ATHENS – “We are very happy to welcome you today to the Maximos Mansion. It is very important for us that you are able to get in touch with the homeland, to keep alive the spirit of Hellenism, to practice the language. Know that we will always welcome you with love, with a smile,” said Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis in his welcoming remarks to the young people visiting Greece through the Nostos Program, highlighting the tripartite cooperation between Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt.
“World Hellenism is a very great force for our country – I believe to a degree still untapped – and I hope and wish your generation to have even closer ties with the homeland. I think that you will keep inside you very beautiful moments from this trip,” said Mitsotakis, guiding the young people on a tour of the premises of Megaro Maximos and his office. “I spend a lot of time here. The artworks you see are by Greek artists, who have kindly given them to us either themselves or through the National Gallery and we intend to renew them at regular intervals so as to give an opportunity to anyone who enters the Maximos Mansion to have an acquaintance with modern Greek culture.”
In his conversation with the members of the delegation, the Prime Minister also referred to the relations between the three countries, which, as he noted, are at an excellent level. “Relations at the political level are very close, as you know, but it is very important for three Eastern Mediterranean countries to be able to strengthen ties at the level of civil society, especially for the younger generation,” Mitsotakis pointed out. It should be noted that the young people first visited Egypt, before visiting Greece, and immediately after will be in Cyprus.
“Language is very important to us”
“Language is very important to us. What I encourage the Minister is to use the new tools, the new technology, so that we can help you speak Greek better. And now language learning is not only done in the traditional way, [but] with very nice new digital tools, not only with the `staellinika’ platform. There are other similar platforms, private. I would really recommend whenever you have the opportunity to practice not to hesitate to do so. Of course, the best practice you can do is to come here or have friends who speak Greek and always strive to speak the language, even though it may sometimes be difficult. Because through the exercise, finally, the practice, comes the familiarity,” said Mitsotakis, discussing at the same time with the young people about the emblematic historical monuments that they will visit during their stay in Greece.
The young people were accompanied, during their visit to the Maximos Mansion, by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Hellenes Abroad Konstantinos Vlasis, Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Cypriots Fotis Fotiou, and Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy Ioannis Chrysoulakis.