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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 anniversary of WWII entry
  • [02] PASOK leader attends Thessaloniki parade
  • [03] Greek community in Egypt celebrates Oct. 28
  • [04] Turkish DM visits Ataturk birthplace in Thessaloniki
  • [05] Pupils' parades take place
  • [06] Minister: OA 'ailing'
  • [07] Turkish DM in Thessaloniki

  • [01] Greece celebrates anniversary of WWII entry

    Greece on Tuesday celebrated the 68th anniversary of "Ochi (No) Day", which marks the country's entry into World War II, with a traditional military parade in Thessaloniki, in the presence of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and the country's political and military leadership. The parade wound up the annual three-day series of events held in Thessaloniki, including the Oct. 26 anniversary of the ancient metropolis' liberation from Ottoman rule in 1912 and the same-day feast day of Aghios (St.) Demetrius, the city's patron saint.

    The government and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis were represented by Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis. Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou also attended.

    Additionally, present at the parade were eight defence ministers from countries of SE Europe. On hand were defence ministers Mehmet Vecdi Gonul of Turkey; Constantinos Papacostas of Cyprus; Selmo Cikotic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Boro Vucinic of Montenegro, as well as the deputy ministers of Bulgaria, Spas Panchev, Petrit Karabina of Albania, and the assistant minister of the Serbian defence ministry, Dusan Spasojevic, and Croatia's MOD state secretary, Gordan Cacic.

    At the end of the parade, Papoulias hailed Meimarakis' initiative to invite his counterparts, as well as deputy ministers and the secretary generals from the region's.

    The parade was also attended by the Italian ambassador in Greece, former president Christos Sartzetakis, the prefect and mayor of Thessaloniki, Panagiotis Psomiadis and Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, respectively, deputies and Eurodeputies, armed forces general staff Chief Lt.-Gen. Dimitris Grapsas, defence attaches, local government representatives, Church leaders and other officials.

    Referring to the parade, Papoulias stressed:

    "The military parade yet again demonstrated the armed forces' high level of preparedness and training. It is a guarantee of our national independence and territorial sovereignty. I am certain, as then, when the people and military, united, confronted the enemy, today we are also 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, Meimarakis stressed that "... Greece is now building the future with an integrated European awareness of understanding and cooperation, and always undertakes initiatives so that all the countries of the wider region may accede to Euroatlantic Institutions, providing that they fulfil the criteria and rules of good neighbourliness."

    PASOK leader Papandreou stressed that "the soldiers whom we honour today said 'no' to barbarism, and a 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."

    Caption: ANA-MPA photo

    [02] PASOK leader attends Thessaloniki parade

    Main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou on Tuesday attended the annual Oct. 28 military parade through the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

    In a message for the national holiday, Papandreou on Monday said the Greek 'no' in 1940 was "a resounding no to fascism, totalitarianism, autocracy and hypocrisy", one that symbolised the struggle for people to go above and beyond their ability in order to protect their sense of worth, values, freedom and self-respect.

    "Sixty-eight years later, we honour the fighters of the national resistance, pay them the deserved homage and once again remember the values for which they fought: freedom, independence, democracy, dignity and humanity," Papandreou said, adding that people were now called to put those ideals into practice in the face of the moral, economic and political crisis now facing the country.

    "We are called on to say a resounding no to defeatism, insecurity, fear of the new, inefficiency, unfair social policies, autocracy, hypocrisy, corruption and lies," he added.

    Papandreou noted that Greeks were now seeking a reliable and responsible leadership to reverse the ills of the political system and build a society based on cohesion and justice, that would lead the a sustainable development, saying that PASOK "will continue the struggle to meet this historic debt."

    [03] Greek community in Egypt celebrates Oct. 28

    CAIRO (ANA-MPA/N. Katsikas) - The anniversary of the Oct. 28, 1940 entrance of Greece into the Second World War was celebrated here on Tuesday in the presence of a delegation that had participated in events organised over the past few days in El Alamein.

    Members of the Greek armed forces and representatives of veterans' associations honored the anniversary, which culminated in a parade by pupils and boy scouts.

    The president of the ethnic Greek community in Cairo, Christos Kavalis, said of the anniversary, that "Oct. 28 constitutes a special national celebration for Hellenism in Egypt."

    [04] Turkish DM visits Ataturk birthplace in Thessaloniki

    Turkish Defence Minister Mehmet Vecdi Gonul on Tuesday visited the residence in Thessaloniki where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was born in 1881.

    The residence is located in the courtyard of the Turkish consulate in the northern Greece city.

    Gonul arrived in Thessaloniki to observe the annual Oct. 28 military parade commemorating Greece's entry into the Second World War in 1940. The Turkish minister was given a guided tour of the building and signed the visitors' register.

    [05] Pupils' parades take place

    Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas and Education and Religious Affairs Minister Evripides 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", the country's entry into WWII.

    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: Onlookers view the annual Oct. 28 parade through the centre of Irakleio, Crete, on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. ANA-MPA / STEFANOS RAPANIS.

    [06] Minister: OA 'ailing'

    Transport and Communications Minister Costis Hatzidakis, who represented the government in an annual Oct. 28 parade in Hania, Crete, on Tuesday, referred to the issue of the pending privatisation of state-run Olympic Airlines.

    In reply to reporters' questions, Hatzidakis termed the prevailing situation at debt-ridden Olympic Airlines as "ailing".

    "Today, even as 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.

    Gathered in front of the grandstand were a group of Olympic Airlines employees in Hania who hoisted a placard and shouted slogans, calling for a scuttling of the government's plans.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo

    [07] Turkish DM in Thessaloniki

    Turkish Defence Minister Mehmet Vecdi Gonul on Tuesday visited the residence in Thessaloniki where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was born in 1881.

    The residence is located in the courtyard of the Turkish consulate in the northern port city, the largest metropolis in the province of Macedonia.

    Gonul arrived in Thessaloniki to observe the annual Oct. 28 military parade commemorating Greece's entry into the Second World War in 1940. The Turkish minister was given a guided tour of the building and signed the visitors' register.

    Gonul also met with Meimarakis within the framework of a reception attended by other invited defence ministers from the region.

    Caption: Turkish Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul signs the visitors' register in the 19th century childhood residence of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, within the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki, on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. ANA-MPA / N. ARVANITIDIS


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