Lessons for cit­i­zens and politi­cians

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ALEXIS PAPACHELAS

po­si­tion? It’s some­thing they should think about. The sec­ond les­son is that there is an es­tab­lish­ment in this coun­try that is not just in­ter­ested in the bot­tom line and has given its best self to the coun­try. The Niar­chos Foundation de­serves recog­ni­tion be­cause it has given an enormous amount of sup­port to Greek so­ci­ety, with pro­fes­sion­al­ism and with­out fan­fare and pub­lic re­la­tions stunts. Greece has a long his­tory of bene­fac­tors who have played an in­stru­men­tal role in the na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment and it is ex­tremely pos­i­tive that this is still go­ing on to­day, es­pe­cially when com­par­ing such gen­eros­ity to the whing­ing and de­mands of other busi­ness­men and groups. The SNFCC also showed us that Greeks need posi- tive role mod­els and peo­ple with vi­sion. The warmth with which they em­braced the cul­tural cen­ter from the get-go is telling. They al­ready con­sider it their own and are deeply con­cerned about its fate af­ter it passed into the hands of our politi­cians. Hope­fully, they will de­mand that it is prop­erly man­aged from here on out. The fourth thing we learned is that Athens has in­cred­i­ble po­ten­tial for be­com­ing a thriv­ing tourism desti­na­tion, with noth­ing to envy in Barcelona or other pop­u­lar choices. But it needs more new at­trac­tions to re­ally take off. Con­stan­tine Kara­man­lis had the right idea in the 1960s with the projects he ini­ti­ated around the Acrop­o­lis, the Athens Festival and other ar­eas of tourism. Athens, and Greece by

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