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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Ecumenical Patriarch meets PM
  • [02] Athens mayor to visit Moscow

  • [01] Ecumenical Patriarch meets PM

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis received visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the government's headquarters in Athens on Friday, in the presence of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch thanked the prime minister for receiving him in spite of his hectic schedule and, referring to the premier's recent visit to Istanbul and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he said that his visit to the Great School of the Nation was very moving.

    Earlier, Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias had received the Ecumenical Patriarch at the Presidential Mansion.

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is scheduled to depart for Istanbul on Saturday.

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis hosted a reception for visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Friday at the foreign ministry, where she referred to the ?new creative paths? in relations between the Church of Greece with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as the ?notable international initiatives? undertaken by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

    Additionally, the Greek foreign minister again underlined Athens' determination to continue to offer its ?unreserved support? for the unhindered operation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the reopening of the Halki theological seminary.

    Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece and other members of the Church of Greece hierarchy attended the event.

    Bakoyannis referred to the Ecumenical Patriarch as the first among equals, in the firmament of Orthodox Churches, and praised him for the notable initiatives he has undertaken for the promotion of inter-religious dialogue and the dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church. She also referred to his international actions for the protection of the environment, while stressing that the Phanar -- the seat of the venerable Patriarchate in Istanbul -- is Turkey‚s strongest European voice and the most ardent supporter of the country‚s European aspirations.

    Making a special reference to the problems faced by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in EU candidate-state Turkey, Bakoyannis stated that they are ?remnants of obsolete mentalities?, adding that the policy followed by Greece has managed to place these problems clearly within the European framework, making their solution a proof of Turkey's adjustment to European standards.

    In a more direct reference to Ankara, the foreign minister underlined that Greece will make every effort to assist the neighbouring country realise that the presence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on its territory can become an important argument in its favor.

    Bakoyannis pointed out that recognition of the Patriarchate‚s "Ecumenical" character, its unhindered operation, its ability to renew its clergy through the reopening of the Halki School, the recognition of its legal entity and the protection of its property rights can constitute strong advantages for Turkey in "its long and difficult course toward Europe."

    On his part, the Ecumenical Patriarch expressed the hope that Greece will continue to offer its wholehearted support to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, "the mother of All Churches".

    [02] Athens mayor to visit Moscow

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis will be on an official visit to Moscow throughout most of next week, upon an invitation of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

    The two mayors are due to sign a memorandum of cooperation on Tuesday, at the Russian capital's City Hall, concerning five areas: the environment, culture, sport, tourism and mass media.

    A press conference will follow the signing of the agreement.

    Kaklamanis will be accompanied on his trip by city of Athens' cultural organisation chairman Sophia Daskalaki-Mytilineou, Athens city councillor Anna Rokofyllou and Athens Tourism and Economic Development Co. director Panagiotis Arkoumaneas.

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