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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Four-day mourning for Archbishop Christodoulos
  • [02] Karamanlis receives Bill Gates
  • [03] Probe into DVD leak on Internet

  • [01] Four-day mourning for Archbishop Christodoulos

    A four-day period of mourning was announced on Monday following the death of Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, who passed away at dawn at the age of 69 following a 7-month battle with cancer.

    The Interior ministry announced that all public service buildings would fly flags at half-mast, while public services and schools would remain closed on the day of the late Archbishop's funeral.

    The ministry further announced that the funeral would be held with full honors of Head of State at Athens' First Cemetery, and at State expenditure.

    The body of the Archbishop will lie in state for three days at the Athens Cathedral's chapel.

    Papoulias, Karamanlis, Papandreou

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, prime minister Costas Karamanlis, main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, and prefectural and municipal leaders early Monday expressed grief over the death of the Archbishop.

    In a message, President Papoulias paid tribute to the late Archbishop as an "outstanding Hierarch with a rich and multi-faceted contribution, who, with his inexhaustible energy, struggled for a vibrant and fighting Church".

    Papoulias said that the Archbishop "touched us deeply with his attitude on his illness and death, sending a unique message of courage and dignity".

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis expressed grief over the passing away of the Archbishop, "the enlightened Hierarch who, with his pastoral work, brought the Church closer to society and the modern-day problems, closer to the youth and their anxieties...The religious leader who strengthened the role of Orthodoxy in the world".

    Karamanlis said that the late Archbishop's "candour, simplicity, tenacity and love for Greece constitute invaluable lessons for our Church's faithful", and "the courage and fortutude he displayed throughout the difficult hours of his personal battle touch the hearts of all of us".

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou expressed his deepest grief, paying tribute to the late Archbishop as "one of the most important figures of the Church of Greece, a spiritual leader with prestige, religious conviction, and rich social action.

    "A fighter and a scholar, he left his own mark on the Church he served with devotion, deep passion and diligence," Papandreou said, adding that he was a charimatic man with whom one enjoyed discussing, even when they disagreed.

    Papandreou said that even the ordeal with his health did not break him but, instead, he remained standing to the end, sending a powerful message of courage, bravery and dignity.


    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga sent a telegram of condolences to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, expressing her party's condolences over the death of Archbishop Christodoulos.

    The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary grouping also sent a message of condolences to the Holy Synod, saying that the death of the Archbishop, as that of every eminent personality, "reminds us of our common fate, regardless of religion, philosophical perceptions, political views".

    It said that Christodoulos' courage and fortitude was a positive message for everyone, and addressed its genuine condolences to the Holy Synod and to all the faithful.

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis said that the late Archbishop has left behind him the legacy of his fighting spirit, gentle temperament and Jobean patience.

    Karatzaferis expressed grief over the passing away of the Teacher, Shepherd, Confessor, Instructor, Spiritual Leader and Guide, who forgave even the most provocative of his slanderers, and left leaving behind unfinished dreams and visions, not at a ripe old age, but with full respect and appreciation.

    Foreign, Health minister

    Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, in Brussels for a meeting of the EU council of ministers-General Affairs, expressed her deepest grief over the death of Archbishop Christodoulos, adding that the Church of Greece and all of Orthodoxy mourned for an undisputed Church leader and personality and a charismatic Hierarch who served the Church and his flock with devotion.

    A generous, approachable and straightforward person, Christodoulos gave new breath to the Church of Greece, and during his tenure as Archbishop, me managed to bring the Church closer to society and the contemporary problems, and closer to the youth, while his work for the relife of those in geater need comprises an example of creative and effective action by a modern-day Church, Bakoyannis said in her statement.

    She said the late Archbishop's courage, tranquility and dignity with which he faced his final and most difficult fight of his live, have touched the hearts of the Greeks and the Orthodox throughout the world, comprising for all a message of genuine Christian ethos and courage.

    Health and social solidarity minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said that the Archbishop had been an enlightened Hierarch, a social visionary, a Church leader, and a true patriot, with exceptional abilities and rare talents, who left an indelible mark on the history of the Church, Orthodoxy, and the memories and hearts of the Greek people.

