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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM briefs president on unprecedented rioting
  • [02] Government must go, Papandreou says
  • [03] Exhibition in New York on women in ancient Athens
  • [04] Peaceful remembrance of teen

  • [01] PM briefs president on unprecedented rioting

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday morning briefed President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on the situation prevailing following three nights of extensive violence and destruction in central Athens and other cities throughout the country during riots sparked by the shooting death of a 15-year-old pupil by police on Saturday.

    Karamanlis told reporters after the meeting that he had assured the president that there would be no lenience in the attribution of responsibilities, but warned that no one has the right to exploit the tragic incident as an alibi for actions of blatant violence against innocent civilians, property and society and, in the bottom line, against democracy itself.

    In these critical hours, the prime minister stressed, it was the obligation of the political world to unanimously condemn the incidents, adding that this was mandated by the democratic duty of everyone.

    Karamanlis was scheduled to hold similar briefings with the political party leaders throughout the day.

    On his part, Papoulias called for faith in the institutions and the law, in a stated issued on the day of the funeral of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos.

    Papoulias called on everyone to honor the teen's memory, peacefully.

    "Today, the day of Alexis Grigoropoulos' funeral, is a day of mourning. His murder deeply wounded our democracy. The preceding days brought to everyone's mind a big 'why'. If our society does not give a convincing answer, giving solutions, the wounds will remain open. But in its response, we must persist with respect on the institutions and the laws. As a member of the generation that lived difficult years in our history, I call on everyone to honor Alexis' memory peacefully," the president said.

    Caption: Greek President Karolos Papoulias (R) greets Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday at the presidential mansion. ANA-MPA / MARIA MAROGIANNI

    [02] Government must go, Papandreou says

    The only service the present government can do for the country is to depart, main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou told the party's MPs on Tuesday. He said the country should resort to elections, so that the people can provide a solution.

    PASOK's Parliamentary group convened shortly after Papandreou's meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    PASOK's leader said that he stressed in the meeting with Karamanlis that Greek society was undergoing a multiple crisis, one that was economic, social and a crisis of values and institutions. The government was unable to deal with this crisis because it had lost the confidence of the Greek people, he added.

    Papandreou's call for the government's departure was greeted with a standing ovation by main opposition MPs.

    He stressed that the country was going through a very difficult time in which all people were mourning and enraged at the murder of a child and the extensive violence that followed it.

    According to the main opposition leader, the current situation was the result of the very poor way that ruling New Democracy exercised power, using insecurity and fear as a tool and trying to pin blame on others without ever assuming its own responsibilities.

    He dismissed the offers of resignation made by ND government ministers to date, noting that these were either "for show" or had been forced as a result of public outrage.

    Another charge laid by Papandreou at the government's door was that of cultivating tolerance of brutality in the police force through its handling of incidents that had occurred, such as the violence against immigrants or the beating up of a Cypriot student by plainclothes officers in Thessaloniki, as well as allowing para-state enclaves to form in the security forces.

    Papandreou went on to condemn all forms of violence, whether by police or by rioters, stressing that PASOK's opposition to violence would be loudly proclaimed at the peaceful demonstrations organized by the party on Tuesday evening in all municipalities.

    There are no "asymmetric threats," he added, and the government was being destabilised by its own policies, because it had put first its own interests and those of its friends, who were now enriching themselves through its policies, while ignoring the common good.

    "There is no future with this government," he concluded, stressing that the future for Greece lay with a government of change.

    Caption: Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou making statements concerning the 15-year-old shot dead by police on Saturday night in Exarhia, on Monday December 8. ANA-MPA - Katerina Mavrona.

    [03] Exhibition in New York on women in ancient Athens

    New York (ANA-MPA / P. Panagiotou) -- Culture Minister Michalis Liapis inaugurates on Tuesday the exhibition "Worshipping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens" at the Onassis Cultural Center in Manhattan. The exhibition coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the Manhattan-based Affiliated Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA). Onassis Cultural Center Executive Director Ambassador Loukas Tsilas stated that Greece has had a distinguished cultural presence in the United States during the past 10 years. Ambassador Tsilas stated that a total of 260,000 people have visited the ten major and the 15 smaller exhibitions hosted by the Center, while roughly 120,000 attended various events. Approximately 70,000 students and professors took part in seminars and international conferences held in North and South America, he said. In addition, at least 110 intellectuals, academics and scientists from Greece and other countries have been invited to the United States and have addressed over 300 universities and educational institutes, while US and international media like The New York Times have covered events hosted by the Onassis Cultural Center using positive and encouraging comments.

    The major exhibition Worshipping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens will be on view from December 10, 2008, through May 9, 2009, at the galleries of the Onassis Cultural Center in New York. The exhibition brings together 155 rare and extraordinary archaeological objects in order to re-examine preconceptions about the exclusion of women from public life in ancient Athens. Worshipping Women is organized by the Onassis Foundation (USA) in collaboration with the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, Greece and is the first major exhibition in the 10th anniversary season of the Onassis Foundation (USA) and the Onassis Cultural Center. Among the treasures brought to New York for the exhibition are marble statues of the goddesses Artemis and Athena (National Archaeological Museum, Athens); a white-ground vase with an image of Artemis, by the Pan Painter (State Hermitage Museum, Petersburg); a red-figure vase with an image of Iphigenia, the legendary heroine worshiped as a cult figure and seen as a model for priestesses (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Ferrara); a vase depicting the Trojan priestess Theano, another model for priestesses, receiving the Greek warriors who had come to recover Helen from Troy (Vatican Museums); and a limestone grave marker (conserved with support from the Onassis Foundation) carved with the image of a young woman in bridal costume, holding a votive offering (State Museums of Berlin). Interspersed with these and other exquisite artworks are archaeological objects that document the religious practices of Classical Athens and tell the complex story of women's roles in that society.

    [04] Peaceful remembrance of teen

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday called for persistence in the institutions and the laws, with respect, in a statement on the funeral later in the day of 14-yar-old pupil Alexis Grigoropoulos, who was fatally shot by a policeman on Saturday night in the Exarhia district of Athens, which sparked three nights of rioting and unprecedented damages in Athens and other cities around the country.

    Papoulias called on everyone to honor the teen's memory, peacefully.

    "Today, the day of Alexis Grigoropoulos' funeral, is a day of mourning. His murder deeply wounded our democracy. The preceding days brought to everyone's mind a big 'why'. If our society does not give a convincing answer, giving solutions, the wounds will remain open. But in its response, we must persist with respect on the institutions and the laws. As a member of the generation that lived difficult years in our history, I call on everyone to honor Alexis' memory peacefully," the President said.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of President of Republic Karolos Papoulias


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