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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-10-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece celebrates 68th anniversary of 'Ochi Day'
  • [02] Student parade in Athens
  • [03] Olympic Airlines 'is sick'

  • [01] Greece celebrates 68th anniversary of 'Ochi Day'

    Greece celebrates 68th anniversary of 'Ochi Day'

    Greece on Tuesday celebrated the 68th anniversary of "Ochi Day" with the traditional grand military parade at Megalou Alexandrou Avenue in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, in the presence of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias. The government and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was represented by National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis. Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou also attended. Furthermore, present at the parade were eight counterparts of Meimarakis which come from countries of SE Europe.

    At the end of the parade, Papoulias hailed the initiative of the National Defence Minister to invite his counterparts, deputy ministers and secretary generals from countries of the broader Balkans.

    The parade was also attended by the Italian Ambassador in Greece, former president of the republic Christos Sartzetakis, the Prefect and Mayor of Thessaloniki, Panagiotis Psomiadis and Vassilis Papageorgopoulos respectively, deputies and Eurodeputies, Armed Forces General Staff Chief Dimitris Grapsas, attaches of foreign countries, local government representatives, clerics and officials of the city.

    Referring to the parade, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias stressed:"The milititary parade yet again showed the high level of preparedness and training of the armed forces. It is the guarantee of our national independence and our territorial sovereignty. I am certain, as then, the people and the army united confronted any enemy, and thus today we are ready, not only to confront any threats but to work and cooperate in order for the Balkans to be a place of peace, cooperation and cordial understanding."

    On his part, National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis stressed that "knowing that maybe the older generations may have had certain reservations, Greece is now building the future with a European integrated awareness of understanding and cooperation and always undertakes initiatives so that all the countries of the broader region may acceed to the Euroatlantic Institutions, providing that they fullfil the criteria and rules of good neighbourliness."

    PASOK leader Papandreou stressed that "the fighters which we honour today said 'no' to barbarism, the big 'yes' for a society of values. Now, despite the (economic) crisis we are going through, we know that we can have a better Greece."

    [02] Student parade in Athens

    Student parade in Athens

    Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas and Education and Religious Affairs Minister Evripidis Stylianidis, on behalf of the government, on Tuesday laid wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens, marking Greece's 68th anniversary of "Ochi Day".

    Also present were representatives of the political parties and Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis. Immediately afterwards, it was followed by a parade by students.

    Taking part in the parade were primary and secondary school students, 12 from primary schools, 26 from secondary schools, of the Special Olympics and scouts.

    At the end of the parade, Sioufas spoke about the importance of the anniversary and stressed that the global economic crisis demands "national unity."

    Stylianidis stressed that young people "must know that our values and principles also inspire us today."

    Anna Diamantopoulou, on behalf of the main opposition PASOK party, noted the importance of education, saying that young people have "education as a weapon." She added that "what is needed in state education is for lies and phobic hypocricies to stop. We must have state education as a first priority."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas.

    [03] Olympic Airlines 'is sick'

    Olympic Airlines 'is sick'

    Transport and Communications Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, who represented the government in the festive events marking the anniversary of "Ochi Day", in Hania, Crete, on Tuesday, referred to the issue of the privatisation of Olympic Airlines.

    In reply to reporters' questions, Hatzidakis termed as "sick", the prevailing situation at Olympic Airlines at present.

    "Today, now that we speak, five airline companies throughout Europe are in the process of being privatised. We are continuing our effort on the basis of the timeframes we have set, and with the main objective to rid the tax payers and the weaker economic classes from a burden which they have carried for so many years, backing a sick situation at Olympic Airlines," the minister said.

    The Transport Minister represented the government in the events marking the anniversary of "Ochi Day" in Hania.

    Gathered in front of the stand of the officials who observed a parade, were a group of Olympic Airlines employees in Hania who hoisted a plackard and shouted slogans, calling for the government's plans for Olympic Airlines not to proceed.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Transport and Communications Minister Kostis Hatzidakis.


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