Strengthening the ties of NATO allies and EU partners

You have been here for several years. Have relations between Greece and the Czech Republic developed during this time? Greece and the Czech Republic had strong relations when I arrived here in the autumn of 2006, not just as EU partners and NATO allies, but also through tourism, culture and education. Having studied modern Greek philology at university both in Prague and in Athens, I was pleased and honored to be posted here. I have worked to maintain this close relationship and, with my colleagues at the Czech Embassy in Athens, contribute to enhancing it. We strive to find ways and means to bring our two nations closer and to cooperate on an advanced and mutually stimulating level. To this end we organized business seminars on biodiesel in Larissa in 2007, on waste management in Athens and Thessaloniki in 2007 and on water management in Athens and Volos in 2008. We promote the Czech Republic as an wonderful tourist destination for Greeks, with special emphasis on students. We contribute to the rich cultural life of not only Athens but the whole of Greece with concerts of excellent classical and jazz music and with exhibitions of photographies and graphics, to name just a few of our activities. Recently, Greece has been going through problems of its own, particularly when it comes to civil unrest and violence. Do you view these as isolated incidents or as part of wider turmoil in Europe? Greece has a long tradition of democracy and the people are willing to voice their opinion, as witnessed by the numerous demonstrations, marches and petitions. During this period of uncertainty, it is not surprising that sometimes episodes of civil unrest and violence occur, as we have seen recently. However things appear to be, and hopefully are, calming down now. In the context of Europe, these events have always happened sporadically, but now we are moving toward more inclusive ways of governing and better ways of preventing violence.

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