KOMOTINI, Greece - "Komotini is a city with a distinctive culture, a meeting place of cultures and religions, where Greek women and Greek men, Christians and Muslims, constitute its unique treasure," President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said on Friday during a meeting with representatives of local organisations, while sending a message of optimism and unity about Greece's future.
The president said she would have liked to attend the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Komotini, but that conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic did not permit her to do this, and noted:
"In the difficult times we are going through, the national anniversaries inspire us and teach us that nothing is a given: that nothing is given to any human being and to any people, if they do not fight for their own ideals, for their own national and social self-confidence. During these 100 years, Thrace has faced significant challenges. From the smooth settlement of refugees from Eastern Thrace and Asia Minor, after the signing of the Convention on the Exchange of Populations between Greece and Turkey in 1923, to the adaptation to difficult living conditions, but also the special role you have to play due to the geographical conditions of the region as protectors of our borders."
On Thrace, she said that it constitutes a model of harmonious coexistence of different religions unique in Europe. Significant steps have also been taken in the areas of development: the cities of the region have developed, a large university has been established, significant infrastructure has been built, and several businesses have found suitable ground to operate.
Sakellaropoulou also praised the composure and sobriety shown by the residents of Thrace during the recent events on the Greek-Turkish border in Evros.