Athens celebrates New Year despite debt woes

Athens, Jan 1 (IANS) The Greek capital welcomed the New Year with a party, wishing the country will overcome the seven-year debt crisis and tackle the refugee crisis in 2017.

Braving the cold, hundreds of people on Saturday night sang and danced for hours to the rhythm of music played by bands and artists who performed on the stage set up at the pedestrian walkway facing the Acropolis, Xinhua news agency reported.

A few minutes before midnight, Athens Mayor Yorgos Kaminis gave the traditional countdown, which was followed by a fireworks show wishing a better future to Athenians, Greeks, foreigners living in Greece and the entire world.

“Difficulties are not over, but we stand with optimism. United we will make it,” the Mayor said in his speech.

“We need each other. We are united for Athens, for our country, our future, our children. Happy New Year with peace, solidarity and optimism,” he added.