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Torch relay for Beijing Olympic Games in Greece January 31, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Olympic Games.
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The torch relay for the Beijing Olympic Games will last seven days on Greek territory, after the Lighting of the Flame in Ancient Olympia on March 24.

According to a press release from the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the Olympic Flame will cover in Greece 1.528 kilometers by the hands of 605 bearers. The torch relay will pass through 16 prefectures, 43 municipalities, 4 communities and there will be organized 29 ceremonies in specific cities along the route of the torch relay.

The Olympic Flame will be lit in Ancient Olympia at 12.00 o’clock March 24 and will be handed over to the Organizing Committee of Beijing on the March 30 at 15.00 at the Panathenaikon – Kallimarmaro/Marble – Stadium in Athens, the venue where the first Modern Olympics Games began in 1896.

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World Cup campaign begins away January 31, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Greece’s bid to reach the 2010 finals starts in Luxembourg before continuing in Latvia

Greece officials, players and fans are hoping Otto Rehhagel will extend his contract to lead Greece in its bid to make the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. Cyprus, Poland and Ukraine are also taking part.

Greece will begin its qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup finals with two away games next September, against Luxembourg and Latvia, before playing its first home game against Moldova a month later, following a draw held yesterday in Zagreb, Croatia.

The national soccer team, which has qualified for the World Cup finals just once before, will be eager to rake in maximum points from these early – and theoretically easy – games to set the pace for a solid campaign from there on.

Now preparing to defend its European title at the Euro 2008 finals this summer following an impressive qualifying campaign that produced a 10-1-1 record, the Greek team is hoping that coach Otto Rehhagel will still be at the helm in its bid to reach the World Cup finals.

Rehhagel’s contract expires at the end of Euro 2008, to be held in Austria and Switzerland in June, and he has yet to announce his plans. The Greek soccer federation’s chief Vassilis Gagatsis has made quite clear his interest in extending Rehhagel’s contract.

The national team’s schedule for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers is as follows:

September 6, 2008 – Luxembourg-Greece

September 10, 2008 – Latvia-Greece

October 11, 2008 – Greece-Moldova

October 15, 2008 – Greece-Switzerland

March 28, 2009 – Israel-Greece

April 1, 2009 – Greece-Israel

September 5, 2009 – Switzerland-Greece

September 9, 2009 – Moldova-Greec

October 10, 2009 – Greece-Latvia

October 14, 2009 – Greece-Luxembourg.

Greece will take part in a six-nation friendly tournament in Cyprus, beginning this weekend. It plays the Czech Republic on February 5 and Finland the following day.

Ministry websites hit by hacker intrusion January 31, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web.
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Hackers broke into websites belonging to the Interior and Agriculture Ministries yesterday, showing just how vulnerable sites are to such attacks.

The hackers, who go by the name “Cyber Anarchy,” broke into the networks run by the two Ministries and posted messages against the police and in support of migrants.

It is their second attack since breaking into the Justice Ministry’s website in November. Ministry officials said they did not inform police immediately as they had launched their own investigation.

“It is clear that attacks against organizations and state services are a serious issue for the intelligence services of Europe and Greece,” said an official from the National Intelligence Agency (EYP), which is in the process of setting up a task force designed to protect state services from similiar attacks.

Greeks flock to mourn Archbishop Christodoulos January 31, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Religion & Faith.
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Thousands of mourners have lined the streets of Athens for the funeral of Archbishop Christodoulos, head of the Greek Orthodox Church. The Archbishop died on Monday, aged 69, after suffering from cancer.

The funeral, with full state honours, comes after four days of official mourning across the country. Thousands of people have already paid their last respects to the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, whose body lay in state at Athens’ cathedral.

The spiritual leader of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, led the funeral service at Athens’ main cathedral.

It was also attended by other senior Orthodox officials, Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. A delegation from the Vatican was also present.

Outside the cathedral, thousands of mourners waited as the funeral cortege wound its way to Athens’ cemetery. The Archbishop’s open coffin was carried on a gun carriage, accompanied by priests, government officials and a large military guard of honour.

