The helicopter carrying Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to Mount Athos landed late due to bad weather conditions.
According to voria.gr, the helicopter carrying Nikos Dendias tried to land on the helipad Caries, but unsuccessfully. The pilot tried to land the helicopter on the helipad monastery of Vatopedibut even there his efforts were fruitless, and in the end he landed in the monastery of the Great Lavra.
Nikos Dendias is the first minister to visit Mount Athos since 2011
At noon, the Holy Community of Mount Athos received the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Holy Temple of Protatus, where doxology was performed. After that, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, a reception and an extraordinary meeting of the Holy Community took place.
During his address to the representatives, members of the Holy Community of Mount Athos, at the Holy Church of Protatos in Karyes, Nikos Dendias expressed his heartfelt gratitude and deepest gratitude “for their touching presence and participation” in his reception. He also asked, “as a humble pilgrim”, in his words, their blessings and prayers, and conveyed, as the minister in charge of the Republic of Athos, “respect and boundless love of the prime minister and members of the government, whose interest in Mount Athos is great and enduring“.
“You, holy fathers, who continue the historical course of this unique monastic state in the world with a special contribution, willingness, sacrifices, as well as with unprecedented collectivism, have every right to expect cooperation, help and support from the rulers of the Greek state“, Dendias added. At the same time, he expressed confidence that they do not know the difficult circumstances that Greece has gone through and with which, with God’s help, they are coping.
The minister’s program also includes visits to the monasteries of Pantokrator and Xenophon. On Thursday, December 29, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will visit the monasteries of Dionysios and Donisiou and Dohiar.
What is the real purpose of the visit?
By rumors, which go among journalists, Nikos Dendias was promised the role of leader of the New Democracy party and, accordingly, the chair of the prime minister in the event that ND wins the parliamentary elections. Dendias is considered one of the toughest and most experienced politicians and, according to his party colleagues, he can bring New Democracy out of the protracted crisis into which Kyriakos Mitsotakis has driven it.
The visit to Athos, therefore, may be a prelude to the start of preparations for the elections, where the politician plans to enlist the support of the Holy Cinema and the Holy Elders.