By Drossoulla Mavromatis
Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has arrived in the United States for an official four-day visit and made his first 2020 U.S appearance in Tarpon Springs, Florida this evening, January 5th at the AHEPA banquet hosted at Innisbrook Resort.
Cocktail hour started at 6 pm, with the dinner following at 7 pm. AHEPA also had the honor of hosting Archbishop Elpidophoros of America during the evening’s festivities. The night was filled with many guest speakers, including being Mayor of Tarpon Springs Chrysostomos Alahouzos and U.S Congressman Gus Bilirakis.
The Mayor welcomed the Greek Prime Minister with great praises and honored him with a key to the city and other gifts that represent the history of the Hellenic City. The Cretan society also had the chance to honor Mitsotakis and his Cretan roots with a plaque from the local Cretan society, and a performance of the Malevisiotiko from the youth ages 16-23.
Other speakers during the night included: Supreme President of the AHEPA George Horiates and Grand President of Daughters of Penelope Vasilia Kachmarski to name a few.
After many speeches, presentations, and gifts, Mitsotakis had his chance to speak to the audience of over 400. The PM greeted the crowd stating: “I have to tell you I am deeply moved by the fact that I am able to join you today and tomorrow on this special day, here at Tarpon Springs. It is actually the first time that a sitting Prime Minister attends this important celebration.” Mitsotakis also added: “It is a special moment for me also personally when I recall the history of my family.”
The Greek PM was referring to his great uncle Prime Minister Venizelos, “The last important, prominent, towering, politician who visited Tarpon Springs was Eleftherios Venizelos; 98 years ago. He came here after having lost a national election. He came at the time in his own words to discover the United States, to see for himself the power and the strength of this new global power that was rising on the horizon.”
Mitsotakis then proceeded to discuss important issues such as his determination for the bright future of Greece, and even his excitement of Greeks abroad now being able to vote in elections. He made it clear to the crowd that Greece has definitely suffered many economic and other hardships in the last decade, according to the PM: “not anymore.”
Prime Minister Mitsotakis received the support of the crowd with his determination and hope to uplift the country, as he says he plans to make Greece a “thriving” nation. Mitsotakis also discussed the importance of how Greeks in Greece and Greeks abroad must come together to make "our Patrida stronger and build it together as one."
The Epiphany celebrations will continue tomorrow with the Prime Minister attending the Holy Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral, followed by the diving of the Holy Cross.
*Watch the video here-