05 January, 2005
A telethon, organized by the Hellenic Broadcasting Corp. (ERT) and the Foreign Ministry, managed to generate more than €15 million as of Tuesday evening at press time, in an effort to raise funds for the relief of the victims of a devastating quake and the tsunamis that swept the coastlines of South and Southeast Asia on December 26.
Among sums donated were €50,000 from the Union of Prefecture Authorities of Greece (ENAE). ENAE president Fofi Gennimata stressed that this money was independent of any sums donated by individual prefectures.
Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki said that Parliament would initially donate €50,000 from its budget, while the Municipality of Athens also donated an additional €50,000.
The National Bank of Greece donated €200,000 while Eurobank and the Bank of Piraeus donated €100,000 each.
SKAI radio station also made a generous donation of €100,000, as did OTE-Cosmote (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization and its mobile telephony subsidiary), while the real estate company Babis Vovos contributed €150,000.
A further €50,000 was given by the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE), whose president Paris Koukoulopoulos appealed to municipalities and communities throughout the country to actively support a program initiated by KEDKE and other groups in collaboration with UNICEF to support child victims of the December 26 quake and tsunami.
Olympic Airlines announced that it would be contributing 20 round-trip tickets for either members of relief organizations to travel to Southeast Asia or for patients and children needing help to be transported to Greece. The company also decided to cover the expenses needed for the transfer of humanitarian aid to the region. Finally, company executives have also pledged donations.
The three largest development ministry-affiliated utilities -- the Public Power Corp. (PPC), Hellenic Petroleum (EL.PE) and the Public Gas Corp. (DE.PA) -- on Tuesday presented the Greek Red Cross with a total of €250,000 for aid to tsunami-stricken countries.
PPC contributed €100,000, as did EL.PE, with DE.PA contributing €50,000.
Checks for the amounts were presented to Greek Red Cross President Andreas Martinis by the three companies’ management teams during a brief ceremony in Athens
The donations are the result of an initiative by Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas.
The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) has announced that it will join other European stock markets at 13:00 on Wednesday in observing three minutes of silence as a sign of respect for the victims of the Indian Ocean disaster, though the stock market's electronic trading system OASHS will continue to operate during that time.
An hour earlier on the same day, three minutes silence will be observed in all public-sector services in memory of the victims of the disaster, starting at noon. An emergency circular was sent out on Tuesday by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who has also asked that flags be flown at half-mast on government buildings throughout the day.
This show of respect was proposed by the outgoing Dutch presidency of the European Union in collaboration with the new Luxembourg EU presidency and will take place simultaneously in all EU member-states.
Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis, accompanied by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, on Wednesday will be visiting the non-governmental aid organization Allillegii, run by the Church of Greece on Wednesday afternoon, where humanitarian aid for the victims of the South and SE Asia disaster is being collected and packed for sending.
Source: Athens News Agency