The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed his hopes that Greece will overcome the crisis , after meeting Prime Minister George Papandreou, at his office in Parliament.
Mr. Bartholomew stated that “we have gone through much more difficult times in the past, and lived under tough circumstances but we got through it. I hope this time the Greek people under the leadership of the Government, and the chairmanship of your Excellency, will be united as a nation and get through every difficulty. We will be always by your side with our prayer to God. “
On his part, Prime Minister George Papandreou said, that “in these difficult moments that the country is going through, the Ecumenical Patriarchate gives strength” and went on to praise the efforts that the Ecumenical Patriarchate makes for the Orthodoxy. ”We are inspired by your struggle, which is a hard and eternal struggle, not only for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but of course, for all the Orthodoxy. A struggle for the cooperation of cultures and of course, for the important issue of climate change. We are by your side and your presence here in Greece gives us all the strength we need so as to help our country get out of the crisis and be able to prosper again as a nation.”
The meeting was attended by Foreign Affairs Minister, Stavros Lambrinidis, Deputy Minister, Dimitris Dollis and Secretary of State for Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs, Evi Christophilopoulou. Mr. Bartholomew was accompanied by the Head of the Office of the Patriarchate in Athens, Metropolitan of Pergamon, Ioannis and Metropolitan of Imbros and Tenedos Kirill.
Patriarch Bartholomew met with the President of Parliament, Philip Petsalnikos and attended the Special Olympics ceremony in the Parliament.