The President of the Committee's "Greece 2021" speech at the 31st Greek Economic Summit of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce
SPOTLIGHT

The President of the Committee's "Greece 2021" speech at the 31st Greek Economic Summit of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce

• "Our best characteristics were the ones that helped us advance. And on the bicentennial, we illuminate them so that they can guide us into the Greek State's third century of existence."
• "The 200 years since the Revolution coincide with 200 years of Greek-American friendship and collaboration"
• "In this unprecedented situation we all experience, the anniversary's goal is to be a source of inspiration for everyone and remind us that we dealt with adversities before and managed to endure."

 "Today, after a course of 200 years full of rises and falls, Greece has managed to become a successful, modern, democratic state." With these words, the President of the Committee "Greece 2021" Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, gave the imprint of present-day Greece in her speech at the opening day of the 31st Greek Economic Summit, organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. Describing contemporary Greece's profile, the President of the Committee underlined that it is "a progressive, tolerant, diversity-respectful country, with a cultural heritage and distinct natural beauty that maintain a unique quality of life, a country with people who are friendly, supportive and compassionate ".

She added, "it is evident that we don't perform perfectly everywhere; we have our faults and the well-known ills that torment the modern Greek state,” and "as our history shows, our inability to unite as a people has caused discords that hindered our progress." "But our best characteristics were the ones that helped us advance. And on the bicentennial, we illuminate them so that they can guide us into the Greek State's third century of existence," she said. "As the Committee "Greece 2021," this Greece that shows creativity and endurance is precisely the one we wanted to stimulate and highlight. Greece that participates and collaborates. Greece that doesn't give up, fights battles, and moves forward. Greece that looks ahead and takes into consideration the future generations," she emphasized.

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The 200th anniversary of the Revolution and the work of the Committee "Greece 2021".

Referring to the 200th anniversary of the Revolution, the President of the Committee mentioned that "every anniversary is, in a sense, a challenge" since we are asked to connect the past with the future and "to draw from the experience and the understanding of history, the strength to set new goals. To honor the past, not just as a narrative, but as a catalyst of the future."

As Mrs. Angelopoulos pointed out, the Committee has set three essential goals since the beginning of its operation, which it is accomplishing. The first was the goal of participation. "We wanted to make the anniversary an issue concerning all Greeks and not an affair for a small elite. It's the reason we asked the Greek people to submit proposals on how they desire to honor the 200 years. The response was impressive. We received a total of 1822 proposals for projects from Municipalities, Regions, institutions, associations, and even private citizens." The second goal concerns the international scope of the events: "We want the heart of the anniversary to beat in every Greek corner and in every part of the globe where Greeks reside. We want to bring forth the local communities and rekindle the relationships with the Greek diaspora", stressed the President of the Committee. She underlined that Municipalities and Regions from all over Greece submitted a total of 385 proposals for projects. In comparison, the Diaspora and Greek Authorities from abroad submitted 316 proposals from 46 countries and five continents. Finally, the third accomplished goal concerns collaboration, the awareness that "togetherness" empowers every effort. The issue of the anniversary, she said, has already allied bodies, associations, institutions, universities, clubs, and private citizens.

After restating that both the operation and the projects of the Committee "Greece 2021" do not receive any state funding, the President of the Committee stressed that in this difficult circumstance the country is experiencing due to the pandemic, the 200th anniversary of the Revolution could and should be a source of inspiration.

"We don't see the 200th anniversary as a fair. In this unprecedented situation we all experience, the anniversary's goal is to become a source of inspiration for everyone and remind us that we have dealt with adversities before. We have fought numerous battles and always managed to rise. Now that we are once again going through a challenging ordeal, a fresh look at our history and our course is appropriate. It will be a source of inspiration for our battle," she added distinctly.

 

200 years of Greek-American friendship and collaboration

The President of the Committee made a special mention of the importance and endurance of Greek-American relationships, developed in the Greek State's formative years and extended through the 200 years since the Revolution of 1821. In detail, at the beginning of her address, she referred to the American Philhellene George Jarvis, who arrived in revolutionary Greece and became a true 1821 hero. "He fought in almost all the prominent battles of the time, next to iconic figures of the Struggle such as Karaiskakis and Nikitaras and went down in history as Captain Giorgis or Zervas," she noted and added: "He was one of the many American Philhellenes who came to our country to fight for Greek independence because they regarded the struggle of the Greeks as the continuance of their own Struggle for independence, freedom, democracy, and justice".

Mrs. Angelopoulos emphasized that the two countries found themselves on the same side historically, "in all major events of the modern era, in two World Wars, in all the significant calls." She underlined that "over time, the United States has supported Greece in many difficult instances during its course. Greece, on the other hand, has always been a reliable and constant ally of America, a force of stability and peace in the troubled Eastern Mediterranean region." "The 200 years since the Revolution coincide with 200 years of Greek-American friendship and collaboration," she concluded.