Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos on Tuesday evening referred to the shared cultural values between Greece and Serbia and to the contribution of Greek culture as symbolized by the Parthenon, during the official dinner held at the Presidential Mansion in honor of visiting Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
He then reiterated his firm belief that the Parthenon marbles must be returned to Greece, and thanked the Serbian president for the support of the Serbian people and himself personally to Greece against what he called the unacceptable policy of the British Museum. He said the museum, as a common receiver of stolen goods, continues to tolerate and obscure the crime and political sacrilege committed by Lord Elgin, stressed Pavlopoulos.
Pavlopoulos underlined how Greeks “believe firmly in the need for European integration by European unification, and struggle to that effect,” while he also emphasized that “countries of the Balkan peninsula have a place too, in this path to European integration.” But the unequivocal condition to this prospect is that they respect international and European law, he added.
The Greek president assured his Serbian counterpart that Greece is ready, any time, to assist Serbia in this direction, with the know-how and experience of a country which has already come a long way as a full member of the wide European family.
Vucic thanked Pavlopoulos and said that “we have many common interests with Greece, as it has always been close to us, even at difficult times in the history of Serbia. We are grateful for the support of Greece and the Greek people.”