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Athens metro on line until after midnight January 30, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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A two-month pilot scheme that will see trains on the metro system and the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway run until late on weekends will start Friday.

The scheme means trains will run until 2 o’clock on Saturday and Sunday mornings in a bid to offer Athenians an alternative to getting to and from their nighttime entertainment.

The Transport Ministry and the City of Athens have been in favor of the move as they see it as an obvious way to increase passenger numbers on lines 2 and 3 of the metro, which first opened to commuters seven years ago.

AMEL, the firm that operates the Athens Metro, estimates that the longer timetable will cost the company an extra 300,000 euros a month. Two-thirds of this cost will be for staff overtime.

Related Links > www.ametro.gr

UPDATE > 1 February 2008

Metro and railway workers threaten plan for longer hours on weekend

Plans for the metro and Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway (ISAP) to run for longer starting this weekend were thrown into confusion yesterday after workers said they will go on a two-hour work stoppage tonight at exactly the time the service is meant to be extended. The Transport Ministry has said the metro and the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway will run for an extra two hours until 2 a.m. to serve nighttime commuters during a two-month pilot scheme. Metro workers, however, have opposed the move and said they will walk off the job because they believe that more research should be carried out before the measure is introduced.

Crowds queue up to bid farewell to Archbishop January 30, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Religion & Faith.
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Hundreds of mourners wait outside Athens Cathedral yesterday to pay their respects to Archbishop Christodoulos, who died of cancer on Monday. Some 30,000 worshippers have visited the cathedral during the last two days. Today will be the last day that the archbishop’s body will lie in state.

Thousands of mourners queued for up to three hours outside Athens Cathedral yesterday to pay their final respects to Archbishop Christodoulos while his possible successors prepare to declare their candidacies following the funeral of the late head of the Greek Church tomorrow.

The crowds waiting to see the archbishop lying in state were seven-people wide and stretched around Karaiskaki Square in central Athens. Policemen tried to prevent people pushing into the queue but mostly to no avail.

More than 30,000 people are estimated to have passed through the cathedral over the last two days in order to catch a last glimpse of Christodoulos who died on Monday after a battle against cancer.

Following his funeral tomorrow, a number of bishops are expected to indicate their interest in succeeding the archbishop. Among the front-runners are Efstathios, Bishop of Sparta, Ieronimos, Bishop of Thebes, Anthimos, Bishop of Thessaloniki, Ignatios, Bishop of Dimitrias, and Dorotheos, Bishop of Syros.

The Holy Synod will vote for the next archbishop on February 7, which is much sooner than usual as the Church wants to avoid any potentially damaging rifts between candidates during a drawn-out campaign.

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, is expected in Athens today but sources said that he has made it clear he will not back a particular candidate.

Greece’s new Archbishop to be elected on February 7 January 30, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Religion & Faith.
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The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece will convene on February 7 to elect a new Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, following the passing away early Monday of Archbishop Christodoulos, after a seven-month battle with cancer.

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece held an extensive meeting on Monday following the death of Archbishop Christodoulos, during which it set the date for electing a new Archbishop.

The session, which ended late in the afternoon, discussed details of the four-day mourning period, during which the archbishop’s body will lie in state at Athens Metropolitan Cathedral, and decided that the funeral that will be held on Thursday at 10:00.

Christodoulos will be buried at the Athens 1st cemetery immediately after the funeral procession, while the Holy Synod has requested those wanting to send a wreath to instead make a donation to some charitable cause or foundation.

Thessaloniki’s metropolitan Anthimos announced that the election for the new head of the Greek Orthodox Church will be beld on February 7 at the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral.

Αrchbishop Christodoulos passed away on Monday at 5:15 a.m. (3:15 GMT) after battling cancer for the past seven months. Earlier, his attending physicians, close associates and numerous clerics hastily assembled at the Archbishop’s official residence in the Athens district of Paleo Psyhico, as Christodoulos had declined to leave his home for a hospital in his last days. 

Greece’s Archbishop Christodoulos passed away January 30, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Religion & Faith.
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The head of Greece’s Orthodox Church, Archbishop Christodoulos, died of cancer on Monday at the age of 69.

Christodoulos died about 5:15 a.m. Monday local time, at his home in an Athens suburb, church officials said. He had battled liver cancer for several months and traveled to the United States in an unsuccessful attempt to get a transplant. He declined hospital treatment in the last several days.

archbishop_christodoulos.jpg  Archbishop Christodoulos [middle] on Epiphany Day in Volos town on 6 January 2006.

Christodoulos was a polyglot who surfed the Internet, instituted sign-language liturgies for the deaf, embraced rather than disgraced AIDS patients, launched a successful internet portal.

The archbishop also addressed centuries-old grievances with the Roman Catholic Church. He received the late Pope John Paul II in Athens in 2001 on the first papal visit to Greece in nearly 1,300 years.

During his visit to Greece, the pope asked for forgiveness for sins committed against Orthodox Christians during the 1,000 year split between the two traditions. The remarks drew applause from Christodoulos.

The 2001 declaration followed a roasting by Christodoulos, who told the pope that an apology was needed for grievances ranging from the Great Schism of 1054 to a lack of publicly expressed concern over the divided island of Cyprus.

“Traumatic experiences remain as open wounds on (the Greek people’s) vigorous body,” Christodoulos said. “Yet until now, there has not been heard even a single request for pardon.”

Despite widespread opposition from conservative adherents of the Orthodox faith, the influential clergyman, who was schooled by Catholic monks in Athens, followed up with a historic visit to the Vatican last year, meeting Pope Benedict XVI.

The divide between Rome-based and eastern European Christianity dates back to 1054, but it deepened in the 20th century .

Championing a more liberal image for an institution often considered a bastion of conservativism, Christodoulos, the son of a local mayor, enjoyed a popularity rating of nearly 75 percent — far higher than any Greek politician.

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