Tsitsipas to be Honored with Souvlaki Named after Him

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Greek tennis ace Stefanos Tsitsipas, 20, is doing well in his run at the Australian Open so far and if he continues, a souvlaki will be named in his honor at Stalactites, a restaurant in Melbourne, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported.

The restaurant is one of Tsitsipas’ favorites, according to the AAP report, and in the past has only recognized one other tennis player, Greek Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, with a souvlaki named after him during Baghdatis’ impressive 2006 run. Then-unseeded Baghdatis made it to the final that year, but lost to Roger Federer in four sets.

If Tsitsipas wins his third round match, Stalactites will give him the whimsical honor.

The restaurant’s managing director, Nicole Papasavas, told AAP, “Stefanos is a massive sensation and if he does well, we’d love to name a souvlaki after him. Everyone likes their souvlaki a little bit different so we’d ask him what he likes and tailor it to his tastes.”

The Greek-Australian community has embraced the 14th seeded Tsitsipas, the highest ranking player in Greek tennis history, as well as fellow Greek Maria Sakkari, and fill the stands with blue and white flags to wave in support of these talented players.

Both Greek players will be in action on Friday as Tsitsipas faces Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia and Sakkari faces Australian Ashleigh Barty.

There is no word on whether Sakkari will also have a souvlaki named after her should she continue her run at the Open.

About the community support, Tsitsipas said, “Having the Greek community is really important, you saw it with Marcos – the best tournament of his life was here and I’m pretty sure it’s all because of the energy of the people and the Greek community in Melbourne,” AAP reported.

The Annual Clergy Laity Congress of the San Francisco Metropolis

BOSTON- Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco wrote a letter inviting all the parishes of the San Francisco Metropolis to the annual local clergy and laity assembly, urging them to “Please plan your schedules accordingly.”

He wrote that, “This year the clergy and lay leaders of the Metropolis of San Francisco will have the opportunity to come together at the 2019 Metropolis Clergy-Laity Assembly to be held March 4-5 at the Saint Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center in Dunlap, California.

This annual gathering provides a forum for the leadership of all our communities to deliberate on important matters for our Metropolis and engage in dialogue and fellowship to enrich our common ministry. The Assembly will begin promptly at 1:00 PM on Monday, March 4, and will conclude at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.”

He also wrote that, “This year’s Assembly will focus on Missions and Evangelism with the theme, The Great Commission in the Parish. The guest speaker will be Rev. Father Evan Armatas from Saint Spyridon Church in Loveland, CO.”

Metropolitan Gerasimos told TNH that “Fr. Evan is a dynamic clergyman and speaker who will share with us his insights into parish growth, outreach, and ministry development.”

He added that, “the Clergy-Laity Congress is a very serious and essential part of the life of the Metropolis and our communities…we will have the opportunity to participate in various workshops and in many other informative presentations. We are going to review the annual Metropolis finances, and the presentation and approval of the 2019 Metropolis Budget.”

He told TNH “we have an obligation to provide every year a detailed financial report of income and expenses and all activities.” Gerasimos emphasized that, “all the members of our parishes should know how and where the funds that the parishes contribute are spent.”

Metropolitan Gerasimos told TNH that “there is nothing more clear and honest than transparency and accountability, because the trust of our people is thus strengthened.”

Metropolitan Gerasimos informed the parishes that “Online registration is now open and we are requesting full representation from each of our parishes which includes:
The Parish Priest, The President of the Parish Council, and in his or her absence the Vice President, or in his or her absence any member of the Parish Council designated by it; and two members of the Parish elected by the Parish Assembly.”

He urges the parish priest and officials “to please review the agenda and register online.” He says “Your timely response is requested by Friday, February 8, 2019. Please plan your schedules accordingly and come with an open mind and an open heart, ready and willing to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be a beacon of God’s love in your parishes.”

It should be emphasized here that all the Metropolises are obligated to hold annual clergy and laity assemblies according to the Uniform Parish Regulations (UPR) and to provide parishes with a detailed financial report.

Vladimir Putin Gets Lavish Welcome on Visit to Ally Serbia

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Amid a lavish welcome, Vladimir Putin arrived in Serbia on Thursday in a show of the Russian president’s support for the Balkan country’s populist leader and his pro-Moscow policies.

Putin landed at Belgrade airport after his presidential plane was escorted over Serbian airspace by MiG-29 fighter jets he recently donated to Serbia. Church bells tolled, guns saluted and supporters waved Russian and Serbian flags on his route through the Serbian capital.

