Panos Papadopoulos

Panos Papadopoulos, a film director and producer, questions whether the city of Thessaloniki ever had any real opportunities. «Yes, the Cultural Capital was an interesting situation, money was spent and hopes were invested. It did not reach its goals and it was the last time the city shone. «At the same time, it provided an opportunity for situations and people to become entrenched. Actually, many people left the city, and I think this is a good thing,» he said. «Thessaloniki is a student town; the young people form a nursery, giving life to the festival, music groups and exhibitions. The trouble starts when these movements start to be felt by the city itself. And the city doesn’t really react, it is simply indifferent. The result is that today Thessaloniki has to import culture from other places.» Papadopoulos attributes the mayor’s popularity to the fact that Thessalonians feel «cheated» by the central government in Athens. He also opines that the city’s bid for the Expo fair gave rise to aspirations and rallied the city. As far as the future is concerned, the filmmaker said: «People should just stop repeating the same old myth that Thessaloniki is the ‘capital of the Balkans.’ If something were to happen it would have done so by now, after so many years.»

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