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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papoulias concludes Ukraine visit
  • [02] Leonidas Kyrkos honoured

  • [01] Papoulias concludes Ukraine visit

    President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias on Thursday concluded his three-day visit to Ukraine.

    "These past three days we lived as if we were in Greece. And we lived in a better climate because here there is no grumbling, while when we are in Greece, we many times see things hazy," Papoulias said.

    In contrast to the climate in Greece, President Papoulias said "here we saw things clearly, we saw the Greek soul, which really surpassed all the obstacles which it found on the road, which created and creates and is respected in a foreign country."

    Referring in particular to the expatriate Greeks in Ukraine and of the region of the Azov Sea, Papoulias praised the "passion and their love for the motherland".

    Summing up the results of his visit, Papoulias described as "very genuine and sincere" the meeting he had with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, with whom he discussed at length all the issues which concern the two countries and the existing prospects. This discussion is expected to continue in Athens as well, which the Ukrainian President will visit in November.

    Papoulias departed from Marioupolis airport late afternoon for Athens.

    Caption: President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko (R) welcomes his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias during their meeting in Kiev, 15 April 2008. ANA-MPA/ EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

    [02] Leonidas Kyrkos honoured

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressed an event organised in honour of veteran leftist politician Leonidas Kyrkos on Thursday evening, saying that in the person of Kyrkos "we honour the many known people, as well as the many more anonymous Greeks who struggled for values, ideals, who consolidated democracy and contributed to national reconciliation."

    Karamanlis added that Kyrkos is being honoured for his struggles for democracy, social justice and the overcoming of the political passions of the past.

    The prime minister further said that he disagrees with many of his views and considers that his criticism on certain points is strict, but acknowledges that he has political foundations.

    He praised Kyrkos's political contribution which, as he said, is unbreakably linked to his overall life stance.

    Karamanlis made a brief account of Kyrkos's political contribution and said that positions of responsibility were required from all to enable democracy to be consolidated and for the country to forge ahead.

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou said on his part that "it is an honour and responsibility for me to speak about the historic course of Leonidas Kyrkos in a few minutes."

    Papandreou added that Kyrkos "is a realist, a man of contribution who wrote history with character and modesty," stressing that he was present during the great moments of the country's left and that "he is here again today with timely views on the renewed left's cooperation with PASOK."

    Former Cyprus president George Vassiliou said that Kyrkos incarnates the struggles, the adventure and the tumultuous history of Hellenism in the second half of the 20th century.

    "He was the bright mind who did not back down no matter how many difficulties he was faced with," he said and underlined Kyrkos's support for Greece's accession to the European Union.

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group President Alekos Alavanos said that Kyrkos has the ability of proposing profound issues that require understanding and consensus with political opponents.

    He added that "all in the Coalition are political relatives with Kyrkos, since for many he is their political father, while he remains an active member of SYRIZA."

    Former prime minister Costas Simitis said that "we proceeded together with Leonidas Kyrkos without coinciding," stressing that Kyrkos showed courage in the struggle for a change in society and that he is an important man "who left his seal on the discourse and political concepts of the left with the broadness of his thoughts and views".

    Former prime minister and honourary president of the ruling New Democracy party Constantine Mitsotakis praised his leading role in the creation of the Tzanetakis government in 1989 which, as he said, "was formed so that a major scandal of the time would not be written off" and noted that "a cleanup was a popular demand and we complied with it."

    Mitsotakis also said that "it was an honest cooperation that closed the chapter of the civil war," while underlining that the Tzanetakis government was "a lesson for the members of the left who participated in it, because never before had the left assumed government responsibilities."

    Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas referred to Kyrkos's life, struggles, prison terms and exiling. He focused in particular on the year 1949 when Kyrkos was sentenced to death, but fortunately for the country's political life and for himself the sentence was never carried out.

    "We had and have different assessments of things," he said, adding that "Leonidas Kyrkos waged struggles for values and ideals with self-denial and a sense of self-criticism. We thank him for what he has offered to Democracy with his struggles and his example."

    Caption: Veteran leftist leader Leonidas Kyrkos (L) and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis during an event held in honour of Kyrkos in Athens on Thursday 17 April 2008. ANA-MPA/MARIA MAROGIANNI

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