Putin and his host, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, praised the relationship between the two countries in brief televised statements. Vucic thanked Russia for its support for Serbia’s integrity and added that, “however small,” Serbia has been a “reliable partner” for Russia.

Putin thanked Serbia for the warm welcome and praised Vucic for his personal contribution to “brotherly” ties between the two states.

Serbia has maintained close links with traditional Slavic ally Russia despite formally seeking European Union membership. Belgrade has refused to join Western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine and has pledged to stay out of NATO.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, left, greets Russian President Vladimir Putin upon his arrival at the Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport, Serbia, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The relations were further boosted recently after Putin stepped up efforts to restore Moscow’s influence in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe.

Putin’s visit comes as thousands have held weekly demonstrations against Vucic because of what they see as his autocratic rule.

Thousands of Vucic’s right-wing party supporters have been bused into the capital to gather in front of the St. Sava Orthodox church, which the two presidents plan to visit. Vucic’s critics say the gathering has been staged to suggest that the Serbian leader has many more supporters than opponents, who have been marching the same route since December to demand free elections and media.

Several liberal Serbian rights groups issued a statement on Thursday protesting “glorification of Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime.”

It said that Putin’s visit “indicates that the Serbian rulers are ready to sacrifice human rights and better living standards of citizens because of their patronizing stands toward Putin’s regime.”

Ahead of his Belgrade visit, Putin accused the U.S. and the West of pressuring Balkan countries to join NATO.

Putin told two Serbian pro-government newspapers that “the policy of the United States and certain Western countries aimed at fostering their dominance in the region constitutes a major destabilizing factor.”

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend an official welcome ceremony prior to their talks in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Russia’s interest in Serbia relates to its strategic position between East and West. Of Serbia’s eight neighbors, five are NATO members and two more are seeking membership; and four are in the EU and two more are working toward accession. Serbia remains Moscow’s only ally in the region.

Unlike NATO, Putin formally does not oppose Serbia’s EU path and analysts believe that this is because he wants a staunch ally — or perhaps a Trojan horse — within the 28-nation bloc.

Putin’s popularity in Serbia is mostly because the Kremlin is supporting Serbia in its rejection of independence for the former Serbian province of Kosovo. In contrast, most Western countries have recognized Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence.

By DUSAN STOJANOVIC , Associated Press

AP writer Jovana Gec contributed.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, attend an official welcome ceremony prior to their talks in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Serbian honor guards prepare themselves for the welcome ceremony for Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Putin arrives in Serbia on Thursday for his fourth visit to the Balkan country since 2001. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

The Greek Presence at CES2019 in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV – CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years — the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers. Since 1967, CES has been the showcase of consumer technology innovation. Over the years, it has become the largest and most influential technology event on the planet.

CES showcases more than 4,500 exhibiting companies, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems and more; a conference program with more than 250 conference sessions and more than 180K attendees from 150 countries.

This year, CES2019 in Las Vegas took place January 8-11 and included Greek exhibitors, highlighting Greek business technology at the world’s largest innovation fair.

The Greek contingent was co-organized and supported by the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information, Enterprise Greece, and the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (Amcham).

The Greek Startup System Scales Up pavilion at CES2019 in Las Vegas. Photo: Enterprise Greece

The Greek booth was located in Eureka Park among 1200 startups from 40 countries. The Greek Startups:

SpotlightPOS: The company offers a solution for wireless ordering and cloud management in the HORECA (Hotel/Restaurant/Café) area with intact payments and wallet.

Ridemind: Startup offers a p2p car sharing platform from Greece, with expansion plans in other European countries.

OramaVR: Has developed a high-level precision training platform, aimed at surgeons through virtual and augmented reality (AR / VR).

TEKMON: Helps blue-collar teams work smarter. Tekmon has created the easiest digital team collaboration and communication tool possible, connecting the disconnected workers and automating workflows to boost productivity, maximize cost savings and enforce compliance.

CityCrop: Startup offers a small indoor greenhouse for the cultivation of herbs, fruits and vegetables via hydroponics.

Norbloc: It is active in the area of ​​customer base identification or Know Your Customer (KYC), offering a complete platform for banks.

PlantBox: A portable standard olive, less than 18 cm in diameter, developed with modern plant growth techniques, freely circulates in airports and can survive for up to 12 days without water or light.

Robotics Academy: Academy of Educational Robotics from the University of Macedonia.

Bubbllz: Offers a platform for accessing and rewarding micro-influencers for companies.

Oviview: A candidate selection platform through short video interviews.

