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Epiphany with military frigates in Piraeus

06 January 2014 / 19:01:10  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

One of the greatest Christian holidays was celebrated in the most solemn manner in Piraeus where, in the presence of representatives of the political life, the leadership of the navy and hundreds of citizens, local Metropolitan Seraphim consecrated the waters of Greece's largest port.

Three military frigates named "Zeal", "Boldness" and "Europe" formed the space before the official rostrum where the Metropolitan immersed the cross and the sirens of the ships and the bells of St. Spiridon Church immediately rang.

Despite the rainy weather, nine members of the Association of Greek Divers dived into the sea.

Yiannis Varelidis reached the cross and wished all Greeks health and courage. The Metropolitan gave all the men who had dived a gold cross as a souvenir.

The government was represented by Minister of Education Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos. In a statement after the ceremony, he said that 2014 is the year when Greece will make final efforts to overcome the crisis.

The wish of Mayor of Piraeus Vassilis Michaloliakos (New Democracy) was that this year Greece should manage "to reject the hateful Memorandum (the contract under which the country receives financial aid from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank – author’s note)."

Similar was the speech of the only leader of a political party who attended the ceremony. Leader of Independent Greece Panos Kamenos expressed his hope that "2014 will be the year of Greece’s salvation." In his words, his party will participate alone in the upcoming local and European elections and its candidates "will spread the message against the Memorandum throughout Greece. We will make every effort to hold general elections to reject today's government," Kamenos said.

After the ceremony, spokesman of Golden Dawn Ilias Kasidiaris stood in front of the microphones of the media. He was outside the fences installed by the coast guard. "We never get on the official rostrum, we are always with the people. I wanted to make a statement to express my dissatisfaction with the fact that the large municipalities never send official invitations to Golden Dawn. Nevertheless, this will not last for long as the party will be able to win in the local elections on 25 May," the Golden Dawner said.

Before and after the ceremony a group of about 20 people held a short protest, shouting slogans against the government policy and the supervisory Troika.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras attended the ceremony in his hometown of Kalamata and President Karolos Papoulias on the Island of Telendos and then on the islands of Kalymnos and Pserimos.

Tags: EpiphanyConsecration of watersPiraeusМilitary frigatesPoliticiansStatements
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