Greece

Strong explosion rocks central Athens

Strong explosion rocks central AthensAthens  - A strong explosion shook central Athens after a bomb went off Thursday on a busy avenue, causing damage to a government building but no injuries, the state news agency said.

The explosive device went off outside the building of the State Property Company, a short distance from Athens' central police headquarters and Greece's supreme court, damaging nearby cars and buildings.

Police cordoned off the area, one of the busiest avenues in Athens.

Pirates hijack Greek cargo ship off Somali coast

Pirates hijack Greek cargo ship off Somali coast Athens  - Pirates seized a Greek-owned cargo ship off the coast of Somalia late Thursday, Greece's merchant marine ministry said.

The Saint-Vincent-flagged cargo ship Titan, with 24 crew, was loaded with steel and was reportedly sailing from the Black Sea when pirates seized the ship off Somalia.

Three of the crew are of Greek nationality, officials said.

1ST LEAD: Strong explosion rocks central Athens

Strong explosion rocks central Athens Athens  - A strong explosion shook central Athens after a car bomb went off Thursday on a busy avenue, causing serious damage but no injuries, the state news agency said.

The car bomb exploded outside the building of the State Property Company, a short distance from Athens' central police headquarters and Greece's supreme court, damaging nearby cars and buildings.

There was no warning prior to the explosion and no group claimed responsibility for it.

Strong explosion rocks central Athens

Strong explosion rocks central AthensAthens  - A strong explosion shook cent

Greece unveils first "green" island

Greece unveils first "green" islandAthens  - The tiny Greek island of Agios Efstratios located in the Aegean Sea would soon become the country's first "green" island, entirely powered by renewable energy sources, Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said Thursday.

The island's 250 residents would use only solar- and wind- generated energy and move around the 43.3-square-kilometre island, located north-west of Limnos on bicycles and in electric cars.

According to Hatzidakis, the 10-million-euro (13-million-dollar) project would go into effect by 2010 and serve as an international model.

Greek government freezes public sector salaries

Greek government freezes public sector salaries Athens - The Greek government on Wednesday froze the salaries of public sector employees earning more than 1,700 euros (2,208 dollars) per month in an effort to rein in public spending.

"The decisions we announce today are difficult," Finance Minister Yannis Papathanassiou said.

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