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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] President in Messolonghi event
  • [02] Australian PM on Marbles return

  • [01] President in Messolonghi event

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Sunday attended celebrations in Messolonghi marking the 182nd anniversary of the Exodus of the Free Besieged.

    At a luncheon hosted in his honor by Messolonghi Mayor Yannis Anagnostopoulos, the President stressed that "Messolonghi is, for Hellenism, a timeless symbol of the struggles for National Independence, Justice and Freedom", adding that the "Exodus of the Free Besieged, that rocked the world, is a feat beyond the human measure", describing at is a "transcendance that inspired personalities of the arts and which, regardless of how many times it is recounted, never ceases to impress with its uniqueness and strength".

    "In thinking of the collective sacrifice of the people of Messolonghi, we remember the collective duty of abandoning individuality in the name of the greater and loftier ideal," Papoulias said.

    The President also referred to his recent visit to the town of Mariupol -- during his visit to the Ukraine -- which he called a "genuine Greek corner", adding that "in the eyes, but also the soul, of the Greeks I met there, I saw with awe a true expression of Greek pride, which is encapsulated in pure love for the Homeland, and in a patriotism that is not comprised of barren remembrance of the glorious past but is a life stance".

    Patriotism, he continued, "has nothing to do with ethnic phobias, intolerence and shouts, and convictions of a 'chosen people', it is, mainly, a stance of responsibility and proof of respect to what we have inherited and to what we will turn over to the next generation", adding that "it is a manner of thought, intertwined with the historical viewpoint of the events, an with national self-knowledge".

    "It is not true that today there are no ideals and aspirations that can inspire the young generation," the President said, returning to the meaning of the anniversary, adding that the "example of life is the hardest, and perhaps therefore the loftiest".

    Earlier, the President and the local authorities attended a doxology at the Metropolitan Church of Saint Spyridon, followed by a procession of the Sacred Icon of the Exodus to the Heroes' Monument, where he laid a wreath.

    Representing the government, development minister Christos Folias referred to the timeless messages of the sacrifice of the Free Besieged, stressing that the Exodus of Messolonghi highlights the value of the whole, of collective action, contrary to the who-cares, ease and egotism that have unfortunately been deified today. That was why the message of the Messolonghi anniversary was one of unity, unanimity, of the "we" that general Makrygiannis constantly repeated. "And it is this 'we' that we must safeguard and shield," he added.

    The celebrations were also attended by parliament vice-president Elsa Papadimitriou representing the House, MP and former minister Vasso Papandreou representing the main opposition PASOK party, MP Nikos Moraitis representing the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), MP Nikos Tsoukalis representing the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), and MP Adonis Georgiadis representing the Popular Orthodox Rally party (LAOS).

    The President also visited the daycare center for children with growth disorders run by the Children's and Adolescent's Mental Health Society of Aetoloakarnania prefecture, where he was briefed on the center's operation by chairman of the board Sotiris Kotsopoulos.

    Caption: President of Greek Republic Karolos Papoulias lays a wreath at the Heroes Tomb in Messolonghi on Sunday 20 April 2008.ANA-MPA/DIMITRIS DIMITRIOU

    [02] Australian PM on Marbles return

    A reference made by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rand, during his recent visit to London, over the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece drew reactions as well as approval.

    Rand drew a parallel between the importance of Australia again retaining the cricket trophy urn to a significance placed by Greeks for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

    After referring to the Parthenon Marbles and the trophy, Rand said during a public lecture in London that this comparison might create a problem for him.

    The president of the International Committee for the Return of the Parthenon Marbles, David Hill, said "the return of the Parthenon Marbles is a basic priority in the sector of world heritage. Personally, I would not have referred to the issue in the way that Mr. Rand did, but it did not annoy me either. The essence is that the prime minister expressed support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles, and this is very good."

    Caption: ANA-MPA/EPA file photo of the Parthenon Marbles displayed in the British Museum.

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