On the 25th of March, H. E. Mr. Grigorios Vassiloconstandakis, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Greece to the Republic of Bulgaria, and his wife Mrs. Paraskevi Mantziara gave a reception at the Sofia Hotel Balkan on the occasion of the national day of the country.

The numerous Greek community in Bulgaria celebrated the 198th anniversary of the 1821 Uprising and the country’s Declaration of Independence. The reception was attended by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria Mrs. Emilia Kraleva, His Holiness the Bulgarian Patriarch Neofit, ministers and officials, ambassadors and diplomats, representatives of the academic community and the political parties, journalists from the Bulgarian media.

In his address to the guests, the Ambassador said: "Today we mark the beginning of Greece's struggle for independence, which began on the 25th of March, 1821, and the recognition of the modern Greek state by the international community later in 1830. Within almost two centuries Greece managed to strengthen its borders, become a member of important organizations such as the European Union and NATO and, above all, remained a pillar of stability in the troubled region of the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East".

Then he continued in Greek with a message to the Greek diaspora in Bulgaria: "Dear compatriots, with Bulgaria, which, several decades later, lead its own struggle for independence, our closest neighbor and important partner, we have developed deep and successful relationships. Today, our excellent ties, both historic and cultural, are intensifying as both sides develop strategic and political cooperation at a high level, with friendship and mutual understanding. The Bulgarian Presidency in 2018 was another opportunity to expand these links and further develop our cooperation at a European and regional level. Economic and trade relations and the continuous flow of Greek investments reflect the economic cooperation between Bulgaria and Greece. The relations between the two nations are extremely good - over three million Greeks and Bulgarians travel between the two countries. The cultural and educational cooperation is developing strongly. It is not just about the thousands of Greek students studying in Bulgarian universities, but also about the new Greek majors at the most prestigious higher education institutions that support these close cultural relations between the two nations."

Three days later, on the occasion of the 198th anniversary of the uprising in 1821, the Democratic Organization for Education and Culture (DOME), headquartered in Sofia and chaired by Thomas Lafchis, organized a festive concert with Greek and Bulgarian dances and songs. The participants were greeted by H. E. Mr. Grigorios Vassiloconstandakis.

Photos: Embassy of the Republic of Greece in the Republic of Bulgaria

Above: H. E. Mr. Grigorios Vassiloconstandakis addressing his guests at the celebration

Below: His Excellency and his wife with guests at the reception; moment of the concert of the Democratic Organization for Education and Culture (DOME) in Sofia