ATHENS – “I take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Spanish support for our struggle for independence 200 years ago; A support that actually goes back centuries before the Greek Revolution,” Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Thursday in his address, via video recorded message, at the event “The Greek Revolution of 1821 and Spanish Philhellenism” organized by the Greek Embassy in Spain.
“In 1571, in the historic Naval Battle of Lepanto, Don Juan led successfully the fleet of the Holy League against the fleet of the Ottoman Empire.
He was guided by the very same ideals that inspired the Greek Revolution.
After the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, Spain was one of the first countries to which Greek revolutionaries turned for support during their struggle.
Encouraged by the fact that the Greek war of independence started during the Trienio Liberal, the Provisional Government of Greece sent an envoy to Madrid in 1822, Andreas Louriotis.
Addressing the Spanish Foreign Minister, Louriotis asked, on behalf of the Greek Government, for help:
‘to magnanimous Spain, to a nation which, more than every other, shows to the universe that she feels all the values of liberty and independence’.
At least nine Spanish Philhellenes came to Greece during the War of Independence and contributed to its cause.
Since then, Greece and Spain have developed close relations during turbulent times.
Both restored democratic governments in the mid 70s.
Subsequently they became members of the then European Economic Community in the 80s.
Since then, we have expanded our ties, in all fields, political, economic, cultural.
And of course, we cannot forget that one of the most popular figures in Spain is Greek.
Greece and Spain, both Mediterranean countries with a strong maritime tradition, share many things; A commitment to common values such as Democracy, Rule of Law, Human rights.
We also share many challenges, such as:
– Instability in our broader neighbourhood,
– The risks of the instrumentalisation of migration and
– Fragile states in our vicinity.
Together, we will continue to uphold our shared values and address our common challenges.”