‘Europe is forced to go forward; my hope is that progress is collective’

Valery Giscard d’Estaing says he feels like a true citizen of Athens. The former French president visited Athens recently at the invitation of the Constantine G. Karamanlis Foundation and the French Embassy in Athens to mark the 30th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Greece. Back in 1974, as he recalls, there had been a «true explosion of joy everywhere in Greece and the way was opened for the country’s entry into the modern age.» During his visit, the man who worked with dedication on the European Union’s draft Constitution found the time to talk to Kathimerini about his bitterness over the removal of a reference to Thucydides in the final draft. He said he hoped progress in Europe would be collective, led by a group of young politicians now emerging who would succeed the old guard. Giscard d’Estaing believes that Greece’s Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is one of these, a politician with deep dedication to democratic principles and one of the few who are interested in the substance of politics.

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