Greek startups exhibited at CES2019 in Las Vegas. Photo: Enterprise Greece

Enterprise Greece President and Chief Executive Officer Grigoris Stergioulis, said, “Enterprise Greece supports the effort of young talented Greek scientists and entrepreneurs to present their innovative ideas and products at major industry exhibitions, such as the CES in Las Vegas, which is one of the largest technology exhibitions in the world. In addition to the promotion of traditional products and services and the promotion of Greek innovative ideas, the organization supports the efforts of the newly established enterprises of our country to network with international companies in order to achieve strategic partnerships that will contribute to the overall economic growth and boosting employment. Congratulations to our exhibitors.”

Litsa Panayotopoulos, Secretary General of the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and President of the Innovation, Education, and Entrepreneurship Committee, said, “The Hellenic Chamber of Commerce demonstrates both the integrated support it provided to the Greek CES mission and the cooperation with the operators and the start-up ecosystem in a substantial way its clear orientation towards enhancing the extroversion and penetration of innovative entrepreneurship into international markets with emphasis on that of the United States.”

For his part, Giorgos Christoforides, Helexpo’s advisor for the organization of the theme park “Digital Greece” in cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information, noted the following:

“For the first time there is official Greek participation in the largest technology exhibition in the world. The structured strategy of the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information to support the Greek startup community received a boost last September at the 83rd Thessaloniki International Fair where 12 #DigitalGreece Pavilion was hosted and the Ministry hosted 128 startuppers.

“It continued with the organization of a meeting of the 128 startuppers of #DigitalGreece with Minister Nikos Pappas and Deputy Minister of Economy and Development Stathi Giannakidis. The 12 #DigitalGreece booth will be present at all major Helexpo exhibitions. The beginning was with the International Tourism Fair, Philoxenia (November 9-11, 2018), which hosted 16 startups in the tourism sector. Support actions for startuppers will continue to grow in 2019. The future is coming today for all.”

Dear Stavroula: A Daughter’s Troubling Relationship

Dear Stavroula,

I have a thirty-year-old daughter who is very beautiful and very successful. She studied applied computer science and has a very good job at a big bank that pays her very well. I could say that she has a dynamic character and is very cultivated. Unfortunately, she was unhappy in her marriage and divorced relatively early because her husband left her for another woman. Since then, she has stayed for many years alone, until five months ago, she started relationship with a man totally unsuitable for her. She has fallen in love with him, and although the relationship is problematic, she will not leave him. Every now and then they have terrible fights, he shouts at her, curses at her, puts her down, and then demands that they split up. After each fight, she is a wreck, asks to see him again, and as soon as they make up, she acts as if nothing has happened. I’m afraid he is taking advantage of her financially, though she does not admit it, because I know he is not working at this time and I see them going out often and taking little weekend trips. I want to help her see the truth about him, but she does not let me. When I go to talk to her about him she gets angry and leaves. I’ve told her we should go to a psychologist but she refuses. I am in despair, how can I help my child to break out?

Evgenia T.

Dear Evgenia,

You write to me that you are very worried about your daughter and her partner and I can very well understand your reasons. It seems that your daughter is in a relationship of intense passion, where the unpleasant feelings of separation and abandonment alternate with the pleasures of reconnection and love. This emotional instability and the tension it causes, makes it harder to think logically, prevents her from seeing the man she is with clearly, and set her limits in a relationship where psychological violence is also being practiced. It is difficult to get out of such relationships and requires awareness of the situation and effort.

Indeed, allowing her partner to put her down and mistreat her may indicate a lack of self-esteem and emotional insecurity.

That is why it would help to talk with a psychologist or some other specialist who would lead her to understand her feelings and her true wishes in order to make decisions. But you write to me that she refuses.

Perhaps this denial means that she is intimately aware that she is in a situation that does not suit her but does not want to hear it, she does not want to accept it. That’s why it will not do you good either to start giving advice or to make bleak predictions about her relationship.

What you can offer her is the ability to talk to you when things are not good and you listen to her with love and understanding. Let her speak more, urge her on with your questions while talking to you, and avoid taking sides. She must understand what is going on and decide what to do.

The more she talks about what concerns her, the more easily she will realize the situation. But to do that, she has to feel secure with you and can trust in you because you will not judge her or discard her. Perhaps your daughter is trying so hard to keep this relationship out of fear of failing her second time in this area, or for fear she cannot succeed in any relationship.

Give your daughter the understanding that we should not feel ashamed of our mistakes and our failures, but learn from them and grow. Share with her examples from your own life, reveal your own mistakes, to bring her truly closer to you. Remind her how important she is, how much she has done in her professional career, to help her to love herself again.

