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President Sakellaropoulou's message to the Hellenes of the Diaspora for the Holidays

Featured President Sakellaropoulou's message to the Hellenes of the Diaspora for the Holidays

The President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, sent a message to all Greece ahead of Christmas and the Holidays.

Dear Greek women, dear Greeks

With special emotion and respect, I address today all of you our expatriate compatriots, in every corner of the earth.

To all of you who, although settled in countries and regions outside our national borders, still maintain, individually and collectively, solid cultural and emotional ties to the homeland.

All of you who started your journey to the world with the values ​​of Greek culture in your luggage and highlighted them in the countries where you chose to live.

You, who in a process of continuous and dynamic evolution, faced your emigration as a challenge. You worked hard, you managed to heal the trauma of expatriation with the promise of the future, you managed to bridge the contradictions and you contributed to the progress and prosperity of the societies in which you joined, with Greece always in your heart.

The year that is leaving was particularly difficult for the whole world and of course for our country. The coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected societies.

Hundreds of thousands of people died a tragic, lonely death. Countless families were faced with mourning, financial insecurity, mental shock. I know that many of you felt, last year, frustration and anger, as it was not possible to visit Greece, to see your relatives, maybe even to say goodbye.

I know that many of you have experienced the trial of the disease first hand and some have not. I am deeply moved every time I read a Greek name in the lists of Covid victims, published by foreign newspapers. But at the same time, I am very proud to see so many expatriates actively participating in the scientific effort to tackle the pandemic.

I rejoice in their ingenuity and dynamism, their self-denial, their sense of social responsibility. In the struggle for humanity to defeat the deadly virus, they are the heroes of the front line.

The pandemic, however, was not the only adversity our country faced in 2020. We were faced with Turkey's provocative and aggressive behavior, with the questioning of our sovereign rights and the undermining by the neighboring country of the security and stability of our area.

We have experienced a period of great tension in relation to the immigration problem, which has often been used openly as a lever of diplomatic pressure to achieve other goals. And, of course, we are experiencing the inevitable problems caused by an unprecedented pandemic in our economy.

But we do not flinch, we do not lose heart. Unwavering in our national issues, we seek a mutually honest and constructive dialogue with Turkey on the basis of international law, because only in this way will we promote peace and stability in our region.

Focused on the humanitarian treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, at the same time we resolutely defend our borders against any intrusion. Suffering from a long period of economic crisis, we are regrouping to meet the demand for the reorganization and growth of our economy, strengthening the healthy productive forces and building on the sacrifices to which all Greeks have made in the past.

Dear Greek women, dear Greeks

2021 rises, reviving our hopes for the escape from the pandemic and the gradual return to normal social life.

At the same time, for us, the Greeks everywhere, it is charged with an additional strong historical symbolism. It is a profound milestone in our history. The Greek revolution of 1821 paved the way for liberation from the Ottoman yoke, was the beginning of the political formation of Greece as an independent nation-state and by linking the demand for freedom with the progressive ideas of the Enlightenment created the moral and political conditions for its abolition, sending meaning of shedding off every tyranny throughout Europe, giving the 19th century its great historical meaning.

Today, the 200th anniversary of Greek national resurgence gives us the opportunity for national introspection and creative reflection.

It invites us to reflect on what we have achieved as a nation over these two hundred years, to cultivate our collective self-knowledge, to regroup internally to respond to modern challenges guided by the inalienable values ​​inherited from our ancestors' struggle for freedom and self-sacrifice.

In this endeavor, I know it well, you will all be companions and active supporters, who with your hard work, dynamism, creativity, and flexibility in integration in the countries where you live, you have managed, not only to join smoothly in the social web but also to stand out, each in his own field, pioneering and occupying high positions of responsibility in the place where you built your new life.

And at the same time, you kept alive the tradition of Greekness as a concept that is identified with open horizons, the need for communication, cultural dialogue, extroversion. Your connection with Greece, an amalgam of historical experience, memory, and feeling, has been and is being expressed in practice and on many levels, and I assure you that the homeland always recognizes your offer.

I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a New Year that will be optimistic, cloudless and creative.