CULTURE

Diplomatic meetings and the US presidential inauguration

Two new ambassadors to Athens, Simon Gass of Great Britain and Charles Parker Ries of the USA, visited Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis this week as part of their round of making contact with the government. Despite the official nature of the meetings, sources say both ambassadors asked for and received assurances that all employees at their embassies were safe «because Greece has taken all measures necessary to ensure their safety.» The American ambassador’s residence was closed on Thursday, the day of the inauguration of President George W. Bush, because it is still too early for Ries to open his house as his predecessor Thomas Miller and his wife Bonnie often did on presidential election days, starting with coffee at 5 a.m. and watching until the final results showed that George Walker Bush had spread the Republican flag across the United States. But Katerina Papathanassiou and the executive committee of Republicans Abroad Greece held a hugely successful reception attended by many notables on the cruise ship Aegean Glory, which was anchored at Piraeus. If the 44th president of the US pays attention to the Aegean Sea and persistent Turkish violations of Greek air space, it will be to his glory.