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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek political leadership mostly choses isles for Aug. 15 holiday
  • [02] U.S.'s Rice thanks Greek FM Bakoyannis
  • [03] 1-year anniversary of Cypriot jet's crash observed
  • [04] Patriarch visits island of Lesvos

  • [01] Greek political leadership mostly choses isles for Aug. 15 holiday

    The annual Feast of the Assumption religious holiday on Aug. 15 has traditionally served as the climax of the summer holiday season in the east Mediterranean country, with most government officials, opposition leaders and MPs also taking an opportunity to leave the Greek capital. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will be on the Cyclades island of Tinos along with his family. Karamanlis will attend a church service at the island's renowned cathedral and events for the August 15 celebrations, as Tinos is traditionally Greek Orthodoxy's pre-eminent site for Feast of the Assumption services. Interior and Public Administration Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos will also attend as the prime minister's guest.

    Main opposition PASOK president George Papandreou, along with several other top PASOK cadres, is vacationing on the upscale Cyclades island of Paros.

    Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and Culture Minister George Voulgarakis are also on Paros where National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis is expected as well, whereas Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis is expected to arrive in Hania, Crete.

    Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis will be at the Mt. Vermio site, northern Greece, to represent the government at the Feast of the Assumption celebrations at the Monastery of Panaghia (Virgin Mary) Soumela, a landmark for the country's Pontian (Black Sea Greeks) communities.

    According to other press reports, Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos will spend a brief holiday in the Pelio district surrounding the central port city of Volos, while Transport Minister Mihalis Liapis has chosen the mountainous Evritania prefecture of central Greece, whereas Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras will spend the holiday at his birthplace in the prefecture of Corinth.

    Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will be on the Dodecanese holiday island of Kos, while Tourism Development Minister Fani Palli-Petralia has opted for the Sporades island of Skopelos. Finally, Aegean and Island Policy Minister Aristides Pavlidis remained on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos to welcome visiting Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos.

    An increasingly deserted Athens will host Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou, Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras and Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyannis.

    [02] U.S.'s Rice thanks Greek FM Bakoyannis

    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has sent a letter of thanks to her Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis for the help Greece had offered to American citizens who wished to evacuate from war-ravaged Lebanon. The letter was dated August 9. "Dear Dora, I thank you for the help which Greece offered to American citizens who wished to evacuate from Lebanon," Rice said.

    "Please convey my appreciation to the Greek officials in Athens, Nicosia, Beirut and Washington, as well as to the commanders and crews of the Greek ships, the efforts of whom had as a result the speedy and safe transfer of American citizens from Lebanon," Rice added.

    Concluding, the U.S. secretary of state expressed her particular appreciation for "the solidarity which the Greek government showed to American citizens with its decisive and timely actions."

    [03] 1-year anniversary of Cypriot jet's crash observed

    Relatives of passengers aboard a doomed Cypriot Helios airliner that slammed into a mountain side near the Grammatiko township, northwest of Athens, exactly a year ago, held a memorial service at the site on Monday.

    Meanwhile, DNA results on the remains found at the site of the accident, believed to belong to three passengers whose bodies were never recovered, are pending. Additionally, a report on the causes of the crash is expected to be made public next month.

    Based on initial indications, the ground technicians that serviced the aircraft prior to its last flight and the plane's pilots share responsibility for the accident.

    Specifically, the technician that ran a compression test on the plane after complaints of noise emanating from a cabin door reportedly forgot to turn a cooling and compression button to the automatic setting from the manual setting, while, in turn, the pilots failed to see that the lever was in the wrong position during the standard pre-flight check-list procedure.

    Caption: Relatives of passengers of the ill-fated Helios airliner attend a memorial service on Monday at the crash site. ANA-MPA photo / M. Kiaou.

    [04] Patriarch visits island of Lesvos

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, who is on a visit to the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos since the weekend, called for peace in the Middle East on the occasion of the Feast of the Assumption on Tuesday, Aug 15 -- a major religious holiday in Greece that falls in the middle of the summer vacation season.

    The Patriarch arrived on the island on Saturday.

    In commenting on the Mideast crisis, he stated that the weak, the defenseless, the helpless and the innocent have again become tragic victims, with children and young people mostly affected.

    Vartholomeos visited the island's Mt. Olympus on Monday, where he released several rehabilitated wild animals back into their natural habitat. In the evening, he will attend a reception given in his honor by the municipality of Mytilene, the island's capital.

    Caption: Vartholomeos arrives at the highest point on the island of Lesvos, Mt. Olympus (the same name as the highest mountain in continental Greece), on Monday, Aug. 14, 2006. ANA-MPA photo / D. Panagos.


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