European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday she was cancelling her visit to Greece where she was scheduled to present this year’s Empress Theophano’ Prize, at a ceremony in Thessaloniki on October 7.
“Everything was ready, everything was arranged, and I was so much looking forward to be present at the award ceremony for the Theophano prize. But coronavirus is making things difficult,” she said in a video message posted on her official Twitter account.
“I'm in quarantine right now…I cannot travel to Greece right now, I am very sorry for that, but we have to be careful and we have to do everything possible to reduce the spread of the virus,” she added.
Instead, the head of the European Commission said she will attend the event on Wednesday evening in Thessaloniki via video.
The prize rewards individuals or organisations who make an outstanding contribution to bridging Europe’s historic diversities.
This year, the prize was awarded to the EU’s student exchange program, ERASMUS.