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Lighting the way to 2010 Youth Olympic Games

The official ceremony for the Lighting of the Olympic flame that will burn at the inaugural Youth Olympics Games in Singapore will take place today (July 23) at Ancient Olympia.
In the presence of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and Minister of Culture Pavlos Yeroulanos, the priestess will stand in front of the 2,600 year-old Temple of Hera and by using a concave mirror will light a silver torch with the sun’s rays.
As soon as the flame is lit, the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame will begin travelling in five cities across the globe: Berlin, Dakar, Mexico City, Auckland and Seoul.
Yesterday, a successful rehearsal was conducted and hundreds of tourists, visiting the site where the Ancient Olympics were held from 776 BC to 393 AD, witnessed the event. The first ever Youth Olympic Games will be held from August 14 to 26 in Singapore.
Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism: The Archaeological site of Olympia
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)
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Greece Mourns Death of Youth

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   A tragic incident took place on Saturday night, when a teenager was shot by a police officer. Due process is being followed: the two people responsible for this act of violence have been brought to justice. One of them is charged with premeditated manslaughter, and the second with complicity. The whole of Greece in one voice, be it the government, the opposition, and the people themselves, expressed its condemnation of the tragic incident of Saturday night. Some isolated extremist groups tried to take advantage of this spontaneous expression of sorrow and transformed it into acts of vandalism of public and private property in downtown Athens.In a condolence letter to the boy’s parents on Sunday, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis promised the state would do everything in its power to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again. Early aftermoon, the premier made the following statement:

“As every Greek, I feel deep sorrow for the unfair loss of the young pupil. At such difficult times, my thought is with his friends and family. I know that there is nothing that can soothe their pain. However, I want to assure everyone that the State will spare no effort to render justice. The culprits will receive the punishment they deserve. Each and every Greek can rest assure that the State will do anything in its power for this tragedy not to be repeated in the future. At this point, everyone has a part to play: The government first and foremost, along with all political forces, the youth and the rest of the society. It is unfortunate that extremist elements have taken advantage of the tragic event to serve their own purposes. With everything that they perpetrated, especially yesterday, it becomes obvious that their sole motive was bare violence and that their aim mere destruction. Once again, their acts turned against innocent people and their properties, therefore against society as a whole. In a State governed by law and democracy, the duty of the government, of any government, is to protect society. Those unacceptable and dangerous incidents occurred, under the cover of the commotion stirred by this tragic event must not and will not be tolerated again. The State will protect the citizens, it will protect society. I have asked the Minister of Economy and Finance to explore every possibility in order, for our co-citizens whose property was destroyed or damaged, to be immediately and fully indemnified. There are specific proposals already tabled which will be further elaborated in the coming days by the competent ministries involved. Life is the supreme good. Its loss is irreplaceable. May the stance of each and every one of us pay tribute to the memory of Alexis.” 
President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias also sent a telegram expressing the state’s condolences to the parents. “I express by deepest anguish for the loss of your son. His death was a wound to the operation of the state of law. I hope that it is the last and I am certain that those to blame will be held responsible,” Papoulias said in his message.  During a news conference on Sunday, Interior Minister, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, said, “It is inconceivable for there not to be punishment when a person, let alone a minor, loses their life.” He added: “The loss of life is something that is inconceivable in a democracy.”  Pavlopoulos tendered his resignation soon after the incident, but the premier did not accept it.  Athens News Agency: PM promises ‘no leniency’ over boy’s death

Greek Expats

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Fifty expatriates, who wish to study in Greece or become permanent residents, will have the opportunity to learn the Greek language with the help of special computer software. The World Council of Hellenes Abroad’s (SAE) three-month pilot programme will take place at the organization’s offices in Thessaloniki. The programme, funded by the General Secretariat for Youth, aims at promoting Greek cultural heritage and linguistic identity with the use of new technologies. 

Greek Pupils Awarded by EU

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Greek high school of Vironas, municipality of Athens, received the 3rd prize in the European Charlemagne Youth Prize Competition for 2008. The annual competition is organised by the European Parliament and the Charlemagne Prize Foundation. The event aims at inviting young people from all EU Member States to contemplate on EU development, integration and identity issues. The prize is awarded to the projects that best promote European understanding. The Greek high school of Vironas was rewarded for its innovating teaching method regarding European matters. The first prize was awarded to a students’ union from Hungary. The young winners received their awards by Parliament’s President Hans-Gert Pöttering and were later on invited by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, laureate of the 2008 Charlemagne Prize, a distinction with which the great Greek statesman Konstantinos Karamanlis was also honoured in 1978. Greek News Agenda: Konstantinos Karamanlis (1907-1998)