Marcoullis called the Turkish-British agreement “unacceptable.” London had said its policy toward northern Cyprus was unchanged and it did not seek to promote partition.