ATHENS， Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Athens on Saturday night welcomed the New Year with a party at the foothill of the Acropolis hill， wishing that in 2017 the country will overcome the seven-year debt crisis and tackle the refugee crisis.
Braving the cold， hundreds of people 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.
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. We need each other. We are united for Athens， for our country， our future， our children. Happy New Year with peace， solidarity and optimism，" the mayor said in his speech.
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, Iraq, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The parliament of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan on Friday approved the independence referendum to be held on Sept. 25.
According to Tariq Jowahar, parliament media advisor, the session was chaired by the deputy speaker David Sharpe Jersey
, as Speaker Yousif Mohammed Sadiq did not attend the session since his Gorran Movement is boycotting the session along with the Kurdistan Islamic Group.
Kaka Bashar, a Kurdish lawmaker from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said he regretted that some of the lawmakers boycotted the parliament session, particularly the Gorran Movement, and hoped they will take part in the coming session.
Bahar Mahmoud, head of Gorran's parliamentary bloc Eddie Vanderdoes Jersey
, said the parliamentary session is "illegal."
"The session is illegal and a violation to the internal parliament law, as the session must be approved by the parliament's presidency which comprises the speaker and his deputy, in addition to the secretary of the parliament," she told Xinhua.
Mahmoud also revealed that Sadiq was prevented from entering the regional capital city of Erbil.
"This session was held according to the wishes of the two main parties and not according to the desire of parliament," she said, referring to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headed by the regional President Masoud Barzani Obi Melifonwu Jersey
, and the PUK with Iraqi President Fuad Masoum as one of its leading figures.
"We do not participate in this session because we consider it illegal, because the legitimate speaker is not aware of the session, as well as the parliament secretary, and this is an exploitation of the parliament as an institution for the parties and personal purposes Gareon Conley Jersey
," he said.
"The session is legal and was attended by the majority of the lawmakers, who expressed their opinions in supporting the referendum Amari Cooper Vapor Untouchable Jersey
," he told Xinhua.
"So far Howie Long Vapor Untouchable Jersey
, we haven't seen an alternative that can take the place of the referendum. Do not listen to anyone, we are going to a referendum," Barzani said during a campaign for the Kurdish referendum in Duhok Province.
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SARAJEVO, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Hungarian Tamas Nagy won the 11th Sarajevo Half Marathon in one hour, 12 minutes and four seconds while Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Lucia Kimani won the women's race here on Sunday.
The event attracted some 3,000 runners from more than 30 countries and regions to the BiH capital, with mayor Abdulah Skaka setting off the 21-kilometer race through the main streets of Sarajevo.
Croatian Vinko Slisko and BiH Slavisa Bunic placed second and third respectively in the men's race.
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