The President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, praised on Wednesday the contributions made by the great powers of the time, France, England and Russia in the Greek War of Independence.
Speaking to foreign dignitaries, including Prince Charles, at an official state dinner at the Presidential Mansion in Athens, she said that “our peoples have been linked with bonds of long-standing friendship and strong ties since the birth of the modern Greek state.”
She noted the role of the Philhellenic movement which “provided continuous material and moral support.
“Prominent figures from the realm of letters and the arts extolled the Greek uprising and had a profound impact on public opinion in Europe and America,” she stated.
Sakellaropoulou remarked that a Philhellenic consciousness emerged at the time, which considered the liberation of Greece as a major geopolitical and nation-building mission.
“Our ancestors did not only fight for their independence, but also for their political freedom. Under the influence of the American and French revolutions in particular, they laid the foundations for a democratic and liberal state,” Sakellaropoulou said.
“The legacy of 1821 is not only Greek. On the contrary, it encompasses the universality and global reach of the ideas and values of its time,” she added.
In his speech, Prince Charles also spoke of the strong ties between the UK and Greece.
“Today, as in 1821, Greece can count on her friends in the United Kingdom,” he said and added:
“The ties between us are strong and vital, and make a profound difference to our shared prosperity and security.
“Just as our histories are closely bound together, so too are our futures.”
“I feel a profound connection with Greece,…without her, our laws, art, our way of life would never flourish,” the Prince of Wales stressed.
Earlier, foreign leaders who arrived in Greece on the occasion of the bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence, were welcomed at the opening of the newly-remodeled National Gallery of Greece.
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