ATHENS – With the horror show year of 2020 about to end and worry how long COVID-19 will extend into the new year Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou told those living abroad she wants them back in 2021.
Many Greeks around the world, especially in the United States, were barred from entering the country this year because of the pandemic and with international air travel limited, but 2021 also will see Greece celebrate 200 years of independence from the four-century long Ottoman Occupation.
Ceremonies had been scheduled but are up in the air until seeing whether gatherings can be held, Greece eager for a tourism rebound after huge losses this year, especially wanting visits from the Diaspora and fellow Greeks.
“I know that many of you felt frustration and anger last year, as it was not possible to visit Greece, to see relatives, maybe even to say goodbye,” she said in a statement.
“But at the same time I am very proud to see so many expatriates actively participating in the scientific effort to tackle the pandemic,” noting the achievements of Greeks in that field, many of whom left their country during a near decade-long economic and austerity crisis.
Sakellaropoulou also noted that 2021 is poised to restore some normalcy in people’s lives, noting celebrations for the start of the 1821 War of Independence, reported Kathimerini.
“(As) 2021 dawns, reviving our hopes for a remission of the pandemic and the gradual return to normal social life. At the same time, for us Greeks everywhere, it is charged with an additional powerful historical symbolism. It is a profound change in our history. The Greek revolution of 1821 paved the way for liberation from the Ottoman yoke,” she said.