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Greece mourns Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela was an ideologist fighting against violence, apartheid and all forms of racism, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Friday, in a message of condolences after the death Thursday of the former South African leader at 95.

"Today we say goodbye, with the global community, to a hero who wrote unique pages in the modern history of the world," Samaras said.

Mandela was "a model of humility, selflessness and humanitarianism and an ideologist fighter against violence, apartheid and all forms of racism. We Greeks will always honour his memory," Samaras said, and extended his condolences to Mandela's family and to the people of South Africa.

The wish that Nelson Mantela's memory act as a reference point was expressed by government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said early on Friday following the death of former South African leader on Thursday aged 95.

"Let us hope that the name and image of Nelson Mantela always act as a reference point with a substantive institutional and social content," he said, adding that Mandela had died "at a time when unfortunately many of the achievements of democratic political culture are being doubted."

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