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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Patriarch honors Russian cosmonaut of Greek descent
  • [02] Latest opinion poll results

  • [01] Patriarch honors Russian cosmonaut of Greek descent

    ISTANBUL (ANA-MPA) -- Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I (Vartholomeos) on Sunday received Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin-Grammatikopoulos, as the latter was honoured by the Patriarchate. The cosmonaut was accompanied by Greek Olympic weightlifting champion Valerios Leonidis and the Prime Minister of the Karachayevo-Cherkessia Vladimir Kaishev.

    The cosmonaut expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarch for the honour.

    "For us Russians of Greek descent it is a great honor to be at the Fanar. It was one of my dreams and now it has become a reality. We offer you the love of the Russian people and Russian President Dimitri Medvedev, who sends you his best wishes and warm greetings," Kaishev said.

    On his part, the Ecumenical Patriarch stated: "We Greeks are very proud that our nation produces such personalities, who not only honour the nation but also the Orthodox Church".

    [02] Latest opinion poll results

    Last week's Cabinet reshuffle apparently provided a fillip for the Karamanlis government, according to results of three opinion polls published in a same-number of Sunday edition newspapers over the weekend.

    The polls also indicated that main opposition PASOK's lead over ruling New Democracy (ND) slipped by as much as 3 percentage points, while the prime minister's assumption of responsibility over the Vatopedi Monastery-state land exchange affair acted positively on the respondents' psychology.

    According to a poll conducted by the Alco firm on behalf of the Sunday weekly "Proto Thema", PASOK was preferred by 31.2 percent or respondents against 28.2 percent for ND with respect to voters' intent (which party the respondent would vote for if elections were held the following Sunday); followed by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 7.8 percent; the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance with 7.1 percent, and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party with 3.9 percent.

    An apparent rallying of ND's grassroots supporters increased to 69.1 percent, up from 67.1 percent in Alco's previous opinion poll.

    According to results of an MRB opinion poll published in the Sunday edition of "Eleftheros Typos", Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' decision to proceed with a government reshuffle acted in a unifying manner among the ruling party's supporters, as 86.2 percent of respondents who declared themselves ND backers were satisfied with reshuffle.

    Regarding voter intent, PASOK led by 32.3 percent against 29.3 percent for ND, followed by SYRIZA with 8.6 percent, 7.5 percent for the KKE, and 4.5 percent for LAOS, with a hereunto unknown "ecologists-greens" formation marginally remaining outside Parliament with 2.5 percent.

    According to a Public Issue opinion poll for the Sunday "Kathimerini", the reshuffle provided a "window of opportunity" for the government, as 71 percent of respondents said the reshuffle had been necessary, while five in 10 respondents opined that Karamanlis' position was reinforced.

    Furthermore, 70 in 100 respondents considered that ministers -- chiefly those whose names had been linked with economic policy and the Vatopedi affair, and who were left out of the new Cabinet -- had acted as 'weights' in the Karamanlis government.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo

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