President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias called for bold decisions to tackle the crisis, but also self-criticism, during a lunch he hosted in honor of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece and the Holy Synod members marking the Sunday of Orthodoxy, which is the first Sunday of Lent.

"The situation around is worsening due to the acute economic crisis. Chronic problems of the past, which today are projected in the difficult present, portend a difficult future. The times demand bold decisions by all of us and self-criticism both at individual level and at institutional level. The crisis we are going through is not only the result of harmful and off-target policies adopted. It is a crisis of values," the President stressed.

Papoulias praised the Church's social work in the relief of vulnerable population groups, stressing that especially in these days that work should comprise a central aspiration and mission, adding that the cooperation between State and Church needs to be strengthened.

The Archbishop, in turn, said it is mandatory to "see the political state of affairs beyond the picture, the causes of the crisis beyond the economic recession, and view the crisis as an opportunity for restructuring".