08 January, 2007
Greece celebrated the religious holiday of Epiphany on Saturday with the traditional "blessing of the waters" ceremony at the country's countless ports, harbours, lakes and reservoirs, with the nation's political leadership also on hand at Church masses and at the water's side.
The most prominent service was again celebrated at the port of Piraeus' metropolitan cathedral and seafront, with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos officiating at the service, attended by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, who represented the government, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, former premier Costas Simitis and dozens of other government officials, MPs and local government office-holders. Most political leaders on hand expressed their best wishes for 2007.
On his part, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis attended Epiphany services near his home in the east Attica coastal town of Rafina, where he expressed his best seasons for the New Year, while emphasising the need for close ties between parents and children.
Meanwhile, new Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis attended a similar service at the Dexamini (reservoir) square in the upscale Kolonaki district in the Greek capital, along with Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou.
In brief statements, Kaklamanis said one main priority of his new administration will be to develop, in consultation with the central government and other municipalities, a prefecture-wide strategy for garbage collection and management in the utterly ccongested greater Athens area.
Source: Athens News Agency