Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Venizelos’ welcome address at the Association of Diplomatic Personnel event on “200 years since the founding of the Society of Friends”

 Hellenic MFA, Tuesday, 25 November 2014:

E. VENIZELOS: I want to congratulate the new board of the Association of Diplomatic Personnel on the initiatives it is undertaking, and I am pleased that these public events are starting with today’s, which is dedicated to the Society of Friends (Filiki Eteria); that is, in reality, to the foundations of the War of Independence of the modern Greek State.
Unfortunately, due to a very heavy schedule, I will not have the opportunity to stay to see the speakers.

I am pleased that among the speakers are two esteemed colleagues of mine from the University, whom I admire in particular. Professor Konstantinos Svolopoulos, a member of the Academy of Athens, with whom I was together at the University of Thessaloniki Law School, and Professor Paschalis Kitromilidis, who has dedicated himself to the history of ideas. And I want to mention in particular the presence here today of the Academic Mr. Valtinos, who is here to attend the event.

I won’t get carried away with observations regarding the substance of the issue, because that would alter the programme. The speakers are the ones who will talk about the Society of Friends and its memory and its importance. Nor do I want to repeat platitudes in celebration of the day.

The Foreign Ministry has need of a very dispassionate and scientific study of history. Patriotism is based on a profound knowledge and accurate assessment of the balance of powers, and it is of very great importance that our diplomatic personnel renew the broad knowledge that, in any case, they already have of this land’s history, its undertakings, the requisite self-knowledge.

Particularly at this very critical time. All periods are historically critical, but the current one is particularly dense, as we are facing very major challenges in the country’s foreign policy and security policy – as well, naturally, as in our economic policy. That is why we are having an open negotiation on all levels at this time.

So, with these thoughts I would like to congratulate the new board of the Association of Diplomatic Personnel and wish them every success in their activities. I would also like to welcome with very great pleasure the speakers. And I also welcome the audience, without whom there is no communicative relationship between the speakers and the public.

Thank you very much.


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