Mitsotakis Says Greece’s 200th Independence Event Time to Reflect

November 7, 2019

FILE – Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks during the fourth EU-Arab World Summit in Athens, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS – It’s more than a year away but Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the Greece 2021 celebration to mark 200 years since winning independence from a four-century rule of the Ottoman Occupation should be used to be reacquainted with Greek history and identity.

As he opened the proceedings of a committee that will oversee preparations to mark the bicentenary of the 19th-Century Greek revolt against Ottoman Turkey that led to the creation of the modern state, he said it will be “an opportunity for reflection,” said Kathimerini.

Speaking at a special session of the Parliament, Mitsotakis said the celebrations concern “every citizen” and aim to have a “unifying” message for a country notorious for infighting and political battling, even over the event itself.

The session was attended by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and the head of the Greece 2021 organizing committee, and businesswoman Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, who also addressed lawmakers.

That came a day after noted historians Mark Mazower, who has written extensively about Greece, especially the post-World War II and civil war period, and Stathis Kalyvas were among several noted academics who will join the 30-member committee.

Nicos Mouzelis, an emeritus sociology professor at the London School of Economics, and Konstantinos Tsoukalos, a renowned Greek sociologist and criminologist, are also to join the panel to make plans for how the event should be celebrated.

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