ATHENS -- Athens Mayor Costas Bakoyannis presented Prince Charles of Wales with the Medal of Value of the City of Athens at a special ceremony that took place earlier on Thursday.
The city's highest honor recognizes "a proven friend of Greece and Hellenism, and especially a friend of Athens, its history and its civilization," the mayor said.
Noting Britain's signal contribution to the liberation of Greece, the mayor recited examples of British support after the Greek War for Independence broke out in 1821, and said Greece honors the British who fought with them and died alongside with them.
He also referred to the prince's initiative "Terra Carta", supporting the protection of nature and biodiversity, expressing appreciation that Athens is the first city to sign on. In addition, the Prince's Trust, he said, has helped over a million young people find work and found their own business, while in Greece it plans to help 4,000 young people by 2023.
Responding, the prince of Wales said he would proudly wear the medal as a reminder of his ties to Greece. The Terra Carta project, he said, encourages cities to become more involved in greater sustainability and biodiversity and a lower carbon footprint, and Athens has already begun implementing such projects.
Following the event, which was also attended by Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias, the mayor and Prince Charles met with representatives of Greek business, who signed on to Terra Carta for the collaboration of public and private sectors.