01 March, 2007
President Karolos Papoulias gave honourary distinctions to personalities from both Greece and abroad during a ceremony held at the Presidential Mansion on Wednesday. The ceremony was attended by former prime minister and ruling New Democracy party's honorary president Constantine Mitsotakis, ministers and deputies.
"Some of you are being honored for your contribution to the ideals of freedom and democracy, some for your contribution to culture and science and some, lastly, for actions of yours or a stance of life that constitutes an example or for your tangible love for Greece, either as its children abroad or as Greeks in the wider sense of the term," President Papoulias said in his address.
President Papoulias awarded the Great Cross of the Order of Honor to Yiannis Haralambopoulos (former deputy prime minister, former foreign minister and former defense minister) and the Great Cross of the Order of the Phoenix to Yiannis Varvitsiotis (the head of the ruling New Democracy party's Eurodeputies and former defence minister) and Petros Molyviatis (former foreign minister).
He also awarded the Supreme Brigade of the Order of Honor to, among others, General Mohammar Abdel Salam El Mahgoub, Egypt's Minister of State on Local Development issues and former governor of Alexandria, and to Valentina Ivanova Matvienko, governor of Saint Petersburg.
Lastly, Michael Bilirakis, former Congressman of the State of Florida, was given the Supreme Brigade of the Order of the Phoenix, and Patrick Leigh Fermour, a national resistance fighter and writer, received the Brigade of the Order of the Phoenix.
Source: Athens News Agency