Dukakis Center welcomes distinguished French journalist Jean Quatremer
"This is my first visit to Thessaloniki. I am struck by the traces of French presence in the city.”
-- Jean Quatremer
The Dukakis Center hosted the distinguished French journalist Jean Quatremer for a Dukakis Lecture on Friday, November 20, at the Municipality of Thessaloniki. The event was co-sponsored by the French Institute of Thessaloniki and the Journalists Union of Macedonia-Thrace, with further support from the Consulate-General of France in Thessaloniki and TV100. The entire event was conducted as an exchange with Mr. Filios Stangos, Director-General of TV100, who moderated it in the form of an extended interview.
The event began with the observation of a minute of silence in memory of the victims of terrorist attacks in Kenya, Beirut, Paris, and, on the very day of the event, Mali, and an elegant homage in Greek by Consul-General Christophe Le Rigoleur. Mr. Le Rigoleur poited out that “our moral and political obligation is to defend the democracy that some want to dissolve”.
Along the same lines, Mr. Quatremer expressed his concerns regarding the possible loss of individual freedoms and the rise of the extreme right as a reaction to the Paris terrorist attacks and the ongoing refugee crisis. He warned that “if we undermine democracy then the terrorists win and that was their goal”.
Subsequently, Mr. Quatremer presented his point of view for Greece and the financial crisis, mentioning that Greeks do not have the State they deserve. He expressed his wish that the Tsipras administration will move into implementing the necessary reforms. He stressed that “Mr. Tsipras must succeed for the good of Greece and the good of Eurozone and Europe”.
He pointed out that through the years the European Union trusted blindly the various Greek administrations but has now moved to the other extreme – change that might explain the crisis during the first six months of the Tsipras administration. He moved on by saying that Greece should not have been accepted into the Eurozone but now Greece and the European Union are like a married couple and “they will grow old together”.
Finally, regarding the refugees, the French journalist pointed that Greece should have requested help from the rest of Europe early on, something that has been realized only now.
The event closed with a formal questions & answers period and a reception where the audience had the opportunity to individually talk to Mr. Quatremer.