NEWS

Church, political leaders send wishes to Greeks celebrating Easter

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As Greeks everywhere celebrate Easter with a variety of customs, many predating Christianity itself, Church leaders remind us that Easter is, a bove all, a spiritual event. And politicians, not to be left behind, are keenly aware that elections, local and national, are coming up in less than a month's time and use the Easter's symbolism of resurrection to either claim that it's already happened or to promise its eventual coming, provided we trust them with our votes.

Archbishop Ieronymos of Greece wished the faithful a “true Easter, an internal Resurrection above all.” He recalled the word's Hebrew origins, which mean “passage”, “from Egypt to their country, from slavery to freedom, from the darkness to light…May we have such a passage this year,” Ieronymos said in a statement to state news agency ANA-MPA.

Patriarch Vartholomaios of Constantinople said that “the people's hopes have been dashed, the promised earthly paradises proved vain and false and … the resurrected Christ remains the light of the world…the Truth.” And humans need the truth “to liberate them from lies, expediency, interests and fake news. 'Know the truth and the truth shall set you free',” he said from Istanbul. He also talked of the “false prophets” who anticipate the Patriarchate's collapse.

All political leaders had their own messages. Our cartoonist Ilias Makris summed them best.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made the customary visit to a military installation,n in his case a naval base in eastern Crete, accompanied by the Minister of Defence and the Army, Navy and Air Force leaders.

Tsipras said that the people's sacrifice made the resurrection of the economy possible. He claimed that Greece's prestige had been restored and promised “that it is now time that the resurrection of the economy becomes the resurrection of citizens' everyday lives.”

Opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis referred, indirectly to the coming elections, local and national, which his party is favored to win. “The message to all is that the Calvary is coming to an end. We are just before the passage to a new, more hopeful era,” he said. “I wish for the light of the Resurrection to point the way to a brighter, better Greece.”