“Even now in this difficult economic situation for the country, we feel obliged to take care of the refugees who arrive on the shores of our country,” stressed the Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, on Tuesday night wellcoming the Meditteranina Spiritual Leaders at the Acropolis Museum in Athens at the dinner hosted by the Foreign Nikos Kotzias in honor of the delegates of the International Conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East” organised in
by the Foreign Ministry in Greece on this semiologically significant timing
The Prime Minister noted that “in today’s globalized world, Greece is in the midst of a crisis that affects Europe, the Middle East and the Mediterranean in economic, political, geopolitical and spiritual level”.
“Therefore we believe that religion and culture are bridges of communication and understanding for the folks and people of different countries and civilizations ” he added.“It is Greece again that is asked to face this Eurozone crisis as well, which is objectively posing the question of what kind of Europe do we want in the future, a Europe of solidarity, development and social justice, or a Europe of austerity and inequality. ”
“This is a time of great tension in the region surrounding Greece”, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras noted ealier on Monday on his meeting the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Monday.
“Greece found itself in the midst of three overlapping crises:”, he explained. “The economic crisis in Europe that was still underway, the refugee crisis, where Greece was among the countries bearing the brunt of the refugee waves, and the generalised destabilisation, instability and conflict in the broader region.
“We believe that we will manage to cope and at the same time upgrade Greece’s role in the surrounding region,” he added, stressing that Greece did not want to be part of the problem but part of the solution.
“For this reason, we look for and anticipate the efforts of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,Tsipras said, whose global perspective has the ability to highlight the positions that contain humanity, the value of dialogue, values that we share, adopt and will also support at all international fora,” Tsipras said.
“In these difficult times, the prayers of the mother Church are with you for the success of your mission and the prosperity of the Greek people,” he added.
The prime minister greeted the Patriarch by saying that his presence was a great honour for the International Conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East”, especially given the Patriarch’s own initiatives for interfaith dialogue in the Middle East and on a global scale.
Dialogue is the only path to bridging differences, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras underlined.