Dendias sends Christmas message following "Happy Holidays" debacle

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias Christmas Tree

The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias sent a message with wishes for the Christmas holiday through his Twitter account.

"Many Years! I wish on the day of the birth of Christ for peace to the whole world and to you and your families health, prosperity and happiness for Christmas," said the Foreign Minister in his post.

His Christmas message came after the Greek Foreign Ministry social media accounts were slammed for their use of "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas".

"Greece's Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes you a safe and joyful holiday season and a healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2023," the controversial tweet said.

Some social media users even highlighted how it was strange that the Turkish Embassy in Athens offered a "Merry Christmas" to Greek citizens while the Greek Foreign Ministry did not.

Elsewhere, Dendias conveyed a very subtle but clear message regarding Albania’s European perspective and the consequences of the undermining role played in the Western Balkans by third parties with a revisionist agenda, such as Turkey, during his visit on Wednesday to Tirana.

He nevertheless expressed his general optimism about Greek-Albanian relations, but also about the prospect of moving forward on bilateral issues, such as the signing of the agreement to refer the delimitation of maritime zones to The Hague.

Dendias message was in fact an indirect response to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who on Wednesday attended the signing of the contract for the procurement of three Turkish Bayraktar UAVs by Albania.

Rama said, among other things, that “thanks is not enough for my friend [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan,” and added that “we are proud to be on the same side and strategic partners with Turkey.”

Greece's top diplomat, who had lunch with Rama, said after that Albania has made a key choice to become a member of the EU and place itself in the hard core of the European family. “This is where we Greeks believe it belongs. But this implies a number of parameters,” he said.

The foreign minister stressed that Greece has no problem with Turkey per se.

“But it does have a big problem with Turkish revisionism, as with all revisionism. Consequently, any parameter must serve the European idea on the one hand, but on the other hand it must not allow revisionism in the region,” he said.

His talks with Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka focused on accelerating dialogue on the basis of the existing political agreement, to reach an agreement for referring the issue of delimiting the two countries’ maritime zones and continental shelves to arbitration by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

READ MORE: Eiresione: The Ancient Greek "Christmas Tree" that was transmitted to European tradition through Byzantium.