    In tribute to the memory of the Archbishop and his work, the new International Transplants Centre being established in Athens and Thessaloniki will bear his name.

    Athens, Thessaloniki Prefects and Mayors

    Athens mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis said that "today, a day of mourning and circumspection for our entire people, I wish to express by deepest grief for the passing away of our Archbishop who, up until the very last moments of his life, stood tall with incomparable spiritual fortitude, Orthodox spirituality and admirable dignity", and was "a leading Church figure and charismatic shepherd who served the Church with devotion and self-sacrifice".

    Under his leadership, the Church bowed with great interest over the problems of the modern-day society, and particularly those of the young people, and projected with consistency the Orthodox tradition and attestation in the European and international fora, Kaklamanis said in his message.

    "With respect for his memory, I express my deepest condolences, and those of the City Council, over the loss of Archbishop Christodoulos, a truly exceptional and eminent Man of the Cloth," he said.

    Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos expressed deep grief over the death of the enlightened leader of the Greek Orthodox Church and the shepherd who, with his words and love, opened to the doors of the Church to all the people.

    Throughout the 10 years at the helm of the Orthodox Church, the late Archbisop taught, with his radical word and way, love, freedom of thought, fighting spirit and the values of Hellenic culture.

    Christodoulos, he added, loved the youth and the ailing, and to the end of his life stood tall and dignified, and was loved by the country's youth.

    The Greek people have lost an enlightened spiritual leader, a shepherd who, with his word, honored the ecumenical spirit of Hellenic culture, peace and fraternisation of the peoples, Papageorgopoulos said, adding that he will remain alive in the memory of the Greek people, and his words will keep inspiring them for works of love and peace.

    Athens-Piraeus supra-prefect Dina Bei expressed grief over the death of the Archbishop who, at a time when the country was "rocked by gray", constituted, up until the end of his life, a bright example of courage, fighting spirit and dignity.

    Thessaloniki prefect Panayotis Psomiadis said that Greece today lost the Hierarch who, from his first day as Archbishop, gave the Church of Greece a voice of its own and "I, personally, have lost the Father and the friend who stood by my side in the difficult times and who, despite his own illness, urged me to hold my head high".

    He said that the late Archbishop Christodoulos has gone down in history as the personality who led the Church into the heart of the society and who brought the youth to the Church, a man who was uncomprimising, maintained a free spirit in the face of the modern-day threats, and was always prepared for the big yesses and the big no's in the cause of Hellenism and Orthodoxy.

    Up until the very last hour, with his illness, he gave lessons of life, courage and dignity to all those who suffer, Psomiadis said.

    Caption: Flags flying at half mast at the Holy Synode of Greece on Monday 28 January 2008.ANA-MPA/PANTELIS SAITAS

    [02] Karamanlis receives Bill Gates

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis received Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Monday morning at the Maximos Mansion (government headquarters) in Athens. The meeting with the founder and chairman of Microsoft Corporation, a worldwide leader in computer software, was also attended by Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, and lasted roughly 45 minutes. No statements were made afterwards. The prime minister was scheduled to attend the inauguration of the Microsoft Innovation Center at 10:45. Microsoft Innovation Centres provide customers and partners with a comprehensive set of programs and services. The goal of the centers is to foster innovation and growth in local software economies. Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis(L) and Microsoft's founder and Chairman Bill Gates(R) on Monday 28 January at the Maximos Mansion.ANA-MPA/PANTELIS SAITAS

    [03] Probe into DVD leak on Internet

    The head of Greece's electronic crimes unit on Monday announced that two criminal indictments have been filed following the appearance of videotaped material apparently taken from the infamous Zachopoulos DVD, the centre of a blackmailing case shaking the country's political foundations in the recent period.

    Manolis Sfakianakis said he informed the head of the first instance courts prosecutor's office of the development, following the appearance of the 17-second material on the youtube site and another Internet site.

    A chief prosecutor order a preliminary investigation into the Internet appearance of the X-rated material.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Christos Zachopoulos

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