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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-03-25
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Grand Parade to Mark Greek Independence DayThursday, 25 March 2010 10:32
Events to mark March, 25 Greek Independence Day culminated with the grand military parade in Athens in the presence of the President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, representatives of political parties, the country's military and religious leadership and crowds of people. In his message, the President of the Republic stresses that Greek society is facing difficult days and is called to join efforts for a historical transition. Prime-minister, G. Papandreou underlines "March, 25 symbolizes the power of Greek people willingness to claim their basic human right, their hypostasis".
"Solidarity is EU basic principal"
Events to mark Greek Independence Day culminated on Thursday with a grand military parade in Athens in the presence of the President of the Republic, political party representatives, military and religious leadership and crowds of people. In his statements after the end of the military parade, the President of the Republic referred to the solidarity shown by philhellenes in 1821 revolution and reminded "solidarity is a basic principle of the EU and our partners should remember it". Health Minister, Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou, who represented the government, said that could overcome obstacles with unity and solidarity to Democracy.
The Speaker of the House Philipos Petsalnikos said wecould achieve prosperity in modern Greece with responsibility and struggle.
ND party was represented by Yiannis Tragakis, secretary of the ND Parliamentary Group who said that all united could face the danger.
Earlier, Archibishop of Athens Ieronymos headed the customary Te Deum at the St. Dionisos Church attended by the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the House, political and military leadership and many people. Next, wreaths were laid at the Unknown Soldier Monument.
Only Infantry Units
Only infantry units took part in this year's parade, no flights by military aircrafts and helicopters and parade of armored vehicles. A relevant decision was taken some time ago to protect environment and avoid transfer of mechanized units from the borders which would have affected Armed Forces alertness. The government saved 5 million euros from this decision.
K. Papoulias: "Historical Transition Necessary"
"Greek society is facing difficult daysand is called to join efforts for a historical transition.It is neither easy nor painless but it is necessary" says the President of the Republic in his message on the occasion of March, 25 National Day.
Prime-minister G. Papandreou, in his message among others says: "In 1821 Greeks revolted to win their freedom, Greece's independence , its right to determine its fate itself. One hundred and eighty- nine years after the start of the big struggle, Greece is again at crucial crossroads as it has been many times during its History. Then the target was liberation from yoke and conqueror. Nowdays is liberation from practices that led to economic and social deadlock we are experiencing, the biggest crisis in our modern History".
He went on to say: "All Greeks are called to work together and make all possible efforts for an exit from the present crisis and the country's rebirth. For a Greece where justice will prevail, as well as solidarity, equal opportunities and prospect. I am certain that once again we will be worthy of our history".
The circumstances our country is facing highlight the deeper meaning of today's anniversary and show to all the road of responsibility and contribution to our country. We are determined-we prove it with deeds- to fully meet our duty and contribute with all our forces for our country's exit from the crisis in the safest and most rapid pace. (...)Today's Anniversary demands national unanimity and common effort for the recovery of our self-confidence which will very soon lead us to recovery and exit from the crisis" says in his message ND leader A. Samaras.
"People's patriotic duty is to refuse to sacrifice his last conquests" says the GCP message.
"The past has taught us to avoid extremes and divisionary confrontations which have caused too much damage ", said LAOS president G. Karatzaferis.
"Present circumstances once again demand activation, self-organization and assumption of responsibilities" says SYRIZA.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA
Related article: Students' Parade to Mark March, 25
News item: 34738
 "Feverish Talks" at EU Decision Making CentersThursday, 25 March 2010 10:01
Diplomatic thriller targeted to reach agreement on a mechanism to rescue Greece's economy culminates in Brussels on Thursday." Regardless of the outcome, Greece's new course will be positive" said Prime-minister G. Papandreou before entering the conference hall to attend European Socialist Party meeting in Brussels, which is held a few hours prior to the opening of the EU Summit Meeting on Thursday afternoon. In the meantime, ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet statement that the ECB would not remove support for backing lending against Greece's debt next year has given a breath to Greek banks. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would call for International Monetary Fund (IMF) and bilateral Eurozone aid to be granted to Greece "only as a last resort." European diplomats see possibility of Eurogroup extraordinary meeting -which Spain and France have asked- taking place this evening. Solution of Greece's case within the framework of the EU is a necessary precondition for the future of the Eurozone is the message ND leader Antonis Samaras will convey to Angela Merkel. Mr. Samaras will deliver a speech at the European People's Party . Prime-minister G. Papandreou had a telephone contact with ND leader A. Samaras at noon on Thursday.
Greek Prime-minister George Papandreou, who made clear that Greece is asking for a clear European decision, had successive meetings and telephone contacts with EU officials and European leaders on Wednesday afternoon. Mr.Papandreou met with European Commission President Jose Manuel Baroso and discussed issues to be brought up at the European council.
Upon his arrival to attend European Socialist Party meeting, Mr. Papandreou said "We are on a positive track. Whatever the decision taken today, Greece will move ahead in a positive manner and in the right direction. He added that he is saying these today which is a symbolic and significant day for Hellenism and we will manage to overcome the crisis alone.
"The aim should be to ensure we strengthen the euro zone, we strengthen the euro and we stabilize the euro currency and common course".
Mr. Papandreou spoke of the painful measures taken and his determination to put the house in order. He also said that solidarity messages come from all parts of the world.
Papandreou-Samaras Telephone Contact
Prime-minister G. Papandreou and ND leader A. Samaras had a telephone contact to exchange views ahead of the EU Summit.
Samaras, who insists on a European solution for Greece, briefed the premier in detail on ND's views regarding the Greek economy,the support mechanism to rescue Greece, expressed his solidarity and stressed that Greece, today is united. The ND leader told Papandreou he opposed prospective International Monetary Fund (IMF) involvement, stressing that such an eventuality would be "outside the European philosophy" and not in line with the philosophy of the European single currency.
Finance Minister G. Papaconstantinou, who is accompanying Papandreou in Brussels, later phoned Samaras to brief him on the more technical economic aspects, on the instructions of the prime minister.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA
BBC: Barroso urges eurozone states to agree on Greek aid
News item: 34737