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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 06 January 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 JANUARY 2018 21 GREECE Phylax statue in Paleo Faliro ‘exorcised’ by parishioners More than 100 faithful, led by their local priest, marched to the local square asking for a sculpture to be removed Tsipras on the go: the Greek PM is facing a busy schedule of international meetings this month Despite a lot of pressing issues within Greece, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is not expected to spend much time in the country in January. The Greek PM is scheduled to participate in the tripartite summit of Greece, Cyprus and Israel in Nicosia on Monday, while on Wednesday 10 January he is due in Rome to attend the summit of the heads of state and governments of the Medi- terranean countries of the EU, to discuss the future of the EU, Brexit, the EU-Turkey relations, the refugee crisis and regional and international developments. Another visit to Cyprus is next, for the first tripartite Summit between Cyprus, Greece and Jordan on 16 January. According to sources, Jordanian King Abdullah II may also attend the summit, which is seen as crucial given that the Greek stock market off to a strong start With 87 stocks demonstrating gains, Greece’s stock market is showing great promise for 2018 There's been talk circulating about Greece's economy strengthening, and now the figures are able to speak for themselves. According to the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index, the Greek stock market has reached a new four-month high in what is expected to be a strong 2018. In its first session for the year on Tuesday, the market's benchmark added two per cent to its closing figures for 2017. On Friday, the index stood at 802.37 points, and ended at 818.51 points. The large-cap FTSE-25 index expanded 1.69 per cent to 2,118.45 points. Meanwhile, the banks' index rose 4.37 per cent; Piraeus Bank performed best with a rise of 12.38 per cent, followed by Alpha Bank with 3.97 per cent, Eurobank 3.53 per cent and National 1.57 per cent. PPC advanced 6.67 per cent and Terna Energy 5.22 per cent. After a decade-long financial crisis, optimistically a total of 87 stocks demonstrated gains, while just 16 saw losses and 24 remained the same. The total turnover for the year came to €51 million, improving on Friday's €49.7 million. Meanwhile Cyprus's Stock Exchange didn't perform so well, with a general index decline of 0.62 per cent to 69.07 points. region is in turmoil after the US’ decision to transfer their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The most important date on the Greek PM's calendar is Monday 22 January, when the Eurogroup resumes talks about the conclusion of the third evaluation of the bailout program. The outcome of this meeting will either confirm or shoot down Tsipras' promise that 2018 will be a year of hope for Greece. In a radio interview, the Greek PM said, "I do not envisage 2018 as a return to the pre-crisis years. We have gone through a tragedy. We must have this tragedy as a lesson. This tragedy should act as a lesson for us never to lose control of our finances again. This recent experience must make us stronger,” dismissing any chance of elections taking place before the end of the year. Boutaris: ‘You can’t get any more Macedonian than me’ The mayor of Thessaloniki weighs in on the FYROM debate PHOTO: TRADE UNION Yannis Boutaris has never shied away from controversy. This time, the mayor of Thessaloniki weighed in on the matter of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) naming issue, repeating his longstanding view that a compromise is in order. "You should have good relations with your neighbours," he argued in a radio interview, defending his decision to invite FYROM's moderate prime minister, Zoran Zaev to ring in the New Year in Thessaloniki. “We agreed on conducting cultural exchanges with dance and music and lectures. We also spoke about Thessaloniki establishing a scholarship," Boutaris said. "The naming issue was derailed by the idiocy of politicians. These people [of FYROM] want to find an identity, with concessions on both sides, and the opposition is also ready for a compromise. Zaev said he would change the name of the [Alexander the Great] airport and change street signs," he added, confirming the new FYROM leader's moderate stance on the issue. Answering to his critics, Boutaris said: "There is no one who is more Macedonian than me. My heritage and upbringing says it all." Since 5 December acclaimed artist Kostis Georgiou’s Phylax sculpture, installed near the Palaio Faliro marina in Trokadero, Athens has been causing a stir, dividing Greek scholars and church officials. The sculpture, commissioned by the Martinos shipping family, has been donated to the Palaio Faliro municipality and stands alone between the local chapels of Agios Georgios and Agia Skepi. Since its installation, the Phylax has suffered two vandalism attacks; as a response to the municipality naming it "guardian angel" of the South Athens suburb even though the council and mayor Dionysis Hatzidakis clarified that the Phylax does not symbolise the guardian angel as depicted in Christian faith. Phylax in ancient Greek means guard, watcher, and protector. Yiannis Boutaris The vandals, however, proceeded to throw red paint on the statue as well as cut the power to the tramline that powers the art piece and keeps it illuminated at night. Several members of the local community argued that the image of the red naked man with wings is provocative and symbolises Lucifer. "Who says that the colour The Phylax by Kostis Geor- giou. PHOTO: PALEO FALIRO MUNICIPALITY of Satan is red? There are angels with red wings and red hair," artist Kostis Georgiou told Greek TV network Skai TV adding that "the criticism [was] started by some ultras like newspaper Eleftheri Ora and the [fake] monk, self-proclaimed Father Kleomenis, a hatepreacher". The latest incident comes after around 100 parishioners on Wednesday night decided to march from Panagia Myrtidiotissa church in Palaio Faliro, led by their local priest who sprinkled holy water on the art work to ‘exorcise its demons.’ Artist Georgiou says he is surprised at the reactions triggered by the sculpture. “The work is independent of any approach to religious symbols and emblems,” he said. “Those who condemn it as anti-Christ and satanic, are wrong,” he added and pointed out that a similar work was displayed last summer in Mykonos, and there were no reactions. “If they want to demolish, let them do it. If they want to burn it, let them burn it as they were burning books in the past,” Georgiou said. Meanwhile, the residents of the suburb have started a petition to have the sculpture removed.
23 December 2017
13 January 2018