Issue Number 499
On March 25th Greece celebrated the bicentenary of the outbreak of the Greek Revolution and War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. Withstanding centuries of despotism and tyranny, persecution and oppression, Greeks kept their national ideals and identity, language and education indestructible and undiminished. They did not only maintain the consciousness of their national existence, but also incorporated in them incalculable moral and spiritual forces.
The Greeks had formed a Nation since ancient times; the struggles of the 1820s had been about restoring the Nation to its former, rightful condition – at the time and often since, Greek Independence would regularly be described as the revival of the Ancient Hellenic civilisation, which in turn became the Greek-controlled Byzantine Empire that endowed ideally with the heritage of the Language and Culture of the Greek Nation. The long course of the Greek Nation, which gave birth to the Greek Culture, is still known today through the indisputable historical truth that this Culture was, is and will remain the basis of the common European Culture.
Greek liberation ultimately succeeded, after great sacrifices, because the wisest and most far-sighted of the Greek leaders saw the advantages of internationalising their struggle. In this way, and through astute Greek diplomacy, even if the outcome had not so much to do with the conscience of Europe for the Greek struggle, and everything to do with geopolitical calculation, it also firmly integrated the newly-Independent Modern Greek State into the evolving geopolitics of alliances with others in the continent, and indeed of the wider world.
The history of relations between Greeks and its neighbours goes back for many centuries. We have shared the past marked by ups and downs, wars and peace, opposing blocks and alliances. It takes time and sincere efforts of dedicated and inspired people from all spectrums of society to overcome the shadows of the past and to build mutual respect, trust and cooperation.
At the same time, in order to maintain international peace, security and promote genuine multilateralism you have to be able to permanently deter illegal, revisionist and provocative behaviours. For that reason, the defence of National Issues and National Sovereignty is required without retreats and in unity on the solid basis of International and European Law and in particular the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
Managing Director – Editor
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