CULTURE

Mayor of City of London visits

The visit by the City of London’s Lord Mayor Michael Savory – not to be confused with Mayor of London Ken Livingstone – was an added bonus from Britain after the score of 12 points it gave Greece’s winning entry in the Eurovision song contest last week. Savory, accompanied by his wife Fiona, headed a business delegation and met with government officials and business leaders in talks that focused on shipping and cooperation between the public and private sectors. Guests at a dinner with the mayor were Deputy Minister for National Economy and Finance Christos Folias, National Bank of Greece President Takis Arapoglou, and Public Power Corporation President Yiannis Palaiokrassas. Also present were British Ambassador in Athens Simon Gass and his wife Marianna and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyianni. «We had hoped to be able to to eat outside in the garden this evening,» said Ambassador Gass in perfect Greek, «but the weather spoiled things.» The Lord Mayor’s speech referred to the visit by his predecessor Robert Finch to Athens during the «brilliant staging of the Olympic Games.» «We in the United Kingdom value our relationship with Greece immensely. It is a unique bilateral partnership offering huge mutual benefits to both countries against the background of an increasingly competitive global economy. Over 30,000 Greek students study in British universities every year, more than any other non-UK nationality except China. Over 3 million British tourists visit Greece each year, contributing significantly in a sector crucial to Greece’s economic development. And the recent opening of a VISIT BRITAIN office in Athens reflects the growing number of Greek visitors to the United Kingdom.» Savory also referred to British investment in Greece which he said «remains substantial, boosted recently by Viohalco’s purchase of Bridgenorth Aluminium. During his visit, Savory also met with Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis beneath the Parthenon.