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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek leaders at Papadopoulos' funeral
  • [02] President fitted with pacemaker
  • [03] Protests over teen's killing continue

  • [01] Greek leaders at Papadopoulos' funeral

    Greek Ambassador to Cyprus Dimitris Rallis laid a wreath on behalf of Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias during the funeral of former Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos in Nicosia on Monday. Papadopoulos died on Friday after losing a battle with lung cancer. Wreaths were also laid in person by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, both of whom attended the funeral in Cyprus. A wreath was laid on behalf of the Greek Parliament by Parliament 1st Vice-President George Sourlas. New Democracy Party (ND) General Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis laid a wreaths on behalf of the ruling party, while European Parliament 1st Vice-President Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou represented the European Parliament and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis laid a wreath on behalf of his own party. A wreath was also laid on behalf of the ANA-MPA, extending sincere condolences to the wife and children of the deceased.

    Greek prime minister Costas Karamanlis arrived in Larnaca early Monday morning to attend the funeral, accompanied by foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis. The Greek premier made no statements on arrival at Larnaca airport, from where he immediately departed for Nicosia and held talks with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou had also arrived in Nicosia for the funeral earlier on Monday and was again received by Christofias.

    Caption: A scene from the funeral for former Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos in Nicosia on Monday. ANA-MPA - Katia Christodoulou

    [02] President fitted with pacemaker

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias was fitted with a pacemaker in emergency surgery carried out at Attiko Hospital in Athens on Monday.

    A hospital announcement said the president had come in for a scheduled check-up, during which doctors discovered an asymptomatic heart irregularity and decided to implant a pacemaker.

    The president was in excellent condition following the operation, the announcement added.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was briefed on the state of the president's health in Nicosia, where he was attending the funeral of the late former president of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos, and wished him a speedy recovery, the government said.

    Soon after the operation, main opposition PASOK spokesman George Papaconstantinou also expressed his best wishes for the president's speedy recovery and revealed that PASOK President George Papandreou had contacted Papoulias from Cyprus, where he was also attending Papadopoulos' funeral.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias.

    [03] Protests over teen's killing continue

    Young people and high school students continued protests over the shooting of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos in Attica and other areas of Greece on Monday, more than a week after the incident in Exarhia that cost the unlucky teenager his life.

    A demonstration was held outside the education ministry in Maroussi by schools in the well-to-do northern suburbs of Athens, carrying on until late in the afternoon, while a crowd of high school students gathered outside the Greek Police general headquarters on Alexandras Avenue shouting slogans and occasionally lobbing stones and other objects against riot police ranged across the road. The road was closed off, disrupting traffic all around.

    Protests were also held at several points along the length of Messogion Avenue, especially outside the national defence and the former public order ministries, as well as in the Korydallos and Peristeri areas.

    Students are planning a campaign to sensitise public opinion by circulating flyers, while further protest rallies are planning in the centre of Athens on Thursday.

    Demonstrations and protests continued outside Athens as well, in cities around the country. Groups of young protestors took over the municipal radio station in the northwestern Greek city of Ioannina - where a group of youths had earlier attacked the offices of the local newspaper 'Proina Nea - and put out their own broadcast with their positions.

    Students at the Aegean University also took over the state radio station ERA Aigaio on Lesvos from 10:00 in the morning until shortly after 1:00 and put out their own programme regarding the events since the death of Grigoropoulos. They then attempted to take over three local radio stations and succeeded in broadcasting the programme they had prepared from Astra radio.

    Another protest rally by young people was held in the city of Hania on the island of Crete, while several high schools in the region were not working due to student sit-ins or boycotts.

    Schools in Thessaloniki are also planning to continue protest action after a meeting held by student body representation committees on Sunday, including a march at noon on Tuesday and picketing roads on Wednesday.

    On Thursday at noon, they are organising a concert by school bands at the Venizelos statue in the city.

    In a press conference on Monday, meanwhile, a coordinating body for the protests by Thessaloniki schools stressed that the violence seen at marches and rallies "was nothing to do with the student movement" and condemned violence by both police and the notorious "hooded youths" that have wreaked havoc in Athens and other Greek cities over the past week.

    Alexis Grigoropoulos, 15, fell dead with a bullet through his heart following an altercation between a group of youths and two police special guards in Exarhia on Saturday night, in which one of the two officers fired his gun. The officer later claimed that he had fired warning shots in the air but eye-witness accounts seemed to contradict his version of events.

    Government on rioting and protests

    In comments on the ongoing reaction by high schools and young people around the country, government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros on Monday stressed that the government had adopted a clearcut position on the death of the 15-year-old. The investigation regarding his death was now in the hands of justice, he added.

    "All those responsible will suffer the consequences. The prime minister has said this. I don't understand why you insist on ignoring him. We have a clearcut position condemning violence, wherever it originates," the spokesman stressed.

    The spokesman was unable to answer questions related to the long delay in issuing the ballistics report on the boy's shooting, however, apart to express his confidence that the experts carrying out the ballistic examination were doing their job well.

    Clarifying a comment made by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis that the riots which rocked Greece over the past week were something the government "had expected to occur eventually", Antonaros said the minister's statement was part of a much more complex analysis of the events.

    "Mrs. Bakoyannis made a detailed presentation of her positions, in which she explained some things that the prime minister referred to on Friday," he said, adding that the international financial crisis had caused upheaval throughout the world and that its repercussions in Greece were mild in comparison to those in other countries but nevertheless existed.

    Caption: Greek riot policeman in gas mask stands in front of a blazing barricade during a protest by highschool students outside the Greek Police general headquarters on Alexandras Avenue on Monday. ANA-MPA - Symela Pantzartzi

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