|Saturday, 10 April 2021|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 06-08-16
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>August 16, 2006
 Greece observes Dormition of the Virgin religious holiday
ATHENS, 16/8/2006 (ANA)The annual Dormition of the Theotokos (Assumption of the Virgin) religious holiday in the predominately Orthodox Christian nation, one of the most significant on the ecclesiastical calendar and the unofficial culmination of the summer vacation season in Greece, again witnessed a virtual exodus of urbanites towards the country's numerous beaches, mountainous villages and islands.
Greek leadership, meanwhile, also took the opportunity to visit a handful of islands, especially the Cyclades island of Tinos, where the Feast of the Assumption is celebrated with distinct Byzantine splendor.
President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday was on hand for the festive church service in the township of Ayiasos, on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos, a service officiated by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos himself, as the Istanbul-based "primus inter pares" of Orthodox Patriarchs began an almost week-long visit to the island over the weekend.
"The legitimacy of the Patriarchate’s ecumenical character is non-negotiable, while the persistence of Turkish authorities to not recognize this is inconceivable," Papoulias stressed after the event.
He also raised the issue of the reopening of the Theological School of Halki and the restoration of property and civil rights of Istanbul’s ethnic Greeks.
According to the Greek president, the aforementioned issues "comprise Turkey's conventional obligations, as these are dictated by European principles and values. It is high time that Turkish leadership proves, in practice, its sincere will to advance on the European course. In any case, Turkey, through its own volition and signature, has committed itself to fully abide by all the obligations deriving from the European Union's values."
Karamanlis: As is customary, the country's prime minister represented the government at the ecclesiastical services on Tinos, and specifically at the island's cathedral, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Premier Costas Karamanlis, who was accompanied by his wife and several high-ranking government officials, noted that this year's religious commemoration "is even more timely, as fellow human beings in Lebanon are losing their lives or are forced to abandon their homes ... An immediate end should be given to this tragedy, and we're working towards this direction with all our forces and at all levels," he said.
On his part, Interior and Public Administration Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos laid a wreath in the waters off Tinos' harbor on the occasion of the 66th anniversary of the torpedo attack against the Hellenic Navy warship "Elli", which was docked at the same port for similar festivities a few months before Greece entered WWII on the side of the Allies.
In northern Greece, Pontian (Black Sea) Greeks' most revered religious site within the country, the Panaghia Soumela Monastery in the foothills of Mount Vermio, was again host to celebratory Aug. 15 events, with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece officiating at the relevant ecclesiastical service, attended by thousands of pilgrims and practically the sum of MPs and politicians elected in the Macedonia province and wider Thessalonica.
Finally, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou attended services on Paros, and specifically at the Cyclades island's renowned Ekatontapyliani Cathedral. He also referred to the Middle East crisis in brief statements, saying that while "the guns have silenced; the road to peace is long".
Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis also attended church services on Paros.
 IMO int'l meeting in Piraeus on Thursday to focus on Lebanon oil spill eco-damage
ATHENS, 16/8/2006 (ANA)The UN-affiliated International Maritime Organization (IMO) will hold an urgent international meeting at the Piraeus port authority's main convention centre on Thursday focusing on efforts to deal with an oil spill and related environmental damage in the eastern Mediterranean caused by the recent warfare in Lebanon.
According to a merchant marine ministry announcement here this week, the international meeting aims to better coordinate efforts by the IMO, the United Nations' other agencies and countries in the affected region, as the oil spill has already caused environmental damage along the Lebanese and Syrian coastlines in the eastern Mediterranean.
IMO secretary-general Efthymios Mitropoulos; the executive director of the UN's Environment Program (UNEP), Achim Steiner; EU Commissioner for the environment Stavros Dimas, as well as representatives from Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, the EU Commission and other UN agencies are due to participate.
The meeting follows an initiative by Greek Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis.
 Delphi to honor composer Vangelis with 'Golden Lyre of Apollo' distinction
ATHENS, 16/8/2006 (ANA)Noted composer Vangelis will be presented with the "The Golden Lyre of Apollo" award within in the context of the first-ever international symposium, entitled "Revival of Delphi's Ideals", to be held from Aug. 17-20 at the eponymous archaeological site.
The presentation will jointly be made by Delphi Mayor P. Kaltsis and Hellenic American National Council (H.A.N.C.) president Th. Spyropoulos.
The renowned composer will be honored for his contribution, through his work and public expression, in promoting global values.
The symposium is co-organized by the municipality of Delphi Municipality and the H.A.N.C. presidium.
 Two people arrested for transporting 29 illegal immigrants
ATHENS, 16/8/2006 (ANA)Two people were arrested in the northern Thessalonica prefecture on Monday for the unlawful transportation of 29 illegal immigrants.
According to the police, a stolen truck driven by a 27-year-old Albanian was stopped for a routine check in the region of Vrasni and was found carrying 26 Pakistani and three Afghan illegal immigrants, who had each paid 3,000 euros.
His accomplice, a 26-year-old Greek, was also arrested in the village of Langadikia shortly afterwards.
 PASOK offices burglarized
ATHENS, 16/8/2006 (ANA)Offices belonging to main opposition PASOK, in downtown Athens, were burglarized a few days ago, it was revealed on Tuesday.
The burglary took place at the building, on the corner of Valetsiou and Harilaou Trikoupi streets, which houses the party's mobilizations/rallies and local government departments, a fact that was confirmed by PASOK's officials.
Three computers were stolen, including a PC that reportedly included files listing various initiatives proposed by PASOK leader George Papandreou.