Sotiria Nikolouli – May 2014
Speaking at the event entitled “Solidarity, the social work of the Church and the social dimension of EU policies,” the prime minister underlined that the goal is to improve the people’s lives and not faceless numbers or indices. He also referred to the economic reform effort aimed at preventing a similar crisis from happening again and praised the Church for its contribution.
Expressing his gratitude, Samaras noted: “Now, that the most difficult part of the uphill struggle is behind us, I have to underline that the family, as an institution, and the Church have kept society on its feet during hard times.”
Aside from the ongoing relief measures, the social dividend, the measures in support of the homeless and the Church’s work, the prime minister also announced a 281-million-euro food and special aid programme decided by the European Parliament and the Greek government for 2014-2020, noting that its budget could exceed 350 million euros, half of which will be managed by the Church of Greece.
“There are no atheists in a war,” he said, adding that “we experience a war for the survival of our country and the signs show that it will be won.” He said that mistakes have taken place in the past but now “we are moving with steady steps looking toward the future”.
“The Church is the ark of love,” he said, noting that its contribution should continue “now that things have taken on a better shape”.
The event was attended by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, who offered the prime minister an icon depicting Saint Antonios, Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki and Archbishop Anastasios of Albania.