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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-08-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] President inaugurates Callas tribute exhibition in Florina
  • [02] FM on FYROM name issue

  • [01] President inaugurates Callas tribute exhibition in Florina

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Saturday inaugurated a major tribute exhibition marking the 30th anniversary of the her death, at the Museum of Modern Arts in Florina, as part of the annual Prespes festival of cultural events, which has been dedicated this year to the internationally-acclaimed Greek opera diva.

    The exhibition, titled "Maria Callas, 30 years after", was first organized and presented by the Hellenic Parliament Foundation following the declaration of 2007 as the Year of Maria Callas.

    Parliament president Dimitris Sioufas, addressing the opening, paid tribute to "the Greek artist who left her mark on the history of opera with her unique voice, impressive performing style, and unparalleled stage presence", while culture minister Michalis Liapis spoke of the "ultimate diva of opera".

    The inauguration was also attended by foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, development minister Christos Folias, Macedonia-Thrace minister Margaritis Tzimas, deputy culture minister for sports Yannis Ioannidis, MPs, representatives of local governments and religious authorities, and a plethora of local residents and visitors.

    The tribute exhibition highlights Callas' artistic personality as well as her Greek and international career, through a display of photographs from the coloratura soprano's first appearances in Athens and her performances in opera houses throughout the world, costumes designed by renowned Greek painter Yiannis Tsarouchis, Callas' personal objects, and portraits of the diva painted by Greek artists.

    The Prespes 2008 festival was inaugurated on Friday night, with politicians calling on neighboring countries for peace and cooperation in their brief addresses.

    Foreign minister Bakoyannis expressed hope that this message would reach "all our neighbors and become truly understood, while culture minister Liapis, in opening the festival, stressed that "art operations primarily as a bridge among peoples and cultures, as a channel of communication that contributes to mutual understanding among the peoples and to their peaceful and creative co-existence".

    The opening event closed with a concert by Greek, Yugoslav and Turkish singers and musicians, including Dionyssis Savvopoulos, George Dalaras, Goran Bregovic and Erkan Ogur, the Russian choir Tretyakov, and the Sofia Symphony Orchestra.

    Caption: President Karolos Papoulias (R) at opening of "Maria Callas, 30 years after" exhibition in Florina. (ANA-MPA/Ch. Bletsos)

    [02] FM on FYROM name issue

    Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said that Greece was seeking a solution to the FYROM name issue "without winners and losers", but not one without content, speaking in Florina on Saturday at the Third World Congress of Floriniotes.

    She said that the name that is found must reflect the realities of the region, and finally put an end to the irredentist propaganda and ethnicistic talk that the FYROM leaders frequently resort to.

    The name, she stressed, must not deprive a single Greek from Florina, Kastoria, Kilkis or Thessaloniki of his inalienable right to consider himself a proud Macedonian and of honoring his roots and glorious history.

    Bakoyannis further reiterated that the UN-mediated negotiation had a single purpose, to determine the name of the neighboring country, and a single goal, which was the achievement of a mutually acceptable solution, and "not the perpetuation of this serious outstanding issue, which has repercussions on the good neighborhood relations and regional cooperation in our region".

    She stressed that it was of exceptional importance "to send the message to our neighbors that, since we live side-by-side, it will be to everyone's benefit to succeed in finding a solution and in our relations being characterized henceforth by friendship, mutual respect, and constantly broadening cooperation".

    Noting that at the NATO summit in Bucharest Greece had convinced its friends and allies of the correctness of its positions and the credibility of its arguments, Bakoyannis said that "today we are continuing, with persistence, realism and self-confidence, to seek a mutually acceptable solution via negotiation".

    "Our goal and aspirations are crystal clear: a composite solution, with a geographical determinant, that will be in effect for all. A solution that will enable us to accept our neighbor as an ally in NATO and to continue to support it in its difficult adaptation towards a European future. A solution that will help our neighbors stop trapping themselves in the past and move forward, with Greece's backing, to a more hopeful future of stability, cooperation and constant development," Bakoyannis added.

    She also explained that Greece, while it maintains this constructive stance, and as it awaits the other side to leave behind the anachronistic bigotry and obstructive policies and enter into substantive negotiation, will at the same time actively support the development of the neighboring state.

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