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Athens, Greece Illuminated by Christmas Lights

athens-christmasThe official countdown to Christmas started last night in Athens, with the annual lighting ceremony and a performance by famous Greek singer Sakis Rouvas in Syntagma Square.
“This Christmas, Athens will send a message of solidarity, peaceful coexistence, and mutual understanding among people,” said the mayor of Athens, Giorgos Kaminis giving the signal to turn on the Christmas lights of the city.
By early afternoon, the center of Athens was filled with music from the City of Athens Brass Philharmonic Orchestra. The musicians marched from Monastiraki and Kotzia square, meeting in Syntagma square, to greet the city residents in a festive atmosphere.
In Syntagma the Big Band along with singer Sakis Rouvas gave a special performance with songs inspired by the holiday season.
“Athens is a lively and safe European capital. We defend the right to joy, to positive thinking, and the right to hope”, said Kaminis in his speech. “The city knows how to tackle and withstand difficulties, with faith in democracy, culture, and the future.”
Though the official illumination ceremony was originally scheduled for November 19, it was postponed due to a protest held by Greece’s largest civil service union, ADEDY. Amid the implementation of new austerity measures and a bleak economic outlook, Christmas spending will be reduced for Greek households, which have endured six years of economic depression, job losses, wage and pension cuts.

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