• Short Summary

    President Basolio Lakas of Panama ended his two-day official visit to Greece on July 28.?

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    President Basolio Lakas of Panama ended his two-day official visit to Greece on July 28. But the President - whose parents were born in Greece - stayed on to complete what he described as a six-day private and sentimental sojourn.

    On Sunday at the Ionian island of Zante, (August 1), he accompanied Greek Deputy Premier Stylianos Pattakos to celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Greek independence from Turkey.

    The President was due to leave for Rome today (August 3) to begin an official visit to Italy.

    SYNOPSIS: Zante - the Greek island in the Ionian sea.

    At the Island's St. Denis Cathedral, crowds assembled on Sunday for a thanks giving ceremony to mark 150 years of Greek independence.

    Panamanian President Basilio Lakas - here accompanied by Greek Deputy Premier Stylianos Pattakos had a non-diplomatic reason for attending. His parents were born in Greece.

    The President, who completed his two-day official visit to the country on July 28 - stayed on for what he described as private and sentimental reasons.

    The party moved on to Saint George church where in 1821 Greek revolutionaries took an oath of allegiance to their country - then in its first days of freedom from Turkish rule.

    It was at Zante that the hero of the revolution, General Kolokotranis, joined fellow patriots in swearing loyalty to the new Greek state.

    This plaque commemorates the rebuilding of the church by the British Masonic Lodge after an earthquake hit Zante in 1925.

    President Lakas watched the island's youth celebrate - with a flair for historical detail. He had already called at the township of Kranidi, in the Peloponnese, his late Father's home town - and at Plomari village in the Aegean island of Lasbos - birthplace of his Mother who accompanied him on his trip. The President left for an official visit to Italy on August 3.

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