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Former governor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis speaks at the airport. (Photo provided by Consulate General of Greece in Boston)
BOSTON – Michael Dukakis a two-time, three term governor of Massachusetts and also candidate in 1988 for the Presidency of the United States, in an interview with The National Herald revealed a unique encoounter with Queen Elizabeth upon her arrival in Boston in 1976.
Dukakis also spoke about the continuation of Putin’s war against Ukraine, President Biden’s presidency thus far, and the U.S. economy.
The interview follows:
TNH: Mr. Dukakis, What do you remember most from the Queen’s visit to Boston during your tenure as governor?
Dukakis: A British Monarch had never been in the United States until she came here in July 11, 1976. This was the first time in two hundred years. It was a big day for us here. Two hundred and fifty turn out in Boston, it was a very special day. The had the royal yacht which they brought to Canada. She got on the yacht in Canada and came down to Boston. It was a interesting yacht with a very long flat ladder from the upper deck down to the doc. We were all there, thousands of people to greet her and all of a sadden there she is in the upper deck big cheers and she steps on this ladder and began sliding down.
One thing they had told us in the briefings that we had before she came was not matter what she will do don’t touch her. Don’t take her by the arm, by her hand. The four of us myself my wife Kitty former mayor Kevin White and his wife Cathy were the formal greeting party on the dock. So here comes the Queen sliding down and I didn’t suppose to touch her. What do you do. I was not going to let her fall. So, she came down without falling and she said to me good morning. I will never forget this. She was very pleasant and nice but Phillip was much more communicator. He was a delightful man.
TNH: What are your thoughts about the continued war of Russia against Ukraine?
Dukakis: I don’t understand this, I don’t understand the Russians and Putin are doing and why they are doing it. It makes no sense to me. It is obvious that he has not been successful, they have all kind of problems as a result of it and I would hope somebody on the Russian side will start listening and come to the conclusion that is a failure and they have to stop this. So far it doesn’t seem to be any indication for that on the Russian side, we will see.
TNH: Who is going to listen in Russia?
Dukakis: I am not an expert of what is going on in Russia these days but I do get the sense that some people are listening. In any event they have taken the loses are huge and the gains are small and I think that there some evidence that the Ukrainians are going to reverse this and they are pushing effectively the other way. What happens then and why at a time when the world and in Europe in particular are including ought to be including the Russians, they ought to be collaborating on positive things, I don’t understand it and I am not sure the Russian leadership understands it. They have to be very concerned of what is going on.
TNH: Having said that is Putin capable of using nuclear weapons?
Dukakis: I hope not, I don’t understand why he is doing this and why he is running serious risks for all of us of possible nuclear contamination, it just not makes sense to me at all.
TNH: The West have done certain things to convince Putin that the war leads nowhere. What else the West can do to Putin?
Dukakis: It is a good question. I think the West has adopted a path and policies that make sense at least the possibility of a resolution of this thing. I am not saying that I have any special information, but it just seems to me that at some point the policies that we and other have adopted seem to be working and I hope to lead to a peaceful resolution at the earliest possible time.
TNH: How is Mr. Biden doing thus far?
Dukakis: I think he is doing much better now that it was several months ago and I think it is because he is a solid guy who has good experience, he went through a tough period that wasn’t created by Biden and I think we are getting good leadership from him and I am expecting he will continue.
TNH: How do you the economy of the US doing?
Dukakis: So far, so good, but it is very important that we stay on a sensitive path and continue to do what we are doing in a way that makes sense.
TNH: In case Turkey materializes its threats against Greece do you that the US will rush to support Greece?
Dukakis: I think will be supportive and I hope we could d so in a way that also resolves this and resolves peacefully.
TNH: Well, forty-eight years now Turkey has occupied almost half of Cyprus. Where is NATO? Where is US? Where are the allies?
Dukakis: Doing what they can without engaging in a shouting war which I think it will be a disaster.
TNH: Were you surprised that former President Donald Trump took some highly confidential documents from the White House at his private home?
Dukakis: I don’t understand the man, I don’t understand what he is doing and I certainly don’t understand what happened in the cases of these documents.
TNH: The late Greek-American senator of Massachusetts Paul Tsongas use to stress often the necessity of establishing a third party in the US. Do you think the time has come for this?
Dukakis: No, I don’t think so. The Democratic party is perfectly capable e of providing strong leadership and I hope and expect it will do so.
ATHENS - Despite having a costly Internet that’s the slowest in the European Union, Greece is continuing to attract high-tech giants, with Alphabet’s Google planning to create its first cloud region in the country.
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