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Farewell to a great philhellene

Jacqueline de Romilly, a distinguished French academic and great philhellene, died on December 18 at the age of 97. De Romilly was a classical scholar who specialised in the civilisation and language of ancient Greece, and had been the second woman to be elected member of the prestigious French Academy.
In 1995, the Greek state bestowed honorary Greek Citizenship upon De Romilly. In 2000, she was named ambassador of Hellenism, and became a foreign guest member of the Athens Academy. As a scholar, she was known for her works on ancient Greek literature, and thought, especially on the historian Thucydides and Pericles’ Classical Athens.
“The life and work of Jacqueline de Romilly are bathed in the light that comes from the sources of the highest civilisation – the Greek civilisation, the flame of which lived with her till her last breath” said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, while Prime Minister George Papandreou praised de Romilly for honouring Greek thought and for devoting herself to the promotion of Greek literature and arts.
You Tube: Jacqueline de Romilly – La Vigie Grecque


PM: “We`re on a new Odyssey for Hellenism

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) On April 23, Prime Minister George Papandreou formally requested financial support from the EU and the IMF.
“It is a national and pressing need to formally ask our EU partners for the activation of the support package that we jointly created,” Papandreou said in a televised statement from the southeastern island of Kastellorizo, where he was on a visit.
“We are on a tough course, a new Odyssey for Hellenism. But we now know the way to Ithaca and have chartered our course. Ahead of us lies a journey, a demanding journey for us all, but with a new, collective conscience and joint efforts we shall reach our destination safely… Our final goal, our final destination is to liberate Greece from supervision and trusteeship.”

Summer Camp for Children of Greeks Abroad

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The emigrant Hellenism demographically is almost half of Greece’s population (6 million approximately). The Secretariat General for Greeks abroad together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperate closely to ensure that the Greek diaspora remains connected and the ties with the motherland stay strong.  Every year, summer camps for children of Greek descent get organised at various parts of Greece. The first session of this year’s camp, where  some 720 youngsters from 51 countries around the world had been invited, has been successfully completed.  The children took history and mythology classes and participated in various recreational activities.  Deputy Foreign Minister for Greeks Abroad, Theodore Kassimis commented: “It is moving to be here with so many Greek children from every corner of the world, and even more so because this year in particular we have children with us from Chile and Uruguay.   These are children who love Greece, are taught Greek daily, and we brought them here to get a first-hand experience of the country they love and cherish.”

Greek Foreign Policy: Responsible & Confident


Addressing an off-the-agenda parliamentary debate on the course of the country’s foreign affairs, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis summarised the government’s expectations, achievements and challenges for the Greek foreign policy. On matters of primary concern for Greece, Karamanlis reiterated the government’s volition to endorse its neighbours’ European perspective on condition that the latter meet their obligations as set by the European “acquis.”   The Prime Minister stressed Greece’s intention to consolidate its position in the international arena by being active in international peace missions, reinforcing its operations arm in economic diplomacy, reaching out to Asian countries and engaging Hellenism throughout the world.  Taking the stand, foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis stated that “Greece is not a phobic state” adding that “it is a mature democracy that exercises policy within the EU  and via the EU, being present in the Balkans, in the Middle East – and today, through the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), in all the regions of the Caucasus and central Asia.” Athens News Agency: Greek Foreign Policy Confident, Responsible  Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE): The Greek Chairmanship  Secretariat General for Information: About Brand Greece- Greek Foreign Policy: Challenges and opportunities in a changing geopolitical environment

Ambassadors of Hellenism for 2009


Four distinguished academics – Didier Pralon from France, Ioannis Simonidis from the United States, Maria del Amor Lopez Jimeno from Spain and Luo Jinlin from China- were declared Ambassadors of Hellenism for 2009 by the Athens Prefecture in a special ceremony that took place on March 5, at the Athens Concert Hall. The Athens Prefecture honoured also the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodore II, for his humanitarian and missionary work while special distinctions were awarded to David Hill, chairman of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, and to Anthony Snodgrass, Christopher Price, Eleni Cubitt and Marlen Taffarello – all members of the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.

Reading Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The series “Women Writing Greece” by editors Vassiliki Kolocotroni and Efterpi Mitsi, explores images of modern Greece by women who experienced the country as travellers, writers, and scholars, or who journeyed there through the imagination. The essays assembled here consider women’s travel narratives, memoirs and novels, ranging from the eighteenth to the late twentieth century, focusing on the role of gender in travel and cross-cultural mediation and challenging stereotypical views of ‘the Greek journey’, traditionally seen as an antiquarian or Byronic pursuit. This collection aims to cast new light on women’s participation in the discourses of Hellenism and Orientalism, examining their ideological rendering of Greece as at once a luminous land and a site crossed by contradictory cultural memories. Arranged chronologically, the essays discuss encounters with Greece by, among others, Mary Shelley, Eva Palmer-Sikielianos, Jane Ellen Harrison and Virginia Woolf.  Secretariat General of Information: Greece in the World: Books – Modern Greek History