Tsipras Prepares Massive Print Run on Deal with FYROM

ATHENS (AP) — Greece’s government is to print tens of thousands of copies of an agreement to normalize relations with FYROM, to inform the public ahead of a parliamentary debate on ratifying the deal.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ office said Thursday the document will be distributed with Sunday newspapers so that “every last Greek” can read up on the agreement.

Tsipras very narrowly won a confidence vote Wednesday after his right-wing partner left the governing coalition to protest the agreement.

Greeks are deeply divided over the deal, under which FYROM will be renamed North Macedonia and Greece will remove its objections to its neighbor joining NATO and, eventually, the European Union.

A nationwide poll this week found 70 percent of respondents oppose the agreement. The poll gave a maximum 3.4 percent error margin.

Striking Greek Teachers Parade Through Downtown Athens

ATHENS – Hundreds of striking Greek public workers, mostly teachers, marched through the capital’s center Jan. 17 keeping up their demands for more hirings of teachers on short-term contracts who want permanent, life-time jobs.

The ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, in what rival parties said was a transparent bid to buy votes in an election year with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras falling out of favor after reneging on anti-austerity promises, said it would hire 15,000 teachers over the next three years.

That would start in the autumn this year and go on over three years but the teachers’ unions said that the process is unfairly weighted against teachers who have been working for years on short-time contracts. They also want more teachers to be hired.

The umbrella civil servants’ union, ADEDY, called a 24-hour public sector strike to back the teachers’ demands, although the walkout mainly affected schools and thousands of similar protests and demonstrations against austerity during a more than 8 1/2-year economic and austerity crisis largely failed any government to move away from reforms demanded by international creditors in return for 326 billion euros ($371.55 billion) in three bailouts.

Striking Greek civil servants marching through central Athens to protest proposed new hiring criteria for state school teachers, in Athens, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)

Teachers have held two protest marches in Athens over the past week over the hiring plan that were both marred by clashes between some demonstrators and riot police who used tear gas

to disperse state schoolteachers protesting violently in Athens, days after the country’s public order minister accused officers of indiscriminately attacking teachers in similar circumstances.

The violence came during a protest by about 2,000 teachers Jan. 14 against the government’s process for hiring new staff in state schools. Police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse dozens of protesters who tried to break through a police cordon, attacking officers with sticks and stones.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

Striking Greek civil servants, mostly teachers, marching through central Athens to protest proposed new hiring criteria for state school teachers, in Athens, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Stelios Misinas)
Striking Greek civil servants, mostly teachers, marching through central Athens to protest proposed new hiring criteria for state school teachers, in Athens, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Stelios Misinas)
Striking Greek civil servants, mostly teachers, marching through central Athens to protest proposed new hiring criteria for state school teachers, in Athens, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Stelios Misinas)

Striking Greek civil servants marching through central Athens to protest proposed new hiring criteria for state school teachers, in Athens, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)
Striking Greek civil servants marching through central Athens to protest proposed new hiring criteria for state school teachers, in Athens, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)
Striking Greek civil servants marching through central Athens to protest proposed new hiring criteria for state school teachers, in Athens, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)
Striking Greek civil servants marching through central Athens to protest proposed new hiring criteria for state school teachers, in Athens, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)
Striking Greek civil servants marching through central Athens to protest proposed new hiring criteria for state school teachers, in Athens, Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)

EU Finance Chief Says Greek Bad Loans Holding Back Recovery

European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, who oversees the bloc’s economy, said Greece’s recovery hopes from a crushing crisis that saw the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shink some 25 percent is still being held back by a mountain of bad loans weighing down the banks.

Despite being a big supporter of Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who said he’s brought a comeback without mentioning, if so, it’s largely because he renege on anti-austerity promises, Moscovici said the bad loans are weighing down the banks, leaving them without enough capital for loans to help bring a rebound and investment.

He also said that while banks need to solve the bad loan problem that makes up as much as 40 percent of their portfolio – while hounding people to pay their loans, credit cards and mortgages despite being buried under big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and job losses – that there must be protection from foreclosure of primary residences.

Tsipras promised that but after saying, “Not one home in the hands of banks,” has let them confiscate homes of what the government said were strategic defaulters who can afford to pay but were ducking it, using the crisis as an excuse.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, speaks with European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici during their meeting in Athens, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Moscovici met with Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and other top ministers after Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras said the bad loans are scaring off potential investors, four months after the end of three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($371.6 billion) has left the country still unable to get back to the markets.

