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Greek govt speaks up in defense of Holy Mount Athos monasteries

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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    Greek govt speaks up in defense of Holy Mount Athos monasteries 06.09.2003 - By Sergei Latyshev - ATHENS, September 6 (Itar-Tass) - Greek government on Friday
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 7, 2003
      Greek govt speaks up in defense of Holy Mount Athos monasteries
      06.09.2003 - By Sergei Latyshev - ATHENS, September 6 (Itar-Tass) - Greek
      government on Friday voiced its support to the status of the Holy Mount
      Athos, a de facto monastic republic in Northeast Greece, from attacks by
      the European Parliament, which is seeking an abolition of a millennium-old
      ban on women's trips to the Mount Athos territory.
      The status of the area is linked to a thousand years of tradition, the
      Eastern Orthodox Creed, and monastic lifestyle, and a stereotyped
      application of the principles of equal opportunities for access, free trade
      and competition confronts the fundamental concept of Mount Athos, said
      Tassos Giannitsis, First Deputy Foreign Minister.
      Georgios Katiforis, head of the PASOK ruling party's delegation to the
      European Parliament recalled in a letter to the parliament presidium that
      the special status of Mount Athos had been confirmed when Greece joined the
      European Union.
      The European MPs cannot go back on that decision, Katiforis recalled.
      Greek made the demarches after the European Parliament had endorsed a
      report on the observance of human rights in the EU.
      The document proposes, among other things, that Greece should abolish a law
      on prison terms of two to twelve months for the women trying to penetrate
      the Mount Athos area.
      The European Parliament also demanded that Greece abolish punishments for
      religious proselytism and allow construction of mosques and Moslem
      cemeteries.
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