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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-12-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Focus on Hellenism along the Lower Danube
  • [02] Urban terror arrests
  • [03] Samaras with LIBE com't

  • [01] Focus on Hellenism along the Lower Danube

    (ANA-MPA) -- A lecture on the historic ethnic Greek communities in southeastern Romania's Danubian counties will be held on Sunday in the northwest city of Kozani's Lassani Manor municipal map library.

    Journalist and author Christos Zafiris will be the keynote speaker on the theme of "Ethnic Greek Danubian Communities", tracing the existence and growth of Hellenism along the Lower Danube from antiquity until the 20th century. The lecture is held within the framework of a map exhibition entitled "Danube: The Great Boundary in Cartographic History". (ANA-MPA)

    "Southern Romania, and especially the river districts along the Danube, became for ethnic Greeks, particularly islanders, a region of heightened social and professional activity and a source of great wealth," according to Zafiris.

    The ethnic Greek communities of the Danube, beginning from the Byzantine era and especially during the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century, were extremely prosperous. (ANA-MPA)

    "The increase in the number of ethnic Greeks in these districts came after the Crimean War in 1856, when the major powers declared the Black Sea as neutral territory and the Danube as a navigable river of European interest," he added, noting that Hellenism nevertheless existed in the region from antiquity, (ANA-MPA) something attested to by remnants of ancient monuments and settlements in Lower Danube area as well as numerous Greek coins found throughout the area.

    Among others, Zafiris noted that Alexander the Great's small fleet of warships crossed the Lower Danube during the Thracian campaign of 335 B.C. against the Getae.

    Galati hosted a very significant ethnic Greek community during the latter half of the 19th and early 20th century, although Braila was the seat of most Greek trading companies and shipping firms, the vibrant riverside city where the manor of Ioannis Rallis stands and where poet Andreas Embirikos and composer Iannis Xenakis were born. Tulcea, the first port when entering the Lower Danube from the Black Sea and Turnu-Severin, which attracted Greeks mostly from Macedonia and Epirus, (ANA-MPA) are the other two Danubian cities where Hellenism prospered.

    "The Greek language was second to Romanian in terms of popularity in the 19th century and first decades of the 20th centuries, spoken not only on the docks but also in social settings," Zafiris said.

    The decline of Hellenism in the Lower Danube began after WWI and was aggravated with WWII and the subsequent imposition of a communist regime in Romania.

    "Today, the hulls of old ships, the tug boats and the barges that once served as the river's economic lifeline, are visible on the river banks, silent witnesses of a bygone era when Greeks played a significant role in the economic and social life of the Lower Danubian cities, beacons of eternal Greek seamanship and the Diaspora," Zafiris concluded. (ANA-MPA)

    Caption: A rare 18th century map shows the Danube River as viewed by geographers of the time. The map will be on display in Kozani this month. ANA-MPA / STR.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Urban terror arrests

    (-PA) -- Authorities are awaiting preliminary ballistic tests to determine whether weapons discovered in two greater Athens-area apartments are linked with attacks attributed to a shadowy ultra-leftist terror gang.

    According to police officials, tests are almost complete on various weapons found inside a garage in the Athens district of Nea Smyrni, where two suspects were initially apprehended. Suspicion has focused on the so-called "Revolutionary Sect" gang, one of a handful of self-styled anti-state urban guerrilla cells that mostly operate in central Athens. The two suspects were allegedly carrying a knapsack with weapons when arrested. (-PA)

    (To view the entire article please contact the ANA-MPA's subscription department at 2106400560)

    Caption: An external view on Sunday, Dec. 5, of the apartment building in Piraeus where authorities said they located a weapons cache. ANA-MPA / K. NOMIKOU

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Samaras with LIBE com't

    (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Friday met a delegation from the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) at ND party headquarters in Athens and was briefed on EU efforts and initiatives to restrict illegal migration on a Community level.

    Samaras apparently asked the committee members to exert greater pressure on member-states to activate European policy on the issue and show solidarity toward Greece as a member of the Community by strengthening the role of the EU border agency Frontex, and by exerting pressure on Turkey to abide by the re-admission protocols it has signed with Greece. He also called for accelerating the process for the signature of a similar agreement between Turkey and the EU. (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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