Athens mayor seeks to kindle Christmas spirit

Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis is to turn on the lights on a new Christmas tree in the city center this afternoon, replacing the original that was torched last week by rioters, as municipal staff boost efforts to clear up damage. Kaklamanis appealed to citizens to attend the «launch of the festivities» in Syntagma Square at 7.30 p.m. to «help the city find its rhythm again and bring smiles back to people’s faces, particularly children.» A children’s choir, the municipal philharmonic orchestra and fireworks – of the conventional kind – will add to the festive atmosphere. On a more practical note, the president of the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities (KEDKE), Dimitris Kalogeropoulos, called for the launch of a fundraising campaign to support businesses in the center that suffered losses during the riots. «No one should sit by passively with everything that has been happening,» he said.

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