"This land, the land of RigasVelestinlis, moves me. It is an important land for the region, for its people, for Thessaly, Greece, and the world. Because, from here, RigasVelestinlis talked about the Enlightenment, years before the Revolution. And as professor Alivizatos mentioned, the Constitution bears his prints." These were the words of the President of the Committee "Greece 2021" Gianna Aggelopoulou-Daskalaki from the birthplace of national hero RigasVelestinlis-Feraios during the visit by the delegation of the Committee. The delegation consisted of the following members of the Assembly: Mr. Ignatios, Metropolitan Bishop of Dimitriada and Almyros, the former Director of the Ethnological Center of the Academy of Athens, AikateriniPolymerou-Kamilaki, professor DespoinaMouzaki, professor Nikos Alivizatos, professor Nikos Kanellopoulos and the Deputy Dean of the University of Thessaly, IoannaLaliotou.
During the visit, the delegation had the opportunity to converse with the mayor Dimitris Nasikas and other officials from the Municipality, the Regional Governor of Thessaly Konstantinos Agorastos, and also Members of Parliament from the Prefecture of Magnesia.
During the joint statements, the Mayor of RigasFeraios mentioned the two proposals submitted to the Committee by the Municipality. The proposals concern, on the one hand, a program for the energy sufficiency of the Municipality in which energy will be produced from sustainable and renewable resources and, on the other hand, the creation of "RigasVelestinlis" a center for historical documentation. "We believe that the creation and completion of these two proposals will create a legacy for the next generations and the municipality of RigasFeraios, and it will also highlight the historical significance of our area and of RigasVelestinlis, a talented and multi-sided personality, maybe even the most captivating personality of contemporary Hellenism."
The President of the Committee "Greece 2021" was emotional not only because of the history of the land but also by the atmosphere of unity that permeated the Municipality. "I am moved; we see unity here today. Members of the Parliament from the parties of New Democracy, SYRIZA, people from all levels of local representations, the Church, and the professionals were all present. This is the way to celebrate, like a fist. And in this manner, we must move forward in the next few years," she said.
The Metropolitan Bishop of Dimitriada and Almyros and member of the Assembly, Mr. Ignatios, made an essential statement during the discussion in the City Hall. "In Magnesia, we all strive to stay true to the spirit of RigasFeraios. We build on the dialogue for truth. Because, he too, always sought the truth, he believed that one could not be free without embracing the truth. We try to highlight our land as a land of dialogue and truth by maintaining this universality that Rigas wanted for Hellenism, in the manner that he studied it and tried hard to make it a reality through his vision", he mentioned.
From his side, the member of the Committee, professor Alivizatos, insisted on the decisive role Rigas played in the constitutional heritage of our country. "Rigas is the spiritual leader of the first Constitution in the Balkans, the Epidavros Constitution of 1822. This Constitution has its roots in Rigas' Constitution of 1797", he said, underlining that through these processes, a tradition was created which should make us proud: "It is self-evident that we uphold a Constitution and elections in Greece. It was then that this tradition began", Mr. Alivizatos pointed out. He stressed that the legacy of RigasFeraios is manifested best in the personality of His Reverence, Mr. Ignatios. "He is an enclave of openness and extroversion within the Church of Greece." The former Director of the Ethnological center of the Academy of Athens, AikateriniPolymerou-Kamilaki, pointed out that RigasFeraios was not only a revolutionary but a symbol of what we call future development. He wanted Greece free from prejudice and superstition. He brought forward an innovative spirit. He wanted to introduce new things into the life of the Greeks," she pointed out.
During the discussion, the Regional Governor emphasized that the bicentennial is the most significant opportunity to strengthen our national awareness, to become more reliable, and win more battles. In their presentations, the Members of Parliament from Magnesia declared their confidence in the Committee "Greece 2021" and its President, emphasizing their belief that the anniversary events will be successful. "You will win the great bet, and the celebration will leave its mark," said New Democracy MP Zetta Makri. At the same time, New Democracy MP Athanasios Lioupis estimated that the celebrations would become an international event. Mr. Meikopoulos and Mr. Maraveyas, SYRIZA and New Democracy MPs respectively, insisted on the necessity for the planned projects to leave a legacy for the future, while Mr. Boukoros, New Democracy MP, claimed that the anniversary is an opportunity for national reflection. Former MP and Minister and present President of the Institute of Inter-Balkan Cooperation "RigasVelestinlis" Mr. Sourlas intervened and stated that he puts himself at the disposal of the Committee and will submit a proposal. Deputy Dean of the University of Thessaly and a member of the Assembly of the Committee IoannaLaliotou also intervened.
The delegation of the Committee also visited the exhibition center "RigasVelestinlis" where one of the original copies of the Charter of Rigas is housed. Afterward, they visited the ancient spring HyperiaKrini, a timeless reference point of the ancient city of Feres, and Velestino, where they visited the vacant site of Rigas' house.