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On this day February 9, 1934

Greece, Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia signed a treaty aimed at maintaining the geopolitical status quo in the region following World War I.

The signatories agreed to suspend all disputed territorial claims against each other and their immediate neighbors following the aftermath of the war and a rise in various regional ethnic minority tensions. Read More…

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On this day January 1, 2002

Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union’s member states.

euro_banknotesThe euro (currency sign: ; currency code: EUR) is the official currency of fifteen member states of the European Union (EU).

The states, known collectively as the Eurozone are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain. Read More…

Greece’s PM first foreign visit to Turkey

George Papandreou, the new Greek Prime Minister, paid his first foreign visit to neighbouring Turkey on Friday. Papandreou arrived in Istanbul to attend an informal Balkan countries’ ministerial meeting.

Georgios Papandreou

George Papandreou

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

He first visited the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, where he said both countries must work together to unify Cyprus. Bartholomew said Papandreou’s arrival in Turkey for his first foreign visit is very important for Greek–Turkish relations, which are tense due to Cyprus and Aegean Sea disputes.

Later, he met with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. The two prime ministers appreciated the ongoing reunification talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. He also visited his then-counterpart and friend İsmail Cem’s tomb at the Zincirlikuyu Cemetery.

Greek PM sworn in

George Papandreou, the new Greek prime minister, and his cabinet were sworn into office on Tuesday, after winning general elections held on Sunday.

Papandreou taking his Oath of Office

Papandreou taking his Oath of Office

Papandreou, whose socialist PASOK party won the snap general elections, will also be foreign minister, a post he held from 1999 to 2004 in the cabinet of then Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

A new position, deputy prime minister, has been introduced, going to Theodoros Pangalos, who served as foreign minister between 1996 and 1999.

Louka Katseli will be economy minister. She was special economy adviser to Papandreou’s father – Andreas Papandreou – between 1993 and 1996, when he was prime minister. Read More…

Papandreou claims election victory in Greece

Georgios Papandreou (Γιώργος Παπανδρέου) is the Prime Minister of Greece following his party’s victory in the 2009 legislative election.

Georgios Papandreou

Georgios Papandreou

Papandreou has been leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party since February 2004.

The son and grandson of former Greek prime ministers, he twice served as Minister for National Education and Religious Affairs (1988-1989 and 1994-1996) and was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1999 to 2004. In 2006 he became President of the Socialist International.

The former prime minister, Costas Karamanlis of the New Democracy party, had resigned is position after the results were announced, and congratulated PASOK’s leader George Papandreou.

PASOK had over 43% of the ballot, compared to the conservative New Democracy’s 35%, with almost all of the votes counted. The socialists now have a 159-seat majority in the 300-seat parliament. New Democracy is projected to have won around 94 seats. Read More…

On this day October 5, 869

The Fourth Council of Constantinople, the eighth Catholic Ecumenical Council, was convened to discuss the patriarchate of Photios I of Constantinople.

StPhotios

Photios I Φώτιος

The Council met in 10 sessions from October 869 to February 870 and issued 27 canons. The council was called by Emperor Basil I the Macedonian and Pope Adrian II.

It deposed Photios, a layman who had been appointed as Patriarch of Constantinople, and reinstated his predecessor Ignatius.

A later council, the Greek Fourth Council of Constantinople, was held after Photios had been reinstated on order of the Emperor, and it annulled the earlier one.

Today, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the council in 869-870 as “Constantinople IV”, while the Eastern Orthodox Churches recognize the councils in 879-880 as “Constantinople IV” and revere Photios as a saint. At the time that these councils were being held, this division was not yet clear. Read More…

Greece to hold general elections

Greece will vote in a general election this Sunday. The socialist opposition is ahead of the current conservative government in opinion polls.

Acropolis of Athens

Acropolis of Athens

According to opinion polls, the Papandreou Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) appears to hold a lead over the conservative New Democracy (ND), which has been in power for five and a half years.

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis called in September for polls to be held early, due in part to a faltering economy and numerous scandals. The move was approved of by most Greeks, who say that a change of government could help boost the economy. Read More…