Stournaras, who spoke at the same time as Moscovici’s visit to Athens, told an audience at a Piraeus Bank event that the emphasis should be on the accelerated implementation of two plans to cut the bad loans, one by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund and the finance ministry, and a second initiative by the Bank of Greece, the business newspaper Naftemporiki said.

The bad loans have reached some 40 billion euros ($45.59 billion), including 250 million euros ($284.97 million) owed by the former ruling New Democracy Conservatives and the now-defunct PASOK Socialists who aren’t being pursued and after loan officers who approved the transactions without enough collateral were given immunity from prosecution.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici sake hands during their meeting in Athens, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. Moscovici is in Greece ahead of a review of Greece’s Economy by European officials. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

There is a Shadow Hanging over the Presidency

It was indeed an insulting question. And almost beyond the limits of the imagination.

However, the journalist from the Fox News channel, which passionately and in any way possible supports President Donald Trump, asked the question with the aim of facilitating his response.

“So I’m going to ask you, are you now, or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?”

He became furious. His face grew red.

“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” the President replied.

However, as everyone has observed, this was not a straightforward answer. It was not a denial.

Later, after the outrage it caused, the White House tried to massage public opinion, but the dark shadow lingered.

It is unprecedented in the history of the United States that the impression that the President of the United States might be working to the detriment of his country’s interests.

And yet there are elements in the stories that are circulating that cannot be ignored. Elements that at least in part justify at least the impression:

Let’s take two recent revelations that were published not only in the New York Times – which, in my opinion, would have been more than enough – but also in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere:

The first is that the president has repeatedly expressed to his associates his desire to withdraw America from NATO.

And the second is that during his meetings with Putin (five in number) he was either there by himself – contrary to any previous practice – or he took away the translator’s notes, whom he ordered not to disclose anything to anyone. The result is that no one else – apart from the Russian side – has any idea what was discussed.

How normal is this?

NATO – I am reminded of the old Greek protest chant “EEC and NATO, the same syndikato (syndicate)” – has secured American interests and helped maintain peace like no other military arrangement in history. I think this is not disputed by any objective observer or anyone who believes in liberal democracy and the western way of life.

And while there are problems that should be corrected, like for example, that the United States, Greece, and Turkey are among the few member states that fulfill their obligation to spend 2% of their GDP on defense – the dissolution of this alliance, to use the words of Admiral James Stavridis, a former NATO commander, would be “a geopolitical mistake of epic proportion.”

Regarding the seizing of the translator’s notes – there was also a meeting between Trump and Putin that was not revealed – is not it reasonable to wonder why he did so?

Should he not have done the exact opposite – to bring to these meetings his tops aides, like his National Security Advisor, the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, etc. to avoid any misapprehensions as well as to have policy continuity ?

As I said above, these are two of the most recent revelations, but there are others.

The President of the United States cannot operate with such a shadow hanging over him.

Nor can the American people and the rest of the world be given reasons to be suspicious about his decisions.

Let us therefore be hopeful that the report by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller will present final answers for the many questions that are swirling about.

And let us also hope that the report will be issued soon.

“Cities of Alexander the Great” Introduces Mountain Bike and Hiking Packages

A series of programmes for mountain bike, hiking and cultural excursions were presented by Greek tourist agencies of the “Cities of Alexander the Great” initiative at the international tourist exhibition Ferien in Vienna recently.

The members and partners of the network “The Cities of Alexander the Great”, representing several locations in northern Greece, scheduled a series of 14 business meetings during the international fair, to promote alternative tourism areas of Macedonia among Austrian and Bavarian tour operators.

The featured promotion was the mountain bike route that links the village of Dragounteli in Sithonia with Holomontas, Arnea and Paleohori along with the Aristotle Mountain route that links Mt. Pangeo with Mt. Athos.

There were targeted presentations of alternative vacations for “mountain excursions fans” which are expected to have a high interest response, provided that the specific routes include and are linked with internationally acclaimed historic brands, as “Aristotle”, “Alexander the Great”, “Alexis Zorbas” and “Mount Athos”.

In parallel, a comprehensive cultural programme for potential Austrian travellers was presented in Vienna, including a tour of the historic Thessaloniki, Ancient Amphipolis, Ancient Stagira and Sidorokafkasia in an itinerary to Mt. Athos. Austrians tour operators expressed strong interest in a Macedonian round trip with a strong historic undertone that includes stops at natural and archaeological sites.

“At a time when the Greek National Tourism Organisation data shows that tourist flow from Austria to Greece exceeds 18 percent annually, we are creating tourist products and infrastructure to present a chain of events, worthy of the historic route we are promoting,” said the president of the network and mayor of Amphipolis Costas Melitos.