Greece celebrates National Day and friendship with Việt Nam

March 25, 2023 - 08:37

Georgios Stilianopoulos, Ambassador of Greece, wrote to Việt Nam News on Greece's National Day, March 25.

Georgios Stilianopoulos, Ambassador of Greece, wrote to Việt Nam News on Greece's National Day, March 25.

We, Greeks all over the world, celebrate today the heroic uprising of our ancestors on March 25, 1821, against the Ottoman Empire. We honor today the memory of those who, through their struggles and sacrifices, lead to the shaking off of the four-hundred-year-long Ottoman yoke and to the creation of the Modern Greek State, a country independent and democratic, in the core of the European Union.

Today, we also celebrate the beginning of two hundred and two years of strife in the progress of building our Nation as well as the dawn of the third century of our independence.

I am very pleased that you have given me the opportunity to share with the readers of Việt Nam News the celebration of this Anniversary.

The heroic struggles of Vietnamese people, for which the Greeks nourish a great admiration and which they unanimously supported during the hardships that occurred from 1940 to 1975, make us feel closer to each other. Vietnam, like Greece, fought and won, rebuilt on its ruins and has now embarked on a new path towards growth and progress at a globally acknowledged rapid pace. At this point, I would also like to mention that the father of the Vietnamese Nation, Hồ Chí Minh, appears to have spent some time in the city of Edessa, in the North of Greece, during the First World War. Indeed, the Municipality of Edessa plans to raise a statue in order to commemorate this event.

General Secretary of the Communist Party H.E Mr. Nguyễn Phú Trọng and President of Greece H.E Mrs. Katerina Sakellaropoulou in Hà Nội on May 16,2022. Photos Courtesy of the embassy

Việt Nam and Greece are two Nations that, even if geographically located far apart from each other, enjoy excellent relations, which date back almost half a century, built on solid foundations and common values in international relations. It is worthy to note that in recent years our bilateral relations were further enhanced through the exchange of high-level visits. Our firm will is to further strengthen them in fields of common interest such as: trade, maritime transport and logistics, shipbuilding, seaport exploitation, tourism, food industry, renewable energy sources, as well as in regional and international fora.

The official visits by the President of the Hellenic Republic H.E Mrs. Katerina Sakellaropoulou (15-19 May 2022), and by the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E Mr. Nikos Dendias (01/08/2022), as well as the meeting between the Prime Ministers of our Countries on the sidelines of the EU-ASEAN Summit (Brussels, 17/12/2022) enhance this will. Apart from strengthening our bilateral relations, they provided both sides with the opportunity to further review issues of mutual interest.

Furthermore, given the commitment of our countries to International Law and to the Law of the Sea/UNCLOS, which is the compass for the resolution of all disputes - during the aforementioned visit in Hà Nội of Minister Mr. Dendias it was agreed that, from here on, there will be close consultations between our two countries in order to explore each other’s positions and work together towards the International Law of Sea’s evolution.

In recent years, the trade relations between Việt Nam and Greece have been steadily and firmly progressing. However, there is still significant margin of further broadening their volume, particularly after the implementation of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Greece, a member of the European Union and of the Euro zone, an active member of the regional cooperation organizations of South East Europe, the Black Sea, the Caucasus and the Mediterranean, maintains a deeply rooted presence and activity in the Middle East, in North Africa and in the Arab World. It is a political and economic power in the area between East and West. Its merchant marine and other activities make it an important gateway to the rest of Europe and the other aforementioned regions. Greece is a reliable partner for business initiatives, joint ventures and the transfer of expertise, even outside our wider region.

On the other hand, Việt Nam, with a population of 100 million and a dynamically growing economy, is a relevant interlocutor of Greece in the region of South East Asia, offering renewed opportunities for the increase of trade exchanges and investments.

Ministers of Foreign Affairs H.E Mr. Bùi Thanh Sơn and H.E Mr. Nikolaos Dendias in Hà Nội on August 1, 2022. Photos Courtesy of the embassy

Tourism - one of the strongest economic activities in Greece, fifth worldwide - is another sector of common interest that we need to further exploit, strengthen and promote. The 2007 Agreement of Cooperation between our countries in the field of tourism provides ground for mutual exchanges through promotion, by facilitating investment and sharing know-how.

Greece, a country of unique beauty, has something special to offer to every visitor, regardless of age or taste, with diversity in landscapes, experiences, activities, gastronomy and a culture stemming from ancient times. The visitors may visit some of the most amazing monuments of the world, most of them UNESCO's Heritage Sites. In addition, near-perfect climate conditions allow every tourist to enjoy their holidays during the four seasons and anywhere in our country.

After almost three years of the Covid-19 nightmare, I believe that one of the things that the majority of us have mostly missed is to spend carefree holidays. Today, as normality finally seems to have returned in everyday life, Greece is able to lavishly offer such holidays to Vietnamese citizens. I am therefore inviting them to safely travel to my country, discovering its known and unknown corners and, as our motto says: "Living their own Myth in Greece". VNS