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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek FM Bakoyannis begins Middle East tour on Sunday
  • [02] Greek Parliament President visits Egypt
  • [03] KKE Secretary General visits Komotini
  • [04] Interior minister speaks on immigration
  • [05] President Papoulias visits Tegea in Peloponnese

  • [01] Greek FM Bakoyannis begins Middle East tour on Sunday

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will be in the Middle East from Sunday, June 10 for a succession of visits to Israel, Ramallah in the Palestinian territories, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. The minister's visit confirms Greece's strong, continuing and active interest in the developments in the region. "The visit is planned during a crucial period of the region. Tension between the Palestinians and Israelis, the situation in Lebanon and the region in general, justifies the worry and concern of the international community. Greece believes that efforts must be intensified to re-initiate a comprehensive peace effort, it sees an important role for the European Union and is acting in this direction," Foreign Ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos told reporters.

    Asked whether the minister would raise issues connected to the Jerusalem Patriarchate during her meetings with the region's leadership, Koumoutsakos said the talks would chiefly focus on issues concerning peace and stability, while adding that the issue was expected to be raised "in meetings with Israeli authorities" which had still not officially recognised the new Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    [02] Greek Parliament President visits Egypt

    Greek Parliament President Anna Benaki-Psarouda is currently paying a three-day official visit to Egypt. On Saturday, the president of the Greek Community of Cairo, Christos Kavalis, welcomed Benaki-Psarouda and expressed the great satisfaction of Cairo‚s Greek community for the support offered to them by the Greek Parliament. The Greek Parliament President referred in particular to the restoration of Cairo‚s Saint Nicholas Church.

    "For us, Hellenism and Orthodoxy go together, they complement and support each other and have a common name. Consequently, all these efforts of yours particularly moves us and a small example of this touching feeling is also the contribution by Parliament which started from my predecessor Apostolos Kaklamanis, the previous Parliament President, but of course it was continued and completed in my hands because I immediately felt the importance of the venture," she said.

    On Saturday, she also met Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II and Egypt‚s National Assembly Speaker Fathy Sorour. She also visited the historic monastery of Saint George in Cairo.

    In the evening, Greek Ambassador to Egypt Panagiotis Vlassopoulos will host a dinner in her honour.

    On Sunday morning, Benaki-Psarouda will attend a service at Cairo‚s Saint Nicholas Church, which will be officiated by Patriarch Theodoros II.

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos was due to arrive in Egypt on Saturday but did not go because he felt ill, it was announced in Athens .

    The Greek Parliament President, who arrived in Cairo on Friday, is due to return to Athens on Monday morning.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Parliament President Anna Benaki-Psarouda.

    [03] KKE Secretary General visits Komotini

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga on Saturday addressed a women‚s meeting in Komotini, northern Greece, on the upcoming general elections. ?You who are here, whether you are members of the party or not, whether you have observations about the party, we must all together care to do what must be done so that a title of honor to be made in every region for the women‚s vote for the KKE to decisively increase," she said.

    She added, "for the difference that exists between the women‚s and men‚s vote to stop. And if it exists in the women‚s, to be positive for the KKE.

    "We say to the working women, to young women, to young couples, that what must be specifically expressed in the general elections is the condemnation of the anti-popular policy of the (ruling) New Democracy (ND) party and (the main opposition) Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), which continuously intensifies their problems. This must be expressed at the ballot box, not generally. For women to judge all the political parties on the basis of their contemporary needs. People should vote with such criteria. For the two (major) political parties, the ND and PASOK, to lose votes and percentages. This is a great pressure," Papariga said.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga.

    [04] Interior minister speaks on immigration

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos gave a press conference in Athens on Saturday on "Immigration and social accession". "Immigration, as a social phenomenon, has these days taken extensive dimensions, particularly due to the fact of globalization and the modern conditions which facilitate, from every viewpoint, the movement of populations," he said.

    "Within this context, the immigration phenomenon must be beneficially handled, always with respect to the value of the individual and particularly to the equal and free development of his personality and this constitutes a priority by all of us. In any case, this handling also contributes to the values and principles of European tradition and European culture, according to which the protection of every type of human rights is not negotiable. However, it also derives from the principles of international law in general and constitutes a crucial index of the level of Democracy and Justice which a society has achieved," the interior minister said.

    Pavlopoulos noted that "according to the United Nations annual report for the world population in 2006, immigrants represent three per cent of the population of the Earth and are directed mainly to Australia (18.7%) North America (12.9%) but also towards Europe (7.7%), mainly to countries of southern Europe."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

    [05] President Papoulias visits Tegea in Peloponnese

    President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias on Saturday morning visited the village of Kerasitsa in the district of Tegea, Arkadia prefecture, in the Peloponnese, for the unveiling of a bust of anti-fascist resistance fighter Grigoris Lambrakis. "Poems were written about Grigoris Lambrakis, tears were shed by people who did not know him, promises were given of struggles and vows for the continuity of his course," Papoulias said.

    "This is the fate of people who declare present when history calls on them. I hope that many young people will wish to come here, to get acquainted with the birthplace of Grigoris Lambrakis and to honor his memory. I hope that they will draw the conclusion that Grigoris Lambrakis had a brief life but won and contributed to society and the country, something which will never be erased," President Papoulias said in his address.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias.

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