Greece in mourning

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Political leaders expressed their shock and grief on Wednesday in the wake of a bank torching in central Athens that left three bank employees dead.

News of the abhorrent attack found Parliament in session to debate the latest round of government-announced austerity measures – the reason unions were holding protests outside the House.

» President of the Hellenic Republic

Referring to the current financial situation and the frustration many people are feeling with the political system, President Karolos Papoulias stated the following:
“Our country has reached the edge of the abyss. It is everybody’s responsibility that we do not take the fatal step. Responsibility is proven through action, not in words. History will judge us all.”

» Prime Minister

Prime Minister George Papandreou rebuked a murderous attack, while promising that “the perpetrators will be located and will stand trial.” Moreover, the premier called on all Parliament-represented parties to unequivocally condemn the violence.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are a free and democratic country. We fight, and have fought, for the right to live in a democratic Greece. And each citizen has a right to demonstrate.
But no one has the right to resort to violence, especially violence leading to the murder of fellow citizens. And we know that violence breeds violence. Protest is different from murder.”

» Opposition Leaders

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras stressed that the country is going through “critical moments,” while expressing his grief for the innocent victims of fanaticism, and random violence.
The leaders of the remaining opposition parties – the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary group Chief Alexis Tsipras and Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) leader George Karatzaferis – each condemned the violence and expressed their condolences to the victims’ families.

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Greek Leadership Pays Respects to Cypriot Papadopoulos

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis arrived in Larnaca today to attend the funeral of former president Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, who died on Friday in the Cypriot capital.  The funeral will be also attended by Dora Bakoyannis, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, Popular Orthodox Party (LA.OS) president George Karatzaferis and a delegation of the Greek parliament. President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias sent his condolences stating that “Tassos Papadopoulos has faithfully served the Republic of Cyprus and during his term in office, Cyprus found the place it deserves as member state in the European Union. It is unfortunate that Papadopoulos did not live long enough to witness a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue, for which we all struggle.”  Karamanlis expressed his sincere and profound grief for the loss “of an historic political figure.” The premier emphasised Papadopoulos meaningful contribution to the Cypriot Hellenism, to which Papadopoulos had always been passionately devoted. The Associated Press: Cypriot ex-president Papadopoulos dies of cancer