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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-12-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Christmas excursionists returning home under wintry conditions
  • [02] Support continues for ailing Archbishop Christodoulos
  • [03] PM on death of former Cyprus Archbishop
  • [04] Ex-associate of resigned ministry cadre jailed

  • [01] Christmas excursionists returning home under wintry conditions

    The return of thousands of Christmas holiday travelers to Greece's cities comes amid a cold front forecast for the east Mediterranean nation overnight Wednesday, with showers in most areas and snowfall in the mountainous regions of central and northern Greece expected.

    Authorities are on alert since noon on Wednesday in view of the return of tens of thousands of holiday-makers who departed the major urban areas, particularly Athens and Thessaloniki, for the provinces. Despite heightened measures, 25 people were killed in road accidents during the holiday exodus, while scores of people were injured in traffic-related incidents.

    In terms of the country's political leadership, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and his wife and children spent their Christmas holidays in Cologne, Germany.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and his wife Natassa and their two children spent Christmas in mountainous Grevena, northern Greece.

    The prime minister and his family visited the Grevena prefecture's seat, where they were welcomed by the prefect and local residents. Also present was Development Minister Christos Folias. An ethnic Pontian choir sang Christmas carols for the Karamanlis family at the Grevena Town Hall, where the prime minister also met the mayor of the town.

    Earlier in the week, the premier toured the Vasilitsa ski resort and at Aghia Paraskevi Monastery in the prefecture.

    On his part, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou and his family spent Christmas in Athens, with a children's choir singing Christmas carols for the PASOK leader at the party's headquarters.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga also spent Christmas in Athens and heard Christmas carols at the party's headquarters.

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alekos Alavanos spent Christmas on the Cyclades island of Tinos.

    Finally, Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) leader George Karatzaferis spent Christmas in Thessaloniki, northern Greece.

    Caption: Thousands of Athenian residents and tourists converged on a Syntagma Square, in the heart of downtown Athens across from Parliament, on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007 -- the second day of Christmas -- as the piazza hosts numerous holiday attractions. ANA-MPA / MARIA MAROGIANNI.

    [02] Support continues for ailing Archbishop Christodoulos

    Greek-American transplant specialist Andreas Jackis is expected to examine Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos on Thursday, who was diagnosed with liver and abdominal cancer last spring.

    Christodoulos, under 24-hour medical care at his residence in the Athens suburb of Psychiko, has reportedly been exhausted by continuous visits in recent days.

    The Archbishop was also absent from the religious service held for Christmas at the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral on Tuesday, although the congregation listened to a recorded message that he sent.

    Meanwhile, according to an ANA-MPA dispatch from Cairo, the Patriarch of All Africa and Alexandria Theodoros II spoke with Christodoulos by phone on Tuesday evening, conveying his personal wishes as well as those of the Church of Africa on the occasion of the Christmas holiday.

    According to Church sources, the Patriarch expressed his sincerest wishes that God will always give Archbishop Christodoulos courage and strength to cope with the difficulties he is experiencing, as he had always overcome adversities in his life.

    Lastly, the Patriarch of Alexandria thanked Archbishop for his assistance towards the Orthodox Church of Africa's missions.

    Finally, ‘essaloniki Metropolitan Anthimos told reporters on Wednesday that Christodoulos' stance is "an example and an inspiration for all of us."

    Referring to the health of the head of the Church of Greece, the Metropolitan said "we are following the health of the Archbishop with anxiety. He had some minor problems lately, but he is facing them heroically and with faith in God."

    Caption: A recent ANA-MPA file photo of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos

    [03] PM on death of former Cyprus Archbishop

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis conveyed his condolences to the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II on the death of his predecessor, former Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos I.

    "On behalf of the government and of the Greek people let me express my profound sorrow and my sincere condolences on the death of the former Archbishop of Nova Justiniana and All Cyprus Chrysostomos I, who, with a feeling of great responsibility and with exemplary zeal, offered himself to the Church of Cyprus and to his followers," the prime minister stated in his message.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    [04] Ex-associate of resigned ministry cadre jailed

    The former associate of recently resigned culture ministry secretary general Christos Zachopoulos was ordered remanded in custody on Monday, the day before Christmas, following her six-and-a-half-hour testimony before an investigating magistrate the same day.

    The 34-year-old woman is being charged with felonious extortion and for complicity in suicide with possible intent, charges she denied.

    Zachopoulos was seriously injured last Thursday after falling from his fourth-floor apartment in Athens' Kolonaki district. He remained hospitalised on Wednesday evening in serious but stable condition at Athens' Evangelismos Hospital. The Thessaloniki-area archaeologist and educator had resigned from his post as culture ministry general secretary two days before the incident, citing health reasons.

    Both Zachopoulos' wife and friend, an Athens director, had given authorities statements on Monday, as did a ministry secretary once assigned to Zachopoulos.

    According to Evdokia Tsekou's attorney, she flatly denied she was blackmailing the former culture ministry secretary general or that she had a romantic relationship with him.

    Caption: Evdokia Tsekou (C) is led before an investigating magistrate on Monday, Dec. 24, 2007 to testify in connection with her dealings with former culture ministry secretary general Christos Zachopoulos. ANA-MPA/ALEXANDROS BELTES.


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