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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-02-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM briefs President on his visit to Turkey
  • [02] PASOK tables proposal on fact finding committee
  • [03] Christodoulos laid to rest
  • [04] Possible depth-bomb detected

  • [01] PM briefs President on his visit to Turkey

    The President of Greek Republic Karolos Papoulias will receive on Friday Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis at the Presidential Mansion.

    Karamanlis will brief the President about his recent visit to Turkey.

    Later, Karamanlis will meet with Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of President Karolos Papoulias (R) and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (L) at the Presidential Mansion.

    [02] PASOK tables proposal on fact finding committee

    Main opposition PASOK party on Friday morning will submit a proposal for the setting up of a Fact Find Committee in order to probe the Siemens case.

    PASOK deputies in their proposal said "our country is going through this past period, with the government's responsibility, a general crisis of values, the distain of institutions and persons, corruption, arbitrariness of power and abuse of public wealth."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou

    [03] Christodoulos laid to rest

    Greece's Archbishop Christodoulos laid to rest

    Greece's beloved and charismatic Archbishop Christodoulos was laid to rest on Thursday at Athens' First Cemetery with the full Honours of a Head of State, following a funeral ceremony officiated by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos. The funeral was attended by the Prelates of all the Orthodox Churches around the world, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, political party leaders and representatives of the foreign embassies to Greece.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch also delivered the eulogy for the late Christodoulos, who passed away at dawn on Monday at his home in Psychico, following a seven-month battle with cancer.

    The funeral ceremony commenced at 10:00 a.m., following the arrival of President Papoulias, who was preceded by the prime minister and almost the entire Greek government, representatives of the political parties and parliament, delegates of the foreign embassies, Church of Greece hierarchs, and representatives of other religions, while thousands of faithful also swamped the environs of the Cathedral, where they followed the service from loudspeakers.

    Eulogies were also delivered by Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki, representing the Church of Greece, Education and Religious Affairs Minister Evripides Stylianidis, who represented the government, parliament president Dimitris Sioufas, and Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis.

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos paid tribute to the late Archbishop's spiritual qualities, his word and his work in bringing the Church closer to the people, and stressed the Ecumenical Patriarchate's respect for Christodoulos, putting behind the tension that arose in relations between the two men in the spring of 2004.

    Metropolitan Anthimos called that time "a minor interval of bitterness that will pass forever into oblivion", and conveyed to the Ecumenical Patriarch the "heartfelt love and respect" that Christodoulos had felt for him.

    Stylianidis spoke of the multi-faceted Shepherd with the effusive and straightforward word and firmness of action, who brought the Church closer to the people, and particularly the younger generations. "He was open and accepting of the challenges of the times. He believed in the younger generation, with which he always sought to be in contact, using its own language. His concern was to bring youth closer to the Church, and he succeeded," the minister said.

    Sioufas paid tribute to "the spiritual leader who placed his rare gifts and strength of soul into the religious word, the Church, the obligation to society", expressing grief over the early demise of the Archbishop on behalf of the representatives of the political parties, as expressed during a special session of Parliament held in Christodoulos' memory.

    "He inspired and guided a spiritual work that went beyond the frontiers of Greece. He left us early, but left behind him a flourishing work that is in full development," Sioufas added.

    Kaklamanis expressed hope that the late Archbishop's work and vision will find worthy successors. "As a formidable captain of the ship called the Church, he led it away from its traditional introversion and the margins," Kaklamanis said.

    "You were impulsive, dynamic, fiery," the Mayor concluded.

    After the funeral service, the late Archbishop's casket was carried by gun-carriage to Athens' First Cemetery, accompanied by Armed Forces officers and military honour guards, while a 21-gun salute was fired from cannon atop Lycabettus Hill as the casket emerged from Athens‚ Metropolitan Cathedral. Alongside the gun-carriage walked metropolitans of the Orthodox Church, four of them carrying the blue-and-white Greek flags.

    Mourners also flocked to the cemetery where the Archbishop was laid to rest shortly after 13:30, with a service again led by the Ecumenical Patriarch, to lay a flower at the Archbishop's grave in a final farewell to their spiritual leader.

    Walking before the casket were the clerics of the Athens Archdiocese and military honor guards, while archmandrites carried his medals and other honorary distinctions awarded the late Archbishop. Behind the casket walked the prime minister and his wife, party leaders, the military and religious leadership and representatives of other denominations and Churches, close associates and close relatives of the late Christodoulos.

    As the procession passed Mitropoleos Street, Syntagma Square, Vassilisis Amalias Avenue, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athanassiou Diakou Road and Anapafseos Road toward the cemetery, crowds cast flowers over the casket as it went by and many ordinary people appeared visibly moved as the Archbishop‚s body was taken to its final resting place.

    [04] Possible depth-bomb detected

    A round metal object, believed to be a depth bomb left over from World War II, was spotted by divers on the seabed near a Panama-flag cargo ship that ran aground off the coast of Akra, in Epanomi, Thessaloniki, and Navy bomb disposal experts were due to begin investigation on Friday morning.

    The Panama-flag "Gerda Vesta" freighter ran aground in shallow waters early Monday as a result of gale-force northerly winds sweeping through northern Greece. No injuries were reported among the crew members of the vessel, which had set sail from the Port of Thessaloniki, empty of cargo. No damage to the vessel was reported.

    According to a Merchant Marine ministry announcement, during a scan of the area by a company providing assistance to dislodge the vessel, divers spotted the chain of the cargo ship's left anchor -- which was imbedded at a depth of 3.5 metres and ata distance of 150 metres from the shore -- was resting on a large round metal object that is tentatively believed to be a depth-bomb.

    The ministry said that the Thessaloniki port authority immediately informed the ship's captain to refrain from any movement of the anchor and the ship in general until the said object was examined.

    The sea area was being patrolled by a Coastguard vessel, and by a Coastguard patrol car on land, while the Northern Greece Naval Command was also informed of the situation in order to take the necessary action.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of a cargo ship ran aground in shallow waters

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