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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece celebrates Orthodox Easter on Sunday
  • [02] Political leaders' Easter holiday
  • [03] PM in Moscow on Tuesday
  • [04] Deputy FM on Cyprus solution efforts

  • [01] Greece celebrates Orthodox Easter on Sunday

    All of Greece celebrates Orthodox Easter on Sunday, while the Holy Light from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was due to arrive in Athens on Saturday evening on a special Olympic Airlines flight, where it will be received with Head of State honors, before being conveyed on 18 special flights to the Holy Metropolises throghout the country.

    Greeks throughout the world will also celebrate Orthodoxy's most important holy day.

    The Holy Light will be brought to Athens by the Exarch of the Holy Sepulchre, Metropolitan Theophanis, accompanied by Bishop Pavlos of Neochori representing the Church of Greece, while also participating in the official delegation are deputy foreigh minister Theodorod Kassimis on behalf of the government, representatives of parliament and the local administrations.

    Caption: File photo of Easter service in Athens (ANA-MPA/M. Kiaou)

    [02] Political leaders' Easter holiday

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and prime minister Costas Karamanlis will celebrate Easter this year in the prefecture of Ioannina.

    President Papoulias will spend Easter with the Greek conscripts at the Sagiada border post on the Greek-Albanian frontier, and at the Filiates army camp in Thesprotia.

    Karamanlis and his family will spend the Easter holliday in the village of Dolo, Pogoniani, while the premier will also visit the Drymades post.

    Main opposition leader George Papandreou, who was discharged from hospital on Thursday after minor surgery on his hand following a bicycle accident, will spend the Easter holiday in Athens.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga will spend Easter with the conscripts serving their military term in Avlona, Attica prefecture.

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) leader Alexis Tsipras will spend the Easter holiday in Vienna, while the SYN-led Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance's leader Alekos Alavanos will be in his home town on the island of Tinos, and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis will be in Litochoro, Pieria prefecture, where he will visit a military camp.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias arriving at Ioannina Airport in a past visit.

    [03] PM in Moscow on Tuesday

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis will pay an official visit to Moscow on Tuesday, where he will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Karamanlis gave an exclusive interview to Russian news agency ITAR-TASS ahead of his visit.

    firm policy adopted by Greece and Russia promotes peace and stability in the Balkans and the wider SE Mediterranean region, Karamanlis stressed in an interview with ITAR-TASS this week, ahead of his official visit to Moscow on Tuesday.

    "We have mutual interests in development and prosperity, while our views are close on many international issues," the PM said, while expressing his pleasure and satisfaction for his third visit to Moscow and talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he called "a great European leader and a friend of Greece".

    Putin's meeting with Karamanlis will be among his last as the president of Russia, as Dmitry Medvedev will be sworn-in as the new President on May 7.

    In the interview, Karamanlis reiterated that he was pleased because Greece and Russia have achieved closer ties during the past four years though a "substantive, intense and close cooperation on major issues of mutual interest."

    Putin called this cooperation as "strategic" in 2004, the premier said.

    "The current circumstances work in favor of a multi-beneficial visit for the Greek and the Russian people," PM Karamanlis said, pointing out that he is looking forward to meeting president-elect Medvedev, considering that there are numerous challenges still lying ahead and even more opportunities to further strengthen relations in all sectors.

    On the Greek-Russian cooperation in the energy sector, Karamanlis said it is substantive, with expanding prospects, pointing out that by the end of 2015 Greece will consume seven billion sq.metres of natural gas, 80 percent of which will come from Russia. He underlined the importance of the European energy security, adding that diversification of energy sources constitutes a priority for European countries, while pointing out that a considerable quantity of oil and natural gas will enter the European market from the Caspian Sea region in the very near future.

    Referring to the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, the Greek PM stated that the project's course is proceeding as scheduled, adding that an international consortium that has taken over its construction and management has already been established in the Netherlands.

    Caption: Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (R) accompanies Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit by the latter to Athens, in file photo dated March 15, 2007. (ANA-MPA/SIMELA PANTZARTZI)

    [04] Deputy FM on Cyprus solution efforts

    Deputy FM on Cyprus solution efforts

    Nicosia (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos) -- A solution to the Cyprus problem must take into consideration the fact that Cyprus is a member of the European Union, Greek deputy foreign minister Yannis Valynakis said in an interview appearing Saturday in the Cyprus daily 'Fileleftheros', stressing that the EU comprised the biggest guarantor power for all its member-states.

    Valynakis said that the Cypriots, in their entirety, today feel the "European security umbrella" protecting them, which he said was evident in their smooth, without any substantial problems, movement throughout the entire island.

    Asked whether this matter has been discussed with Britain and Turkey -- which together with Greece comprise the three guarantor powers under Cyprus' independence treaty -- Valynakis replied that "Greece and Britain, as partners in the EU, always have open channels of communication", while with Turkey, contacts were taking place on a series of topics having to do with bilateral relations as well as Turkey's EU accession efforts.

    In view of a new Cyprus solution effort on the horizon, Valynakis sent a message to Ankara to abandon its tough, unproductive positions and to shape up to the content of the recent statement by the UN Security Council president clarifying that reunification of the island republic must be founded on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

    Regarding concern over domestic political developments in Turkey, the Greek deputy minister said that those developments should not serve as a pretext for Ankara to avoid taking the practical steps that would contribute to a funcational solution based on the UN resolutions and the EU principles and values.

    On Turkey's relations with the EU, Valynakis stressed that Athens backs the neighboring country's accession course, but on condition that Ankara fulfills all its commitments to the EU.

    Caption: File photo of deputy foreign minister Yannis Valynakis (ANA-MPA/A. BELTES)

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