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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-05-20

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] U.S. President George W. Bush welcomes PM Costas Karamanlis at oval office, praises 'strategic cooperation' between Greece-U.S.
  • [02] Composer Mikis Theodorakis to receive UNESCO music prize for 2005

  • [01] U.S. President George W. Bush welcomes PM Costas Karamanlis at oval office, praises 'strategic cooperation' between Greece-U.S.

    U.S. President George W. Bush welcomed Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis at the White House on Friday and stressed the need of working together to spread freedom and peace.

    "It is my pleasure to welcome you again Mr. prime minister. America and Greece have a strategic cooperation. This is important for our peoples and it is important that we work together to spread freedom and peace. I want to welcome you here. The last time you were here we were speaking about the Olympic Games. I told the prime minister that I was confident that the government would safeguard the security of the Olympic Games. I was so confident that I sent my family. And not only did you keep your word, but my parents and some other relatives of mine had a fantastic time in your wonderful country. I look forward to the discussion I will be having with you on many issues, such as freedom in the wider Middle East and the Balkans. I look forward to discussing the best way to work together with the purpose of spreading freedom. I am proud that you are here and I welcome you to the United States," President Bush said.

    Replying to President Bush's welcoming statement, Karamanlis said "it is my second visit and meeting with President Bush over a period of almost a year and I have the pleasure of saying that it reflects the excellent bilateral relations we have and, of course, our determination to strengthen our cooperation to promote issues of common interest and the common targets we have. And I believe that this will be the result of this meeting. Namely, to continue to cooperate closely on issues which are very important for both of us and for the two countries."

    [02] Composer Mikis Theodorakis to receive UNESCO music prize for 2005

    UNESCO and the International Music Council (IMC) on Friday decided to award the IMC Music Prize for 2005 to Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, who turns 80 this year.

    According to Greece's permanent representative at UNESCO, Ambassador G. Anastasopoulos, Theodorakis was chosen among 40 nominees of world-class standing for the prize, which acknowledged his worth on a global basis.

    Past recipients of the IMC Music Prize include Dimitri Shostakovich, Leonard Bernstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Herbert von Karajan, Cesaria Evora and Mercedes Sosa, among others.

    The prize will probably be awarded in the autumn in Aachen, where the prize has been awarded since 1994.

    In a career that spanned nearly all of Greece's troubled post-war history, throughout which Theodorakis played a prominent role and was repeatedly incarcerated for his political beliefs, he also managed to transform and redefine popular Greek music with works like "Epitaph", "Axion Esti" and "Romiosyni".

    During the Greek dictatorship of 1967-1974, after serving a spell in 'exile', Theodorakis managed to escape abroad where his stirring music and rousing concerts were instrumental in drumming up foreign support against the dictatorship.

    He is best known abroad for the seminal work "Canto General", first released in the early '70s, and to wider audiences for "Zorba's Dance" - the scene in the film 'Zorba the Greek' where Anthony Quinn dances on the beach that has also figured prominently in successive Olympiads.

    On Friday, the composer received a visit from Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki in Athens, who said that a new audio biography on the composer entitled "Axios Esti" will be placed under the aegis of Parliament.

    This the audio version of an earlier book by author George Malouhos, which is based on a series of interviews and will be comprised of 40 to 50 CDs. It is being produced as a tribute to Theodorakis' 80th birthday.

    Emerging from Theodorakis' home in Athens, Psarouda-Benaki described him as "part of Greece's national capital" and said that it was "self-evident that Parliament must take the lead in supporting initiatives that preserve our historic memory and promote our national capital".

    A statement congratulating Theodorakis for winning the prize was made later on Friday by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, who is currently on an official visit to the United States.

    "In an age when the need to underline the ecumenical language of culture is more urgent than ever before, the decision of the IMC and UNESCO to grant the 2005 Music Prize to Mikis Theodorakis acquires particular content and symbolism," the prime minister said.

    He also underline that Theodorakis' work was important precisely because it succeeded in simultaneously voicing genuine Greekness and a global message without any compromise.

    "The music and songs of our great composer have accompanied and still accompany the daily lives and the great moments not just of our compatriots but of people and peoples all over the world. His constant struggles for freedom, social justice and human dignity rise above national boundaries and become a legacy for all humanity," Karamanlis said.

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