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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM confers with ND Parliamentary Group Secretary
  • [02] FM to tour Middle East next week
  • [03] Gov't on humanitarian aid to Lebanon
  • [04] 700-year-old icon stolen from monastery
  • [05] Byzantine exhibition in Helsinki

  • [01] PM confers with ND Parliamentary Group Secretary

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met Friday with his ruling New Democracy party's (ND) Parliamentary Group Secretary Apostolos Stavrou, ahead of the opening of the new parliament plenary session following the House's summer recess sessions. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Stavrou said they had discussed the two major bills on employment and development that have been tabled in the 300-member House. Stavrou said that the ministers and deputy ministers were on the front-line of information and projecting the government's work, while the MPs were in the periphery briefing the citizens and contributing to the solution of local problems. The conclusion arising from the MPs' visits in the periphery was that the citizens supported the government's reform effort and believed that the government was doing well and would do even better, Stavrou said.

    With respect to criticism by the opposition, Stavrou said the government was facing all the problems with a sense of responsibility, adding that those who were being populistic were irresponsible and would be judged by the citizens.

    To a question on opposition calls for the introduction of a heating subsidy to low-income earners, Stavrou said that the government was acting with a long-term perspective, noting that the economy was responding positively despite the international situation, and adding that when the conditions allowed, the government's social policy would spread further.

    In reply to another question, he said the high prices was a fact, and that the development ministry was doing everything possible to ameliorate the problem.

    He further said that he did not anticipate any changes to the government's composition, also noting that there were no complaints by MPs, given that the issues that had arisen in their relations with ministers have been resolved.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis)

    [02] FM to tour Middle East next week

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Tuesday departs on a tour of the Middle East, with visits to Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan, it was announced on Friday. The first stop on the tour will be Cyprus, on Tuesday, where Bakoyannis will meet with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos for a review of the developments in the Middle East crisis.

    On Wednesday, Bakoyannis departs for Lebanon, and then on to Israel and Jordan, where she will meet with her counterparts and other political leaders, as well as representatives of the Palestinian Authority.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis)

    [03] Gov't on humanitarian aid to Lebanon

    The Greek government on Friday announced that it has already delivered 97 tons of infrastructure-related materials to Lebanon worth 2.5 million euros, a figure that includes pharmaceuticals and services. Additionally, Athens oversaw the evacuation of approximately 2,700 people from the Mideast country, of which 691 were Greek citizens and 420 Cypriot citizens.

    The figures were provided by the foreign ministry on the sidelines of a meeting headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis on Friday with various agency heads and NGO representatives to assess Greece's performance in the humanitarian aid effort.

    Meanwhile, the Macedonia-Thrace ministry announced that it has collected roughly 40 tons of humanitarian aid by donors in the greater Thessaloniki area, mostly pharmaceuticals and dry goods, for civilians in Lebanon, with nearly nine tons already delivered to the war-ravaged country.

    Finally, some 10 tons of aid was collected in the eastern Macedonia and Thrace region, among others.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis)

    [04] 700-year-old icon stolen from monastery

    The local community in the seaside town of Leonidio, Arcadia prefecture, was in shock on Friday following the early morning discovery that a 700-year-old icon of the Virgin Mary that is believed to be miracle-working was stolen from the Elonas Monastery. The monastery's nuns, who discovered the theft early Friday, immediately informed police.

    It is believed that the icon was stolen some time between 10:00 p.m. Thursday and 5:00 a.m. Friday.

    The icon is highly-venerated, with many people from all over Greece and abroad thronging to worship it, and it was adorned with hundreds of gold and silver devotions from worshippers.

    Tens of police were at the monastery looking for clues that would lead to the thieves, while a helicopter was also scouring the area.

    (ANA-MPA photo of the 700-year-old icon of the Virgin Mary which was stolen from Elonas Monastery in Leonidio)

    [05] Byzantine exhibition in Helsinki

    A major exhibition of Byzantine Art opened in Helsini this week at the Tennispalatsi Art Museum -- one of three Helsinki City Art Museum venues in the Finnish capital -- featuring artifacts and sacred objects related to the Greek Orthodox Church and dating back more than a thousand years.

    The exhibition focuses on the monastic community of Mount Athos and its way of life.

    The collection on display includes more than 200 objects from the Mount Athos monasteries themselves and from 15 museums around Europe, including ancient icons, rare manuscripts, unique sacramental vessels, magnificent textiles, wood carvings and other forms of art such as jewellery, crosses, maps, photographs and paintings, according to the museum. It also includes 1,000 year-old icons not previously exhibited abroad.

    The Athos exhibition will be the museum's major event for 2006, running from mid-August 2006 through January 2007.

    The exhibition is designed to draw from broad international sources during the year of Finlandās presidency of the European Union.

    The Helsinki City Art Museum is administered by the City of Helsinki and has three locations throughout the City - the Art Museum Tennis Palace, the Art Museum Meilahti and Kluuvi Gallery.

    (ANA-MPA photo of a monastery in Mount Athos)

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