Related Links >
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7219140.stm

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Athens metro on line until after midnight January 30, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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A two-month pilot scheme that will see trains on the metro system and the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway run until late on weekends will start Friday.

The scheme means trains will run until 2 o’clock on Saturday and Sunday mornings in a bid to offer Athenians an alternative to getting to and from their nighttime entertainment.

The Transport Ministry and the City of Athens have been in favor of the move as they see it as an obvious way to increase passenger numbers on lines 2 and 3 of the metro, which first opened to commuters seven years ago.

AMEL, the firm that operates the Athens Metro, estimates that the longer timetable will cost the company an extra 300,000 euros a month. Two-thirds of this cost will be for staff overtime.

Related Links > www.ametro.gr

UPDATE > 1 February 2008

Metro and railway workers threaten plan for longer hours on weekend

Plans for the metro and Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway (ISAP) to run for longer starting this weekend were thrown into confusion yesterday after workers said they will go on a two-hour work stoppage tonight at exactly the time the service is meant to be extended. The Transport Ministry has said the metro and the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway will run for an extra two hours until 2 a.m. to serve nighttime commuters during a two-month pilot scheme. Metro workers, however, have opposed the move and said they will walk off the job because they believe that more research should be carried out before the measure is introduced.

Crowds queue up to bid farewell to Archbishop January 30, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Religion & Faith.
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Hundreds of mourners wait outside Athens Cathedral yesterday to pay their respects to Archbishop Christodoulos, who died of cancer on Monday. Some 30,000 worshippers have visited the cathedral during the last two days. Today will be the last day that the archbishop’s body will lie in state.

Thousands of mourners queued for up to three hours outside Athens Cathedral yesterday to pay their final respects to Archbishop Christodoulos while his possible successors prepare to declare their candidacies following the funeral of the late head of the Greek Church tomorrow.

The crowds waiting to see the archbishop lying in state were seven-people wide and stretched around Karaiskaki Square in central Athens. Policemen tried to prevent people pushing into the queue but mostly to no avail.

More than 30,000 people are estimated to have passed through the cathedral over the last two days in order to catch a last glimpse of Christodoulos who died on Monday after a battle against cancer.

Following his funeral tomorrow, a number of bishops are expected to indicate their interest in succeeding the archbishop. Among the front-runners are Efstathios, Bishop of Sparta, Ieronimos, Bishop of Thebes, Anthimos, Bishop of Thessaloniki, Ignatios, Bishop of Dimitrias, and Dorotheos, Bishop of Syros.

The Holy Synod will vote for the next archbishop on February 7, which is much sooner than usual as the Church wants to avoid any potentially damaging rifts between candidates during a drawn-out campaign.

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, is expected in Athens today but sources said that he has made it clear he will not back a particular candidate.

Greece’s new Archbishop to be elected on February 7 January 30, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Religion & Faith.
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The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece will convene on February 7 to elect a new Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, following the passing away early Monday of Archbishop Christodoulos, after a seven-month battle with cancer.

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece held an extensive meeting on Monday following the death of Archbishop Christodoulos, during which it set the date for electing a new Archbishop.

The session, which ended late in the afternoon, discussed details of the four-day mourning period, during which the archbishop’s body will lie in state at Athens Metropolitan Cathedral, and decided that the funeral that will be held on Thursday at 10:00.

Christodoulos will be buried at the Athens 1st cemetery immediately after the funeral procession, while the Holy Synod has requested those wanting to send a wreath to instead make a donation to some charitable cause or foundation.

Thessaloniki’s metropolitan Anthimos announced that the election for the new head of the Greek Orthodox Church will be beld on February 7 at the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral.

Αrchbishop Christodoulos passed away on Monday at 5:15 a.m. (3:15 GMT) after battling cancer for the past seven months. Earlier, his attending physicians, close associates and numerous clerics hastily assembled at the Archbishop’s official residence in the Athens district of Paleo Psyhico, as Christodoulos had declined to leave his home for a hospital in his last days.