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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-07-16

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM proclaims place for exiling Communists on island of Agios Efstratios a symbol of democracy

  • [01] PM proclaims place for exiling Communists on island of Agios Efstratios a symbol of democracy

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday proclaimed the old place for exiling Communists on the Aegean island of Agios Efstratios a symbol of democracy, satisfying a longstanding demand by its few inhabitants.

    It was the first visit ever made to the island by a prime minister and the second by Karamanlis, who had visited it two years ago as the main opposition party leader and had promised to create a Museum of Democracy and a Cultural Centre as a form of tribute to the people who had been persecuted and who had suffered in the country.

    In the building which had housed Communist exiles, currently in a state of ruin, 40 leftists had died of starvation after refusing to sign a proclamation denouncing their ideology.

    Karamanlis said the Museum of Democracy will symbolise citizens who serve values, ideas and convictions at a risk and a cost and with personal sacrifice.

    "Your proposal and the commitment I have undertaken is currently on the path of its implementation. The study for the building's restoration has been prepared and necessary funds (440,000 euros) have been secured from the 3rd Community Support Framework's (CSF) operational programme 'Culture'. Formalities have been completed and work will begin imediately. In parallel, the stone building housing the old town hall will be renovated to function as a Cultural Centre," the prime minister said.

    Karamanlis stressed that Agios Eftstratios is a place which was sealed by a painful period for the country and which has definitely closed, however, with the contribution of all political forces.

    "We are here today, expressing the overcoming of the dividing lines of the past and our dedication to a new political culture, with respect for someone else's views and trust between ourselves. To enable us to stress in a symbolic and clear way our determination to clash with anything which can deal a blow at the quality of democracy, justice, human dignity and the rights and freedoms of the citizen," the prime minister said.

    Karamanlis further spoke of a fairer future, a fairer society, a society of solidarity and cohesion and a society of confidence.

    He promised to return to Agios Efstratios soon to attend the inauguration of the Museum, while the local inhabitants proclaimed him an honourary citizen of the island.

    Earlier in the day, Karamanlis had visited the site where a ringroad is being built in the region of Agios Nikolas at the port of Myrina on the island of Limnos.

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