Greece's 200th Independence Celebration Grander Than 2004 Olympics


Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos with Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalakis. (Photo by Papadakis Press/ Eurokinissi)

ATHENS – The head of a committee planning the 2021 marking of Greece's 200th year of freedom from the Ottoman Occupation said it will be even more spectacular than the 2004 Athens Olympics which she also oversaw.

Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, a businesswoman and Ambassador-at-Large for her country, told SKAI TV that the commemoration plans are aimed at "helping us see what happened" and "remember or learn for the first time abnout the facts of true bravery and self-sacrifice."

She added that there wouldn't be "pharaonic projects,” that would be over-the-top but more in keeping with both the joy and somber remembrance of the meaning of the revolution that brought Greece its independence, with the help of western powers.

Questioned about the 2004 Athens Olympics, she said claims that they prompted the country's bankruptcy are "a mistake, a lie,” despite widespread reports of the costs and as many of the venues are abandoned.

"The Games succeeded, the committee's budget was 2 billion then and we left 135 million to Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis," she said. "For further details, ask the governments who were responsible," she said.

Historians Mark Mazower and Stathis Kalyvas are among eminent academics who will join the 2021 committee.