NEWS

Archbishop castigates UN plan

Dismissing the United Nations blueprint for the reunification of Cyprus as a bid to «de-Hellenize» the island, the head of Greece’s Orthodox Church on Sunday urged an Athens congregation to engage in frenzied prayers against the peace deal. Speaking in the church of Aghios Andreas in Patissia, central Athens, Archbishop Christodoulos said that under UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan, «Cypriots will have to forget Greece, their language and their flag, in order to submit to the world’s potentates.» Christodoulos called on believers to join in a «paroxysm of prayer» against adoption of the blueprint, arguing that «politicians are under pressure to accept a solution which, deep down, they do not want.» He added that acceptance of the UN plan for Cyprus would create a dangerous precedent in Greece’s relations with Turkey, as far as Thrace and the Aegean are concerned. In December, the archbishop came under heavy criticism for calling the Turks «barbarians» with no place in Europe, which he described as «the family of Christians.»